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Old 10-14-2011, 09:25 PM   #1
54belair
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My grandsons 68 stepper

After searching for almost a year, and considering all possibilities I was lucky enough to find exactly what I wanted----and at a bargain price!

This project starts out with a lot of work already done. It has a 350/700r4 and a 12 bolt open rear. Suspension has been changed to 72 and lowered with drop spindles 2 1/2 oin front and a couple inches in rear (by heating springs). She has ps /pb/ air / buckets / cowl induct. hood and a diff. gauge set.
All things that I would have added. The body is pretty good----needs both rockers (which came with it) and some minor dent work. Interior will have to be done as well.

After I get the body off and frame and body re-done, my end goal is to take out the beefed up 350 and the 700rand go back with a beefed up 4.3 v6 and a muncie 4 speed.

She runs and drives----and is ready to finish.

The title says "grand sons 68"--------eventually it will be! but for now its gonna be my toy.

Along with the truck I got all the old windows, another complete 12 posi rear, a turbo 350---and several other parts.

Can you say Lucky-- and Proud, boys and girls??? I am both
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:00 PM   #2
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Looks. Like a great foundation for a build
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:20 PM   #3
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Had a few minutes before the sprint cup race starts so I thought Id upload a couple more pics.

First thing I have to do tomorrow is re-wire the Alt.. someone recently put a 1 wire on it, but the wiring is all wrong. Then, maybe Ill have time to put a couple miles on it before tear down time!

The short guy in the drivers' seat is the new owner "encouraging" me to get started!!

I think a big part of the fun of this truck will be that he Wants to help me build "my" truck---and doesnt realize that he will be working on his own ride!
And---hes a pretty good hand too!
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:31 PM   #4
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Well, here it is almost 6 months later and I have finally gotten around to starting !!
I have the front clip off and the bed off and apart And mostly stripped. I found some small dents in the lower rear fenders, they had put about 1/2 inch of putty in the dent instead of pulling them, so I ground out the filler, work with hammer and dolly for awhile, now its ready to put just a thin coat of putty and get ready to primer.

Im coating all sheetmetal (both sides) with the silver mastercoat primer/encapsulator, then later Ill come back and epoxy primer etc.
After the bed, Im on to the front sheetmetal---I didnt like the way the cowl hood fit so Ive bought a regualr hood (will make the final decision later)

So far the truck is still runable, gonna load it on the trailer and take it to have the rockers and foot wells welded in. My friend have his own resto business and will trade the body welding for some extra parts I have.

I have dropped the idea of the 4.3 v6------quicker and easier to stay with a v8

I have been very surprised so far, the only unknown surprises Ive found are the rusted footwell corners and a bent rear crossmember. I have a new crossmember to put in soon----and then it will be ready for the camaro tank fab.

I have some additional pics showing my "mess" as my wife calls it!!

During the 6 months delay I at least had time to make plans and make decisions on ways to proceed. Still looking at another 16 months work.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:36 PM   #5
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Ive taken Mannnnyyy pics of my build so far----But pic sie was too large and Ive had a difficult time resizing them. Ill test a few showing the initial tear down
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:51 PM   #6
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

What started out as a simple replacing of the rockers ended up being all new floors, toe boards, kick plates and eventually we ended up replacing both hinge posts due to hidden rust.

While the cab was in the shop, I was able in my shop to scrub down to bare metal, the complete bed, rear fenders as well as the entire front clip. I also added the hidden tailgate latches and the cable gate supports. After I got the cab home, I cut out the old dash which had been butchered and welded in a new one.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:21 PM   #7
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Currently, the cab is still on the rotissary, the frame is pretty much sand blasted, I have all the new suspension parts sitting around (waiting till I get the frame finished), I have pulled the original engine out and have the replacement engine (it needs to come apart to change cams and lifters).
I finished the cab mods and now its pretty much waiting for warmer weather so I can get it in primer. The last cab mod was to build the recessed antenna into the original gas filler hole. I have a power antenna that will be recessed about two inches.

The newest part Ive been able to find is the seats-----I found some 07 trailblazer seats with the built in seat belts. These things are all power and heated too!!

The main thing I need is some time at home----and some nice sunshine and warm weather!!!
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:28 PM   #8
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

So far, this has been an interesting build-- Im over budget, past my projected time estimate and as aggravating as its been from time to time--Ive had the best time on this truck--better than any other build Ive done (but then Im a long way from done too!!)
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:36 PM   #9
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

I'm diggin those seats!
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"..... Long beds are like the slightly chubbier sisters to the hot chick, still cute with a lot more to like. hahahaha!" - OrtegaMotor
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:08 AM   #10
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Yeah, me too Ghostryder---Ive looked for almost a year for something that fits (what I think is) the style of the project. I saw these and jumped. I may try to use them without the headrests--dont know yet. I had originally thought I wanted blazer seats, but these have the built in belts.
While my shop is heated, Im anxious for warmer weather so I can renew my attack!!
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:28 AM   #11
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Even those of us in the warmer climates are anxiously awaiting warmer weather. Most of my time available is in the evenings, and lately it's still been too cold. I'm definitely keeping an eye out for some seats for mine, but I'm never as patient as I want to be. I guess we'll see. Yours should be a fun build to watch for sure.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:44 AM   #12
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

I can relate to "patience". I could have this thing done in 3 to 4 mos.--if I were home more. But--being a slave to money, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!!!!
Sorry to hear its cold there-- I come out to Az. a few times a year (usually have to visit my main man Tom in mesa for parts) while Im there.
Ive definitely resized my pics on the camera so I can post more on the rest of the project.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:50 AM   #13
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

I too have a 1968 c10 and I like the direction the build is heading.
If I may offer one piece of advice, the rear factory springs are progressive and when they were heated to sag that pretty much ruined them.
I would recommend replacing them with 4" drop springs from CPP the part numbr is "RCS603-4" heres a link to a picture.
http://www.classicperform.com/Store/...ck/RCS603S.htm
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:12 AM   #14
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

LOL---got um!!

Yeah, Ive learnd alot about what I thought was "good" when I bought the truck!!
Ive decided to abandon most of the "cool" things it had in the beginning.

The front and rear suspension will be all new, I pulled the cowl hood, then I decided on more traditional windows---which launched a search for new doors--as well as having to find new door/window hardware (hence the over budget!)
When its finished she will look stock (ish) but 2 1/2 / 4" lower. I originally wanted a smaller engine---but, with the M20 4 speed and the high gear Im gonna run I decided I needed more torque than a little engine would deliver.
The replacement engine has about 4K on it, but it has a gear drive and a higher rpm cam than what I want---so out goes the gear drive and Im going in with a Comp 252h cam which will give me more torque at a lower rpm. Im in my 60's and dont need a real screamer-----and when I give it to my grandson, he SURE doesnt need it to scream (although he Will want it to!!)
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:58 AM   #15
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

This week I stripped out the old core support thinking that I would use a later model core for parts--well, that didnt work. My old core support was rusted more than I had thought, so I started wondering what the diff. really was between the 67-68 core and the 69-72 support. As it turns out, not much!! You have to weld in 6 nuts along the bottom for attaching the splash pan and you have to remove the add on headlight buckets and cut a couple small (square) holes to mount the headlights. (hardest thing here was finding the square drill bit!)

Here are some pics of the core support. The next thing I should finish up today is the rear mounted fuel tank.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:16 AM   #16
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

great work, looking forward to seeing the progress
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:54 PM   #17
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

This week I was able to get my rear mounted tank installed and finished up sandblasting the frame as well as got the old front suspension all pulled off. I still have to add the rubber insuation to the tank mounting straps and extend the filler neck aprox. 3 1/2 inches. With the camaro tank, you can mount it far enough back that the filler neck doesnt have to be extended--but I opted for more safety and mounted the rear of the tank just slightly under the frame instead of sliding it back further.

To mount the tank I used 2" wide steel straps and I used two pcs of 2" x 11/2 steel tubing for spacers. The 1 1/2" drop plus another 1/4" for the strap insulators will give just enough drop so that the filler is at the top of the license plate bracket.

As for extending the neck, I have ordered the rubber hose connector and a longer filler neck from a chevelle tank. I can cut the extra neck to the length I need and use the rubber sleeve Or I have gotten a price from the local welding shop to cut and weld a section of the chevelle neck onto the existing neck.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:13 AM   #18
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Within the last month or so Ive gotten a lot of stuff done, although most of it isnt very photogenic!
I now have the frame finished and painted, I have the front suspension completely assembled (I had to grind down the front steering knuckles a little due to wheel clearance issues), then I was on to other issues like building mounts for the new seats (which I still havent figured out) and the biggest slow up in my project--The Engine!

The original engine was a recent rebuild--but suffered from low oil pressure. I looked at several options for a replacement----ended p getting a newly rebuilt engine out of a totaled street machine. I chose this engine for two reasons---1. I felt I could trust the owner and what he told me. 2. It was cheaper than a new one.
Now is a perfect time to look at my signature and read my "second thought" there.

I had decided to change cams in the engine I had purchased to a milder cam with more low end power. After partial dis assembly, I found that the only good thing about my "find" was that it was indeed a recent rebuild and the pistons/cylinders were good.
The rest of the engine was toast!!! First thing I found was some unusual wear in the valve train, mainly the roller rockers and the pushrods.. The wear to those parts dumped a Lot of steel and alum. powder shavings into the oil. End result was bad cam bngs, some light metal deposits in the mains and rod bngs. So, now my good deal rebuild is at a machine shop/rebuilder---actually getting done right this time. (another delay and super added expense)
Out of curiosity I took the original engine down to see what its problems were. As it turned out, they were pretty much identical--only worse! Both engines had aluminum roller rockers (?) and both engines had similar valve train wear and metal shavings in the pan and bearings. The original engine had a little more damage to mains.
I posted a thread about roller rockers where I stated I was old school and didnt really see the need in these things (for street engines). I also went back to my "second thought" and made myself sit in a corner and write that thought one thousand times----maybe Ill learn it this time!!!

So, I am currently doing a million small things including the seats while I wait for the engine to return. When I get it back Ill attach the bellhousing clutch assy and trans. and get them installed and the rear crossmember located and installed.

At this time Im about ready to rename my build to "over spent and behind schedule"
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:23 AM   #19
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Wow, this looks like a great build
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:34 AM   #20
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Glad you're back on the horse! Hope your motor comes back right!
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:53 PM   #21
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Great build. What are those seats out of? I may have missed it. Looks like newer chevy truck seats. 11-12 silverado?
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:20 PM   #22
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Seats are supposed to be out of a 2007 Tahoe.
All electric with heat and memory!!
I just got them put back together today. Have to power them up and see "where they are on the tracks before I can get serious about mounting. The tahoe has an uneven floor so its going to take some time fabbing the mounts. The outside rail will mount to the floor--but the inside rail will have to be built up about 3 1/2". The heat and memory wont be used, just the 6 way power.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:23 PM   #23
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Quote:
Originally Posted by 54belair View Post
Seats are supposed to be out of a 2007 Tahoe.
All electric with heat and memory!!
I just got them put back together today. Have to power them up and see "where they are on the tracks before I can get serious about mounting. The tahoe has an uneven floor so its going to take some time fabbing the mounts. The outside rail will mount to the floor--but the inside rail will have to be built up about 3 1/2". The heat and memory wont be used, just the 6 way power.
Oh awesome. My dd is an 02 Tahoe, thought about using the same as what I have in there for my 71, but the newer years look better IMO.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:58 AM   #24
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Thanks,, I think they will look good----I came up with a sketch and a material list last nite. Im guessing the first seat will take a day to fab. brackets, if Im lucky the second one will be quicker!! This fab work is the last for the cab, after that I can get it all in primer and about ready to go back on the frame (after I fit the engine/tranny.) The best part of that-----I can get the rotissary moved out and out of the way!!!
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1997 shortie stepside
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Dont always go the cheapest route--You can save yourself into the poorhouse!
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:17 AM   #25
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Re: My grandsons 68 stepper

Breaking News!!!

Shortly after I commented (again) that the seats were 07 tahoe------I went to the chevy dealer looking for a new plastic side panel on drivers seat------turns out these are out of a 05 trailblazer!! same seat supposedly, just different mounting.
Alls well--I still like the seats!!
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