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Old 02-28-2012, 10:07 PM   #1
JointTech
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N00b with a 72 c20

Hi everyone. New here. I grew up on SBC's but its been 10 years since I picked up a socket wrench. I've got city-boy hands and thought it was time to get to wrenching. I picked up this 72 Cheyenne C20 Custom Camper. The 400 had been pulled years ago and replaced with my old friends 350/350.
It has a pretty straight body and no real rust (socal). I think the tailgate is the only thing that will need replacing. 8 Bolt rims. 14 bolt ? rearend.
Picked it up for 2k.
My current problem is none of the lights from the cab back work. But i think its a bunch of frayed wires shorting. Ill run that down tomorrow.
I also noticed the !@#$%$ gas tank is right behind the seat. Thats about the dumbest thing I could think of but after doing some searching I guess its common. lol. note to self, dont smoke in the car.
Seems like it has dual tanks but the second isnt hooked up and it looks like the incar tank selector isnt connected to either tank.
It has a funny wobble in the rear end from 0-2mph. Probably the rear end taking a dive but Ill check the u-joints anyway.
My plan for the truck is to put maybe a 2" lift on it, really mild. 33-35" tires. Cleanup the interior. beat out the rear end and rattlecan it black. !!
Then long term im thinking either start building a 383stroker in the shop mated to a 700r4 or maybe going for the ls1 swap. 350/350 is great but I like an overdrive, it was howling on the freeway.
This thing will be for me to play with in the shop and go the 3 mile to home depot when the wife wants new baseboards or a dishwasher.
I have no plans on restoring it to original but do plan on long term getting it up to daily driver capable. body mounts, rubber, AC (PO removed the compressor), nice paint etc.
My idea is to go matte black with no chrome trim or emblems. (if anybody wants the emblems let me know). slight lift with short rubber on tall rims. If anybody has a picture of 33-35inch tires on 18-20 inch rims under a 67-72 let me know. not a skyjacker though.

so im sure ill have some question for you guys while i get my mojo back.
heres some picks of the beast as i got it. (bumper is in the bed of the truck)







hopefully my problem with the rear lights is here:
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:08 PM   #2
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

yikes. sorry about the monster pictures. i thought they got resized.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:23 AM   #3
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

Changed plugs, it had a mis-match random selection of Autolite 24 and 25s in it. I replaced them with ac-delco 25s (or whatever the replacement part number is. Replaced the Cap and Rotor with the blue summit racing HEI distributor rebuild kit.
Replaced the vacuum advance and the distributor weights and used the medium weight springs.
Went to put on the new plug wires and realized I had non-HEI plug wires.
So ran to Crap boys and got an MSD universal 8.5mm set. Took it home and spent 2 hours putting the damn thing together. Fingers still hurt from getting those boots on. Finally started using dishsoap to make them slide. The dielectric grease idea is bull****.
Put the plug wires on and she fired right up. still have the touch I guess.

Ill put up some pics of the engine bay soon.
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Last edited by JointTech; 03-27-2012 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:30 AM   #4
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

Changed belts. Missing the AC compressor so just the alternator, and power steering belts. Cleaned the engine off with some degreaser. Kind of a pain in the ass when you cant use a hose. so i used a spray bottle lol. ragged up the rest. cleaned up ok for a half-assed parking lot job.

Changed the oil and filter. Put in 10w30. Old oil was pretty black but didnt see any shavings in it. Oil pressure still reading pegged though so need to check that out.

Transmission is a pint low. need to pickup some ATF tomorrow. While under the truck i found that its a TH400 when i thought it was a TH350. I guess thats good.. or whatever.
looks like a th400 pan to me.


Pulled the rear end cover off. It's a 14 bolt. Oil was black and really smelly but again doesnt look like any shavings. Also didnt look like there was ever a gasket on it? maybe just rtv or something. it was so covered in old grease and dirt i cant tell.

what I didnt see was a filler hole for the diff. Have to google that later.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:35 AM   #5
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

While under the truck poking around I found I can move the drive shaft up down left right with no problem. Looks like that carrier bearing gasket is completely worn out.




it also looks like the drive shaft is to far out on the spline.




Looks like Ill be replaceing that this weekend and then I think I can finally romp on this thing without it exploding.
Ive never had it past 1/4 throttle on the road.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:43 AM   #6
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

this looks like the condition i picked mine up in.... LOL glad yours still runs decent, i got a carb to rebuild first.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:53 PM   #7
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

looks like a nice place to start a project
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:21 PM   #8
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

Nice to see another Custom Camper!
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:01 AM   #9
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

nice truck! if your interested in lifting your truck here are some links to view to help you out.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=315765

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=447061

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=282398

Keep it longbed and lift it!!
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:15 AM   #10
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

yea my plan is just to level it by lifting the front a couple inches and put 33s on 20s or 22s I like the thin rubber look.

and for the build part of the thread:
I put the diff gasket and cover on. Took 2 bottles of 80/90 and a bottle of Lucas. Damn 14 bolt is thirsty.

Pulled the tranny pan. I'd like to get my hands on the asshat at gm who thought "nah, drain plug, we dont need no sticking drain plug"... Got most of it in the pan. The rest on me.
Changed the tranny filter and put the pan and new gasket back on.

Pulled out the drive shaft. Only one bolt on the carrier bearing gave me trouble. Hit it with a little more pb blaster and then remembered I had a torch so heated it up for 30 seconds or so. My weakass air impact wrench finally broke it loose with a ratchet attached to the nut on top. Almost lost a finger before wedging it with a screwdriver instead...
Also remember thats a nut and bolt.. I thought I was bad ass and then realized it was just spinning the nut...

So got the shafts out. My girly vice isnt wide enough (thats what she said) and i dont have a c clamp, so ill take it to the parts shop tomorrow where they have a 50 ton press and have them pop out the u joints.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:58 PM   #11
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

well i guess its good i brought it over for them to look at.
The shaft that goes to the carrier bearing is completely worn out so they have to cut it off and put a new end on.
$370ish for everything including u-joints/bearing.

returned $96 worth of joints and bearing to Quiglys.
Should have the shaft back tomorrow afternoon and then i should be able to drive this beast this weekend.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:36 PM   #12
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

got the shaft back and the weld is amazing. they painted the shaft and balanced it as well.
Buddy helped me put it and a new transmission seal in.
It sucked down 4 quarts of ATF and a thing of lucas tranny stuff. seems like alot.
I finally gave it about 1/2-3/4 throttle. Felt good. No wobble. Feels like its running rich. Need the carb set.
also was about to run out of gas so didnt get very far.
But shes now road-worthy. I can make it to home depot and get "stuff" now.
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:40 AM   #13
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

sounds like amazing progress! good work
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:41 AM   #14
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

Well its time to get started on the interior. The heater core was bypassed direct to the intake so I assumed it was leaking.
Pulling it out was a total *****. Had to pull off the inner fender to get to two nuts. Took about 6 hours. Not a fun job. I can see why everybody whines when the heater core leaks in an AC truck. One of the nuts was broken off the inner fender so we had to grind off the head. Didnt really know what we were looking for on the firewall kind of hidden under the AC box. Well we also did J's rear brakes on his truck as well and having never done them on it it took an hour or so.
This is what was waiting for me inside:


Went ahead and pulled out the control for it as well since one of the cables is sticking. figure ill oil everything while its torn apart anyway.


Of course I destroyed all the dry rotted vent hoses so I ordered a new set from LMC. And a few other goodies to refresh the climate controls. Need to go to pick a part and try to find an AC compressor since they yanked it long ago.

while I was inside the cab I went a little crazy and removed the disgusting cracked dash pad, the round vents, the glovebox door, the carpet pad and floor mat, the firewall insulation, the radio, the door speakers and wires, the inside door foot trim and about 10 pounds of leaves and dirt.
Sure looks lot better in there now.




While Im waiting for parts for the heater... Time to address some rust:





Honestly not to bad really... I've seen worse. I've never actually attempted to fix worse, but we will see how it goes.

While the inner fender is out Im going to be fully redneck and clean it up and paint it. Yea just one of them. lol When the other one has to come out for some reason ill paint it.


And here is my buddy Jason grinding the trim clips off. Sparks scare me.


We got almost all the trim and emblems removed. Only the Custom camper/400 on the driver side are left because, you guessed it, have to pull the inner fender to get to them. So looks like that one will be getting paint as well. Got rid of the front mud flaps, mirrors and all the trim is gone. I bought a 40grit sanding pad thing that looks like a sponge and grinded down a few really bad paint spots just for testing. Works great. I'm going to try to take it down to the yellow at least before attempting any body work anywhere. That blue top coat was a horrible job it comes right off.

I need to post a full shot of the truck with it sortof clean and smooth. Without the towing mirrors its already better. A rattlecan job and she'll be nice
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Last edited by JointTech; 04-02-2012 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:10 AM   #15
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

nothing new, just got some pics of the side without trim. got a few emblems left is all.



just the custom camper on this side

playing around with the paint remover sander.

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Old 04-03-2012, 05:10 AM   #16
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

body work lookin good! i still need to start mine.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:55 AM   #17
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20


I think I like the metal dash. im may just leave it.

got all the firewall insulation out. before pic here... What a pain with the black tar glue crap that sticks it in.




Finally got that inner fender home. Going to spray it down and try to scrape all the dirt off. Hopefully dont ruin my pavers
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:04 AM   #18
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

I need to start on the body work. but since Ive never done body work and dont yet have a welder, and have never welded and am scared of sparks this could be challenging. I suppose the worst that can happen is I burn the building down.
















Drivers side is fairly straight till you get to the back. I can in theory understand how to fix a dent in the side, but I dont see any way to fix those crushed in fenders. Im going to try a large hammer to get it close but the tail lights are a little beat up to.
I may just start looking for a decent longbed instead and spend my time on the cab.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:23 PM   #19
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20


I took the seat out to attempt to remove the gas tank. Going to go hillbilly with a gas can in the bed just to be able to move it around the parking lot, until I can get a rear mount tank. This also lets me now do pretty much the whole inner cab and get it sanded, painted, and heat/sound dampened.


The tank had a few bolts I had to use my muscles on but no big deal.


Looks like the return hose was pretty much split through already.. And the hose clamps were all loose. So glad I didnt blow up.


Now do I just cut out this gasket and pull the tank out? Or pull really hard back through? Looks sort of loose but hard and not flexible like a grommet.


back side of the filler.

Hopefully I'll get the rest of the inside at least cleaned out this weekend and maybe started scuffing up the inside for some home made lizardskin.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:58 PM   #20
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20


I was going to go buy a marine gas tank. But then I thought what the hell. I have a gas tank... So I drilled 2 holes in the bed and put 2 screws in it to hold it from sliding around. Got 4 ft of hose and ran it in through the back glass...
that should get me around the parking lot at least.

I took the seat belts out today. Bolts were tight. Going to clean them up and reuse them.

Started cleaning up the inside with simple green and a scrub brush. The dirt is so thick I decided to get the gas tank finished so I can move the truck over to the back door and get the vacuum in it before I have a mud pie in the cab.

Bought 3 rattlecans of some greenish primer. Shot a little but it was getting to cold and nothing was sticking so Ill get on that this week.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:58 AM   #21
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

Brought the seatbelts home to cleanup. I cleaned all the grit and grime off but couldnt get the mildew smell out of them. So I threw them in the sink with some dishsoap and bleach. Ill leave them for a few hours and then dry them outside in the sun and oil them up so they dont rust.
Before: (strangly they dont look so bad in the picture)
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:23 PM   #22
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

this is looking sweet, very interesting raising your truck most people here lower. I must keep watching
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:20 AM   #23
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

So Disclaimer. The interwebs says never dye, use detergents or solvents on your seat belts. They say dont boil your seat belts. They also say that your belts should be replaced every 2 years... So I figure with 40 year old seat belts wth. cant get any worse.
Im not shelling out hundreds for rewebbing right now and it barely gets driven, and my bigass truck is going to slice through whatever riceburner crosses me, and i cant rationalize all day...

Point is... I went with RIT dye in the washing machine after soaking them in bleach to kill the mildew smell.

fortunately I have a great wife. Shell only mildly scold me for this one.

I used the liquid RIT first with a cup of salt. i let it go throughthe normal wash cycle but when I took them out there were still some light spots. The belts were also all wrapped and tangled... So maybe the dye didnt work in where the knots were.

This time I just put my witches broom stick in the cauldren and stirred the water. Im going to let them sit for an hour and then rinse.

I painted my buckles and retracter covers. Came out pretty good. Used plastic paint on the buckles and some hammered finish silver for the buttons. The GM stickers where all rotten so I yanked them off.


Also got a new toy today. I need to get a wire wheel for it.


New welder will be here pretty soon the helmet, blanket and other tools have already shipped according to amazon. whoo hoo. Time to cut out the rust.

Need to order some repair panels but having trouble knowing what to get without seeing whats in there after cutting. so may not be a one day thing..

My buddy and I got this ancient air comressor working that he got from some guy for $100. 25 gallon tank with 125psi cutout. It wouldnt fill at all so we pulled the head and put on some gasket good. Beat the crap out of it with a hammer and drained the oil.
Lot of gross white oil came out. refilled it and it built pressure to 125. slowly though. probably have a valve bad or something but it works for now and is so much quieter than the little one. ill get some picks of it up.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:44 AM   #24
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20



New Toys!!!
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:46 AM   #25
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Re: N00b with a 72 c20

Nice job so far.

Like me your not a paying member so you can't sell here. Though there are those who would like your towing mirrors if you aren't going to use them. Look at the parts forum to get an idea of worth.

I'm guessing the trim was dinged up and had screws in it where it did not belong,etc.

Keep on the progress.
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