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Old 10-17-2013, 08:48 PM   #1
siggyfreud
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Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

Hey all!

Thought I should start a thread to kick off my project. Just recently my truck that I sold nearly 8 years ago came back up for sale on Craigslist, from the guy I sold it to. It is a 1966 GMC C20. I had no idea what happened to it after I sold it, so I was pretty much freaking out when I saw it for sale on Craigslist at 10pm. Pretty much gave my girlfriend a heart attack. 4 days later it was in my garage.

This was my highschool/college driver, that I sold about 2 years into college. When I received it it had a Carbed 350, a TH350, no carpet, unpainted interior, etc. I did the best I could as a high-schooler, on a high-schooler budget. By the time I sold it I had put in a Tuned Port Injection system in it, taught myself to program/tune cars, lowered it, installed a 700R4, added some performance heads and cam, and added carpet and some paint to the interior.

That all sounds great, but I was still in my late teens/early 20's and really wasn't about quality.

Now is my chance to do it over, and do it right. So far I have gutted the wiring nearly completely (both engine and chassis), and am tearing down the interior. So far it looks about the same as when I sold it. There is some interior cancer around the weatherseals that I'll need to learn to address. Here are the high-level plans.

Phase I:
  • Convert the computer to a MegaSquirt MS3 system for better fueling/power, the engine to a coil-pack setup, with one coil per cylinder and fueling to sequential fueling, which will mean retrofitting a crank sensor. Also allows me to go speed-density and drop the MAF.
  • Rewire the engine and clean up the engine bay.
  • Rewire the chassis - using a 20-circuit Rebel harness.
  • Fix the interior cancer, and por-15 the interior
  • Sound-deaden the interior (if the showdown guy will ever get back to me . . . )
  • Find comfortable bucket seats with integrated shoulder belts (Gen1 CTS-V seats ideally), and upholster most of the interior.
  • Tune the truck and get it running optimally. Aiming for about 375hp and 16-18mpg hwy.

Phase II:
  • Replace the motor with an LS2. Here I'd be aiming for 450hp and about the same MPG.
  • Install an underdrove-overdrive (thinking gear vendors unit)
  • Convert to a 5-lug setup, go to disk brakes all the way around. Use drop spindles and go back to full-travel suspension.
  • Fix the body, rust, and get it painted.
  • Finish the interior with electric windows, doors, modern technology (tablet control center).
  • Enjoy driving the heck out of it, possibly as my daily again.

Here is how it looked back in 2001 (I'm 28 now btw):


Here it is getting unloaded into the garage recently in 2013:


Here it is getting stripped:


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I have bought most of the stuff for Phase I. I just need to teach myself how to do some fabrication, and buy a welder, so I can start fixing the rust around the weather stripping channels, and patch up for floor from the holes I put in it over the years!

I'm open to advice throughout this project, and will try and do what I can to keep it updated. I did a motor build on a 2006 Saleen Mustang over on a Mustang forum that was really enjoyable, so I'll try and be helpful where possible.

Cheers all, and sorry for the wall of text!
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:50 PM   #2
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

Reserved as a table of contents to keep this thread updated.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:18 PM   #3
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

Wow!
What a find!
I wish that I could find my High-School driver again!...'70 LS-6 Chevelle S-S!
I was looking for another when I found my C-10! LOL!
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:02 PM   #4
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

Looks like a pretty solid truck with a solid plan.
Wish I could find my first. '69 Chevelle
Will watch this one.

Hobart, Lincoln, Miller anyone of these should do.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:59 PM   #5
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bomp View Post
Looks like a pretty solid truck with a solid plan.
Wish I could find my first. '69 Chevelle
Will watch this one.

Hobart, Lincoln, Miller anyone of these should do.
Thanks!

Any idea what size I need? Don't plan on doing any frame work, but would like something where I'm not going to say "damn, wish I would have gone 1 step bigger" in a year. Aiming in the 400-600 range if possible. What I really want is in the $1100 range, but really not sure I need the Millermatic 211.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:16 PM   #6
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

Lots of guys here on the forum use the Hobart 180, my dad too.
I have a Mllermatic 211 because of the smart weld capability (to help teach the kids). Plus I can use a spool gun with it.
My little Lincoln is great with sheet metal. I use .023 wire.

HF sells welders and two guys I work with have them but they don't work them hard at home.
I flat out make sparks and have the machines to back it up.
Good luck.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:58 PM   #7
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

Awesome Score!!!
Great story and plans to boot...
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:12 AM   #8
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

Welcome and very cool to find your old truck. Looks like some factory markings on the driver side under where the seat goes. Sounds like you have a good plan for the restoration.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:24 PM   #9
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

How cool is that to find your truck and it's a bbw also.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:50 PM   #10
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

Hey! What a great 2nd chance.
Looks to still be in good shape.
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:02 PM   #11
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

1. Strip Show
Well it's been a slower start than I wanted. I began stripping the floor to see what was underneath. It all looked good at the onset, but as I dug into it I found a powdery white substance being kicked into the air. Apparently a previous owner decided to bondo over holes in the floor . . .



Here is a closer shot:



I have never done body work or patching before. Did end up buying a welder and plasma cutter, and I have a 4.5" angle grinder/cutter as well, so I think I have some of the pieces to fab up some patches.

I need to keep grinding to figure out the extent of the damage. So far the passenger side looks better, just hoping that as I move up it stays the same. The bottom of the driver door is rotted, and it would have dumped water right where the floor is rotted. I'm really hoping the rockers are okay. May grind into those tonight.

Realizing it would be easier to access the floors and everything with the tank out, I pulled it. It won't be going back. I'll be getting a new EFI tank for the rear frame at some point. The bottom tank perches appear to be welded into place. I may just cut off the part jutting out towards the seating area.



That's it for now. Hopefully more to come soon. Next steps are to finish stripping, patch the floors (hopefully it's minimal) and POR-15 them.

Last edited by siggyfreud; 11-18-2013 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:25 PM   #12
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

congrats on finding your old truck. and it looks in the same shape as whe n you sold it. im in for this one i wanna see this one finished
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:15 PM   #13
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

Awesome that you found your truck again. My floors have the same rust mine is a little worse than yours at least in the foot well area.

If you decide to remove the gas tank brackets they have about 10 spot welds to the back of the cab. Mine had been removed and they didn't use a spot weld cutter. They just pulled the damns things off and now I have some body work to do. I am actually putting the factory tank back in mine. So I found some original brackets to put back in.

I just ordered 2 rockers and 2 outer section floor pans from Top Banana. Will be welding them in a few weeks. I too am a novice welder. I have 35 holes in the floor that I am practice welding up before I tackle the sheet metal. Keep us updated on your build. I would love to put an Ls2 in mine.

I still have my first car. 79' Caprice. I will never sell it I know I would regret it.

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Old 11-28-2013, 01:10 PM   #14
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

11/27/13 Update - More interior clean-up

Not a whole lot of progress to report. My buddy came over and we continued on the interior. We ended up taking out the old gas tank mounts. Was kind of a pain in the butt as they're tack-welded in. Since I'm moving the tank I won't need them, but will need to weld in a new washer/nut combo for the cab mounts since they go through the bracket. I need to buy a spot weld cutter. Anyone have recommendations on a good one? Grinding took too long!

I'd like to just sandblast the inside of the cab. My buddies dad owns a sandblasting business, so I might pull the glass and cab soon and just sandblast the inside for now before doing body work.

My buddy Mikey:



Me (tucked in my hood ties right after that, as I realized they could easily get caught up in the grinder):



Tank mounts removed:



Also got the steering column, heater, and most of the stuff under the dash out.



That's all for now! More progress soon to follow I hope!
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:39 PM   #15
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

Looking forward to watching this build! Keep up the good work and have fun! T.J.
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:47 AM   #16
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

12/27/13 - Stripping Continues

Had a long post written, and forum gave me a nice error after I tried to post. Going to keep the rewrite shorter!

- Getting married tomorrow so not much progress lately.
- Took off the front clip in pieces. Thinking about powdercoating the inner fenders and core support a gloss black. Any thoughts on that?
- Also thinking about using Lizard Skin sound deadener on the wheel wells and under side of hood. Any thoughts?
- Thinking I might keep the Gen I SBC and retrofit a crank and cam sensor to run sequential spark/fuel with the Megasquirt. Already have good money into the Gen I with Trickflow heads, march pulleys. May upgrade to a better manifold setup for more breathing. Using stock TPI at the moment.
- Going to relocate the battery, and use that area to make a cold-air enclosure for the intake.
- Will eventually drop a forged 383 shortblock in, with lower compression for some forced induction stuff in the future.

Still aiming for 20 mpg highway with the Gen I. I think I can do it, but might take getting rid of the 4.11 gears in the rear .

Some pics of progress:











Happy weekend. Cheers all!
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:56 PM   #17
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

Looking good and moving along. Congrats on the marriage. Keep up the great work.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:13 PM   #18
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

1/24/14 - Taking it all apart

Finally some more progress to report. I managed to get the cab off with some friends, an engine crane, and a few boards. It wasn't the ideal way, and the lifting mechanism was beginning to fail as we set it down on stands, but it worked. I have a better idea of what to build next time.





Also started stripping parts off the frame. The motor and driveshaft came out today, and tomorrow the transmission, exhaust, and remaining brake and fuel lines will come.







The hardest next step will be removing the bed. The bolts just turn, and since they're round/flat at the top I'm not sure how to hold them in place. Don't really want to drill them out. Anyone have any tips on that?
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:21 PM   #19
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

On the bed bolts I used bolt cutters and my plasma when ever possible. Although I plan on not having a real floor in the bed.
After the cab gets blasted be sure to shoot some epoxy on it to seal it up from the elements.
Progress looks great.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:18 AM   #20
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

I just read through your thread and I can't believe how quick you're getting your truck torn down. It looks like a great truck for the plans you've got. Good luck.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:32 AM   #21
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

I used sawzall, vise grips, cut off wheel. You can take most of the wood out of the bed to give you more room to work, if you are planning to replace the wood just cut the wood around the bed bolts.
This is what I use to get the bed off by myself.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:38 PM   #22
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

02-03-14 Minor Update

Not much progress to report. Did a lot of ordering the other day though. From a combination of Amazon and Summit and some smaller outfits I nabbed:

-Weiand Stealth Ram Manifold
-36-1 Trigger wheel and crank sensor
-Capless cam sensor that replaces the distributor for a cam signal
-LS2 Coil packs and brackets
-Weatherpack connectors and crimp tool
-Edelbrock fuel rail
-Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
-Eastwood brake bender tool
-New aluminum water pump (my 8-year old one is steel and rusted)
-New harmonic balancer (old one rusted, and going to pair this one with the 36-1 wheel)
-Stainless header bolts
-Stanless 4" Magnaflow tips
-Summit exhaust kit. When I went to take out my old exhaust I realized that we built it on the car, meaning that with the X-pipe I can't separate the two sides to twist them and get them back over the rear axle. Since I'll need to reroute the exhaust slightly anyways with the rear-mount tank I thought I'd redo some of the end anyways. May weld in some flanges for a future electric cutout.

I also got quotes locally to ceramic coat my old headers, as well as the incoming intake manifolds for protection.

Things I still want/need for the build:

-Front end/cradle with disc brakes
-Custom axles for the Dana 60 for rear disc
-Steering Column
-Heat/ac
-Console
-Bucket seats
-Carpet
-Upholstry
-Misc nuts and bolts
-Paint

The "future" list goes on and on, and I'm sure I need much more than I can afford at the moment . . .
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:18 PM   #23
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

First time I've seen your thread. Congrats on getting your truck back after so many years, and in much the same condition. Thank goodness the dash wasn't cut up in the meantime! Nice progress at a rapid pace. Looking forward to more.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:23 PM   #24
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

Thanks Mark!

I originally had plans to cut up the dash myself, but I found a console I think will work to house my aftermarket radio/nav, and I may retain the factory AM and ash tray. Not sure yet, as I really want the interior to be all modern, but can't quite commit to it full yet.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:10 PM   #25
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Re: Project "Second Chance" - Hot Rod 66' GMC

Nice build, we GMC guys have to stick together. Before you dive off into changing rear axle ratios send me the spec's on your truck along with your email address and I will send you a spreadsheet that shows:

1. usable torque to the ground (all rear axle ratios, transmissions,)

2. diameter from the ground to the top of the rear tire in inches

3. your email address

4. transmission you plan on using

If you are going to change tires and wheels send me what you have now and then later send me the new diameters so we can compare them.

5. I think 3:73 (700r4) will work for your truck but just guessing. Kieth
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