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Old 09-21-2014, 07:36 PM   #1
jamyers
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1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

Here's the start of a hopefully long and glorious build thread.

It's a '69 C10 Longbed that apparently was owned by a Telephone Company, the Callahan County TX Maintenance Department, a couple of West Texas Ranchers, and who knows who else before I 'inherited' it.

I'm building it as a mostly-stock, dead-reliable driver for my kids (we live in the country). Mechanical reliability and basic safety upgrades are coming WAY before appearances with this one.

And YES, my kids (ages 13 and 15) are going to be getting their hands dirty a LOT along the way, hahahaha!

It has an extremely low-miles 350 with a mild RV cam and an Edelbrock carb and some sort of Pertronix ignition under the hood. The sheetmetal is good, the only rust I can find that hasn't already been fixed is right under the battery.

It's got a new wiring harness because the old one had been completely butchered. Although I need to go back through it and find a leak somewhere, apparently it slowly drains the battery.

New drum brakes, converted to power.

Manual steering.

It came with a whole lot of new parts, including light housings, trim bits, weatherstripping, etc.

It has sat idle under a carport for a couple of years, so here's the list of things I plan on doing, in no particular order:

Clean out the fuel tank
Pull the transmission and at least replace all of the seals (it leaks like a stuck pig)
Clean out the carb (been sitting for a couple of years)
Sort out the ignition (He said it kept "burning out")
Go back through the wiring (something keeps draining the battery)
Get the engine running again (shouldn't be too hard with clean gas and proper ignition)

Repaint and restore the interior
Recover or replace the seats
Add shoulder belts
Paint the exterior
Clean and Repaint under the hood

I've posted some "before" pics in my noob thread in the welcome section, I'll be posting more before / after pics as I go along.

This is going to be FUN!
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:51 PM   #2
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

Headlight relays and under good fuse panel / stud to feed accessories (and the main fuse box) straight from battery / alternator
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:58 PM   #3
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

I ran the engine starting, front lights, and power wires inside the fender to the front, then across the radiator support. The alternator wires go forward to a stud on an under hood fuse box, tying into a heavy wire to the starter solenoid "Batt" terminal and also to the main Chassis fuse box. I ran the voltage sensing wire around to the starter solenoid for remote voltage sensing (instead of straight to the alternator output which seems silly to me).
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:58 PM   #4
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

I'm not sure why my pics get turned in their sides, goofy iPhone posting...
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Old 09-27-2014, 12:57 AM   #5
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

Last five days have been busy...

Needed to replace the leaking heater core, as well as the heater box that the DPO hacked apart and "patched" just so he could avoid messing with the fender bits to get the box out. I swear, one day I'm driving to Detroit and slapping an engineer - first it was a '68 Skylark, and now I learn that the '69 Chevy trucks are the same: "Step 1: Remove half the fender bolts just to get at one stinking heater bolt". Grrr!

Anyways, why not remove the hood, wiper arms, cowl, fenders, grill and bumpers? It'll be easier to clean and repaint, plus there's that dent in the Drivers side fender, and there's some rust in the bottom of the cowl, and...and...and...so... yeah right -

Now I've got the entire front clip off and the cab gutted of everything but the wiring harness.

I was planning on doing all the mechanical / electrical work to get it driving first and THEN doing the body and paint, but now I'm thinking it's going to get done pretty much the other way around. My brain hurts!
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:25 PM   #6
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

First Photo is son Bruce helping me remove half the front clip to get at the heater box - and uncover who-knows-what...

Second photo is son Bruce pointing to the most EVIL bolt on the entire truck. I swear GM had a sick and twisted "thing" for burying heaters...

Third photo, we finally got the heater box out - and found quite a massive mouse nest, along with a couple gallons of leaves, debris, dirt, etc inside the cowl area. No wonder these rust out! The Passenger side is in pretty good shape, but the driver's side needs some rust repair along the bottom of the side vent area.
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:29 PM   #7
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

All of the dents that need attention:

Front of Driver's fender, Grille, Driver's side rear bed side by tail light, and Tailgate bondo-patch.
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'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:44 PM   #8
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

Today I fired up the pressure washer and went to town, blasting away year's of grime/dust/grunge from pretty much anywhere I could get to without laying on the ground.

The heater-box area of the firewall cleaned up all right, but there's a good deal of surface rust inside the cowl / air inlet area. Impossible to reach everything inside there because of the fresh air vent, water diverters, etc. What a PITA to deal with, but I won because I got ALL of the debris out of the entire cowl airbox area, yay!

There is a lot of surface rust on the inner fenders, radiator support, and under the hood in general. The pressure washer did a decent job of blasting loose paint and debris off of the engine and frame.

Happily, a wire brush on a drill and/or a sanding sponge is making short work of the surface rust on the sheet metal.

The interior was already sprayed with primer black, but had a lot of dirt - good thing the only thing in there is the steering column and wiring harness!

It'll be at least a week until I get anywhere near hooking up a battery, so I figured as long as I didn't spray directly at the harness it'll have plenty of time to dry - and I'm a big believer (now) of using dielectric (silicone) grease on just about every electrical connection.

Note that the floorboards have been sprayed with bed liner. This stuff is pretty tough, and extremely non-skid (on the flip side, it's a dirt magnet). I'm thinking a $20 rubber floormat will work just fine...
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My Chevy Truck Project Build Thread
'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:47 PM   #9
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

The area under the battery tray, where the inner fender joins the radiator support is rusted pretty badly.

I'm open to suggestions on repairing this, although I'm not much at body work...
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'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:51 PM   #10
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

The front of the radiator support along with the headlight mounts all cleaned up nicely. Here it is after the first coat of semi-gloss black.

I also started my daughter on prep-sanding the interior, here's the Driver's door top.

It's nice to stop taking things apart!
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'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:10 PM   #11
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

Pretty much done with sanding / priming / painting the underhood areas.

The picture makes the Driver's side inner fender look a lot more dented up than it is.

Got the new underhood fuse-block and aux wiring terminal done up.

And got the firewall around the heater squared away, ready for the new un-hacked-up heater box - which is waiting on all new seals to arrive in the mail.
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'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:16 PM   #12
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

Speaking of not being able to stop digging... well, we had the seals on hand anyways...
We looked at the glass seals, and the windshield has been leaking and rusting - go figure...

So we removed the back glass and the windshield, to (1) repair the rust, (2) make masking and painting a LOT easier, and (3) make cleaning massive primer overspray off of the glass easier (Thank you Hal, hahaha!) At least the metal around the back glass is in good shape!

Before wire-brushing the windshield channel rust:
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'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:57 PM   #13
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

Worked on straightening and dent removal in the grille. Here's the "before" photo of the worst corner:
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'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:06 PM   #14
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

And the "after" photo, after the first pass at dent removal and cleaning / polishing. I'm no panel beater, but it's looking much better now. I'll probably take another run at it eventually.

Oh, and I've decided not to reinstall the original plastic grille insert - it's broken I a couple places and has taken a "set" to the bends of the dented grille. Instead, we're going custom with a grille insert made out of the small coils off the back of an old dead refrigerator.
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'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:14 PM   #15
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

Working on rebuilding the heater boxes and replacing the heater core. Dane O'Reilly's core is the same dimensions except for the end tanks, which are kinda essential to the mounting brackets. Grrrr!!!
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'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:22 PM   #16
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

My first plan was to use "plumbers strapping" I steal of the OEM brackets, but the screws would be digging right into the end tanks, plus the inlet / outlet tubes are in the way. So I ran the straps vertically instead of horizontally, and used some #8 nuts and locknuts from the inside-out. Gave the middles of the straps a slight twist to catch the edges of the core and keep the straps in place.
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'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:26 PM   #17
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

Photo
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'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:41 PM   #18
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

Next up is installing the rubber seal around the brake pedal rod. Which meant removing the booster brackets from the firewall, and then we realized that something is amiss with the brackets or rod. The booster rod is about 1/8" too long, and sticks out past the face of the brackets so that when the brackets are bolted flat to the firewall, the firewall pushes the booster rod in 1/8", instead of it having room / slack.
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'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:21 PM   #19
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

After double-checking the master cylinder - to - booster rod clearance, and the rest of the brake linkage, I added some nuts/spacers between the firewall and the brackets, which gained me 1/4", so now the booster rod has 1/8"clearance to the firewall.

And there's a rubber boot in there to seal the firewall.
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My Chevy Truck Project Build Thread
'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:27 PM   #20
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

Today I tore into the drivers side of the cowl air-duct, which is rusted through around the kick-panel vent door. Yuck - rusty cowls seem to be a given on any American car from the 60's...

Used a cutting wheel to open up the box so I can get to the inside of the vent door:
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'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:55 AM   #21
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

I'm noticing that somewhere along the way this project went from a "who cares what it looks like as long as it runs well", to a "I'm obsessing about how it looks and haven't even started on the engine" deal....

Sigh...
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'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:02 PM   #22
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

A "Before" pic of the rusted out sections along the bottom and top of the Driver's side air vent. 2 areas rusted through, grr. Dang GM and their 60's water-traps!

"After pics of the fiberglass repairs. Resin, then cloth, then resin, then more cloth, etc. I should have stuck a toothpick into the holes for the vent door pin/hinges, as once the fiberglass set up the next day I had to re-drill new holes (doh!)

It ain't pretty, as I just sanded it smooth enough so that if I ever have to stick my hand up in there I won't get pull back a bloody stump full of glass fiber shards. Some good ole semi-gloss black paint and we're on to the next step!

Oh, and I've pop-riveted a piece of galvanized sheet metal into the floor area below the vent, leaving a much larger drain area. I don't know if it matters much, but I didn't want to leave the entire floor area open - I'm thinking that airflow through the vent might suffer? And I'll probably just bend the outside metal back into place and fiberglass over the cut lines to button it all back up.
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My Chevy Truck Project Build Thread
'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:07 PM   #23
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

We're using Nason's basic paint and primer, which is 'only' about $90 a gallon. Yikes, it's been a LONG time since I've bought auto paint! I used this paint before in the interior of my Ranchero, and it's held up remarkably well - it's pretty tough!

What's new to me is the HVLP spray gun, which is taking some getting used to...
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My Chevy Truck Project Build Thread
'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:13 PM   #24
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

Here we've sanded, primered, and sanded the Cab interior, pillars, and roof, and are blowing out all the dust.

In case you'd forgotten, an air hose is a great toy. Just think of the money we save by being easily amused! (Thanks, Bruce!)
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My Chevy Truck Project Build Thread
'62 Ranchero - 200 I6, 3-on-the-tree, power nothing.
'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:22 PM   #25
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Re: 1969 C10 Longbed BubbaTruck

Had to wait several days for the West Texas wind to stop blowing 30-40mph, but then when it quits - it quits! I did this painting outside one morning when it'd been nearly dead calm for a couple of hours, and haven't had any issues with dirt/dust in the paint. Now, orange-peel is another matter, but I'm learning this HVLP gun...
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'71 LeSabre - 455 Stage 1, power everything.
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