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Old 08-18-2015, 02:39 AM   #1
Cautrell05
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It's my turn, 47 S10 build

After way to long I finally get to build one for myself, sort of. 40 years old, married father of 3 with another on the way. Going to have my kids help on this one when they can. This isn't my first build though. Been a GM mechanic for most of the last 20 years. During that time I have been lucky to have bosses that like toys.

The first truck I built was a 50 panel van that he found in a field somewhere. Used a 70s camaro subframe, pickup steering column, booster, and wiring harness. He pretty much left the build up to me, which is surprising considering I was only 20 at the time.







That was the last picture I got of it before I left the dealership in 2000. Never did get to see it finished.

I took a break in the middle of the panel van to build a 47 for a customer. 4 days a week for 6 weeks. Similar to the panel build. Also used a camaro subframe. Used an 80s van column this time. Mainly for the column shift and the built in shift indicator. The same camaro the subframe came from also donated the 305/th350 and rear end. He also found a GM under dash a.c. unit for it also.









The owners wife was seen driving it almost daily so it must have turned out good. In hindsight, the camaro front end was probably not the best choice. The panel had 8 inch wheels on the front and the sidewalls rubbed and the 47 just barely cleared with 7 inch rims.

We also did a 57 panel that was put on a shortened 74 4WD frame. Only got one picture. Back before camera phones. Good old 35mm



Both panel vans were finished after I left and sold somewhere out east last I heard. Sure would love to see how they turned out.
About 7 years ago I built a 68 4 door Impala for my mom and her husband. Original 307 power glide, factory a.c. and power steering.





It got a full rebuild minus pulling the body off the frame. All new bushings, springs, shocks, power disk upgrade, sway bars front and rear, a fuel injected crate motor, overdrive and cruise. Took a little over 2 years but the end result was worth it.




Now for the fun part. A little while ago a guy I worked with messaged me asking if I wanted to buy a 47 pickup. I was kinda torn between that's pretty cool and I have to many projects as it is. Showed the pictures to my wife and she was on board with it.





Brought it home where it sat while I started rounding up parts.



Unloaded for the next step


After what turned out to be a lot harder to find than expected, I finally found a donor chassis. 91, 4.3, 700R4. Only a 5 hour round trip to get it.


The next step is to get the S10 stripped. I cheated and took it to work. Pulled the bumpers and all the cab bolts and box bolts on a hoist as well as the exhaust and e-brake. Put enough back in to trailer it home but that should save a lot of time at home.

Current plans,
400 small block, camel backs, Holley flange cast intake, Chevrolet scripted valve covers and center dump manifolds,
700r4 with some up grades
S10 chassis, B-body spindles and brakes, nine inch rear end.
Cut coils up front, leaf springs for now out back.
AC at some point.
Still deciding on a color for the body.

Sorry for the long post. Any comments or suggestions are always welcome

Nick
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:48 AM   #2
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

Looks like you found a decent truck to start with. Good luck with your build.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:21 AM   #3
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

Cool projects you've done Nick! Skymangs thread on building on an S10 will be useful. Looking forward to the build.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:54 AM   #4
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

Thanks! I had a lot of fun with them and learned a lot along the way. I have found a lot of helpful builds on the internet and Chris's is at the top of the list. I am going to get started on stripping the S10 this week much to the dismay of my oldest daughter. She has already gotten attached to it lol
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:18 AM   #5
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

Finally got some time in this week. Doing the tear down solo sucks however. Getting the box off was the only easy part.



I also learned from the Impala build. Unless you are cutting them with a torch, pull the front springs before pulling the motor and cab.



The bow in the old springs seems to match up with the 200,000 miles on the odometer.



After a couple sketchy hours I had the cab off.



Trust me, pull the front clip separate. Major pain in the rear. Have the cab mobile for now. I'm going to pull the harness out of it sometime this week.

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Old 08-31-2015, 12:19 AM   #6
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

Tomorrow night the motor and transmission come off along with the gas tank so I can start cleaning up the frame.



Found an unpleasant surprise though after getting the cab off. Evidently it got t-boned at some point. Not sure how much this will effect things. Have to do some measuring after the motor is off.



Spent a couple hours at the u-pull it yard Saturday.



$112 got me a complete pair of 91 caprice spindles with brakes and a 90ish Chevy van column. The column is complete with as much harness as I could reach plus the steering shaft and the key. The caprice spindles help fix the less than ideal S10 geometry, give me 12 inch front rotors with off the shelf stock parts and change the bolt pattern to 5on5 to match the nine inch going under the back.

Early shot of the motor. Going with the classic Chevy look under hood. Simple, minimal chrome. Sill needs gone through obviously.

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Old 08-31-2015, 10:44 AM   #7
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

Great progress. That little tractor was pretty handy!
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:51 PM   #8
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

Who wants updates and chassis mods?

Finally got around to pulling the motor and trans off the frame.



Did some measuring to see how it was after finding the repair work on the passenger side rail. Measuring from the cab mounts showed about a half inch distance diagonal. Not a good start. There is an oval hole on all four corners where the frame goes over the rear end and up to the front crossmember. From the hole in the center of the front crossmember to the rear ovals I had 1/8 inch difference, diagonal from all four ovals was about the same. I think the passenger side rail is bowed out a little bit but to be honest I don't care. I firmly believe it will be just fine.

Now that I know it's not completey messed up its time to get something accomplished.



You can see the size difference in the rotors. Big upgrade in braking with off the shelf parts. My favorite.

This morning I started on the frame mod. Buddy of mine let me use his shop today.



I can't imagine crawling on the floor doing this.

Planning is rather important on something like this. Before I cut anything I tacked two pieces of angle to the frame rails and made sure they were even and square before cut so I had a reference.
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:52 PM   #9
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build


The duck bill looking thing was the first to go. It will probably go back on eventually but I have a different center link to try and want to make sure it clears before I weld it on.



After that it's time to mark the cut line and drill holes for the plug welds.



This is the part where got nervous.



I was surprised how easy the front pushed apart. The transmission crossmember was out and the crossmember for the carrier bearing was half out also.



From there it was the somewhat tedious part of bending the backing plates. Both the backing and filler is 1/8 inch thick.

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Old 09-05-2015, 11:53 PM   #10
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

And the last of the easy stuff.


After that was tacked in it was an hour and a half of stretching, measuring, pulling, measuring, tweaking, measuring, cussing, measuring, second guessing, more measuring. You get the idea. Spreading the frame is easy. The catch is if you just spread it and weld it the front of the horns spread farther than the crossmember and the rails are no longer parallel.



There is a hi-lift Jack, three come alongs and a ratchet strap. Or in other terms, a clusterf**k.



You can see in this pic how the rails don't spread evenly. That's where all the cables and straps came in.
The hi lift was used first to spread the rails. It had very little pressure on it originally. After that the come along at the front was used to pull the rails together. From there, the come along angled behind the crossmember was used to rotate the rail slightly. The one in back going diagonal was very slightly pulling the whole frame out of a diamond and the ratchet strap on the lower arm mounts was there to pull just the bottom closer together. If I had one of those big tables made from i-beams it would probably be allot more simple.

After a lot of tweaking it was time to make it solid. The lower plate was first in.
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:54 PM   #11
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build



Evidently I didn't get any pics of the top plate before paint but it turned out pretty good. Might not be good enough for SEMA but I'm happy with it.



I also added a plate across the bottom of the crossmember just because I could. Made me feel better anyway. Again, should have taken the pic before paint.



My temporary center link.



I also found out I don't have any 5on5 wheels so I borrowed a couple spares from my stock car. 15x8 with a 10 inch racing tire.



Right now I have about 60 1/2" center to center which is right where I wanted. From my rough measurements, it's about 74 inches outside to outside on the front fenders and about 71 inches with the wide tires. Very happy with that. The next step is to get the S10 body mounts cut off and start taking the body off the 47. Question, what's the best thing you guys have found for spraying on 68 year old bolts so they actually come out?

Nick
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Old 09-06-2015, 01:04 AM   #12
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

nice work!!!
BTW, i like your tag line! The fun is finding the balance between the 3.
Keep up the good work.
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:47 AM   #13
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

Well, I must be a little slow this morning. Why split the crossmember? Nice work you did there.

Hmm...removing 68 year old bolts. Usually I clean them really well, spray them down with one of the popular rust penetrators, let them soak for awhile and then break them while removing the nut. At least that is how it usually goes for me.
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Old 09-06-2015, 10:00 AM   #14
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

Looks good, fish plate on the bottom is great, just adds more strength. Question on the 91 Caprice stuff. The upper and lower ball joints, will S-10 work with this or do you have to change to something different?...Jim
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:23 AM   #15
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Advanced Design View Post
Great progress. That little tractor was pretty handy!
I missed that earlier. Yes, it has come in very handy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Advanced Design View Post
Well, I must be a little slow this morning. Why split the crossmember? Nice work you did there.

Hmm...removing 68 year old bolts. Usually I clean them really well, spray them down with one of the popular rust penetrators, let them soak for awhile and then break them while removing the nut. At least that is how it usually goes for me.
I was trying to avoid spacers. Plus it gives me more room for exhaust and steering.
Is there a spray that works better than the others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iowaboynca View Post
nice work!!!
BTW, i like your tag line! The fun is finding the balance between the 3.
Keep up the good work.
Every once in a while You find something that fits all three. The hunt is usually the fun part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldman3 View Post
Looks good, fish plate on the bottom is great, just adds more strength. Question on the 91 Caprice stuff. The upper and lower ball joints, will S-10 work with this or do you have to change to something different?...Jim
The ball joints, and tie rods all bolt right up. The brake hoses are different but the caprice brake hose brackets and hoses bolt right up to the s-10 frame and fit perfectly. I am probably going to have to shorten the upper arms or fine shorter arms. With the most shims I can put on the mounts I still have a fair amount of positive camber. They will end up farther out after I put new bushings in it. Not a huge problem though.

Thanks for the kind words everybody. I appreciate it.

Nick
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Old 09-06-2015, 07:16 PM   #16
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

Nick, thanks for the explanation about widening the crossmember. That makes sense. Will you widen the centerlink or are you going with a rack?
For rusty bolts we actually have had some luck with a mix of diesel fuel and atf. Dad and Uncle used it years ago. also Croyl and I use a lot of WD40....probably why my bolts don't come apart.
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Old 09-06-2015, 07:56 PM   #17
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

I think I'll ride along on this one. Nice work.
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Old 09-06-2015, 08:56 PM   #18
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

My wife already have me one if those "how safe is that?" remarks when she saw the angle iron lol. A standard G-body center link should fit but I'm going to try a 90 camaro center link. From what I have read it moves the inner tie rods out and down which will help bump steer.

Nick
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Old 09-07-2015, 02:31 AM   #19
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

iowaboynca I mix 50/50, atf and acetone, let sit for 24 hrs. Give it a go, if it breaks free you're in luck. If you have no joy go for the fire wrench. Oxy/Ac wrench, that always frees up everything. Don't waste to much time. Last Saturday I'm pulling the four cab bolts on my 57 GMC, used the atf/acetone, after 24 hrs 1 out of 4 came loose, the other 3 fell prey to the fire wrench, universal fits all sae and mm as well. Good Luck Nut Case
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:40 AM   #20
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

Cool. In for updates!
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:22 AM   #21
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

Looking back...is there a way you could have braced the frame and then controlled the bowing, bending, parallelness, until you got your 4"?? I want to do mine...I am thinking of welding some stiffeners across the frame w/ some long threaded rod that I can release slowly to get my 4" and then weld'er up.

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Old 09-08-2015, 11:43 AM   #22
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

I would think square tubing would work. one piece welded to each side and another that just slides inside to run across. one behind the crossmember and one at the front of the horns. Might still need some tweaking but if the tubing is solid enough to should for the most part only side straight out.

Nick
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:38 PM   #23
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

Two quick questions. Is there an easy way to pull the front clip with one person? Was looking at it tonight trying to figure out where I could use the engine hoist.
Second, am I seeing right that there is only 4 bolted mounts? One under the radiator, two at the front of the cab and one in the center rear of the cab.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:13 PM   #24
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

First question - someone will jump in with and idea. I haven't done it.

Second question - yes, maybe two bolts in front at radiator support close together, two at front of cab then the center mount at the rear. I don't remember the year differences though some had the rear center mount and others had two shackle mounts at the rear to the outside.
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:10 AM   #25
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Re: It's my turn, 47 S10 build

What is everybody mounting the rear cab mounts on them? All of the builds I have been following used the same rear mount as the front saved about the same. I had just assumed they were using the factory spot on the cab.
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