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Old 03-18-2016, 11:57 AM   #1
hewittca
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Green Gus the 68 shortbed convert

Hi everyone, my name is Corey and I am a long time lurker here, but never posted in the past because I didn't have any C10 specific content to add. I've always wanted a C10 and after college, grad school, and starting a family, I am finally in the process of buying my first C10. I should be picking it up in the next week, so I wanted to start up a build thread for it. Before I get too far ahead of myself (and jynx the sale), I wanted to share a little nostalgic trip back to where my love for C10's started:

My dad bought his first C10 back in 1974. It was a medium gold '68 LWB. At the time he was 19 and still had his little compound set up in the back of his parents' house as you can see here. To the left of the truck is his '65 Chevelle which would eventually become his drag car pictured below.





Even though the truck was only a few years old at that time, it already needed rockers and cab corners! So after a few years my dad tore it apart, fixed the rust, and repainted it '78 brown poly with a '78 buckskin top/nose. He used it mostly as a daily driver and for camping.





My dad was also into bracket racing at the time. Instead of getting a trailer for the C10, however, he opted to pick up a '70 (I think) GMC tow truck to haul his '65 Chevelle to the track. He painted it the same colors as his C10. This is also about the time I came along in 1984, and where I was imprinted with the love for these old trucks early on.





At some point, he decided it would be best to trailer the Chevelle afterall, but still used the towtruck to pull it.





When my brother came along in 1987, the old trucks just weren't cutting it anymore and my dad sold the C10 (which was subsequently wrecked by the new owner a week later) and the towtruck. He also opted to move on to a new project and sell the Chevelle. Here he is right before selling the Chevelle.



He decided to go with a '75 crew cab and build a full tube chassis '27 Ford.





Here I am with the '27 Ford in 1989.



After a few years, he ended up starting his own business and sold the Ford, but he does still have the crew cab to this day. Although I have the most memories with the crew cab, there's something about those early years with the C10, and looking back at the pictures in awe as a kid that has left an undying love for the 67-72 trucks.

So, that's enough about me and where my love for these trucks comes from, the rest of this thread will be dedicated to the build of my own '68 C10. I will hopefully update this very soon with details and pictures. My goal is to also keep a flair of nostalgia with my truck to keep the theme going. I hope you all enjoyed the blast from the past and enjoy my build.

Last edited by 70cst; 05-20-2017 at 09:25 PM. Reason: OP asked to chnage title.
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Old 03-18-2016, 12:20 PM   #2
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

Welcome ,you and your dad have good taste ,looking forward to your truck adventure .
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Old 03-18-2016, 01:03 PM   #3
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

Welcome! Looking forward to checking out the truck...
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Old 03-18-2016, 02:01 PM   #4
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

I'm digging the Nostalgia. Thanks for the pics.
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Old 03-20-2016, 07:58 PM   #5
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

Although I've never had a C10 before despite always wanting one, I have had a few projects in the past. In high school I was actually in the process of saving money for a C10 when my uncle called and said he was going to give me his 1980 Malibu, the only problem was he rear ended somebody with it... so I opted for the set of wheels in front of me versus continuing saving for the C10.



The Malibu was rough, but after 13 years of slow progress while daily driving it through high school, college, and grad school, I was finally at a point where my budget did not match my vision for the car, so the project aspect ended. I realized I enjoyed working on it more than driving it, so I finally sold it.



What I didn't mention earlier was that in conjunction to my love for old Chevy trucks, I also grew up with a love for old Volkswagens, mainly due to the old Beetle my uncle gave me (same one who gave me the Malibu later on). Instead of a swingset, I had an old beetle and I couldn't imagine anything greater as a kid.



At the time I sold the Malibu, I was swaying towards my Volkswagen side and ended up buying a 1963 Beetle. As with the Malibu, it was rough.



After two years I was yet again at a point where I was done with the project aspect and wasn't able to drive the Beetle that much, all the while my desire for a C10 was continuing to grow again.



So how does any of this relate to getting a C10? Well, after getting sidetracked from the C10 by the Malibu, and then fulfilling my desire for an old Volkswagen, I finally came back to my original desire to own a C10 and put the Beetle up for sale. After four patient months waiting for it to sell while I religiously checked Craigslist for C10s, I finally got a call this Friday from a guy who said he wanted my beetle for an agreed upon price, and wanted to know if he could come pick it up that night. So, I took the bug out for one last drive, filled her up, and completed the deal.



The next thing I did was call about a truck that I had been keeping my eye on and we set up a time for me to come see it the next day (this past Saturday). So, after checking out the truck, we struck a deal, and I finally brought home a C10 after wanting one since a little kid. As you can see, I am already imprinting my own son with a love for these trucks as he could not leave the truck alone for more than a few seconds for me to snap a picture without him in it (which was fine by me!).



Now, I jumped to conclusions so that there was at least some C10 content to this post on my past projects and what lead to me finally buying a C10. Before I go into the specifics on the truck, I want to start documenting right from the beginning on this C10 with the actual journey to go purchase this truck, and the C10 heaven I discovered in the process.
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:33 PM   #6
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

The trip from my home in Advance NC to where the truck was took us about 3 hours into the Appalachian Mountains, past the Blue Ridge Parkway, and into a little mountain town called Burnsville NC. I brought my father-in-law along for the journey just in case I bought the truck (which, I'll be honest, I had already made up my mind that I would buy it unless there were any unmentioned surprises). We met the owner of the truck, JD, at his house and then we followed him to his barn where the truck was. What I did not realize was that we were following him into a C10 haven.

I was so excited by what we stumbled upon by meeting JD, I did not get very good pictures of what he had lying around. Tucked away in a valley in the Appalachian Mountains was JD's barn with 15-20 C10s and piles of parts scattered about. As it turns out, JD flips C10s in his spare time outside of work. He also does quite a few short bed conversions. He was an extremely friendly, good old honest guy, and a joy to strike a deal with. If you peruse Craigslist often, I encourage you to keep Asheville NC on your list, which is where he posts his builds. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a presence elsewhere online, and mainly deals through word of mouth, so if you would like his contact info, PM me.





Anyway, back to the C10 I was there to look at. It was the green longbed '68 seen in the photos above, which is the first spot I saw it when we pulled up. After test driving it, I was sold, however, when we popped the hood again after the drive, we were greeted with antifreeze spewing from a crack in the radiator. I told JD I loved the truck, but I wasn't going anywhere with it like that. Without hesitation, JD said, "Well lets go put another radiator in it!". So we headed back to his house with a radiator he pulled from another truck.





At JD's house, we chatted about trucks, life, and family while he put in a new radiator. Here we are at his house where my father-in-law is giving the truck a more thorough inspection. Although he is not a C10 expert, he is an expert mechanic and proved to be an invaluable person to bring along. By the way, tucked away in that garage is an original big block truck that JD is currently restoring, so keep an eye out for that on Craigslist if you are interested!



After getting the radiator buttoned up, we headed over to get the title notarized, and I handed over a wad of cash. JD assured me he trusted the truck to the journey, and after spending a few hours with him that day, I already felt I could trust his word, and we were on our way home. 200 miles later, I arrived home with zero issues and a huge grin on my face. As I mentioned earlier, my son was also thrilled with the new addition and couldn't get enough of it.



So what exactly did I get myself into with this truck anyway? In the next post I will detail some of the key elements of this truck and why I was all but sold on it the instant I saw it.
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:46 PM   #7
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

Very nice truck and nice story too.
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:00 PM   #8
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

My original quest for a truck focused on finding a mostly original 67/68 C10, preferably with a shortbed. I don't know why I specifically preferred these years out of the 67-72 trucks, but it's probably a good guess that it's because my dad had a '68. The truck I bought from JD was just that, a mostly original '68, and although it was longbed, that didn't even bother me once I got to check out this awesome truck. Although the odometer reads 12000, I assume it's at least 112000 and given the wear on the key, I wouldn't doubt if that was accumulated over many very short trips as a workhorse.





The interior is very clean, with all lights and original radio still working! The SPID is also still intact and in very good shape. As you can see again, my son is on cloud 9 playing in this truck!







As you can see from the SPID, this is an original power steering, power brake, powerglide truck, and with the 307 it is a breeze and joy to drive! It tracks straight down the road with no slop in the steering, shifts smoothly, and has plenty of power and response to get the truck moving.



The body is also in great shape, except for one dent on the right rear fender and one on the left front. The rockers are rock solid, and there is only one small hole in the passenger cab corner. The body mounts are also solid. The original paint was worked hard but still looks great overall. My wife also loved the truck, as you can see her here playing in the bed with my son.







About the only thing I noticed that wasn't factory original or original style were the widened wheels, which I think complement the look of the truck. Another cool bonus was it had all four original caps!



In keeping with my nostalgic theme, I drove the truck out on a trail through a field by my house and snapped a few more pictures. I brought the kids along and they were thrilled. My daughter also loves the truck.









My plans for now are to clean the truck up, go through and give it a thorough inspection and tune up. I have big plans for it much further down the line, but for now I am just going to enjoy this good old original truck. I will keep this thread updated with progress on the truck to continue documenting the journey. Enjoy!
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:01 PM   #9
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

awesome
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:02 PM   #10
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

cool story...looks like a solid truck. congrats!
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:32 PM   #11
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

Great story and a good looking truck to start with.
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Old 05-29-2016, 09:27 AM   #12
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

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Great intro and after seeing your Malibu and VDub, I'm looking forward to your C-10 build.

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Old 05-30-2016, 08:40 AM   #13
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

Thank you for the kind words everyone! With this build thread I want to keep it succinct and try to post only completed sub-projects. I love reading through build threads but sometimes they drag on for pages (and years!) before a stage is complete, which makes them hard to piece together or wait for results. With that in mind, here's my first update!

When I bought the truck, it was running fine (enough) and my wife and I had quite a few projects around the house we needed to complete, so the first thing I did with the truck was put it to work! No time to rest for this old truck, she did enough of that sitting in the front yard of the previous owner's house (two owners ago, really).





In addition to using the truck as it was intended, I've also been trying to have some fun with it and drive it to work when I can. As you can see, the kids LOVE the truck, which makes it even more enjoyable.









After putting a couple hundred miles on the truck (I bought this thing to drive!) I realized it was in desperate need of a tuneup, so that was my first order of business, as I will highlight in the next post.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:48 AM   #14
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

Driving the truck for a few hundred miles revealed a few things that needed attention, mainly the carburetor, ignition, and exhaust. The original 307 is still in the truck, but I believe it may have been rebuilt at some point. My goal is to keep this old motor going as long as it can, so I mainly did a tune up back with stock specs in mind (no over the top power goals here...), which makes this update relatively mundane, but if you would like to hear any further details, I'd be happy to answer any questions!

The only "upgrade" I did was to swap to an HEI distributor from Scott White Performance. I've read mixed reviews on these distributors, but at that price it was worth a shot. So far, it has performed very well. Along with the distributor, I replaced plug wires (of course) and plugs and discovered that 4 of the old wires were burnt and ALL plugs were fouled out badly. I rebuilt the carb with a Mike's Carb Parts kit, put new exhaust manifolds on (the originals were cracked), along with a few other small things. Along the way, this board proved an invaluable resource, so thank you everyone! Here are just a few pics.

The carburetor was very dirty beforehand (shown here) but works well now with the rebuild kit.







Of course my son wanted to help!



After setting initial timing and double checking everything, she fired right up. All I had to do was fine tune the timing and she was ready to go. I could immediately notice an improvement in performance with the new distributor and rebuilt carb. It's not going to win any races but it is more than adequate for a little old 307, and it sounds pretty good too!

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Old 05-30-2016, 10:15 AM   #15
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

.
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Nice update - thanks for sharing.

Always neat to see these old trucks still reliable and on the road w/ multiple 'issues' under the hood. New vehicles are so quick to throw a check engine light then go into 'limp' mode. Makes the simplicity of these older vehicles so much more appealing.

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Old 05-30-2016, 11:28 AM   #16
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

So with the mechanicals sorted out and the truck running very well, from here on out I plan on driving the truck while working on my projected goals for the overall look of the truck. Until now, I haven't mentioned what my overall mod goals are, so I'll share those here before I get started on changing things. When I discovered that my truck wasn't quite as original as I thought it was (details here), I decided that I wasn't going to worry too much about modifying stuff on the truck.

My plan, as is quite popular these days, is to lower the truck on air, preserve the original paint as much as possible, and throw on some steel wheels. I know it's not very original but I love this style. I think it preserves the originality of the truck while accentuating some of the conservative details (like stance and wheel/tires). I wil, however, be doing a few of the mods somewhat differently than how others have done them. I threw together a very quick photoshop of what I'm aiming for. I will probably go with black wheels, but you get the idea.



One major difference you will notice in the photoshop is that the truck is a shortbed! I debated for quite a while if I wanted to shorten the truck, but ultimately decided I would. I do like the look of a shortbed better, and as you can see, my passenger side bedside was hit pretty good at some point. Although it is part of the history of the truck, it's not a completely original example, so I'm OK with changing some things.



How am I going to shorten it? Well, I will provide those details once it is complete, but for now I will leave you with the main component, original GM shortbed sides. I decided to go this route instead of shortening my original sides because of the damage to my sides. Once this project is completed, I will update this thread with the results.



I hope you enjoyed this round of updates!
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:42 AM   #17
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

Subscribed..
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:24 PM   #18
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

Diggin' on the story.
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Old 06-24-2016, 01:47 PM   #19
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

Quote:
Originally Posted by hewittca View Post
So with the mechanicals sorted out and the truck running very well, from here on out I plan on driving the truck while working on my projected goals for the overall look of the truck. Until now, I haven't mentioned what my overall mod goals are, so I'll share those here before I get started on changing things. When I discovered that my truck wasn't quite as original as I thought it was (details here), I decided that I wasn't going to worry too much about modifying stuff on the truck.

My plan, as is quite popular these days, is to lower the truck on air, preserve the original paint as much as possible, and throw on some steel wheels. I know it's not very original but I love this style. I think it preserves the originality of the truck while accentuating some of the conservative details (like stance and wheel/tires). I wil, however, be doing a few of the mods somewhat differently than how others have done them. I threw together a very quick photoshop of what I'm aiming for. I will probably go with black wheels, but you get the idea.



One major difference you will notice in the photoshop is that the truck is a shortbed! I debated for quite a while if I wanted to shorten the truck, but ultimately decided I would. I do like the look of a shortbed better, and as you can see, my passenger side bedside was hit pretty good at some point. Although it is part of the history of the truck, it's not a completely original example, so I'm OK with changing some things.



How am I going to shorten it? Well, I will provide those details once it is complete, but for now I will leave you with the main component, original GM shortbed sides. I decided to go this route instead of shortening my original sides because of the damage to my sides. Once this project is completed, I will update this thread with the results.



I hope you enjoyed this round of updates!

I am digging that look of the white steelies! This is an awesome truck!
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Old 06-24-2016, 02:07 PM   #20
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinxy81 View Post
I am digging that look of the white steelies! This is an awesome truck!
Thanks! They may actually end up being black, haven't decided yet. The nice thing with steel wheels is you can always change it up! When I had my Malibu and Beetle I went through several wheel color phases. A few bucks on paint and you can completely change the look. Here's what black would look like:

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Old 06-24-2016, 02:14 PM   #21
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

~ scribed~
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Old 06-24-2016, 04:42 PM   #22
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

Nice truck here...ill watch this
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Old 06-25-2016, 05:20 AM   #23
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

I too like the look of the white steelies! They tie in with the white bumpers! Definitely subscribed!!!
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Old 06-28-2016, 03:26 PM   #24
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

In my previous post, I highlighted my overall goal for the appearance of the truck, but purposefully left out all the details since I hadn't hammered them out yet. Well, now I want to provide some basic details on what I plan to do to the truck, for at the very least a reference that I can go back on to remind myself of the specs I wanted. Since my progress is limited by our two biggest enemies against a build, time and money, I have decided to break my build up into three stages. So here is my plan:

Stage 1



In terms of appearance, Stage 1 will leave the truck essentially stock and as I bought it with the 15x8 steelies. There are enough mechanical bugs and cleaning up to do that has kept me busy on this truck for several months now. My basic goal on this stage is to get the truck into fine running order and to clean it up. Mechanical issues that need to be cleared up (some of which already have) are: rebuild carb, new exhaust manifolds, new exhaust, plugs, wires, HEI distributor conversion, rebuild brakes and new lines, fix oil pan/timing cover leaks, inspect rear gear and trans, etc. In terms of cleaning up the truck, I plan on preserving as much of the original paint as possible. To do this, I will do the CLR bath, but from there I am undecided on whether or not I want to polish the paint. I kind of like the dull faded paint look versus shiney faded paint. Also, the engine needs to eventually be repainted (when/if I do this depends on if I ever have to pull the engine). for the rest of the truck, I will basically leave it as is aesthetically and only clean parts where it is mechanically favorable to do so.

Stage 2:



This is where the axe comes out! As I alluded to earlier, I plan on shortening the truck with used GM shortbed sides that I got from GR8-68. For the sides, I will paint them as close to factory as I can (black sealer/primer, single stage color) and then sand it lightly to match the patina on the cab (which there is not much of, and none of which you can see in these pictures). Every other part of the longbed I will reuse. I will section 8" out of the rear of the bed floor (to preserve the bed floor rear edge), and cut 12" straight off the front of the floor. While I'm in the process of shortening, I will also raise the steel floor 2.5". I will do this by basically raising all the bedside mounting flanges up 2.5". This will accommodate the 2.5" step up I will also add to the frame when I shorten it. During the process, I will determine how far forward I will move the trailing arm crossmember so that the rear wheels are centered in the wheel wells (right now I'm thinking 11" to essentially move the rear 1" back in the openings). To correlate with the 2.5" drop in the rear, I will also pancake the front crossmember 2.5" as has been outlined by ChiefRocka. Ultimately, all this will give me 2.5" of lowering without any major suspension modifications. I'll also throw on some white line tires for that nostalgic look (sticking to my theme!).

Stage 3



OR



Finally, Stage 3 will get the truck essentially how I want it to look overall. I will finally upgrade to disk brakes in front at this time so that I can incorporate 2.5" drop spindles. For the rear, I will use either 2" or 3" blocks from way2low (whichever works best with the total front drop), and also do a c-notch in the frame. Last but not least, for wheels I plan on going with 20" Detroit Steel Wheels. The rear setup will be 20x9 w/ 4.25" backspace and 285/50 Nitto 420S tires. The front setup will be 20x8 w/ 4" backspace and 245/45 Nitto 420S tires. Badger69 was kind enough to share his wheel/tire setup which is what I plan on using exactly. Ultimately, I will be right around 8"-9" static drop (including the 3"-4" drop springs on the truck already) with clearance built in thanks to the pancaked crossmember and raised bed which should make for a nice ride height.

Daydreaming a bit further, I would eventually like to do an airride setup with height management and the Porterbuilt deluxe stage 2 front/rear kits, but at this point that is not included in my realistic plans. I'm not sure how long it will take to get through to complete Stage 3, but as I make progress I will keep this thread alive. More than likely, I will ride around at Stage 2 for quite a while since Stage 2 is mostly limited by time (which I can commit steadily), and Stage 3 is limited by money (which I cannot commit to significantly). Overall, I bought the truck to drive and to work on, so it will be an enjoyable project and I hope you enjoy following along.
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Old 06-28-2016, 03:45 PM   #25
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Re: Introduction, nostalgia, and '68 build, oh my

Nice truck your starting with! Sounds like a good plan you have for it! I'm in to see how it turns out!
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