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Old 05-26-2020, 09:57 PM   #1
KevinK7
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'68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)

I've been posting for a while and some may have seen some of the pics, but I thought why not, lets' start a 'build' thread.
I wouldn't call this a real "build" thread since I didn't have plans to completely tear the truck down, but I figured why not post some of the work as I go along.

Living in NY, with my brother in Las Vegas (NV) I realized real quick, I was better off looking west and shipping back east.
Being a 'Camaro Guy' I've had a couple 1st gen's shipped east and you definitely learn to appreciate the lack of rust on vehicles from the southwest.

Anyway, I stumbled upon a "1968 Chevy 3/4 ton with Utility Bed" on CraigsList
Here are some actual photos from the ad:








I made the phone call, struck a deal and had the truck shipped from California to my brother's in Vegas, where it sat for a while.

Initially, I wasn't too keen on the utility bed, already thinking about pulling it to put on a factory bed. When the truck showed up at my brother' he told me how clean (and rust free) it was and said I'd be crazy to start 'messing' with it.
I already knew it was a 396 4 speed, but when I saw the SPID, I also realized it was "Special Paint" (of which I still don't know what specific color it was, but oh well


In October of 2019 I finally saw it first hand (along with a '68 50th I picked up, but that's for another story) and I just though the truck was SO cool
We flushed out all the old gas (had to change the fuel pump too) but the darn thing ran great!
All I had done was put a set of (Wheel Vintique 16" steelies) wheel and tires on it and drove it around for the week or so I was visiting my brother.

Here it is at DMV in Vegas for inspection


Even a trip out to Red Rock Canyon



Then in November of 2019, it was loaded up (with two others) headed back east to my house in upstate NY...


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Old 05-26-2020, 10:07 PM   #2
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Re: '68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)

Trucks were picked up on a Tuesday evening in Vegas, arrived in NY Friday evening. We assisted in unloading and got them in the new garage...


I drove the 'utility' here and there (still hadn't done a thing to it), and on one trip the carb started acting up so the work began...

To step back a bit, I never had plans to "restore" this truck, just clean it up and drive it as it is. The more I looked into things, the more original I was finding it. Original, numbers matching motor, trans, carb, distributor, heads, intake, etc. etc. I've done a few Camaros, and to find something with all it's original parts as this would have been close to impossible.

Anyway, I pulled the carb, sent it out for rebuild and started getting into other things at that time...
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Old 05-26-2020, 10:11 PM   #3
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Removal of lift gate...

One of the first things I did was to remove the lift gate...





Fast forward, ..I pulled the step bumper off the 50th I got... cut the ends off, narrowed he center section and fab'd up some brackets to mount it...



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Old 05-26-2020, 10:18 PM   #4
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Engine bay detail...

I started out with the typical dust bowl...


Aftermarket cruise control, manual choke added, extra horn and one heck of a wiring nightmare...



After cleanup...




Even the original heater box was in two pieces...

Luckily I found an original, cleaned it up and installed...


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Old 05-26-2020, 10:26 PM   #5
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Re: '68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)






Amazingly dent free valve covers...






Rebuilt Carb... (Kudos to J&J Carbs of Fullerton, CA)


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Old 05-26-2020, 10:36 PM   #6
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Interior...

While working on the engine detail, ...I started on the interior...

- recovered the dash pad, added underdash lighting, intalled retrosound radio, restored steering wheel, install carpet, etc etc.



Dash pad vinyl replacement...
Link to the details:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...light=dash+pad










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Old 05-26-2020, 10:41 PM   #7
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Door Mirrors...

When I purchased the truck it had these mirrors...

Based on the hole pattern, this truck apparently came with the "fly swatter' type mirrors.
SO, not wanting to drill any more holes in the doors I made up some brackets...






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Old 05-26-2020, 11:16 PM   #8
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Fender dent repair...

A minor 'mishap' : ( during shipping, ...but after removing the fender and assistance from Paintless dent repair, we got things back close to normal...






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Old 05-26-2020, 11:35 PM   #9
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Instrument bezel/ cluster...

Current status is I'm still waiting for the tach to show up. Was ordered (from Brother's) in the midst of the COVID situation, so there was a delay. Long story short, it is supposed to arrive this Friday.

Once it gets here, I'll install it (along with clock) and attempt to restart the truck. I did also add a Pertronix and Flamethrower II coil, so hopefully all goes well with that...and it starts up

The bezel before...



After respraying the chrome, but before redoing the black...




That pretty much brings us up-to-date...
If the parts arrive as planned, I'm hoping to get it out on the roadagain this weekend
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Old 05-27-2020, 12:37 AM   #10
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Re: '68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinK7 View Post
I wouldn't call this a real "build" thread since I didn't have plans to completely tear the truck down, but I figured why not post some of the work as I go along.
This is exactly how I started mine. Not a build thread... only minor updates... Now it's been 4 years since I have driven it! Hopefully you can focus better than me.

Looking great so far. Can you share some details about the steering wheel refurb? That turned out fantastic.

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Project "C10 Fever" (68 factory black 396 swb):
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Old 05-27-2020, 05:53 AM   #11
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Re: '68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)

Nice transformation, good things take time. I noticed the wiring under the hood, Scary! Interior looks great also.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:41 AM   #12
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Re: '68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68bowtie View Post
... Can you share some details about the steering wheel refurb? ...
Years ago I used a two part epoxy called "PC-7" on a Camaro wheel, I still had the cans and was amazed it was still good!, so I used it again on the truck wheel. I just googled, and the stuff is still around...
https://www.amazon.com/PC-Products-P.../dp/B0815KTCKR

In a nutshell, you seemingly 'make it worse' before you make it better : ), use a hacksaw or similar to open up the cracked areas, fill the voids with the mixed epoxy and let it sit. From there, it's sanding, grinding, more sanding, etc. It takes time, but the epoxy sands relatively easily. It's just tedious with all the curves, etc. but you get there.
My truck wheel didn't look 'that' bad starting out, but when you look closely, there are more cracks than you think. It's a bit unnerving hacking away at it (making it look worse than when you started), but you need to open the areas up for the epoxy.

Anyway, after all the sanding, prime and paint. On my Camaro wheel, I did use a sprayer (and basecoat...clearcoat) which I'd recommend. For the truck wheel, I used a 'rattle can' and cleared over and it will be fine.

My apologies, I forget who on the board here ID'd the Nissan paint code that pretty darn matched the Fawn interior color. I found Duplicolor in a rattle can, so I used it. Note these are not full size cans, get TWO if you're doing this.




Here's some more pics of the process...




Since I didn't take as many pics as I should have on the truck wheel, here's some from a '67 Camaro wheel I did years ago.

















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Old 05-27-2020, 08:50 AM   #13
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Re: '68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by notsolo View Post
Nice transformation, good things take time. I noticed the wiring under the hood, Scary! Interior looks great also.
That wiring was a mess. All through the truck too, they used those blue crimp connectors everywhere. I have few pics of all the soldering and shrinktubing, but just to list a few 'repaired/replaced' areas:

- column turn signal switch replaced.
- heater blower motor, replaced.
- radio harness and wiring
- underdash auxilary lights added (from a '67 Camaro : )
- wiper switch, headlight switch ...replaced.
- rewired all the rear wiring in the utility bed for the brake/tail lights.
- added underhood light

Redid the engine harness too, added the tach coil- pickup and 12V wire for the Pertronix, all bundled into the existing harness,so you don't even see them. Pretty much the case for wiring, hours upon hours, and you don't see hardly any of it
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:38 AM   #14
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Re: '68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)

I wasn't planning on doing anything with the paint/patina, but a tested a light scuffing with a scotchpad. In no time, I did half the hood.
I'm amazed at how much 'crud' came off. I'll be searching around to see what others have been doing with the patina, but I think I'm going to try lighly polishing it, I just don't want to remove what little paint is left lol



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Old 06-01-2020, 08:55 AM   #15
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Re: '68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)

Subscribing to follow along. You're doing some nice work....
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Old 06-04-2020, 05:09 PM   #16
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Re: '68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)

Subscribed. Amazing work on that clean old truck. The before and after pics of the engine bay are incredible
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Old 06-16-2020, 11:15 AM   #17
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Re: '68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)

Looking Good! Subscribed
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:34 PM   #18
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Re: '68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)

OK, ...so a brief update.
While I awaited my tach order from Brother's, I continued with the wheel reinstall. Then installed a set of Bilstein shocks, I never took any pics.


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Old 06-16-2020, 02:40 PM   #19
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Re: '68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)

...the Brother's tach conversion kit finally showed up. This was the last piece I was waiting for. I even picked up a clock from a member here, so that was already waiting.
The excitement was building, I finally had everything to put the cluster back together. I flipped it over, put the lens in, the cluser back, the gauges, had the wiring all set, etc. Flip it back over.............................................. : (

How the heck did I not see this! .....................wrong lens!!

I called Brother's, and they sent out a new ...TACH lens, which put things off another week.

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Old 06-16-2020, 02:43 PM   #20
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Re: '68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)

...so while I waited another week, I decided to go back to the paint...

Some scotch pad, 3M rubbing compount and hand glaze...and I'm pretty happy with how it's coming out.





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Old 06-16-2020, 02:51 PM   #21
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Re: '68 C20 396 4sp Utility ...resurrection :)

...The replacement Tach cluster lens showed up last Friday.

Some photos below, but after I re-installed the cluster. I decided, let's give it a try.
Noting, new plugs, wires, Pertronix conversion, coil, rebuilt carb, a LOT of wiring updates, etc. etc. ...........and it started right up!

Initially a minor issue (heat riser sticking), but I did a couple 'test runs', and all was fine. Idled great, ran smooth, things were looking up. Of course you know it's coming lol, ....yup on my last 'test run' it started to bog down, barely got it home. Carb was dumping gas all over. I suspect stuck float, needle (ie. debris?) but looking at that now. I did reach out to the vendor who rebuilt the Carb (J&J Carbs, Fullerton, CA) they responded to my email right away, so we'll see how it goes.
We'll keep you posted...





Clock before install.


...now with the correct NUMBERED Tach lens
For those thinking about adding the clock and wondering, "what about the silkscreen?" A simple plastic scratch polish and it rubs right off.

Also, I did repaint the needles orange. Sourced a small Testers bottle through Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1



Another pic of the engine compartment



My buddy "Jack" already making himself at home


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