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Old 05-19-2022, 06:12 PM   #1
cwcarpenter98
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Penny

A couple months ago, I got the opportunity to take a look at an 81 C10. A deal was arranged, but I had to focus on finishing college before I could do anything with it.

It's a Custom Deluxe, 305, 2 barrel, and probably a TH350 trans, but I haven't looked underneath to confirm that one. It has factory A/C and my favorite wheel base, a long bed.

The story goes that Dr. Pennington's father purchased the truck used around 1986 and rarely drove it due to health complications. When he passed around 1990, the truck was used around the farm by Dr. Pennington, his brother, and his son. His son also took the truck to UGA during college. After college, it returned to the farm and was parked in the early 2000s, but Dr. Pennington doesn't remember exactly why.

It was sitting for so long that some rodents decided to make the engine their new home. They chewed through most of the wiring harness, vacuum hoses, and at least 3 of the 8 spark plug wires. They also left a huge mess of sticks, twigs, acorns, walnuts, leaves, grass, and poop, lots of poop.
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 05-19-2022, 06:35 PM   #2
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Re: Penny

Rust wise, not the worst, but definitely not rust free. Needs rockers and probably the edge of the floor pans. Also needs some help at the bottom of the fenders. The cab corners look to be pretty decent though. Of course, the interior is rough from sitting in the Georgia sun for many, many years, but that's all fixable stuff.

There's a possibility that the truck only has less than 60k original miles, but we aren't completely sure about that. It is mostly original though, and I believe it still wears the paint job from GM.

The first day I looked at it, I put a wrench on the crank pulley to check if the engine was stuck. It wasn't stuck solid, but would only go a small distance before not wanting to turn anymore. At that time, I didn't have the time to tinker with it more. This morning, I went back to the truck armed with some tools and a fully charged battery. The Pennington's haven't found the key yet, but the ignition switch must have been left in the accessory position because it can still turn the engine over without the key. Or maybe the key broke off inside? I'm not sure yet on that one. Anyways, I used one of those ignition bypass buttons so I could be under the hood to start the truck. On the first attempt at hitting the button, the engine turned over quite nicely. No funky sounds, but it wasn't firing off. I then tried the ignition switch and found that it still worked. That was quite surprising because of how many wires have been chewed through. We poured some gas down the carb and tried again, but the engine just wasn't lighting off. After some investigation, I discovered that the power wire to the dizzy has 12 volts, but the 3 wires going from the cap to the base of the dizzy have been eaten. No spark for me. At that point, I was ready for lunch and out of luck, so I called it quits for today and will try again another time.

So, what are my plans for Penny? Well, I've got to start the rust repair on Frankentruck soon, but I'd like to still have a truck to take to cruise ins and shows. Penny fits the bill perfectly for that because of the A/C.

This build will be a slow one for me and definitely on a budget. My plan is to get the engine running, fix whatever is broken mechanically, get the A/C working, and then enjoy it for a while. I might throw some lowering parts at it as well, but I haven't made that decision yet. Definitely keeping the original steelies and hubcaps.
At the least, I'll hang on to it until Frankentruck's rust repair is finished, but maybe by then I'll decide to keep it around and fix all of the rust issues. Either way, it should be fun!
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 05-20-2022, 02:05 PM   #3
LT7A
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Re: Penny

Good grab. It looks complete. You'll have fun cleaning it up. Hopefully it will run well for you. 305s get a lot of bad press, but I think that people don't understand what they were designed for and expect too much. They're meant to be a torque engine that allows you to get up to speed and then get decent mileage. If you try to push them past that, they don't do much. I'm surprised it has a two barrel, I didn't know about that configuration. I see that it's an LG9 and I couldn't find any specs on that, barely shows up on the internet. But still should run all right. When I bought mine, I drove it home 175 miles and it did just fine at freeway speed but didn't seem to have much extra. Then when I pulled the carburetor, I found that the secondaries were jammed closed. No wonder there wasn't any extra, haha. If you have a 2 barrel, you've only got primaries, so to speak, but they should be larger than the primaries on my 4 barrel, so it should run around just fine.
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Old 05-24-2022, 11:25 PM   #4
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Re: Penny

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Originally Posted by LT7A View Post
Good grab. It looks complete. You'll have fun cleaning it up. Hopefully it will run well for you. 305s get a lot of bad press, but I think that people don't understand what they were designed for and expect too much. They're meant to be a torque engine that allows you to get up to speed and then get decent mileage. If you try to push them past that, they don't do much. I'm surprised it has a two barrel, I didn't know about that configuration. I see that it's an LG9 and I couldn't find any specs on that, barely shows up on the internet. But still should run all right. When I bought mine, I drove it home 175 miles and it did just fine at freeway speed but didn't seem to have much extra. Then when I pulled the carburetor, I found that the secondaries were jammed closed. No wonder there wasn't any extra, haha. If you have a 2 barrel, you've only got primaries, so to speak, but they should be larger than the primaries on my 4 barrel, so it should run around just fine.
I'm looking forward to bringing it back to life. It deserves a second chance.
I'm also not looking to push a ton of horsepower through it, so a nice, smooth cruiser is what I'm looking for.
That's funny on your 4 barrel acting like a 2 barrel You needed those secondaries to really open up all those horse torques
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 05-25-2022, 01:09 PM   #5
LT7A
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Re: Penny

Yeah, I bought it to be a parts truck. But halfway home, I realized it ran and drove too nice to pull apart. After the next gas stop, as I was pulling on to the freeway, I pushed the pedal to the floor and nothing really happened, haha. I thought, well I guess that's all there is.I ended up being really glad that there was a problem with the carburetor so that I had to pull it off. I can't quite understand what got into the carburetor to jam the secondaries so bad, but they wouldn't budge. Several soakings and cleanings later, and they should be available next time I need them. It will be cool to see your truck get cleaned up. I'm a big fan of the "fix what's already there" doctrine. I'll be interested to find out what transmission and diff ratio you have. Mine was originally a 700R4 that got swapped out for a turbo 350. Turns out that the TH350 and the 3.08 gears are just about right for cruising on the highway and losing stop light starts to corollas in the city, haha.
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Old 05-25-2022, 02:45 PM   #6
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Re: Penny

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Originally Posted by LT7A View Post
Yeah, I bought it to be a parts truck. But halfway home, I realized it ran and drove too nice to pull apart. After the next gas stop, as I was pulling on to the freeway, I pushed the pedal to the floor and nothing really happened, haha. I thought, well I guess that's all there is.I ended up being really glad that there was a problem with the carburetor so that I had to pull it off. I can't quite understand what got into the carburetor to jam the secondaries so bad, but they wouldn't budge. Several soakings and cleanings later, and they should be available next time I need them. It will be cool to see your truck get cleaned up. I'm a big fan of the "fix what's already there" doctrine. I'll be interested to find out what transmission and diff ratio you have. Mine was originally a 700R4 that got swapped out for a turbo 350. Turns out that the TH350 and the 3.08 gears are just about right for cruising on the highway and losing stop light starts to corollas in the city, haha.
My guess is a turbo 350 and either 2.73s or 3.08s, but I won't be able to find out for a bit. The truck is still over 2 hours from home and I haven't gotten a plan together yet to go get it with a trailer.
This one is definitely the "fix what's already there" plan because I'm trying to do this as economically as possibly but still end up with a reliable driver that looks decent rolling down the road. Maybe I'll get it home in the next couple of weeks, maybe it'll be towards the end of July. Either way, it's on the list of things to do
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 06-04-2022, 03:52 PM   #7
straight6chevyguy
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Re: Penny

Fun looking project Christian!
I wish I lived closer to you! I would love to come over and help get that thing running. O well lol.
Looking forward to seeing updates on this one.
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1965 chevy c20 292 4speed http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=777601
1976 chevy c10 250 4speed http://www.67-72chevytrucks.com/vboa...d.php?t=787037
1998 chevy c1500 4.3L 5speed (My current driver)
1971 mercury monterey wagon 400 auto
To many projects!
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Old 06-05-2022, 02:20 PM   #8
cwcarpenter98
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Re: Penny

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Originally Posted by straight6chevyguy View Post
Fun looking project Christian!
I wish I lived closer to you! I would love to come over and help get that thing running. O well lol.
Looking forward to seeing updates on this one.
Thanks! You're just a hop and skip away, head on over
Progress will be real slow on this one. I'm still at least a month out on being able to bring it home so I can actually work on it.
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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