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Old 02-28-2019, 10:46 PM   #1
MT1971
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1971 Graduation Project

It all started my Junior year in high school when I took the automotive class. In the class we got the option to bring in an engine and rebuild it, or rebuild one of the schools. So I decided that if I was going to go learn how to rebuild one, might as well make it one that I can use. So I bought a trusty 350 from a friend and took that to class. Long story short, got it rebuilt, and fired on the run stand. Fast forward to summer of 2018, when I bought a '71 longbed 4x4. I had been saving up and looking for a truck to put the rebuilt engine in, since we started tearing it down when finally I found a truck that I couldn't pass up. Not only is it my favorite body style which is hard enough to find, but let alone a 4x4 and in my price range at the time. Over the summer I didn't really do much other than, take the bed off, and dream about what its going to be. I saved up all the money I made working in a lube bay, and helping out around friends ranches to make a few extra bucks. Come fall 2018(senior year) I was enrolled in the ASE Automotive class and I had a plan. I was gonna rebuild this truck mechanically so I can drive it to my graduation, and I can worry about the body next winter when i'm looking for something to do. SO here's the plan. (OR so I thought).
1. Remove current 350, and replace it with my rebuilt engine.
2. Clean up and look at trans/transfer case for leaks / repairs due to the oil stain in my drive way.
3. Install new wiring harness because the wiring is horrendous and Id rather spend the time putting new wires in than trying to hunt down problems with a 48 year old harness just for it to break somewhere else.
4. Inspect / replace brakes.
5. New tires
But as many of you know, "simple projects" turn into what seems like never ending.
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:54 AM   #2
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Drive Train Out

When we pulled the truck into the shop, we made quick work of removing the engine, transmission, and transfer case. Worked on rebuilding the transmission, and plan on taking the transfer case home and working on it at nights after work and on the weekends to keep things moving along because time doesn't stop. Not even for a 1971 Chevy Opened the transmission up and everything looked good other than the output shaft had been worn down. but only on the transmission side. There was barely any wear on the transfer case side of the coupler. the rebuild took longer than I was expecting but that is nothing out of the ordinary. Now onto redoing the brakes, and bringing my engine to the shop to put a new oil pan gasket on and put everything back into the truck. Ill get some photos of the brakes and transfer case as I tear into it.
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:03 PM   #3
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Brakes

Replaced wheel cylinders, shoes, springs, and cleaned things up a bit. Ready for the other side, and then work on the transfercase rebuild.
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Old 03-08-2019, 12:51 AM   #4
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Re: 1971 Graduation Project

Im in to see the rest .
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:04 AM   #5
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Re: 1971 Graduation Project

Nice project- glad you found a 4x4
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:07 AM   #6
71ray-soncraft
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Re: 1971 Graduation Project

Looks great. Canít wait to see the rest.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:57 AM   #7
rechinca
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Re: 1971 Graduation Project

That’s the way to do it. Get in on the ground floor learning and completing the rebuild the. You found a great truck to put it in. Keep up the documentation, you are going about it the right way and we love seeing the younger generation learning the trade!
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:22 PM   #8
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Re: 1971 Graduation Project

Looks Great. Keep those pics coming..
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:07 PM   #9
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Transfer case tear down

Took my np205 home to tear apart so I would have time to work on other things in class to keep the project some what moving along. Waiting on the rebuild kit to come in so I can start putting everything back together, but in the mean time I am cleaning the case, and cross member, and need to go buy some brake drums due to the fact that mine are bent. (Was told it was probably due to me trying to get them off) Also need to get some new brake lines, Any suggestions on places to buy from? I twisted the driver side line that goes from the wheel cylinder to the "T-splitter" and now it has a kink/hole, but thats the game we play so i'm not complaining. Hoping to get the transfercase done relatively quick. Im starting to worry its going to come down to the wire with a couple long nights at home to try and get this thing to drive to graduation, but its all in good fun. Still need to get my engine in the shop and replace the oil pan gasket... AGAIN. (when we first fired my engine, the rear main seal was leaking a little and it would have been fine to leave, but having just rebuilt the thing, I want to try an make the thing leak proof. but when I put the oil pan gasket I bought for that job, they gave me the thin oil pan gasket and I need the thicker one. So I need to get my engine in the shop and replace that.) then my last major concern is the wiring harness. Hoping to get the drive train back in the truck so I can get lengths of wires and start soldering on the connections to the harness. but Im also thinking about soldering the connections on now so I will have it done, and next winter when I do the body work, cut the wires down and make every thing nice and neat. Can't decide which route to go. Any advice / experience?
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:17 PM   #10
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Cleaning of Parts

More photos of the progress on cleaning. Not done yet, but making progress!
With spring finally rolling in here, im getting spring fever and really want to drive the truck again.
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Old 03-19-2019, 11:02 PM   #11
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Re: 1971 Graduation Project

Following along! Keep at it man, nothing ventured nothing gained. I hope you can make your goal... when is your graduation? I remember when I had that much hustle....
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1972 C10, "Loyd", LWB to SWB, 5.3, L83/6L80e, 4:11 Tru Trac, Air Ride, VA, DD, 20" Coys, 4 wheel disc, A quick LS swap turned into a 4 year frame off.
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Old 03-24-2019, 10:03 PM   #12
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More Cleaning

Finished up cleaning and painting most of the case parts, rebuild kit is supposed to come in the mail tomorrow so then I can take everything home and start reassembling. D-day (Graduation is on the second of june 2 but ill have to probably have the truck out of the shop a week or two before that.) I am setting a date of May 17th I want to be able to drive the truck to my house and I can finish buttoning up things at my house. (If needed).
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:34 PM   #13
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Re: 1971 Graduation Project

Looks good! I'll be following as I just bought a 71 gmc 4x4
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Old 03-26-2019, 04:39 PM   #14
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Re: 1971 Graduation Project

good job!!!
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:20 PM   #15
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Transfercase Rebuild

Finished up the transfercase rebuild last week, and got it mated to the sm465. Waiting to put those back in the truck. Also got my Radiator and Electric Fans in last week. Put a couple u-joints in also. Going to finish the rest of the drive line Joints in and those will go back in once the transmission and transfercase are back in. Hoping to get the engine in soon so I can get the lengths of some of the wires so I can start working on that at nights after work.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:20 PM   #16
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Drive Train In

Been pretty chaotic the last couple of weeks, between school, work, spring break, and a fishing trip. BUT we have been able to put the drive train back in in the last 3 days so progress has not halted. New exhaust manifolds are supposed to be coming in the mail tomorrow, and I already have the radiator and fan setup. So tomorrow I will be working on making sure all the bolts are tighten on the drive train, and putting in the radiator and fans, and if time allows mocking up some wire lengths on the new harness. So I can continue to work at home. Here are some pics of the drive train in the truck.
350/SM465/205

Ill be sure to take more photos of the up coming grocery list and update on here.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:54 PM   #17
72 tigger
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Re: 1971 Graduation Project

Good progress- hope its on road by 6-2
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:07 AM   #18
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Re: 1971 Graduation Project

Very nice work. I believe you're going to make it ahead of schedule.
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1972 C10, "Loyd", LWB to SWB, 5.3, L83/6L80e, 4:11 Tru Trac, Air Ride, VA, DD, 20" Coys, 4 wheel disc, A quick LS swap turned into a 4 year frame off.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:29 AM   #19
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Re: 1971 Graduation Project

I've got to build a 4WD next...

Keep at it man, looking great.
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1971 C10 Stepside. LSx 6.0 with BTR Stage IV, Speed Engineering Headers, 4L80e transmission w/3200 Circle-D Stall. 3.73. Posi. Purchased this truck when I was 17. I started the rebuild (or take apart) in 1993. I have drug it around all over the country in pieces. Finally back on the road in 2021.

"I can't complain, but sometimes I still do. Life's been good to me so far."
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Old 05-09-2019, 06:27 PM   #20
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Re: 1971 Graduation Project

Subbed to watch....
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