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Old 02-12-2024, 09:54 AM   #1
justaburbn
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: priest lake idaho
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79 Frankenstein

Hello fellow enthusiasts,

If only I was a teenager, then I'd know everything! I for sure don't know what I'm getting myself into here.

Where do I even start? As if life weren't challenging enough I had to go and adopt this "79 Frankenstein" monster. Is there no end to the things we do to ourselves? LOL!

Any and all input or advice would be greatly appreciated! Please check back frequently as I'm going to upload more pictures of the overall existing condition. I'm not sure how to deal with body rust. It has some really bad floor rot along the door openings.

Can anyone help me decipher this VIN? CCU169F166042 I'm pretty sure the "F"
is for Frankenstein! LOL!

Title says: year 1979 make CHEV body LL model C10 description SUB 2500

I'm confused about what is original and what is not. And also, how can it be a C10 and 2500 at the same time?

It currently has a manual tranny and 4x4 set up. I think SM465 and NP203.

Axles: 8 lugs, locking hubs, 10 bolts front and rear, 4:56 or lower? Top speed so far about 45mph. Tranny vibrates and rumbles going down the road, and it make a crackling sound when shifting gears. Top speed is about 45

Is it possible for 3/4 ton to mount under 1/2 ton leaf springs?

I'm thinking about getting a used SM465 (if that's really what is in it) and see if that helps it roll down the road any better so I can tell what else is going on?

I'm thinking this will be a logging road runner, but it needs the ability to cruise long distances at 60-70mph as well so I may need help understanding the NV4500 route.

So thankful for this great community,

Justabubn
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Old 02-12-2024, 10:16 AM   #2
raggedjim
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Re: 79 Frankenstein

I don't have any answers for you, just wanted to say nice starting point and good luck, Rg
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Old 02-12-2024, 11:28 AM   #3
justaburbn
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Re: 79 Frankenstein

Thanks, Rg! Drop by anytime... It's going to be interesting.

So many options, so little time, and time is money!
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Old 02-20-2024, 06:55 PM   #4
willem445
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Re: 79 Frankenstein

Looks like a really clean rig to start with. Rockers are really common to rust out, I'm in the process of repairing mine on my truck, so far not so bad.

As for the VIN: https://www.usa1industries.com/1973-...der-chart.html

Chevrolet
2 wheel drive
305 V8
10 (half ton)

Did the 9 and F get out of order? If I swap them
9 = 1979
F = assembled in Flint, MI

The 6 in the body type must mean suburban.

"Heavy Halfs" did exist but given yours came from the factory with a 305 and as a 2WD, which yours obviously is not anymore, i'd guess it might be frame swapped with a K20 (or maybe just axle swapped).

From what I can tell, the 203 shifter should look like this


205 looks like this:


I'd be somewhat surprised if your rear axle was actually an 8-lug 10 bolt. Usually the 3/4 ton axles were 14 bolt semi or full float rears. Dana 44 or 10 bolt in front is common though.

Hard to diagnose the transmission issue without experiencing it. The SM465 is only 3 speed but I can drive 65-70 without issue in 3rd gear.

I think the 1/2 ton springs are usually 2-3 leaf in rear from what I've seen. A 3/4 ton was commonly 3 spring in front and anywhere from 6-9 leafs in rear.

How does the engine run?

I would personally start with replacing every fluid, differentials, transmission, transfer case and engine. Inspect oil for metal.

From my experience, NV4500s are fairly difficult to come buy these days and if you do find one, expect to pay $1000-2000 for it.
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1980 Chevy K20 Farm Truck
1977 Chevy K20 (resto project)
1978 Chevy C20 (future project?)
1978 Chevy C10 (parts)
1975 Chevy C10 (parts)
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Old 02-21-2024, 01:53 PM   #5
justaburbn
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Re: 79 Frankenstein

This is exactly to type of input I've been hoping for willem445. I appreciate every bit of it. It's going to take me a minute to process this though.

This will help me get a better perspective on what all I'm dealing with. I won't be long gone soon.

Thanks very much, I'll catch ya on the flip flop!
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