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Old 01-13-2021, 11:55 AM   #1
72afr
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72afr's '72 Short Step

Hello all!

Long time member and C10 owner, but never posted a build thread. The younger and dumber version of me didn't think it was worthy of it's own thread and instead updated progress through sporadic pictures on the main forum. Dumb. Even dumber was a lack of pictures taken at the start of the build. Still kicking myself for that (although I have recently done the same thing on an '03 I refreshed, guess I'll never learn).

So, here we go on the much-delayed build thread as I try to recall and log what me and 68speedalert accomplished some 17ish years ago. I thought I could remember what we did (because teenagers know all), but alas, too much information has infiltrated this brain, so we're going on a rediscovery journey together. Welcome!

Without further ado, the truck is a 1972 C-10 Shortbed Stepside, that was purchased locally (and found via Ad Trader, which I think I still have around here somewhere). The owner at the time was buying and selling cars and this was one of a half dozen cars on his lot (so I don't actually consider him an owner, you're opinion may vary). He had just picked this truck up from sitting in a field for 10ish years (can't recall anymore, but it was a bit). The exterior had been painted a sort of construction yellow and the inside was an olive drab green. Power brakes, manual steering, 2wd, 350 4bl and the odometer reader about 51.5k miles. No radio, the bed had a metal sheet over the rotted boards, but it ran. Not well, but ran. All in all, it was pretty solid. Rusted corners, rockers, and lower front fenders, but not awful. At the time, my dad was driving his '68 fleetside and the condition was similar, so nothing really unexpected on first view. It appeared to be 100% factory aside from the paint and metal sheet in the bed, right down to the similarly painted hubcaps. Listed at 1500 and we took it home for 1250, for this 14 year old's first vehicle.

The plan was always to fix it up into a daily driver, and after letting it sit in the driveway for a bit, we got to tearing it apart. Cleaning the interior lead to a discovery of paperwork in the glovebox containing some intriguing information. Notably a pink order slip for the US ARMY and logs from it's time stationed in Ft. Leavenworth, then additional logs from it's time as a fire department truck in Northern MO. These logs (oil changes, services) took it almost right up to the mileage on the odometer. Pretty neat! Although the course of restoration was never intended to restore it to factory, I think back now about how sweet (and likely more expensive) it would've been to do that. I've kept the logs and use at car shows as well as the painted hubcaps and the ARMY required information that was installed on the glovebox and radio delete plate as well as the original SPID.

A local autobody shop was just starting and gave us a great deal on paint and bodywork that I never would've been able to afford elsewise at my young age, and all we had to do was strip it down for them to work on. After taking off the bed and stripping essentially everything that wasn't essential to drive it, we dropped it off at their shop. They sourced additional front fenders that were in better condition than mine and did an excellent job on the repairs and paint. So much so that after we got it back, we quickly determined it was a bit too much for a daily...

While the truck was at the body shop, we started sourcing new and used parts to get this looking great. Many a purchase from LMC, Manes and a swap meet or two and we were quickly stacking up parts for the undertaking. Once we got the cab and frame back (frame on the whole time), we started in on the replacing and fixing. I can't recall the exact order of things anymore, but we moved the tank to under the bed, painted the frame and firewall and header panel, undercoated the cab, new windshield, headlights, grille inner and outer, bumpers, mirrors, door handles, refurbed wheels found at a swap meet, power steering from a '67 (?), 14" sport steering wheel with a corvette cap, new carpet with matting, arm rests, deluxe markers, seat belts from an S10, glovebox, heater hoses and vents, etc. We took steel wool to bits we could salvage to make passable to save budget. Which should bring us to the first picture I have available... This was after about 2.5 years of ownership and on our way across town to fit the bed we had been working on separately.
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1972 Chevrolet C/10 shortbed, stepside, 350, HEI, Fire Engine Red, Black Interior, Former Army cargo transport
2003 Chevrolet 2500HD CC 6.0 4wd
2004 Jeep Rubicon some aftermarket stuff...
2006 GMC Yukon Denali (the wife's baby hauler)
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:28 PM   #2
1971Stepside
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

Another stepper! Another MO guy! Glad you started a thread. More pics!!
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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.

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Old 01-13-2021, 12:28 PM   #3
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

Follow up pictures to the same weekend. We took the truck over where we had been working on the bed boards, which were 3/4" black plastic we ripped down from a 4x8 sheet. I personally wanted a finished oak bed, but was ultimately talked out of it. A guy I worked with (owner of the '66 or '64) helped us test fit and later helped with the new rear window install. All new metal inside.
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1972 Chevrolet C/10 shortbed, stepside, 350, HEI, Fire Engine Red, Black Interior, Former Army cargo transport
2003 Chevrolet 2500HD CC 6.0 4wd
2004 Jeep Rubicon some aftermarket stuff...
2006 GMC Yukon Denali (the wife's baby hauler)
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:39 PM   #4
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

A short time later (maybe two months with other items being completed), we installed a 2.5"/3" lower kit from Mike McGaughy (rediscovered from an old post on here lol). Got the front and rears put on same day, but would wind up grinding away some of the lower A arm to accommodate. Our plan was to drive this to prom of this same year. This was mid-March with April 3rd being prom and a lot of work remaining.
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1972 Chevrolet C/10 shortbed, stepside, 350, HEI, Fire Engine Red, Black Interior, Former Army cargo transport
2003 Chevrolet 2500HD CC 6.0 4wd
2004 Jeep Rubicon some aftermarket stuff...
2006 GMC Yukon Denali (the wife's baby hauler)
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:51 PM   #5
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

Long nights of wrenching. We're down to two weeks until our deadline. We've brought the bed home and get it all mated up and installed. Still have a few odds and ends to cleanup. I believe we we're also trying to get the carb running correctly about this time. You can see, we also still have the factory exhaust hanging out in there. Being Missouri in 2004, this was also needing to pass emissions to get licensed, also not yet done with time flying.
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1972 Chevrolet C/10 shortbed, stepside, 350, HEI, Fire Engine Red, Black Interior, Former Army cargo transport
2003 Chevrolet 2500HD CC 6.0 4wd
2004 Jeep Rubicon some aftermarket stuff...
2006 GMC Yukon Denali (the wife's baby hauler)
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:00 PM   #6
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

One week after the bed is installed and we needed to get the filler for the bed tank figured out. We decided to cut out the rear marker lamp and go through there. The goal at the time was to eventually rig up a flip out door, but as of today, I still just unscrew the marker and fill it up. I'm glad our county finally got rid of the fume collectors that went over the fuel nozzels as getting that all through the little opening was a royal pain. Here we are on the first trip to the gas station and my actual first time driving it, in all my teenage glory. And also the guy who really made this whole thing possible. Down to a week until deadline and the wrenching continues...
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1972 Chevrolet C/10 shortbed, stepside, 350, HEI, Fire Engine Red, Black Interior, Former Army cargo transport
2003 Chevrolet 2500HD CC 6.0 4wd
2004 Jeep Rubicon some aftermarket stuff...
2006 GMC Yukon Denali (the wife's baby hauler)
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:16 PM   #7
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1971Stepside View Post
Another stepper! Another MO guy! Glad you started a thread. More pics!!
Thanks! I just ran through your build the other day. Man, what a ride! Your sub/speaker build inspired me to do the same. My truck came without any radio, so we threw some bookshelf speakers in the back, wired up some tweeters under the dash and threw in a old Sony knob radio. The plan now is to strip that out, put the delete plate back on and run a bluetooth amplifier to power new speakers. I have an older Kicker comp I'm thinking of repurposing for a similar setup to yours. Can't wait to see yours finished!
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1972 Chevrolet C/10 shortbed, stepside, 350, HEI, Fire Engine Red, Black Interior, Former Army cargo transport
2003 Chevrolet 2500HD CC 6.0 4wd
2004 Jeep Rubicon some aftermarket stuff...
2006 GMC Yukon Denali (the wife's baby hauler)
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:46 PM   #8
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

Looks great!
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Old 01-15-2021, 04:23 AM   #9
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

Excellent story and cool truck. Intrigued for the next chapter.
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:13 AM   #10
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

Late nights continue and deadline looming! All remaining pieces are bolted on and everything is getting buttoned up. Shortly after the last set of pictures, we dropped this off at the exhaust shop to strip out the old and put in new 2.5" duals out to corner exits. My dad's truck (yellow '68 that I was driving at the time) was running turbo mufflers, so I elected the same. Sounds great! Exhaust done. As I was still at school and working most evenings, some tasks needed assistance. We needed to get an emissions test done in the next town over on this prior to licensing, so my dad instructed my mom to "get this warmed up" before the testing. My mom, never to lose a stop light race, succeeded. Emissions passed with no issue. After a generous safety inspection glossing over a few minor incompletions, we're ready! Whew! After a thorough wash and gloss, we made it! One of the first times driving this truck was to my junior prom!
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1972 Chevrolet C/10 shortbed, stepside, 350, HEI, Fire Engine Red, Black Interior, Former Army cargo transport
2003 Chevrolet 2500HD CC 6.0 4wd
2004 Jeep Rubicon some aftermarket stuff...
2006 GMC Yukon Denali (the wife's baby hauler)

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Old 01-18-2021, 10:48 AM   #11
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

That's a sweet step side and a GREAT story to go along with it!
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Old 01-24-2021, 10:58 AM   #12
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

Nice ride and a great story.
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Old 01-24-2021, 02:45 PM   #13
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

Great looking truck~
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Old 01-25-2021, 06:31 PM   #14
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

Thanks everyone!

After we got it wrapped, I picked up a '90 Lumina which I used as my daily and kept the truck garaged. We had some success at local car shows, winning a few 1st's and 2nd's in our class. At one, a gentleman approached me and said he had a factory tach dash if I was interested. Boy was I! After Dr. frankensteining 3 dashes together, we got one complete with accurate mileage, etc. With the exception of a new vinyl seat cover, the truck has stayed in this condition for the last 15 years.
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1972 Chevrolet C/10 shortbed, stepside, 350, HEI, Fire Engine Red, Black Interior, Former Army cargo transport
2003 Chevrolet 2500HD CC 6.0 4wd
2004 Jeep Rubicon some aftermarket stuff...
2006 GMC Yukon Denali (the wife's baby hauler)
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Old 02-01-2021, 02:05 PM   #15
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

About a year later, I graduated and went on to college. The truck was stashed away and brought out occasionally. It did make a few appearances over the following years, though. Our wedding day driver, our first's six month photoshoot (man, he was a chunk), weekend cruiser, and a few times to work. At the time, I was working downtown with narrow spots or on-street parking with narrow streets. Not wanting to chance it getting hit, it mostly stayed home. Over the course of my ownership, it went from about 51.5k miles to about 54.9k, with the majority of that happening within the first year after getting it on the road.
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1972 Chevrolet C/10 shortbed, stepside, 350, HEI, Fire Engine Red, Black Interior, Former Army cargo transport
2003 Chevrolet 2500HD CC 6.0 4wd
2004 Jeep Rubicon some aftermarket stuff...
2006 GMC Yukon Denali (the wife's baby hauler)
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Old 02-01-2021, 11:13 PM   #16
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

"You gotta pump those up, those are rookie numbers"
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Old 02-08-2021, 12:29 PM   #17
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

As life goes, the truck was garaged and subsequently barricaded in by junk and a trailer. Having little ones that needed car seats for travel, further reduced the already low use for the truck. As such, it remained garaged and undriven, although covered. After an unfortunate incident with my floor jack handle, I replaced the inner grill in place, removing as little as possible. This proved a larger challenge than I remembered the original install being, but nevertheless I succeeded. About a month later I pushed it out of the garage to give the little ones a cruise around the neighborhood. I had typically pushed it out due to a little smoking at startup and wanted to keep that out of the house as the garage is attached. However, much to my dismay, the truck wouldn't run. It'd crank and try to fire, but never caught. Distraught, we pushed it back in the garage and that became the last time it was outside. July of 2018. After some diagnosing later, it seems either the gas has turned or the poly tank we used has started to disintegrate. When pumping into a container at the carb, a film is left inside the container that is ridiculously hard to get cleaned out. After sitting for another 2.5 years, I'm finally in a place where I can get this truck running again and build it the way the 14 year old wanted to but couldn't afford.
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1972 Chevrolet C/10 shortbed, stepside, 350, HEI, Fire Engine Red, Black Interior, Former Army cargo transport
2003 Chevrolet 2500HD CC 6.0 4wd
2004 Jeep Rubicon some aftermarket stuff...
2006 GMC Yukon Denali (the wife's baby hauler)
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Old 02-15-2021, 11:36 AM   #18
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

So, 2021 begins what I call "The Re-reawakening". Although, after seeing someone else on here name their thread "High School Reunion", that would've been a much better name. As I was essentially a kid when we redid this, I've dove head first into relearning everything we did back then as well as all the stuff I wanted to do back then but couldn't afford. My time now is much more limited than it was then, so it'll likely be a while before it's complete, but I also don't have all that much to redo, and also no pressing deadlines (except I've promised my oldest that it'll be running this year).

I've already ordered the replacement steel gas tank, sending unit, stainless fuel lines and fuel pump. The fuel pump is currently the last item I'm awaiting to arrive to begin that project (and also warmer weather for my unheated garage). I picked up a 4bl carb rebuilt kit from Cliff as well as his book on the same. I also picked up replacement fender emblems for the 8/350 originals that I had cleaned up. In addition, I picked up a new set of pedals with trim as I was still rocking the OEM base pedals that we're getting worn. The hazard switch was broken when I bought the truck, so I picked up a new switch from Manes as well as all new upper column parts (levers, indicators, etc) from LMC. I had used LMC extensively during the first rebuild, and only read recently of their quality issues around this forum. While, I've already sunk that money, I'll be sure to start looking harder at other suppliers as well. Other odds and ends include a new correct rubber grommet for the fuel tank (we left the OEM cap in place as we weren't sure about the relocation when the body work was being done), 90deg socket for the rear fender marker (we cut the old one and just ran without a rear marker on that side as it's pretty tight to the filler. I'd like it to light up like the others), and new dash bulbs. Apparently during our dash doctoring, we didn't save the fiber socket, of which I now have a full fiber line to connect to one. I tried to order one from Classic Chevy as they were the only one to have one listed, but alas the socket is too big. Looks like I'll be hitting the F/S threads. During the original redo, one of the dashes we used had red bulbs, so we transferred them to ours and painted the green plate white. Looking at it now, it's too much red and a bit tacky for my taste. New bulbs are currently going in.

Also looking into new tires. Two of the current ones were on the truck when I bought it and the other two were used gifts. Seeing as the tires are now likely 20 years old, I'm going to replace with a set of BFG Radial T/A (white letters out of course!). Been lurking around the forum looking for a good size and setup, and will probably go with 255/60/15 up front and 275/60/15 in the rear.

Before/after of the column rebuild. I think it cleans up nice!
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1972 Chevrolet C/10 shortbed, stepside, 350, HEI, Fire Engine Red, Black Interior, Former Army cargo transport
2003 Chevrolet 2500HD CC 6.0 4wd
2004 Jeep Rubicon some aftermarket stuff...
2006 GMC Yukon Denali (the wife's baby hauler)

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Old 02-15-2021, 09:02 PM   #19
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

Good Luck getting t/a's. Hard to come by if at all, and not cheap. Most have gone to cooper cobra's. Discount tire has very competitive prices. Good Luck on the refresh, glad you're getting 'er back on the road again!
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Old 02-16-2021, 10:28 AM   #20
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

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Good Luck getting t/a's. Hard to come by if at all, and not cheap. Most have gone to cooper cobra's. Discount tire has very competitive prices. Good Luck on the refresh, glad you're getting 'er back on the road again!
Interesting! I called the shop about 3 weeks ago to ask if they were having a rebate on BFG as I had learned on a different forum. Had them track down the sizes I wanted and quote them as well. They didn't indicate any issues with availability though. While the price was about 5-10% higher than what I thought, I didn't think they were too outrageous. In my John Hammond voice: "Spare no expense." In all serious though, these tires were always what I wanted to put on this truck, even 20 years ago, so I'm going to make it happen whether I like the price or not. I probably would've pulled the trigger on them right then, but I just dumped the same amount of money on a new AC compressor and brakes for my '03 daily.
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1972 Chevrolet C/10 shortbed, stepside, 350, HEI, Fire Engine Red, Black Interior, Former Army cargo transport
2003 Chevrolet 2500HD CC 6.0 4wd
2004 Jeep Rubicon some aftermarket stuff...
2006 GMC Yukon Denali (the wife's baby hauler)
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Old 02-18-2021, 02:33 AM   #21
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

I'm with ya, I've come up stone dry twice and gone cooper. Glad you found what you wanted.
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:48 PM   #22
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

Great story and beautiful truck.
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Old 02-19-2021, 05:06 PM   #23
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

Just placed my order for the BFG's. For what it's worth, they are currently offering a (small) rebate that expires today. I figured I was already going to order them, might as well get some money back on it.
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1972 Chevrolet C/10 shortbed, stepside, 350, HEI, Fire Engine Red, Black Interior, Former Army cargo transport
2003 Chevrolet 2500HD CC 6.0 4wd
2004 Jeep Rubicon some aftermarket stuff...
2006 GMC Yukon Denali (the wife's baby hauler)
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:55 AM   #24
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

Here's some fun stuff. I decided to go through the documents that were in the glove box when I bought the truck and figure out its original life.

While I'm not knowledgeable on ARMY forms, nor those from 50 years ago, I've roughly figured out what they are. Attached are the transfer and acceptance forms for when ARMY took ownership of the truck, with what I believe is 3 miles on the OD. It looks like it was shipped from a Dodge plant in Michigan, even though it was a STL build based on the VIN. From what I can tell, the ARMY was using a lot of Dodges at the time, so maybe this was a package deal for transport. Another set of attachments is the front and back of a service log, which takes it to August of 1980 with 37,159 miles. This was the only service log from the (I'm assuming) original book.

Finally is the form in which I believe it is was transferred for removal from the ARMY. As they use Julian dates on the forms, it's hard to tell if this is 1981 or 1991. The reason this is hard to tell is the only other document I have is an inspection sheet from April of 1992 (which I won't post as they are still in business and may not want their license # online?) where the truck had 37,923 miles on the OD and was under the ownership of the fire department. So there is roughly a 12 year gap with only 764 miles difference. Now, it's entirely possible the OD went around the horn during that time and is actually at 137,923, but the likelihood of it putting on just barely over 100k miles is extremely suspect. Also, given the tightness of the door hinges and the remainder of the truck not being worn out gives credence to the lower mileage. Given my dad has a '68 with about 170k+ miles on it, I have a good comparison although not foolproof.

I've tracked down the fire department and reached out to them to see if they have any documents or photos from when it was in their ownership, but have yet to hear anything back.

Feel free to chime in if you know anything about these forms!
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1972 Chevrolet C/10 shortbed, stepside, 350, HEI, Fire Engine Red, Black Interior, Former Army cargo transport
2003 Chevrolet 2500HD CC 6.0 4wd
2004 Jeep Rubicon some aftermarket stuff...
2006 GMC Yukon Denali (the wife's baby hauler)

Last edited by 72afr; 02-22-2021 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:42 AM   #25
1971Stepside
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Re: 72afr's '72 Short Step

These are very cool. Mine was also a St. Louis truck that went to Scott AFB and served for several years. I wish I had the documentation like you do. Hopefully, the fire station will contact you.
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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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