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Old 01-20-2011, 12:53 AM   #1
Nova_Cobra64
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Out of boredom....

I don't know if I can really consider this to be at project status yet. It is a work in progress anyway, and I can assure you it is going to be a long project.

I have always had a rebuild of the truck in the back of my mind for years, with nowhere to start on it. My life has changed a fair bit in the past year. This summer I completed building a 26x34' garage, it took me over a year from start to finish. It was tough to find the time to get anything done as I was working 6.5 hours from home (15 on 6 off) and had worked the last 3 winters straight through. This summer I requested a transfer to a station closer to home, and am now working only 2 hours away and no need to work the entire winter without getting home. It turned out to be a good move, I am making more and home a lot more as well. The only issue is I found myself bored once winter hit. So a couple weeks back I was in the middle of one of my boring trips back to the shop after a long day in the oilfield, thinking about how I was going to spend my days off. And suddenly it hit me, I could pull the engine out of the truck for something to do and see where that leads me. No other plans came up between then and the start of my days off, so I bought an engine leveller and stand and borrowed an engine crane and decided to go for it.

It might seem a bit odd, but the hardest part was getting the damn thing started and into the garage. I parked it in my back yard at the start of winter. I figured with my dad living in my house and paying the heating bills, it would be rude not to let him park in the garage all winter since he was paying for the heat. Between the lack of block heater and choke, and the fact that the truck had sat for the last 3 months, getting it started in -20c was a real PITA. After my second day of working at it, I got it going after pulling and cleaning the plugs and dipping them in gas. And then getting it out of the snow was a whole lot of fun too. I had to use my 04 Silverado to pull it 10 feet out of the snowbank it was parked it. And from that point I got stuck backing into the alley, the truck just didn't have enough weight in the back to get traction going slightly up hill. But I eventually won and got it inside to thaw for a few hours before I went to work.

Pulling the engine went well. Aside from a broken screwdriver and a racheting 9/16 wrench that decided to lock up the first time I used it (and every fricken bolt seemed to be 9/16), the engine pull went quick and smooth. I decided to get a little more carried away and decided to pull the racing seats out (didn't really care for them, I think I will make them into computer chairs instead), as well as the shifter, stereo and door panels (I figure I can work on doing some custom panels over winter).

My prior thoughts on the engine was to leave the bottom end intact and put in a roller cam, some aluminum heads and a better carb just to squeeze a few more horsepower out of it. I took the oilpan off to have a brief peek. The bottom end still looks to be in good shape. I was surprised to still see crosshatching in the cylinders. The PO's claims of the bottom end being balanced and blueprinted look to be true based on the obvious work done on the connecting rods. The pistons appear to be Zollner Z8222 pistons (now marketed as Sivolite #1470 from what I've found). Based on the specs I find it unlikely that the engine was 10:1 compression as I've been told. Unless there was extensive machining done to the 441 heads, I don't see the CR being over 9:1. In the end this may open up my head selection a bit as I figured if the engine was currently at 10:1 with 76cc heads I likely wasn't going to be able to go much smaller as I don't want to push the compression too high. I am going to pick up some supplies before my next days off to try and figure out what the compression ratio is and then consult some of out engine-wise members on what route they suggest going. I've got my fingers crossed that the cylinders look as nice up top as they did at the bottom of the bore. But who knows, this thing could end up being reassembled and stored in the corner of the garage yet, my dad keeps pestering me about the GMPP 480hp LS3 that he has sitting at work that they are eager to get rid of (customer is a no show).

As for the rest of the truck, it is pretty up in the air yet. Both doors are in really rough shape and are not reusable. There is a bit of rust in the LH inner fenderwell. The box is decent overall, but will need some attention over the shaved tailgate work. The box cover will be coming off and I intend to replace the tail lights with something that looks a bit cleaner. I want to do shaved door handles and 1 piece windows. The cab is still pretty solid but I do want to clean up the welds from the replacement panels the PO put in. There is some major roof work needed, I cleaned it up a few years back just so the peeling bondo didn't look so bad. I plan on going with a manual overdrive tranny, likely TKO600. I am going to keep the 4.11 and posi but swap it into the 5 lug rear from my parts truck while converting to rear disc using Captainfab's brackets. Naturally the front end will get swapped to 5 lug disc as well. Ideally I'm hoping the body work can be done off the frame so I can strip it down and paint it. The interior will get some procar lowback seats, and a custom consol/sub box as I intend on putting a fuel cell in the box. The paint is still up in the air, I am leaning towards attempting a matte paint job myself. The color will depend on the overall look I go for which is going to depend on if I switch to the 67/68 Chev front end or do some custom work to the GMC grille. But I'm sure that is a long ways away.

Here are a couple pictures of what I accomplished prior to pushing the truck back out into the miserable cold, as well as some pictures of the roof issues. http://www.flickr.com/photos/1711832...7625864888014/
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:54 AM   #2
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Re: Out of boredom....

wwwwwwwwwwwwwwoooooooooooowwwwwwwwwww that was a long write up!
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:01 AM   #3
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Re: Out of boredom....

Lol, yep. Figured I would get all that out there right off the bat, not much to be known about it beyond all that. And besides, I figured I would be posting all the pictures in the post to balance things out a bit, not realizing the picture size limit. I had to post them on flickr instead and now that measly little link looks so insignificant compared to all my ramblings.
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:03 AM   #4
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Re: Out of boredom....

that si good you should find a pic of what you want the truck to look like
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:50 PM   #5
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Re: Out of boredom....

Well I'm back on days off. I've made some small progress on the engine teardown, and some major progress on project direction.

I've got the engine torn down to the bottom end. Pistons are actually z8222a4. Cam cannot be identified. Engine bore looks to be in amazing shape. Pictures have been added to my flickr (link posted above). Based on what I was hoping to do, which was leave the bottom end as is, I think options were going to be limited based on the pistons that were in there. Specs I've found show them to be 1.544" compression height. I measured them to be sitting .035 below deck height and from what I've read, quench vs compression ratio could be a major factor in where I go from here. Changing the pistons may have been an option given how clean the cylinders look.

At any rate, the engine is getting cleaned up and painted, going back together as is and being tossed into the corner of the garage for who knows what in the future. I will now be joining the LSx club with the LS3 I mentioned in my original post. The deal is far too good to pass up. As it stands right now I am going to start sourcing the necessary parts for the engine install and also start working towards getting a TKO or T-56 setup. I am hoping to get the truck operational by summer to test out the drivetrain and give me some more time to think on where the rest of the project will take me. The body off work will start taking place late next fall.
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:17 PM   #6
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Re: Out of boredom....

looks like a great start! I understand your boredom issue. I went back to school full time and started a 2wd lwb to swb 4x4 build just to keep me busy during time off. I like the direction you are heading with the lsx build as I have wished the ls1 in my camaro would slip into my 71 a few times.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:59 PM   #7
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Re: Out of boredom....

Well this has taken a change of direction in a hurry. To say the least, it is officially a project now.

I was hoping to have time during my 15 days at work to get the fuel system all sorted out and ordered as well as a transmission setup and a few other odds and ends. I hardly found time to sleep, as my 15 day shift ended up totalling 195 hours. I had one short day, and lucky me, my daily driver was lucky enough to be raped by a whole bunch of shingles that blew off a roof from a new apartment building going up across from ours (pictures on my flickr). So I spent most of my spare time doing a police report, starting insurance claim, taking pictures, ect. Anyway, the whole point here is between my lack of time and parts suppliers who don't respond to quote requests, I'm not anywhere close to where I wanted to be as far as ordering parts.

I went into days off with absolutely no clue of what I could possibly work on, and further to that no real ambition to work......I was simply too burnt out. It took me a couple days to re-energize, and in the meantime I finished assembling and painting the SBC so I could tuck it away into the corner of the garage and get it out of the way so some real work could start.

At some point in my first couple days off I decided that with the issues I've had lining up parts, it would be best to change my direction so I could spend my time doing things that don't require parts. So what was to just start as an engine/tranny swap this year has turned into a full blown frame off build. I pushed it down to the wire (even considering the extra day off I took to have the damage to my truck assessed) but I managed to get the body off and the garage cleaned up just in time to head back to work. I pulled the body off with nothing more than a floor jack, jackall, a couple of 10' 4x4 posts and some home made wooden blocks. It was like a bloody chess match but I got it done (and from now on will use an engine hoist).

I have a few ideas in my head so far with regards to custom work. I'm not going to say much right now until I can draw some stuff up and decide on specifics. I am definately going to paint the truck myself, and am about 90% certain it is going to be a matte job, possibly 2 tone. I would have liked to get the body professionally done but I want to say it was entirely my doing when it is finished.

For the truck itself, there is some good, bad, and ugly.

Good: The frame looks relatively clean, straight, and solid. Aside from small bubble rust on the front of the fenders they have no hidden issues. The windshield opening is far better than expected, it looks like the PO cleaned it up when he did the paint. The cab overall doesn't look like it will need that much attention.

Bad: I was expecting the box to be easy to deal with, but as it turns out a bit more filler was used on the tailgate than expected. I peeled a piece off and it looks about 1/8" thick. It is going to take a lot of patience to get it looking smooth with that much filler, but the PO did it, so I can sure as heck do it too.

Ugly: The doors, as expected. I might actually be able to salvage the drivers door but it will still need the lower half replaced. And the ugliest of all....I set the bed down on my wooden supports, nice and low to the ground and think "damn I like that look". So now I have to fight the urge to bag it.

I've uploaded pictures of my current progress to the flickr link in the original post.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:10 AM   #8
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Re: Out of boredom....

Holy smokes, If you work on that truck as well as you type it will surely be a very nice truck! Cant wait to see more pics!
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:55 PM   #9
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Re: Out of boredom....

someone was in love with bondo,, good luck..
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:38 PM   #10
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Re: Out of boredom....

looking forward to the next update....and some pictures
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:02 AM   #11
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Re: Out of boredom....

Despite not having much to report, I wouldn't feel right going back to work without posting something. I didn't really accomplish much this time around. Tore the entire frame right down and had a good look over everything. I didn't bother posting pictures on my Flickr, largely because there isn't much to see but a frame in a thousand pieces. The cross shafts on the passenger side were pretty seized up. I found the cab mounts on the passenger side to be in rough shape. The trailing arms are beat to hell.

The last week was more about spending money than getting stuff done. Bought a new laptop. Picked up some argon/co2 blend for the mig. Found a good deal on a larger air compressor. Ordered a Devilbiss Finishline 3 and regulator/filter assembly. And I capped it all off with a $3000 order from Jegs this evening (front drive accessories, procar seats, moroso adapter plates, fuel system, fuel cell). I'm still waiting on info for a vintage air setup as well as a shipping quote from Brothers for some misc items as well as a power brake conversion, one piece windows and sway bar. I'm becoming a little disappointed with Keisler right now, I've contacted them 3 times over the past couple months and have only got one reply stating that they would get me a quote within 2 business days, and that was a month ago. With as popular as the RS transmissions have been I really hope to get one by fall.

I've set some time based goals. I'd like to have the frame painted, with the engine and tranny mounted, fuel system plumbed in, suspension and brakes set up by late fall. At which point I will hopefully get it out of the garage (no idea where I will put it at that point). I want the cab (and possibly box) sandblasted by late fall (before it snows). That gives me the winter to do the body work. Hopefully paint and final assembly by mid summer, and a couple months to drive it before the snow flies.

Next set of days off I plan to strip the spindles, rotors, calipers and differential out of the parts truck. Hopefully I can get somebody lined up to sandblast the frame. If time allows I hope to start tearing the diffs apart so I can put the 4.11 and posi carrier into the 5 bolt rear end. I plan to build some trailing arms of my own, so I may start on that as well.
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:35 PM   #12
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Re: Out of boredom....

Its not much, but here's what I have to report:

- Got all my stuff in from Jegs. I'm really diggin' the Procar lowback seats....wish I got them a long time ago instead of the crappy racing seats. The Derale fan seems super heavy duty. And the rest......its just fuel system parts, bushings, mounts, nothing terribly exciting.

- My dad ordered me all new steering related parts as well as some Dupont Nason epoxy primer. I also found the Tremclad hammered finish paint I am going to use on the frame. The frame will be black and the coil springs, track bar, brake rotors, ect will be silver.

- I was hoping to have the frame blasted during my days off but that fell through. My mom's boyfriend is going to try and get it done for me right before I get home from work.

- I tore the front end stuff off my parts truck. Blasted the spindles and rotors, need to get the rotors turned yet.

- I was hoping to get epoxy on all the stuff I had sandblasted. But once I got closer to having the control arms done I started noticing they had some funky bends to them. The ones on the parts truck were flawless but really rusty, so I brought them to work with me to clean up and put the epoxy on hold.....might as well do it all when I do the frame, the stuff is bloody expensive and I don't want to waste too much.

- I decided that with it being a slow spring breakup in the oil patch I will start using my time to break out the airbrush I bought 5 years ago and learn to use it finally. I'm going to work on the basic techniques a bit this weekend and have ordered a bunch of paint and stencils. Ultimately I'd like to get good at doing real fire, skulls and whatnot as I think there are places I could put it to use on the project.

- And today was super exciting, I finally got my transmission ordered. I got in contact with Hurst Drivelines earlier this week and discussed the various options in depth with their tech guy Jim. Super guy to deal with and has no problem spending an hour on the phone to make sure their customers are making a well educated decision on what they want. I was more than happy to give them my business. I honestly didn't even expect them to respond to my quote request as I had gotten a quote from them last year for a tko before I started rethinking the project's direction. The other 2 places I tried never responded to my requests. Keisler really shocked me since they seem to have all the time in the world to hit all the forums hyping their RS transmission and defending their reputation but couldn't find the time to answer any of my 6 quote requests.

Anyway, the transmission thing kind of snowballed itself just like the rest of it. I was torn on the TKO600 and mechanical (cheapest) or T56 and hydraulic. My dad figured TKO and hydraulic, put the extra $500 to something else. I figured if I'm going to spend extra for hydraulic I might as well just get the T56 and not look back. So I called Jim back today during lunch and ordered the T56 Magnum with the 2.66 first and .63 overdrive.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:53 PM   #13
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Re: Out of boredom....

sounds like a great build I'm curious about your Procar seats. which ones are they? The Rally 1000's?
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:42 PM   #14
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Re: Out of boredom....

The seats I opted for are the lowbacks....series 1400. They look almost period correct for these trucks. The 1000 series look like pretty nice seats as well.
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:55 PM   #15
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Re: Out of boredom....

My days off are coming to an end and I've made some good progress, seeing some of this stuff start coming together is really getting me pumped up.

My mom's fiancee took the frame to be sandblasted on Wednesday. I got off that afternoon and made the trek home and went with him to pick it up. I spent that evening fixing a couple minor issues and then Thursday prepping and setting everything up for epoxy. Friday was my first time spraying anything with an actual spray gun and it was a tad stressful. I misunderstood the packing nut adjustment and kept leaking epoxy everywhere when I was trying to set the gun up. I got that figured out and laid out a couple good coats on everything.

I spent Friday night painting the frame and Saturday on the control arms, springs, crossmember and brake shields. I'm using Tremclad Hammered paint in silver and black for a good contrast. The black is looking almost charcoal but I like it. This stuff goes on really heavy, if you use it I'd recommend a roller for any large smooth areas to help with the texture. It's also good to keep adding some thinner too.

I spent some time starting to tear the 6 lug diff apart so I can swap the posi and gears into the 5 lug unit from the parts truck. I was hoping to get it out this time around but we got a terrible snow storm Friday night and I didn't care to play in mud getting it out.

That was about the end of my progress this time around. I was a tad ancy to start putting parts on the frame but decided to be patient and let it cure good.

My transmission arrived on Friday, and I had the engine dropped off today. I welded up a frame with some casters that I plan to assemble the engine and tranny on for the time being.

I'm taking a pile of parts back to work with me to paint after hours to kill some time. It should help me get ahead a bit too. As it stands right now I think I am ahead of schedual on the frame and have my fingers crossed that I can have most of it done by mid-summer.

My plans for next trip home are:

- Swap engine oil pan out
- Put engine and tranny together
- Assemble the front end
- Set engine/tranny on the frame
- Put new seals in the power steering gear, paint and mount it
- Pull diff and trailing arms out of the parts truck
- Start swapping diff parts
- Depending on time work on insatalling the serpentine setup and running fuel lines

Edit: Forgot to mention that I have uploaded some pictures of the frame to my flickr!

Here is a shot of the engine and tranny. I think it was love at first sight......here's to the start of what will hopefully be a long and happy relationship............
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:58 PM   #16
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Re: Out of boredom....

WOW.....i think i am in love also......
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:53 AM   #17
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Re: Out of boredom....

I made some progress but am taking a two day break to go down to Minot to check out Menards with my dad. Got the control arms, spindles, rotors, brakes on. I had to do a bit of welding on one of the locating tabs for the lower control arm on the drivers side, it was a tad worn and not grabbing good enough for my liking. I plan to get the rest of the steering system on yet before Tuesday.

The break from working on the truck came at a good time as last night stressed me out a bit. I had to pull the exhaust manifolds off to put the swap plates on. I wanted to test fit the engine before changing to the other oil pan just to be sure the stock vette pan wouldn't work. If it was mounted a few inches back it would probably work. It also looks like I'll have clearance issues with the manifolds so I pulled them back off and decided to swap pans out and set the engine in to see what direction to go with the exhaust. I pulled the oil pickup tube out and noticed that during assembly the o-ring was damaged, so there is a half inch chunk of o-ring in the engine somewhere. I'm going to cut the oil filter open when I get back home and hope it is in there. Otherwise I think I'll be pulling the front cover off to see if it is in there as it appears to be the most likely spot.

I still hope to get the engine set in yet and figure our what the best solution for my exhaust issue will be so I can order parts for next set of days off
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:12 PM   #18
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Re: Out of boredom....

Im in love with that combo also wow.....
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:58 AM   #19
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Re: Out of boredom....

Im doing the same to mine here in the near future! Subscribed to this...
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:35 PM   #20
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Re: Out of boredom....

Cool!

Hopefully I can post a decent update by the end of September. As of right now most of the drive train is set up. Still have to get the rear discs on and have a driveshaft made but I plan to wait until the body is on to do that.

I've got almost the whole month of September off and only have one week booked up for my brothers wedding out in PEI. I'm hoping to get the brakes and hoses set up and then start on blasting and doing sheetmetal work on the cab. My goal is to get epoxy on it by time I go back to work. It is a bit of a lofty goal as I have some landscaping to finish and I might need some time to relax as work has been a bit stressful lately.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:06 PM   #21
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Re: Out of boredom....

Time for an update of excuses and promises of more frequent updates in the future

September got off to a lousy start and set the stage for what had been a very unproductive 3 months. On my second day of holidays I managed to strain/tear cartilage in my knee. Walking was extremely painful and it really killed my motivation to get anything done. I healed up just in time to go back to work. I used my days off after that to finally get a dual sport bike (WR250R), and finished landscaping my yard. More importantly, I started getting really fed up with work, so I quit and moved home. Of course I made sure I had a job lined up first, I managed to get on with a large potash mining company. I had a 5 year plan when I started in the oilfield, I got my job offer 1 day after my 5 year anniversary with the company, kind of felt like the stars aligned for me. Being home again will hopefully lead to more progress on the truck, the only downfall is I can no longer ship stuff to the border and just go for a short drive from work to get it. As of right now I am working on a 9/80 schedule, but am hoping I can get into a job with the 5/5/4 rotation as I would work longer days but end up with significantly more days off. I still really want to have the truck on the road by the end of next year.

I did a bit of cleaning and wrapped the chassis up to protect it from dust and decided I need to get the ball rolling on body work. I started on shaving the firewall this weekend as I figured it would be the best practice piece as I had never welded steel this thin before.

Short term projects:
-Finish shaving firewall.
-Shave fuel filler.
-Replace door bottom inners and install new skins (still waiting on a replacement as one was damaged in shipping).
-Install new rockers, cab corners, cab supports, and LH outer floor.
-Patch a few ugly spots on the floor.
-Start building seat brackets.
-Figure out everything I need to order yet and get it coming.

Stuff still left to do on chassis:
-Brake lines.
-Install front sway bar.
-Driveshaft.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:26 PM   #22
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Re: Out of boredom....

Would it be to much to ask, to have the ProCar Lowback Series 1400 seats set in the cab, and post a picture of it. I think I'm going to buy these as well, but want to see where the top back of the seat is going to sit with the back window.

I would like the seat to be within a 1" to 1.5" on either top or bottom of the back window.

I would be greatful for a picture of the seats in the cab.

Thank you for your time and efforts
Jace
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:40 AM   #23
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Re: Out of boredom....

I can certainly do that either Friday or on the weekend at the latest. I need to take measurements to build brackets anyway.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:52 AM   #24
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Re: Out of boredom....

Oh no....where did you end up on this
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:50 AM   #25
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Re: Out of boredom....

Still a long way from done. Started on metal work and got burnt out. I wasn't expecting it to get so extensive, and finding 3/8 inch of filler inside the cab covering up previous hack jobs has only made it more fun. I've got both doors skinned and about 90% of the floor, rocker and cab corner work done on the passenger side. Started modifying the trans hump thinking it would be an easy project to help get my motivation back but it is still slow going. I keep telling myself I am going to put more time in and it just never happens. I guess is a weird way the new job it sort of to blame. I'm enjoying having a normal life again and spending more time on other hobbies..... fishing, photography, skiing, working out. Also adopted a deaf pitbull, she demands a ton of attention and is an absolute blast to have around.

I plan on getting back at it again soon, but it's not the first time I've said that......
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