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Old 05-11-2020, 09:57 AM   #1
TrybalRage
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1985 C10 - LWB build

Figured I would start my own thread as a place to keep a record of my progress.

I purchased my C10 in 2014 in the NW Atlanta area. I'm the third owner, and brought it home for $1500 if memory serves. Cracked windshield, 305/TH350 with only two forward gears, sketchy brakes... drove it home

The good is that the only rust on the truck was and still is surface rust on the hood and roof. Zero underneath. Super solid truck. Title says exempt but I suspect that the 65k that showed on the odometer might just be real. Pics from when I brought it home:




Owners manual and some paperwork still in the glovebox. All jack accessories/tools under the hood intact. Score.

Had the transmission rebuilt and put new calipers/rotors/pads/drums/cylinders all around. Threw some new tires on it and started driving. At one point had a rebuilt quadrajet installed from Mountain Man carburetors and swapped out the dizzy for a Skip White HEI.

Since then, basically just drove it on occasion, it's been my 'pick up mulch' vehicle and that's really about it. Decided this year to finally get around to really fixing her up. I need it to still be a truck though, and do truck stuff (towing my boat, hauling stuff, etc) so that has been impacting some choices.
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1985 C10 Silverado LWB LS Swapped! Other Stuff

2010 Suburban 2500 LT 4WD
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Old 05-11-2020, 11:47 AM   #2
TrybalRage
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Re: 1985 C10 - LWB build

Earlier this year, had the rear upgraded from a 2.73 open diff to a 3.73 TruTrac.

As of this weekend, we've got a new heart being prepped to go in.



2001 (or 02) 5.3 LM7. Supposedly around 120k, found on FB marketplace from a local guy who sells a lot of copart/junkyard partouts. Also picked up a 2wd 4L60E at the same time. I know they don't have the greatest reputation, but I'm not planning on racing or beating on it, just driving and light towing (~3k lbs). So we'll see how long it lasts.



Plans are to leave it stock for now, just clean it up a bit. Going to attempt my own harness and thinking of getting hptuners to try and do the basic unlock/etc myself. I'm a nerd and tinkering/being able to make my own adjustments is really appealing.
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Old 02-27-2022, 07:36 AM   #3
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Re: 1985 C10 - LWB build

So I ended up putting all the LS swap related stuff in a separate thread in the engine subforum. https://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/...d.php?t=806095

This week was pretty busy on the next phase.



Belltech 3" drop spindles, flip kit, new 3/4 ton springs to cut down.

Not pictured, UMI rear shock extenders and a new Borgeson steering box.

I posted some pics elsewhere and had a bunch of people asking "why not just buy lowering springs". Scotty Baccus who runs the LS swapped squarebody page on Facebook lays out the case for this method.

Short version is: Modern vehicles have a spring rate of like 12-1300. Stock C10 springs have a rate of like 6-700. Aftermarket lowering springs for C10's also have a rate of 6-700, they're just shorter.
A C20 spring with a thicker coil wire (0.82" vs 0.78" for C10 spring) has a rate around 1200.
So in theory trying to match a modern spring rate for a better ride.

I don't know if that's all true but his advice has helped a ton on the other work I've done so I trust him enough to try it.
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Old 02-27-2022, 07:47 AM   #4
TrybalRage
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Re: 1985 C10 - LWB build

Before pic:


Pardon the half shiny look, I was testing some polish out trying to bring some shine to the original paint.

How to remove a bed with only two people:


Seriously that crane might be my greatest creation. I've used it for so many projects.

Flipped and notched:


If you look closely at that passenger side exhaust, it's real close to the axle. In fact, once the truck was on the ground it was making contact. So I had to cut off my less-than-two-year-old stainless pipe right behind the muffler. Hopefully the shop can bent it a little more and reattach it without too much trouble.

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Old 02-27-2022, 07:58 AM   #5
TrybalRage
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Re: 1985 C10 - LWB build

Drop spindle comparison:


Unfortunately during disassembly discovered that my drivers side wheel bearings were on their way out, so took it as an opportunity new put new ones in on both side.

Didn't take many pictures of tearing the front down. But then new hotness showed up from the big brown truck:




And after cutting 1 coil off the 3/4 ton springs and reassembly:
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Old 02-27-2022, 08:07 AM   #6
TrybalRage
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Re: 1985 C10 - LWB build

How to reinstall a bed with only 1 person:


And back together:


She's got a little bit of a squat which I don't like. Not sure if I want to cut the front down another 1/2 coil or maybe some 1" lift shackles in the back.

After a little spin to try and get the front to settle a bit:




I think over time the front may settle a little more so I'm kind of leaning toward a lift shackle at the moment.

A small issue discovered as well. UMI advertises that their shock extenders can be used with a flip kit and stock length shocks. Well that seems to be false.

Passenger side, compressed but still a ways to go:


Drivers side, almost fully compressed, only 1" of travel before bottoming out:
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Old 03-03-2022, 04:57 PM   #7
LT7A
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Re: 1985 C10 - LWB build

Clean truck. The paint is coming back nicely. You are doing nice work with high quality parts. You probably got about a 6 inch drop out of the axle flip, right? Those shock extenders look like maybe they come down three and a half or 4 inches? If you use lift shackles to level out the truck, you would also gain that much more shock travel. You probably thought of that, but seems like it might work well for you.
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Old 03-04-2022, 07:50 AM   #8
TrybalRage
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Re: 1985 C10 - LWB build

Quote:
Originally Posted by LT7A View Post
Clean truck. The paint is coming back nicely. You are doing nice work with high quality parts. You probably got about a 6 inch drop out of the axle flip, right? Those shock extenders look like maybe they come down three and a half or 4 inches? If you use lift shackles to level out the truck, you would also gain that much more shock travel. You probably thought of that, but seems like it might work well for you.
Thanks! Yes, I have 1" lift shackles on the way. Going to try them out and see where that puts me. I also thought about maybe trying to relocate the upper mounting point for that driver's side shock. Don't want to change the angle of it too much, though, or it won't do it's job effectively.

I have done a little internet shopping for some drop shocks, but I'd kind of like to be able to use factory length ones if at all possible. Plus these bilsteins are only like a year old, haha.

I've also noticed I've got a bit of chevy lean. I knew I had it before but it's just more noticeable to me now. Whole drivers side sits around 1" lower than the passenger. The 20 gallon tank on that side and the fact that I relocated the battery to that side probably isn't helping.

I've been pricing brand new leafs, I'm sure mine are worn out after almost 40 years. That might help both the height and the lean.
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Old 03-07-2022, 10:57 AM   #9
TrybalRage
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Re: 1985 C10 - LWB build

Did some work this weekend trying to sort out my stance and also try to address the lean.

Installed some 1" lift shackles in the rear, also swapped the leafs from side to side just in case one was worn out more than the other.

Before:


After:


Unfortunately this did not fix my lean.

Also cut a smidge more out of the fronts to try and get a rake. I'm at 1-1/2 coils out of the driver side, 2 full coils out of the passenger. Good news! The look is right where I want it to be! The lean is GONE except for 1/2" difference in the back!





The bad news! Its almost completely undriveable. So much rub in the front now over any kind of hump/bump. Also rubbing on the passenger inside lip on hard turns (passenger tire is closer to fender than drivers... weird). And it's so firm now that either my spring rate is a million or my shocks are bottoming out.

So now I'm stuck in indecision. Do I ditch my flip kit for shackles/hangers to raise it up to a driveable height (and new coils obviously). Or do I modify the inner fenders and trim...
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Old 03-20-2022, 08:29 PM   #10
TrybalRage
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Re: 1985 C10 - LWB build

Well, we started cutting.

Rub points:


Raised the upper 3 mounting holes about 3-3.5", wanted to keep the lower bolts and cab mount bolts in place. So I'm also planning on sectioning the inner fender and adding fill plates.

Before:


After:


Yeah, it's not great. I've never attempted anything like this before (that should be obvious) but I believe in learning by doing. Passenger side should go better.
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Old 03-29-2022, 08:11 AM   #11
TrybalRage
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Re: 1985 C10 - LWB build

After being away from it for a week, I think I'm just going to seam seal it and be on my way. Don't know if taking the time to weld/grind/weld/grind matters when no ones ever going to see it anyway.

Ordered some Eastwood brush-on seam sealer yesterday. I may actually just do the same for the inners when I cut them up. Was thinking of coating them inside and out with bedliner when they're done.
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Old 04-23-2022, 05:58 PM   #12
TrybalRage
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Re: 1985 C10 - LWB build

Sealed and primered.


Inner fender split into three pieces. Mocked up.




Stitched together with metal pieces cause I don't know how to form them.


Seam sealed in and out and painted.


Back in truck.


At some point I'll probably get some kind of inner filler panel to cover some of that up.

Also not pictured is modifying my battery tray so it's now parallel to the radiator support. With that tray in and a battery sitting in it can't even see the work I did from inside the engine bay (except for the primer overspray).
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Old 04-24-2022, 02:58 PM   #13
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Re: 1985 C10 - LWB build

I like that. Good job.
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