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Thread: 78 C10 - work budget race truck turned daily driver something or the other.....

  1. #1
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    Default 78 C10 - work budget race truck turned daily driver something or the other.....

    I have been posting random pictures of this truck here for a while, but never really documented the build itself here. The forum lately has been a bit slow compared to what I remember a few years ago. Perhaps this is my feeble attempt to get the blood flowing again... Along with the opener approaching soon, it might not be a bad idea to show what's really been done to this old girl.

    I will simply be copy/pasting this from my thread on 67-72 trucks.

    I bought the truck in june 2015, daily drove it alongside the buick until late February of 2016 when I started the LS swap.

    I was mostly into NBS trucks, however I started a project that never got off the ground and ended up in the junkyard. I found myself not only missing having a truck, but being in situations where I really needed one... the quest began.

    I'll be honest, the last thing I ever pictured myself owning was a square. I always had a hard on for the 67-72's (I do now own a 72... that's another tale for another time). Around here, those are few and far between, and you can expect to pay a small fortune for a write off.

    A friend of mine knew I was looking for a good work truck. He told me about a 78 c10 he had sitting on his parents farm. The price was right, $400.

    This was early june of 2015. I didn't even go look at it before buying it. I seen a couple pictures, couldn't be that bad right?



    Seeing it in person, it was very evident this truck had been sitting for many, many years. My friend didn't know much of the history, however he did know it had been sitting for at least 7 years. Last tag on the plate was 2001, and it had a 2001 eskimos grey cup champs sticker on the back window. Safe to say it had been a while since it seen the driveway... let alone drove down a highway... None the less, I aired up the 15 year old tires, topped up the engine with used motor oil, filled up the tank which ended up leaking, and got her running.

    It ran really good, surprisingly anyway. The hood wouldn't stay latched, had to use a few bungee's to hold it down. Realized I leaked all my gas out and sputtered to a stop... Got some more fuel and put it in the other tank which didn't leak.... Did make it home without much trouble after that.



    So I got it home, now the problems. Hood won't latch, gas tank leaks, exhaust is a write off, no passenger side window, tires are about to explode, interior is a mess... NO lights, NOT ONE, worked. To be honest... I almost for a minute had regretted the purchase.

    But like all things mechanical, you start to bond a bit with some work.




    After tracing wires, fixing rotten patches, and a good scrub, this was starting to feel like a nice truck. It looked like hell, but it ran good and drove straight... what more could a guy ask for.

    I didn't want to dedicate the funds at the time to a nice paint job. What's the next best thing? bed liner!!!





    Time to address the exhaust.... had some spare tubing and flowmasters sitting around... why not....





    Found some cheap 31's and nice gmc center caps to put on it.



    No shortage of work for her!



    The truck stayed in this condition since July, fast forward to Feb of 2016 I had put over 10,000 KM's on it without a problem. Looking deeper into it, I found out it's actually a heavy half, and came factory with AC and the 454. The 454 and ac were long gone, replaced with a 305. However... the TH400 remained.

    I had a 2002 silverado that was modded heavily... I parted it out mostly, but still had a ton of LS parts laying around. I also sold the rear diff, which part of the deal involved a low ish mile 5.3L. Now the ideas starting coming to mind.....



    It's all downhill from there... traded some stuff for go fast parts for the 5.3. Camshaft, flat tops, 799 heads, ls6 intake....



    Free harness



    My make shift garage... works for now..... shop one day.



    I am posting this now, however this is a longer process. I started this project back in feb of 2016, the last picture of this post. I will update this as the events unfolded, up until now. I will spread it out over a few posts however
    78 c-10

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    Any good project starts with taking the hood off... right?







    You know it's funny... I really had no reason to remove this 305. It ran great. I daily drove it for nearly a full Canadian summer and winter, never made a peep. However... some things just need to go. I ended up selling this to a fellow for $60, who was going to throw it in his daily driver. May the 305 live on....



    So, engine out of the way. At this point in the build, I had planned on re-using a lot of stuff. Well, everything actually. I got away with that to an extent, however some things perished.

    Painted some stuff....




    Pulled the trans and drive line. "rebuilt" the stock th400... well, no, just a paint job... but it looks rebuilt!!!

    78 c-10

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    With the drivetrain out of the way, I started on getting rid of the factory gas tanks for better plans.

    That was about as pleasant as one can imagine....



    Afterwards, decided to undercoat everything... why not I thought. Everyone looks underneath, right?





    So about those plans I mentioned....



    About this... I mentioned before I had an old 2002 silverado project then ended up in the junkyard. Well I had quite a surplus of fuel system goodies that were intended for that truck, however never quite made it there. At this point they were sitting in a box for 3 years, so it was time to make use of them.



    15g cell, -6 feed and return, all AN.

    Bought some tank straps and modified them a bit..







    Welded bolts to the bottom of one strap to mount the filters and pump

    pump is a walbro 255







    78 c-10

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    My motor mounts and trans spacer came in the mail, so it was time to start throwing the engine together.

    So, onward with this. Some specs on this engine;

    It's a 2004 5.3 with 110,000km. It came into my hands already stripped down to a short block. The original plan was just to throw a set of stock heads on and run it. However I traded some forged 6.0 pistons I was never going to use, for the following;
    Sealed power 4.8 flat top pistons
    Comp cams 223/231 .610 .617 112
    New lifters, comp pushrods
    ARP head studs
    Rebuilt 799 heads, with patriot gold double springs and trunion upgrade
    LS6 Intake manifold and throttle body

    That's the jyst of it. Should be a pretty stout engine! I'll be trying to mock up a set of 2002 truck headers as well.

    Funny thing is, the camshaft is the old camshaft from my old silverado. It has about 100k on it by now, and it lives on!

    I didn't change any bearings or rings in this build. I seen no need to. The cylinders were still showing the crosshatch. I'm sure I'll catch some flak, but I can bet I will sling a rod or destroy a piston before I have to worry about worn bearings.....

    Anyways, enough bull****ting.....















    And.. here she goes...



    Looks nice in there

    78 c-10

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    Stock th400 bolted up with new 3500 stall converter. Used a ebay spacer and drilled new holes for flexplate



    Modifying the alt bracket for ls6 manifold



    idler relocate



    Got a hold of my old pacesetter longtubes from my 02 silverado. They were $200, so I decided to give them a whirl. Turns out the pass side fits great, driver side, not so much... Had to notch the frame a little and do a bit of hammer work. Also modified the collecters a bit and welded in a 3rd o2 bung for wideband









    Decided to wrap them also





    After all that, started on the fuel system mockup. Ebay rails with stock truck inj on ls6 intake !



    78 c-10

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    Being with the Volvo/Mack truck brand, I get access to some neat things... These are transmission cooler lines from a Volvo VNL. They are -8 size, and extremely strong. Rigged them up with these russel fittings. They are going to run to a b&m 30k cooler.





    78 c-10

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    So around this time in the build, middle of may 2016, my daily driver was stolen. It was a 99 Buick regal GS with a long list of mods, including internal engine work. I did locate it the next day, however lots of damage. It would be written off later by insurance almost 2 months later. I robbed parts from it for the truck and then sold the body.



    At the time, I was pretty gummed up about it, but I kept working on the truck to keep myself distracted.....


    Time for the wiring... This is a 2001 6.0 truck harness. If I ever decide on a 80e, it's ready to go. For now.. just a th400.

    I used LT1swap.com for all my guides. It's pretty straight forward and I was able to get this done without too much trouble. This took place over the course of 1 weekend.

    Supplies....

















    78 c-10

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    So the wiring harness is now complete at this point. Roughly the end of may. The engine is in a mostly ready to run state minus a fuel return line. At the time I was in school, so funds were short to say the least...



    I had already however purchased all the replacement sheet metal I needed...

    What better time to rip apart the interior lol





    Some free 93 Burb seats I got. I was able to modify two sets of bench seat rails to make these work.



    Metal work...



    78 c-10

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    So now we're just in the beginning of june. A couple things happened that ultimately changed the direction of this build.

    The buick was written off, and now I was struggling to receive a decent payout. That's another story, in the end I got the car back for parts and also a fair chunk of money to dump into the truck....

    I had decided to make this truck my new daily driver as this point. This build was in the originally a low buck spare parts street cruiser build. Now we needed to change direction and go towards a bit comfier.... quieter.... etc. Well, let's try that I thought....

    Got lucky at the local pick n pull and found all my missing interior trim.



    Exhaust time!

    Plans for this are a cross over a some point, electric cut outs out the side, and tail pipes in the rear. Mufflers are flowmaster outlaws and Dynomax VT's welded open.









    Okay... So here's the other thing that happened.

    I had my makeshift garage set up in my parents driveway. My current living place had no area for such a thing, so it got set up there in the beginning.

    It stood for a long time with no real issues... however someone in the area wasn't happy anymore, and I got this in the mail.



    So, with the truck in pieces, it became a scramble to get this thing road worthy and move everything. I took a couple days to find a place where I could call home again, and the rush began. I was in school until the 19th, which didn't leave much time. I ended up calling and getting an extension to July 22.

    One could call it a blessing in disguise... At least that's what I call it now. While picking away at this thing, I got laid off on july 4th. I didn't like it there anyway... right.. well.. a little.. oh well, more time to get this on the road before the deadline and find a better job, what fun!!

    Let's continue....

    Power steering all setup



    robbed all the gauges from the buick



    Race drive shafts!! just kidding... more paint. New u joints at least!



    New rad, hoses, etc...



    Getting somewhere...



    78 c-10

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