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mgfoster
mgfoster Reader
5/2/22 3:22 p.m.

So I have had my 72 Cheyenne Long Bed for 2 years now, and I love it. By far my favorite body style, this truck is an all original southern truck that had 46,000 miles on it. Factory Air Cab, Power Disc brakes, posi-traction, still has original working AM radio, and a 13 year old Optima Yellow Top that still starts the truck on cold mornings. It is a time capsule, and I wanted to keep it that way.

When I first got the truck, it had obviously sat quite a bit, so I got the original quadrajet rebuilt locally. Added an HEI distributor, new plugs and wires, and the truck has driven me around fairly reliably for the past 2 years, minus a few parking lot clogged fuel filter changes caused by the rusty cab mounted gas tank. I added some ebay special 7" LED headlights which were an amazing upgrade, painted the wheels and got some cooper cobras, and here it sits.

The truck is just unpleasant enough to drive due to the smell, lack of overdrive, lack of power, and the typical downsides of a calibrated fuel squirter (carb), I find myself not wanting to drive it much farther than the local hardware store. But in order for it to leep filling a spot in my garage, it needs to be able to do all the tasks I need a truck to do. Tow a car long distances (2022 Challenge here I come!), get better than 7 mpg, and be easy enough that my soon to be wife can "daily drive" it (she works from home). 

You may have seen my thread on the LS swap conversion van or perhaps the LS swap 1953 Chevy 3100.... I think you can tell where this is going. 

I found this 2009 LY6 and 6l90e combo on facebook probably a year ago and convinced myself it was perfect for the truck. Non DOD, but VVT 6.0L truck motor, and the awesome heavy duty 6 speed trans, full wiring harness, ecu, all of it for $2k. I thought it was a steal so I jumped on it. After many, many months of research and contemplation, I did not want to do the required trans tunnel cutting on my virgin C10 in order to make this massive transmission fit. I listed it on facebook a few weeks ago with this exact picture, and it sold in less than 24 hours for $3k. Sweet, $1k added back in to C10 budget. 

After a bit more of facebook browsing, I stumbled across a 2004 Escalade with a 5.3 LM7 and a 2wd 4l60e. Odd combo for that gen escalades, but I'll take it. I was able to drive to this guys house, start the truck up, inspect it while running, put it into gear, etc.  Gave him a $100 deposit and came back the next weekend to pickup the drivetrain! So much more pleasant than pulling it yourself from a JY, and I got to know the condition of the engine. He also gave me fuse box, air box, coolant reservoir, radiator, driveshaft, ecu, harness, etc etc, all for $1800. Another decent deal I'd say. Unfortunately the truck did not like the weight and neither did the tires. 

 

Updates to follow!

ian sane
ian sane Dork
5/2/22 4:07 p.m.

Nice. My favorite body style truck.

mgfoster
mgfoster Reader
5/2/22 4:08 p.m.

Got the engine home, got it nice and pressure washed and decided to reseal it with a gasket kit I already had. I elected not to disassemble valve train and remove heads since I heard this thing run and it sounded perfect, perhaps a cam will come later. 

Engine looked to be well maintained with frequent oil changes based on the little to no sludge. 

Originally the 350 was painted solid Chevy orange after the long block was assembled, so I decided to do a bit of a tribute, but with the raw aluminum heads. Dupli Color Hi temp primer and engine enamel. laid down quite nicely

Cleaned and painted the rest of the accessories and got it put back together. 

Trans got a similar treatment, but I decided to not waste my time with paint. New filter, gasket, and output shaft seal. 

Accumulating qute a few parts, but I am especially excited to get the blazer tank installed and not have gas in the cab anymore. This is a late model squarebody blazer tank (88 I think) and has a baffled sump for an in tank pump. Ordered a factory fuel sending unit and swapped the pump for an amazon special efi pump. The included pumps are for low pressure TBI systems. 

Planning to do full 2.5in stainless echaust with an X pipe and those "Thrush Hush" mufflers. I'm hoping it will be nice and quiet. 

This past weekend I was able to have some wreck racing friends over to help me get the bed off for some slight rust repair and tail light modifications. 

Here's what I am shooting for... will be a stretch for my fabrication skills, but at least the worst that can happen is I buy a new bedside lol. 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/2/22 4:14 p.m.

Looks great so far!  

maschinenbau
maschinenbau UltraDork
5/2/22 6:02 p.m.

I like this. You're doing exactly what I should be doing to my '72 El Camino, but I'm too distracted with other projects. Watch out for scope creep!

759NRNG
759NRNG UberDork
5/2/22 8:19 p.m.

Love these, had a '71 long wheel base step side....350 ci and a granny 4spd.....carry on. The tail light filler is the bomb!!!

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
5/2/22 8:37 p.m.
maschinenbau said:

I like this. You're doing exactly what I should be doing to my '72 El Camino, but I'm too distracted with other projects. Watch out for scope creep!

What you should be doing with your '72 El Camino is selling it to me. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
5/2/22 8:38 p.m.

In reply to mgfoster :

That's an absolutely beautiful truck and I love what you're doing with it. 
 

mgfoster
mgfoster Reader
5/3/22 10:15 a.m.

Thanks all, should be pretty sweet when done. 

In reply to maschinenbau :

Scope creep is my middle name, its somewhat unavoidable. And you have some pretty damn good excuses, Lotus is looking sweet.

mgfoster
mgfoster Reader
5/3/22 10:25 a.m.

Stayed up way too late last night using a mix of metal cutting devices. Tried to be all surgeon like at first with my new Milwaukee die grinder. Went through 4 cut off disks, and got annoyed. Stepped up to 4 1//2 " angle grinder with cut off wheel but it was really too big to fit in the hole. Finally broke out the sawzall and just brutally hacked away at what I could from all directions. 

Heres what I started with, lots of inner structure for the stake pocket and such. 

 

Heres the boat filler neck I chose because it has an integrated vent and is flip up. The tail light hole is too small to deal with unscrewing a cap IMO. 

After some cutting and Test Fitting. 

 

Ultimately I decided to get rid of that bottom tab with the 2 bolts for the bedside. I don't think it was adding much at this point... and it opened up quite a bit more room. 

Going to buy a sheet metal brake from HF tonight and hopefully start fabbing the inner structure. But CHZWGN might take priority because I want to go to our local MB Cars and Coffee this weekend. 

golfduke
golfduke Dork
5/3/22 10:57 a.m.

following with interest... beautiful truck~ 

 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/3/22 11:24 a.m.

My dream truck,

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa PowerDork
5/3/22 12:19 p.m.

Love the idea of the hidden filler, however having it hinge down seems like a bad idea to me.

I've yet to see a fuel nozzle that doesn't leak at least a little bit of fuel when you remove it, and gods help you if you overfill it.

Leave it hinged at the bottom and I predict you will go through a ton of lenses, and probably wiring.

mgfoster
mgfoster Reader
5/3/22 1:24 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

You bring up a good point, no doubt. I hadn't really considered it as an option due to the clearance issues with fitting the pump handle into the neck. for sure would be impossible with the filler neck in the location in the pictures, but perhaps I could mount it more vertically, but towards the bottom of the tail light opening and make it work. The only other issue would the slope of the neck , bottom of the tail light is nearly level with the top of the gas tank, so there may be some filling issues if it was to be done that way.

mgfoster
mgfoster Reader
5/4/22 12:14 p.m.

Kinda lame update, no real progress last night. Put the fuel filler at 20,000 different angles and played with some CAD (cardboard) to see if what will work the best, and I think I have a game plan. 

Whats not lame are these $140 eBay C10 swap headers that came in. Stainless, V band, o2 bungs, and they seem to fit quite nicely other than some spark plug boot contact. 

maschinenbau
maschinenbau UltraDork
5/4/22 2:08 p.m.

Man...I should LS swap something. Beautiful clean-up job and those headers look incredible for the price. 

mgfoster
mgfoster Reader
5/5/22 9:04 a.m.

Had some time before it got dark to degrease and pressure wash the rear part of the frame. There was some thick piles of crud and road grime that were satisfying to remove. 

Also found the trailing arm bolts like finger tight..... I must've forgotten to torque after installing poly bushings. I hope this was the source of some of the rear end clunk I was getting. 

Spent the last part of the night accidentally cutting way too much rear spring in the wagon....

jfryjfry
jfryjfry SuperDork
5/5/22 9:10 a.m.

Looks just about perfect though!

ian sane
ian sane Dork
5/5/22 10:31 a.m.

Those wheels looks amazing on the wagon.

SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/5/22 10:39 a.m.

Looks like that wagon needs another happy little accident on the front springs (grin).

On the C10 - move the lower control arms forward 3/4". This improves caster and road feel, merely drilling a new hole for the locating pin.

Swaybars front and rear.

You doing AC? I don't know if you will need to, but I had to notch the frame to fit the factory low-mount compressor.  Well, notched enough that I can remove it if need be, without having to pull the whole motor.

Cool truck!

mgfoster
mgfoster Reader
5/5/22 11:28 a.m.

In reply to SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) :

I considered the front spring cutting, very seriously. gonna raise the hydraulics on the rear about an inch and see how it rides. 

I am not familiar enough with the front control arm mounting to envision how that would work, but you make it sound quite easy. I could imagine how much better some extra caster would make the truck drive. 

As for AC, I am going to do vintage air at some point. I think they have a high mount factory style location option. Trying my best to not cut the frame. 

mgfoster
mgfoster Reader
5/8/22 8:11 p.m.
Mr_Asa said:

Love the idea of the hidden filler, however having it hinge down seems like a bad idea to me.

I've yet to see a fuel nozzle that doesn't leak at least a little bit of fuel when you remove it, and gods help you if you overfill it.

Leave it hinged at the bottom and I predict you will go through a ton of lenses, and probably wiring.

Don't have time for a proper update, but I'll leave this here. https://youtube.com/shorts/M-RFugjdqXM?feature=share

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa PowerDork
5/8/22 8:41 p.m.

In reply to mgfoster :

berkeley yeah, man!  Looks good!

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
5/8/22 9:17 p.m.

I happen to own a 2021 GM single cab 8'bed truck and I can tell you yours is already way better than mine is. 

jfryjfry
jfryjfry SuperDork
5/9/22 8:53 a.m.

That looks great!  And with it too hinged, it can't vibrate loose and fall down

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