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Patrick MegaDork
12/25/17 4:01 p.m.

Like Andrew and Calvin on the X bomb, I'm going to start from the beginning and throw up a little update here and there until we get to present time.  I haven't kept exact dates like those two do, and photobucket has ruined several of the early on pictures that I had dumped there before the whole TOS hostage situation where they screwed half the world.


I'm not much for build threads, and I've kept this project under wraps.  Those who know about it, you shut your mouths until I get to that part.  I however, need some motivation.  I am recovering from pneumonia and instead of getting the car put back in the garage and being extremely productive last week I spent 8 days in bed, multiple trips to the doctor, lots of medication, burned through a whole inhaler of albuterol, and am just now feeling around 75%.  Still can't go outside in the cold for more than a minute before I have breathing problems.  So i'm sitting in my bed staring out the window at the car that's supposed to be inside the garage being worked on for the $2018 Challenge.  I hope to get it inside this week and thaw it out so I can start getting things ready to run.  Of course, real life has hit and before I can do that, I have to cut the main drain line to the septic tank, install a cleanout because the person who plumbed it initially could not be bothered, and snake it because it's slowed to a crawl.  

Build log day 1.  February 2 2017

This story starts before Feb 2nd actually.  Back in 2016 Stampie acquired a $300 1985 S10 for me, affectionately named MacNasty.  I told him I'd pick it up when I could and he, being an enabler to automotive shenanigans, pushed it into his yard.  I needed another reason to drag my trailer 900+ miles to Jacksonville.  Similar time to MacNasty's purchase, I had bought an International Travelall locally for $900.  I wanted an older cruiser to replace the Rambler that was gone.  In reality I probably just have a problem and need professional help.  I didn't fall in love with it, and decided to post it here for sale on the forum.  Jeremy(pimpm3) called me on it, and we came to an agreement on price and I told him I could deliver it since I needed to pick up MacNasty from Stampie.  Perfection achieved, no empty trailer.  Fast forward to winter and Jeremy has his wrecked C5, a c5 parts car, and I'm thinking mid engine S10. 

I called Jeremy at that point and asked about the c5 transmission and differential, to which he replied  we should make a deal on the entire rolling leftovers.  Excellent, except not excellent.  I have a single car trailer.  Maths were done on the wheelbases of the S10 and the c5, and part of an old truck flatbed was used to add over 4 feet to my 18' car trailer.  the deck is now 22' 6" and all the work was done outside, in northeast Ohio, in January, alone.  One may consider me insane at this point.  Fast forward to February 1st after the whole disappearing Chevelle goose chase that Dusterbd13 and I went on in North Carolina the week prior.  International loaded, I hit the road at 9am and make it to Jacksonville at 10pm.  

February 2nd.  Met Stampie at Jeremy's buddy's car dealer back lot.  Drop international, slide a pair of god awful heavy 14 bolt GM axles from my trailer to Stampie's, and load S10.  Meet Jeremy at this bomb seaside fish place for lunch and follow his unmarked cop car to his place.  I brought the wheels from my old C4 to roll the c5 on, and I believe we popped the doors and rear hatch off so Jeremy could sell them.  I fashioned a steering rack out of a pair of ratchet straps and we got to the trailer.  This is where it got fun, maybe one of those guys has pictures of this.

S10 is too low in back, and has a giant I beam bumper.  First step remove bumper.  2nd step deflate front tires, strap truck as hard forward as possible, jack up rear end and put ramps under rear tires.  Winch c5 up.  front frame cross bar is hitting the S10 leaf springs and won't do.  Stretch out cords, Jeremy brings out grinder and sawzall and I chop the c5 frame just forward of the subframe mount.  pull forward more, but now it's hitting the leaf springs farther down the line.  rear tires still on ramps.  Last idea, pull front tires off c5 and drop the rotors right onto the trailer deck.  Winch forward, and the rotors stop at the ramps holding the S10 rear tires, C5 rear tires completely on trailer.  Great Success.  

Hit the highway, start wagging at 58mph.  Locate nearest Lowes en route, buy 750# of landscape gravel bags and load them at the nose of the trailer under front of MacNasty.  Also, strapped one trailer spare and the winch battery directly to the tongue of the trailer to get as much weight forward as possible.  Did i mention we also had 30+ gallons of diesel fuel in home depot buckets in the cab of the S10?  because we did.  With that additional tongue weight, I was able to set the cruise to 70 and feel like I had plenty to go before I would get uncomfortable. Made it to Cornelius, NC by 11pm and stopped for the night.  In the morning I took this picture from my hotel room



that's where I'll leave the first post.  There will be some missing progress pictures at this point due to photobucket being jerks, including the c5 's removal from the trailer and sitting outside as a roller.

Budget at this point:  

Traded $900 international travelall for $550 and the C5.  


Thanks to Stampie for photberkit so I can host my pictures.

SVreX MegaDork
12/25/17 7:21 p.m.

Watching... wink

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
12/25/17 7:48 p.m.

Giggity. I know what is happening....


Feel better man. Health and family first. If i need to come to ohio after the thaw to help, i can arrange it.

Patrick MegaDork
12/25/17 7:59 p.m.

So, Nuclear Warhead is the working name until things are revealed.  The project is officially named, but I can't say yet what that is or it would be a dead giveaway as to the strange direction that things took around June.

(insert lost photobucket sadness here of rolling the c5 off the trailer and using ratchet straps to pull it into the garage)


first order of business was pull the moldy carpets and crappy sub box.  i believe the c5 was a flood car, that someone bought at auction for engine, that jeremy bought for body panels, in turn leaving me with a rolling chassis with enough bits to sell off to get down to $0



Patrick MegaDork
12/25/17 8:09 p.m.

also let me include that Jeremy was cool enough not to cut any wires and to leave all the modules and computers and crap in the c5 as well as the fuse panel and left all the brake lines intact when he removed the ABS pump.  

February was spent a few minutes here and there removing the carpet, sub enclosure, some MDF glued to the panel behind the passenger seat, stereo wiring, and other unnecessary garbage, making sure to put everything good into a box to sell later for recoup.  March was mostly spent working and sourcing parts.  $225 shipped got me an 04 Z06 steering rack.  March 31 rolled around and I found this gem on CL.  



2003 4.8 with 123k miles for $200 with harness.  Currently this is the engine of choice, however budget isn't set in stone yet and I have a possible better solution.

Bobcougarzillameister MegaDork
12/25/17 8:49 p.m.

Mmmmmm 4.8 mid engines s-dime?im in.  

Stampie UltraDork
12/25/17 9:08 p.m.

I still remember watching the C5 going up under the rear of MacNasty like a dog sticking it's nose up an shiny happy person and thinking this is berking crazy, wtf does this E36 M3?


Stampie UltraDork
12/25/17 9:23 p.m.

Here's my pictures from that day. 


Dusterbd13 MegaDork
12/25/17 9:37 p.m.

Having met all tbree principle participants in the trailer story, this doesn't surprise me in the least. Its actually tamer in pictures than i thought it would be. 

Patrick MegaDork
12/25/17 10:09 p.m.
Bobcougarzillameister said:

Mmmmmm 4.8 mid engines s-dime?im in.  

Also February was spent measuring.  The c5 transaxle is a long B, and the engine would have been in the seat.  MacNasty is still available, currently serving as a shed


believe it or not, i saw 15+ troopers on the 900+ mile trip home and not one bothered pulling me over.  I hoped my “seriously check out all these straps” method would satisfy them, apparently it did.  I got some strange looks from passers by, but the cops didn’t care that some crazy guy extended his trailer enough that the wheels are now centered and threw 2 vehicles on it and used 15 bags of landscape rock for ballast.  

Robbie PowerDork
12/25/17 10:37 p.m.

Oh. My. Gosh. 

Excellent Christmas present!!! 

Dude, sorry to hear about your health situation. I feel you about how not being able to spend time on a project becomes a stressor in itself. You will get better and back at it. I'm so excited to read about and see this thing in person. 

And as always, let me know if there is anything I can do to help.


Patrick MegaDork
12/26/17 2:38 a.m.

Somebody really should have made an xzibit “yo dawg i heard you like truck caps” meme out of my picture from the trip.  Yes it’s 3:38am and i’m up, Abby is in rough shape.  She’s the last one in the house dealing with the bad parts of having whatever caused my pneumonia, because of course we all got sick.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/26/17 4:22 a.m.

In reply to Patrick :

God bless ya!  Aside from being sick yourself, you have a 3yr old who is sick.  A 3yr old can have a way of commanding an entire household of attention while sick. If she's generally being a trooper about it, then it can be heart wrenching and heart breaking to watch them go through it.  All the best.

Like Robbie said, this thread is a real Christmas gift. Thanks. 

Also noted with Mike,  the combo of Pat, Stampie and Jeremy really is the trifecta of enabling. The problem solving techniques that came out of this is nothing short of amazing.  The trinity of trailer loading. 

wheels777 SuperDork
12/26/17 6:51 a.m.

The $2018 Challenge should be epic.

SVreX MegaDork
12/26/17 9:56 a.m.

Ask JThw8 about me loading 2 Yugos (12' each) on an 18' car trailer!

Those were complete cars. ;-)

That was an awful 1000 mile trip!

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
12/26/17 12:30 p.m.
SVreX said:

Ask JThw8 about me loading 2 Yugos (12' each) on an 18' car trailer!

Those were complete cars. ;-)

That was an awful 1000 mile trip!

If one was on its roof they probably would have nested together nose-to-nose pretty well. 

Mndsm MegaDork
12/26/17 12:34 p.m.

In reply to SVreX :

Theyre small enough, put em on sideways. 

SVreX MegaDork
12/26/17 12:45 p.m.

Well, I'll be... I found a picture.

Removed both car's bumpers.  Front car had rear wheels removed.  Hung it over the tongue and toolbox.  After driving the rear car onto the trailer, I lifted the rear with jacks, removed the ramps, and bolted them to the trailer upside down to extend the trailer with shims to account for the beaver tail.  The rear car then hung over the "extensions".  Some extra trailer lights installed on the back of the ramps gave me rear tailights.


I might be too old for that now! cheeky

SVreX MegaDork
12/26/17 12:47 p.m.

Patrick's method of constructing a mobile "drive-under" is more impressive!.  lol!!!

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman Dork
12/27/17 9:55 a.m.

This explains the wealth of knowledge that allowed the van to be tilted up onto my trailer. I have a good idea where this project is headed and we didn't really take the time to look over your projects.  

Patrick MegaDork
12/27/17 11:06 a.m.

yeah, I have learned to get creative with towing from years of being poor.  safety has always been priority one though. finally I have a real truck.  


March, yes march.  I made a diagram of what measurements I needed in a body.  as interesting as they are, I was not going to build a vette kart for multiple reasons.  Number one being the C5 had a certificate of destruction meaning it could never be put back to a titled vehicle again without going through nefarious back channels like having my buddy with the towing company "tow it" and then me "not pay for storage" and him "file for title because he put a lien on it".  i'm not certain that would have worked, but i did think about it.  No, though, I'm more a classic car guy.  Finding a body with the correct proportions in the correct places to closely match a c5 would be a B.

Key measurements I was working from are:

rocker panel width

front axle center to dash

front axle center to door opening f&r

dash width


As long as those were relatively close I could fudge other things like track width by wheel offset and wheelbase by fender modifications.  

I started measuring anything I could find and using pictures of others to do some invisible maths in my head.  Tried the chevelle first, not good without stretching wheelbase.  any fullsize car was pretty well out.  Wartburg was measured(remember, I have that too? muahahahaha) but was nowhere near wide enough.  I inquired with Andrew Nelson about a vehicle he had offered and asked for measurements.  Being awesome, i got a bunch of pictures with tape measure of all the areas I asked for.  Now this is where you think "we get to see what's happening!"  well no, i'm not getting that far ahead of myself.  

Dash width pillar to pillar = same

front axle center to door opening - within 4"

rocker width = same as c5 frame width

front axle center to back of door opening = within 2"

wheelbase 4" longer(workable)

I made arrangements to deliver a 4.8 donor to bluej and pick up said vehicle from the Nelsons the last weekend of April.  Without the body here I couldn't cut too much, but I knew i could start making things happen.  So it begins in earnest.  




First order of business was remove windshield frame and b pillar hoop.  Thoughts were there to leave body, chop the roof off the body, and make it a pick like vehicle utilizing the large "bed" area of the c5 hatch, but I quickly nixed that in favor of leaving the factory roof, glass, door openings and seals to retain weather tightness.  so sawzall time.   you can see also that I set the 4.8 in the engine bay to get it off the floor.  

Ovid_and_Flem Dork
12/27/17 11:26 a.m.

In a moment of weakness at the 2017 challenge Patrick honored me with project details. But I am sworn to secrecy! It will be freaking awesomecheeky

christinaylam New Reader
12/27/17 11:39 a.m.

Yay! I'm excited to watch the progress on this Pat! 

GTXVette Dork
12/27/17 11:56 a.m.


I have taken lots of body mesuerments but what catches me is rear axle is so close to the seat on my C4 ,But cutting out the back seat on most american cars make for a really Short Door . I really wanted a Corvair body but have chopped up the vette body so much I am starting to like it.

wvumtnbkr UltraDork
12/27/17 12:00 p.m.


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