Music City Trucks Featured Projects

Music City Trucks Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

Summit Racing
Leaf Spring Perches
Summit Racing
Performance Steering Components PSC Steering Box
Summit Racing
Skyjacker Suspension Lift Kits
Summit Racing
Skyjacker Suspension U-Bolt Kits
Steer Smarts
Yeti XD Tie Rods
The Industrial Depot
Tools, Hardware, Shop Supplies

Episode Transcript

(Marc)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Brandon)>> Coming up, tear down begins on our '85 square body. Marc hands me the cab and the chassis is stripped down.

(Marc)>> We rip out the old drivetrain and start mocking up the new. Our suspension needs some attention, and modification begins on our new axle.

(Brandon)>> And finally, Marc puts it all back together. Not gonna lie, this is gonna be one cool ride! [ Music ] [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Marc)>> This has got to be the most iconic design. [ Music ]

(Brandon)>> Welcome to Music City Trucks. I'm Brandon Burke.

(Marc)>> And I'm Marc Christ, and as you can see, we've got our square body Chevy in here. We've been plugging away on it. We're very excited about this project. In fact, last time Brandon repaired the cab corners. They look really good. Thankfully that was really the only rust on the whole truck. We also got the truck torn down a bit, but we want to tear it down even more, and that's what I'm gonna work on today.

(Brandon)>> I'm gonna go ahead and start on the bed and do the body work. So I'll do the dusty stuff if you do the greasy stuff.

(Marc)>> I'm all about that. So I want to get the cab off of here next so I can get it over to Brandon. In fact, we're gonna check on him a little bit later, but before I do that I want to take as much stuff off of this cab as I can because it's a lot easier to do that now while it's bolted to the chassis. So that's what I'm gonna do first. It's hard to do this without this special tool. [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> There we got! [ Music ] Sweet, survived! [ Music ] Finally! [ Music ] Well that's what I missed. There's a groove right there that the wheels pop out of. I'll know that when I put it back in. [ Music ] [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> That's never been out of there before. Here we go. [ Music ] That was a beast. Get the seat out of here. [ Music ] Look at this, a little treasure trove. What's this? A bill of sale, $2,500 dollars! We overpaid for this truck. I'm gonna remove the speaker, original speakers, seatbelts... [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> ...and the four wheel drive shifter bezel so I can get all this floor covering out of the way. [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> There we go!

With all of that stuff out of the way this old, dingy, smelly floor mat can be removed. That's disgusting. [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> Pretty good. I guarantee you it won't go back on as easily as it came off. That's alright! Well, we only had one body cart. So, we ordered another one from Summit Racing. So that's what I'm gonna put the cab on here is this brand new body cart. Let's see how this works out. Body's off! Gonna get this thing out to Brandon so he can start prepping it for paint. I'm gonna tear that chassis down. Hey Brandon, brought you something. I got it mostly stripped down for you. I don't know what you want to do with the firewall. If you need hand taking out that glass, I can help.

(Brandon)>> I already got this bed side done.

(Marc)>> Look at that! That looks great!

(Brandon)>> Guess what? Zero filler. This is a straight truck.

(Marc)>> Maybe you can keep that up. I've got more teardown to do. Good luck!

(Brandon)>> I'll take it from here.

(Marc)>> Up next, the drivetrain is removed and teardown is under way. It's always easier to keep as much bolted together as possible.

(Marc)>> Now this is the part of the truck that I really love. Since Brandon's gonna be working on the body I'm gonna tackle this. Now I know it doesn't look like much, and that may be in part because of all the mud that's covering it because we took it to Wooleys! [ engine revving ] [ Brandon laughing ] [ engine revving ]

(Brandon)>> It's always fun playing in the mud.

(Marc)>> I love this truck! Other than all of that silt, sand, dirt, and mud caked on this thing this is actually a very impressive half ton four wheel drive truck chassis. Let's start here with the power plant. This is a small block Chevy. Don't get too excited, it's not a 350. This is the 305. I know that sounds terrible because what do we do with 305s? We make boat anchors out of them, but at 160 horsepower and 235 pound feet of torque this thing would get the job done for anybody that had a completely stock half ton Chevy back in the mid-'80s. But where the shinning star is on this chassis is the transmission. It's the 700-R-4, which was really ahead of its time. This is the first automatic transmission in a half ton Chevy that had an overdrive at a .70 to 1, but it also had a 3.06 to 1 first gear, which compensated for that small horsepower output of the engine. Behind that transmission is a 208 chain driven transfer case, two speed, which on its own right is actually a really good transfer case, although it's not what you're gonna use to do any rock climbing, or anything like that. Axles, this thing's got 10-bolts in the front and rear. Again, half ton truck, nothing wrong with those but that's not gonna be good enough for us. Now it does have leaf springs in the front and rear, which we are going to retain. Other than that, this truck is gonna change completely. As a matter of fact, the only thing that we're retaining from what you see here is the frame itself, which leads me to what I'm gonna do next. Well, I've got everything sprayed down with some Sea Foam Deep Creep. Now all I need to do is start loosening some bolts, tearing this thing down. We're gonna concentrate on getting the drivetrain removed, starting with the driveshafts. [ Music ]

(Marc)>> Well this is the part where I would normally pull the exhaust out of here but it's welded up solid front to back, and I don't feel like fighting it. I think I'm just gonna go ahead and pull the engine, transmission, and transfer case out of here, and get the exhaust later. With the carb out of the way we can bolt on our lift plate. Now it's time to pull the engine, and since there's not a body on here I can just pluck the engine, transmission, and transfer case all out at once. [ metal clanging ] [ mechanical humming ]

(Marc)>> We've got the benefit of having an overhead crane, which allows me to do this job by myself, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's safe. Any time you've got this much weight hanging things can go wrong real fast. So, it's a good idea to not get in between the load and the floor. You may notice I put a rubber glove on the tail housing of the transfer case so I don't make a huge mess with transmission fluid spilling everywhere. It's always easier to keep as much bolted together as possible because it's just less work. Oh boy, it's a little heavy! At least that wasn't transmission fluid. [ Music ] [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> Once the engine's out it's time to move on to the axles and suspension. Since I already sprayed these bolts with Deep Creep, they should all come out pretty easily. [ Music ] [ drill humming ] [ metal clanging ] [ Music ]

(Marc)>> So far so good until we get to the leaf spring bolts that are seized inside the bushing sleeves, which require a little more use of the impact. [ mechanical humming ] [ saw buzzing ]

(Marc)>> Well we've just about got this thing torn down to the bare chassis. There's a few things on here I need to remove, but for now I'm not worried about that. What I'm worried about though is these half ton axles are gone out of the way, and before you know we're gonna have some one tons under this thing with a six inch lift. Can't wait! [ Music ]

(Brandon)>> Next, Marc cuts, grinds our new front axle.

(Marc)>> Well we're plugging away on our K-10 square body here. I went ahead and got the frame stripped down a little bit more. Took the fuel tank, fuel lines, and brake lines off. Did leave the steering box on here because we're gonna start mocking up our axles and steering, starting up front here. You can see we've got our Dana 60 crate axle already in place. It's pretty much where it's gonna be. It might need to move a little bit once we start installing the suspension. We introduced that a while back. It's just exciting to see it now where it's getting ready to be mated with the truck. Now to connect those two we went to Skyjacker for everything that you see here on the floor. Now this is a direct bolt in kit. This kit comes with the soft ride springs that Skyjacker makes as well as the U-bolts, nuts, longer brake hoses, shocks, all of that for both the rear and the front that we are gonna have to switch up a little bit on a couple of components, and that's with what you see here. Basically, just a couple of things. Spring perches, larger U-bolts, and retaining plates all to adapt that half ton suspension lift kit to our one ton axles. We got all these stuff from Summit Racing. We'll start by installing our front leaf springs. Then we can measure to get our axles centered left to right. This is where the difficult part is gonna come in. Let me show you what I'm talking about. Where this leaf spring falls, because this frame is so narrow on this truck, with the cast iron part of our center section here we can't just attach it to the tube. So, we've got to figure out how to attach that properly where it's gonna be nice and sturdy, and flat and straight, and we can run U-bolts on both sides there. Alright, so here's the solution. This is gonna be the perch. This is the right radius for our three and a half inch tube on our axle. What I'm gonna do is set that down on the axle, and then I'm just gonna cut this part so it fits over the cast iron part of the center section. Then for the U-bolts this is a three and a half inch diameter U-bolt that's gonna fit over the smooth part of the axle, and then I found this on Summit Racing. This is a little over four inch diameter here, and what that's gonna do is that's gonna go and cradle the cast iron part. I'm just gonna make some marks here where I want to grind to. [ grinder buzzing ]

(Marc)>> Well I've got that opened up on the inside, and it's got some room to move around. I want to throw this level on here to see how close it is. It's close! I don't want to go too much though. Get the weight of the leaf on there and start fitting that U-bolt. [ hammer banging ]

(Marc)>> I'm gonna call that good. [ Music ] I've got this little plate Jeremy down in Carcass made. It's got offset holes for these two different sized U-bolts. Then the passenger side, and it just clamps to the axle tube. Well, I mentioned before I was gonna leave the steering box in place, but we decided we were gonna go ahead and upgrade to this PSC box, which is actually really super nice. Some of the features on this box is it's got a really heavy duty PSC cast case. It's got billet covers and end caps, and then another cool feature about this is it's got these Dash-6 ports in case you want to do hydro assist later, or if you're planning your build to have hydro assist right off the bat, this is the steering box for you. [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> In with the new. [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> Well this is more of a sweeping style for crossover steering. So that's what we're gonna be installing on this truck. It's actually got the arm right here on the crate axle with the boss for the crossover drag linked to attach there. Of course we've got the bosses for the tie rods. Now all we need to do is connect the dots, and we're gonna do that with the stuff that you see here on the floor that we got from Steer Smarts. Now they make super heavy duty stuff for late model Jeeps and other late model vehicles as well. This stuff is actually for a late model Jeep with the crate Dana 60 axle. It's really the closest stuff that's on the market to what we're doing to this truck. For now, I want to go ahead and get that tie rod on. Then we'll move on to the drag link. This side attached first. [ Music ] That just looks cool! This is a three and a half inch drop. It's the one I had. So that's what we're starting with. Then we attach the pitman arm to the steering box so we can install the drag link. Just mockup! By the way, this is called Steer Smarts' Yeti XD system in case you're looking for it for your Jeep or whatever. It looks like the length is pretty close but... [ Music ] ...that leaf's kind of in the way. Even if I hold it on top, which has to go underneath because of the taper, even if I hold it on top, it's still touching the leaf. So, I really need to come up higher here. I really need to space this up. So, I need to figure out a different end for this to attach to the top. Maybe with some spacers, a spherical end, or something like that, and that would solve that problem. Steer Smarts is working on a solution for us up front. So, we're moving on to the rear. Just like the front, we'll get the leaves installed and bolt them in. Alright! [ Music ] Axles are in! [ Music ] Coming up, we put it all back together. Get this torque converter installed in the trans. Our mock-up phase is complete.

(Marc)>> Well we're plugging away on mock-up on our square body Chevy here. We do have a little bit left as far as the axles and suspension goes, and that is the steering linkage. I do have some parts ordered for that. So, I'll address that later. For now, I want to go ahead and get the engine, transmission, transfer case all bolted together. Drop that in, get that mocked up. Then we'll be ready to tear this all down and send the frame off to get blasted and painted. So, the first thing I'm gonna do is go ahead and get this flex plate installed. [ Music ] This ARP fastener assembly lube is supposed to go under the head. That way you get it torqued properly. Now thread locker on the threads, blue! You know for being somebody that's left handed you'd think I could start these bolts a little easier. 85! Let's get this torque converter installed in the trans. I just want to make sure this little O-ring right here is lubed up as it should be. [ squeaking ] [ pop noise ] Oh, that sounded like it. If you don't get them in there all the way and you bolt it up it'll trash your pump. Ahh, that was it right there! These ARPs are like the perfect solution. [ ratchet clicking ]

(Marc)>> To adapt our transmission to our transfer case we got this o-e-m style adapter off the internet since they're not available in the aftermarket. The transfer case gets installed. Like a glove! I went ahead and separated all of this because I'm working by myself today, and it'll be a little easier. Now I know it's all gonna fit together I just need to get it in here. [ Music ] Cause this drivetrain is longer than the original we're gonna have to move the transmission crossmember back, which is gonna require us to drill new holes in the frame. Six, seven degrees, I'm okay with that. [ Music ] My dad always told me, always, always, always center punch before you drill so your drill bit don't walk on you, and always drill a pilot hole. Let the drill do the work. [ drill humming ] [ Music ] [ banging metal ] [ Music ] [ drill humming ]

(Marc)>> Here I go! [ mechanical humming ]

(Marc)>> Something else I want to go ahead and fit right now are the headers. I went ahead and got the drivers side installed. It fits really well. We got these from Hooker. These are specifically made for a big block Chevy in a K-10 square body like this. So, they should fit. [ Music ] Like it! Well, we've got our steering problem solved. Steer Smarts went ahead and sent me a new end here. So, this is the one that comes with the kit, and then this is the one they sent. So, all things being equal basically what it does is it flips the ball joint. Rather than facing up, it faces it down, and it actually comes with this little sleeve that goes in the taper. So it's a top mount kit, they call it. So this goes in the taper. [ Music ] Oh yeah, that's gonna work. I'll have that adjusted where it'll be upright like that. I love it! That's a good solution. Well really all that's left as far as the mock-up phase goes is gonna be my shocks and steering stabilizer, and I'm not gonna bore you with all that. I feel like we accomplished a lot today. The next time you see this thing the frame is gonna go out, get all cleaned, and painted, and it's gonna be just as shiny and pretty as the rest of this stuff.
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