More Lo 'N Slow Episodes

Truck Tech Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

American Powertrain Systems
Tremec TKO 5-Speed Transmission
Matco Tools
Matco Tools are the Official Tool Supplier to Truck Tech
Coil-Over Conversion for '63 - '87 C10
The Industrial Depot
Tools, Hardware, and Shop Supplies

Episode Transcript

(Narrator)>> It's one of the more popular trucks to restore, the '60 to '66 Chevy C-10, and today on Truck Tech ours is back for blasting and chassis assembly. Plus our guys unveil the unusual power plant between the frame rails. What will it be? [ music ]

(Austin)>> Welcome to the shop. We recently picked up this '65 C-10 "Project Lo 'n Slo". Now we looked far and wide for this thing and finally found that classic patina we were looking for.

(LT)>> Now this truck has great bones to build on and the appearance, it's exactly what we're after. We're not gonna change a thing, but the drivetrain parts that came with this truck, they had seen better days. So we picked up a couple of goodies and we'll get to those just a little bit later on, but first we need a good foundation to start build from.

(Austin)>> And it's not like we're building a full blown racer here. So this stock chassis will work just fine. It was just a little bit dirty for our taste.

(LT)>> So we stripped it completely down, had it sand blasted, and a fresh coat of semi-gloss powder coat applied, and if this is the first time you're seeing our project here's a quick look back at where it all began. We broke the number one rule of truck buying and pulled the trigger sight unseen. Since this truck had spent its life in sunny Marshall, Texas, we figured it would be pretty solid even though it's well over 50 years old.

(Austin)>> We brought it inside the shop, gave it a once over, and we were pleasantly surprised to find the sheet metal was in very good shape for its age. [ mechanical humming ]

(Austin)>> The truck was mostly original with the only major changes being the torched coils and a later model 305 small block. However we did get the impression this truck was slapped together for a quick sale.

(LT)>> You'll find a lot of interesting wiring solutions when you're tearing apart an old truck, and here's a perfect example. The last person that owned this vehicle moved the fuel tank from behind the seat to the back of the frame. So obviously they had to extend the wire for the fuel tank sending unit. Check out how they did it. They started out by running the wire through a rust hole in the inner rock, and then they ran the wire up to the bottom of the bed and looped it around another rust hole. Now if you know anything about electricity you'll know that voltage does not cooperate with ground. Now this wire doesn't have any power going through it but if it did this would be direct short whenever that insulation will chafe through. So there's like a million ways you could have done it better than this but here's a perfect example of how not to run wiring.

(Austin)>> Since the truck mechanically checked out we decided to hit the road and see how this old girl performed, and it was a blast to roll through the gears with a three on the tree, although the coils did make the ride a little bumpy. [ music ] Feel the bumps, feel the bumps.

(LT)>> And even though our truck is a more deluxe model by today's standards it's very bare bones. This was just before the days of air bags, and traction control, and a-b-s. Man we're lucky to have an f-m radio.

(Austin)>> I don't think it works but we got one. So that's good.

(LT)>> And we couldn't end the shakedown without one very important test.

(Austin)>> What do you say we burn the rubber off these bad boys?

(LT)>> Why not. [ engine revving ]

(Austin)>> Oh yeah! [ engine revving ]

(Austin)>> Don't stop baby. [ tires screeching ]

(Austin)>> Even got smoke on that one.

(LT)>> That's the old one tire fire.

(Austin)>> One tire wonder we call that.

(LT)>> With all the fun out of our system we got right to work to begin the teardown process. We removed the bumpers, unbolted the bed, disconnected some hoses and wiring underneath the hood, and lifted the cab off getting down to the rolling chassis.

(Austin)>> With all the drivetrain removed we took a trip to Blast From the Past in Lebanon, Tennessee, where they strip and powder coat a wide range of parts for various applications.

(LT)>> How's it going Vance, good to see you again?

(Vance)>> Y'all doing alright?

(LT)>> Absolutely.

(Austin)>> The powder coat process starts out with the crushed glass media, which removes all the rust and corrosion. Once prepped and in the booth the dry powder is electrostatically applied. This allows it to stick to the surface but will still require a quick bake in the oven to fully cure. And this is the finished product, nice and clean. We chose the semi-gloss black powder coat for its durability and it's gonna last a long time. Now with a little pre-planning we knew we we're gonna have to do some frame modifications, and with the style of suspension we're going with this front coil over is gonna come right through this crossmember. So we had to cut out some holes. We chose to do it before the powder cause we didn't want to cut into it after.

(LT)>> We took the same approach on the rear with the C-notch. Our reinforcement also includes an upper coil over mount, and a lower pan hard bar mount that will keep the axle located side to side. This kit is actually designed to be 100 percent bolt on with the bed still on the truck, but we just figured since we're blasting and coating the frame anyway why not weld it in ahead of time for a nice slick look.

(Austin)>> And that makes this chassis 100 percent ready to bolt on some parts. We've got some unboxing to do.

(LT)>> I've got the scissors.

(Narrator)>> Next putting the "Lo" in "Lo 'n Slo".

(LT)>> We have two goals for the suspension on "Project Lo 'n Slo", our '65 C-10. First is to get it sitting closer to the ground, and second is to improve its handling. We didn't want to mess around with the hassle or complexity of an adjustable air suspension system. So instead we're installing a QA One coil over conversion, and it's all based around these tubular upper and lower control arms that'll correct the caster issue that these trucks have when you lower them. You can run up to seven degrees. The coil overs are double adjustable. They have a 750 pound spring on the front, a 200 pound spring on the rear, and you can adjust both compression and rebound valving. Now this kit does run a later model '73 to '87 style ball joint, which requires you run a later model spindle. So we picked up this two inch drop spindle from Summit Racing, which when combined with the control arms and the coil overs will lower the front of this truck five inches.

(Austin)>> And out back the stock truck arms are replaced with these beefy seven gauge bars that have an included pinion angle adjustment. It also comes with a longer pan hard bar, and a front mounting bracket with multiple mounting locations so you can really fine tune that anti-squat. To round it all out the kit comes with these heavy duty front and rear sway bars, and that's to keep the truck planted hard when corner. Now the first thing we've got to do is finish mounting these lower control arms. [ drill spinning ]

(LT)>> The upper spring mount bolts onto the crossmember and the frame with some existing holes and new provided hardware. The lower coil over mount is bolted to the control arm with a spacer, and the coil over shock slides from underneath the crossmember and attaches to the spring mount with a through bolt and some more spacers. The control arm pivots up to meet the other end of the coil over, and all the hardware is tightened up. Up top the dished spacers slide onto the mounting point, and the control arm slides into place. [ music ] The lower bump stop and bracket bolt onto the control arm, and the spindle attaches to the lower ball joint. Hop up on that frame for me would you.

(Austin)>> Need some muscle?

(LT)>> Well I don't know about that. With a little assistance the springs are compressed. Then the upper ball joint can be connected.

(Austin)>> You caught some threads on there?

(LT)>> Yeah we're gonna man, thanks.

(Austin)>> Alright my job is done.

(LT)>> So there are a lot of important suspension components that use a castle nut and cotter pin to make sure that the nut doesn't back off over time. There are some slots in the top of the nut that have to engage with a hole in the bolt, and you slide a cotter pin through just to make sure everything stays tight. Now one thing that is very, very important is that you never want to loosen the castle nut to make sure that the cotter pin will line up. You always go tighter. Once the proper torque is reached continue to turn the nut until the next slot lines up with the hole. Insert the cotter pin and bend out the ends.

(Austin)>> Over at the table we'll attach the urethane bushings to the sway bar, slide on the brackets, and loosely tighten the hardware. The spherical end links attach to the sway bar. [ music ] You mind grabbing that end over there?

(LT)>> Absolutely.

(Austin)>> And the whole thing slides under the front end, and first connects to the lower control arms. Finally the brackets attach to the frame.

(LT)>> Well with just a couple of bolts we have a great looking chassis and we accomplished both of our goals. It sits lower to the ground and its handling is greatly improved.

(Austin)>> Now we're ready to start on the rear, and that all begins with the main piece of the puzzle, that dirty, greasy rear axle. We're not gonna leave it like that. So hey, let's get this thing cleaned up and get some paint on it.

(LT)>> You got it.

(Narrator)>> Next Austin has a blast.

(Austin)>> Now we drug this axle out here to get it cleaned up before I take it on in that paint booth and slap some fresh paint on it, and to get the years of grit, grime, and rust off this thing I've got just the fix to make that easy.

(LT)>> This is the DB 500 from Dustless Blasting. A self-contained surface prep machine that's both efficient and environmentally friendly, and it will remove virtually any coating from any surface without creating a huge plume of dust. So we'll fire this bad boy up and show you how it works. [ music ] Everyone knows what a messy job blating can be. Dustless Blasting is exactly the opposite. Water mixes with the media, which keeps the blasting material to a confined area without flying all over the place. Plus unlike working with dry media we don't have to stick our head through a cloud of debris to see the axle.

(Austin)>> We're using crushed glass media, which is efficient at removing rust, paint, and scale from a slew of surfaces. This works great on a variety of metals including stainless steel and aluminum. It evens strips surfaces like concrete, brick, and wood.

(LT)>> But an unseen benefit to one of these units is its money making potential. Dustless Blasting dot com has it all laid out, from setting up your business to pricing out jobs, all the way down to how to market and advertise your own mobile dustless blasting service.

(Austin)>> To protect our axle from future rust we stopped over at Single Source located in Nashville, Tennessee, where they supplied with the right material for the job. I'm mixing up a direct to metal epoxy primer with a catalyst at a two to one ratio, which is perfect for our freshly blasted axle. So I have this gun setup where I can shoot sideways, inverted, upside down, you name. Just got to purge the cup first, shoot a test pattern, and then spray some paint. A quick pattern check... [ paint gun hissing ]

(Austin)>> ...and I will lay down two wet coats and let it flash off for about 30 minutes. For a top coat I'm using single stage polyurethane enamel base. It mixes six to one to one with hardener and a catalyst. This gives us protection and color all in one shot, and it's hot rod black baby. Three coats and let cure.

(LT)>> The rear suspension assembly begins with the trailing arms attaching to the crossmember.

(Austin)>> Since I'm such a gentleman I already bolted these brackets on for you.

(LT)>> Man some girl's gonna be lucky when she marries you. The rear axle attaches with some five-eighths inch bolts. The pinion angle adjustors attach, the axle is raised, the coil overs are connected, and the pan hard bar and frame brace will locate the axle side to side. The very last thing we'll do out back is install the sway bar. Then once the truck is fully assembled and the weight's on the ground we'll make some minor adjustments to the pinion angle and the front pivot points, but for very little effort the handling and ride quality of this truck is greatly improved. In fact it's so easy to install even someone like you who grew up working on covered wagons can figure out how to put it together.

(Austin)>> Not everybody could be born on a lobster boat up in Maine, but that about wraps up the suspension on this thing. We've still got to throw some gears in the rear and assemble that axle. That leaves "Project Lo 'n Slo" living up to at least half of its name.

(LT)>> You'll take care of the slow part too right?

(Austin)>> I'll take care of that.

(LT)>> There's an old saying in New England which goes something like, if the brakes aren't gonna stop your car you better not head down to the harbor cause you're gonna get wet.

(Austin)>> You're one weird fella.

(LT)>> That's probably true, but I would still say that brakes are one of the most important systems to have on your vehicle. In fact I always say never leave home without them. Our '65 Chevy C-10 was originally equipped with drum brakes on all four corners, and it's a pretty antiquated system but they work pretty simply. There's a hydraulic wheel cylinder that's attached to the backing plate, and whenever you depress the brake pedal hydraulic pressure forces open the shoes. Now this friction area right here presses against a rotating drum, and it's that friction that'll slow your vehicle down. Like I said, drum brakes are very old and they're not very efficient, and we're gonna be adding some extra horsepower to that truck. So we want to make sure we can always slow down. So we're gonna be installing a disc brake conversion kit that we picked up from Summit Racing, and it all starts with these 13 inch two piece rotors. It has a cast iron outer and aluminum inner. They have a six piston caliper that'll apply pressure to the pads. It also comes with an aluminum wheel hub, brackets to attach to the CPP spindles, and of course the pads that we need to make the friction and all the hardware that's needed to complete the installation. The rotors attach to the hat with a series of quarter inch bolts and a small dab of red thread locker. Once they're all started they're torqued to 155 inch pounds.

(Austin)>> Next the wheel bearing is packed with grease until the rollers are fully coated. With the inside bearing set in the hub a seal is driven into place.

(LT)>> The outer bearing is packed and the hub assembly slides onto the spindle. A slotted washer and castle nut hold the hub in place. A cotter pin stops the nut from backing out. A dust cover's installed, and the rotor slides over the wheel studs.

(Austin)>> The caliper bracket attaches to the back of the spindles with a pre-determined thickness of shim and another dab of thread locker. With the bolts light two more shims go onto the mounting studs. The caliper slides on, the nuts are tightened, and the pads slide into the caliper.

(LT)>> Alright with just a little bit of effort we've been able to greatly improve the stopping power of this '65 C-10. So now regardless of how fast we're going, whether it be on the track or on the street, we know that we'll be able to safely bring this truck to a stop.

(Austin)>> And just remember when upgrading to a big brake kit it will limit the size of wheels you can run. For instance this kit will only work with some 17 inch wheels and we'll probably run 18's.

(LT)>> I'll tell you what. I know a guy we can get some 22 by 14 forged wheels and maybe like a 420 style tire?

(Austin)>> You fall on your head or something? Obviously. I'm gonna handle the wheels on this.

(LT)>> You know what, get back to work.

(Narrator)>> Next there's a straight six in our future.

(Austin)>> When it came to selecting a power plant for our '65 C-10 we had one goal in mind, and that was for it to be different to eyeball. We didn't have any crazy expectation of making high horsepower. Our thing was let's just make it faster than stock.

(LT)>> Since just about every truck we build here has some sort of a V-eight under the hood we decided for "Project Lo 'n Slo" we're gonna be installing a Chevy 292 straight six. Now it's kind of an oddball but these were primarily used in heavy duty and commercial applications, and from the factory they put down 165 horsepower and 280 pounds of torque, which is not a bad start, but we do have some upgrades in mind where we'll be able to pump up the output of this engine, and it just might involve some boost.

(Austin)>> To back up to our 292 we picked up this Tremec TKO five speed from American Powertrain. This will give us a nice wide gear ratio for quick acceleration but still maintaining those low r-p-m's at highway speeds. American Powertrain not only offers high quality transmissions but their main focus is to supply you with everything you need for an entire conversion. This kit includes the bell housing, crossmember, clutch assembly, and even that classic ole white shifter knob. Also there's an entire hydraulic clutch kit with stainless lines and master cylinder. Lastly fiberglass high hump trans tunnel. This will give you the clearance you need for mounting the trans, installs easily, and give you a clean look. Let's get this thing mocked up.

(LT)>> We're not installing the motor for good at the moment since it'll have to come out to be rebuilt later on.

(Austin)>> For now we'll install the bell housing on the trans, skip the flywheel and clutch, and go straight to mating the transmission to the engine.

(LT)>> Transmission's too high.

(Austin)>> Let me lower the transmission.

(LT)>> You lower the table.

(Austin)>> Lift her up.

(LT)>> We picked up some adapter mounts from 12 Bolt dot com to attach our 292 to the small block Chevy frame stance. Once we have the tail shaft right where we need it.

(Austin)>> Lock her down, that simple.

(LT)>> The mounts are tightened up, and the adjustable X-factor crossmember is lined up.

(Austin)>> We'll mark and drill two holes in the side of the frame, slide the crossmember back in, and bolt it in for good completing the mock up install of the 292 TKO combo in our '65 C-10. Brothers Trucks offers a wide range of stereo and speaker components for your 1947 to '87 Chevy truck. Case in point this is what we picked up to install in "Project Lo 'n Slo". It all starts with this 300 watt digital am/fm tuner with integrated blue tooth. It maintains that factory appearance that we love and it's also vehicle specific. So you're not cutting into that dash board. We grabbed these six by nines and the under the seat sub to crank out that boom. Lastly custom kick panels that maintain that air vent. To kick out the jams visit Brothers Trucks dot com.

(LT)>> For over 50 years CRC Industries has provided cleaners, degreasers, and lubricants to both the industrial and automotive markets. This also includes products for your electrical system. Battery terminal protector prevents corrosion, which is the number cause of hard starting and battery failure. Dielectric grease with its select a bead actuator insulates and seals connections. Wire dryer helps start wet engines, and electrical parts cleaners takes care of contacts, circuits, and other components. Click on where to buy at CRC Industries dot com. With the powertrain bolted on top and the suspension underneath we are one major step closer to having a rolling chassis we can stick back underneath our '65 C-10.

(Austin)>> And we still have a lot of to do. Get some axles and gears thrown in the back. Take some measurements for this driveshaft. Finally get that on its way, and then tires and wheels make this thing a roller.

(LT)>> And my favorite part about having a narrow inline six engine is there's plenty of space over on the passenger's side where maybe we could install a turbo, and for more information on today's show be sure to check us out at Powernation TV dot com.

(Austin)>> Thanks for watching Truck Tech and we'll see you next week.
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