Last month we kicked off the Pickup Fix-up Tour by showing you the Brown Bomber in all its rusted and pieced-together glory. This month, you'll notice that much of the work done to my '73 Chevy C10 occurs somewhat out of order. That's due mostly to logistical issues involved in getting the truck from shop to shop. This was especially important in the beginning of this saga because the truck didn't run. Naturally my first goal was to get the truck running and then lower it. I swapped the worn-out 350ci small-block Chevy and TH400 trans for a GM Performance Parts LS327/327 crate engine and Gearstar-built 4L65E tranny in my buddy Tim's driveway. Once I finished the engine and transmission swap, I loaded the truck onto a trailer and towed it from Anaheim to Sanger, California. Belltech Sport Trucks is located six hours north and it was inside its shop that this truck really started to take shape.
Everything on the C10 was worn out when I bought it. Every bushing, every shock, even the leaf springs didn't want to carry much of a load. New suspension and rolling stock was certainly in order before I could even think about driving the truck safely down the road for any length of time. Keeping with the simple theme of this build, I resisted the urge to add an air suspension, and instead went with a performance-minded static drop kit. The truck needed an alignment badly and I wasn't about to align it at home, drive it to Belltech, drop it, then align it again, so I towed it to Sanger. Belltech offers several different drop kits for Chevy C10s of any vintage. I went with the double throwdown kit that featured front and rear sway bars, a bolt-in C-notch, 3-inch drop spindles, 1-inch coil springs, an axle flip kit, and new shocks for all four-corners. Tag-teaming the install, three of us dropped the truck in 10 hours and I hit the road for home. Next month, we'll focus on replacing the old, worn-out bushings with new performance pieces from Energy Suspension.