Questions about a possible 1960's C10 Project

Oct 18, 2006
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Kansas
#1
I've been sitting on a decently built 70's erra 350 for a number of years. 'Originally', it came out of a '79 short wide pickup, but due to lack of time and resources to complete the truck, I let the truck go. Wish I had it back now. In any case, I've been holding onto the motor since I stuck a decent amount of cash into rebuilding it. As it sits I bored it 30(?) over, put in flat top 10:1 weisco's, isky racing cam, 4 barrel edelbrock intake with 4 barrel carb. I don't recall what the heads were from, but they were not truck heads so this wasn't actually the original motor. I believe the heads were from a camaro or chevelle 350...again, I'd have to pull the numbers off them or go through my notes. I'm sure there are other things done to the motor, but without digging out the paperwork, I can't recall what all I had done. I've slowly started tearing it back down as it's been sitting and I want to double check everything and go back with new gaskets and seals at the very least. I might consider roller rockers, an ignition (although I seem to recall this had a decent distributor anyway...maybe I don't need ignition) and anything else that might wake it up a bit more. It'll have headers and likely go through some high flow mufflers. Like I said it's been a number of years and I went off recommendation of machinist at the time to build a very fun motor, but one that would be fairly reliable and decent if driven somewhat daily.

Now with my thoughts....I was searching CL the other day and came across a 1966 Chevy Short Step Side for what I think was a fair price. It had no motor and no tranny, unless I wanted his 6cyl motor and 3 speed manual tranny for a few hundred more. I think that deal is falling through because he hasn't replied since original texts, but now I'm thinking this is what I want to find. I loved the original patina on that truck and the body looked fairly straight in the pics, it seems to have a rolling chassis, etc. Unfortunately it also appears he started working on it and thus had some of the cab in primer....like I said I loved the original patina in the first few pics, but I can work with a flat black paint job as well. My thought is I'd drop the front several inches and the rear a bit less to give it a nice ****y look, but I don't want to bag it or anything.

What I'd like to know is what I should look for on a project like this? I'm not wanting a show truck, at least not for now and I don't want a total rat rod, but I'd like it to be fairly simple and not a lot of work to build or maintain. It's been a few years since I've messed with some of these older trucks and I never worked on anything older than a 70's. What's a good tranny for the motor above and what would be a rear end to look for or to build for it? My guess is I'll have to find a tranny and have it rebuilt, unless I just get lucky. Same with the rear end. My understanding is with most around this year converting from a 6cyl to a 350 isn't much more work than just some possible motor mounts...is that correct? I also figure I'll have to find a beefier radiator, but not sure what else.

Am I foolish for thinking I can basically get a rolling truck, drop in the 350 with a matching tranny, maybe rework a rear end and be somewhat ready to roll or is there more to it than that? Brake lines/hoses, fuel lines, wiring, etc would all be gone through as well. How hard are these to lower? And what is the prefered method? I think I read some have torsion bars, I know that is one route, but I'd likely look at spindels and/or cut springs. What about the rear end, do they lower with blocks, flip the springs? Again, I want to do it right and have no issues with safety....it's been about 20yrs since I've lowered a vehicle and thus I don't recall all the do's and don'ts.

Also, any recommendation on what's a fair price for something like what I'm looking for? I think I like the single headlight and thus I believe I'm looking in the '64 and up model and I prefer to stay in the 60's as they aren't as common as the 70's are becoming.

Thanks for any guidance in the quest.
 
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