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1974 Truck Build

January 3, 2021

Total Invested: $0.00

I spotted this truck in my neighborhood some time was just sitting at the end of the property, tucked behind other old farm equipment and slowly rusting away.

March 30, 2021

Total Invested: $1,500.00

One day I was driving by the place, and saw an old man tinkering in his yard, so I stopped by and casually inquired about the truck...

"The truck belonged to an old friend of mine," the old man said. "Back in 1995 he borrowed some money and left the truck as collateral. We drove it to this spot here, and it has been sitting here since. That son of the bitch never came back for it."

It's was a 1974 Chevy K10. The truck used to be recovery tow truck...and looked bad as hell...

Square Body Chevy Truck

"So...would you like to sell it?" I asked.

"Nope." The old man said...

After some time talking about the trucks, politics and life in general, the old man gave in.

"I see you are a nice guy and I like you, so how about $1,500...for the truck as is."

"Deal," I said.

A couple of days later, with the bill of sale in my pocket and truck on the trailer I was heading home, a happy guy.

May 21, 2021

Total Invested: $1,819.75

After sitting in the field fro 25 years DMV had no record of the truck, it was purged. A handful of forms were filled, numerous fees were paid...appointment made with CHP to verify the VIN number, then the truck was taken to the public scales and weighed...Back in the DMV line. After a month or so, I got the title and new license plates ... Another truck was brought back to life, back on the road where it belongs...

Just out of curiosity I spend some money and time to see if the truck would run. Ordered starter, HEI distributor, spark plugs and couple of days later the beast was alive...driving on his own power.

July 7, 2021

Total Invested: $3,989.15

I don't want to waste no more time or without any delays, I got to work.

Finished rebuilding 1 ton axles that have been living in my garage for a year and slid them under the truck. Then everything started to come rusty bolt at a time. Winch, bed, cab, motor... One hour here, another hour there, the truck and empty beer bottles were scattered all over the yard...'s HOT as f***...lately (f*** = 109F).

July 10, 2021

Total Invested: $3,989.15

Early in the morning before the heat drove us all back inside our houses...I managed to pull the motor/transmission/transfer case out of the truck...took gas tanks off...and power washed the frame.

July 23, 2021

Total Invested: $4,469.68

Spend about eight hours grinding old rust from the frame. To keep my sanity, I worked for four hours one morning and four hours the next. By the time I finished I was sick and tired of it... The frame had only surface rust, and couple of cracks around the steering box area...common issue with the square bodies. I will fix this later.

To prep for the paint I used POR15 de-greaser and POR15 etching... For the paint application I chose the cheep $1.00 brush and a quart of POR15 Rust paint. I was worried that I will not have enough paint, but it was more than enough for two coats... The entire paint job cost me $104.55 not counting my time...

August 5, 2021

Total Invested: $4,469.68

Finished stripping LS 5.3 motor and 706 heads today. Dropped off at the machine shop to have it washed, decked, honed and crank shaft polished... And just to happen, that friend of mine hooked me up with rebuilt NP205 transfer case for a whooping $250.00.

September 2, 2021

Total Invested: $5,588.62

Well...the things moving along...slowly. One rusty bolt at the time. Last week I picked up block and heads from the machine shop. Ordered cam, crank and push rod bearings... in the mean time started lapping the valves... After a while realized that old valves are pretty pitted so ended up ordering a new ones...

Couple days later bearings came in... so I greased my hands and got to work. Installed cam bearings, but managed to screw something up so the cam was not fitting. Yes, I did made sure they came in order but #2 and 4 was just too tight... ended up punching them all out and ordered a new set. This time different brand... waiting.

Yesterday they showed up, so cleaned everything and here I go, round two... 30 min later the cam was in, spinning nice and smooth. Not sure what was wrong the first time, but glad its done.

Installed crank, measured clearances...looking good, waiting for the piston rings to complete the bottom end...

September 8, 2021

Total Invested: $5,588.62

While waiting for the parts to come in, I decided to spend some quality time (countless hours) scrubbing, soaking, washing and painting all kind of random parts. To be honest, I am sick and tired of it. Just when I think I am done I find another box full of greasy stuff...

September 18, 2021

Total Invested: $6,405.60

Spend another weekend at home. Weather is good so I pace back and forth between pool and garage with a cold beer in one hand and greasy wrench in the other.

After block paint dried, I finished to assemble bottom end, gaped rings and installed the pistons.

October 24, 2021

Total Invested: $6,510.22

Took a little break, but here I am back at it. Today I need to finish the frame for the motor install. Welded the crack by the steering box, added stiffening plate and welded it in place... Used new Dirty Dingo Engine Mounts and dropped the engine in place.

November 10, 2021

Total Invested: $6,510.22

Started entanglement of the wiring harness. Need to figure out whats is what. The donor motor I bought had a cut harness and missing CPU. Because it's a budget built, I only buy what's necessary or I can not make it myself. Wiring I can do it ...I think. So here I am sitting in the garage tangled in the wires like a fly in the web. One wire at the time, pull, check, label repeat...

Meanwhile...the winter is creeping in...

November 23, 2021

Total Invested: $7,668.89

Pulled the trigger and ordered adapter to mate my 4L60E and NP205. That was steep...$849.62, but no way around it, need one...also got a new CPU, some other stuff...

December 18, 2021

Total Invested: $8,049.89

Back in the field today, with a wild cats and rabbits... The motor was sitting too tight between the motor cross member and fire wall. No matter how much shimming back and forth I did it was just too tight. So here I go, back online wasting money like no tomorrow... Ordered motor cross member form ORD...chi-chink! Another $245.00 plus some body bushings...

So, here I go off, transmission off, motor off... Couple of hours and busted buckles later, the new cross member was fitted and in the place.

Taking transmission home so I can take it apart and replace the output shaft in the comforts in my own garage.

March 15, 2022

Total Invested: $8,716.21

I can not believe it's already a year since I bought this truck. Wow... It's a lot of work, patience, money, band-aids and beer... invested and no end to it.

Took couple month off, to rest and get my finances in order. So, here I am back at it.

Aftermarket Oil Pan - $245.00 , and days work got me some clearance between the cross member, oil pan and firewall. With the motor, transmission and transfer case in place, I got to work on the break and fuel lines... At the end of the day it's just a money...

April 24, 2022

Total Invested: $8,716.21

Another Sunday down the books. Cleaned and painted firewall today, completed several things on my "to do later" list.

April 26, 2022

Total Invested: $8,898.11

Started to assemble the wiring harness today. Big thanks to LT1 website, hands down the best source of information in one place on the world wide web. To appreciate all the work and knowledge I chose them to flash my ECU. Thank you LT1Swap! -

Other than that a lot of hours sitting in the garage listening music and sorting wiring, measuring, cutting, crimping...testing. Slow process, but nothing crazy... I decided that I like electric wiring part of the truck build way better than mechanical part.

September 25, 2022

Total Invested: $9,198.11

Took some time off from the project, had to go to Lithuania for a couple of weeks, so between work and planing the trip the weekends pretty much were shot.

Still managed to get couple of things accomplished. The biggest of them all, I did a test start of the engine...and what do you know, it started on the fist try. What a relief... so I wrapped truck back in the tarp and went on vacation with ease on my mind.

Almond harvest time in the central valley...dust is is HOT...