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Project "Johnny Cash"

Rockabillyrat

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Ohio
The time has finally come to put my 4x4 back together. It was totaled in an accident almost 7 years ago, and unfortunately has been sitting ever since. I had originally purchased a 78 k20 with a 350 combo and 203 case when I was 23. I quickly added a small lift and upgrade the engine with a few bolt ons.
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Well the old and tired 350 required daily oil checks and I was topping it of regularly. For about a year I had no issues keeping up with it. Until one late night I was driving home and by the time I notice the large trail of smoke behind me it was too late. Oil pressure hit zero and I knew she was done for. I had just signed papers on my first house. So the 78 was towed there where it sat until the summer.

I took me a while to adjust to the financial burden a house can put on you. By the summer I had gathered enough parts and money to not only fix it. But convert it to a sm465/205 too. I was lucky enough to get a free roller cam 350 from work. Customer brought his own engine and told me I could keep the old one! So I rebuilt it and added some new bolt ons. I also rebuilt the transmission and transfer case.
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Well... the first pull out of the drive way I grenaded the clutch when I hit 2nd gear. It was a Luk I got from Napa. First issue I've had with one. So warranted it out and the second clutch did just fine. But I was having third gear issues. Turned out when my boss (at the time) freaked out on me for tearing my transmission down at the shop (after hours) he took a thrust washer. I didn't notice when reassembling it. So after fixing that I was off and running. Truck had great power, shifted smooth and all and all was a great driver and light trail rig.

A month or two later I was driving to grab some parts from my local napa. Its located close to a very busy intersection and traffic was backed up from a red light. I needed to get into the center turn lane to get to my destination across the street. But traffic was backed up 100ft past where Napa is located. So I decided to drive up the center turn lane past stop traffic to get where I was going. No big deal right, I've done it many times. Well no sooner did I merge into the center lane did some lady decide she was going to do the same thing so she could make the left turn light at the intersection. She turned out from stopped traffic and I ended up hitting her at 35mph with the right front, luckily we did not hit anyone else and none of us had any serious injuries. All I could do was laugh. I had just got the bugs worked out of the truck and there is sat crushed in the middle of the road. I borrowed the tow truck and dragged it home.
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The whole body unfortunately needed replaced. Between the rust and the accident there wasn't much left to work with. The cab was so tweaked from off roading already and the accident made it much worse. My plan was to source a new body and start with something that I didn't have to spend hours trying to square up again. I ended up picking up a 67 c10 from my friend for cheap. I've always liked the 67-72 chevys and the price was right. Ive seen alot of these swaps done and I sounded like a fun project. I rested the body on the frame and rolled it out to the barn to sit until I had time and money to fix it. Well life happens, flash forward 6 years and the farthest I got was moving it out of the barn and into the garage.
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Over the last few years I started putting alot of research into my build. I decided to completely change the powertrain again in favor of a healthy 6.5 optimizer, nv4500 and a 205 case. Might even do a 203/205 doubler. I have the 203 left over, we will see how I feel about that when the time comes. As I got closer to my build date I began to rethink the 67 body. I wanted to put together a nice daily driver. The body swap sounds fun to me because I like fabrication work. But at the same time I could cut my build time in half with the correct body. I really want to drive my truck so I made up my mind to find a 73-80 Chevy and put my truck back to what it was. I ended up finding a 78 k20 with a 350, sm465, and 205. And the best part, it was a one owner truck. It always nice to talk to the guy who bough the truck when it was new. It had some body work done to it but it was a solid platform (for and Ohio truck) and I had my clean southern frame to set it on.
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So that's where its sits today. I sold the 67 body the other day. The powertrain is gathered. My plan is to start tearing the white 78 down in March and get this project underway. It's been too long since I've got to build something for my self. So I'm going to open the wallet for this build and have some fun with it. I've got some ideas that should set this thing apart from anything else I've seen. This thing is truly coming together "one piece at a time" but its sure gonna cost me a whole hell of alot of dimes 😅
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Rockabillyrat

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Ohio
They are only facing that way for fun. I did that when I was brainstorming side mout turbo setups for the GMT400 body. The factory 6.5 turbo manifold is a joke. A divided side mount would be a great improvement.

I'm building up pipes for a s300 and running the centermount manifolds with the cast up pipe manifold from a 94-98 7.3. It uses a t4 flange.
 

Will L.

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Boulder City Nv
Ooh cool. Lots of pics.

I was talking with John of Unique Diesel who has all Penisalar Diesel rights- including ability to make the killer set up for mounting the s300/s400 peninsular used to sell. It was a cast unit and fit the engine really well.

There is no for sure argreement more would get made, but. i have a feeling the door is open.

How soon before you get to that part? Might be worth doing the other parts first and getting to that part a tad later.
 

Rockabillyrat

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Location
Ohio
Well my plan is to tear the body off the white truck and lay out everything I'm using. I think I should get the chassis done while it's already apart. Then start fixing the rust on the cab so I can get it mounted. I want to fit the turbo with just the cab mounted so if I need to cut the fire wall it will be easy. Hopefully by the summer it will be mounted in there.

I really want to build my own setup. Don't get me wrong the peninsular set up was awesome. And it would be great to see that be available. I just want something you can't go out and buy.
 

Rockabillyrat

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Ohio
March has turned out to be a busy month. We drove to Florida to run the dyno at Suncoast's Spring Shakedown for work. Then I had 6.7 Ford training, and of course St. PADDY'S DAY!!

Got the motor. transmission, and transfer case out of the way today. Weather was nice so I power washed all the mud off the chassis. I forgot how clean this frame is. Definitely not from Ohio. Hopefully tear it down to bare frame tomorrow. The. Time to place my order with Offroad Design.
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Rockabillyrat

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Location
Ohio
Made some more progress over the weekend. The frame is stripped down to two bare rails. I wanted to get all the riveted brackets off the frame to make sure everything was solid underneath them. So far there is only a small spot by the rear leaf spring hanger that needs some patch work. I knew that spot was there so it's no surprise. The frame will be getting new custom built crossmembers as well as fully boxed. All the rivets will get replaced with 10.9 shouldered bolts and nuts.

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Will L.

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Boulder City Nv
“Frame off” is a common term. “Frame apart” isn’t as common. Frame painted or powder coated and then bolting together with unpainted hardware always stands out as a very clean look. Boxing it in definitely adds to strength. Weight also, but worth it imo.

A lot of hummers have been getting done that way last 10 years now, as the entire frame is bolt together on them.
 

Rockabillyrat

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Location
Ohio
Made some more progress this weekend. Got the white 78 in the garage for disassembly. I'm on a roll with tear down so I might as well strip everything down and make a list of what I need. That way I can bounce back and forth between chassis, drivetrain, and body work. The weeks I'm waiting on money for more parts I can stay busy with cleaning and rust repair.
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The white truck is in good shape considering it spent its whole life here in Ohio. May be due to the fact the original owner was oil spraying it over the years. Also it had a light restoration in the 90s. The rockers, and cab corners need some work. But that's standard for these trucks up here in the rust belt. Both the cab and bed are in good enough shape to fix with patch panels. The fenders are aftermarket, and have rust along with the inners and core support. So I'm going to replace the front clip minus the hood. Then use part of a 01-05 Silverado core support so I can mount a lb7 radiator and intercooler to go with the fan and shroud.

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I got the front clip off. And have the cab and bed ready to pull off. But I thought to myself, where am I going to put these? So i took some measurements and ran off to the hardware store. My plan is to build 2 rolling structure to set the cab and bed on. That way I can move them around and make it much easier on myself. Plus If i need room to work on our other trucks I can roll them out side.

That's the plan for next week. I hope to have everything torn down and ready for metal work by the end of the month. The chassis and cab are my big focus for the spring. The sooner I get them back together the sooner I can set the engine in. Then mock up the up pipes and turbo. 😜
 

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FellowTraveler

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Nature Coast
Man you are driven which is a good thing, those ole Chevy trucks are being treated well "GREAT" and that is a good thing. Here in my AO there are old car shows every weekend weather permitting and mixed in with modern high tech sports cars & trucks.
The local Chevy dealer empties his entire dealership and lots too of all stock which he moves to the nearby fields for shows "that's hard core".
 

Will L.

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Boulder City Nv
Ah, to see what happens when the mob of not-so-happy customers gets a hold of them . . .? :D
Not the people, The nla parts they made. Not that their centermount components were made to perfection, but their castings were the best that was available. Some were installed into hmmwvs that were spec ops and for some foreign militaries.
Oh well, if they did come back, they would be so pricey I probably couldn’t afford it anyways.
 

JayTheCPA

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Annapolis, MD
Not entirely . . . He got bit by them as well. Remember that manifold and headache over the tranny's cracked case? ;) IIRC, there were some other goodies that were not in his shipment that he paid for as well . . .
 

Rockabillyrat

Active Member
Messages
86
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174
Location
Ohio
I've been very busy the last two weeks. Work has be slammed with trucks and I just haven't had time to sit down and make an update on JC.

Over the past two weekends I continued to tear down the white 78. I built the rolling structures for the cab and bed. They are made from mostly 2x4s. Very simple and didnt cost me alot of money. And when I'm done with them I can use the wood to build something in our garden. I lifted the cab off with my engine hoist. I rigged up a beam with a u bolt to hold it from falling. It was a little front heavy but it worked. The bed I made a simple wood piece from 2x6s to fit under the bed rails. Then used my chain hoist to pick it up. I quickly found out my old chain hoist needs some work. But after a few scary moments I had the bed off and on the roller. I'm going to need a better process to do this after the body is painted but for now its apart and that's all I need for now.

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Once the body was out of the way it was time to get the chassis torn down. I removed the powertrain, and everything else that was bolted to the frame. Including all the lines and wiring. The original owner must have used a really good rubberized under coating on this frame. I used a wide scraper to remove the big spots. It was then I started to realize this frame is in better shape than I thought!! But this stuff is on there!! So after removing everything I could get to by hand I rolled it out side and used the power washer to clean the rest off. I had to use a 0 nozzle to even get this stuff to come off. The majority of it has been removed. But I still have alot of work to do to get this frame cleaned up all the way. I might end up using these frame rails with some brackets off the other to make a complete frame. Once I get the rivets out and this one torn down to bare rails I will know for sure. I need to take some measurements for crossmembers first then I will fire up the torch and get this frame apart.


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I had some time to poke around at the body. The front clip is getting replaced minus the hood. The bed I'm just going to put new bed sides on it. The rest is in good shape. A few dents but no rust. The sides on the other hand have a little more rust then I want to deal with so I'm just for to replace them. The cab is going to need the rockers, corners, front supports, and parts of the floors done. Just what I expected for a Ohio truck. The doors look aftermarket and are already rusted. So im just going to replace them too. Goodmark had a good reputation for body panels and I can get then from LKQ at work. Twice the price as LMC but in my opinion their stuff is junk.

Unfortunately with the warm weather moving in I will be busy with spring yard work the next few weeks. I will have to take a break on JC for a little while. But in the meanwhile I can get the steal for the frame and get some other parts ordered so I can get the chassis done.
 

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n8in8or

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Kalamazoo, MI
I've been very busy the last two weeks. Work has be slammed with trucks and I just haven't had time to sit down and make an update on JC.

Over the past two weekends I continued to tear down the white 78. I built the rolling structures for the cab and bed. They are made from mostly 2x4s. Very simple and didnt cost me alot of money. And when I'm done with them I can use the wood to build something in our garden. I lifted the cab off with my engine hoist. I rigged up a beam with a u bolt to hold it from falling. It was a little front heavy but it worked. The bed I made a simple wood piece from 2x6s to fit under the bed rails. Then used my chain hoist to pick it up. I quickly found out my old chain hoist needs some work. But after a few scary moments I had the bed off and on the roller. I'm going to need a better process to do this after the body is painted but for now its apart and that's all I need for now.

View attachment 56715

View attachment 56717

View attachment 56724

Once the body was out of the way it was time to get the chassis torn down. I removed the powertrain, and everything else that was bolted to the frame. Including all the lines and wiring. The original owner must have used a really good rubberized under coating on this frame. I used a wide scraper to remove the big spots. It was then I started to realize this frame is in better shape than I thought!! But this stuff is on there!! So after removing everything I could get to by hand I rolled it out side and used the power washer to clean the rest off. I had to use a 0 nozzle to even get this stuff to come off. The majority of it has been removed. But I still have alot of work to do to get this frame cleaned up all the way. I might end up using these frame rails with some brackets off the other to make a complete frame. Once I get the rivets out and this one torn down to bare rails I will know for sure. I need to take some measurements for crossmembers first then I will fire up the torch and get this frame apart.


View attachment 56722

View attachment 56726

I had some time to poke around at the body. The front clip is getting replaced minus the hood. The bed I'm just going to put new bed sides on it. The rest is in good shape. A few dents but no rust. The sides on the other hand have a little more rust then I want to deal with so I'm just for to replace them. The cab is going to need the rockers, corners, front supports, and parts of the floors done. Just what I expected for a Ohio truck. The doors look aftermarket and are already rusted. So im just going to replace them too. Goodmark had a good reputation for body panels and I can get then from LKQ at work. Twice the price as LMC but in my opinion their stuff is junk.

Unfortunately with the warm weather moving in I will be busy with spring yard work the next few weeks. I will have to take a break on JC for a little while. But in the meanwhile I can get the steal for the frame and get some other parts ordered so I can get the chassis done.
I like the rig you made for pulling the bed. Clever.
 
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