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    Thread: The C5/10

    1. #1
      Join Date
      Sep 2016
      Posts
      24

      The C5/10

      Hey Everyone,
      Ok, so I have been working on this project for a while and am just now getting to writing it up. This is my first build so the progress has been slow due to the learning curve and life in general.

      This project started out as a simple pro touring build, comprised of an LS swap and bolt on parts, but it has evolved into a lot more than that.... With the help of some very talented friends who are also bad influences, we are building an autocross/pro touring focused truck on a full custom chassis utilizing C5 Corvette suspension (Hence the name of the truck, The C5/10). I know we aren't the first to build a truck to do car things, but I think we have some pretty unique ideas that will make for a very competitive piece when we are done. The goal of this project has always been to build a pro touring truck, the magnitude of how far we are taking it has changed drastically. So let's get into it.

      Let's start with the vision...This is the end goal:





      And here is where we started...

      I picked up this beautiful piece of vintage American engineering, a 1972 C10 short bed, in September of 2016.



      The motivation behind building a truck to do all of this instead of the typical Camaro, corvette, etc was because I was told “you can’t race a truck.” So being stubborn as I am, I decided to set out to prove them wrong. I have always wanted to build a 67-72 C10 but I have no experience restoring vehicles or building hot rods. I am a mechanical engineer by trade, I worked in the motorsports industry, and grew up wrenching on various things. But I have never restored a vehicle from the ground up.

      Long story short, I bought a basket case and way overpaid for it. I had no idea what to look for when I went looked at it. I was excited about finally finding a short bed 67-72 C10 that I could afford which made me overlook a lot of red flags. It was just a rolling chassis, no motor or trans. One of the previous owners (not the guy I bought it from) was very skilled at hiding rot/bondo/etc. But hey, you have to learn lessons somehow, right. Well, I got taken to school on this one. The more parts I took off, the more rust I found.



















      The entire bed went to the scrap yard, minus the front panel. I began trying to repair the floors, rockers, cab corners but soon learned that this cab was far beyond my skill set. A guy I know, that was providing guidance on rebuilding the cab, had an extra cab that was in much better shape than the one I was trying to save. He gave me a decent deal on it so it was a no-brainer. Having to start over wasn’t all negative though, I learned A LOT on the first cab.

      So before I got a new cab I came across a deal on an engine I couldn't pass on. I picked up a 5.3L LM7 from a friend's dad. I had it delivered to my work to utilize the loading dock and fork lift. I brought it home, got it cleaned up and ready to be torn down for the head/cam work that it will be receiving.










      I had also started fixing the rust on the stock frame..... before we decided to build a full frame. But since we won't be using the stock frame, that was sold.

      Once I finally got the new cab I began tearing into that. I will save that for the next post...



    2. #2
      Join Date
      Sep 2016
      Posts
      24
      So once I got the new cab, I began cutting out the rust and welding in new metal. Here are some pictures of that process.

















      Onto the driver's side:




















      And shortly after that last picture was taken, I am talking 5 minutes or less, my wife went into labor and we were on our way to the hospital to welcome our first child into this world!




      That put the truck on hold for a few weeks, obviously.

      To be continued.....

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States
      It sucks to buy what looks to be a complete truck only to scrap most of it.

      Congrats on the birth of your child.

      Joe

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Sep 2016
      Posts
      24
      Thanks Joe!

      Yea I definitely learned my lesson on this one lol. Live and learn.

      More updates to come hopefully tonight.

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Sep 2016
      Posts
      24
      Post 3:

      So after our son was born, I didn't have a lot of time to spend in the shop, so we got to more of the fine detail planning. The original plan was to go with a LS motor, T-56, 9 inch rear, front drop member kit and a rear step notch, full coilovers, and keep things as light weight as possible. However, that plan quickly changed. Some friends of mine, Adam and Alan from Skoons Hot Rods, built a Chevelle that was a full custom chassis that utilized a C5 Corvette drivetrain and suspension. Well, long story short, they convinced me to do a full frame with C5 Corvette suspension. We are still working out the details of the drive line (specifically what we are using for the rear diff).

      So once we decided on this direction for sure, we started designing the frame. The first thing we did was measure the stock chassis with a ROMER Arm. For those of you who don't know what that it, it is a portable Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM), sold by Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence. These things are super accurate (can measure to about 0.001”-0.003") and can measure just about anything. They are typically used in a quality control or reverse engineering role. The arm we used has a laser scanner on it so you can gather several hundred thousand data points per second. Probably a bit overkill for this but hey, utilize the resources you can right?! We measured the frame rails, body mounts, axle center-lines, firewall, and just about anything else that is important.











      Then I gave all of this data to Adam and he began the CAD design.

      While I was at it, I laser scanned the T56 transmission and Gen5 Camaro rear diff so we could use those for modeling purposes as well.







      Also picked up the C5 suspension from VettePros in Charlotte, NC.



      Hope to begin building the chassis this spring/summer. That's it for tonight, more updates to come tomorrow.

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Feb 2006
      Location
      Columbia Co. NY
      Posts
      275
      Following along!
      67' Camaro- 385 SBC/Autogear M22/Wilwood

      My 57' Truck build:
      https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/126935-Caddy-powered-pick-em-up-57-Chevy-truck

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Aug 2011
      Location
      Granite City
      Posts
      114
      So in my initial quest for suspension information. I was chatting with Mark from SC&C and he mentioned in our conversation about guys using vette suspensions in muscle cars etc and it just doesn't work, because the suspension was engineered for a corvette weight/CG etc... and it just isn't built to handle correctly when tossed into early chassis. I think of all the threads I've read, and info ive seen. I would contact Ron Sutton with your plans/designs before they are finalized in steel.

      I'm not an expert, but its something maybe to chew into deeper before you have a ton of money into a custom chassis with vette stuff that just isn't going to work as good as maybe another option/setup.

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Apr 2009
      Location
      Michigan
      Posts
      265
      Country Flag: United States
      I'd be interested to hear from those who think using C5/C6 suspension in a muscle car/truck would be a bad idea. I think it could be made to work great with a few "minor" changes.

      To maintain Corvette-like handling characteristics in a C10 (or almost any muscle car build) with a C5/C6 suspension, you will certainly have to increase spring and sway bar rates to compensate for:
      - Higher weight
      - Higher center of gravity
      - Greater track width (for trucks, there will likely be more "leverage" on the suspension from wheels with less positive offset)

      Stiffer C5/C6 springs, sway bars, and shocks are readily available from the aftermarket. You'd have to do some math to determine what rates you need based on your vehicle's weights, CG height, desired ride frequency, and desired roll stiffness. If you tried to use stock C5 rates on a C10, the truck would feel soft and wallowy and likely not have enough suspension travel. Vette's can get away with relatively low rates because of their light weight and low CG; that's why people are impressed with how the handle great and still ride good. A truck will never handle as good as a Vette AND ride as good; you will have to give up something due to the higher CG.

      If the truck turns out to be close to 4000 lbs with tall sticky tires, you could argue that the hard parts of the C5 suspension (A-arms, spindles, hubs) would be under much more stress than they were designed for, which is a fair point. For what it's worth, there are Corvette race cars running slicks and aero that pull way over 1G and stay together, so you could probably get away with it.

      Despite the above concerns, the C5 suspension will have great geometry that you'd be hard pressed to beat, and since you're doing both the front and rear, the roll centers, camber curves, etc will complement each other nicely.

      That said, I don't have any first hand experience doing this type of swap, so I'd be interested to hear what others have to say.

    9. #9
      Join Date
      May 2011
      Location
      Chippewa Falls, WI
      Posts
      289
      Country Flag: United States
      Following. I am researching for close to the same build plan as you.
      Justin N.

      1966 Chevelle
      1992 GMC Typhoon
      1989 Jeep Wrangler CJ 6.0 Twin Turbo
      1981 Jeep CJ7

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Sep 2016
      Posts
      24
      Justin,
      Just watch what we do then do the opposite lol.

      I will have more pictures to post either later tonight or tomorrow.

      If you want to see a car that the guys at Skoons Hot Rods built that utilizes the Corvette stuff, check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Skoons-Hot-...8635269525594/.

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Jun 2013
      Location
      San Diego
      Posts
      272
      Country Flag: United States
      Following....because I like your thinking on this project.
      Brian

      1972 C10 - 454/TH400 - Short bed conversion - https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...1972-C10-SoCal
      1970 Nova - LS Swap - https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...Cal?highlight=



    12. #12
      Join Date
      May 2011
      Location
      Chippewa Falls, WI
      Posts
      289
      Country Flag: United States
      I have seen the Chevelle at LSfest, but did not do a thorough look. I'm sure you have most of the design stuff covered. I need to borrow the your CMM and CAD files

      I have been involved with a C5 swap in a corvair over the last year or so, but truck fitment may be different. I wont have much time to start the project until summer, since the truck is stuck in the snow.


      Quote Originally Posted by bbalch404 View Post
      Justin,
      Just watch what we do then do the opposite lol.



      I will have more pictures to post either later tonight or tomorrow.

      If you want to see a car that the guys at Skoons Hot Rods built that utilizes the Corvette stuff, check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Skoons-Hot-...8635269525594/.
      Justin N.

      1966 Chevelle
      1992 GMC Typhoon
      1989 Jeep Wrangler CJ 6.0 Twin Turbo
      1981 Jeep CJ7

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Sep 2016
      Posts
      24
      Justin,
      Just watch what we do then do the opposite lol.

      I will have more pictures to post either later tonight or tomorrow.

      If you want to see a car that the guys at Skoons Hot Rods built that utilizes the Corvette stuff, check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Skoons-Hot-...8635269525594/.

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Feb 2013
      Posts
      684
      Country Flag: United States
      Nice project. I have an 85 short bed I can't seem to find time for...

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Sep 2016
      Posts
      24
      So after picking up the suspension I got back to work finishing up a lot of the metal work on the cab. I filled the stock fuel filler hole and since I am not running A/C in this truck I filled those holes on the firewall. I am also doing some sort of custom dash that works better with the cage so the stock dash was removed and I replaced the metal on the back side of the lip where the windshield sits.























      Just threw some rattle can paint on it to keep it from rusting until i get the rest of the fab work done on the cab and can start body working it.



      I also repaired the kick panels.





      Now its time to move on to repairing the rusty doors....yay. Once I have that done, I will post the pictures.

      Also, my seats should be here tomorrow, so we will be getting the roll cage started soon as well.

      Stay tuned...

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Nov 2017
      Posts
      9
      Quote Originally Posted by bbalch404 View Post


      What are these?

    17. #17
      Join Date
      Sep 2016
      Posts
      24
      Those are just magnets that have an on/off switch. You see them used a lot to hold dial indicators and such. They just had a bit more bite than my old worn out welding magnets.

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Nov 2008
      Location
      NC
      Posts
      575
      Country Flag: United States
      This is going to be good. I love the rendering.

      Congrats on your newborn but, you didn't mention if it was a boy or a girl or the name.

      That CMM is pretty bad ass and makes things a heck of a lot easier. Lucky guy.

      You're a brave man to remove the A/C, we get some hot summer days here in NC.

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Sep 2016
      Posts
      24
      So just to update you all. This project is still moving forward but not too many updates worth posting lately. My wife and I ended up having to do a kitchen remodel due to a faulty dishwasher, so that took precedence over the truck for the last few months. Also, I've been busy working on and autocrossing my FRS ('tis the season!). But focus is slowly shifting back to the truck as time allows.

      As far as the C10 goes, the major frame design is done! I am sure there will be minor tweaks here and there but we are ordering steel this week to start building the frame! Should have some good things to post soon.

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Sep 2016
      Posts
      24
      It has been a while since I last posted an update on this project but it is still alive. Had a lot going on lately that has limited the amount of time I could dedicate to the truck. Work trips, home repairs, holidays, etc have all gotten in the way but I am finally finding some more time to get on this project. One of the things I have finally finished was a custom pedal car for my son! Turned out pretty good.



      Ok so as promised here is an update on this project. Started fixing the door bottoms. The inside panel was shot and the bottom outside corner had some bad rust. I cut it all out and began making the patches. I fit the panels and patches pretty well and was really careful about getting too much heat in it but still ended up warping the door a bit. I think it was because the part I had to cut out on the outside bottom corner was really close to the edge. It can be fixed, just going to take some work.






      Still have to repair the driver door. Saving that for another day. I have had enough of the sheet metal repair for the time being.

      The chassis design is done and we can now start building that.



      The frame is going to be made up of laser cut pieces, rectangular tubing and round tubing. Laser parts are on order and the rectangular tubing got delivered a week or so ago. So now the fun part begins! Getting all of the tubing laid out and cut to size is the next major step and here are some pictures of the start of that process.






      That is basically where we are at the moment. Once I make some more progress I will post another update.

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