Truck Tech Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

American Powertrain Systems
Tremec TKO 600 5-Speed
Matco Tools
MATCO Tools are the Official Tool Supplier to PowerNation
Smokey Road Rod Shop
Extruded Aluminum Bed Floor Kit
The Industrial Depot
Tools, Hardware, Shop Supplies

Episode Transcript

(Jimmy)>> You're watching Powernation!

(LT)>> Today on Truck Tech we take you through the completion of one of our favorite builds. Classic styling mixed with modern attitude. This is Project Lo 'n Slo. [ MUSIC ] [ engine revving ]

(LT)>> Yeah baby! Woo hoo! [ MUSIC ]

(LT)>> Now you guys might notice that this truck does look just a little bit different from the last time you saw it. Now that's just because we didn't show you every last step of the build.

(Austin)>> But not to worry, if you're just starting to watch let's get you caught up. [ MUSIC ] Found what we were looking for in the '65 C-10 Fleetside.

(LT)>> Mechanically the truck was iffy at best. The engine was a later model 305, which was low on compression and smoked a bit, and just about every single bushing and joint in the suspension was shot, but that really wasn't a huge deal since all we were really after was some good solid sheet metal.

(Austin)>> We got right to work on the rebuild by getting the chassis powder coated, and we threw on a QA-1 suspension kit which will lower the ride height and improve handling. Then I painted the roof pearl white for a pop of color while LT fabbed up the turbo kit for our 292 straight six.

(LT)>> With the cab undercoated we threw it back on the frame, and Austin and Mac from Wyotech got busy creating a custom leather bench seat and some door panels. Well I've got to say the interior on this truck it turned out just perfect honestly. I know I had my reservations at first when you said you wanted to paint it white and have brown leather, but honestly though it actually looks great.

(Austin)>> Is this a compliment coming from you?

(LT)>> Okay I'm sorry, I don't give all the compliments in the world but yes, I'll hand it to you here.

(Austin)>> It's an extremely weird feeling being the recipient of a compliment. I don't know what to do.

(LT)>> I guess I've got to re-evaluate my life decisions huh?

(Austin)>> You're doing great!

(LT)>> I mean the truck is riding great. You know the suspension, those coil overs, nice and tight, nice and low.

(Austin)>> Dude the steering is tight. Hopefully the brakes work really well cause we're tailgating someone at the moment. Couldn't ask for more honestly.

(LT)>> I mean don't get too ahead of yourself though because right now there's no gauges in it. It would be nice to know how fast we're going.

(Austin)>> Let's not get carried away. We've got to still have stuff to do in the future. I did forget to put the gauges in but they are at the shop. It'd be nice if we even finish up the wiring, and by finish I mean start the wiring.

(LT)>> It'd be nice to have things like taillights and headlights I guess. Engine wise the turbo, man that thing is all buttoned up. All the fab work is done but engine wise Pat and Mike, they're still doing the machine work. So we probably need to throw that in.

(Austin)>> It'd be cool if we drop it in, and a bed, well it's not a truck if you don't put a bed on it.

(LT)>> So what do you say we quit screwing around and maybe head back to the shop and actually get to work?

(Austin)>> I hate to say you're right but I guess we got to. [ MUSIC ]

(LT)>> This is really good for the calves I think. Why do I always get suckered into pushing?

(Austin)>> This is as low as she's gonna get huh?

(LT)>> You know those ballet classes are really starting to pay off.

(Austin)>> I almost fell through too.

(LT)>> This floor is pretty rough. It just kinda goes to show what condition this truck is or was in when we picked it up. Somebody really just pulled this out of the field and they slapped it together. These planks, they're actually pretty new. It's just something that they must have had kicking around. They milled it up and they stuck it in, but it doesn't match and it's just kinda plain. Really this is more what we have in mind for the look on the floor of the bed. It still looks rustic, maybe kind of that old barn wood, but just something with a little bit more difference in the color. So let me show you guys what we picked up to make this happen. So about a year and a half ago I was at the C-10 Nationals down in Texas. It was a great show and I had a lot of time to walk through the manufacturers midway and see some of the new products that people had come out with for these trucks, and there was a bed wood floor kit that caught my eye and that's because there was a big giant graphic completely applied to the floor of the bed. Now that caught my attention because I first of all wondered how the heck do they get that in the bed cause wood is a tough material to work with? So I stopped and I realized it actually wasn't wood. It was an extruded aluminum bed floor kit from Smokey Rhodes Rod Shop, and that's what we've ordered up here. Now first of all it has that nice barn wood texture that we're going for but there's a couple of advantages to using aluminum. Number one it's lightweight. This stuff is extruded and it weighs almost nothing. Most traditional bed wood floor kits are made from hard wood and that's very heavy. So if you want a fast truck lightweight is your friend, and the other advantage to this system is how clean it's going to look when it's installed. There are no exposed fasteners on these rails at all. There's a small groove on the back of the extrusion that the hardware's gonna go into that holds everything nice and tight and has a nice clean look, and on top of that we had our logo put in the bed, Project Lo 'n Slo. So this thing is gonna look great. So as soon as we take the bed floor out of this thing there's really gonna be nothing that holds it in place. Basically it could just flop over and all our bed sides would be sitting on the ground. So you take two straps and you run them at a diagonal, and they're gonna keep this thing nice and square so nothing falls apart. Alright let's get this thing unbolted.

(Austin)>> Zip her off! [ MUSIC ]

(LT)>> Let's get some boards falling. [ metal clanging ] [ drill humming ] [ MUSIC ]

(LT)>> Up next, the dyno tells the tale. We won't rest until we get big power.

(LT)>> Austin you've got to check this bed floor out. It's looking great!

(Austin)>> I like it, I like it! Well dude I just got finished prepping these. Scuffed them up with the d-a but honestly I still don't know which route I'm taking as far as finish.

(LT)>> Well I mean I guess you've got a couple of different options. Number one, you could do the whole fake patina thing. We've done that before. Basically you spray a little red oxide primer on there, you put some color on top, and you sand through in a couple of different areas but the thing is it wouldn't match. It would almost stick out worse than it would blend in.

(Austin)>> For sure, and it's not the style of the truck. We have the real patina and then some newly fresh painted stuff. We know black doesn't look right cause they were e-coated in black and it was just a little off. If it was a rat rod I would just say hey let's call it a day and bolt them up like it is.

(LT)>> Well we've just got to pick a color then to paint both the tubs and the strips and blend it all in.

(Austin)>> I've been thinking and I honestly think it would look good if we carry that white over on the back cause it's a new part.

(LT)>> So still have the same pearl and they clear coat for a nice glossy look?

(Austin)>> Nice and shiny. [ spray gun hissing ] [ MUSIC ]

(Austin)>> Oke-doke, let's see what we're actually working with here.

(LT)>> Honestly I'm digging it. I mean the white just kinda flows from the roof, to the strips, to the tubs, and works with the wood grain. It just works!

(Austin)>> I am too! When this 12 foot over that way it was a bit much and it looked weird but now that it's on the truck it flows, I like it!

(LT)>> I know what you mean. Just having it on the truck makes a huge difference, but I guess all we've got to do is put a hole in the floor for the filler neck and we're done.

(Austin)>> For sure, that'll wrap up the rear and what do you say we go see where they're at with the motor.

(Pat)>> Check wide open throttle there Mike.

(LT)>> I've got to say Pat this thing looks a heck of a lot different from the last time we saw it torn apart on the bench. You know the first thing I notice is there's not turbo on it yet. So I guess you're doing a pull naturally aspirated first huh?

(Pat)>> Well the idea with that is to keep it simple. I want to make sure it has no oil leaks, no water leaks, and not that the turbo is a big factor in that. We want to keep it as simple as possible so there's nothing that's gonna make a funny noise, and it's hard to tell when there's a turbo involved. Now it's been run and we're actually ready to make some power pulls.

(Austin)>> For sure, and this will give us a good baseline. That way when we throw the boost to it we know what to actually expect.

(LT)>> I think this looks great and I'm really excited to hear how it sounds. So what do you say we go make a couple of pulls on it?

(Pat)>> Have you ever heard one of these run before?

(LT)>> Absolutely!

(Pat)>> Not like this you haven't. [ high pitch engine revving ]

(LT)>> Yeah that's where it starts to sound good! [ high pitch engine revving ]

(Pat)>> It sounds like an airplane.

(Mike)>> Awesome oil pressure, everything! Let's see what we got.

(LT)>> You guys will hate me for saying this but it almost sounds like a Skyline motor.

(Pat)>> You shut your trap!

(Mike)>> 219, 269.

(LT)>> Wow 220 horsepower! So these came from the factory with like what, 165?

(Austin)>> 160, 165 is what we looked up.

(Mike)>> This thing has way less compression. It does have better flowing head but other than that it's already 60 horse above what it came from the factory.

(Austin)>> Not even 8 to 1 on the compression.

(Mike)>> All the vitals, everything looks good. You guys gotta rock, paper, and scissor it for the first one to the console.

(Austin)>> Okay I've never done this before. Mike come back.

(Pat)>> This thing you don't even have to hit the gas pedal. Just hit starter and watch what happens. You've got to hold it. [ engine starts ]

(Pat)>> The most important thing on this is oil pressure. Obviously you want it. If that goes down at any point you abort the pulls.

(Austin)>> What do I want to hit on it?

(Mike)>> When you go to full throttle and you see the r-p-m stabilize at 2,000 you hit "D", and that starts your sweep. When it gets up to 5,000 you'll hear the brake pull the engine down. Just pull out of it, that's all you've gotta do.

(Pat)>> Keep going, all the way open!

(Mike)>> Okay hit "D".

(Pat)>> Now watch this. Don't worry about anything else. [ engine revving ]

(Mike)>> Nice!

(Pat)>> Nicely done! Scarring the bejesus out of me.

(Mike)>> You're pull was better than mine.

(Pat)>> 220?

(Austin)>> Dude that's awesome, 220.

(Pat)>> This is pretty nice.

(Austin)>> That's a consistent little due.

(Mike)>> Alright LT it's your turn to drive. Less talking more driving, let's go!

(LT)>> You know the coolest thing about this whole project is we never really set out to make a ton of horsepower. We just wanted something that was oddball and I definitely think that we got it.

(Mike)>> I think Pat's about to slap you in the back of the head.

(Pat)>> You're messing around, come on!

(LT)>> Come on dad, where's the throttle?

(Pat)>> "S", activate, start. You're just like an old pro, look at you go! [ engine revving ]

(Mike)>> Holding it too long like that puts a lot of heat in the combustion chamber. It'll kill power. [ engine revving ]

(Mike)>> 219, 269. That thing is printing numbers.

(Pat)>> It's very, very consistent.

(Mike)>> So the engine's broke in. It's making awesome power for NA with the compression before the turbo. With the valve spring change I think we're knocking on the door of over 400 easy.

(LT)>> Let's get the turbo and bolt it, come on, boost!

(Pat)>> It's not that easy.

(LT)>> You guys make it sound complicated. Finally we installed the turbocharger and intercooler and made a few more hits on the dyno where it laid down an impressive 376 horsepower and 510 pounds of torque at only 10.5 pounds of boost. Where do we go from here? Stick around and you'll find out.

(LT)>> So we're now at the point of a build where everything basically gets easier, and that's because all the hard work is done. The fab work for the turbo setup is complete and the engine we know it runs and we know it doesn't leak, and we know exactly how much horsepower it's gonna make. So the only thing we have to do is bolt all the parts back in place and we're headed down the road.

(Austin)>> And that's the best thing about these old trucks. You have all the room in the world in this engine bay to work. You can route your plumbing, run your wires, put my big ole hands in there without busting knuckles, and obviously this straight six helped matters too you know.

(LT)>> And speaking of the straight six a lot of people are gonna look at this and say why did you go with a throw away engine. For many, many years if you bought a truck that had a straight six underneath the hood the first thing you're gonna do is take that thing out and throw in a big block, a small block, or now days probably an LS, but a small displacement engine with forced induction is actually coming around again, and a lot of the manufacturers are using engines just like this today.

(Austin)>> It's kinda like that old pair of corduroy pants you've got hiding in the closet, trendy, and the six cylinder is no different. It's more popular now than ever, and that's for fuel efficiency. You add turbos, you put power adders, you still get those mid-level ranges of horsepower and they're torquey, and that's the thing that makes them fun to drive.

(LT)>> And if you want just a little bit of extra torque well that's easy. All you've got to do is mess with the waste gate and put a little more spring pressure on top of this thing. Your boost level goes up and so does your horsepower and torque. Now for our particular engine we are kinda near the limit because we have stock connecting rods and a stock crankshaft, but just in general terms that's one reason why turbocharging is so popular.

(Austin)>> And speaking of turbos time to cool it down and slap that intercooler up front.

(LT)>> In order to eliminate any possibility of leaking silicone couplers we went ahead and we welded the end charge pipes onto the tank. It ensures a nice leak free connection and just kinda looks cool as well. Now we did mount the intercooler up front because there is no space behind the grille, and when we first put this in we thought we could almost run this as the grille of the truck but the problem was the headlights. We didn't really have a nice clean way to mount the buckets and have it look right. So you might ask yourself why is an intercooler important? Well it's simple, it's physics. That turbo up there as nice as it looks it's gonna make the intake air charge nice and hot. So just about every vehicle on the road with a turbocharger uses an intercooler to bring down the temperature of the air, increasing the density, increasing the oxygen content, and increases the capacity for horsepower.

(Austin)>> Now we decided to close up the front of this old girl with an original look, and to do that we're using this reproduction grille. Now this chrome work is gonna match the front bumper, some of the chrome trim on the wheels, and some of the other accents we got on the truck, and best of all in my opinion it'll cover up that intercooler, which will make it not look so aftermarket. It'll still have that classic truck vibe but sporting a turbo. Now I was able to reuse the original headlight buckets. They're in good shape, just had to tweak them a little to get them to work, but the original headlight retainer rings, these things have seen better days. So we've got to order some new ones, and that is gonna be to mount these new projector l-e-d headlights. Once they're in they're gonna look pretty cool, and we'll definitely be able to see cruising at night. So let's just wrap up this grille and call her a day. Good on that side?

(LT)>> Looking good buddy.

(Austin)>> Two more and they line up. [ metal clanging ]

(LT)>> After days, weeks, and even months we're finally hitting the streets with a boosted sweet classic.

(Austin)>> We bought this truck sight unseen and we're very pleased to find out how nice of a patina it had on its surface. So the elements have plenty of time to work their magic on the paint without completely rotting away the metal.

(LT)>> And this truck would actually run and drive, and let me tell you it was an experience.

(Austin)>> So we didn't waste any time on Lo 'n Slo. We got right to work on tearing her down. We're not gonna be touching much of anything on the exterior but we did want to address the frame. So the first thing was to remove that bed and cab off the chassis. Once it was all stripped down we sent it off to get a new coat of semi-gloss black powder coat, and then built out the frame with an all-new suspension which will sit nice and low to the ground, and greatly improve the handling of this 55 year old pickup.

(LT)>> Finally we paired a GM 292 straight six with a Tremec 5-speed from American Powertrain, which will give this truck truly an unique driving experience. Having a 292 straight six by itself is pretty unique. However we wanted to turn it up a notch even further than that. So on the passenger side we fabricated a mount and installed an S-366 turbo that's putting out 11 pounds of boost.

(Austin)>> Now the awesome thing about that is stock this engine would typically only put out about 165 horsepower and we more than doubled that, and got it somewhere right at 500 pounds of torque. I'd say that's pretty awesome in itself.

(LT)>> Now those numbers are impressive but for me the cool thing is the unique factor cause if you go to a truck show and there's a 100 C-10's you're mostly gonna find small block Chevys and LS's, and perhaps the occasional big block, but this one truly stands out from the crowd. [ MUSIC ]

(Austin)>> There is nothing like the feeling you experience when you drive an old classic truck, and driving this 1965 C-10 that me ole Lawrence built is no different. Just cause it's a custom built truck doesn't mean it doesn't still have those same old classic and nostalgic styling cues.

(LT)>> I think my favorite part about this old truck is the sound of it because it's so deceiving or confusing for people. Think about it. You see an old truck like this and you're gonna think it's gotta have a V-8 under the hood, and then you hear that distinctive inline 6 sound and that whistle of the turbo and the blow off valve. [ engine revving ] [ blow off valve whistling ]

(LT)>> I love it! An old rusty truck that drives and handles just like a brand new sports car. It does not get any better than that. We're not the only ones cruising the back roads in a tricked out C-10. We asked our buddy country music artist James Otto to join us in his '66 resto mod featured at the SEMA show.

(James)>> Well you know it's a 1966 C-10. It was my grandfathers. It spent its whole life on a farm up in North Dakota, and I wanted it to be a pro touring truck and that's the way we built it. I love the old patina look, it's a great look, but this thing needed to look high tech. It needed to look like 2020, and hopefully we accomplished that. It's got an LS under the hood, about 500 horse, 6-speed stick underneath it. It's got Ridetech suspension and does everything I need it to do. You know we found a stock short wheel base chassis and then did a frame stiffener in it, and then did the stage 3 Ridetech setup underneath it. So it handles like it's on rails. It's been a blast to drive. I'm having fun with it.

(LT)>> This is probably the coolest comparison that we could have done.

(James)>> I think so too. The juxtaposition of same body style and ending up in a completely different spot. Man that's what hot rodding's all about.

(LT)>> You got that right. Well it was great hanging out with James and his beautiful C-10, and it's built in a totally different style from this truck here but they're both perfect examples of classic American iron. Now for our truck it's time to put it to the test and see how fast it's going to go in a straight line.

(Austin)>> We about the run the little C-10 down the track and see how fast it goes, and I don't know how fast it's gonna go.

(LT)>> Hey don't break it!

(Austin)>> I hope I don't break it. Why are you always worried about me breaking everything?

(LT)>> I know you too well. [ engine revving ] [ bleep ]

(Austin)>> It doesn't sound great. So I went to second and when I went to third it didn't want it. So I just had to get out of it. [ MUSIC ]

(Austin)>> LT's gonna be mad at me. Well you win some you lose some.

(LT)>> And?

(Austin)>> Complications, don't really know what they are at the moment but we're gonna take it back to shop and we're gonna figure it out. That's all part of it. You build it, you break it, bring it back, figure out what's wrong, and rebuild it.

(LT)>> Some things are just better left unsaid and I really don't have anything to add. So yeah, in the trailer and back to the shop.

(Austin)>> You just look sad cause you didn't get to drive.

(LT)>> With our C-10 I was worried that we had damaged the 292 but it turns out the flywheel bolts had backed out. So it was just rattling around, no big deal. Want to learn more about this build check it out, Powernation TV dot com.
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