Jump to content
  • Sign up for FREE! Become a GM-Trucks.com Member Today!

    In 20 seconds you can become part of the worlds largest and oldest community discussing General Motors, Chevrolet and GMC branded pickups, crossovers, and SUVs. From buying research to owner support, join 1.5 MILLION GM Truck Enthusiasts every month who use GM-Trucks.com as a daily part of their ownership experience. 

Recommended Posts

A while back we sold my old sierra to get an SUV to haul the kids around in. Having a pickup is something you miss though, so recently I was looking for a fun truck to drive around and take surfing, haul household trash, etc.


I ended up getting my hands on a 1968 C20 longbed that someone gave a once-over to. The important stuff:

454 v8 with a three speed th400 auto transmission. The guy had dual purple hornies coming out right under the doors, SUPER loud and didn't smell great while driving it. I already took those off, put a flowmaster in and ran dual pipes out the sides behind the rear tires.


My question is, what now? I had a mechanic look at it and there are minor issues. I'm going to go through it and replace every wet seal, gasket, and belt but beyond that there are a couple leaks, from the valve covers and it sounds like a leak from the carb. It's got an old Rochester carb on it, I'm thinking buy a new Holley 750 and be done with it.


I'm also going to add a factory looking tach, new instrument panel bezel, and generally tighten things up.


What else should I do? It's loud and first gear has plenty of torque, but it's not fast. One reason I want the tach is I had it on the freeway and felt like I was nuzzling the redline at 60mph. Is there an easy way to improve the top end?


The bed is a layer of spray painted plywood screwed into the original wooden bed. I'd love to redo that, but the kits are pretty expensive and it looks like a lot of 50 year old bolts that would need to be blowtorched. Is it possible to shore up the original bed and spray it with a rhino liner or something?


Any other ideas?




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice truck :thumbs:


BTW my son has a '69 chevy pickup and the worst thing on it are the brakes.I've been trying to convince him to do a disc brake upgrade to the fronts.There are many conversion kits available,Google is your friend here.I know Chevy put disc on from the factory in '72,maybe an option in '71?not sure.I've suggested to my son for us to go to our local Pick-A-Part to see if we can find a '72 to rob the parts.Even though they're old once we get the main parts I can get replacements where I work.

His has a 327 in it and it screams on the freeway also,only a rear end gear change or a change to an overdrive trans is gonna help that(or both).

This seems like extra expense but possibly put a newer all steel bed on it?My son's is all steel.


I've said to my son if his truck was mine it would already have three things done to it:

big block

disc brakes



OK maybe 4: A/C :)

Edited by grampadirt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The sky is the limit, really. It will always be breathing hard with the 3 speed going above 55. I'd consider the brake upgrade. If it was mine, 6.0 and trans would be on the list.


Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Awesome find, especially with the big block! I'm jealous! I'll throw in a few things. First, unless I'm just not seeing it I don't see an intake point for the PVC. Put either a breather in the passenger side valve cover or run one of those metal lines from the valve cover to the bottom of the air filter base, without either you're putting a lot of suction on the crankcase which is not good for seals, etc. and could cause some leaks and oil consumption and also cause running issues. A good modern HEI distributor with an adjustable vacuum advance is another good add on which will help with both fuel economy and will wake it up some because of the benefits of the combined mechanical and vacuum advance which should be used on all 'street driven' vehicles of this vintage. As for the carb, unless the Q-Jet is leaking from the bottom plugs which is quite common (signs of it is hard starting or a seemingly flooded engine after it has been ran and then has sat for 20 or so minutes), the Q-Jets are very good street carburetors and all are actually rated to flow 750 cfm regardless of what people say and are actually quite simple to rebuild as well, you just need the numbers off the carb for the correct rebuild kit. If you want to go with a new carb I have pretty extensive experience with the Edelbrock performer and Thunder series (basically both are the same with exception of the adjustable air door on the secondaries of the Thunder series), and are very simple to tune and work on as well, easier than even the Q-Jet, there are available tuning kits which contain a selection of rods and jets, but I've found the Edelbrocks are quite good right out of the box. Nothing wrong with a Holley but they are a bit more work to take apart and tune and it usually involves changing both the jets and the power-valve which can be a bit of a guessing game compared to the ease I've found working on the Edelbrocks. If it's screaming at 60 MPH then I'd guess it's geared pretty low which most pickups were back in the day, so it should have a hell of a hole shot and run right up to 60 MPH in a hurry, if not I'd suspect the overall timing situation combined with a new distributor and the PVC situation I describe above would be good things to look at first. BTW: Use manifold vacuum for the vacuum advance, not timed (or what some refer to as ported).


Other than that and the other suggestions made here, drive it and have fun!

Edited by ifixedit
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

As mentioned above, change ALL of the fluids out.


I also had a 1969 C10 years back. I went to the junkyard and found a 1971 for parts. This was the 1st year for disc front brakes. I bolted that in, also having to change to 1971-72 larger outer tie rod ends.


Then I added the power steering & power brakes of this same parts truck. It all bolted in!!


I added a 1972 Cheyenne junkyard parts truck's newer style door panels & roof headliner to my plain-jane old '69 as well.


I would lightly tint the windows & save up for a built 700R4 automatic. This will lower your cruising RPM's & give you better 1st gear take-offs.


After that, just maintain her & enjoy the smart investment... :driving:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.