It never ceases to amaze me the way a build can bring with it such brevity. A few weeks planned for this and a few weeks planned for that and pretty soon you’re staring half a year down on that CCT calendar in your garage. Where in the heck did all that time go?! Sacrificed to the truck gods, or so it seems.
We all have buddies with a truck project in their garage that hasn’t seen the light of day in 20 years. Hey, we might even be that buddy. I used to shake my head at those guys and think, “get your lazy butt out there and work on that truck!” But I can definitely see how a project goes down that long and winding road.
Recently, I drove my longbed 1968 C10 into the Source Interlink Media tech center to blow apart in preparation for the next iteration of its long, useful life. A quick nip ’tween the wheels, a little off the back, a new bed wood kit, an engine swap, some wiring—sounds pretty simple, eh?
Well, six months on and I’ve managed to complete the first coupla tasks in a fairly prompt manner, but have managed to double the to-do list in the process. Hmmmmm…that seems a bit counterproductive doesn’t it? But as many of you can relate, once things get started, it’s hard to draw in the reins and consign yourself to the few original tasks. Case in point:
The original plan to motivate the ’68 was for a simple, carbureted LS327 crate engine. I ordered the proper parts from Chevy Performance Parts, complemented by an Eddie Motorsports S-Drive front runner kit to take care of all the accessories. An Edelbrock intake and carb combined with an MSD ignition controller wrapped up the package nicely. Then things went … differently.
A quick conversation with the guys at Torq Storm at the Street Rod Nationals last Summer in Louisville got the gears turning to supercharge the engine. Another conversation got Holley involved utilizing their new mid-rise modular intake. A couple more quips from the guys ’round the office and here we are ordering up a new set of Trick Flow heads from Summit Racing along with a blower-grind cam from Comp. The supercharged setup also necessitates the use of a GM drive-by-wire throttle body and pedal … so much for that simple LS swap!
But, what I’ve realized as all these different things have slowly come together is that the aftermarket really has its stuff together when it comes to utilizing all the new technology that’s out there. A drive-by-wire system in an old truck? Sounds a bit crazy to me, but once I started setting things up, it was actually easier than setting up a traditional throttle pedal arrangement.
In the past, I’d have to fabricate a bit a linkage with a pair of Heim joints at either end to join the throttle pedal to the carb, fit a return spring, and maybe a kickdown cable for the transmission. With the DBW setup, it was a simple matter of plugging the harness into the throttle body, pedal, and then the Holley ECU and together the three components do the rest. It truly is mind blowing and trying to figure out how these three things work in conjunction with all the other sensors on the LS engine has given me brain fade, though that’s not too difficult to be honest.
So, while my particular project has taken on a life of its own, I’ve learned to embrace it wholeheartedly. Those around the shop with a bit of experience under their belt have helped to remind me how cool it’s going to be when it’s all said and done. “Stay the course” was their advice. I’ve taken it and now I let the journey wander where it wants. That philosophy has no doubt added a bunch more work to the project and sent the completion date packing, but I’ve not doubt that when it’s all said and done it will be very worth it.
See you on the road, hopefully, by 2014 or 2015 depending on how many more of these great “ideas” I come up with!