Is it just me or do certain parts of a truck build capture your interest like a shiny object at arm's length, while other aspects rub you like a wire brush across the face? I've waxed philosophically about the trials and tribulations that come with reviving a classic truck enough to probably paint myself as quite the complainer, but I promise I really like 90 percent of what goes into a truck build. It's just those little, tedious jobs that always get me.
And this month, I'm in the middle of one of the most elaborately arduous wiring jobs I've ever encountered. The LS engine, with its myriad sensors, fuel injectors, coil packs, drive-by-wire and programmable in/out harnesses, along with the fan relays, fuel pump relays, ECU connectors, separate grounds, separate battery connections…it's enough to make a person's head explode. Add to that the keyless entry system, power windows, push-to-start setup, 12-volt door handles…oh, did I mention I'll also be wiring all the regular lights, gauges, and switches as well? I lost count when I had nine full days in on the job.
But you know what? I'm loving it. Every stupid crimpin', heat shrinkin', wire runnin', pigtail makin' minute of it. It's something I don't get to do very often and it must tap some Zen part of my psyche that puts me in the zone and connects man and machine. Either that or I like the fact that wiring is one of those things where if you take your time, it becomes a beautiful web of organized unification between all the different electrical accouterments. Or it may just be that I enjoy wiring as I tend to take the same joy when it comes to hangin' lights or adding equipment out in the garage. Just don't tell my wife, she's been beggin' me to install some can lights in the kitchen!
As I look down the to-do list on my C10, however, there are a few things that come up that I'm not looking forward to. Actually, that's not true, there's really only one aspect that I don't enjoy so much—bodywork. And truth be told, I think most of us feel the same way about the task. Unfortunately, it's a means to an end, an expensive end if it becomes necessary to farm out the job. That said, I'll probably just do what I normally do and pull up my bootstraps and hit it with half the enthusiasm you'd imagine. Hey, nobody's perfect!
But looking down that list got me thinkin'. What are my options if I don't feel like doing the paint and bodywork on the C10 juuuuuuuust yet? The most obvious one is that I can drive around a truck that's half red and half flat black, while the part that's half flat black slowly rusts. You know that's gonna cause more work, so I really don't like that option.
Option number two is to knock out the bodywork and send it on over to one of those 24-hour paint shops to bomb the truck in one color. I like this option, but I've seen some of those jobs; heck, they paint the weatherstripping, half the chrome, and fog the engine compartment if you're not careful!
The third option is the most painful as it requires disassembling most of the truck and doing it the right way. We all know that's the proper option, but I really hate the idea of pulling all the glass and tearing the dash BACK apart to paint the inside of the cab, not to mention the work on the exterior that's involved.
And so, it seems I've found myself in a quandary of sorts. To what extent do I take things? A few weeks back, I noticed a topic on one of the web forums that questioned why so-called "patina" trucks are so popular these days. The poster mentioned the fact that "back in the day" everybody did whatever they could to get their trucks in tip-top shape—paint, body, and all. I thought about that for a minute and took my own situation into account.
Is it due to laziness? I don't think so. A shear lack of pride when it comes to our rides? That'd be hard to argue as we're all pretty prideful of what we build. What about the economy and the fact that it's harder to get that "bang for your buck" like you could a few years back? I think that has a lot to do with it.
But what I really think it comes down to is that a lot of guys are in my same shoes. They enjoy part of the build, endure others, and flat out don't care to take it all the way. For them, errrrr us, it's all about having fun with our trucks. Our time is tight, our budgets even tighter, and what little seat time we get with our truck is well cherished. And let's face it, a supercharged, 500-horsepower C10 with a six-speed transmission is fun to drive, no matter what it looks like. And putting a yuppie in an $80,000 Audi to shame in what looks like a truck that shoulda' been crushed years ago is so worth it, I almost want to toss the rest of the wiring on the floor, strap a milk crate where the driver's seat should go, and start havin' fun! Perhaps I'll give it a few more weeks...