The fastest-growing trucks on the custom classic scene today are the '73-87 Chevrolet C-10 and GMC. All you have to do is take a look around your hometown to notice an abundance of prime specimens. Adding fuel to the fire is the ever-increasing presence of top-quality customizing parts available from the aftermarket industry. Thanks to the aftermarket, the challenge of upgrading the appearance and functionality of the late-series C-10's interior due to the factory's use of molded plastic and instrumentation typical for the era can easily be corrected. When it came time for us to address our 454-inch big-block-powered '75 C-10, we started with the part truck owners spend most of their time viewing--the dashboard. Beginning at the top, we replaced our cracked and crusty dash pad with one from Classic Industries of Huntington Beach, California. This not only made our C-10's interior seem like a new truck, it allowed us to opt for a color change as well.
Next in line was to replace the poorly marked or altogether absent factory gauges with precision instruments from Auto Meter. This is where the good folks at Covan's Classic in Cumming, Georgia, enter the picture. For anyone who has ever attempted to customize their dash cluster to accept better gauges, we are sure you all know the extreme hassle created by trying to redesign the dashboard to do so. Now add to this mix the nightmare created by trying to wire in aftermarket gauges to interface with the factory wiring harness, and you have a real mess. This is the beauty of the Covan's Classic gauge cluster kit--you don't have to be a master fabricator or an ace electrician to install quality gauges in your truck. The advantages of Covan's kit are bi-fold: their cluster is designed to accurately and tastefully replace the dated-appearing stock cluster, and their wiring harness is very simple to install. Thanks to a specially designed wiring harness by American Autowire exclusively for Covan's Classic, all you have to do is connect wires that not only match the original factory wires, but are clearly labeled where they should be attached. For example, the color-coded wire that goes to the gas gauge is lettered "gas gauge," and the water temp wire is lettered "water temp."
When it came time to install the Covan's Classic cluster kit, there were several things we learned that will make installs a lot easier. Follow along as we move from step to step, and when you are done, your truck will have the best-looking and most functional late-C-10 dash cluster on the market.