After months of preparation, it's finally time to make some serious progress by dropping the new LS drivetrain between the 'rails of the '68 Chevy C10 we've been working on. It's been a long and educational road as I knew literally nothing about the LS family of engines when all this first got off the ground. A year or so later and I've learned enough to come to the conclusion that these new, odd-looking little numbers can be set up to make gobs of power in a pretty efficient manner, something previous-generation engines didn't do so well. And with a little bit of work, they can actually look pretty cool to boot.
Dropping a late-model engine into a C10 is actually more straightforward than one might think. With a handful of options regarding engine placement, it's simply a matter of determining the amount of setback from the stock motor mount location and choosing the corresponding mounting plates to mate the motor to the small-block-style motor mounts. From there, the new LS engine can be bolted up to the stock motor mount location on the front crossmember. With new products being constantly developed, by the time this goes to print, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a drop-in kit for every classic truck out there.
Before we dropped in the motor for the first and final time, I took the opportunity to give the frame a thorough cleaning and hit it with the same two-stage Eastwood process I used on the back end. First, I applied two coats of Rust Encapsulator to stop whatever rust may have been lurking in the nooks and crannies of the stamped steel crossmembers. Then, I applied another two coats of Extreme Chassis Black, to give the frame a bulletproof coating with just enough sheen to give it that OEM look. From there, the foundation was laid to place the engine.
The extra bit of work it took to prep the chassis set me back a few more days than I would have liked, and believe me I was ready to drop the motor in a month ago, but I'm glad I took the time to prep the space while I had the room. Now the entire underside of the truck is detailed and looks great, further emphasizing the work on the engine. With the engine in place, we can start wiring, running fuel lines, and sorting out the supercharger/intercooler plumbing, stay tuned!