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'71 C20 Farm Truck Survior *updated*

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  • '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior *updated*

    Thought you guys would get a kick out of my friends farm truck!
    His uncle bought it new in '72 as a left over and it never left the orchard until 2006.
    My buddy Dave's father owned the orchard and now Dave owns it.
    The truck came up for sale and in a total stroke of coolness, Dave's wife bought it back for him!

    The truck has 49,000 miles on it, pretty rust free considering we are in north central PA. It was still wearing split rims with 7.50-16 tires on it!!

    Dave wanted it updated and it looks like I have my work cut out for me....
    On the wish list are....
    New tires 10ply E rated. Super aggressive mud tread in the back, milder tread on the front.
    Power steering conversion/smaller diameter steering wheel.
    New front springs/balljoints/swaybar bushings/rear spring eye bushings
    All new brake stuff.
    HEI conversion recurved.
    Change fluids.
    Rear bumper.
    Fix small odds and ends like the door handle, broken tailgate strap, interior arm rests, Halogen headlights, nonworking tail lights

    The timing chain has 8* of slack in it and it needs valve cover gaskets. I have a left over 600 Edelbrock carb so I figure it would be a perfect time for an intake and mild camshaft.

    The trucks basic combo is 307 (unfortunately, making it hard to pick a cam, thinking 204/214?) 4speed with 4.10's and locking rear.
    Other weird thing is it looks like it has a factory extended box? Its 8'10"?

    I stuck some 1980's 3/4 ton 16x6.5's under it with 33" 285's..... Kind of looks tough that way!

    The main idea is to get it in really good useable shape....and then use it on the farm! Should be interesting to see how it turns out.

  • #2
    Re: '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior

    Awesome. I totally want one of those. Wife doesn't understand a fourth car (truck.) That one is perfect too. C20 2wd, extra long bed. Great for hauling and towing. I'd restore the mechanicals and leave the body exactly as is and drive it every weekend.
    1967 Chevelle 300 2 Door Post. No factory options. 250 ci inline six with lump-ported head, big valves, Offy intake and 500cfm Edelbrock carb.


    • #3
      Re: '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior


      I'd also put a camper on it on weekends for hauling dirt bikes.

      The 33" wheels look perfect.


      • #4
        Re: '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior

        Looks like the extended box was a "long horn edition" for large slide in campers.
        Made the wheelbase go from 127 to 133. I guess its kind of rare?


        • #5
          Re: '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior

          Not hugely rare but certainly a small percentage. I'd like a Longhorn but I'd put a regular long bed on it and use that extra room to stretch the cab back a bit to get my chest away from the steering wheel.
          Central TEXAS Sleeper
          USAF Physicist

          ROA# 9790


          • #6
            Re: '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior

            I think they have the wheel so close to your chest to make up for the lack of seat belts.......

            Actually this one does have lap belts, too old for shoulder harness though.....


            • #7
              Re: '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior

              Cool project, Andy! Looks good with the 33s on it. The extended long box is very interesting, don't think I've ever seen one before. Are you planning to do any body/paint work, or are you just doing mechanical upgrades?
              Still plays with trucks....


              • #8
                Re: '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior

                I love old farm trucks and yours hits a soft spot, my grandpa had one much like this one....just needs a headache rack and a 55 Chevy hood ornament and it would be identical..
                If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue


                • #9
                  Re: '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior

                  HELLS YES!

                  First thing I'd do would be to yank the v/c's and replace the valveseals....seems like those were the bane of the 307's existence(check the gas, fill the oil).

                  That could be a sweet-looking truck with some bodywork and a repaint(same color, keep the stock steelies/dogdish caps)...but then, I'd be tempted to just do a good tuneup, the afore-mentioned valveseals, and drive the shit out of it.

                  Old trucks RULE.


                  • #10
                    Re: '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior

                    I'm just doing a mechanical rebuild.
                    I made my first mistake last night..... I pulled a 4x4 power steering box, the sector shafts are different between the 4x4 and 2wd trucks so a 2wd pitman arm won't work. Who knew?!? And that sucks, because there is only 4 pre 87 Gm trucks in the yard. Everything is 88 and newer. Never thought I'd see the day when those trucks would be gone. Rust and cash for clunkers is a bitch.

                    I'm back to the yard tonight and see what I can scare up.
                    I did find a almost new radiator and they threw in a set of like new battery cables for free!


                    • #11
                      Re: '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior

                      I am looking at this cam for the 307.
                      I want to make sure that torque stays strong, well as strong as it can be for a smaller displacement motor!


                      • #12
                        Re: '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior

                        Wow..... I haven't updated in a long time!!
                        This project was way more work than I thought it was, but its coming along.
                        Lets hit some of the highlights...
                        After 5 trips to the junkyard I finally had the correct power steering gear box, pump & bracket. After a new pressure line, fabbed up a return line and a new lower pulley from Summit, I was in buisness! The old gear box took 5 turns lock to lock, the new one only 3.25. Its nice!

                        Next was the front suspension tear down...

                        While I was waiting for parts I started fixing some stuff in the interior. Busted window crank, door handles. Lo and behold I found all of the parts in the bottom of the door to rebuild the exterior drivers door handle!!

                        Parts came in and it was back to the frontend. Ball joints, swaybar bushings, shocks and new springs. Plus new front calipers, and hoses.

                        I also found an edelbrock performer intake on CL. Some bastard sprayed it candied pepsi blue.....
                        Lucky for me never degreased it so most of it came off..... I ended up spraying it Al later.

                        With it back together I actually washed it!!! Probably the first time ever!! Still some weird gunk on the hood, but most of the grille shined back up!

                        I found a rear step bumper that was in pretty good shape for 20 bucks. With some cutting it fit pretty well. Step bumper really works better on the farm VS a sport bumper

                        With the power steering working I ditched the 17" diameter wheel for this little 13.75 I had laying around. Also added a mini tach and water temp gauge.

                        Next step was the motor work.
                        I tore it down. I added a left over Edelbrock 600 carb and this Comp Cam.

                        I knew the timing chain was sloppy, but check out the cracks in the nylon top gear......yikes!!!

                        I also am fighting a hard brake pedal..... So I changed the booster and master cylinder right while I was there. The pedal is still hard.....must be the proportioning valve? With the caliper bleeders cracked you have to stand on them to get fluid return, but they gravity bleed fine. We will see.

                        Mostly back together...

                        I ran the cam in on Saturday and now am swapping in my Skip White $52 HEI dist.
                        From the mixed results I figured I had better start and run in the cam on the points dist that I know works!!

                        I did get one little test drive and it is still very lame!!! But I think I need to recurve the dist, replace the single 2" exhaust with dual 2.25" and dyno tune it with wideband. If it still sucks after that....I guess the 307 is as lame as everyone says!!

                        I hope to have some video after the exhaust is done next week


                        • #13
                          Re: '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior *updated*

                          Good score on the door handle. ;D

                          I'm convinced that re-curving the HEI (when you install it) will solve any running issues. BTW, I had never heard of wide band the last time I curved an HEI, so I just used a vacuum guage and the seat of the pants dyno.

                          Thanks for the pics. The bumper looks great.


                          • #14
                            Re: '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior *updated*

                            i would not compleatly condem the 307 untill after opening up the exhuast. it still has to remove all the air coming in through the 2" single pipe doesn't matter ho big the induction is

                            at least that was the case on my diplomat i felt bigger gains when i put on 2 1/4" exhuast replacing the sub 2" stock pipe then i did putting on the 4bbl and eddy performer intake replacing the 2bbl


                            • #15
                              Re: '71 C20 Farm Truck Survior *updated*

                              nice longhorn..
                              I have a 71 long box..