August 2012 Chevy High Performance Q&A

Kevin McClelland Jun 27, 2012 0 Comment(s)
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’64 C10

My son wants to build a ’64 Chevy C10 that was his grandfather’s. My dad died a year ago, and this was the pickup my son always rode around in as a kid. That was when you could ride around in the bed of the truck. Now he wants to build it as a tribute to his grandfather. It is a longbed Fleetside. I was going to build an old-school small-block like the one I ran in a ’56 Chevy in the ’70 and ’80s. I had started to make my parts list when I came across a ’98 Camaro Z28 with an automatic that runs very strong. I could buy it for $1,500 less than I could build an engine ... so we bought it. Now, how many of the components off the Camaro can we use on the ’64? What I can’t use on the pickup I plan on using on my ’63 Chevy II station wagon, if possible. Also, would it be a good idea to use the wiring out of the Camaro, or have a wire harness custom-made for the pickup. We would appreciate any help we can get.

I would like to commend you and the magazine for such a great product. Your tech pieces are very well written and even someone without much experience can understand them. Thank you.

Ron & Chad Gardner
Via email

We’re very sorry to hear of your father’s death. Memories are sometimes all we have and building the C10 as a tribute is the best thing we can imagine. We restored a ’63 C10 Fleetside right out of high school. It was so bad and sucked up so much money that my mom called it the Yellow Rat Hole. Let’s get you and your son into your project, hold the pitfalls.

The engine and transmission out of the Camaro will be a great addition to the truck. It will have plenty of power to make it a real nice driver. The rearend is too narrow to fit under the truck; stick with the factory truck 12-bolt under the rear. The front suspension in the Camaro is a modified McPherson strut suspension. It uses a lower control arm, but the spindle attaches at the top to the shock that attaches to the shock tower. These round out the pickup points of the suspension. Again, you’ll want to stick with the unequal-length upper and lower control arms of the factory suspension. Please upgrade the springs, shocks, and especially the brakes—there are many disc brake kits on the market that will give you an added level of safety with the increased horsepower.

As for the wiring, you’ll need to use the factory computer and engine/transmission harness from the Camaro to control the powertrain. You didn’t say, but we’ll assume the Camaro is equipped with a 4L60E electronic-controlled transmission. This trans is completely controlled by the PCM. Check with Street and Performance for help with your wiring harness and swapping into your early iron. S&P can help with the factory harness or offer you a simple non-emission-legal computer and harness to support your engine and trans. They can help with just about any aspect of the swap.

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