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C10_Blackie

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2024
Posts
31
Reaction score
83
Location
Seattle, WA
First Name
Rob
Truck Year
1981
Truck Model
C10
Engine Size
350
Hi All. I've restored several air-cooled Volkswagens and have owned a couple of 1975 Kawasaki H1-F Triples over the years but have been out of it all for well over a decade. I started to look for a GM square body truck a couple of months ago as I thought having a long bed would be useful as I transition into retirement over the next few years. Dad was a GM engineer for 37 years and always encouraged me to try a domestic project - this would be my first one that wasn't metric, come to think of it, and I'll be doing it in his honor.

So after a couple of false starts, I finally settled on the 1981 C10 Silverado long bed pictured below and bought it last week. The seller claims it has a 350 crate engine with 20K miles on it with a Holley 600 carb and Endelbrock headers. It has a TH350 trans that I do not believe is original, as I see that it has the extra trans radiator up front but was probably disconnected when the engine was replaced, and the only reason I can think of for not keeping it all working is if they replaced the transmission at the same time. The truck also has a frame-mounted hitch and has a trailer brake unit installed and a dual tank system that appears to work fine. The clock even works. The person I bought it from wasn't the one that did the work and he doesn't seem to know a lot about it or have any documentation on it. But it is a strong running and smooth shifting truck with a basically straight body and very little rust that I can see. It definitely needs work, but a lot of it seems to be superficial.

This is going to be a long-term project and I'd expect to keep it until I can't drive anymore or just definitely no longer need or want a truck. I am not a particularly skilled or knowledgeable mechanic but I've got tools, time and the ability to learn. Not going for a show truck, but will continue to protect and improve it until I run out of things to protect and improve.

Next step is to get it to a local mechanic and have it all gone through for safety and to get sort of a report card of how I made out on the purchase (paid $7K). After that (assuming I didn't make a horrible mistake), I'll probably be relying on this forum for a fair bit of initial guidance - so thanks in advance!

Cheers,

Rob

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C10_Blackie

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2024
Posts
31
Reaction score
83
Location
Seattle, WA
First Name
Rob
Truck Year
1981
Truck Model
C10
Engine Size
350
Note to admins: took me a few tries to register. The advertising banner at the bottom blocks the register button using computers or phone and trying several different browsers. I got around it by installing an ad blocker, but that's counterproductive to your revenue stream.
 

Dryriver1

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2023
Posts
766
Reaction score
2,259
Location
Texas
First Name
Robert
Truck Year
1984, 1999,
Truck Model
1984 Chevy Silverado K10, 1999 Chevy 2 door Tahoe 4x4
Engine Size
350 cid, 5.7
Welcome from far west Texas!

Nice truck and great way to honor your Pops!
Looking forward to your posts.

I was lucky finding this forum. I looked at others but there was too much fighting, disrespect, and just BS everywhere.
Here, I found a bunch of great people here and lots of knowledge, camaraderie, fun pokes, and friendships.

Again, welcome to GMSB!

Be well and stay safe out there.
Best wishes to you and all of your loved ones always!

Dryriver1
 

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Bextreme04

Full Access Member
Joined
May 13, 2019
Posts
4,232
Reaction score
5,167
Location
Oregon
First Name
Eric
Truck Year
1980
Truck Model
K25
Engine Size
350-4bbl
Hi All. I've restored several air-cooled Volkswagens and have owned a couple of 1975 Kawasaki H1-F Triples over the years but have been out of it all for well over a decade. I started to look for a GM square body truck a couple of months ago as I thought having a long bed would be useful as I transition into retirement over the next few years. Dad was a GM engineer for 37 years and always encouraged me to try a domestic project - this would be my first one that wasn't metric, come to think of it, and I'll be doing it in his honor.

So after a couple of false starts, I finally settled on the 1981 C10 Silverado long bed pictured below and bought it last week. The seller claims it has a 350 crate engine with 20K miles on it with a Holley 600 carb and Endelbrock headers. It has a TH350 trans that I do not believe is original, as I see that it has the extra trans radiator up front but was probably disconnected when the engine was replaced, and the only reason I can think of for not keeping it all working is if they replaced the transmission at the same time. The truck also has a frame-mounted hitch and has a trailer brake unit installed and a dual tank system that appears to work fine. The clock even works. The person I bought it from wasn't the one that did the work and he doesn't seem to know a lot about it or have any documentation on it. But it is a strong running and smooth shifting truck with a basically straight body and very little rust that I can see. It definitely needs work, but a lot of it seems to be superficial.

This is going to be a long-term project and I'd expect to keep it until I can't drive anymore or just definitely no longer need or want a truck. I am not a particularly skilled or knowledgeable mechanic but I've got tools, time and the ability to learn. Not going for a show truck, but will continue to protect and improve it until I run out of things to protect and improve.

Next step is to get it to a local mechanic and have it all gone through for safety and to get sort of a report card of how I made out on the purchase (paid $7K). After that (assuming I didn't make a horrible mistake), I'll probably be relying on this forum for a fair bit of initial guidance - so thanks in advance!

Cheers,

Rob

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Welcome from Oregon. There are a few fairly active squarebody groups in our area. There are several C10 clubs and also a few squarebody specific ones like "PNW K5s & squarebodies".

There are quite a few seattle area locals on here as well. @SirRobyn0 is local to the area and connection with shops, he can likely help you get in touch with the right people to get your new ride looked at(if he isn't the right person to look at it).
 

C10_Blackie

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2024
Posts
31
Reaction score
83
Location
Seattle, WA
First Name
Rob
Truck Year
1981
Truck Model
C10
Engine Size
350
Welcome from Oregon. There are a few fairly active squarebody groups in our area. There are several C10 clubs and also a few squarebody specific ones like "PNW K5s & squarebodies".

There are quite a few seattle area locals on here as well. @SirRobyn0 is local to the area and connection with shops, he can likely help you get in touch with the right people to get your new ride looked at(if he isn't the right person to look at it).
Thanks for the info. Never occurred to me to ask about shops and I’ve already gotten one or two leads to follow up on.
 

C10_Blackie

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2024
Posts
31
Reaction score
83
Location
Seattle, WA
First Name
Rob
Truck Year
1981
Truck Model
C10
Engine Size
350
Welcome from Wenatchee! I saw that truck for sale I think.
Yeah, I was the first responder and luckily the seller was really good about giving me first crack at it or it would have devolved into a bidding war.

There was (and I think still is) a really nice 1979 C30 for sale on San Juan Island. The seller is a super guy. He met me in Anacortes and I came close but had to back away as there were just a few things about it I didn’t want to mess with (which would be easy for somebody with more experience and maybe a decent shop).
 

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