Project Rocky: A Revamped 1979 Chevy C10 Ready to Redefine Classic

A Heavy Hitting, Lifted, 2WD, LS Powered Squarebody!

There’s a new contender moving up the ranks in this thrilling world of C10 restorations: Project Rocky, a 1979 Chevy C10, poised to redefine what it means to be a classic. For those who might have missed a beat in our journey, welcome back to the show. We are refocused on this project after a long hiatus while Rocky was at the paint and body shop, as well as our dedication to Sergeant Square, our military charity build for Mission 22. But now, the spotlight is back on Rocky, and we’re excited to bring you up to speed.

Picture this: a truck stripped down to its very core. Every nut, every bolt, every inch will be transformed. The old body panels are making way for new ones from Auto Metal Direct. They will be prepped, and restored to an even better version than its original version.

For those who don’t remember, project Rocky is our 1979 Chevy squarebody truck that we picked up for a measly $2,500. It looks rough, but this once-retired fighter will be the champ again one day.

At the core of it all lies our chassis, the foundation upon which Rocky stands. We’re not merely refurbishing; we’re enhancing, strengthening the structure, tweaking the aesthetics, and it all starts here. While the factory frame and original cab stand resilient, everything else will be a modern version, courtesy of some remarkable American companies that support our vision.

To upgrade the suspension, we collaborated with partners like Rock Auto who provided OEM suspension components, BDS Suspension for a larger-than-life stance, and Performance Online for a brake upgrade that is necessary for a build of this caliper. The wheels have been upgraded to a dazzling new set from American Force, wrapped in 33-inch Toyo Tires.

With the original engine out and the bay all cleaned up, the truck can be brought to its next destination to be disassembled. Luckily for us, there is basically no rust on the firewall of the truck so the body shop will not be overwhelmed.

Our cab is now rust-free thanks to the team at Street Dreams paint and body shop in Ocala, Florida, and now wears a coat of Ferrari Red. With fresh glass from National Parts Depot and rubber seals from Steele Rubber, every detail has been planned to perfection.

Under the hood, the heart of this prize fighter is a new Summit Racing 5.3-liter LS crate engine, complete with accessories from Lokar Performance. This combo promises power, performance, and a style like no other. Our story doesn’t end here, although we can only fit so much into the pages of this magazine, so we invite you to join us through our video series on YouTube. Project Rocky is more than a restoration; it’s a testament to passion for any and all C10 enthusiasts. Let’s go!

The frontend of this truck can come off in one piece by simply removing the bolts on the top of the fender and in the gap between the fender and the door. If you’re doing this at home, be sure to spray some lubricant on these walls before cranking on them.
Now that the front is completely removed, we can add some straps to the cab and prepare to lift it with a forklift. Yes we know how lucky we are to have a forklift!

Disconnecting the steering shaft and wiring harness are the last items to handle.
It’s time to pull off the cab and set it aside. We are reusing this cabinet, so it’s very important to be careful moving it around.
Now that we have a clean and body free chassis, we can assess the situation and start a parts list. We also removed these factory suspension pieces before the sandblaster comes to clean.

Now we called up the sand blaster to clean the factory frame rails, rear axle and the cab.

With a fresh, clean cab and frame, it’s time to start prepping for our new upgraded parts.

The frame will be coated and sealed with KBS Rust Coater for a long lasting and permanent finish.

The first new items to be bolted on are these upper and lower control arms from Rock Auto, along with an upgraded spring and spindle from Rough Country Suspension.
The brakes we installed came from Performance Online. This is a nice kit because all the parts can be serviced at your local auto parts store.

The rear suspension consists of new upgraded leaf springs from BDS Suspension. Check out those new American Force wheels!

Next up is a new EFI fuel tank from Hot Rod Fuel Hose. This kit is perfect as it bolts into the factory location.
It’s starting to look like something special!

Now it’s time to uncrate the new engine. This is a crate LS from Summit Racing. They make it easy and affordable to upgrade your C10s factory powerplant.
LS Classic accessories from Lokar make this engine look unique and custom
For a transmission, we went with a Street Fighter 4L60E from TCI Performance. It’s a solid and reliable product for a daily-driven classic.
The engine looks like jewelry sitting on the frame. Let’s go check on the body and paint!

The new Auto Metal Direct body panels and original cab look great in Ferrari Red. They can’t dry fast enough—we want to bolt it all together!

We started with the bed and cab first. The frontend will be added once we get the glass and steering installed.
Under the bed is coated with matching bed liner material, and it looks amazing!

An Ididit steering column combined with a Borgeson steering shaft is the perfect factory replacement setup.

Front and rear glass from NPD along with new rubber seals from Steele Rubber Products were the right choice.

The frontend is an easy add-on thanks to the perfect fitting panels from Auto Metal Direct. The holes line up and the provided hardware was complete.
Look at that AMD new grille, we love it!
To bolt on the hood, we are using these beautiful billet hood hinges from Eddie Motorsports.

Now Roger can take some measurements for our rear driveshaft. Remember this is 2WD, so we only need one!

To control the transmission, we are going with a floor-mounted automatic shifter from Lokar Performance. Measure twice, cut once!

To control the heat and sound, we ordered this material from LMC Truck. It is precut to fit our cab perfectly with adhesive backing for an easy install.
The final install for this issue is our new Drive by Wire throttle peddle from Summit Racing. Lucky for us, Liquid Kreations makes a bracket for an exact fit to our factory location.

What a great transformation! This truck will be a testament to the aftermarket manufacturers that spent the time engineering perfect-fitting parts. Stay tuned for more in the next issue! And watch the video series for more in depth details on project rocky!

 

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