And that’s precisely what transformed one week this past October: Monday morning at 8 a.m. sharp, the longbed (with its fresh paint, courtesy of Thunder Alley out of Mesa, Arizona) was driven into TEN’s Tech Center, and by 11 p.m. Friday night it was leaving layers of burnt rubber in the parking lot outside. In the course of five full days, the truck was taken from a long-wheelbase 3/4-ton hay hauler—the frame shortening portion with Brothers Trucks taking just a few hours—to shorty hauler of the more potent kind … one that hauls you by the seat of your pants thanks to its Mast Motorsports 700-plus horsepower LS7/Performance Automatic 4L80E and full CPP performance suspension, brake, and steering package. And as all this was taking place, it was brought to you in spurts of real time via Facebook Live, not to mention the numerous Instagram videos and posts, and of course, your twice daily dose of Hot RodNetwork web updates.
But even with the cluster of the video crew in your face following practically every move, the hands-on crew—which included folks from Brothers Trucks, Painless Performance, FAST, and especially the team from Classic Performance Products (who were there to lend a hand pretty much from start to finish)—was able to get each of the daily tasks handled. And though the week was not without its various setbacks, CLASSIC TRUCKS’ goal of laying rubber to close out Day Five of the build was met, and with only a few minutes to spare!
2016 Week to Wicked, Presented by CPP, C10 Sponsor List
American Legend Wheels
-Cruiser Wheels, 18x8s and 18x9s
-Brightwork, interior components, restoration parts, Blazer center console, glass, rubber, shortbed conversion kit
Classic Performance Products (CPP)
-front and rear suspension, disc brakes, Hydra-Stop system, power steering box, steering column, 9-inch Ford rearend
-HDX series instrument cluster
-billet hood hinges, LED side marker lights, LED taillights, S-Drive front accessory drive
Hooker Blackheart Headers/Holley Performance
-exhaust manifolds, mufflers, and exhaust kit
-stainless braided fuel line, fittings, filter, fuel pump, and regulator
Frostbite Performance Cooling/Holley Performance
-4L80E transmission and Smart Shift Package
Procar by Scat
Brothers Trucks Shows The “Easy” Way To Take A Little Off The Back! Classic Performance Products Steps in and Steps Up with Suspension and Brakes
Day one of the Week to Wicked, presented by CPP, C10 kicked off with the Classic Trucks/Tech Center crew (along with folks from Brothers and CPP) transforming the longbed into a shorty with help from Brothers Trucks and their new 1963-1972 frame conversion kit, which includes everything necessary to complete the job.
Brothers developed their kit—which works on C10 and C20 frames—to take all the guesswork (and repeated measuring, as they claim) out of an otherwise-daunting task. Well, the truck was rolled into the tech center at 9 a.m. and wouldn’t you know it—by lunchtime the “long” bed was no more. Granted, there were a few extra hands on hand, so to speak, not to mention a grip of cameramen to avoid tripping over, but even that did little to slow progress for Jason, Ryan, Christian, et al.
Once the freshly shortened C10 was stripped of its original drivetrain, suspension, and pretty much all of its underpinnings, Classic Performance Products stepped in and without hesitation started prepping the chassis for its all-new front and rear Totally Tubular suspension, 31-spline Currie 9-inch, bigger brakes (with HydraStop hydraulic-assist), better steering, and all the necessary crossmembers and what have you to bring the old farm truck closer to earth, stop like a new truck, and handle the corners like a muscle car.
What’s Under the Sheetmetal Counts … Here Comes the Powertrain
By the end of day two, the scheduled plan was to have a fresh, 427-inch LS7 from Mast that outputs 700-plus horsepower run through a Performance Automatic 4L80E tranny—in the truck. The Mast 427 LS7 (7L) is equipped with Hooker cast and coated exhaust manifolds (that will feed a Hooker 3-inch exhaust); the induction system is a FAST LSXRT truck intake manifold fitted with a 102mm Big Mouth billet throttle body, all controlled by a FAST XFI Sportsman ECU and fed via a Holley fuel pump mounted in the relocated CPP gas tank. Controlling the spark will be handled by a FAST EZ LS coil-near-plug controller mated to a set of L92 truck coils. And speaking of controls, an Eddie Motorsports S-Drive polished-aluminum serpentine kit was used to spin all the necessary engine accessories.
Wiring, Plumbing, and Exhausting!
With the engine and trans successfully installed, that left the building of the stainless Hooker C10 exhaust kit for Ryan to jump on first thing Wednesday morning, while Jason prepared the truck for its computer controller units (engine/trans/fuel management) and the wiring harness being installed by Jeff Abbott from Painless Performance Products. In-between all that commotion, Christian somehow managed to squeeze the new Holley radiator into the core support and fashion up a set of hoses.
Even though quite a few mechanical odds and ends were tackled early on, Wednesday was pretty much consumed with the Painless Performance complete chassis harness, configuring, mounting, and wiring the various computer-control modules for the Mast LS powerplant, and butting up the Holley fuel supply system feeding the FAST EFI.
Later in the afternoon, however, the 18-inch American Legend Cruiser wheels freshly mounted with Falken rubber arrived, which allowed the C10 to officially become a “roller.” And to put a cherry on top, local striper Phil Whetstone stopped by to add a little color to the Bow Tie hubcaps.
More Wiring, Some Air Intake Assembly, and HydraStop Plumbing
Day four carried on with getting not only the Painless Performance chassis wiring finished up, but the drivetrain management system as well. The crew from CPP was kind enough to lend a hand with the Painless chores before they moved onto plumbing their HydraStop power brake assist unit and eventually bleeding the brakes.
Along with mounting the dual electric fans on the Holley Frost Bite aluminum radiator, installing the driveshaft fresh from OC Driveline, and even test-fitting the C10’s new rolling stock, the Week to Wicked team managed to accomplish quite a bit on their second-to-last day of the build.
Three, Two, One … Fire In The Hole?
The clock was ticking and the deadline was quickly approaching on the fifth and final day. Finishing up bleeding the brakes and making all of the electrical connections to power, the staff from MastT Motorsports was waiting in the wings, ready to connect their laptops and get the C10 making some power!
While all of this excitement is going on, work continued on finishing up the interior, including the ProCar by Scat bucket seats and Lokar drive-by-wire throttle pedal; getting the doors to fit; finishing off the door handles with the components from Brothers; installing the Dakota Digital VHX gauges; and final mounting of the CPP steering column with their freshly installed power gearbox. Oh, all that, and bolting the newly painted and assembled “short” bed from Brothers, to finally make the truck a truck again!
As 5 p.m. Friday came and went—along with all the fortunate coworkers in the building who got to go home to their families (or the bar …)—the Week to Wicked team was still full-steam ahead … and never ran out of steam before Jason was laying the rear treads to waste out in the Tech Center parking lot (as an overly eager Facebook Live audience not-so patiently waited for that first promised burnout).