Joe Touring - Intro
Part one of series of articles that shows you how to build a truck on a budget that doesn’t look budget.
Throughout the last couple of years the term “budget” has been used to death by every form of media referring to the current state of the United States economy. Every night on the television news broadcasts, we hear more and more about how broke our country really is.
What isn’t reported is the where it has effected the average American’s household and their buying behavior. Its reshaped our hobbies and purchasing habits! Gone are the days of “expendable income” or “funny money” that most of us had to “blow” on toys. “Big dollar” builds are few and far between, as many truck enthusiasts are focused on “paying the bills” rather than “scraping their rails.”
Well I’m here to say that we’re fed up, and we’re not going to take it anymore! We’re not going to let a bad economy become our “enemy of fun.” We’re going to build a truck that the “Average Joe” can build on his own, on a budget, without looking like it was build on a budget.
The criterion of this build is that we can not exceed $10,000 bucks, and it has to be able to still be used as a daily driver at the end of completion. (The last thing anybody needs right now is a trailer queen.) Rather than building something “odd ball” that we purchased on the cheap, the choice to build a 1971 C-10 short bed makes this a real challenge, because of their popularity and limited numbers of production.
Steeping up to the challenge to build this vehicle is No Limit Engineering in San Bernardino California. Known mostly for their suspension and brake conversions, they been asked to see if this can be done, and even used for amusement after completion. During the initial planning stages, they told us that the GoodGuys Del Mar Nationals was just three weeks away, and that at that event, an autocross event was to be held.
So with the whole thing sounding like a television game show, we told the crew at No Limit Engineering to find a truck, and get moving because the clock starts ticking .... Now!
Can it be done while still having fun, and without taking all of your funds? Well take a look at better things to come. The following photos are a glimpse at what you’ll see on how this truck was built for $10,000.00 dollars in less than three weeks. Believe it or not it wasn’t as hard as it sounds, but you need to be resourceful. Having it all planned out from the beginning is really the big secret to success.
This is the gem that was found on Craig’s List and purchased for just under $2,000.00. Located in Pahrump Nevada this beauty runs and drives and sports a “pop up” glass sunroof! The doors, fenders, hood, and bed are fairly clean, but the rockers are full of rust, and the “sky-light” has to go, so a replacement cab is in order for the parts list.
No Limit’s crew couldn’t help to have a little fun with the truck before they tore into it, so a trip to the local Tuesday night “time attack” event at Adam’s Motorsports Park resulted in a spinout on the parade-lap, and a battle between the right side bedside and an orange cone. The next day “JT” (short for Joe Touring rather than Pro Touring) was disassembled to evaluate the damaged or rotten parts. To our surprise, we learned that the frame was twisted, the cab was junk, and the bed had its “fair share of abuse.” What a great way to start a build.
“Hey we got a great deal” is what we kept saying every-time we opened the door to this cab. The cardinal sin was committed by one of the previous owners when they installed 1st generation Mustang bucket seats in this Chevy. We did find some affection for the “Ricky Bobby” signature series steering wheel, AKA “pinky” because of its faded hue of the former red half rap styling. But what a difference the finished product came to be as the buckets were removed, an Ididit column was added, and Auto Meter gages were placed into No Limit’s own billet dash panels.
Joe came to us equipped with this “small block something” as it was coined after a few peoples inquiries of what size the engine was. We didn’t even bother to find out as the tried old small block Chevy and the worthless “top-loader” manual transmission was removed to make way for an LS series engine and 4L60 transmission that was located at a wreaking yard out of a 2001 Tahoe. The 5.3 liter engine looked rough, but ran well on the floor, and checked out well after a compression check. The best part about this find was the price of $800.00 for the whole thing, finally, the break that we needed!
The great thing about this build is that it really was about spending the money in the right places. Suspension is a major deal in the overall package. No Limit addressed this by placing their rear shock and pan-hard bar correction kit on “JT” to make it ride smooth and perform better. To save some cash, the wheel wells and bed floor received some modifications as well, raising both four inches to allow for the proper stance and tire clearance. We’ll show you how to do this to your truck later in the build saving you some money just as we did.
Well I did say that she needed some body-work, but overall the sheet-metal was fairly rust free. We did save some time and prevented future surprises by having all of the sheet-metal blasted clean of the multiple paint jobs that were on the truck prior to our turn with the vehicle. Doing the work ourselves saved us some cash, and made us really appreciate the job when it was finished.
“This isn’t playtime here,” as long hours past by during the three week deadline of this build. Owen Twomey from the great country of Ireland frequently visits No Limit Engineering and enjoys a good challenge when he sees one. Seen here in this photo, Owen just learned that we were finished with the daily “punch list” of items that were tasked to the crew. We decided that the rest of us were going to go out and grab a beer in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, and this is the look that Owen gave us after he found out that he had to stay and finish. Sorry buddy, I hope you are “feeling the love.”
Who said budget has to look budget? Our wheel allowance gave us the breathing room to purchase a new set of Rocket’s “booster” wheels rapped in BF Goodrich tires. Great looks and great performance are the after effects of the buy, as well as the compliments that we’ve got on the selection. With just a few days to spare before the Del Mar event, we took a time out form the build and took JT out for a night on the town at Adam’s Motorsports Park. This gave us a chance to “shake it down” before the big event which drew some onlookers as they checked out the LS series engine install in the parking lot.
Don’t let the “enemy of financial fun” get you down. Go out there and get yourself a project truck, grab some buddy’s and built something fun to drive. If you can’t tell by these photos that it was a total blast to build this truck, then don’t worry we’ll show you how we did it on a budget and in under a month. Stay tuned for updates…
No Limit Engineering www.nolimit.net
Rocket Wheels www.newstalgiawheel.com
BF Goodrich Tires www.bfgoodrichtires.com
Auto Meter www.autometer.com
Brothers Truck Parts www.brotherstrucks.com
Painless Wiring www.painlesswiring.com
Grant Steering wheels www.grantproducts.com
Hedman headers www.hedman.com
Magnaflow exhaust www.magnaflow.com
Spectre Performance www.spectreperformance.com
Gennie shifters www.gennieshifter.com
Howe radiators www.howeracing.com
McGaughys Spindles www.mcgaughys.com