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Squarebody Syndicate Hosts a One-Day Party to Get Their Engines Running

Joe Yezzi of Squarebody Syndicate is an interesting guy. There’s the obvious obsession with 1973-1987 Chevrolet trucks (specifically ‘73s), as well as his desire to put hidden cameras inside of magnetic monkeys (It’s a long story, but definitely ask him sometime). And so when he gets an idea to do something different, he does it. And sometimes that thing is really outside the box.

Take this truck, for example. When he bought the crew-cab long bed square he knew that he wanted to use it for towing. And really, what better engine is there to put into a truck for that than a Cummins diesel? Then there was the length. That was a long tow pig, and he wanted to cut it down a bit. So he took it to Kyle at Metalox Fabrications and had him do some crazy work. First, Kyle added 3.5 inches to the back of the cab. Then he took 8 inches out of the front of the bed, two from the rear, and lopped 4.5 inches from the wheelbase. That math all works out to giving Joe a truck with roughly the same setup as a 2019 crew cab.

But there was still a lot left to do. Joe wanted to put in a rear bench seat from a van that would fold flat, like a bed. And the engine needed to be wired up. And the interior needed help. What better way to get all that done than the help of a few buddies? And that’s when the next in the series of One ’N’ Dones was started.

For the uninitiated, the One ’N’ Done is a one-day event (naturally) where a bunch of car guys goes to one location and tears into a truck. Past builds include Dino’s daughter Rio’s squarebody Chevy, Joe’s SS01 chassis, and another square build for Rob Beasley. They’re a great way to see a truck go from nothing to something in a few hours, plus a good old time for the guys and girls involved.

So with that in mind, Joe took his freshly painted truck with a Cummins installed and let the One ’N’ Done have at it. This is their story.

Here’s the Cummins diesel, in all its glory. Now all it needs is some wiring and plumbing to get the job done.

The list of things to do was pretty long, but doable. Now it just needed to happen. Fortunately, there were a ton of guys ready to lend a hand.

To do this kind of project, everybody is broken up into teams of sorts. Here, the exhaust is prepped to be welded.

The brakes were already good to go, thanks to Baer Brakes and its amazing master cylinder setup.

A bracket for the core support needed some refinishing and repair, so that got welded up and painted black.

The Painless Wiring kit was already run from the firewall back and forward. It just needed adaptation to the new gauge cluster and engine.

The crew from Diesel Conversion Specialists flew in to get this one done up, and they were the heroes of the day. Not only did they get everything wired correctly, but they also sorted out any diesel issues that came up along the way.

A bench seat from a conversion van was set in place for mockup. It would get recovered and redone before it was installed for good, but there were a lot of clearances to sort out before that could happen.

Admittedly, it doesn’t look that great at this stage. But just you wait.

The stock gas tanks were pulled to do some more diesel magic to it. Fortunately, they were brand new, so they came out easy.

There’s no doubt: This is a long truck. But its proportioned a lot better than it was, that’s for sure.

A custom Magnaflow exhaust is the only way to go, and the company’s DIY pipe kit makes it easy.

Sam Castronova, the only guy who shows up to work on a truck in brand new white shoes, spent some time cleaning up the wiring.

Meanwhile, on the bench, wires are getting cleaned up and soldered, too.

Another thing ticked off the list: A rear bumper. This bad boy looked a ton better than the stocker.

The engine needed a new belt, but because of a custom alternator mount, nobody knew the right length. The answer came in the form of a rope and a quick run to the nearest parts store.

Ron Hernandez set up shop inside Joe’s office to paint the tailgate lettering.

Once that bracket that was welded up earlier on was done, it was reinstalled back on the core support.

Joe went around the truck installing the new Precision rubber seals.

There was yet more work to be done inside the engine bay, with the turbo connections needing routing.

This may not look like progress, but at this point in the day, most of the wiring had been terminated and was ready for final connection.

Now it was time to install the radiator. It was a bit of a tight fit, but it went in there.

Those roof lights? They’re original equipment, and about as clean as they get.

Thanks to Sam and his white shoes, the battery wiring was all cleaned up and good for reinstallation.

The Syndicate Series Dakota Digital gauges went in next, thanks to the wiring gurus at Diesel Conversion Specialists.

It was late, but there was still time left in the day. On went the tailgate.

And there you go — it started up perfectly. Another successful One ’N’ Done was in the books.

It’s all about the little touches in the completed truck, like this original GM CB radio.

The Dakota Digital gauges look great behind the factory bezel.

That ratty bench was reupholstered by Empire Custom Upholstery and turned into this work of art. Now Joe can crash comfortably whenever he likes.

There are even a pair of Kicker subs thrown into the corners now, too.

Another nice touch: USB ports in the stock ashtrays in the door panels.

The completed truck is a towing monster, ready for Pomona or whatever other show they plan on attending.

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