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Our goal is to take this truck on the world-famous 2,000-mile-long Hot Rod Power Tour 2022. This year’s tour route passes close to my home, and we decided it would be the perfect first event for the build. If you complete the entire Power Tour from start to finish you are deemed a Long Hauler.

 

Chris and his team over at C&K Metal took over the build to rewire the body and run power to the Holley Terminator X Max and Vintage Air systems. Chris went with a body harness from EZ Wiring located in Bunnell, Florida. EZ Wiring makes a universal harness that is color-coded, and all the wires are labeled to help with installation.

 

In Phase 2 we are going to throw out the original suspension components for a much better coilover setup, spice up the motor, and throw on some big brakes. The coilover suspension is not only going to help the truck put power to the ground and handle significantly better, but also let us adjust the compression and rebound at each coil for the different driving conditions we will face.

We can quickly set the truck up for road use or track use with the turn of a wrench. But first things first: It’s time to get this truck back together and finally on the road.

For all of the interior and exterior lighting, we went with LEDs.

C&K Metal measured and ordered a custom driveshaft from a shop in Jacksonville, Florida. The shop had the job complete and delivered within a week.

Our inner fenders from Auto Metal Direct arrived. Time to get those fitted so we can finish our plumbing under the hood.

Chris wired power to the Vintage Air AC unit with a dedicated AC circuit on the EZ Wiring fuse panel.

This intake was a tight fit. There were about 5 inches from the face of the throttle body to the fan shroud, so we had to order a tight 90 degree intake elbow to fit our 4-inch intake pipe. Chris then TIG welded on a simple bracket, and the intake was done.

The last big ticket item on C&K Metal’s punch list was custom fitting the 3-inch exhaust. Chris used an X-pipe design and dumped the exhaust just before the rear axle. This should help keep cab noise down.

With all of the major items complete, it was time to fill this LS1 and 4L60e with fluids and turn it over! The entire project had gone smoothly, but the first fire did not go as planned. The engine would turn over, build fuel pressure and get spark, but would not fire. After two days of working directly with Holley Performance, double and triple checking wiring, and looking at every possible issue, it turned out we had a bad cam sensor. The cam sensor would clock the cam but report an inaccurate position to the ECU. As soon as we installed an AC Delco cam sensor, the truck fired up right away and ran perfectly. Lesson learned. Do not buy off-brand sensors! Holley’s tech support through this whole process was great. Not only does Holley make quality products, but its team will also do everything they can to get your project on the road.

Time to take the truck back to the house and wrap up some details for the Hot Rod Power Tour.

The first item on the final punch list was to rebuild the vent windows and replace all the glass in the truck. We went with all new glass from Auto Metal Direct and used Precision Replacement Parts for all of the door seals, weather stripping, windshield and back glass gaskets, and rebuild kit for the vent windows.

We dug out the old seam sealer and brushed on some Ospho to convert any rust into iron phosphate so we could apply the 3M high solids seam sealer.

To wrap up the Vintage Air install, we cut out the holes in the dash in our non-factory air A/C cab to install the Vintage Air vents, and then ran the duct work under the dash.

After all of the interior components were installed, tested, and working properly, it was time to do the final assembly of the interior. We were able to reuse many of the original parts, including the door panels, window cranks, door handles, armrests, steering wheel, gauge cluster, and glovebox door. We ordered some new carpet, soundproofing, and door sill plates from National Parts Depot, and to finish it all off, we wrapped a seat we got for $100 with a Mexican blanket seat cover.

The last item on our checklist was to install the original bumper and brush guard. After some road testing, we are ready for the Hot Rod Power Tour!

My wife and I hit the road early Wednesday morning to meet up with our friends, Joe and Cristin Egizio (@averagejoec10fl). We decided to hop on the Power Tour in Hoover, Alabama, which is Day 3 of the official route. Day 4 the tour heads to Pensacola, Florida, and Day 5 the tour ends in Atlanta.

Day one (for us) was a long travel day. We logged about 540 miles and the C10 did great! We had no major issues and were able to monitor all engine vitals on the Holley Terminator X Max digital display. The Egizios were driving their beautiful, original paint, 1986 C10, and their truck ran great as well with no issues at all. Heading back to the hotel for the night we met up with the rest of our group which included.

Chris and Nicole Hamilton driving a Tesla for research purposes for the EV Builder’s Guide.

Rick Cheeseman (@sqrbdy_c10) driving his original paint ‘86 C10 with some killer 22-inch MTW Wheels.

Derek Bloom (@dr_bloom86) driving his 2006 Cadillac DTS which was his “Plan B” vehicle since his ‘86 C10, unfortunately, developed a severe oil leak and could not make the tour.

Day two (for us) started a little later than we wanted. The heat was brutal on the tour so we decided to take it easy and cruise to Pensacola, Florida, after a nice big breakfast with the crew. We decided to take the Power Tour route to Pensacola and that turned out to be a great decision. The best way to road trip is to drive back roads and explore all of the little towns you drive through.

We only had one minor issue with the C10 on this stretch. The throttle cable started sticking a little but after a quick adjustment it was running great again. After the show at the Pensacola Fairgrounds, we made our way back to the hotel and the heat really started getting to us. After taking a cold shower and cooling down in the A/C we found a nice spot to eat and enjoy each others company.

The final day of the tour did not start out great. My wife started to not feel well. With the long drive ahead of us and the relentless heat we decided to break off the tour and make our way home. It was a tough decision but we hightailed it home so she could rest and get to feeling better.

This is the first truck I have built from the ground up and to debut it at my first Power Tour was an amazing experience. There is a huge sense of pride knowing that all of those long hours in the garage and sacrifices made paid off when you log 1,200 plus miles on your build with no major issues. I have gone to hundreds of classic car and truck shows all over the country. The HotRod Power Tour is hands down the coolest show I have ever been to. Nothing compares to cruising the backroads of America with thousands of other classics and making new friends in every city. Now that I’ve got the Power Tour bug, it’s time to become a long hauler!

Of course this build and experience would not have been possible without the support of my wife, Lauren, who really understood how important this build was to me. Thank you to my Father, Wayne, who came over to give me a helping hand and who helped me keep the project moving along. Also, a huge thank you to the sponsors and partners that were a part of this build.

BNJ Powder Coating
C&K Metal
Auto Metal Direct
Vintage Air
Holley Performance
Lead Foot Racing – Champion Radiators

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