Motortopia - EVERYTHING Automotive!
Exciting News! Motortopia App Now Available on Apple App Store!  
Close Ad

Project Rocky: Lifted 2WD, LS-Powered 1979 Chevy C10 Squarebody

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.

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.

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. 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!

01. 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.
02. 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.
03. 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.
04. Now that the front is completely removed, we can add some straps to the cab and prepare to lift it with a forklift. (Don’t try this at home lol!)
05. Now that we have a clean and body-free chassis, we can assess the situation and start a parts list.
06. We called up the sand blaster to clean the factory frame rails, rear axle and the cab.
07. With a fresh clean cab and frame, it’s time to start prepping for our new upgraded parts.
08. The frame will be coated and sealed with KBS Rust Coater for a long-lasting and permanent finish.
09. 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.
10. The rear suspension consists of new upgraded leaf springs from BDS Suspension. Check out those new American Force wheels!
11. Next up is a new EFI fuel tank from Hot Rod Fuel Hose. This kit is perfect as it bolts into the factory location.
12. This is a crate LS from Summit Racing. The company makes it easy and affordable to upgrade your C10’s factory powerplant.
13. LS Classic accessories from Lokar make this engine look unique and custom.
14. 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.
15. The new Auto Metal Direct body panels and original cab look great in Ferreri Red.
16. Front and rear glass from NPD along with new rubber seals from Steele Rubber Products were the right choice.
17. To bolt on the hood, we are using these beautiful billet hood hinges from Eddie Motorsports.
18. 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.
19. What a great transformation! This truck will be a testament to the aftermarket manufacturers who 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!


8 Essential Transmission Components

Check out these amazing new products featured in June 2016 issue of Drive Magazine.



Smooth functionality with outstanding appearance is designed into every set of Eddie Motorsports’ Billet Hood Hinges and their latest addition is for the popular GM classics including 1967-1969 Camaro & Firebird, 1964-1967 Chevelle, 1963-1967 Impala, 1964-1967 GTO, and 1964-1967 Olds Cutlass.


Eddie Motorsports


Forget the core charge! Chevs of the 40s’ new replacement clutch kits for 1938-53 Chevy cars and trucks come with a 9″ clutch, pressure plate, pilot bushing, throwout bearing, alignment tool, and lube.


Chevs of the 40s


Classic Industries’ latest in the line of Mopar Authentic Restoration Products is a new remote outer door mirror from OER. It fits the driver’s side (left hand) door of a variety of Dodge and Plymouth vehicles, specifically 1966-72 A-Body models equipped with a vent window and remote mirror option, and 1966-70 B-Body models.


Classic Industries


Protect wiring, hoses, fuel lines, hydraulic lines and other similar components in the highest automotive heat conditions with Heatshield Products Lava Tube. The material is specially formulated and uses a fibrous thermal-barrier weave made from volcanic rock. The basalt fiber allows Lava Tube to protect components from continuous temperatures of 1,200° Fahrenheit, and intermittent temperatures of 2,000° Fahrenheit.


Heatshield Products


Summit Racing has you covered with its new Garage Cabinetry Sets. They are a convenient place to store things and give you a place to get actual work done. Features include: Industrial-grade steel construction, high-quality, welded frame construction, 3.2 mil thick epoxy powdercoat paint finish, HMC high-security tubular locking system and keys, and tough bamboo work bench surfaces


Summit Racing


Racepak’s IQ3D Drag Logger Dash is designed for the sportsman drag racer looking for a compact, all-in-one solution for data logging and instrumentation. It eliminates the need for an external data logger, and features an easy to access MicroSD memory card, four user-definable display pages, programmable shift and warning lights, and the ability to display up to 28 inputs.




Performance Automatic has new Ford 6 Speed Coyote Street Smart Transmission Packages complete with everything you need: 11.5” Factory Spec Torque Converter, flex plate, block plate, inspection cover, “6600” Stand Alone Transmission Controller and wiring harness, plus all the required hardware.


Performance Automatic


Classic Instruments has just released their updated gear selector interface module the SN46Z. The kit includes a transmission mounted sensor and interface module that works with Classic Instruments’ gear selector gauges or individual LED indicator lights. The transmission sensor works with most three and four speed automatic transmissions and easily connects to the shift arm with the included parts.


Classic Instruments

[divider]Editor’s Note:[/divider]

A version of this article first appeared in the June 2016 print issue of the Drive Magazine.

6 Essential Automotive Tools for Your Car

Check out these amazing new automotive tools:



Improve the handling, styling and braking capacity on your 1973-1987 Chevy/GMC C10 pickups with Wilwood’s 2.50” drop ProSpindle and disc brake upgrade kits. Your 1963-1972 models that have been updated with the later model ball joints are covered too. A safer, sturdier and more lightweight alternative, ProSpindles feature forged aluminum bolt-on steering arms and forged aluminum knuckles with fortified caliper mounting bosses for the full range of Superlite and Aerolite disc brake kit options. The modular late model style bearing and hub assembly is multi-pattern drilled to accommodate both the 5 on 4.75” and 5 on 5.00” wheel lug mount patterns.

Wilwood’s 2.50” drop ProSpindle and disc brake upgrade kit



Aeromotive has an all-new belt-drive EFI regulator, now with -12 ports. The new regulator, part number 13137, is designed for use with both a belt and a hex-drive fuel pump. It has two AN-12 ports and an AN-12 return port, along with dual springs that expand operating pressure range while maintaining a low profile and reduced weight. The standard spring (installed) supports a 30-75 psi base, while the high-pressure spring (included) supports a 75-120 psi base. The regulator supports a 1:1 vacuum and boost reference.

Aeromotive's belt-drive EFI regulator



Swapping an overdrive manual transmission into a classic hot rod or musclecar is a smart way to increase fuel economy and improve highway drivability. Problem was, those transmissions are pretty chunky, so the swap involved a lot of hacking and fabrication.

McLeod’s new Musclecar 5 five-speed changes all that. It provides that all-important overdrive gear in a smaller, more compact package. The case is small enough to fit nicely inside most transmission tunnels, which virtually eliminates expensive or tricky modifications.

The Musclecar 5 has synchronized 8620 forged gears that allow the transmission to handle up to 500 ft.-lbs. of torque. The Musclecar 5 features a 2.95 first and 0.63 fifth gear, ideally suited for street cars. An internal rail shifter delivers quick, smooth, actuate shifting, and the transmission uses the common GM 32-spline output shaft—identical to a GM TH-400. Get it through Summit.

The Musclecar 5

Summit racing


Total Control Products patented line of high performance center-take-off rack and pinions enables correct geometry and a level of positive, direct steering that is not possible with adapted OEM units. Both manual and power versions feature quick ratio, straightcut gears, requiring only three turns lock-to-lock. The unique modular design utilizes an assortment of mounting brackets and centerlinks to adapt to various classic Ford/Mercury vehicles including Mustangs, Cougars, Falcons, Comets and Rancheros.


Total control products


This kit comes with all you need to install a 6R80 transmission in any 79-98 Mustang/Cobra. At the core of the kit is Stifflers single tube crossmember. Add to that a set of adjustable bolt-on mounting brackets that allow the optimum placement of the crossmember with no  modifications required. Top all that off with a custom designed multi-adjustable transmission mount with integrated polyurethane bushing and you have the 6R80 Install Kit!




Vintage Air has released its all-new ProLine Louver Balls for 1965-1977 GM cars and trucks equipped with factory air. These CNC-machined billet aluminum louver balls are drop-in replacements for the round factory vents and replace the plastic originals. The new GM ProLine Louver Balls are precision CNC machined from T-6061 billet aluminum and come in the factory 3.050-inch diameter. They deliver maximized air flow and stylistic designs that will complement your stock dash and are multi-directional, rotating with ease within the aluminum bezel.

Vintage Air's ProLine Louver Balls

Vintage air


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the December 2016 print issue of the Drive Magazine.