The 1980 Chevrolet Plain Jane shop truck has been ignored for too long. It got a set of Buick Road Wheels a while back and that definitely helped the looks but it was still lacking power (and the right sound!)
I like the 70’s and 80’s Chevrolet truck as they are soo simple and cheap to work on. Parts are available everywhere, both new and reproduction.
The tail lights needed attention. Your Humble Editor is plagued by a serious allergy to cracked lenses. Cracked lenses is a sign of ignorance and lack of respect for the vehicle…did I make that clear? Not the lens, the statement!
These old lenses aren’t making it. Also, they are the plain version without chrome.
Adding the Silverado style light with chrome bezels adds to the look. The fact that I spent six bucks on brand new lenses did not hurt either! Also, as you know, a fair amount of chrome make the vehicle go faster and offers better fuel mileage.
Now that’s a nice tail! (Uh, I said tail!) I plan to raise the bumper closer to the tail gate and add a heavy duty trailer hitch.
I also had the cracked front windshield replaced and added the chrome trim that goes around the shield. It really brightened up the rig. The total cost was $190.00…installed. Can’t argue with that.
There she is…I think I got a really decent shop truck for not much money. Now I think we need to match the good looks with some power.
This truck is powered by an anemic 4.1 liter six cylinder engine. I have tried to destroy this engine so I have a reason to replace it with a V8 but no go. I have brought it way past it’s rev limit and you can hear the engine and long crank go in to some sort of harmonic (not so harmonic ;-)) convulsions…but no, it takes a licking and keeps on ticking, just like that Timex watch.
Nevertheless, it has no power so out it goes.
Mr. Goodwrench to the rescue. I found this three-hundred-and-fifty cubic inch American Power Plant in a van on Whidbey Island. I heard it run before it was pulled and it sounded great.
Interesting Fact: According to the American Journal of Hot Rod Doctors: Nine out of ten doctors say that men have cancelled their boner pills after installing an American V8.
Remember what I said about Chevrolet and cheap? Let’s just use inexpensive instead, it sounds better. Aftermarket chrome for these engines is as common as overpaid athletes on steroids.
So let’s find some…ahem…inexpensive chrome for this fine power plant. As we already discussed, a fair amount of chrome can make any engine develop more power…honest. I think we need some headers as well.
Stand by for shiny stuff!