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Old 04-11-2017, 11:15 PM   #1
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1966 Chevy 4x4

Hi all.

I've have a 1966 Chevy K10 with a 350, sm420 granny low 4 speed and 12.50-33x15 tires. It has the stock suspension to which I'll add rear overload springs. I plan to pull a 5000 lb trailer with it.

OK, I'll open the floodgates. Any opinions on necessary upgrades for this truck? I know, I know, get a new 1 ton dually pickup. But I like my old Chevy which is nearly identical to the image except mine's a long bed.

Thanks.
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:41 AM   #2
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I also have a 1966 Chevy 1/2 T short bed step side, with a 350/350 HP turbo 350 auto with a shift kit, not a 4/4, and not a 4 speed stick.
If you have the stock 4:10 ratio gears, it will not be a speed demon, and 55/60 will be all the faster you will want to tow with it!
That is probably a good thing, as the stock steering is a little sloppy, to say the least!
I converted mine to a 79 Firebird front and rear suspension, left the coil springs in the rear, welded in new perch's, so now a posi rear, and the 1 to 1 power steering and disc brakes made a very big difference in how it drive's.
You will need the overload springs in the rear, for sure, and can get them off a 3/4 ton pickup from 60 to 66 and they should bolt right on, as the holes are already there in your frame! They are short leaf spring style that mount on the outside of your frame. As you load your truck, they drop down onto a perch, and work well! It lets you retain your good ride while you are not towing!
Now, for the bad, Your brakes! Not up to stopping a 5000 lb trailer, along with your heavy pick-up! You will have to have good brakes on the trailer for sure, and, if it was me, i would be seriously be thinking about upgrading the braking system on your "ol-66" The single master cylinder and drum brakes, will get hot very quickly, as you probably already know!
It will pull your trailer very well, but stopping it, another story!

My son has my old 66 now, and is in the process of installing a new motor, he lives in Central Illinois, and if you have any questions, i can hook you up with his #!

Good luck, and i will be following your progress! Rail!
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWJoyce View Post
Hi all.

I've have a 1966 Chevy K10 with a 350, sm420 granny low 4 speed and 12.50-33x15 tires. It has the stock suspension to which I'll add rear overload springs. I plan to pull a 5000 lb trailer with it.

OK, I'll open the floodgates. Any opinions on necessary upgrades for this truck? I know, I know, get a new 1 ton dually pickup. But I like my old Chevy which is nearly identical to the image except mine's a long bed.

Thanks.
I did a frame off restoration of a '95 2500. I felt I needed the brake upgrades for sure. I put the HD drilled and slotted disks on front and converted the rear also. I added a Blueprint 383 stroker which has 400. Ft #'s and 300 Hp so there's plenty of towing power. I have yet to decide on the rear end, haven't found the need to bump it to a 4.10 . I went with LT tires for the extra side wall strength. I installed additional tranny and oil coolers, and a new radiator.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:54 AM   #4
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4 wheel disk would be a must have for me. Those drum brakes were barely adequate for the truck with no trailer.
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:04 AM   #5
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In high school I drove my Dad's 64 Chev 3/4tn, 283, 4-speed, 2wd. It was red.
Congrats on a cool old truck
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:18 AM   #6
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I'll get to the junk yard and see if I can find an old truck for the overload springs. Great suggestion, thank you!

Yes, the drum brakes are terrible, and I always downshift before applying the brakes and can't imagine driving this with an automatic.

You've given me great motivation for upgrading the brakes! ;-)
It has a power booster and single master cylinder, so I'll upgrade to an open knuckle disc brake front axle and dual master cylinder.

Will the BFG All Terrain tires (load range 'C') be strong enough for towing a 5000 lb trailer with this 4000 lb truck? My gut says no, but I won't be towing all that far or often.
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DWJoyce View Post
My gut says no, but I won't be towing all that far or often.
I notice that illogical statement often. Yes, illogical! If you get in a wreck and hurt someone, it doesn't matter if you are one mile or 40 miles or 3,000 miles from home. Whether you tow once a day or once a year, if you get in a wreck, you're in a world of hurt.

So equip the tow vehicle with whatever is required to make is a safe tow vehicle for frequent long trips, then stay below all weight ratings of the truck and you're covered.
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