CUM­MINS 4BT POW­ERED ’68 C/10 RESTORA­TION

WADE FLAN­NERY’S CUM­MINS POW­ERED 1968 CHEVRO­LET C/10

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Clas­sic Chevro­let C/10 pickup trucks have al­ways been cool rigs (we even have a sis­ter mag­a­zine, C/10builder’s guide that is fo­cused solely on C/10 trucks), but so many of the trucks fea­ture a small block or Ls-swap of some kind un­der the hood along with frame-drag­ging sus­pen­sion and 20+ inch bil­let wheels that cost more than the truck’s orig­i­nal sell­ing price. When Wade Flan­nery, a 32-year old en­gi­neer from Ge­orge­town, Ken­tucky, set out to build his C/10, he sim­ply wanted a stock-ap­pear­ing, pe­riod-cor­rect truck that looked like the 4BT Cum­mins be­longed in it. As you can see here, he was wildly suc­cess­ful in his build.

Flan­nery and his friend Clay­ton An­gle at­tended the 4X4 Jam­boree in In­di­anapo­lis where he was first ex­posed to a Cum­mins 4Bt-pow­ered rig, and just knew he had to build a project with one. Not long af­ter that he found a step van in Terre Haute, In­di­ana, that served as a potato chip de­liv­ery truck and made the trip up to pick it up with An­gle. Af­ter pick­ing it up they took the de­liv­ery truck to An­gle’s shop Fu­sion Me­tal Fab in Cov­ing­ton, Ohio, where they stripped the body off the chas­sis with a torch and fork­lift to re­veal the cov­eted 4BT. Be­fore the amaz­ing paint and body­work was com­pleted, Flan­nery’s C/10 project started as a bas­ket case of a truck and pro­gressed along to a satin-black beauty over a pe­riod of about nine months. Work­ing from a big pile of var­i­ous parts and pieces, he built his dream truck. But rather than sim­ply put all the pieces to­gether and make some­thing work, he opted to clean, de­tail and re­store or re­place ev­ery­thing on the truck, start­ing from the frame and work­ing his way up to the body. The prepped and painted chas­sis re­ceived new shocks and ad­di­tional re­place­ment com­po­nents through mail or­der sources, in­clud­ing LMC Truck and Sum­mit Rac­ing, to re­store it back to bet­ter-than-new con­di­tion. In the rear, the fac­tory leaf springs are used to lo­cate the orig­i­nal 1968 12-bolt rear axle. The axle assem­bly is stuffed with an Ea­ton dif­fer­en­tial and 3.08 gear set to put the power to the ground while also giv­ing good econ­omy when driv­ing on the high­way. Up front, Flan­nery up­graded the sus­pen­sion com­po­nents to those from a 1971 GM truck with fac­tory coil springs and LMC shocks to con­trol the ride, along with disk brakes for bet­ter stop­ping power. To keep things clean and sim­ple he chose to run white-painted 15-inch steel wheels, with clas­sic Chevy Bowtie dog-dish hub­caps, and wrapped in 265/70R15 Toyo H/T Open-coun­try tires on all four cor­ners.

With the chas­sis set­tled, it was time for Flan­nery to ad­dress the driv­e­train and place his Cum­mins into the C/10. With some fab­ri­ca­tion he was able to drop the 3.9L Cum­mins into the frame rails as though it was meant to be there from the fac­tory. The 1995 Cum­mins engine is mostly stock, but Flan­nery did make some fuel sys­tem up­grades by go­ing to a set of Dynomite Diesel Prod­ucts +50 HP in­jec­tors and BD Diesel fuel pin and gov­er­nor spring kit in the in­jec­tion pump, which is fed a steady stream of clean diesel fuel through an Air­dog fuel fil­ter and pump sys­tem. The Air­dog pump draws fuel from a cus­tom alu­minum fuel tank that Flan­nery and An­gle fab­ri­cated to fit in the rear of the chas­sis be­tween the frame rails.

The fac­tory tur­bocharger is re­tained, but it chan­nels the in­take charge through an in­ter­cool-

er mounted be­hind the grille from a 2000 Dodge Ram, while it in­hales clean air through a Spec­tre Per­for­mance air fil­ter fit­ted to the orig­i­nal air in­take , which in turn was painted black and treated to hot rod style red pin­strip­ing. On the ex­haust side, he used heat wrap on the man­i­fold as well as the MBRP down­pipe that feeds the spent gasses along to a 4-inch MBRP ex­haust sys­tem and through a Dy­nat­ech race muf­fler to tone down the diesel roar in the clas­sic C/10.

Power from the 4BT is chan­neled through a 47RH Dodge trans­mis­sion out of a 1995 Dodge truck that hands the power off to the 12-bolt rear axle through a cus­tom drive­shaft. The team at Nobles Per­for­mance Diesel in De­graff, Ohio, re­built the trans­mis­sion to han­dle the grunt of the lit­tle Cum­mins, even while tow­ing other trucks, with­out leav­ing Flan­nery stranded on the side of the high­way. A Derale trans­mis­sion cooler is used to keep trans­mis­sion tem­per­a­ture in check in all sit­u­a­tions. The com­pact but po­tent driv­e­train put 221 hp and 464.4 lb-ft of torque to the wheels on the Thor­ough­bred Diesel chas­sis dyno, mak­ing the C/10 a po­tent show, tow and cruise rig if not a tire-burn­ing pow­er­house like some of the 5.9L Cum­mins trucks you are used to see­ing.

When the body was re­u­nited with the truck, Flan­nery turned his at­ten­tion to the in­te­rior and worked with Shane Gam­ble to re­uphol­ster the bench seat in black and red vinyl. He also in­stalled a new fac­tory-style car­pet kit, as well as a re­fin­ished dash pad and door pan­els that were both treated to bright red vinyl. To make it eas­ier to get in and out of the stan­dard cab truck he in­stalled an ididit tilt steer­ing col­umn with

in­te­grated shifter for the 47RH and capped it off with a cool Le­carra Mark 4 Supreme 15-inch bil­let alu­minum steer­ing wheel. He in­stalled a se­lec­tion of Au­tome­ter and Isspro gauges in the fac­tory dash clus­ter to keep an eye on the truck and engine per­for­mance in­clud­ing speed, rpm, engine and trans­mis­sion tem­per­a­ture, boost, EGT and fuel level. The fac­tory ra­dio lo­ca­tion in the dash was filled with a Retro Sound clas­sic style ra­dio to al­low him to have tunes while cruis­ing down the road. Switches to con­trol trans­mis­sion over­drive shift­ing as well as torque con­verter lockup are in­stalled in a panel un­der the ra­dio.

The glossy, well-mas­saged sheet me­tal of the truck you see here is ac­tu­ally the sec­ond in­car­na­tion of Flan­nery’s C/10. He orig­i­nally painted it a satin black trac­tor paint that he pur­chased from Trac­tor Sup­ply and was en­joy­ing the truck as in­tended—a low-bud­get driver with the 4BT mak­ing it per­fect for cruis­ing around or tow­ing when needed. Then one day, com­ing home from a truck show with a mini truck in tow, the truck was changed for­ever in a mo­ment. As Flan­nery de­scribes it: “A Kamikaze deer jumped off a moun­tain top and into the truck.” The im­pact smashed the pas­sen­ger door and bed­side, set­ting up a lot of re­pair work for Flan­nery and the C/10.

To make sure the work was done cor­rectly, he re­moved the body and sent it out for me­dia blast­ing to give it a fresh start. Then, af­ter all of

the me­tal work was fin­ished, Flan­nery be­gan the seem­ingly end­less process of block-sand­ing the truck. Af­ter get­ting car­ried away and tak­ing the me­tal straight­ness to a level rarely seen by home builders and hob­by­ists, he re­al­ized he would be do­ing his hard work an in­jus­tice by re­paint­ing it in a satin fin­ish. So, Flan­nery and his fa­therin-law Gene Moberly rigged up a makeshift paint booth in Moberly’s pole barn and pro­ceeded to lay on sev­eral lay­ers of black and white Ax­alta paint with flaw­less pre­ci­sion. Af­ter the paint and clear coat were cured he buffed the truck to the deep fin­ish seen here.

Ob­vi­ously, Flan­nery built a cool Cum­mins diesel Chevy C/10 that he can re­ally be proud of, he has won sev­eral awards at ma­jor events and he is able to en­joy it of­ten. On the road he sees nearly 30 mpg, and around 15 mpg when tow­ing 6,000 pounds. His truck may not be as flashy as some of the trucks we see, but it is a fun driver that looks and drives great, which al­lows him to take it out on the road any time and place he chooses while prov­ing that some­times less is more. If you get a chance to check out his C/10 in per­son we’re sure you will agree—but for now you can learn about it here in print. UDBG

Wade Flan­nery’s Clas­sic 1968 Chevro­let C/10 is a sim­ply gor­geous ma­chine, with im­pec­ca­ble restora­tion and paint work to make the truck nearly flaw­less. The fact that there’s an 8-valve Cum­mins 4BT lurk­ing un­der the hood makes this clas­sic ride as close to per­fec­tion as we can get.

Lift­ing the cowl-in­duc­tion hood re­veals a su­per-clean engine bay that looks like it was fac­tory-equipped with the 3.9L Cum­mins—only bet­ter, with gloss paint and a few cus­tom touches. When he strapped the C/10 down to the dyno at the Thor­ough­bred Diesel dyno day, the lit­tle 3.9L Cum­mins put down 221 hp and 464.4 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. Lurk­ing be­hind the grille shell is an in­ter­cooler plucked from a 2000 Dodge truck to keep the in­take charge cool. Note the small mo­tor­cy­cle-style turn sig­nal in­di­ca­tors in­stalled in each side of the lower grille open­ing, pro­vid­ing a slicker look that the large stock run­ning lights.

The C/10 sits lower than stock, but still at a com­fort­able height to be driven with­out worry of scrap­ing. The beau­ti­ful black and white paint work was han­dled by Flan­nery and his fa­ther-in-law in a makeshift paint booth, with stun­ning re­sults. Flan­nery re­lies on an elec­tric fan from Sum­mit Rac­ing to keep the Cum­mins cool. Also note the pol­ished alu­minum tub­ing used for the up­per ra­di­a­tor hose as well as the boost tube. You can also see the tank for the Snow wa­ter/meth sys­tem mounted in the front cor­ner of the engine bay. It is very hard to get clas­sic sheet me­tal straight enough to look this good when it’s slathered in black paint. While he was mas­sag­ing the body, Flan­nery also re­moved and filled the cab-mounted fuel filler neck since he was not plan­ning on us­ing the in-cab tank for the build. Look­ing closer at the engine you can see that Flan­nery wrapped the ex­haust man­i­fold and down­pipe in heat wrap to keep un­der­hood tem­per­a­ture down and keep the gloss paint look­ing great. The Cum­mins is fed air by the fac­tory turbo, giv­ing plenty of oomph to this clas­sic truck. One of those cus­tom touches is the pin­striped fac­tory air in­take from a donor step van, and with a Spec­tre Per­for­mance air fil­ter to de­liver clean air and cool looks to the 4-cylin­der Cum­mins.

The two-tone, red-and-black vinyl in­te­rior looks like new and re­ally sets the truck off. Clean stitch­ing and in­stal­la­tion on the con­trast­ing blackand-red vinyl seat cover and in­te­rior com­po­nents gives this C/10 a great look and com­fort at the same time. While main­tain­ing the clas­sic look and lines of the steel dash, Flan­nery up­graded it with mod­ern gauges from Au­tome­ter and Isspro gauges to keep an eye on the Cum­mins power plant. The Le­carra steer­ing wheel and ididit tilt/shift steer­ing col­umn make it easy to get in and out of the truck, shift the trans­mis­sion and keep it pointed in the right di­rec­tion. He also in­stalled a Retro Sound clas­sic-style head unit for tunes while he’s cruis­ing down the road. From be­low you can see that the Cum­mins engine fits per­fectly within the con­fines of the Chevy C/10 chas­sis. The truck has a good ride and im­proved brak­ing thanks to the front IFS com­po­nents from a 1971 GM truck, com­plete with disc brakes. The C/10 rolls on Toyo H/T Open-coun­try 265/70R15 tires wrapped around clas­sic Chevy 15-inch steel wheels with dog-dish Bowtie hub­caps. No­tice how the steel cowl-in­duc­tion hood gives the truck an added di­men­sion to the pro­file with­out scream­ing “hot rod”!

Toyo H/T Open-coun­try tires are wrapped around a set of 15-inch “steel­ies” in the rear to match the front, right down to the dog-dish hub­cap. Low­er­ing the tail­gate re­veals the clean bed com­plete with Line-x spray-in bed­liner to pro­tect the sheet me­tal. The alu­minum ac­cess door in the rear of the bed is to ac­cess the fuel filler neck for the rear-mounted fuel tank be­neath the bed. Flan­nery did a great job on the tail­gate too, with smooth body work and a great twotone, back-and-white fin­ish to match the cab. As you peek un­der the rear of the truck you can see the 4-inch MBRP ex­haust sys­tem, along with the pol­ished stain­less steel 5-inch di­am­e­ter tip and the cus­tom-fab­ri­cated alu­minum fuel tank nes­tled be­tween the frame rails. Also note the Class IV hitch mount that Flan­nery puts to use tow­ing other rigs to and from shows and events from time to time. Flan­nery mounted a bat­tery on each side of the truck in stain­less steel drop-down mounts, as seen here on the driver’s side where you can also see the Air­dog fuel pump and fil­ter sys­tem mounted on the in­side of the frame rail near the leaf spring mount. This beauty looks just as good from the rear as it does from any other an­gle. The clean lines, slick paint and slight rake com­bine to make a driver than any­one would be happy to cruise down the boule­vard. Even af­ter the deer strike Flan­nery isn’t afraid to drive and en­joy his beau­ti­ful cre­ation.

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