Why is it always the little things? They seem to be able to make or break just about anything in life, from trucks, taxes, to the opposite sex, but let’s just stick to trucks here. Last month we showed what it takes to rebuild a GM 12 bolt truck rearend, which is definitely one of the bigger activities one could do when it comes to wrenching on a truck. Along with this job there a few small yet potentially difficult tasks that need to be addressed, especially when you’re reinstalling that nice new rearend in your old truck/work in progress.
Father Time and Mother Nature are always two forces we deal with when working on older vehicles, and more often than not neither one has been too kind to the automobile. Simply removing the rearend from our ’72 Chevy C-10 should be relatively easy, but mix in many years spent out in the elements and something simple can become quite frustrating, like removing the well rusted nuts on the U-bolts that hold the rearend to the trailing arms. Some form of heat was definitely in order, and the cutoff wheel was looking even better at one point. Even if you don’t have to resort to such brute methods of removal, there are still a handful of questions that need to be answered, like how do you get the old hardware looking good again? While you’re under there, you notice the shocks’ steep forward angle since lowering your truck- how do you fix that? Say you want to put a diff cover on that freshly rebuilt rearend that holds an extra quart of gear oil, only to find that it hits the stock Panhard bar. In today’s world, where more old trucks are put on the road and expected to keep up modern vehicles versus restorations, these become real problems.
Any one of these situations can be solved on its own depending on your situation, or done all at once, which would be easier in the long run. They all can be done at home in the garage or driveway if need be. Read on for the answers to these questions and how to keep the little things from becoming big problems, and how to get the most performance out of your truck!