Build of my ‘88 RCSB C1500 owned for 20 years

alignman88

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Finally getting around to a build thread on my ‘88 regular cab Silverado. I’ve owned since 2000 and purchased it in Northwest Arkansas from original owner to be used for one business, then pressed into full time duties in a second business. Feels like everyone that either worked with me or knew me was helped by this old girl. Stolen and recovered while living in Memphis, it came with me to St. Louis as a family member. Got started on rebuild in 2020 but knee surgery in ‘20 and fought MRSA staph infection following summer of 2021 it’s been cursed with delays.

Got crackin on it summer of 2020. Had a complete 383 sitting for 6-7 years so I used that as a starting point. Had the engine torn apart, freshened and upgraded to hydraulic roller valve train to maximize the HP potential of the cylinder heads. Now it is 388 cubic inches bored .060” Scat rotating assembly, KB 10:1 pistons, Edelbrock Performer 195cc heads, Edelbrock Rolling Thunder #2201 hyd. roller cam and valve springs, Performer RPM air gap intake, and Holley Sniper Stealth EFI and Hyperspark ignition. Got the new Holley mid-mount accessory system and its worth every penny; 150 amp alternator, steering pump and AC compressor (C6 Vette stuff) looks and fits great! Went with fabricated aluminum valve covers, they required the thicker gaskets to clear intake and turned out killer looking. I call it the Darth Vader look. On paper it matches specs of the 435 HP Edelbrock crate engine, somewhat limited by the intake runner size of the heads, but it’s what I had sitting around so saved $$$.
 

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GrimsterGMC

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Finally getting around to a build thread on my ‘88 regular cab Silverado. I’ve owned since 2000 and purchased it in Northwest Arkansas from original owner to be used for one business, then pressed into full time duties in a second business. Feels like everyone that either worked with me or knew me was helped by this old girl. Stolen and recovered while living in Memphis, it came with me to St. Louis as a family member. Got started on rebuild in 2020 but knee surgery in ‘20 and fought MRSA staph infection following summer of 2021 it’s been cursed with delays.

Got crackin on it summer of 2020. Had a complete 383 sitting for 6-7 years so I used that as a starting point. Had the engine torn apart, freshened and upgraded to hydraulic roller valve train to maximize the HP potential of the cylinder heads. Now it is 388 cubic inches bored .060” Scat rotating assembly, KB 10:1 pistons, Edelbrock Performer 195cc heads, Edelbrock Rolling Thunder #2201 hyd. roller cam and valve springs, Performer RPM air gap intake, and Holley Sniper Stealth EFI and Hyperspark ignition. Got the new Holley mid-mount accessory system and its worth every penny; 150 amp alternator, steering pump and AC compressor (C6 Vette stuff) looks and fits great! Went with fabricated aluminum valve covers, they required the thicker gaskets to clear intake and turned out killer looking. I call it the Darth Vader look. On paper it matches specs of the 435 HP Edelbrock crate engine, somewhat limited by the intake runner size of the heads, but it’s what I had sitting around so saved $$$.
That's an impressive looking engine, you're off to a great start. Looking forward to the updates.
 

alignman88

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Never really cared for the interior fabric choice these trucks came with, or the fact it was blue so gutted the cab down to the last screw and did a complete color change to black. Used 80 mil Killmat sound deadening everywhere I could in cab and doors. New black carpet, dash was excellent so just recolored it and the rest of the plastic to black, and used black suede for headliner, back cab panel I made, and where the tweed inserts and carpet were on the door panels. I loved how comfy on my back my daily seats are so EBay sourced a set of 2013 GM truck cloth seats and console. I cut the original seat rails off and made new lower profile ones to allow seat adjustment, drivers is powered. Replaced the factory speakers with Kicker units and have 300 watt Cerwin Vega 10’s in boxes behind the seat with a Phoenix Gold 600 watt amp (CV’s and amp I already had laying around from the 90’s from a Dodge I owned) for tunes. The hardest part of the interior was not breaking the trim pieces. I knew if I got it running first all that would be put off for burnouts and giggles.
That's an impressive looking engine, you're off to a great start. Looking forward to the updates.
Thanks! Have tons more updates but can’t post more pics. Trying to do “post reply” clicking on the pic icon at top of reply box for next entry but site says nope. I’ll post completed interior, and almost completed chassis setup tomorrow if I can figure it out it’s late.
 

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alignman88

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These interiors look so sharp in black, it makes me wonder why GM never offered it. Those engine specs sound nice!
For sure wonder the same thing myself. This truck was silver top and bottom with the metallic black down the sides, with a blue interior. It was tired looking from having guys in and out of washing FedEx trailers all day.
 

alignman88

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Here are my simple seat rails for mounting the NBS seats. Just cut the OEM slide rails and risers off and bolt the “top” piece to the seat, bolt the “bottom” rail to the floor, then two bolts on each side attach to two rails together. I used larger diameter flange bolts/nuts for mounting the rails together, seen in pic of where I’m holding the rails, and through the floor with plates on the bottom side for reinforcement. The outside rails just bolt into the factory mounting holes.
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alignman88

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Finally getting around to a build thread on my ‘88 regular cab Silverado. I’ve owned since 2000 and purchased it in Northwest Arkansas from original owner to be used for one business, then pressed into full time duties in a second business. Feels like everyone that either worked with me or knew me was helped by this old girl. Stolen and recovered while living in Memphis, it came with me to St. Louis as a family member. Got started on rebuild in 2020 but knee surgery in ‘20 and fought MRSA staph infection following summer of 2021 it’s been cursed with delays.

Got crackin on it summer of 2020. Had a complete 383 sitting for 6-7 years so I used that as a starting point. Had the engine torn apart, freshened and upgraded to hydraulic roller valve train to maximize the HP potential of the cylinder heads. Now it is 388 cubic inches bored .060” Scat rotating assembly, KB 10:1 pistons, Edelbrock Performer 195cc heads, Edelbrock Rolling Thunder #2201 hyd. roller cam and valve springs, Performer RPM air gap intake, and Holley Sniper Stealth EFI and Hyperspark ignition. Got the new Holley mid-mount accessory system and its worth every penny; 150 amp alternator, steering pump and AC compressor (C6 Vette stuff) looks and fits great! Went with fabricated aluminum valve covers, they required the thicker gaskets to clear intake and turned out killer looking. I call it the Darth Vader look. On paper it matches specs of the 435 HP Edelbrock crate engine, somewhat limited by the intake runner size of the heads, but it’s what I had sitting around so saved $$$.
Here is the cam card for the Edelbrock Rolling Thunder PN 2201 camshaft. It is the max for what the cylinder heads can flow with the 195cc intake runners. With a 3:73 gear lockup converter and 30” tall rear tire cruising at 70mph rpm will be @ 2,100-2,200. Operating range on the camshaft is 1,500-6,500 so this keeps it in the perfect sweet spot to utilize the torque curve where most torque is made around 4,000 rpm range. That puts it where tipping into the throttle at speed happens about 1,000-1,500 rpm below the converter flash speed. Like foot braking it the drag strip you want to launch at that rpm so it flashes the converter at the right point giving the best 60 ft. times.
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alignman88

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In the last two weeks I made progress on the chassis. Stripped frame, rear axle and springs using sandblaster and roll loc discs on die grinder. A good coat of sealer/primer on everything then shot with Commercial Performance ALK-200 acrylic enamel with catalyst. Turned out way more shiny than I wanted at first but now I like it just fine. It looks like it’s been powder coated and will look good longer. For the rear suspension I pulled the overload leaf and silly aluminum leaf spacers giving another 1”+ drop in the rear along with the 4” Belltech hanger/shackle drop. Pressed out front spring bushings for the Cal Trac aluminum bushing and sleeve for the pivot plates. NOTE!!! Belltech hangers were replaced with ones from Cal Trac to allow the pivot plates to fit. Could have maybe modified them but for $160 this was best. Rear axle got all new bearings/races, Eaton TruTrac with 3:73 gears and a pair of Moser 30 spline axles. They keep those in stock at Moser and are very affordable (can’t remember amount but a working man can afford it). Already had a set of new Belltech Street shocks so they’re going on for now, most likely go to adjustable QA1 once I start sorting out the chassis tune.

Front suspension is the QA1 Level 2 upper/lower control arms and coil overs. Just hand tight in the pics was checking fit. Very nice fit and finish on QA1 products and badass engineering. The better geometry of the control arms let you set camber values at a conservative, stock setting to maximize tire life. The new geometry give way more camber gain than stock so as suspension loads camber values increase/decrease hella-quick getting the max tire footprint for best grip. The best of both worlds. Still haven’t got the front and rear QA1 sway bars yet that’s another pile-o-cash yet but necessary. They bolt up to lower control arms with spherical rod end links. Most likely will replace steering box with a quick ratio unit, haven’t decided which brand, and using the Borgeson steering shaft replacement for these treacle that delete the rag joint for U-joints. It also allows a little more header space too.

Motor mounts will be Energy Suspension units, the black style. They are “self lubricating” as where the red ones you have to put something on them???? Dunno what that’s about but easier for me .

For my spindles and dust shields I sprayed them (after blasting and sealing) with rattle can VHT brake caliper paint with ceramic. Really like that stuff for hot areas it holds up great and looks like powder coat when prepped right.

Ignore the still messing wiring, I’ve been unpinning wires from the ECM to get only what’s needed. Will use a secondary TPS on the Sniper to ECM along with the MAP sensor to maximize converter lockup on the 700R4. It can be done without the MAP I believe but keeping it for now until that time comes.

That’s all for now fellas, feel free to offer any suggestions on stuff you’ve figured out already! Love this group lots of sharp cats here and great information learned by all of us.
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alignman88

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Looks awesome! Keep it coming!
What products did you use to change the interior color?
After reading through these forums and seeing that folks thought they great results from SEM(??) as well as the Duplicolor brands. I thought I’d give the cheaper Duplicolor vinyl & plastics paint/dye a test run on a few pieces then compare it to my 2013 GMC panels. Turned out it looked like a perfect match of the factory black molded pieces in the ‘13. So I went with Duplicolor brand and their prep coat can spray adhesion promoter. I wanted to show if you’re on a budget (I wasn’t at the time but have been as we all are) that with proper cleaning and prep good results are achievable with a cost effective solution sometimes. Durability of finish has proved to be good as the pieces laid around and got moved and moved again during the winter and even after installing I did not need to touch anything up. To be transparent I did paint them in my 2 car garage in winter that is heated by a stand-alone central A/C unit so humidity and temp conditions were perfect.
 
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