Well, let's see, in last month's first installment of our Early classic Enterprises rodstoration project coverage we began by introducing you to our subject vehicle (a slightly road-weary big-block-powered '68 C-10 Chevy). We proceeded by outlining the recommended steps for disassembling the pickup, from thoroughly cleaning the subject vehicle both inside and out, and on to both minor and major body and drivetrain disassembly.
In this installment we'll proceed with more of the easy steps (taking the thing apart). I say easy because as we all know, takin' something apart is always easier than putting it back together. Especially when in our excitement and zeal to move the job along, we fail to properly label or mark some of the more complex or less recognizable components which we've so deftly ripped apart...er, disassembled.
Once the vehicle is stripped down to the original rolling chassis, the next step will be to position it onto a set of sturdy jack stands. Once it's positioned on the stands, final chassis disassembly can proceed. This will entail the removal of the wheels and tires and the existing brake and fuel lines (use care here, and dispose of any and all fluids, both brake and fuel, properly). You may want to spend the extra time needed to remove these lines intact, this way you can use them as patterns to bend up good replacements.
Once these steps have been completed, it's on to the suspension. You can proceed from whichever end of the truck you care to. If you've decided to start at the rear and work forward, don't forget to remove (and mark) the parking brake cables and mechanisms.
It's also a really good idea to grab that old point-and-shoot or Polaroid camera and take a few snapshots if possible, this way when it's time for reassembly things'll be a snap.
Once the parking brake cables and brake lines are out of the way, take your floor jack and slide it up under the rear-end center-section and put some pressure under the rear-end. Move forward and undo the front trailing arm mounting bolts and drop the trailing arms. (check next month's installment before performing this step).
Then, disconnect the Panhard bar from both the rear-end and the frame bracket (and also, if so equipped, the rear stabilizer bar
brackets, and move on to the coil spring retaining bolts. With the chassis on the stands, the rear-end housing hanging from the coil springs, and the floor jack just barely supporting the rear-end, remove the upper coil spring retainers and bolts (both sides). At this point you can lower the jack and roll the rear-end assembly from under the frame.
Moving to the front of the chassis, begin the disassembly by disconnecting the front brake hoses, calipers, stabilizer bar assembly, and shock absorbers. Place a floor jack under the lower control arm and attach a coil spring compressor to the front coil and proceed to compress the spring compressor (also check next month's installment before performing this step). Once sufficiently compressed, remove the lower spindle nut and separate the spindle from the lower control arm. Slowly lower the jack and remove the compressed spring. Remember to follow the spring compressor's instructions explicitly or you'll spend the rest of your life only being able to count to eight or nine if you're lucky. After the coil springs have been removed, disconnect the tie rod ends and remove the spindles. The upper and lower control arms can be removed next , as can the balance of the steering system (idler arm and bracket, center-link, tie rods, pitman arm, steering box, etc.)
Once the front suspension and steering assemblies are out of the way you can unbolt the engine mount brackets from the frame and front crossmember. Then, slide your trusty floor jack under the center of the suspension crossmember and remove the attaching bolts from either side of the crossmember. Once loose, the crossmember can be lowered from the frame rails and, presto-chango, your chassis is now a bare frame. Okay, take a short break and you're ready to load up your components (and bare frame) and cart 'em off to the sandblasting shop for stripping and the powder coating shop for a sparkling new finish.
Once your original parts have been stripped and coated or painted, it's time to begin the re-assembly part of the exercise. The following photos will illustrate the process, and we'll try to go as far as we can in this installment, but never fear, whatever we don't get to here, we'll get to in following issues. So, sit back and take a look at how the project progresses.