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Budget Basher - 1970 Chevy Truck

Posted in Project Vehicles on June 1, 2010 Comment (0)
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Photographers: Fred Williams

Due to the austerity of these economic times we've been running across a lot of homebuilt budget 4x4s lately. However, the art of building a trail rig from scavenged and bartered parts existed long before our economy took a turn for the worse. As an extra source of income, Jason Howerton of Morgan Hill, California, was buying and selling trucks and cars for a number of years, and then one day ran across the perfect crawler combo: two Chevys.

After making a few bucks and gathering some highly-sought-after 4x4 components in his own cash for clunkers and parts program, Jason took a '79 Blazer and a '70 Chevy pickup and started building. The '70 Chevy Truck body now sits on the '79 frame with a narrowed and tapered front clip and body sides. Then Jason boatsided the vehicle, which took a good amount of useless metal off the sides. The Frankenstein rig is now a dependable and well-built trail beater and is used for extreme trail runs on the Rubicon Trail, Hollister Hills, and Hammer trails.

The suspension on Jason Howerton's truck is composed of 52-inch Chevy leaf springs up front and late-model 63-inch springs in the rear, and the ride is damped by BDS and Rancho shocks. The Dana 60 front axle was robbed from a '79 Chevy, and the 14-bolt was taken from an '85 Chevy truck. Both axles are fitted with 4.56 gears with a Detroit Locker in front and welded spider gears in the rear.

Tech Specs
1970 Chevy Truck
(on A '79 Blazer frame)
Engine: Chevy 8.1L V-8
Transmission: SM465
Transfer case: NP203, NP205, Jed's Machining doubler kit
Front Axle: Dana 60, 4.56 gears, Detroit Locker, chromoly shafts
Rear Axle: 14-bolt, 4.56 gears, welded spider gears, chromoly shafts

Springs & Such: 63-inch Chevy late-model leaf springs (rear); 52-inch Chevy leaf springs (front)
Tires & Wheels: 42X15X16.5 Interco Super Swampers, 16.5x9.75 Hummer H1s, with USA6x6 centers, Custom Tribal flame rock rings
Other Stuff: Jaz 15-gallon aluminum fuel cell, stock chevy radiator with two Taurus fans, stretched wheelbase, Hedman shorty headers, Flowmaster two-chamber mufflers, custom skidplate

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