Eric Page - September 12, 2016
In recent years, parts manufacturers have listened to customer requests and have brought to market hundreds of well refined aftermarket parts for Chevrolet's legendary C-10. From disc brake conversions, to replacement chrome bumpers to engine upgrades for Chevy's venerable Inline 6, there are now many ways to enhance the look and performance of your classic C-10 truck.
Below is a short list of desirable products that are available today for the first generation C/K (1960-1966), second generation C/K (1967-1972) and third generation Silverado and Sierra pickups (1973-1987). It's unfortunate that many of these parts didn't exist 20 years ago when I last owned my 1970 C-10.
C-10 Front Disc Brake Conversion Kit
Front Disc Brake Kits contain the parts needed to convert from front drum brakes when using stock or drop spindles. For most conversions, you will need to use 15 inch or larger diameter rims that were originally designed for use with front disc brakes. Rotors are offered in a 5-lug (5 x 5") or 6-lug (6 x 5.5") bolt pattern. Typically, a proportioning valve and a brake booster that can draw more vacuum will also need to be purchased. Most kits include new spindles, drilled/slotted rotors, anti-rust calipers, brake hoses and a set of bearings, seals, dust caps, dust shields and spindle nuts. Nothing beats the look of a classic C-10 with 2-3 inch drop spindles - it's money well spent.
C-10 Dash Bezels and Panels
Today, manufacturers use UV-resistant ABS composites to mold exact replicas of dash instrument panels for your Chevy C-10. They can be found in an array of colors and styles including silver or black as well as in carbon fiber and woodgrain patterns. Look for examples that are "Made in the USA" as they often have a better fit and allow for aftermarket gauges to be installed without cutting the stock dash.
C-10 Air Ride Suspension
Designed for easy installation, Air Ride Suspensions kits include all of the parts necessary to give your classic C10 a customizable stance with a comfortable ride. Many kits are bolt-on ready and give you the power to adjust the vehicle ride height by 3" - 4" from factory while improving both handling and ride quality. Modern design and engineering allows your truck to maintain ground clearance, driveline angles, tire clearance, and load capacities. Basics to any air ride kit include airbags, a compressor, an air tank, electric valves, air line, air fittings and all mounting hardware. Higher end kits offer 4-wheel independent control and the ability to quickly raise and lower your truck. Prices vary widely. Kits on eBay can be found for as low as $600 and higher-end kits from RideTech can cost up to $10000.
Do you need to replace your classic Chevy truck's grille? From factory reproductions for an authentic restoration to custom billet grille inserts for an added flash, today's manufacturer's now offer a wide variety of grills. Lower quality grills are still made of plastic and are inexpensive, but higher end designs can be purchased in billet, brushed, painted or powder coated aluminum as well as stainless steel. Many grille designs are available in either horizontal, vertical or wild custom designs, so you can pick the right look for your truck. Look for grilles that come with all mounting hardware and require no modifications for installation.
Above are but a few of today's popular part upgrades for Chevy's C-10. Thankfully, manufacturers now produce almost all of the parts needed to do a proper restoration to keep classic C-10s going down the road. That's a win for all of us.