Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
Photo 2/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 01 | In a nondescript industrial suite in Corona, a little shop called Inland Empire Driveline builds precision driveshafts for every type of custom or race vehicle imaginable. Luckily, we had a nice piece already built for our C10 by IED, it just needed to be shortened for the new engine and trans combo and cleaned up.
Photo 3/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 02 | Elsewhere in Corona, the Gibson crew was gearing up to build a dual-exhaust system for the truck. The star of the show is the new MWA Superflow mufflers. The cutaway version is shown here. It features straight-through design that flows at a rate of only 3cfm less than a straight pipe, improving power potential while keeping interior drone to a minimum. The MWA has no internal packing or weak baffles, either, allowing it to maintain a lightweight design with a unique and powerful sound. The MWA Muffler is 100-percent Made in the USA and is constructed of high-quality stainless steel.
Photo 4/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 03 | We brought our old driveshaft in and Nacho and the crew had it loaded into the lathe immediately. The bit is made specifically for them to cut out the weld to separate the front tube yoke from the tube.
Photo 5/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 04 | Instead of overcutting and ruining the tube yoke, it is checked periodically to see if it’s free by tapping on it with a hammer.
Photo 6/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 05 | Now, the crew pulled apart and cleaned the yoke, still attached to the slip yoke, with a wire wheel and sandpaper.
Photo 7/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 06 | With the remainder of the driveshaft still in the lathe, the tube was now cut down to the new required length.
Photo 8/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 07 | The two parts were then mated back together with a little pressure and measured with a micrometer before welding. A little tap of the hammer here and there.
Photo 9/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 08 | Finally, the jig was set up for the welder and a nice bead mated the yoke back to the tube.
Photo 10/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 09 | We were still a touch out of balance, so this small weight was added.
Photo 11/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 10 | While still on the balancer, the driveshaft was refurbished first with sandpaper, then with Scotch Brite.
Photo 12/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 11 | We were looking good at this point. Our next stop was across town at Gibson.
Photo 13/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 12 | This is how most exhaust systems begin, the down tube with flange followed by the mufflers. We used 2 1/2-inch, 409 stainless steel throughout our build.
Photo 14/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 13 | The first half of the stainless Gibson system is extremely straightforward—or rearward, in this case. The premade 45-degree bend was the perfect angle and bolted right up.
Photo 15/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 14 | To clear the transmission crossmember, we did have to kick the tubing up about 2 inches. All Gibson bends are completed using a mandrel bender, which keeps the tubes diameter intact throughout the entire curve, instead of giving the tubing that stretched look some lesser products have.
Photo 16/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 15 | We had the perfect amount of space between the POL tranny crossmember and the Ride Tech trailing arm crossmember for the Gibson MWA mufflers. We tacked them in place, removed the assembly, and fully welded them solid.
Photo 17/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 16 | Many exhaust systems end here. But we had big plans to keep the rear end clean and give our system a clean exit.
Photo 18/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 17 | After some trial and error, Jack came up with a clean, side-exiting pipe that cleared the trailing arms perfectly, but we weren’t done yet.
Photo 19/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 18 | In order make this section in all one-piece instead of four, Jack scanned the entire piece using an XYZ/LRA scanner, allowing him to turn his rough draft prototype into a clean final prototype that fit the car. Scanning the part also makes it possible to mirror- image the piece for use on the passenger side of the truck, and saves the program in the Gibson system for future use!
Photo 20/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 19 | How’s this for cool? The information was automatically sent from the scanner to the programmable mandrel bender. We’re a long way from the guy in the pit at the local muffler shop!
Photo 21/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 20 | And within a minute or two, we were seeing our tailpipe form in front of us.
Photo 22/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 21 | The leading end took a trip to the expander, so it would slip over our existing pipes effortlessly.
Photo 23/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 22 | We rounded up a pair of Gibson’s polished 3-inch single-wall slash tips, attached them loosely to the tailpipe, and held it up with a jackstand while we double checked the fitment.
Photo 24/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 23 | A piece of dense foam was used to keep the perfect distance between the polished tip and the bottom of the bed.
Photo 25/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 24 | Once everything was triple-checked, we welded a final hanger to the frame and the tailpipe. The tailpipe was welded completely to the muffler outlet.
Photo 26/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 25 | The last step was to install an equalizer pipe, or H-pipe, made of 1 1/4-inch stainless, that would tuck up tight to the transmission of this ’bagged truck.
Photo 27/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 26 | You’ll notice that it’s welded up solid at the moment. We know the truck is coming back apart in the hopefully, not-too-distant future, so we opted not to weld in the flanges to make it removable just yet.
Photo 28/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 27 | We think the final result looks pretty good, if we don’t say so ourselves. The Gibson Exhaust system and polished aluminum driveshaft are welcome additions to Ride Tech-equipped rear half of the truck.
Photo 29/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 28 | Even though the harsh SoCal weather has taken its toll on some of the rear suspension, we think the view through the non-existent bed floor looks pretty good, too.
Photo 30/30 | 1969 C10 Project Update 29 | But the real test was the sound. The mufflers subdue the sound just enough to hear all 440hp coming through and even in bare metal, the drone in the cab is kept to a minimum! Stay tuned to Truckin magazine and Truckin.com for all the stories and even some video updates on our ’69 C10 Project.