Sled Haulerz Ep. 2: 1969 Chevrolet C30
Up next on our list of ultra-cool sled haulers is a 1969 Chevrolet C30 pickup body mated to a Dodge 2500 diesel chassis and drivetrain, built by Andrew Munster.
Andrew is well-known in the sled community not only for being one of British Columbia’s hard-charging West Coast riders, but also the man behind Munster Canada, the snowmobile aftermarket parts manufacturer of the Munster Finger Throttle and other quality products.
Andrew Munster's 1969 Chevrolet C30 – Sled Haulerz
Make and Model: 1969 Chevy C30
Engine: Cummins 12-Valve
Drivetrain: 1998 Dodge 2500 chassis and drivetrain
MS: How did you come to decide on this particular build platform? What was your goal for the truck?
Andrew: I have been driving a diesel truck for the past 10 years. My first diesel truck was a 1995 Dodge Cummins 2500, and in that time I’ve owned five different Dodge 12-valve trucks. I’ve always liked them for their reliability, but I could never grow to like the body style.
But I have always loved the look of the old Chevy trucks. I’ve had a few Chevy square bodies in my day. The style of the ‘67 front end has always been my favourite, and I always thought it would be a classy truck to own one day.
I thought it would be awesome to combine the two and have the best of both worlds. I wanted this truck to be my daily driver, so it was specifically designed with drive-ability and ease-of-use in mind.
What was the first step in the build?
I guess the project first started when I blew the motor in my Dodge driving to the Alberta Snowmobile and Powersports Show one year (for the record, Cody McNolty was driving, so technically he blew my motor).
After having my truck towed back home, I needed something to drive, so I started hunting for trucks online. I managed to find a ‘97 Dodge 2500 that was written-off because it had been rolled on its side, and the cab was crunched in. I ended up buying it for a steal of a deal.
When I got it home, I swapped the cab off my blown motor truck and put it on the chassis of the wrecked truck. Problem solved!
After that, I ended up having a perfectly good rolling chassis from my ‘98, other than the blown motor. I spent the next summer completely rebuilding the engine, drivetrain, suspension and restoring the chassis.
During this process I was hunting for the perfect Chevy! I ended up buying the Chevy cab from a friend of mine in Whistler, BC. It was originally a motorhome camper. The truck was in amazing shape and only had 26,000 miles on it. It cost me $4000.
What modifications did you make?
My plan was to make a very reliable and drivable 400 horsepower with low EGTs. The engine and 5-speed transmission were completely stripped down and rebuilt to handle more horsepower.
With the basics covered, I installed a BD Stainless Exhaust manifold and an AST Aurora 3000 turbo. I did a lot of research on what turbo to choose, and I went with the Aurora 3000 mainly because it fit into a good efficiency range with the horsepower I planned to be making, and still had a fast spool up. Another benefit to the Aurora 3000 is it doesn’t have a wastegate, which made it the perfect partner for the supercharger I planned to bolt on before it.
To make the truck really shine in the drivability category, I managed to make room for a Procharger D-1SC by moving the alternator on top of the engine and putting the Procharger in its place. A centrifugal supercharger has an exponential boost curve which made it a good candidate to keep up with the turbo.
I have seen some positive displacement chargers used on diesel engines in the past, and in most cases it seems to be a restriction once the turbo starts building boost and moving a lot of air. My biggest concern with the Procharger was getting it to spin fast enough to keep up with the turbo, especially when the Cummins engine spins at such a low RPM and the Procharger is only driven off the main 8 rib serpentine belt.
This was all a big experiment to say the least. Nobody seems to make pulleys for the Procharger small enough for my application, so I started making my own on the lathe. After making three different sizes, I finally got some good results. Surprisingly even at the largest pulley size I tried, the supercharger would supply positive pressure to the turbo all the way through the rpm curve, regardless of how much boost the turbo was producing. Almost like the centrifugal force of the Procharger would make a set pressure to the turbo based on rpm alone. Engine load, CFM and turbo boost pressure seemed to make very little difference to the boost the supercharger was supplying to the turbo.
- Andrew Munster“I wanted this truck to be my daily driver, so it was specifically designed with drive-ability and ease-of-use in mind.”
After making a pulley small enough to reach the boost numbers I wanted, the truck started to drive more like a supercharged car than a laggy turbo diesel. This is easily my favourite mod to the truck by far. Under full load, the supercharger will reach numbers of about 10 psi supplied to the turbo, and the total boost pressure of the turbo will hit just over 50 psi, with EGTs just barely scratching 1100 degrees.
I wanted to have air ride in the rear so the truck would ride nice when it’s empty and I can air it up when I have sleds on. I scrapped the stock rear leaf springs, shortened the wheel base slightly and built my own truck arms and panhard bar. I thought I might as well do the front air ride as well, so I bought a front air ride kit from Kelderman in addition to the bags for the rear.
To finish it off I had Filthy Motorsports build me a custom valved set of King 2.5 smoothie shocks.
To run onboard air, I converted the stock AC pump to a grease lubrication system so I can use it as a compressor pump. The air ride control is inside the cab. There are two gauges with four needles that read psi, and each corner can be adjusted by pneumatic switches.
What about the flat deck?
The aluminum flat deck is a product I have built for customers in the past. This is a version of it that I tailored and designed specifically for this truck.
Because of the single cab, I needed lots of extra room for storage. Part of the reason for getting rid of the leaf springs was to be able to make deep tool compartments that go right to the frame. The compartments are fully sealed. I built a heat exchanger on the bottom of the compartments which cycle engine coolant to heat the boxes in the winter.
The top deck was designed so the cleats for clamping snowmobiles can be adjusted and removed if I need to put something flat on the deck. The aluminum sled ramp fully tucks away in the back of the deck and pulls out for easy loading.
How did you decide on the paint?
I have always liked white for my trucks, so I decided to go bright white as usual. I did almost all of the work on the truck myself, with the exception of paint. I have painted enough of my own vehicles in the past just to learn to leave it to the professionals.
What was the most difficult part of the process?
The most challenging part of the build was trying to fit the radiator, intercooler and fan between the motor and the grill, and still keep the wheels centred in the front wheel well. The Dodge had so much truck hanging out front, it was hard to pack it all in the small Chevy front end.
How long did it take to complete the build, and in what stages did you work on it?
The project took me about two years to complete. Between the two donor trucks, parts and paint, I have spent about $55,000 on the truck in total.
To complete the truck I put in well over 1000 hours of my time into it, mostly working on it in the summers.
Since it’s been built, how has it been for its intended purpose? Has anything needed to be changed or rebuilt? Any problems you’re had to rectify?
The only issue I have had to work on over time is the supercharger setup. Since the diesel engine spins so slow, I had to run a small pulley on the supercharger which causes a lot of stress on the belt and other components. I had to redesign my alternator bracket because the belt tension kept bending my alternator down, and would start chewing belts. After designing a new beefy alternator bracket on the CNC and upping the crank pulley to a bigger size, I haven’t had any issues since.
Most of the changes I did to the truck were to improve comfort, drive-ability and ease of use. Daily driving was a top priority, and I wanted to make hauling sleds around as easy as possible, ultimately making sledding more enjoyable. For that, the truck has been amazing.
Thanks Andrew for sharing the story of your kick-ass sled hauler! She’s a beaut!
Check out Ep. 1 of Sled Haulerz, in which we featured a 1979 F-250 Custom Crew on a modern Ford Ecoboost F-150 chassis and drivetrain, built by 509 Films’ Mike Reeve.