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Building the Goodguys Giveaway ’86 Squarebody – Part 2

The Goodguys Grand Prize Giveaway program is back in full swing. We’ll be giving away the Designer Street Rods-built ’67 Nova this summer at the Summit Racing Nationals presented by PPG in Columbus, Ohio July 9-11. At that same time, we’ll also be unveiling a sweet Squarebody ’86 Chevy pickup that’s currently coming together at Goolsby Customs in Alabama. That truck will go to one lucky winner in Columbus in 2022.

Last month we we showed you the starting point of the Squarebody, a rather pedestrian Silverado long bed. The Goolsby team made short work of tearing it down to a bare shell and establishing a solid sport truck foundation using a Slammed SPEC frame from Roadster Shop, along with Baer brakes, Billet Specialties wheels, and a GearFX center section for the 9-inch rearend. They also uncrated some new power for the pickup – a potent LT1 crate engine from Pace Performance, backed by a Gearstar 4L65E transmission.


This month we’re following along as the Goolsby team assembles some support components for the engine and chassis. One key for making the new LT1 engine function well in its new home is ensuring that all the engine-driven accessories work. The solution for that was simple – a TruTrac accessory drive system from Billet Specialties. This well-engineered system included black anodized brackets and pulleys, plus top-name components like an Edelbrock water pump, Powermaster alternator, Sanden A/C compressor, Tuff Stuff power steering pump, and a Continental serpentine belt. Bolting it up was straightforward and got us well on our way toward making this engine a runner.

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The Billet Specialties TruTrac accessory drive system consists of a lot of parts, but it all goes together in a logical and straightforward manner. The system came with an Edelbrock water pump, black anodized brackets and pulleys, aluminum reservoir, and a Continental serpentine belt.

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Another piece of the puzzle came with the aluminum radiator from C&R Racing. This direct-fit aluminum radiator boasts a double-pass crossflow design and the quality, race-proven construction we’ve come to expect from C&R. With a built-in shroud and dual 16-inch Spal electric fans, it should have no issues keeping the LT1 cool.

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An aluminum double-pass crossflow radiator from C&R Racing will keep the potent LT1 engine cool. It has the race-proven construction we’ve come to expect from C&R and came with a built-in shroud and dual 16-inch Spal electric fans.

Spectre Performance helped us feed fresh air to the LT1 with all the parts the Goolsby Customs team needed to build a custom air intake. This included a cone-style air filter, aluminum ducting, and the necessary clamps and hardware for assembly. Naturally, the Goolsby team went the extra mile and turned these raw materials into a bit of metal sculpture, artfully snaking the intake tubing over toward the left fender well, welding and finishing the seams smooth, and custom building an air box to encase the filter.

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Feeding fresh air to the LT1 engine was aided with parts from Sprectre performance. The Goolsby team used one of the company’s cone-style air filters and aluminum tubing sections to fabricate a great-looking air intake. Not only that, they custom fabricated an aluminum air box to house the filter that fits ahead of the left inner fender.

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Speaking of tubing, the headers were going to need just the right bends for that LT1 to fit well and run strong in the new Roadster Shop chassis. Thankfully, the Goolsby team is well versed in crafting custom headers. They used a set of flanges and tight-radius elbows from Ultimate Headers as the basis for building the custom stainless steel long-tube headers, and then wrapped the finished tubes with exhaust wrap from Design Engineering Inc. (DEI) to keep the heat in. The headers will eventually direct fumes to a custom exhaust system built using stainless tubing and mufflers from Magnaflow.

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The fumes exiting the LT1 will flow freely through custom stainless headers. The Goolsby team started with stainless flanges, tight-radius elbows, and tubing from Ultimate Headers and welded up a pair of large-tube headers that fit great and look even better. The finished headers were treated to exhaust wrap from Design Engineering Inc. (DEI) to keep the heat in and help lower engine compartment temperatures. They were attached using ARP fasteners.

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The Ultimate Headers will eventually direct fumes to a custom exhaust system built using Magnaflow stainless tubing and mufflers.

To give the pickup the juice it will need, Odyssey Batteries supplied us with an Extreme Series AGM battery and aluminum battery mount. In an effort to keep the engine compartment looking clean, the guys at Goolsby opted to install the battery mount on the frame rail, under the bed.

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Odyssey Batteries provided an Extreme Series AGM battery and aluminum battery mount for the truck, which was mounted on the frame rail under the bed to keep the engine compartment clean. Versatile mounting options – including sideways – is one of many advantages of an AGM battery.

Some of the final pieces to consider at this stage were fuel and fluid lines. Earl’s, a division of Holley Performance, supplied us with polybraid UltraPro lines and the necessary fittings to get it all routed and hooked up. They even included the tool for installing the fittings, plus a fuel filter and billet EFI bypass fuel pressure regulator.

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Earl’s Performance, a division of Holley, supplied the parts to plumb the Tanks, Inc. fuel tank to the LT1 engine. This included black UltraPro polybraid fuel lines, which feature a PTFE inner liner impervious to all known automotive fuels, oils, and coolants, plus AN fittings, an installation tool, and an aluminum fuel filter and EFI bypass fuel pressure regulator.

Having good support components is important for any build, and the selection of parts supporting the LT1 engine in the Grand Prize Giveaway Squarebody is certainly impressive.

Editor, Goodguys Gazette

Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.