Full Build: Junkyard Square Body Tow Truck Is Restored and Modernized

1977 Chevy C30 Square Body Tow Truck

Jimmy King and Jeremy Weckman from CARCASS scour Bobby White Motors, a junkyard in Columbia, TN, in hopes of finding their next interesting and unique project vehicle.

The guys finally happen across a left for dead Square Body tow truck. It’s a 1977 Chevrolet C30 dually with a wrecker body on the back. This old hooker has a ton of potential. Fortunately, it is one of the more complete vehicles in the salvage yard.

Arial view of Bobby White Motors in Columbia, TN
Bobby White Motors in Columbia, TN

The following day, Jimmy and Jeremy return to the junkyard with a truck and trailer and armed with tools, a carburetor, an alternator, a fresh battery, and fuel and fluids in hopes of waking the old girl up.

1977 Square Body Tow Truck
In the junkyard retrieving the ’77 Square Body Tow Truck

With surprisingly little effort the SBC fires up and idles — and they find that the wrecker tow rig works as well.

Once back at the shop with their fresh acquisition, the guys put together a list of things that need doing:

  • Chassis Repair
  • Engine Refresh and Automatic Transmission
  • Suspension Work
  • Floor Repairs
  • New Dashboard, Instrument Cluster, and Steering Wheel
  • New Seat
  • Rattle-can Refresh of the Wheels

After disassembly, the guys go over how to rebuild the chassis, show where to cut, materials to use, how to layout the bends, talk about the importance of gussets, and get the rear-end fitted with leaf springs. The guys wrap up the rear by making new mounts to fit the wrecker body back in place.

With the chassis issues solved, they set their attention on the drivetrain. They pull the 305 SBC that the truck drove in with and drop in a tried and true Chevy 350 from a past project after it is mated to a fresh B&M 700R4 4-speed automatic transmission.

Some steering component upgrades are in order including a fresh steering box, and new Bilstein shocks are installed. With the front suspension and steering dialed in, the guys finalize the engine install, bolt in a fresh radiator, and get the 350 started.

It was then time to tackle some of the sheet metal and rust repair needs of this old truck. They pull out the bench seat and work to make the repairs to the floors, floor supports, kick-panels, and rockers. They demonstrate how to mark and where to cut for the replacement aftermarket floor pan and patch panels ensuring there is a flange left to weld to. They clearly cover the methods and considerations when welding in the various panels.

With the floor back in shape, the cab gets an updated padded vinyl dash, a new seat, and a floor mat. The dash gets fresh instruments and the guys swap to a new steering wheel and add a coat of bed liner on the floor to finish off the interior work.

Due to the transmission change, the mechanical PTO winch on the tow rig gets changed out to an electrical variant and the guys button up the rear of the tow rig’s metal plate that was cut up earlier.

Throughout the entire build, both Jimmy and Jeremy take the time to show you how things are done, and with their experienced tips and tricks, they’ll help you avoid pitfalls when working on your own project vehicle.

1977 Chevy C30 Square Body Tow Truck Full Build

  • 0:00 – Intro
  • 0:30 – Junkyard Hunt For The 1977 Chevy C30
  • 12:12 – Inspection, Diagnosis, And Build Plans
  • 13:45 – Disassembly
  • 22:01 – Rear-end and Suspension Rebuild
  • 45:40 – Dropping In The Chevy 350
  • 49:00 – Steering And Fuel Upgrades
  • 55:50 – Interior Restoration
  • 1:11:01 – Bed Final Touches (Winch & Bumper)
  • 1:21:38 – Towing Time

Parts Used in this Build

  • Brothers Truck Parts: Dash Pad, Instrument Bezel, Gauges, Sport Steering Wheel Kit, Door Seals, Rubber Floor Mat, Floor Pans X-Large
  • Duralast: Push-Pull Switch SW3594
  • RockAuto.com: Steering Components
  • Summit Racing: Bench Seat, Bilstein Shocks, Fuel Tank, Starter & Headers, Universal Cross Member
  • Holley: B&M Transmission, Fuel Pump & Plug Wires
  • Matco Tools: 20V+ Cordless Infinium Brushless Grinder, Transmission Jack
  • Tire Streets: Armstrong Tires Tru Trac
  • WyoTech: Refinish Doors