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Aug 2, 2005

I have been looking for a project car for quite a while. At first, I was looking at VW bugs since they are mechanically simple to learn on. After remembering about this truck that has been sitting on my uncles farm for the last 30+ years, I went in a completely different direction.

The truck is a 1953 Chevy 3600 (3/4 ton). It has been in my family since it was new. It was bought by my grandfather's dairy and was the mechanics truck. After the dairy burned down in 1969, the truck was hauled off to what is now my uncles farm. For most of it's time there, it sat inside a dirt floor barn. A few years ago, however, he dragged the truck out and put it the field under a tarp.

Not surprisingly, all that time spent in storage has taken a toll on it. Rust has relentlessly attacked it. While it may not be Sockington levels of rust, I think it is pretty close.

Here it is as I found it:

While it doesn't look too bad in those pics, horror is lurking.

My uncle decided to cut out the floor since it was ravaged with rust many years ago, and never got any further than that.

When my dad was in high school he decided to take a crack at restoring the old beast. He got so far as to pull the spark plugs from the engine, and never put them back in again. So, I don't have too much faith in getting the current engine (216) running again.

While all this made me question if I should bother even attempting to fix the old beast, the price tag swayed me to yes.

Price: $40 for towing it the 10 miles to my house.

The truck was delivered on Sunday (22nd), so I will post the arrival pictures soon. The most mechanical automotive job I have done is change the spark plugs in my Taurus, so I will probably bump this thread up to ask a million dumb questions.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 18:52 on Aug 14, 2011


Aug 2, 2005

Jonny 290 posted:

I'd definitely lean rat with a truck like this. Trying to get it "show" will be absolutely loving draining. Very cool, though I'm afraid this will be a much, much bigger project than you may expect.

I have no intention of creating a show truck out of this. I will be more than happy with a truck that runs and drives safely.

Tai-Pan posted:

Are you sure that is the 215? It is probably a 235, given that it was 3/4 ton. Most were sold with 235, from what I understand.

That said: Everything else in that car is NOT magical. And looks to be a 10 year nightmare.

Buy this fully running version for $2,000 and it will be cheaper just to move the parts over to your rusted-to-hell chassis if you feel the need.

It is definitely a 216. The giveaway is the acorn nuts on top of the valve cover. The 235s valve cover is smooth.

The frame of the truck is solid with surprisingly little surface rust. The cab is definitely hosed, I am looking into getting a cab out of the Midwest. Besides the cab, the fenders are in decent shape, and can be hammered into shape and reused.

Aug 2, 2005

I have no expectation of this project being done quickly. If it takes years to complete, so be it.

The truck has more sentimental value then what I stated in the OP. The truck was used to haul my grandfathers trailer to and from Fort Drum while he was drafted. He regularly drove it after the mechanic got a new truck. (Why the boss got the old truck and the mechanic got the new one I don't know) Every male relative I can think of has said "I'll restore it!" and promptly gotten nowhere, so, hell i'll give it a shot. What seals the deal is that it still has the original door art on the passenger side door.

Thanks for the reality checks, i'll definitely keep them in mind.

Anyway, enough rambling, here are the pics when it got delivered.

O ya, I pulled off all the fenders and the bed and checked over the frame and it is solid. It seems that years of grease protected it.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 19:00 on Aug 14, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

I got some more work done on the beast. I removed the bed and most of the fenders. The drivers inner fender is still on, a couple of the bolts are refusing to give up.

I also poked around the engine a bit. Without the fenders, it is quite easy to work on. :) The engine still has oil in it, although how much water mixed in is anyone's guess. I am going to drain the oil and drop the pan tomorrow and find out.

Luckily, everything under the valve cover appears to be in good shape.

I also filled all the cylinders with Marvel Mystery Oil. I went through 2 32oz. bottles of the stuff. I'll give it a couple weeks to work its magic before I try to free up the engine. In the mean time, I get to learn how to rebuild the carb.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 19:06 on Aug 14, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

I got a bit more work done on the truck this week.

On Wednesday I drained the oil/water combo. I then tried to add fresh oil. I added the 5 quarts of oil already, all while completely oblivious to the fact the engine was hemorrhaging oil from the push rod side of the engine. At first I thought that the block was cracked, so I pulled the push rod cover.

I didn't see any sign of any cracks, and the gasket was improperly installed and was crumbling. So changing that gasket is now on my massive to-do list. Hopefully that will fix that problem.

After I got tired of getting covered in massive quantities of oil, I decided to work on the interior a bit. I pulled the the gauges and removed the rats nest that was the hacked together wiring (and literally a few dead mice).

Here is how the truck sits right now:

I should hopefully have my mig welder soon so I can start learning how the hell to weld.

I am going to wait till next weekend before I take a breaker bar and try to free up the engine. I added the mystery oil a week ago Friday (27th), is two weeks long enough, or should I wait even longer?

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 19:14 on Aug 14, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

InterceptorV8 posted:

The best part is the ice cube tray wheel chock.

Their actually snow traction things, although now that you mention it..

Anyway, I need to get a welder, and I saw sears has this welder which looks like it would be good for doing sheet metal work. Anything thicker than sheet metal will be jobbed out to someone with experience. Are there any other welders in the $300 price range I should be looking for? This is one of the least expensive models I have found that include the hookups for gas.

Aug 2, 2005

Don't worry, the rusty beast hasn't killed me yet.

I got my welder and have been practicing with it. It is easier then a thought it would be, although I did burn through a few times in the beginning.

To pull the engine, I needed to get the front bumper/mounts off first. What was supposed to be easy took forever. The dairy put a pair of Divco milk truck bumpers on the front to push dead trucks around. That seemed to have caused the bolts to fuse to the frame. A few drill bits, a lot of swearing and they are now out.

Begone yee bolts!

I am going to have my uncle help me pull the engine. Considering I have never pulled an engine before, a mechanics assistance might not be a bad thing.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 19:15 on Aug 14, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

I have hit a snag and need some advice. I'm trying to remove the front drive shaft so I can take out the transmission. Everything went ok, except one of the u-bolts on the trunnion bearing is frozen on. I tried a hammer etc and nothing will get the drat thing off.

Is there a tool I can use or some simple way of cutting it off without doing any damage to anything else?

Heres two pictures of the problem:

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 19:16 on Aug 14, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

Thanks for the advice for removing the u-joint. It put up the good fight, but I won in the end. :)

Hmmmm, something doesn't seem right here....

I was able to remove the transmission faster then I had expected. Moving it around once I lowered it, however, was a pain the rear end. The cart I was going to use to roll it out from under was a bit too tall for the transmission to clear the frame, so I had to pull it out on a piece of cardboard.

I also went through and disconnected everything from the engine, so all that is stopping me from pulling it is 4 mounting bolts. I hope to pull the engine next weekend. My uncle was nice enough to loan me an engine hoist:

As for the engine stand, I am looking at the Harbor Freight 2000 lbs. engine stand. I was originally looking at the 1000 lbs. version, but better safe then sorry when dealing with that much weight.

Today is the one month anniversary of the truck getting delivered. I dare say it has changed a bit:

And because I love the door so much, here is another picture of it.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 19:19 on Aug 14, 2011

Aug 2, 2005


Ah, there you are. What are you doing over there?

Silly truck, you can't fit in there.

I am going to pull the engine tomorrow, so I had to move it in front of the garage. Moving it was so much easier this time then when it first got here. My dad and my brother were able to push it without any problems.

Hopefully everything will go smoothly tomorrow. I checked today, and all the motor mount bolts loosened up pretty easily.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 01:11 on Jul 19, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

Pulled the engine today. Only a few things went wrong. I first forgot to unbolt the starter pedal bracket from the bell housing. After a minute of wondering why a floating engine refused to move away from the cab, I spotted my dumb mistake.

Then I went to unbolt the bell housing from the block. There are four bolts that need to be removed. Two of the bolts are easily visible and can be removed no problem. The other two, however, are a pain in the rear end. The bolts in connect the clutch to the flywheel need to be removed. This in itself isn't hard, except when your engine is seized. Without being able to spin the flywheel, it is impossible to get to the bolts on top. So now I have to start disassembling the engine in order to try to free it up before I can put it on the engine stand, largely defeating the purpose of the stand in the first place. So for now, it is resting on it's mounts on some wood.

I then started to tear down the engine. I removed the rocker arms, rocker shaft, pushrod side cover, and pushrods in preparation for pulling the head. Somehow I missed one of the head bolts, so after a couple attempts at lifting to head to no avail, I finally saw the last bolt. In my defense, the bolt wasn't in line with the others, it was in toward the center and obscured by the rocker shaft.

Once I found that bolt, the head came off easily.

Here are a couple pics of the bottom of the head. Needless to say it is in desperate need of a good cleaning.

There is still plenty of mystery oil in all the cylinders. The walls of the cylinders look pretty good with only minor surface rust. However, there were a couple of small acorns in one of the cylinders.

Pushing the truck back behind the house was really easy once the engine was out. For most of the way my brother was able to push by himself.

Now that the head is off the block, do I have to store either a special way to make sure they don't rust or corrode?

Cakefool - Here is a bigger copy of the door you wanted: Big door

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 01:09 on Jul 19, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

I drained out all the mystery oil from the cylinders. The cylinders and pistons were coated in silt and grime. One the cylinders had a few small acorns in it.

Here are a few pictures after I cleaned all the silt out of the cylinders.

Does anyone know what the markings on the piston in the last picture mean? I am assuming the 060 means the engine has been bored.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 01:43 on Jul 31, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

Bulk Vanderhuge posted:

Whooo, restoration is underway. Have you figured out what you're going to do with the cab yet?
I'm following some leads on a few good condition cabs out of the midwest, of course being in Connecticut shipping would be a tad pricey. On Sunday I'm going to jack up the front of the cab so it's back where it should be and see how everything lines up. Hopefully with the cab back in place and braced I can get away with welding in new patch panels.

Aug 2, 2005

I jacked up the front of the cab today. Between the amount of rusted out sections and the existing shoddy repairs, it isn't looking good for the cab. Both front door pillars have disconnected from the rocker panel, causing the cab to go out of square. The passenger side pillar to rocker arm connection was shoddily repaired before it was parked with an angle iron and some bolts.

To buy all the patch panels for the cab, it would cost about $700. Even then, there is no guarantee that the cab will ever sit square. I am still following a few leads on some much less rusty cabs.

In less depressing news, I decided to pull the rear axle in order to prep the frame to be cleaned and painted with por-15.

I was hoping to also be able to get the leaf springs out today, but the bushing that holds the main leaf spring would not give up. I hit it with a hammer and it would not budge at all. Next step is a bar and a sledgehammer.

I also got the last screw that was holding the oil pan on.

Two of the cylinders are taking the PB Blaster I have been giving them. The other four have yet to take any.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 01:45 on Jul 31, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

Did a bit more work on the truck today. After plenty of encouragement I was able to remove the leaf springs.

I also went through and removed the fuel and brake lines. Oddly enough, there was a brake line coming off the drivers front wheel but it just randomly ended and didn't connect to the master cylinder.

As for the door, I have a spare one. Once I saw the door I knew that I could never bring myself to strip the original paint off. If I end up getting a new cab, I will end up painting the entire truck and have the door reproduced.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 01:46 on Jul 31, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

Well, I have decided to try and save the cab I have. I went through and cut out the rear cab corners, rockers, and outer cowl panels.

While cutting out the drivers side outer cowl, I found something very interesting. Do you see anything wrong in this picture?

Best I can figure, the original one started to get rust holes in it, so rather then just slapping on some bondo like what was done in the cab corners, a new cowl was welded on top of the old one. Considering the other shoddy repairs that have been done to this thing, I shouldn't have been as surprised and confused as I was.

Here are a couple pictures with the rear cab corners cut off.

Here are a few overview shots of the truck as it sits now.

I thought about bracing the cab before I cut out the rockers, but then I realized that since the cab was already out of alignment, I would just be bracing out of alignment. So, all I did was support the front of the cab to prevent it from falling any further forward.

I should be buying all the patch panels I need within the next few days, probably from Classic Parts (Chevy Duty). My wallet and the UPS woman won't like it, but whats $700 in the grand scheme of things?

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 02:00 on Jul 31, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

Got a bit done on the truck today. My cab parts will hopefully be here in a week or so. In the mean time I figured I'd get the back half of the frame cleaned up and painted. I wire wheeled it than painted it with por-15 and then a rustoleum satin black topcoat. I really like how it turned out.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 02:01 on Jul 31, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

My patch panel order showed up yesterday. The only things I am still waiting for is the parking brake brace, drivers floor panel, and drivers rear corner.

I tested fitted a few of them on the cab today, and not surprisingly they are all going to need some adjustments in order to work. I am most worried about the inner to outer cowl, which is apparently horribly wrong and needs to be extensively modified to work.

I also went through and started drilling out the spot welds that hold whats left of the cowls from the rest of the cab. There are not all that many of them, but finding what was there proved to be a massive pain in the rear end.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 02:02 on Jul 31, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

Two long days of work and at least I have something to show for it.

I first went through and finished drilling out the million and a half spot welds that held what was the rocker on. After that I started fitting the passenger inner cab corner. The patch panel was surprisingly well made and fit almost exactly like it should have. The area where the rocker panel and it overlap seems to be a bit off, but that only causes the rocker to sit a 1/4" at the most too far forward, so I am not all that worried about it.

For now, I am just going to screw most of the patch panels together. I sure as hell don't want to weld everything together and then realize I need to redo any of them.

The only area I am worried about is the bottom hinge pocket. I cut off the edges of what remained of the old hinge pocket and bolted the new one on top of it. I then cut off both of them at the same time. That way, I don't risk installing the new hinge pocket too high or too low. I then welded the new hinge pocket back on.

There is now a 1/2" to 3/4" gap between the rocker and the bottom of the door pillar. I am pretty sure there has always been a gap there, but considering what little original metal was left in that area, I can't be sure. I am going to reinstall the door tomorrow and see if forcing the rocker and the sill together will work or if I need to think of a more creative solution.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated
Edit: To whoever bought me the avatar, I love it! Thanks!

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 02:08 on Jul 31, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

Got a bit more work on the ole' beast today.

I first bolted the bottom of the sill to the rocker panel to eliminate the gap. I then reinstalled the hinges and mounted the spare door. I have decided to use the spare door rather than the painted door since I am going to paint the entire truck and I sure as hell didn't want to paint over the painted door.

The gap surrounding the door seems to be pretty good. Problem being, however, is that the door doesn't close completely. No matter how hard I push it, it refuses to sit flush. I am hoping that it is just the striker being wonky. Before I mess with it, I am going to rebuild the hinges. To get the door level, I have to lift the far end about 6 inches.

I also started fitting the cowl panel. After some fine tuning I have it fitting pretty well. All three bolt holes in the panel line up perfectly, however the door gap starts out perfect on the bottom but gets wider as it goes up. The curve at the bottom that fits against the bottom of the sill is nearly a perfect fit. Overall, I am happy with this patch panel.

Once the wind started kicking up I decided to work inside. I brought the rear end in and decided to check into the shape of the diff. I cracked it open and caught a good whiff of the old oil. Good god it stunk like liquid poo poo, death, and a hint of hell. Something tells me it shouldn't smell like that? Other than that little issue, everything in there looks to be in good shape. I don't see any metal shavings anywhere in there.

After that, I decided to look into the brakes. I removed the two screws that hold the drum on and tried to remove the drum. I was able to pull it out far enough to reach the end of the studs. After that, however, it refuses to move any further. Is there something I am missing here? The shop manual says to remove the screws and pull the drum off, which isn't exactly helpful.

Holy wall of text rustman! Here's an overview of how the truck sits now.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 02:09 on Jul 31, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

I gave the hinges to a local machinist to have larger pins installed. Without the hinges, I am not going to risk trying to put on any more patch panels. With the cab out of play for now, I had to find some other things to do.

I was able to get the drums off. They are rusty and gouged to hell. I brought them to NAPA and had the old guys there look at them. They said they were in very sad shape and that they could not be saved. Considering the look of them I wasn't all that surprised. Considering new ones are $125 each side, it's annoying, but the brakes aren't the best area to be skimping on. I also pulled the rear wheel cylinders. I am not sure whether or not to try and rebuild them or just buy new ones. The bore inside has some light surface rust and I was only able to clean out the cylinder by hammering the plunger out through the other side.

I also took apart the rear leaf springs and discovered that 2 of the passenger side leaves are broken.

Considering they are load bearing, I assume they can't just be welded up. I am looking around for used springs, but I am worried that replacing just one side will cause the truck to sit too high one one side.

I also went through and cleaned up and painted the rear axle and the good rear leaf springs. The axle got a basecoat of POR-15 followed by Rustoleum satin black. The springs just got a coat of Rustoleum.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 02:12 on Jul 31, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

Wow, it's been a while since my last update. Don't worry, I have been working on the truck, but progress has been a bit slower lately. I am still waiting for the hinges. I should hopefully have them back by the weekend, but that isn't gaurenteed.

I took the hit and ordered two new drums and wheel cylinders for the rear brakes. I had/am having trouble finding the return and adjuster springs for them, so I reused the old springs. The more I think about it though, I still would like to get new ones. All the suppliers have 1/2 ton brake springs, but finding the springs for the 3/4 ton is much harder. The fact the brakes changed in 53' also doesn't help.

72 lbs. of goodies:

Just my luck though, one of the shock absorbers was bad. It extends slower then a geriatric grandmother climbing a steep flight of stairs.

Here's a pic of the rear brake setup:

With the brake work somewhat done, it was time to remount the rear axle. I had two new leafs made for the passenger side. If anyone needs leaf springs or u-bolts made, I recommend Perreault spring in Waterbury CT. I dropped off the broken side on Tuesday and they had new ones made up along with U-bolts on Friday, and for considerably cheaper then shipping a used leaf spring set.

And now attached:

After that I set off tackling the front suspension. The drivers side drum came off with no difficulty. The passenger side, however, was a massive pain in the rear end. At first, I thought it would be a piece of cake. The adjuster screw wasn't seized, so the shoes retracted no problem, but the drum was fused to the hub. After hours of heating the drum, prying against the backing plate, and swearing the drum gave off an audible *POP* and came right off.

Now it was time for the front axle to come off.

Axle on....

Axle off...

(Don't worry, the wood and stone aren't supporting any weight)

Not surprisingly, the brakes are coated in rust and grime. The front drums are in much better shape then the back, so I am hoping that I can get away with having them turned.

In between doing all this, I por-15ed and topcoated a few misc pieces.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 19:25 on Aug 14, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

Well, I have yet to get my hinges back. Apparently I should now have them back on Monday.

I have spent most of the last few days grinding and painting.

I first went through and removed the hubs and backing plates from the front axle and spent hours removing pounds and pounds of dirt and old grease. After that I broke out the wire wheel and removed as much of the rust from them all as I could. While it was at it I also cleaned up a couple of the pedals, the hood hinges, and the drive shafts.

They all received a coat of Por-15 followed by a Rustoleum satin black top coat.

I decided to step away from the wire wheel for a while and check into the transmission. After opening the inspection cover I was once again assaulted with the hellish odor that is gear oil. I don't see any visible damage on any of the gears, but there is some rust and grime on the gears that is a bit concerning. The grime comes off quite easily with a light rub with a q-tip, so hopefully cleaning it all up won't be too bad.

Here is a closeup of the transmission:

On Saturday I decided to clean up the front part of the frame in preparation for Por-15. This entailed more scrapping off pounds of caked on grease. Quite of a bit of it proved hard to remove, so I ended up using the wire wheel to remove both the rust and the grease. I was pelted by flying grease and was absolutely covered by the time I was done. For some reason, my family found this completely hilarious.

I expected to paint the front part of the frame on Wednesday, but I decided to do it today.

Needless to say, I am quite happy with how it came out.

Once the bushings for the leaf springs I ordered arrive, I can remount the front axle. The front brake drums are off getting turned. I dropped them off on Thursday, so they should be ready any day now. $18 per drum compared to $85 each for new ones, so I am happy with that. They were also able to order a brake kit that contains all the springs. They said it is for a 53' 3/4 ton, but given how hard of a time I have had trying to find the springs, I am not holding my breath they will be right.

And to round of a productive Sunday, I cleaned and wire wheeled the transmission. I should be able to finish cleaning it and paint it tomorrow. We will see what happens.

I asked my grandfather why he parked the truck way back when and from he remembers, it was because of all the rust. Apparently the floor was in the process of falling out way back then.

I have also pretty much decided to upgrade to a 235. I have a few feelers out trying to find one locally in CT. If I can't, there is a guy in Missouri that is selling a nice running one for $550, but freight would be $330 via Roadway. Needless to say, I am hoping one pops up locally.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 19:31 on Aug 14, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

Wow, it's been a week since my last update. I have still been working on the ole beast, just at a slightly slower pace. The weather in CT has been awful, so it is hard to get any work done outside. :(

I Por-15ed and top coated the transmission. I dare say that a fresh coat of paint made it look a million times better.

I got my hinges back on Tuesday. They are freshly sandblasted with new hinge pins. One of them is a bit sloppier then I'd like, but the rest are great.

I spent way too much time this week working on fixing the inner fenders. They were coated with undercoating that was a pain to take off. I ended up taking a torch to heat up the coating to a mush and then scrap it off with a putty knife. I was able to get most of it off this way, and I followed up with a wire wheel to remove the rest of it.

The areas on the inner fenders where the coating had failed years ago were badly rusted. The metal for whatever reason is really thin on them compared to the rest of the truck. Luckily, most of the serious rust areas would be hidden once the fenders were back on the truck, so the patches didn't have to be perfect. I cut out metal from a spare door I have from my uncles parts truck. Since it was the drivers door that got hit, it was unusable as a door anyway.

I also went through and removed the headlights and turn signals from the front fenders. The headlight buckets are completely rusted through and are unusable. Luckily, plenty of people sell good used ones. After that I wire wheeled the insides of the fenders. Besides one small rust hole in the passenger fender and a few dents in the drivers one, they are in good shape. The drivers fender I know is not original. If you notice in the original pics, it is a different color. Apparently after the dairy burned, my grandfather worked for another local dairy, and they banged up that fender pretty bad. So they replaced it with a junkyard fender.

I am planning on using Por-15 on the insides of both of the front fenders and both inner fenders. I think I am going to have to use some metal etching stuff on the inner fenders where I removed the undercoating since the metal is extremely smooth, so I doubt the Por-15 would be able to stick to it.

For the rest of the week it was raining like hell, so I worked on the old 216 inside. I am still looking at 235s, but since I have that engine there, I might as well take it apart and learn a little bit.

The entire experience was tiring, long, and swear filled, so I am just going to sum it up. I dropped the crank a 1/2" or so in order to be able to rotate the flywheel a bit. This allowed me to remove the bolts that connects the pressure plate and clutch to the flywheel. Once the pressure plate and clutch were off, I removed the flywheel, which gave me access to the bolts that held the bell housing to the block. Six bolts later and the bell housing was off. With the bell housing off, I was finally able to bolt the engine onto the stand. I am glad I went with the 2000 lbs stand, since it is a bit unstable as it is. I guess that isn't surprising considering how long and heavy the engine is.

I also picked up the turned front drums and the springs. They are correct! As soon as the bushings I ordered arrive, I will be able to remount the front axle and finish the brakes for all four corners.

Wow, I think I need to stop going a week in between updates. I am pretty sure I have carpel tunnel now. I also apparently need to take more pictures while I'm working, for all that text and only four pictures isn't quite enough... hmmmm

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 20:03 on Aug 14, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

As promised, more frequent updates.

I striped down the engine some more. I removed the camshaft, crankshaft, oil pump, and a few other parts that I can't be bothered to list. I am going to give the PB blaster a couple of weeks to work before taking a 2x4 and a hammer to the pistons.

Here are the crank and camshaft.

And the engine mostly stripped down:

I also went through and test fit the doors with the refurbished hinges again. With the refurbished hinges, the doors no longer drop when opened and swing more fluidly. I was able to get the door gap and belt line on the passenger door to line up pretty well with little difficulty. The drivers side door, however, has quite a few issues.

The door gap toward the front of the door is pretty good with a pretty consistent gap with the cowl. The rear, however, has a considerably larger gap. I am hoping that by slightly pulling the door pillar back it should help close up the gap. The belt line is also being a pain. I think if I move the door rear slightly on the bottom hinge, it should take care of that issue; but that would then cause the door gap to go out of whack. Needless to say I am not looking forward to hours of making minor adjustments to the door.

The messed up drivers door:

After getting tired of messing with the doors, I decided to see how much trimming and fitting the new floor pans are going to need. For the most part they fit alright. One well documented flaw with them, however, is that they are not wide enough. There is going to be a one to two inch gap between them when they are installed properly.

EDIT: Pictures have been updated

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 20:16 on Aug 14, 2011

Aug 2, 2005

Yay, question time.

The new drums I bought for the rear are starting to lightly rust already. Needless to say, I rather dislike rust right now. Would Por-15 or Rustoleum High Heat hold up? I'm assuming this would work, but any recommendations would be great.

Aug 2, 2005

EvilDonald posted:

Yeah, I was thinking the same. Save the survivor door because it's just too badass to paint over, get another one to live on the truck, and paint it just like it was new 56 years ago.

That paint should work just fine. Caliper paint, engine paint, grill paint, all will do the job.

The door is safely tucked away in my garage, its not going back on the truck. The door from the pictures I posted earlier is the door I'm replacing it with. I've already looked into getting the door art repainted on both sides, and even found the guy that did some of the original dairy painting :) .

edit: Just a thought, can anyone with some photoshop skills slap on a new paint job? I mentioned the truck to someone, and they didn't think it would look good as a solid color. I'm trying to prove them wrong.

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 23:56 on Jun 24, 2009

Aug 2, 2005

I went through and cleaned up the rest of the inner fenders and painted them with Por-15 and Rustoleum. Since my patches on them replaced a few areas with bolt holes, I will have to drill some new holes when I go to mount them to the fenders. Other than that, I am happy with how they came out.



I also cleaned up and painted all four brake drums. Once the fenders are back on the truck, they won't be visible, but just knowing they are rusting was enough to get me to paint them. One rattle can of Rustoleum high heat later and they look as good as new.

Next up were the rear brakes. All I had to do was install the new parking brake cable and install the new return springs. The parking brake cable was easy, once I figured out why it was impossible to replicate how the old one was mounted. Once again, a shoddy repair caused much confusion. After that, I tried to install the return springs. I figured I could just use a pair of vice grips on them like I had with the old ones. I am pretty sure if God and Zeus teamed up they wouldn't be able to extend the spring enough to mount it on the post. One quick trip to NAPA later and I had a fancy new tool.

All you need to do is hook one side to the spring and another to the backing plate. It did the job, just, but was still a major pain.

Next came remounting the front axle. I replaced the bushings on the rear of the leaf springs since they were worn down to almost nothing. Straight axle + worn bushings = slithering more than a drunk snake on the fourth of July.

After the axle was back on I had to grease the wheel bearings. I am pretty sure that when they greased the bearings, they just piled the grease on top of the old grease. I was able to pull handfuls of disgusting bearing grease out of the hubs.

On the plus side, at least the wheel bearings look to be in good shape.

Aug 2, 2005

Today I decided to test hang the front fenders. Considering how much was replaced on the cab, I expected the fenders to be horribly off. Luckily, however, they seem to fit alright.

The bolt holes in the rear of the fenders lined up pretty well to the cowl panel. It was a bit of a struggle to get 1/2" bolts through all the holes though. I think when I mount the fenders for the last time, I will use as many 1/2" bolts as I can, then use 7/16" for the rest.

The drivers side has the worst of the fitment issues. That fender is the junkyard fender, and had only 2 of the five bolt holes that attach to the cowl remaining. The other 3 and a 1.5' of the attaching lip was completely missing. I fabbed up and welded on a new strip. It is ugly as all hell, but I think it should work.

Here are a few overviews of the front on: (The jack stands are set lower than the truck would normally sit, so it looks a little weird)

Drivers side:

In that pic I havne't drilled the new attaching holes yet. When I just tried to push it into place, the gap closed up somewhat, but there was more of a gap than what fender welt can hide. I am going to try to fix that tomorrow.

And now the drivers side. Again, I didn't have any 7/16" bolts to use, but the gap closed up by hand pretty well.

Aug 2, 2005

Gorilla Salad posted:

Did you get a new badge, or have you been idly polishing the old one?

"Soon, baby. Daddy's gonna make it all better."

Believe it or not, I haven't touched the badge since I got the truck.

Although a few variations of that have been muttered while working on it.

Anyway, update time.

After test fitting the fenders, I decided to test fit the hood. When I got the truck, the hinges were not attached, so I had no idea how fell it should fit. With just setting it on the fenders without the hinges, I got it to line up pretty well, albeit with a bit larger panel gap then I would like. I think once I attach the fender to firewall braces again, that gap should close up a bit.

After I installed the hinges, I ran into a huge problem. Whenever I closed the hood, the rear of the hood would sit up about 1" off the cowl. After I disconnected the hood springs, the problem went away. According to the folks over at Stovebolt, worn hinges causes that. My uncles parts truck hood does the same thing, so new hinges are on the long shopping list.

While working on the hood I realized I hadn't looked into where my hood ornament came from. I knew it wasn't correct for the truck, but I had no idea beyond that. After looking at hundreds of different ones, I think I found it. I am pretty sure it came off a 53' or 54' Oldsmobile. I bet LobsterboyX will be along shortly to correct me if I am wrong.

As much as I would like to save it, it seems that re chroming it would be way too much money. :(

Next I went through and started cleaning the running boards. With all the old paint on them, it appeared that only one of them had any rust through. I was quite wrong. They both have a few rust holes. I plan on cutting a section from my uncles parts trucks running board to use as a patch panel. That is, of course, assuming those running boards are rusted to hell as well.

Then it was back to the cab. I am going to skip the boring details about messing with the inner-to-outer cowl and inner cowl because, well, they are boring. Imagine spending hours making tiny cuts, banging on stuff with a mallet, and making more cuts.

Heres the final results:

And now onto the floor. I decided to lap weld the new floor/toeboard sections to the remaining toeboard. Considering my welding skills, a butt weld probably wouldn't have been able to take the stress.

First I marked out where the new section reached and out cut out as much of the old metal as I could. I left between a 3/4" to 1" area to lap weld with. That is probably too much, but I can always trim it later.

Now you see it:

Now you don't:

I did the same thing to the other side and then screwed the patches to the old. Self tapping screws made quick work of that.

I stood one them and they barely moved! For the first time in years, the truck has a floor. I still have to work on where the pans meet the seat riser, though. The metal there is really weak and it supports a lot of weight.

In related news, it seems that I might be able to have the old bumper straightened back into shape. Considering it weighs about 40 lbs. and is made of nice and thick steel, I would rather like to keep it. :)

As for lowering it vs. not lowering it. Why lower it? I dare say it will be quite fun towering over people in their little cars.

Aug 2, 2005

This week has been tedious and yet fulfilling at the same time. I have started to position and weld in the patch panels for the last time.

In order to do this, I have to remove one panel at a time, remove the primer where I will be welding, spray on zinc primer (to act as a weld thru primer), and paint/protect all the areas that will now be inaccessible. For the most part it has been going well, but extremely slowly.

So far I have welded in both inner cab corners and both rocker panels. After I welded in the rockers, I gave them a stress test and the welds held. :) My brother and I both stood on just the rocker. Since my welding skills still leave much to be desired, I am going to have to dress those welds as best I can. I forgot to take some pictures of all this, so I will take some and post them later.

On another happy note, my front bumper has been repaired! Before the bumper was bent far enough back that it was almost touching the front fender. What they hit and how fast they were going to bend it I have no idea. If I was told they hit a brick wall at 50mph I just might believe them.

This picture somewhat shows the extent of the problem.

And now the freshly repaired bumper:

With the help of a big torch to get it red hot and a HUGE press it was squished back into shape. He tried just getting it red hot then hitting it with a sledge hammer, but that didn't work. Not a surprise exactly, considering that the bumper weighs 47 lbs. I wonder how bad that will screw up my weight balance? :eek:

Aug 2, 2005

CNJ05 posted:

I noticed in that "before" picture of the bumper that you have Armstrong tires, which stopped being manufactured about 20 years ago when they got bought out by Pirelli. Frankly, I'm surprised they still hold air and that the sidewall didn't bubble when you filled them up again!

When the truck was pulled out, 3 of the wheels were still fully inflated. Only the passenger front needed some air, but it was only partially deflated. The sidewalls on all of them are cracking like crazy, so I am surprised as well that they haven't failed yet.

Hmmmm, maybe it's just me, but something seems to be missing. :confused:

For the front patch panels, I couldn't remove just one at a time. They all connect/overlap each other in some way. Before being removed, all the holes were marked so I wouldn't have to reline everything back up when they were reinstalled.

I then Por-15ed the back of the door pillar and removed the black primer from the areas on all the patches that I would need to weld to.

Next came reassembly. I put the drivers outer cowl back on and plug welded it into place. I then went to weld in the floor and promptly got irritated. Welding the new toe board section to the old was a major pain. The old area is thinner then the new, so it was hard to avoid burning through the old and yet getting good penetration on the new. This and 85 degree heat in the direct sun made this part miserable. I ended up taking a break every few minutes just to avoid getting burned out. For the most part the floor is now in, however. The welds look awful, but they seem to be holding just fine. :)

Next up, the inner to outer cowl. Since I was going to plug weld it in, I wanted as little a gap between the two as possible. I may have gone a bit over the top with the C clamps, what do you think?

And now after I welded it into place.

You'll notice the top has a ton more welds than the rest. The first couple of welds I did on the top gave way much too easily, so I just went nuts and added a bunch more to make sure that wouldn't happen again. I pulled like hell on it afterward and it didn't budge.

Here is how that side looks from the inside.

I ran out of welding wire today and won't have anymore till Wednesday. I now have to work on Mon and Tues anyway, so no time is lost. So progress on the beast is going to slow down a little bit.

Mooecow fucked around with this message at 02:46 on Jul 13, 2009

Aug 2, 2005

Armed with a fresh 2lb. spool of welding wire I attacked the cab yet again.

When I went to install the drivers side inner cowl I ran into a problem. No matter what I did, I could not get an arc of the door pillar. After hours and readjusting the grounding clamp and cleaning the ground area, I removed the cowl and wire wheeled the hell out of the door pillar. It seems that the first time I cleaned the pillar I only removed the top layer of rust, thus preventing me from getting a good arc off of it. After plenty of wire wheeling and house size clouds of rust I was able to reliably arc of the pillar.

For the most part, installing the passenger outer, inner to outer, and inner cowl was just a repeat of the drivers side. I re wire wheeled the door pillar just in case. I barely removed any rust so I think that step was unnecessary. Better safe then sorry I guess.

After all the cowls were in I started welding in the passenger floor pan. It seems that the existing metal is a bit thicker on the passenger side. The number of times I burned through dropped significantly. I have welded most of it in, but still have a bit to go. 85+ degree weather with high humidity in my welding getup = misery. I had a fan blowing right now me, but that could only make it bearable for so long.

And now how the passenger side looks with its cowl welded in place.

Aug 2, 2005

Boaz MacPhereson posted:

This is awesome and you are awesome. Question: Once you get the cab all back in one piece, are you going to take it off to finish up the frame?

Yep, I am hopefully going to pull the cab within the next couple of weeks. With the cab off I will clean up the rest of the frame and install the new dual master cylinder and all the brake lines.

While it is off, I will also go through and rustproof the complete underside of the cab. I am also going to have to weld in some reinforcement for the floor under the seat riser. As it is now, it flexes too much for my liking. To do this, I am going to have to tip the cab onto its back, which ought to be interesting/terrifying.

Aug 2, 2005

I looked into the feasibility of switching over to discs when I started working on the brakes, but quickly found out it was more trouble then it was worth. Converting a 1/2 ton is common and easy, a 3/4 ton, not so much. Considering I don't intend on towing a trailer or going auto crossing with it, I should be alright.

As for the battery, it is staying under the floor. I can't think of a good reason to move it to the engine bay. I even bought a new battery tray and battery box cover for it. :)

Anyway, small update.

With most of the major parts of the cab patched (with the exception of the cab corners), I started patching the smaller areas. On both sides of the firewall there were holes there were about 2 3/4" x 9" or so. A couple of patches from the scrap door and a little bending later and they were in.


No more holes:

I also went through and trimmed back all the excess on the various cowls. A cut off wheel followed by a 36 grit flap disk on an angle grinder worked out pretty well. Got completely covered in metal shavings though.

Unless I am overlooking anything, all I have left metal wise to do on the cab is fixing the gas tank shelf behind the seat, reinforce the seat riser area, and install the new cab corners. Granted, that is days worth of tedious work. At least there is a light appearing at the end of the tunnel.

Aug 2, 2005

I hope to have the cab off for at most a week or so, so I don't think it is worth building a rotisserie for that. As it is, I am thinking about just tipping the cab back onto the frame rather that completely removing it. That would make it harder to run the brake lines, but it would be less likely that the cab would be damaged.

As for the roof, it only needs minor work. On the dead center of it there are 4 holes that need to be plugged. Three screw holes and a wire hole from an old yellow strobe light. 50's style strobe lights aren't exactly my thing, so I have no intention of putting one back on. I also have to plug a hole in the dash that had a small light that was on when the strobe was on. Relatively minor fixes, but still more work none the less.

For the bed, it is definitely getting new bed strips and wood. The panel on the cab side of the bed is rusted through at the bottom (shocker huh?) and is probably going to need to be replaced. The tailgate saw plenty of abuse and is bowing inward quite a bit, so I am still undecided about that. I might just have it squished back straight and roll with it.

Mini update:

I mostly installed the passenger side cab corner today. I still have to weld it in a bit more and dress the welds, but other than that it is set. It didn't come out perfect, so a little filler is going to be needed. Considering this is my first time doing this sort of thing, I am quite happy with how it came out.

Cut out area for patch:

Spend forever trimming patch to fit perfectly:

Weld in patch:

As for the brake lines, is there any special rust-resistant type I should get? Or should a regular 25 foot roll from NAPA do the job? Needless to say I don't want to have to redo the brake lines for a long time.

Aug 2, 2005

Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!

Rather than completely removing the cab, I decided to just roll it back onto the frame. I can still access the area of the frame that still needs to be cleaned and the bottom of the cab. All with less risk of damaging the cab.

Before I tipped the cab, I removed the rear glass. The corner glass came out with no problem, but the rear center glass was a bit different. It was obviously replaced at one point because the corners were poorly cut and part of the weatherstrip was missing. If someone had pushed on the window hard enough from inside the cab, the glass would have fallen out. I wanted to remove the windshields, but I ran out of time.

I also welded in the other cab corner. This one was a bit easier to install and only took a couple of hours to do. I forgot to take a picture of it, so I will take one tomarrow.

Aug 2, 2005

The rear window is definitely getting replaced. The fitment of the replacement was so poor it leaked like crazy. Any water that found its way through the tarp went right in the cab via the rear window. So every time it rained there were puddles of water behind the seat riser, right where there are holes through the floor. Coincidence? I think not.

So now I have to patch all these holes:

The picture makes the area look better than it is. The metal that is still there is now really weak, so I am going to have to cut out and replace a large area. :(

Well, I started cleaning up the frame today. This area had only a little bit of grease build up, which was good and bad. The good part being obviously less time cleaning up old grease, the bad being the lack of grease allowed more rust to form. A coarse cup brush on the angle grinder cut through most of it with ease. The clouds of rust dust blowing around were epic. The frame is still perfectly solid and now almost rust free. Hopefully I can Por-15 that section within the next few days.

And here is how the truck looks all covered up. It looks a bit weird, eh?

Rain caused me to stop early today, but hopefully it will be dry enough tomorrow to work on the floor of the cab some more.

Aug 2, 2005

Well, I got the rest of the frame cleaned up and painted. As usual, Por-15 topcoated with satin black Rustoleum.

In the pic it looks like some areas are rusty, they aren't. It is just a buildup of cut off wheel dust and rust dust.

I've also been patching all the holes on the floor. A copper backing plate + quick hit of weld seems to be working alright. Of course, some areas are weak enough that just that little bit of heat causes the hole to double in size. I cut out a 9" x 9" section and am going to weld in that patch tomorrow. Hopefully once that is in, the gas tank area will be complete. Next will be connecting the seat riser area to the new floor sections. To do this I am going to have to use some angle iron and flat bar stock, which I should be getting on Wednesday. All I had was zinc plated, which I have absolutely no desire to weld with.

And as a bonus, here is the cab from a different angle:


Aug 2, 2005

Well, I've just set a new personal record. 2 lbs. of welding wire used in less than 2 weeks. Like everything else, it's coming on Wednesday, so I had to find some things to do that didn't involve the welder.

So first of
. 0all the door guts were removed. To the engineer who decided to the bolt to remove the vent window up inside the door, screw you. After 55+ years, that was a pain to remove. I spent the entire time praying it wouldn't round or sheer off. If either had happened, I wouldn't have been able to put a torch or cutoff wheel to it, and would have been completely screwed. On the parts door, it was rusted to hell and the entire window frame would bend while the bolt stayed in place. After using some vice-grips to hold the frame while turning the bolt, it slowly backed off. The original drivers door came out with no problems. So far it seems like the only new glass I need to buy for the doors in for the passenger side. That door for some reason has extremely cloudy plexiglass installed.

(Inside the door)

I can't wait till I have more wire so I can fix that rust on the bottom there. It feels like it is taunting me. :(

I also ordered the new master cylinder and looked into the brake lines some more. After trying to decide between flaring my own lines and buying pre-flared, I decided to go pre-flared. I will cost a couple of bucks more, but it will save me a couple of headaches so it's worth it. Also, for some weird reason, all the brake junctions have 7/16-24 threads on them yet the wheel cylinders are 7/16-20. On the front that is fine since the rubber line has that end, but the rear has the steel line connecting directly to the wheel cylinders. So I am just going to end the line with a 7/16-24 fitting and get a fitting to convert it to 7/16-20.

I should have the master cylinder on Thursday. Napa not surprisingly doesn't stock in store a 1967 Chevy C20 drum/drum cylinder. The only thing I am afraid of with this cylinder is that the outlets are on the transmission side. From what I can tell, I will only have about 2-3" between the two where I have to run the lines. Gulp.

As for the engine, I am pretty sure I am replacing it with a 235. For $900 shipped I can get a solid runner out of Minnisota. Before I grab that I am waiting to hear back from a local old fart. Apparently he has a few runners and a few cores. Unfortunetly, with all the rain we have been having, his field has been flooded. Given he is in his 80's he has no desire to go out to his field when it is marshy.

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