Photos and information on the restoration of a 1952 Chevy 5-window pickup

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Since this has already grown pretty large, here is a
quick navigation of comments by date entered:

 
Introduction October 16, 2005 October 23, 2005 October 31, 2005 November 1, 2005 November 2, 2005
November 3, 2005 November 5, 2005 November 12, 2005 November 13, 2005 November 27, 2005 Early January, 2006
January 28, 2006 March 18, 2006 March 25, 2006 April 1, 2006 April 10, 2006 April 17, 2006
April 24, 2006 May 7, 2006 May 15, 2006 June 9, 2006 June 11, 2006 June 13, 2006
August 3, 2006 August 24, 2006 September 7, 2006 September 16, 2006 September 18, 2006 September 24, 2006
September 26, 2006 January 1, 2007 January 5, 2007 January 12, 2007 March 5, 2007 April 30, 2007
October 13, 2009          

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Introduction -

My father first purchased this pickup in February, 2002 from an old gentleman in Townley, Alabama who had stored the truck in his barn for about the last 25 years, all the while intending to restore it. Ill health had required that he part with some of his toys and this truck was one of the things he sold. In the middle of 2002 Dad had to have open heart surgery, so he was unable to do any restoration work on the truck. When Dad bought the truck, he also purchased a metal stand-alone carport storage shed for the truck, so it remained parked there until October, 2005 when I decided that I would buy the truck from him and do the restoration myself. Dad had originally wanted to turn the old truck into an Auburn Tigers Pickup since he is a big Auburn University football fan. I am considering that idea also, but have not completely decided that is what I want to do. I guess I have enough time before the paint job to make up my mind. I plan on doing a complete frame-off restoration to make this truck look and drive like it did when it first came off the showroom floor. I don't intend to make a show truck out of it, but just a nice daily driver. Hopefully I'll be able to accomplish that and document the process here on this web site. Keep checking back for additional progress made.


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October 16, 2005 -

Here are a few pictures of the truck as purchased: Left front view, right rear view, interior view, right side of engine, and finally the left side of the engine. The original 216 cu. in. engine with babbitt bearings has been replaced with a 235 cu. in. engine from a 1955 Chevy truck. Notice the Fenton Headers which are kinda rare on these old trucks.

Using information from various web sites and information directly from General Motors, I have been able to determine the following about this vehicle:
Model Year:    1952 (November).
Series:    3100.
Assembly Plant:    Atlanta, Ga. or Shreveport, La (There is conflicting information regarding the assembly plant).
Original Engine:    6 Cylinder, 216 cu. in., 92 H.P. 1-bbl Carb.
Transmission:    3 speed, column shift.
Rear Axle:    4.11:1, built at Detroit Gear and Axle.


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October 23, 2005 -

I have just begun taking the interior out of the truck and there were a couple of surprises when I removed the floor mat. Someone had used tar to glue down a piece of household linoleum flooring to the floorboard. That was a major problem to remove, but after a lot of scraping, skinned knuckles and several colorful metaphors (remember Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home?) I was able to get down to the bare floorboard. I now know why they used all that tar. There are a couple of rusted through spots (one on the driver's side and one on the passenger's side) in the floor pan and they were using the tar and linoleum to make a new floor pan. I have definitely seen worse rust on other vehicles and I believe those spots will be relatively easy to fix the right way and should last as long as the rest of the truck. All of the interior window trim is in excellent shape except for one piece that has a small crack in it. This crack is very small and will be easy to fix.


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October 31, 2005 - Happy Halloween!

I am off from work this week so maybe I will get a few more things done to the truck. Today, I removed the grill and removed the passenger's front fender. I almost got the driver's front fender off also, but ran out of daylight. I hate "Standard Time"! Anyway, I guess there is always tomorrow. From what I've seen so far, the chassis is in very good shape. There appears to be no rust and no fatigue cracks of any kind. Looks good so far; hope it stays that way.


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November 1, 2005 -

We got a little rain this morning. Nothing much, but its the first we have had in over a month. Just enough to mess up my working on the truck and not enough to do the plants any good. Well, I guess we need all we can get. I did manage to get the rest of the front end removed and can now see all around the engine easily. Did some checking on the steering and all the linkages look good and sound. No play in anything. Found out from the block casting numbers on the engine that it is a 235 cu. in. in-line 6 cylinder engine from a 1955 second series vehicle, so it has got real bearings and the good head. That engine has 123 HP and 207 Ft. Lbs. of torque with the standard transmission, making it a nice upgrade from the old 216 cu. in. engine.


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November 2, 2005 -

Today was a pretty productive day even though I didn't get too much off the truck. I got the running boards off both sides. That took me most of the day as every one of the bolts were rusted and had to be removed with brute force. I was under the truck about a thousand times messing with those bolts, but they finally all came lose and the running boards came off. I also removed the tailgate, the rear bumper and got the right tail light off. The left tail light is rusted on and I am letting a little penetrating oil do its magic before attempting to force the nuts off. I then did a little investigation using a magnet and found a rusted through spot at the bottom rear of the passenger's front fender. I picked most of the bondo out and will probably have to weld in a new piece of metal to repair the rust. Ever who had made this repair had put almost a half inch of bondo on the spot. It had started to crack, so I was able to spot it easily without the use of the magnet. That is the only bad spot I have found on any of the sheet metal so far. I attempted to remove the rear fenders, but, alas, the bolts were all rusted up, so again I am letting penetrating oil do some work before trying again tomorrow.


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November 3, 2005 -

The rusted bolts holding the rear fenders on are still stuck, but I was able to get the bolts out that hold the entire bed on the chassis. I will have my neighbor help me lift the bed off the truck this weekend. No new picture today as there's nothing new been taken off the truck.


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November 5, 2005 -

Today was a productive day. My next door neighbor helped me lift the bed off the truck and stand it on end to make it easier to access the bolts to remove the fenders and flooring planks. Here is the bed minus the fenders and planks. (Yes, I know it's up side down.) Here is a picture of the bare chassis with the bed removed. After I finished removing the bed, I took the rear windows out. Both corner windows are in excellent shape. However, the center window had a barely visible, hair-line crack in it which went ahead and broke during removal. That window glass will have to be replaced. Next on the agenda - I will turn my attention to the cab, in particular the dash. I will be working on removing the instruments and other interior accessories next, but I have to go back to work next week, so progress will slow down somewhat. If I had another week off, I think I could be ready to start sand blasting. Oh, well, if I had another week off, I probably couldn't afford to start the sand blasting anyway. Such is life...


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November 12, 2005 -

I borrowed a pressure washer from my boss and pressure washed the entire truck, inside and out. I Gunk'd the engine and transmission and sprayed off all the accumulated crud. The engine looks a lot better without the dirty oily film everywhere. I got all the mud out from under the fenders and off the frame, so I can examine those parts better. I have recently purchased a small sandblaster, so I started playing with it getting some of the smaller parts sandblasted and ready for painting. Here is the front tag mounting bracket after sandblasting. This piece originally had so much paint on it that the rivets holding the two parts together were not even recognizable as rivets. The sandblaster cleaned it up very nice. This truck was originally dark blue, but has had two different paintings of black since then. The last paint job was done by a hack who actually painted the entire truck with a brush. Yes, I said a paint brush. It covered the truck, but now that it is clean you can really see the brush marks. Wonders never cease! Here is one of the running board splash aprons just after starting to sandblast it. If you look closely, you can see some of the brush marks I was talking about, but as you can see, it is cleaning up nicely. By keeping the bead blast at an angle and keeping the nozzle moving, the paint is stripped off without gouging the underlaying metal.


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November 13, 2005 -

O.K., dummy, read the instructions. Actually, pay attention to what the instructions you read actually said. I was doing a little more sand blasting and thought I was wasting a little too much blasting media, so I decided to turn down the flow by partially closing the valve at the nozzle. I did so and did a little more blasting and before long the media began flowing out the side of the valve as well as out the nozzle. Not thinking that the ball in the valve is directly in the flow of the blasting media under pressure, by partially closing the valve, the ball inside was simply eaten in half and then the side of the valve was opened up also. Now I know why the instructions state to fully open the valve quickly to begin the blasting process. By trying to save $2.00 worth of blasting media, I have now destroyed a $15.00 valve. Dumb move on my part!!!


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November 27, 2005 -

We went to our parents' home for the Thanksgiving holiday and I brought back the spare 235 cu. in. engine that came with the truck. It also has a 4-speed floor shift transmission with it. That transmission originally came out of a 3/4 ton truck, so I assume the engine did also. It is the same series engine that is already in the truck, and it was completely rebuilt shortly before the truck was purchased by my father in 2002. Since it has been sitting for so long, I'm sure the carburetor will have to be rebuilt, but I may put this engine in the truck if I have any problems with the engine currently in it. I also went to visit a friend of my father who has just completed the restoration of a 1951 Chevy pickup. If you would like to take a look at some of the photos of Ron's truck, click here.


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January, 2006 - Happy New Year Everyone!

Sorry I haven't updated the site in a while. I have been busy with Christmas related activities and my mother-in-law passed away on January 2rd. Therefore, I have not had time to devote to the truck in the past few weeks. Hopefully I will get back to the project soon...


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January 28, 2006 -

I finally was able to go get a replacement ball valve and fix my sandblaster. I messed with it a little yesterday but ran out of blast media in short order, so I will go obtain a new bucket of aluminum oxide this morning. I'll be blasting a few more smaller parts when I get back with the new media... Also, I finally decided to go ahead and retire full time. That will give me time to complete the home remodeling project that I have had going on for several years. A word of caution, DON'T EVER install a new roof on your house yourself!!! That's how this whole remodeling project got started - but that's another story. I'll also be able to work on the truck any days that I'm not working on the house.


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March 18, 2006 -

The weather has not been cooperating with me at all this winter. It has either been too cold to work on the truck or raining on any day that I have been able to work on it. However, looks like spring is about to break, so I am able to get back to the task at hand. Today I removed both doors and stripped all the guts out of them and removed all the remaining glass from the cab.


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March 25, 2006 -

Today I removed the hood and removed the gas tank from the truck. Here is how the cab looks with everything stripped out except the steering wheel.


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April 1, 2006 -

Yes, I know this is April Fools Day, but this is a true story. I really lucked out today because my next door neighbor is doing some home construction and had a bull dozier doing some site preparation work for him. I had been over watching the progress and casually mentioned to my neighbor that with the use of that bull dozier, it would be a piece of cake to have the driver hook a strap to the cab of my truck and use his bucket to lift the cab off the chassis and place it on my small trailer for the trip to the sandblaster. During lunch, my neighbor asked the dozier operator what he thought about helping me out a little with the truck cab and he said he'd be glad to do it after he quit digging that afternoon. So, about 5:30, he came lumbering down my drive and in about five minutes, we had the cab lifted off the chassis and sitting on my trailer, all without anybody even having to break a sweat. Boy, machinery is great when you need real muscle for a job...


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April 10, 2006 -

We have to go back to my wife's hometown to close on the sale of her mother's house on Thursday of this week, so we are going to take all the sheetmetal to the sandblaster to have it stripped of all paint and rust while we are on that trip. Here we are all loaded up and ready for the trip. I will be posting additional pictures as I clean up the smaller parts that I have kept here at home for me to work on while the sandblaster is doing his work...


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April 17, 2006 -

Well, I got the truck parts to the sandblaster, but the trip was not exactly like I had envisioned it. We got down to my parent's house without any problems. However, the next morning, when we started to the sandblaster's house is when all the trouble started. We had gotten about three miles out of town when the drivers' side trailer tire decided to delaminate. (They were starting to dry rot). Upon doing so, the tread that had delaminated caught the trailer fender and rolled it up against the tire. So, needless to say, I wasn't a very happy camper. (Sorry, no pictures. I didn't have my camera with me). With substantial effort, I was able to jack up the trailer and remove the bad tire. Since we had to be at the closing (see April 10th posting) at 10:00 AM and it was already after 8:30 AM at this time, we were forced to leave the trailer on the side of the highway and take the items that were in the bed of my pickup on to the sandblaster and then head to the closing. Once we returned from the closing, we went to the local tire store and purchased a new tire to replace the one that blew up. We then went back to my Dad's house and got a big pipe wrench and returned to the trailer. I used the wrench to bend the fender out of the way and replaced the tire on the trailer. We then proceeded back to the tire store to buy a replacement for the other tire. I figured since the first one had blown up, the other couldn't be far behind. Now, we went back to the sandblster and left the trailer and all it's parts with him. We had originally started to the sandblaster's at about 7:45 AM and finally got all the pieces to him about 2:30 PM. A long day of just messing around and not getting anything accomplished. The sandblaster will have the parts about 4-6 weeks. His next door neighbor is going to prime the parts as soon as they are sandblasted to keep them from flash rusting. The only good thing is that the rest of the trip was uneventful, thank goodness!


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April 24, 2006 -

Get ready boys - Here she is, with no clothes on!!!


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May 7, 2006 -

With the body parts now at the sandblaster, I have been sandblasting some of the smaller parts and getting them primed. Here are the front inner fenders in prime and also the inside of the inner fenders undercoated.


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May 15, 2006 -

Since I am going to "sculpt" the seats like modern seats instead of simply putting on a flat seat cover, I had to put tie-downs on the seats so the seat covers could be held in place with pulls. Here is the seat back with the springs covered with a polyester pad and the wire tie-downs in place.


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June 9, 2006 -

I have finally removed the front end from the truck so I could install new spring bushings and shackles. If you look closely, you will note that the tie rod is bent on the driver's side. (right side in the picture.) I have a new tie rod and tie rod ends coming, but par with my luck, they are back ordered. They should be here in about three to four weeks. Here is a picture of the chassis with the steering gear removed. Also, after cleaning it up, I have primed and painted the chassis semi-gloss black as it was when new.

Product endorsement:
The purpose of this site is not to endorse any particular products, but I have found one that I need to pass along. When working on an old vehicle like this, you naturally get very dirty and greasy, especially when tearing things down. I have tried all kinds of soaps and cleaners from the automotive supply stores with mixed results. After seeing the TV commercials, I tried "DAWN Direct Foam" dishwashing foam on my greasy hands and it is amazing. With warm water, it cleans all the dirt and grease from your hands without scrubbing. A simple double washing and you're done. No harsh chemicals or scrubbing with a brush. I highly recommend DAWN Direct Foam for all your greasy cleanups after working on your vehicle.

I got word from the sandblaster that he was almost finished with the body. Once he completes the sandblasting and the painter gets the body parts primed, I can pick them up and see what kind of damage I need to repair on the body. He said things were coming out OK, so hopefully there will not be too much body work to do. With a truck this old, I'm not holding out too much hope, however. I think I should be able to pick them up about the last weekend in this month...


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June 11, 2006 -

This morning I disconnected both rear springs and removed the right spring from the chassis. I have purchased a suspension kit and one of the items in the kit is a roll of "Poly Ride Liner". That is a plastic liner that is supposed to be placed between the leaves of the springs to provide a smoother, quieter ride. I was doubtful that I would install the poly liner, but after removing one of the springs and thinking that, since I am going to all the trouble to do a frame-off restoration, I may as well go ahead and install it. So, I read in the shop manual how to take apart a spring set, and off I went. I got the spring apart without any problems and found them to be in surprisingly good shape. Evidently when this truck was built, the practice was to build the spring set and then paint the set. I can still see good evidence of "hot rolled steel" on the springs between the individual leaves. There is naturally some light rust, but overall the spring set, at least this one, is in good shape. I have the spring set sanded down and painted and ready to put back together with the poly liner.


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June 13, 2006 -

Here is one of the spring sets with the Poly Ride Liner installed. It's a little hard to see the poly liner, but it is there. It is easy enough to install, but since it is about 1/32" thick and there are eight leaves, the poly liner adds almost a 1/4" to the overall thickness of the spring set and makes bending the leaf stays back into place somewhat of a problem. By putting the whole thing in the vice and closing the leaf stays against the sides of the leaves with the vice, it is then easy to close the stays down around the leaves with a hammer.


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August 3, 2006 -

This has been one of the hottest and driest summers on record here in north Alabama. The weather has just been unbearable to try to get any work done outside. However, I have actually been doing some work on the truck during the very early morning hours before the sun gets too high. I get up about 5:00 AM and do some work until around 9:00-10:00 AM and that's it, then back into the air-conditioning I go. I have been working on the chassis, doing things that don't lend themselves very well to photo documentation. I have completed the installation of the Poly-Ride Liners on all the leaf springs and gotten them reinstalled on the chassis, along with new shackles and hinge pins. I have all the new wheel cylinders installed, but I am waiting until I have the new rear wheel bearings and grease seals installed before I install the new brakes so the brake pads won't get any grease on them. I have also had a machine shop turn all the brake drums. I spent a considerable amount of time cleaning up the steering parts. They were so caked up with dirt and grease that you couldn't even make out that there were individual parts present. I have finally gotten all the mud and gunk cleaned up and taken the entire front-end apart. The kingpins are so frozen that I was unable to get the old ones out so I could install new pins and bushings, so the front axle is at a machine shop at present to have the old pins pressed out and new ones pressed in. The old guy that does this work is going into the hospital tomorrow for some minor surgery, so the axle won't be ready for a couple of weeks. I have found that there are not too many folks still around that know how to work on these old vehicle parts so I'll be glad to wait until he gets to feeling better since this is a long-term project anyway. Sure, there are a lot of machine shops that can actually do the work, but these old guys that know from personal experience how it's done are the ones I'm interested in working with. This truck has the original open-ended style tie rod ends which are no longer available, so I rebuilt the tie rod ends with all new parts and replaced the old bent tie rod with a new one. As soon as I get the axle back, I will put the front-end back together and back under the chassis and tow the rolling stock to a mechanic who is going to replace the ring & pinion with 3.55 to 1 ratio gears and replace the rear wheel bearings and seals. The 3.55 gearing will allow me to travel at highway speeds without running the engine at excessive RPMs. He is also going to do a front-end alignment. I'll then put the new brakes on. That should complete the chassis so I can turn my attention to the body. I finally got the body back from the sandblaster about two weeks ago and it is in a little worse shape than I had anticipated. Well, I guess its not worse than I had anticipated, but worse than I had hoped for. The painter that primed it, used a yellow colored primer, so I now have a dull yellow colored truck to work on so I've nicknamed it the "Yellow Submarine". As soon as I start the bodywork, more photos will be forthcoming...


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August 24, 2006 -

With a vehicle this old, nothing should ever be taken for granted. I thought everything with the front axle was in good shape, however the machine shop that is working on the front axle called today to give me some somewhat depressing news. One of the kingpin bushings had rusted to the kingpin so that the kingpin no longer turned in the bushing, but the bushing turned in the spindle housing. Therefore, over the years, this had worn the spindle housing out until a new bushing simply falls through. The fix is to: (1) find a replacement spindle, (2) bore out the spindle housing, prepare a sleeve bored to the standard bushing diameter, press that into the spindle housing, and install a new bushing, or (3) find oversized bushings, ream out the spindle housing, and install the oversized bushing. Due to the vehicle's age, option number 1 was an almost impossibility, and any replacement spindle I found might have the same problem. Option 2 would be very costly, but looked like the only workable alternative. However, after the machine shop checked with all their suppliers, they were able to find a company that sells oversized kingpin sets for this vehicle. I have to buy the entire set to get one bushing, but that is the most cost effective option. Now the only problem is that the oversize kingpin set is not a standard off-the-shelf item but an on-demand item and the delivery date is an unknown right now. We can only hope that they will be able to provide the kingpin set in a timely fashion. This one example brings up the need for a parts vehicle when restoring such an old vehicle. It is too late to spend the money to purchase a parts vehicle now, but if I ever decide to do another restoration, you can bet I won't start work until a fairly good parts vehicle is in-house. Lesson learned!!!


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September 7, 2006 -

I still haven't heard from the machine shop about the front axle, so I decided to go ahead and start doing a little work on the body. I decided to start with the tailgate since it was pretty beat up. If I was able to make it look OK, I'd use this one, if not, I'd have to buy a new one. The dents that were in the tailgate didn't show up well on photos, so I don't have any "before" picture of it to show. The tailgate wasn't warped or bent and the dents were mostly in the rolled sections of the tailgate on the bottom and top. Some of them were pretty large and a couple were pretty deep where things in the bed had banged against the tailgate. This is pretty common in these old trucks since they were real "work" trucks back then, not the "show-off" trucks that everybody has now. I first used short-strand fiberglass filler on those deeper dents. Then on top of that and in the smaller dents, I used normal Bondo filler. After several sandings and reapplying filler, I finally toped off everything with spot putty. Then a final sanding and a coat of primer. I think it is going to look fine once the painter puts another coat of primer on and sands that down before spraying the top coat. Here is a look at the inside and the outside of the tailgate following initial body work and priming.


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September 16, 2006 -

I got the front axle to the truck back from the machine shop this morning. Things didn't go exactly as planned on the repair. The kingpin set that the machine shop ordered to get the oversize bearing turned out to contain oversized kingpins, not oversized bearings. So, the shop sent the set back and ended up having to make one oversized bearing and install it in the spindle housing. The other standard bearings fit fine, so it only took one machined part to complete the repair. That turned out to be a reasonably priced option and now I can get the front end back together and put it back under the truck. Next for the chassis will be to tow it to a local mechanic for the rear end work. That's going to work out fine, since I am buying a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic motorcycle from that mechanic, so this work will just about coincide with that purchase.


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September 18, 2006 -

I painted the front axle and hung it back on the chassis and have begun installing the stearing parts. Here is a photo of the driver's side showing the new wheel cylinder, new brake hoses and new tie rod in place. I also installed the new brake master cylinder. The bolt that attaches the brake lever to the master cylinder is supposed to be a 3/8" bolt, but had been replaced with a 1/4" bolt and that had worn almost completely in half. That was a major accident waiting to happen. If that bolt breaks, you've got no brakes at all. I'm not sure how long it would have lasted had I not replaced it, but not long I'm sure. I have been replacing every bolt that I come across, mostly with stainless steel, but with the correct grade plated steel bolt if the original was a grade 6 or grade 8 bolt. Several of the bolts I have removed have been severely worn, but none as bad as the one on the brake cylinder. I also started working on the passenger's side runningboard. The driver's runningboard is in excellent shape, but the passenger's side had some problems at the rear end. I had originally intended to cut this section out and replace it with a repair panel designed for that purpose, but someone had already attempled to repair the damage by welding a plate to the bottom of the runningboard to beef up the area prior to globbing bondo everywhere. The bondo repair was still in good shape, but was a really rough repair. Given the amount of cutting and refitting that would be required, I decided to just attempt a traditional bondo buildup repair. I first cleaned out as much of the old bondo as possible and applied a first coat of the short-strand fiberglass filler to fill in the larger areas and then filled in on top of that with normal bondo filler. Once the repair was sanded to shape I completed the repair with spot putty. It turned out to be an acceptable repair and since it is at the tail end of the runningboard where there should be little, if any wear I believe it will hold up well.


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September 24, 2006 -

I have now replaced all the brake lines with new steel lines. I had originaly intended to order a brake line set, but those pre-bent lines costs almost $175.00. After talking to a mechanic friend of mine, I decided to measure the lengths I needed and purchase some of the new hand-bendable steel brake lines and make my own set. These new lines can be hand-bent without kinking and are easily formed into whatever shape is required. I ordered all the lines I needed, plus all the brass adapters required, for less than $25.00. I bend and installed the lines without any problems whatsoever and saved $150.00 in the process. I'd say that small amount of time required to measure and bend the lines was well worth $150.00. I'm sure I will need that to spend on something else for the truck soon...


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September 26, 2006 -

Although this doesn't really have anything to do with the restoration of the Chevy pickup, here are some picture of the motorcycle that I referenced in the September 16th post. Right side, left side, front view, Rear view. The mechanic is up to his ears in work right now, so I haven't taken the truck chassis to him to work on yet. However, I went ahead and got the bike so I could enjoy it a little before winter sets in. Geez, 30 years is a long time to be off bikes (I rode a lot during my college days). Who was it that said you never forget how to ride? I guess I didn't forget, just got real rusty. But it's coming back, slowly but surely...


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January 1, 2007 - Happy New Year Everyone!

Well here it is, the start of yet another year. Even though I haven't posted in a while I have actually been working on the truck. The things I have been working on were easy to do and the parts weren't in bad shape. Therefore, there were no pictures taken of those items. I have completed the hood and both doors and have them primed and ready for paint. Those items were in surprisingly good shape and only required beating out small dents using a body working hammer and dolly. A very light skim coat of bondo and a good sanding, followed by a fresh coat of primer and they are ready to go.


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January 5, 2007 -

There had been a hole approximately 2 1/2" in diameter drilled into the rear cross sill at some time in the past. This was evidently for another tail light. Since I am replacing the tail lights with new ones, I opted to weld in a patch and close up that hole. Here is a photo of the patch welded in place. And here is the cross sill after grinding the patch smooth. It is now ready for bondo and primer. I next began working on the fenders. A couple of them are in good shape, but a couple are in pretty rough shape. The two good ones are on the driver's side, so maybe the truck was stored with the driver's side covered up better than the passenger's side, thus protecting those fenders from the elements better than the passenger's. At any rate, I have two fenders that are going to require cutting out rotten metal and welding in new. This was kind of a problem, but I think I have come up with a solution. I bought some 3/8" mild steel rod and bent it to the shape of the edge of the fender opening. I then took that rod and placed it into the roll of the fender and crimped the fender edge around the rod. By doing so, this defines the curvature of the fender edge. Here is a photo of the rod in place, looking from the inside of the fender. And here is a look from the outside. This rod will allow me to place new metal on the fender and roll it around that steel rod to maintain the original curvature. Once the new metal is welded in and rolled into place, everything will be tack-welded to the rod to provide additional strength to the fender edge. The black spots you see in the photos are not rust, but where I had to scrape some old road tar off the inside of the fenders. It was all over the inside of every fender. Someone evidently drove the truck through an area that was being repaved and got the tar everywhere. I would have thought the sandblasting would have removed it, but it didn't, so I was left to deal with it myself. The inside of the fenders will be undercoated, so the spots will not be evident once coated. The original black paint is still in good shape under those spots anyway...


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January 12, 2007 -

Today I decided to go ahead and work on repairing one of the fenders. Here is a photo of two rusted out sections removed from the fender. There is also a larger third rusted out section removed from the fender. You will notice the steel rod maintaining the curvature of the fender opening as mentioned in the January 5th post. I cut a new piece of metal and here it is being held in place with magnets ready for welding. After I welded the patch in and bent the edges around the steel curvature rod, I ground the welded area down smooth. Here is what the patch looks like ready for bondo. Here are the two smaller patches after the initial bondo skim coat. Note how the original curvature of the fender opening was maintained with the steel rod as a guide.


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March 5, 2007 -

I finally finished the repairs on all the fenders. I eventually had to cut out and replace both front and rear corner sections on all four fenders. Even though that was a lot of work, I decided to do the repairs right so they would last without chipping or cracking. Here is how they turned out. I thought they all turned out fine, but just as soon as I snapped this picture a big puff of wind came along and the fender on the top left (which is the driver's side rear fender) came tumbling down off the saw horse and put two big dents into the top of the fender. Sooo, I guess I'm not really finished working on them. I won't make that mistake again. I guess I'll repair that fender tomorrow and then really be finished with them. Next up; the front panel and both side panels of the bed...


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April 30, 2007 -

Even though I haven't posted in almost two months, I have actually been working on the truck. I have been doing a lot of work with the body hammer and dolly, which doesn't lend itself to photo documentation too well. I have completed the front bed panel and am now working on the side panels. Both of the side panels are in pretty good shape, but there are several small dents that have to be pounded back into shape. I am about half finished with the driver's side bed panel and should start on the passenger's side within the next couple of weeks or so. Due to the size of these panels, it is a slow go to try to make them as smooth as possible. I am trying to use as little bondo on these panels as I can...


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October 13, 2009 -

Well here it is over two years since I have actually posted on this page. This truck has traveled more since I got it than it did in the last few years before I bought it. It was originally purchased in Jasper, Alabama, trailered down to Ozark, Alabama, and remained there for a couple of years. Then I bought it, trailered it to Huntsville, Alabama, took it apart and then trailered it back to Headland, Alabama close to Ozark for sand blasting and priming. I then picked it up and trailered it back to Huntsville where I began the process of restoring it. Before I completed that process, we moved back to my parent's house to help take care of them and I once again trailered the truck, some parts in boxes, back to Ozark. Now part of it is in the workshop and parts are in a climate controlled storage building waiting on me to get my act together and get back to the restoration. I am to the point of having everything primed and ready for paint except the cab. However, I am kinda at a stand still until my house in Huntsville sells. I intend on completing the truck, but looks like it will be a little while more before I am able to get back at it. If anyone has any questions about anything I have done to the truck, just email me and I'll try to explain things...


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