Sheridan's 1946 Chevrolet
Model 3104 1/2 Ton pick-up
(some would call it a '47 first series)
Welcome to my restoration page. Over the past few years I have embarked on a project to restore this great truck. Back in 2000, I found very little on the web about these trucks and struggled to even find photos of these trucks out there so I decided early on to capture my journey here for others to learn from the errors, problems and troubles that I was sure to fall into during what turns out to be a much longer, costlier yet more rewarding trip than I ever imagined. I started by simply posting photo collections and that grew into a specific web page about the restoration on my family's web page. Most recently this has grown into a website of it's own, right here ArtDecoTruck.com
Enjoy reading and don't hesitate to drop me a note or send me a photo of your 41-46 Chevy or GMC truck to include in the Photo Gallery. What you will find below is only a fraction of the reference photos I have taken and collected over the years. Let me know if there is something specific you are looking for that is not here. I hope it helps!
Thanks for visiting. Click here to drop me a note
My Uncle Don (Hladky) gave me a truck along with the classic IRWIPI story. What is IRWIPI you ask? Well I didn't know at the time either. Over the past few years I've come to know very well what it means: "It ran when I parked it". The fable that everybody hears when they are "lucky" enough to get their hands some old/classic iron! The many other old Chevy Truck fans on Stovebolt.com helped me learn that EVERY old truck that was abandoned, parked, put away, stored, ALL ran when they were parked. After all, that is after all why they were "parked" --- because they ran.
Truck background: I don't know much about his truck other than back sometime ago, my dad owned this truck and sold it to my uncle so he could "upgrade" to the newer style (1947-Advanced Design). My uncle drove the truck until the late '70's, painted it and replaced the bed wood. At some point in the early 80's he loaned it to a friend of his until the master cylinder went out when he parked/stored it in the barn. He could not remember if he could not find a master cylinder or did not have the money for one. Either way it sat in the barn until 2001. I will see about doing a DMV search to learn even more but that can wait for now. The truck was originally built at the Janesville, WI GM assembly plant and I believe it spent most of it's life in Janesville. It was stored in an old dairy barn in Beloit, WI (just South of Janesville). I look forward to driving it back to Janesville where it was originally built in 1947. Although the same body style as the 41-46 trucks, this was one originally titled in 1947 and was one of the 1947 first series models that was built before they changed to the Advanced Design body style. This body style truck stayed in production until about May 1, 1947 when the Advanced Design trucks entered production.
It's been over
four FIVE years, three FOUR houses and two THREE kids since that happy day forever captured in the above photos when I began dreaming of soon taking Sunday drives to local car shows and cruises. Even though it ran over 25 years ago when it was parked, it's further from being driven than it was in 1946 before it was assembled and absolutely further than it was on that storied day when it was rolled...I mean driven into the barn and parked. Feel free to join me on my restoration trip by reading below. Hopefully some of what I learned on this journey will help you on a similar project. If not, I hope you enjoy just taking a look at the photos. There are literally thousands more where these came from so don't hesitate to e-mail me if there is a specific photo you are looking for to help you with your project.
To give credit where credit is due, here's a few of the web sites and books that have managed to keep me going in this very slowly progressing hobby: First off, my dad for having owned the truck to begin with and selling it to my uncle Don. Most importantly though, my Uncle Don Hladky for having the vision to put this cool truck away years ago hoping someday to restore it then eventually giving me the truck and getting me started, Stovebolt.com, Tom Brownell (How-to-Restore Your Chevrolet Pickup ); Vintage Truck Magazine, Brad's 41-46 Chevy's: "The Art Deco Series"), eBay, and last but not least, Vintage Chevy Club of America (VCCA)an endless supply of parts) and last but not least is the book "How to Restore your Chevy Truck" (both editions).
1970's photo of the truck before being stored
|Year 8 Completed truck!|
(Finished reading about the restoration? Click here to read about the real fun!)
YEAR #1 - 2001
5/11/2001 - This is the day that Uncle Don and I went to get the truck. The deal was, I had to get his Volvo out of the barn and deliver it to his house. Ends up the Volvo was the easy one simply because its brakes were not frozen. The old tires on the truck are simply amazing. All four were flat but they all pumped right up and actually held air. After dragging the truck about 15-20 feet across the barn floor the brakes "broke loose" (more on that later)! The other catch was I had to take all of the treasures that were stored in the back of the truck as well. Ends up my dad took all of it and simply brought it to the dump the following Monday.
Year 2 - 2002 - The year of nothing
Well it didn't take long (ok...it did take a long time) and I decided to go the route of a total restoration vs. a driving restoration. The engine was pretty tight and most moving parts were rusted solid. My thinking at the time was I could probably get this thing turned around in a couple years. I started by grabbing my shovel and cleaning out all of the mouse, rat, raccoon crap and who knows what else kind of animal was using the truck as a toilet. The bed wood and interior (specifically the seat cover, etc...) was pretty soaked with urine and crap so it went to the curb along with a 5 gallons of rust and other who knows what when I cleaned it out. Most of the first two years, I spent looking for parts, learning all I could about these trucks, and mostly contemplating how in the world I would go about this project. I've had other car projects but nothing at this level. Not the Smokey Bear Snuffit on the dash. It will be there in the end!
Year 3 - 2003 - Disassembly and door saga
10/27/03 - Just purchased a pretty nice door and had it shipped from CA to WI. Unfortunately, Airborne dropped it and caused some damage. Any suggestion as to how I go about fixing this type of damage without making it worse?
11/01/2003 - Yeah, over two years later. It's not that I didn't do anything, I just did a lot that you can't see. Slow work on taking the truck down to the frame while working on some little things to keep me going. It's good to see some progress once in a while so I have taken smaller parts and worked on them to keep me motivated. So much for getting this done in two years! HA!!!
I learned real quick that some of the parts on the truck just can not be saved (at least by me) so I learned to buy and sell on e-bay upgrading parts each time (well, almost each time).
03/16/04 Ok the door saga continues. I claimed the $100 insurance from Airborne and found a "retired body guy" that agreed to "fix" my door. He even agreed to weld in a new patch panel. All for $150. I thought that was a great deal considering I don't have a welder and even if I did, I would certainly screw it up!
Now even though I can't weld, I think I know what a good weld looks like. Here's my dilemma: He "fixed" my door alright. He did a great job straightening it out and putting a new skin on the lower 3-4". The bends on the bottom are beautiful. He is a really good spot welder. I've never seen someone weld a panel in by placing 1000 spot welds next to each other. Unfortunately, he did not but weld it but then again I guess I was not specific in my instructions either. Apparently his old body shop believed in using a lot of filler and was not too concerned about the body contours.
Now the dilemma is do I even try to get someone to "fix" this now or should I purchase the skins they sell at Jim Carter's and have them "professionally" installed? As of now I spent $130 to purchase the door - $100 insurance + $150 to "fix it" for a total of $180 in the door as it stands. I believe the skins are around $80 and professional installation would be ????.
Year 4 - 2004 - Parts hunting, new box and small parts progress
7/27/2004 - Moved on past the doors ... time to let them sit for a while. I sold my original box on e-bay and delivered it to the buyer at the Jefferson, WI Car Show and swap meet. The guy that bought it was going to use parts of the rear fenders to make a good set for his '41. The bed panels were pretty beat up and I'm not sure how someone would even begin to try and straighten them. So, I replaced the box with one from Mar-K. I had heard they made great reproduction boxes that were correct in every way. It's true! It's a great quality box! Was real fun assembling it in the basement and seeing Marla's face when she came down and saw it for the first time! Sold old box on e-bay - $325; Purchased new box - $1,300; Look on wife's face when she finds a completely assembled 1/2 ton box in the basement: Priceless!
08/05/04 I found what appears to be a good solid pair of fenders on E-bay today and won the auction!!! Both of my front fenders were likely used as bumpers over the years and are in really sad shape. I Probably paid too much but they look good and the seller ensured me that they are "original, clean and appear to be free of any major past repairs".
08/20/04 OK - I'll probably never trust anybody on e-bay again. The fenders arrived and it is very clear that either I had a fast one pulled on me or the guy that sold me these is blind in one eye and drunk in the other. Some areas of the fenders have almost a 1/4" of bondo! ARRGGGHHH!!! I ended up getting them chemically stripped and it appears the between my original fenders and these I could (maybe) make one great pair.
Instead of a Monkey pile - here's a fender pile:
08/30/04 Time to focus on some other things to get my attention off those fenders. I had some fun sandblasting parts and priming and actually finish painting some of the small parts. I found a place in Butler, WI called U-Spray where they rent time on various cabinet blasters with various media. Makes for good motivation to keep going to see something looking nice vs. covered in rust! I love clean freshly painted parts! Here are some before and after photos of the first few parts that I completed.
The air cleaner looked pretty scary but as you can see, it cleaned up real nice!
Restored this one: bead blasted it, painted it and replaced the decal
The lower grill baffle was pretty trashed.
I found an NOS part on E-bay!!
The horn looked pretty bad. Not only rusted but the front was bent up.
Found one on E-bay and was able to combine the two of the to make this one!
Note the numbers on the glass are clear here. Use caution when cleaning ...they "wipe" off!
Replaced bezel and re-faced all the gauges. I ended up finding an NOS Speedo with 0 miles
Here's the oil filter all done. I bead blasted it, painted it and replaced the decals. What a difference!!
The old buckets were pretty solid but the chrome/stainless parts were pretty bad and would need to be re-chromed or replaced.
|This was the first working of the headlight buckets....ends up I found NOS buckets on e-bay with NOS chrome & stainless parts! I sold these. oddly enough, I made money on the whole transaction.|
01/26/05 It's been a while but the door saga continues and I think it ends here. I dropped them off last year with a guy that came highly recommended (www.restorick.com) and I've seen some of his work and it is truly impressive! A friend from work recommended him and was instrumental in convincing Rick to take on my charity case (Rick's a Mopar guy through and through). I actually gave him both of my doors and the inner panels and he had them dipped, welded up some holes, re-skinned them, reworked them and primed to preserve them until I can get to them. I could not be happier with the results!!! They look great!
02/25/05 We decided to move to OH back in November and today's the day! Good thing is, the Company picked up the tab to move the truck along with the rest of our belongings. Reliable Carriers came and picked it up. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures but it was the only vehicle on the 53' trailer! Rather humorous to say the least! On the way to Ohio, the driver mentioned he was picking up a concept car in Detroit from the auto show. On the Ohio end, the driver laughed and said he swept up a bucket of rust that fell off the truck in transit. That much less cleaning up I need to do! If you ever wondered how many boxes it takes to ship a disassembled 46 truck - 116 + shipping the drive train with the cab on it.
4/10/2005 - HA! another year and again not much real progress on the truck. I did make a trip down to SC to pick up a rebuilt 216 from Jimmy Bryant. Jimmy was putting in a 235 in his '48 1/2 ton. The engine was pretty clean already but I cleaned it up even more and put a new coat of paint on it. I hope it runs as good as it looks! THANKS JIMMY!
Year 5 - 2005 - Disassembly completed!
8/27/05 - After four years I finally got the engine and transmission out. Now it's time to get the frame and cab stripped.
10/23/05 Over the years I have collected over 1,000 photos of '41-'46 Chevy & GM Trucks to gather ideas and help determine what is and is not original. I have placed a few of them out here so you can see several different color combinations. Click here to see them .
01/01/06 Started the New Year off right by working a little on the truck. I decided to start disassembling the front end starting with the Drivers side front wheel. I remember getting the truck out of the barn and having the front wheels frozen. After dragging it about 30 feet and an additional good tug with the tow strap, I remember them "breaking loose". I learned today what happened when it "broke loose". Ends up it looks as if Uncle Don really did run the brakes down to the metal. It was metal to metal and the brake shoes are not what broke loose. The drum actually split: If you click the photo you can see the hole/crack in the drum. It completely split and you can spin the front 1/2 without the back moving. The back was still frozen to the brake shoes (absolutely no pads left). Here's a shot after I got the front half of the drum off: I guess I need to start looking for new drums too!
01/02/06 I'm on a roll....two days in a row. I spent a couple hours on the truck tonight and got the other side broke down. Lord help me remember how the heck to get it all back together! I got done quicker than I thought with that, so I pulled off the entire front end.
I also found a local guy today to sandblast the frame for me. I still think I'll stick with chem strip for the front and rear ends as well as the cab but am debating if I would just get the frame sandblasted to save some bucks.
01/10/06 I was watching TV with Marla (wife) the other night and I made a comment about wondering with all the discounts, etc out there, how much it really costs GM to make a car. Her comment was "I would think that if anybody knew, you would". Subtle; but I got the point! This drove me to do the unthinkable and I updated my "parts acquired & sold/balance sheet" today. It's getting ugly but the list will only grow from this point........... I try not to look at the cost column but so far it is not too bad and I'm about where I thought I would be!
01/14/06 Had some fun today with Payton and Taryn and went for our first "ride" in the truck. I also got some other work completed and pulled off the rear end. Not much left to take apart now!
01/20/06 Just accepted a job in Chicago (same company) so it looks like we're moving again! I'll be sending all the remaining "dirty/rusty" parts to get sandblasted or stripped so I am not moving rusty parts again! Time to move fast! Hopefully, this will be the last move for a few years! This truck has put more miles on it in the past two years without running than it did for almost 30 years combined! I guess it wasn't running then either!
01/26/06 Dropped off the cab, all the front end parts including those rusted up brake parts at American Metal Cleaning in Toledo, OH. Can't wait the get them back! The cab fit real nicely on the small 4'x4' trailer I picked up for $129.00 and I built a cab dolly with 4"x4" and wheels I got from Harbor Freight. It works pretty slick. No serious measurements taken or anything. I just rough cut everything and lag bolted it all together. The trailer is small enough that I just tip it up against the all in the garage when it is not being used.
02/10/06 I picked up my cab and other parts from American Metal Cleaning today. Not sure that I could be happier. The cab looks great and only two surprises. Looks like there was very little filler used on it during its many paint jobs over the years. It's pretty cool - the bolts that were frozen tight are all loose now. If I ever do this again, the first step would be sending it in to get "cleaned" before battling the rusted bolts.
I got the patch panels from "metalman" at Wheelwright Restorations in Wheelwright, MA and will have them installed and the entire thing primed in the next couple weeks. If I'm not mistaken, I believe all of the patch panels for these trucks that the major parts suppliers (like Jim Carter's) come from Wheelwright Restorations. He does great work!
As you can see in the photos below, I also had the steering & brake components done as well as the bell housing, valve cover and rear cab panel. All turned out great!!! Just look at the 01/01/06 entry on the brakes to see what a difference this makes!!!
3/10/06 Over the past 14 months I had driven past an Auto Museum just south of Toledo, OH about once a week. I always thought I should stop and check it out for the slim chance there may be a 41-46 Chevy or GMC in there! Who'd a thunk? THERE WAS!!!!! So I had to bring Marla and the girls back. Ends up this is the exact truck I have at the top of the page as the "goal truck". It was sold on e-bay to Snook's Dream Cars in Bowling Green after it failed to reach to reserve price a couple times. I watched these auctions and saved the photos of it. It is by far the best original restoration I have seen yet. The only two things I could find that were not original were the marker lights were the '42-46 style and the dash was not painted with the unique hammer tone as original. Other than that I can only hope mine turns out 1/2 as nice!
03/11/06 I got my cab back today along with the patch panels installed in the front lower cab corners! Bill (the body guy from work) agreed to help me out with this task! He also filled in the "extra" holes and put a coat of primer on it. He did a great job! Thanks Bill!!
Change of plans....we're in the process of moving back to WI. The truck gets to go another 300+ miles without running this April!!!!!!!!!
4/9/06 Today I loaded up the cab and trailered it back to WI. The rest of the truck will go with the household goods on the United Van lines trailer later in the month. I got some interesting looks driving down the interstate trailering this!
4/18/06 United Van lines picked up the "rest of the truck". Actually they sent a trailer for the frame, rear axel and the two 216 engines I have. The "REAL" rest of the truck will go with the household goods tomorrow.
5/6/06 I went a little crazy today and bought three fenders on e-bay from "Mikes-desert treasures". After five years of looking for a good set of fenders, I finally found some good solid fenders that will require very, very little body work once I have them stripped!!!!! I got the two front fenders and one rear fender. All three are GREAT!!! Now I have a full set of solid metal fenders that are all (other than finishing) in perfect condition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now it's time to sell off some of my extra parts to get some of my money back and make room in the garage, After several years of searching I finally have a good set (all four) of solid metal fenders that need little to no work to get them ready for paint!!! If there is anything learned here, it is being patient. I never did find that illusive set of NOS fenders but these are close enough.
I also for the first time have a large enough garage that I should have room to move around once I get all the moving boxes out of it and get my stuff organized. It should be nice. Is there such a a thing as a large enough garage or is that as illusive as the NOS fenders?
Year 6 - 2006 - The fun begins - No more rust, dirt and grime!
5/17/06 I updated my parts list page for those who are interested in the five year chronicle of parts hunting.
6/9/06 Finished putting together the front brakes today: The before and after is something else to look at. The real test will be if they actually stop the truck once it is back together.
8/5/06 Spent today loading up the last bit of parts to get cleaned up. Being back in WI, I dropped them off at Restoration Specialists in Franklin, WI (Milwaukee). I dropped off the frame, all four fenders and the seat springs. Not sure how well the seat springs will come out because they were breaking left and right.
I also did some work on the bell housing, clutch and brake petal assembly and finished painting up the axle and few other parts. Ran into a snag with the tie rod ends. Just recognized that the new replacement tie rod ends are different than the old ones so I'll be rebuilding the old ones. Problem is though the end caps are froze into place. I was able to break one of them out by applying some heat but the other one is stuck pretty solid. I'll just have to keep working on it and hopefully it will eventually break loose. In two weeks I should have a nice clean frame (and fenders) to begin putting everything back on.
8/7/06 Thanks to some guys on Stovebolt.com, I did a little digging and found the missing link for the Master cylinder/brake pedal linkage! Works like a charm! I also found a couple sets of NOS Tie rod ends to replace the frozen one that I can't get off. Now I can use destructive methods to remove it and simply re-thread the rod for the new ends if I really get destructive.
8/16/06 I got a pair of NOS tie rod ends today so the dilemma of the tie rod ends is over. Now I can cut the old frozen one off and I have a replacement! Here's a photo for those that are wondering what the difference is. Ends up to upgrade to the newer style it requires some machining (and obviously would not be original). The "modern" style was purchased from Jim Carter's. The photo here will show you what it is you are getting vs. original style.
9/1/06 I got my frame and fenders back from Restoration Specialists in Franklin, WI today. Ends up they needed to run the seat frames through a second time because there was still some rust showing. The fenders and frame look very clean and I spent the night starting to finish the frame and prep it for paint.
I put a thin coat of Zero Rust on the fenders to protect them until I can get back to them. The fenders will probably be one of the last things that I finish so they can just be bolted right up after paint.
Here's a picture of the fenders propped up in front of the cab. It's great to finally be seeing some progress and be done with all the rusty, greasy, dirty work. Now the fun begins!!!
10/14/06 Completed top side of the frame and flipped the frame over to work on the bottom. Lots of work to smooth the metal back out from the 60+ years of surface rust. Weather is getting colder and progress has gone into stall again............
12/9/06 Spent the most of the last couple months just sanding on the frame here and there. Added to the parts collection in preparation for the reassembly phase. Also added a page with 41-46 information and photos that should help identify 41-46 trucks. Not sure who the author of the first portion of the new page is so if you know, e-mail me so I can give credit where credit is due.
12/22/06 Went to work today in an attempt to remove the oblong spring bushings. Considering most of the bolts snapped from 60 years of rust I was not optimistic that this would be an easy job. A "tech Tip" on Stovebolt.com suggested making a bushing puller with the following from a hardware store:
1 - 3/8" x 6" carriage bolt with threads along its full length.
1 - 3/4" "T" connector (perfect inside diameter for the old bushing to be pulled into)
2 - Reducers to for more leverage in pulling stubborn bushings (not listed on the page but I found it to be a nice "upgrade")
1 - large/thick washer
1 - Nut for the carriage bolt
The concept is pretty simple: the head of the carriage bolt is the same size as the diameter of the bushing. The ID of the "T" Connector is large enough to accept the bushing as it gets pulled through. Simply tighten up the bolt, smack the head of the carriage bolt and it should break free and crank out with relative ease. If you can find grade 8 hardware it may help. I stripped out several bolts/nuts attempting this but adding the reducers to the t-connector provides more grabbing power than what you get using the nut and is a nice "upgrade" from what is listed on the Stovebolt page. It does work and prevents you from having to bring everything to a machine shop to get things reamed out.
Installing new bushings:
I also discovered that the carriage bolt, washer and nut can be used to help get the new bushing installed. Some people say a small vice will work if you don't have a press. I found it to be very cumbersome and difficult to get squared up. Try this; it's much simpler.
Thread the carriage bolt through the new bushing and the spring perch.
Line up the bushing with the hole then put tension on the nut/bolt.
Tap the head of the carriage bolt with a heavy hammer (hitting the head of the carriage bolt prevents damage to the new bushing). Start very slowly with very soft taps to ensure it goes in straight.
Tighten the nut, hit the bolt head, tighten nut, hit bolt head ....
Repeat until the bushing is in place. It works pretty slick!
Here are a couple photos of the final results. No more sloppy, oblong bushings:
12/29/06 I finished up replacing the bushings today. The front passenger side bushing was so bad I had to drill out the center of the pin then use the method above to remove what was left without risking drilling into the perch. Below is a photo of one of the bad bushings next to an NOS bushing. As you can see they were all pretty trashed and well overdue to be replaced. I was fortunate to have found NOS springs for both the front and rear so I did not have to mess with replacing the bushings on the springs.
I then spent some more time filling in more of the small pock marks from the rust that was on the frame. I've come to the realization that this is seemingly a never ending job. I have the outsides of the rails and the cross members looking great. The tedious areas are the insides of the rails and a few tough spots in the cross members where the sander does not reach. I'm not sure it's worth it. Especially since I plan on driving the truck. Some of the areas are just going to have to have the "rough look" vs. a "smooth look". If someone is looking at the underside that closely I probably just ran them over and they won't be looking in the tight spots of the frame anyhow.
12/31/06 Painted the frame today. My garage has never been such a mess. Crazy enough, it has been in the mid to upper 40's this week so I was able to break out the hose and give the garage a good cleaning when I was done.
01/01/07 Flipped the frame back over so it is right side up. I can't stand the fact that I did not fix the rust pits on the inner rails. I'll be taking the time to do it. For now though I'll move on to something else. Just sick of sanding at this point. I've been using Evercoat's Metal 2 Metal to fill these pits. It is an aluminum filled body filler that is best known as the "nearest thing to lead." It works great but is a bit tough to work with as it sets up fast. Here's a few before & after photos:
01/08/07 If there was ever any question about the value of networking and enjoying a hobby with others, its value was clearly identified today. Just yesterday, I posted a parts wanted add on www.Stovebolt.com for a rear bump stop retainer because one of mine was rusted up so bad it was broke in two when it was removed. Within minutes, fellow "Stovebolter" John Sandoval responded with the needed part. Not only did he respond with the needed part, he "donated" it to the cause! Thanks to John and the Stovebolt page! If you have not clicked it, click John's name above to see his great truck! As you will see, he has done a fantastic job building his truck. And much quicker than I am moving I must add.
01/16/07 Somewhat stuck on something that should be simple. Replacing the bump stops for the front axle. Before attempting brut force, I'm wondering if there is a "trick" of the trade out there that helps ease these things into place. These are some pretty hard rubber with little give to them. Come to think of it the original ones did not come out easy either.
01/20/07 Here's the solution....rather simple as expected. Freeze the rubber bumpers. This will make them shrink slightly. Spray them with a silicone lubricant then lightly pound them in. Here's the pictures with the new bumps in place.
02/25/07 – It has been WAY too cold outside to get anything done so I spent some time today working in the house on restoring the seat. I dropped off the springs to get dipped a couple weeks ago at Restoration Specialists so they were clean metal to start with then painted them with black Zero Rust.
I purchased the seat kit from Jim Carters along with the burlap and other padding materials. It was clear that the materials would not be enough to make the seat look nice, so I of course resorted to e-bay to see what I could find. I quickly came across factory second memory foam mattresses and purchased a 2” thick piece big enough for the seat back and a 4” piece big enough for the bottom. This ended up being money well spent! The total cost for the foam was under $50 and I had enough left over to make a nice pillow for the kids.
Here's a low down on the steps I used in this project: Using wire cutters and a box knife, I removed the old cover from the seat. My dad tells me that way back when he worked at the GM plant he helped himself to one of the seat covers off the line. It was trashed along with everything below it including an old Mexican type blanket that my uncle remembers putting on the seat a long time ago. After removing the remaining seat covers and the various girls undergarments that my dad and uncle must have stashed in the old seat covers in their younger years, I was ready to go.
I made sure the seat covers were plenty warm before trying to pull them into place. I've heard you can just put them in the sun for a while but there is no sun in February in WI so I just did everything inside. After repairing a couple springs, I pulled the burlap over the seat springs and attached it with hog rings.
I then used spray adhesive to apply the layer of 1/2" thick grayish colored padding that came in the kit. With the new base foam in place, I precut a piece of the 4" memory foam and placed it on top.
Then I pulled the new seat cover inside-out on the seat foam and rolled the edges down over the sides. I started in the front and worked toward the back. I then flipped everything over so the top of the seat was facing down and I could see the springs. In order to get the seat cover down to the springs, I placed three 45lbs plates on top of the springs which helped compress them. I secured the cover to the springs as originally done with the clips provided in the kit starting from the center with only a few of the rings along the back edge. Here's the final result. I was pretty pleased for my first reupholstery job!
02/2507 I added a photo gallery of various colored 41-46 trucks. Send me your truck and I'll add it to the page with your info.
03/02/07 About a month ago I went to install my engine and found that the rear motor mounts that I purchased from Jim Carter's were too wide. After some research, I found several other people that ran into the same problem. They too ordered part number ME217 out of the Jim Carter catalog. The catalog lists these as correct for 37-47. THEY DO NOT FIT. One of the guys recommended that I try catalog # ME218 which is listed for 48-53. I notified the people at Jim Carter's that it appears that they have another catalog number incorrect but have not seen any changes to date nor have they responded. The ME218 fit perfect. So......if you have a '46 1/2 ton DO NOT ORDER ME217 rear motor mounts. Instead order ME218. As you can see in the photo, the ME217 mounts are too wide and they interfere with the frame cross member and will not work.
03/03/07 Way too cold to be in an unheated garage today. I wanted to get the engine in today but instead decided to stay warm and updated the web page. I added a Discussion board. I often get e-mails from people that have found this web page and figure it may be another good way to share. Use the link below and drop me a note.
03/24/07 Got the engine installed today. This feels like a good turning point in the project and I look forward to being able to get the small parts installed and trying to fire it up. One small step at a time....... Here's a couple photos including one "before" shot.
4/15/07 This weekend started a bit frustrating again. I cleaned up the 3 speed and put a fresh coat of paint on it. After getting it looking good it was time to install....crap....the spline on the replacement clutch from Jim Carter's is incorrect. The spline on the 3 speed has ten teeth and the one on the replacement clutch has a lot more. After I got beyond the frustration and removed the replacement clutch and pressure plate I went on and began working on other things.
I completed the tie rod ends project I started last summer and this time everything went together rather nicely. Now the two front tires move together vs. independently. The last steering component is rebuilding the steering box. I installed the side cover and valve covers as well as replaced all of the hardware with stainless hardware.
I also began working on some of the small things on the block. Put the intake/exhaust manifold, water pump, fan blade, draft tube, generator, starter, carb and distributor. Ends up I need a distributor cap. Seems the '48 has a taller cap than the '46 so I guess I have more for the for sale pile when things are running. I figured out the starter and carburetor linkages and included photos below for anybody struggling with how these come together with the springs, etc...
Overall, I ended up making some pretty good progress this weekend.
4/17/07 I called Jim Carter's to see about returning the clutch and pressure plate assembly. Julie seemed pretty helpful even though I purchased the clutch back in August of last year. She referenced that they did have some problems with some of the clutch kits and was not at all surprised. Ends up I will be sending them my original clutch and pressure plate to rebuild vs. going with a completely new set. This is probably what I should have done to start with considering I am trying to keep things as original as I can. I am also returning several of the other parts that I got in the past that were not as described (i.e. hood corners, motor mounts, battery floor cover). From what I hear they are pretty good with customer service so I'll let everybody know. Stay tuned............
It's officially the start of year 7 of the restoration!!! Not sure where the time has gone but I am sure where a bunch of my money has gone....
5/25/07 I've been puttzing around on various things the past month. I was very fortunate to have found a pile of NOS parts that are typically very hard to come by: lower valance, inner fenders, air baffles and fender extensions. At this point almost the entire front end of my truck will be rebuilt with NOS parts.
I also (for the second time) rebuilt my gauges and if I may say so myself, they look pretty darn good and bit better than the first time (see photo above).
I also got my clutch and pressure plate rebuilt and will be installing it in the next few days. Jim Carter's was great in working with me on the exchange!
7/10/07 I got a new Domain name for my truck web page(s). www.46chevytruck.com will eventually be used for this page. I just have to figure out how to get this one to automatically switch over to the new address and redirect visitors. No need to mark the page now, hopefully, next time you log in, you will automatically be taken there.
07/13/07 I am finally at that stage where I really need to get going and get the body work and paint done so I reached out (once again) to Dave at PaintWerks. I have been bothering Dave about once a year for the past three years so he's probably thinking it is that crazy guy with the truck again. I hope to hear from him soon to figure out how to get things going. I have every body panel that I need with a few spares that will be sold once I decide which ones will be best served for my truck (don't e-mail me for parts just yet). I will also be looking to figure out where to get my grille re-chromed. I already have all of the other chrome parts ready to go. I bought the reproduction parts but will be keeping my originals in case down the road I want to get them re-chromed. The reproduction parts look pretty good. I did not buy a reproduction grill because I have not heard anything good about them and they cost as much or more then replating my great original. I found a great lower grill and an NOS upper grill. Anyhow, I'll post again once I hear back from Dave.
07/24/07 I spoke with Dave from Paintwerks and he suggested that I put the truck back together to get a good feel for how all of the new and old parts will fit back together. This will assist with determining what amount of body work will be needed prior to final paint so there are no (or limited) surprises when reassembling with fresh paint. So, I spent some time over the weekend reassembling my box and some time tonight bolting together the front end parts. Considering that the only front parts that are not NOS is the one baffle that is in gray and the lower/large portion of the grille, everything fit very well.
Now I have to round up a few guys to lift the cab back into place on the frame so i can really get things bolted up.
I also believe that I found an additional body shop right here in my backyard that not only does body work and paint but it looks like they also do custom exhaust. I'll be calling them this week to see about getting the stainless tube you see in the photo above bent.
It's all coming together now.................. I am now at a point where I am willing to sell the extra 6 fender extensions that I have. I have an NOS pair and three others that are not NOS but are almost as good because they have been stripped to bare metal. If you are interested, let me know and I can throw them out on e-bay.
08/12/07 Although I have not placed the cab on the frame, I have been working on a few things. I started working on the steering wheel. It had one area that had a rather sizeable chunk out of it and a lot of cracks After reading around, I found that the kit that Eastwood sells works pretty good. It uses a two part epoxy that dries hard as a rock yet sands nicely. I have the steering wheel in primer now (not shown) and I am trying to find a match to the brown that was used on the instrument bezel. This will be the brown I use for the Steering column as well.
The big thing I started was painting the interior panels in the correct original beige hammered finish as original. Hammered paint has a unique cloud to it (some people call it crater like). GM used it during the early and mid-40’s on the interior parts including:
Seems the Hammertone paints work best when the parts are laying flat so that became challenging for some of the parts that have 3 surfaces that show.
So what did I learn here? As nasty as Toluene is; it is your friend when painting Hammertone finishes. To ensure I was not breathing this stuff in, I wore a 1/2 face 3M respirator with Organic Vapor and P100 Particulate cartridges on it. It allows the effect to come out (as shown in the wiper cover and the defroster duct above. I did not thin the paint enough when painting the dash and the upper panel, so there is little Hammertone effect. Now I am debating if I want to sand and try again... the question here becomes how much is enough?
In addition to the other things, I was at a car show today and thought I would look for a car with especially nice looking chrome and begin asking around to see who people used. First one, I found Custom Plating Specialists, Inc in Brillion, WI. I sent the owner an e-mail to see what it will run to get my grille chromed as well as getting the grille trim pieces and the three stainless dash pieces polished up. I am awaiting an answer. I need to get the grille completed before we paint the truck because the top of the lower portion of the grille needs to be painted the body color. I have a great lower grille I bought on e-bay a few years ago, an NOS upper grille and three sets of trim to choose from. The quote for getting these chromed was $500 for the lower and $175 for the upper.
I also spent some time finishing up the front end overhaul including the steering gear box. I actually have it steering again!!! What I found very strange was that when I took the steering box apart it was full of axle grease. Thinking that this just did not seem right, I began to research it starting with the manual. It states that you should use Chevy steering box fluid which was discontinued many, many years ago. After researching it further I found that others have tried various weights of oil and many find it a problem with it leaking out. I went with the concept of finding the heaviest weight oil I could get - STP Motor Oil treatment. Thick as molasses and does not leak (at least yet).
08/16/07 I played around today and placed the dash, seat and a door panel in the cab to get a "preview" of things to come! Marla and I took the first "ride" and the girls quickly jumped in to "ride along"! Payton and Taryn were the smart ones...they wore their bike helmets.
08/26/07 Took some time today to run the front brake lines. I used stainless lines and am pretty pleased with the results. I had to look at some old photos to figure out where the lines needed to be run. Here are the results. I will post photos of the rear once I complete it. I also ran the fuel and vacuum lines today also using stainless. They too turned out looking pretty nice.
09/03/07 After getting the quote for polishing up the grille trim and dash trim ($200) , I decided to give it a try and convert my bench grinder into a buffing wheel. Off to Home depot I went and I bought everything I needed. A rough cutting type compound for the first pass and a jeweler's polish for the second. I took me a couple hours this morning and all said & done, for under $30 and did it myself. I just followed the directions and made sure to not let the parts get away from me. Now I have all of my stainless parts cleaned and shiny like new. There a very minor scratches that I could not get out that a pro likely could have (I probably could have too had I continued to work at it but they all turned out great and you have to look really close to see any of them.
09/29/07 The day finally arrived. I actually dropped off the box today at Paintwerks! I took the time last week to disassemble it so it would fit in my little trailer. Now the search for the proper colors begins. As shown above, I will be painting it the correct Brewster Green with black fenders & running boards. Plan is to assemble it with all stainless hardware. Now I need to get the cab back on the frame and finish reassembling the front end to test fit everything. Which ended up being a good exercise for a few reasons. First off not everything it perfect and some things needed some persuasion with the body hammer. Secondly, I had to figure out how it all went together and figure out what bolts to use. I would hate to have been trying this for the first time with fresh painted parts.
10/07/07 Yesterday I got a couple neighbors over and we lifted the cab and placed it back on the frame. Today I put it all back together with the exception of the hood which is just sitting in place. Looks like everything is fitting nicely. It was a little on the difficult side to get the driver's side fender out enough to make room for the lower piece that goes in between the fenders.
Marla got in the truck this time!
Overall, I am pretty pleased with how everything looks. There is one gap at the passenger side fender extension that is a little bit big but I will end up going back to work that one before I pull everything back apart. With all of the NOS parts I used in the front end I am really amazed how well things came together. In total, I used the following NOS parts in the front end:
NOS Upper Grille
NOS Extensions (L and R)
NOS Headlight bucket (L)
NOS Inner Fenders (R and L)
Trying to figure out the best order to assemble is a bit on the perplexing side. I ended up assembling and reassembling a couple times to get it right. Better now then with newly painted parts! Once all together everything firms up real nicely!
10/31/07 Got a little creative with the Pumpkin carving this year. Several years ago I saw that someone had made up this pumpkin so I gave it a shot this year. Certainly looks like a truck to me. I even made the grille resemble my original grille!
I ordered my Brewster Green and Kildare Green paint from Jim Carter's. I special ordered it in order to be able to get the PPG that Dave at Paintwerks wanted. The ideal situation would have been if Jim Carter's would have just shared the formula with me but they would not (certainly to get the sale). It has been a few weeks since I placed the order and still no paint.
I also ordered a hood hinge. Can't say I am perfectly happy with that one. The hinge has holes pre-drilled and the holes do not even come close to matching up with either one of my hoods. I will likely be returning it and will use one of my original ones.
11/11/07 Finally painted the steering wheel and added the photo above (8/12/07)! Looks great but I made the mistake of not worrying too much about the very small hairline cracks thinking that the PC-7 would take care of things. No such magic. I have 3 hairline cracks. I ended up painting this with the single stage paint that Jim Carter's sells. It turned out looking real nice and the color matches pretty nicely to the original brown that I had on the steering column. The Steering wheel & parts, the steering column (down to the box) are all brown on this year truck. This brown matches the brown on the instrument panel.
11/19/07 Today is a very good day. I paid Dave at Paintwekrs a visit this afternoon and I was able to pick up some of the first painted parts. So that is what Brewster green looks like in real life! The left hand photo of the tailgate hinges is without a flash, the center photo as well as the wheel photo is with a flash. This is a really neat color and is pretty much what I have had in my head the past 7 years. Talk about nerve racking; waiting to see how the very expensive paint actually looks once sprayed on parts. I love it! It can almost look black in absence of bright lights. In the light, it has that "dark green olive" hint to it that I have had in my head as "brewster green" . Don't ask what the paint code is for the "Brewster Green" because I do not know. This was custom mixed based off of the color that Jim Carter's sells. What you're looking at is Brewster Green DBU and DCC matched to the Jim Carter paint they sell. I also had the Kildare Green matched in a PPG DBU. If you go this route, do not expect that the people at Jim Carter's will know much of anything about the paint. What we found is that they do not. They do however, have a supplier they get the paint from that seems to know their stuff. We had a mix up with this custom order because when Carter's received the paint in their warehouse, they put their typical stickers on it indicating it was something other than what it truly was. It took Dave from paintwerks a few calls to get it straightened out but he got to the bottom of it. Lesson learned? Stick with your local paint supplier or go into it with the knowledge that they are the third party selling something they don't know a whole lot about. Carter's ended up setting the two paint people up to talk it through with each other.
In addition to picking up some parts with actual paint on them, I got a peek at the box which was still hanging in the paint booth as well as dropped off the rear fenders, running boards, headlight pods and some misc. items that will be black. Here's a photo of the tail gate being repaired. Unfortunately when it was shipped it was damaged slightly. I should have returned it or filed a claim with the shipping company right away but I didn't and this ends up being the only body work that was needed on the bed before paint. Mar-K makes a great product!
I also got a rebuilt 3 speed from George Wells who posted it on the Stovebolt forums. He set me up nicely and now I don't have to worry about rebuilding my 3 speed. Thanks George! You can see George's truck in the Gallery. He actually had his truck in a Japanese magazine! Click my photo gallery page to see it.
12/08/2007 I picked up the rest of the bed today and talked with Dave at Paintwerks about the fitting of the running boards to the rear fenders. He has the lion's share of the metal work done on the rear fenders and has the headlight buckets in primer. They are looking pretty good. I bought a second set of running boards on e-bay but we ended up deciding that the original boards were the better of the two pairs so I ended selling them. Here's a photo of the box sides:
These things are like mirrors!
I also got the bed wood back from my dad who did the work to stain and poly them. They are going to look great in this bed!!
The grille saga has also expanded into something new. I found a freshly replated grille on e-bay and bought it paying top dollar thinking that I could sell my current grille and be ahead of the game about $300 in the end. The grille looked GREAT until I tried installing it. Unfortunately someone had not test fit this grille before spending the money to plate it. The bottom is slightly out of shape and would require too much bending in order to get it to fit and would likely ruin the chrome. Fortunately, there was a money back guarantee but I am out the shipping costs both directions. I got a refund from the seller and shipped the grille back to him in CA. On his end, it seems the grille was damaged in transit so UPS returned it to me to take a look at a initially declined the insurance claim. As of today (12/18) it appears UPS is paying up on the shipping claim so all is well and everybody comes out even on the deal except UPS insurance (I got my $ back and the seller got the sale price for the grille through the original auction). Lesson learned: stick with a reputable Chromer as well as the parts that you know fit and do not ship your good parts if you can avoid it. I am back to my original plan which was the best one in the first place. Have my grilles chromed. They are in perfect condition so I was crazy to even think of doing anything otherwise. I located a very good shop a few hours from my house so I'll be making a road trip one of these Saturday mornings.
01/23/08 It is WAY too cold to be doing much with my truck! I do not have a heated garage and the temperature has been below freezing for a while now. I was working on my rear brakes and grabbed a socket and my fingers froze to it like a grade school kids tongue stuck to the school yard flag pole. My small heater just can not keep up with the sustained cold. When I had a smaller garage it was pretty good and even when the temperature is closer to the freezing point, I have been able to at least get it to 40-50F but not in this frigid weather....burrrr. Maybe, I'll invest in a garage heater for next year when they all go on sale for the end of the season. What has been happening during this ridiculous cold is Dave has been working on various parts finishing any required body work and painting them. So far, the entire box is completed and I just got a call this week that the rear fenders, running boards, headlight pods and some of the other smaller items are completed and ready to be picked up. If you read a posting from last year about my fenders:
"5/6/06 ....After five years of looking for a good set of fenders, I finally found some good solid fenders that will require very, very little body work ......"
I have certainly learned one thing about what it takes to make a fender and other parts "perfect". I thought I had some pretty darn good fenders but I quickly learned that I am glad I did not start with what I originally had or I would be in for far more than I expected as it relates to the cost for body work and paint. As it is, I will end up spending considerably more than what I originally anticipated to get this thing painted - Paint & body work budget will likely be close to being blown away before we even get to the cab - OUCH. Don't get me wrong, the results are far beyond my expectations and almost to the point that I will likely be concerned about driving the truck in the end (which is concerning in itself because after all - it's a truck)! The size of these parts does not help. It was rather funny when I dropped off the front fenders for Dave. We placed them in his shop next to an old Porsche he was working on and they looked Massive. The massive size of the fenders on these trucks takes a lot of work to get "perfect" - don't under estimate it if you are getting help (especially if you are paying for the help).
What have I learned (again)? - While certainly not news to anybody, if you think you are going to spend $1; expect to pay $4! That way if you end up only spending $2 or $3 you'll be pleased. Don't underestimate or you may stall out your project and never finish it. After 7+ years - this one won't be stalled out.
1/26/08 I picked up some parts today (running boards, RB aprons, rear fenders, headlight pods, side window frames, tail lights & brackets). They look great!!! The rear fenders and running boards are something else to look at. The photos do not do them justice. The black on the Brewster green looks really nice. As you can see by the photo on the right of the page, the rear fenders have the subtle crease line along the back tops of each of them.
We even took the extra time with the rear fenders to make sure that we matched up the original rivets that hold the rear fender brackets to the outside of the fenders. Often you will see that these are shaved flat or bondo'd over. See the close up photo of the rivets (and my living room in the reflection) We had to order 100 rivets so I have quite a few extra! I was also able to assemble the headlight pods and the tail lights. The chrome bezels on them are not the best but they will have to do for now. I may end up getting them quoted out for re-chrome.
We are almost ready to get going on the cab so I'll have to round up some neighbors to help me pull it off the frame again. This will be a good chance for me to finish up all the mechanicals and get the thing running. While my last target completion date was this spring, I think a Labor Day target is far more realistic while providing me the time to not have to rush things just to get done (not sure it will ever be "done").
2/15/08 Last weekend I loaded up the cab onto my 4'x4' trailer and delivered it along with the hood to Dave at Paintwerks. There's not much stranger than the looks of this cab tailgating my little Buick. Made it there just fine. This time (unlike when I tailered it fro OH), I left the wheels on the cab dolly I made. The cab dolly was pretty simple to pull together. No real science behind it, I just lag bolted 4x4's into a square at approximately the same distance apart as the frame rails then bolted on 4" caster on all four corners. Once I got to Dave's with the cab, we spent some good time walking through all of the "problem areas" of the cab, doors, hood, etc... We also decided to order some more single stage of the Brewster Green to be sure we do not run out. We're using the single stage for areas like the bottom of the cab, interior , under the hood and similar locations. Unfortunately, there's a lot of work to be done yet. Another lesson learned here. When I had the lower cab patch panels put in (3/11/06), I asked Bill to put a coat of primer on it to protect it until I could get to this point. Unfortunately, it appears that Bill did not take the time to prep the surface as he should have and the primer in some of the areas of the inside of the cab is flaking off. This is very concerning considering the $ and time that is being put into the final body and paint. Lesson here is "don't get ahead of yourself". Take your time and only do things like metal stripping if you are actually ready to dive into the body work and final paint. I supposed the flaking primer is better than a rusted hulk but probably will be spending more than I need to at this point to correct it.
02/22/08 Dave sent some progress photos tonight. Looks like he is moving right along with the project. Here are a few of the hood and doors. Dave indicates; "These pictures show the uneven surface that was there and all of the areas that need work to make it flat. The red paint is epoxy, the gray is high build primer and the uneven red is the guide coat. From here, these will get blocked, reprimed and blocked again. They should then be read for final sanding and paint. I will have pictures after the first blocking. You may be surprised at how many defects will show up."
Here are some photos of the hood. The first two are of one of the cracks on the hood where the hinge attaches and the resulting repair. The others are of the hood itself. The drivers side of the hood panel was clearly the side that was opened more often during this truck's life. As you can see the damage that was caused by laying it over the top when opening needed some attention. It looked originally like someone had taken a hammer to it and pounded dents all over the length of the hinge.
02/28/08 The top of the cab is ready for the first high build. Dave is working on the bottom half now. The real bad part is the literal bottom of the cab. There was quite a bit of surface rust under it prior to getting the cab chem stripped (see 10/23/05). I guess if you are looking for a good surface for the final paint you got to make sure it is perfectly flat. The 60+ years of use as a truck certainly does not help things. Pretty scary when you consider that this thing looked pretty good when it came back from being stripped. I guess it is pretty hard to tell how many dents, etc are in it without any color on it.
I spent some more time working on the clutch and ended up busting the clutch fork retaining clip. Because I did not have a spare, it set me back another week to order a replacement (and a spare). I started rebuilding the distributor and realized that I have one from a newer 235 engine. I guess it will work but ended up digging through my box of old goodies and found the correct one and started rebuilding it. If anybody is interested I have a Delco-Remy Model 1112403 Serial number 9G08 that I am willing to sell. It has good points and condenser and is in overall great shape. I do not have the cap for it
03/08/08 Got some more photos and a note from Dave: "Things are moving along this week. Doors and fenders are re-primed and look great. I started on the top half of the cab today and it is cleaning up better than expected. Everything is looking very good. The single stage paint will be ready late next week. I am planning to get back on the truck the following week. The spare wheel also looks good." I paid Dave a visit earlier in the week to drop off the new windshield frame and a couple misc. parts (gas cap, brackets, etc.) for paint and got a good look at the progress. Everything looks great! The cab probably took a little more work than what I had expected, but there was a lot of metal bumping that needed to happen in order to limit the amounts of filler that was needed. While the cab photo may look a bit alarming, overall, what you see is an extremely thin coat to be absolutely sure everything is absolutely flat. From what I understand, this could very well have been accomplished with a couple coats of high build primer.
Overall , things are coming together rather nicely and I hope to get things back here some time this spring so I can start putting everything back together. It will be a few weeks before I see much of anymore progress on the paint so next is to get this thing running. I hope the weather breaks soon - we just went into Daylight Savings Time so daylight should start to be on my side.
I added a resource links page to point to the various resources I have used over the past 7 years.
3/17/08 Here are the latest pictures. What you see here is the doors and fenders painted on the inside. With my amount of available Brewster Green being very limited, we decided to use a basic black on the insides since they will never be seen. While have have not seen them in person yet, it appears the fenders turned out absolutely perfect. The fenders have been painted painted and sanded and they will sit for 2 weeks minimum before polishing.
3/18/08 I finally got my battery today after approximately a six month wait. I hope to try for the first time to get my engine running this weekend. I ended up spending a little extra to get the original Black hard rubber case with "CHEVY BOW" raised letters on the side, over the cell connectors and tar top with DELCO yellow/black caps. This is a cool battery that while many will never see it, those hard core guys that decide to crawl under the truck will be shocked when they look and find what appears to be a 60+ year old battery powering my truck. For what I paid for the battery, I would have hoped that the Chevy bow and the Delco would have been painted white - not. I'll take a photo after I finish painting up the lettering. Here's a stock photo of what the battery looks like.
Here are some photos of the battery. This is an original case with the proper bow tie lettering. Marla used her steady hand to paint the letters on the front and sides. She did a nice job. Looks pretty cool sitting in there. Too bad it will be pretty much completely covered once I get the cab back in place.
3/29/08 I GOT IT RUNNING!!!!! Just short of eight years after I started my restoration, for the first time I actually got to hear my engine run!!!
YouTube video of the "first running" Was never completely positive that I would be able to get this far without help (other than the help I get from Stovebolt.com). I actually got the distributor in place and points set, etc.... the first try. Ends up the starter I had in it was a little tired so I cleaned up my original starter and it cranked it right over (slow but I have a 6V battery). I'll end up having to pull the starter to get some point on it but at this point I am just glad it worked. Then after tightening up the temporary wiring and running a line to a temp fuel "tank"; I actually heard it sputter!!! After a little gas in the carb and a couple cranks later - IT'S ALIVE!!!!! There is no exhaust and I have to put the radiator back on so I could not run it long but it certainly makes for a great day and another key turning point in the restoration!
4/21/08 Things are moving along nicely. I spent the weekend working on the rear-end re-build (including the torque tube). Ended up turning out pretty good. I have yet to tackle the rear brakes but have everything I need to make that happen - just need to pick a day to do it. I have also re-installed the radiator and tuned the engine up a bit. It runs pretty good for an amateur like myself pulling it all together. I just hope it will move the truck once I get the rear end re-installed and the body back on!
The paint & body work is also moving along with Dave at PaintWerks. As you can see in the latest photos, the doors and hood are seeing color with the original Brewster green and the accompanying Kildare and Apple green. The pin strip is not shown in the below photos but I will get photos out there soon. I am still struggling with the cost of the paint work but you certainly can not argue with the quality job that is being done here. The one photo below you can clearly see Dave taking the photo in the reflection.
05/10/08 This is probably the most exciting time for my truck in the past 8 years of the restoration! It's probably in reality the most exciting time for the truck since it went down the assembly line in early 1947! Dave called earlier this week to let me know that I could come pick up some of my parts. He also told me that the cab has been painted and cleared. It will sit for about 2 weeks before it can be polished out and brought home. My dad come up from Janesville with his cargo van and helped with loading the parts at Dave's and getting them in the basement when I got home. We were actually able to get both doors, the front fenders, the hood (both sides) and a bunch of misc. other parts in the back of his van without any worries about parts coming into contact with each other during the drive. To the right are a couple of photos of Dave at PaintWerks with some of the finished parts. Below are various parts that filled the paint booth when I got there. Dave's shop is not the largest so I'm sure he was pleased to get all of this out of there so he could make room for other projects.
It's interesting to look at the progress of these parts going from basically salvage yard parts to something that looks better than new. The hood was in pretty bad shape (as mentioned above). Similar to the running boards I purchased a second hood and ended up keeping my original hood because it was easier to repair than the replacements. I also bought a reproduction hood hinge and ended up using my original hinge as well. The mounting holes in the re-production hinge do not even come close to the original holes in the hood. So that means drilling new holes and filling the old ones and that's just crazy!! So the original one is going back on.
Considering that the doors have new skins on the lower halves; you would never know it (from either side). I installed Dynamat on the insides of them and can not believe the difference in sound when you knock on them. They went from a tinny sound to a solid thud type sound. This should make a huge difference when closing the doors and when driving down the road. I will be doing the same throughout the cab.
The cab is looking good. Similar to the rear fenders, Dave made sure to take the extra effort needed to save the crease on front of the roof just above the windshield. Often you will see that people just round this out when doing the body work. Just like the subtle crease in the rear fenders, this is one of those things that I think give these trucks so much character. The back of the roof and cab for that matter came out great and similar to the other parts (like a mirror). You can see in the photos the accent stripe color which is correct for the standard Brewster green color for the 41-46 trucks.
We ran into a slight problem with the original paint we ordered from Jim Carter's in that when I called to order some more of it they were not able to produce it again because their paint supplier changed owners and they no longer had the necessary codes to match it. Mainly this was because they were not willing to give the the PPG code from my original order (I'm sure because they were afraid of lost future sales of the same paint). Completely frustrating to say the least. It worked out fine because we did have enough paint left to make a spray-out card for color matching purposes. Dave then used the new "color matched" paint on the first couple coats of the green and did the last few coats in the original paint that was used for the rest of the truck,.
DO NOT buy your paint from anybody but your local paint supplier or someone that is willing to give you the paint codes with your purchase. Make sure you have plenty of paint for the entire project before you start painting. Lastly, start with your cab. Everything gets built off of the cab so finishing this first will allow you to work on quite a bit while the rest of the truck is being painted. I did this backwards and this has probably set me back a few months. It also requires that you have enough storage space to store all of the completed parts until they can be installed. So far so good, nothing has be ruined, but I don't have a lot of room left in my basement though..........
Year 8 - Completing the Truck & Comparison photos!
05/20/08 I got an itch tonight to work on the truck and it seemed to be a good idea to put the truck box together. This is a Mar-K reproduction box kit with the original pine boards. I did not choose to paint them black as original simply because I really like the stained wood look. That to my dad who took the time to prep the boards. I won't provide a lot of detail on the reassembly of the box because Mar-K has some absolutely great detailed instructions that really can't be beat. What I will do is provide some photos that may help supplement those directions. While the photos may appear to show a completely assembled bed, I have a lot of work to do. much of this is that detail work that I will be sure to photograph along the way.
7/2/08 I headed up to PaintWerks today and picked up my cab. This time the entire family came along. I decided that my little trailer was just a bit too small and I did not want to run into any problems on my way home with a freshly painted cab so I rented a trailer from Home Depot for $30. It was well worth it. The cab looks great in the sun! I was a bit surprised when I got it home and looked at everything and noticed that Dave had not sprayed the full interior but it ended up turning out alright either way. He did paint the parts that will be seen once everything is re-assembled so I spent the afternoon with a pint of black Zero Rust and put a couple coats on it paying special attention to those very hard to reach places. Remember that I had the entire cab chem stripped so there is a LOT of bare metal.
7/6/08 Today I took the time to place the Dynamat in the cab and insulated it. WOW! What a difference. What was a tinny sounding cab suddenly sounds like a rock solid truck cab. It sounds so solid that some people will probably question if it is metal if they knock on it (hopefully there won't be many people knocking on it but you know how people are at shows). This will make a HUGE difference when I am driving it. Well worth the $ spent. I am actually ordering some more to place on the back sides of the inner door panels. As you can see, I had a little helper his week out in the garage. I also asked a few of the neighbors to come over on Saturday night and give me a hand putting the cab and assembled bed on the frame. I spent a couple hours aligning the cab and box. There is not a lot of aligning that you can do but I at least got all the bolts in place and loosely tightened them. I did not snug them up because I am sure that I will need to adjust it a smidge or two when I put the front end back on.
Dave did not paint the final pin stripe on the cab because we want to make sure everything lines up before the stripe is put on. I had the pin stripe tape that I bought as a color reference and I just could not help myself but to put it on to see what it looks like. When we actually paint it the final stripe will be just below the tape stripe I put on (as they were located originally). Here are a few of the detail photos I took as I went. The running board is just sitting there for the photo. The reproduction windshield frame fits pretty nicely. It only took a little tweaking to get it to fit pretty nicely. Time will tell if it is weather proof.
7/13/08 Yesterday I went to the Iola, WI Swap meet and show and picked up a set of 5 Firestone 6.50x16" tires from Coker. I pre-ordered them to be sure they were on the truck and to save the shipping costs. While at the swap met I found a couple original 41-46 trucks that I was able to take a few detail photos that I otherwise would not have known from my original truck. These will help as I put my truck together. For example as I was under my truck with the running board I noticed that there are a series of holes on the top of the running board that appear that they may have originally been bolted to the bottom of the cab; however, there were no holes in the corresponding location in the cab. I also took some reference photos of things like the screws used on the gas tank filler trim and various screws on the firewall.
On Sunday my youngest daughter helped me mount the tires on the rims. They all went on fairly easy and look pretty cool. I was putting on one of the front wheels and ended up chipping the wheel with the tire iron. That one may become the spare!
I also connected the throttle linkage and once again removed the three speed, pressure plate and clutch. I replaced the pressure plate and clutch with replacements that I bought from The Filling Station. The clutch actually looked slightly different than the one I got from Jim Carters and more like my original one so I was hopeful that my clutch mystery would be solved once and for all after I swapped them. No such thing...but it is a bit better. I can actually now push in the pedal and get it to start to disengage the clutch: just not enough to be able to shift. Back to asking questions and messing around with the linkage to see if I can adjust it enough. I noticed that the shifter rod was not threaded on the end to take the new shifter ball that I bought so I threaded the end and now it holds a brand spankin' new shifter ball (as original) on the end).
Oddly enough, I seem to be missing some parts that I know for a fact I have gotten back from Dave at Patinwerks. I have been squirreling away these parts to put them in safe places and now it seems that I can't seem to find all of them. I'll have to do a once over of the house to gather up everything sometime this week.
7/21/08 Got a call from Dave today and I guess my mind played some tricks on me and I never did get that part back. Dave has it. This would explain why I did not have a picture of it - I never got it back. Now I just have to find the time to get up there to get it.
7/27/08 Spent some good time this weekend on the truck. I spent Saturday trying again to get the clutch working. I am absolutely convinced that I installed it correctly and the problem is with the linkage. I messed around with the linkage a while and was able to get it to disengage enough that I decided to install the rear-end/torque tube. I ended up having to fabricate two brackets that go on the bottom of the spring u-bolts. No idea what I did with the originals but I'm sure they will turn up at some point so I cut out some new ones for now. The truck looks like a truck again - with all four wheels!!! Once the rear end was on I put on the rear bumper too! Once I completed the rear-end, I put the passenger side inner fender, engine tray and some of the front parts in place. I did not go to the driver's side because I need to get the exhaust in there first and it will be easier to work on without it in the way. Here's a few reference photos for some of the details:
On Sunday I really went crazy and spent the morning prepping all of the interior parts for paint. The afternoon was spent clearing out the garage and turning it into a makeshift paint booth. I sprayed just over a quart of the Hammer-tone beige and was about 8oz short to complete the job.
Once everything was dry to the touch I was able to re-install the drivers side door trim along with installing the windlace. I also re-assembled the heater and installed it on the firewall. I still need to paint the defroster, the rearview mirror and one of the glove box door hinges. I trying to be sure to get photos of things as I put it back together for reference down the road. Interestingly enough as I refer back to the before photos, I have come to realize that I am glad to have the pictures I took back then but realized that many of them are had to make out - The camera I have now is much nicer and back then with the old camera when you take a photo of something where everything is the color of rust and grease- everything tends to blend together making it hard to see details.
Still have not driven the truck. Would have been nice to be able to today when I was cleaning up after a long day. Pushing this back into the garage is a bear - thanks to my neighbor it is tucked back in the garage. It seemed a bit more stubborn today than yesterday!
09/01/08 Labor Day weekend. I took Friday off to make for a 4 day weekend. We had a couple things that we had going on over the weekend and I knew I would only get in two days of work on the truck over the four day weekend. My goal for the weekend was to get the truck to the point where I could take it for the first ride. Not that it meant that it had to be a legal ride....just a ride. I spent Friday building the rear brakes and began the process of wiring the truck . Up until now the truck was wired with some hand made jump wires just to get it to run. Part of the wiring process led me to assembling the dash and the components. Overall I am pretty pleased with how the dash turned out. After all it is the first "paint job I have done on anything but bikes and jet skis. The paint job I did is put to shame by the paint job that Dave did on the truck itself but as I said....I'm pretty pleased with it over all. I got all the basic wiring done and tested it out....It worked and the battery seems to be charging as well. I then jumped in to installing the gas tank. A couple weeks ago I used a kit and lined the gas tank just in case there was any corrosion in it from the long storage. It looked pretty clean but since I had already purchased the kit I used it. I had to re-tap the threads for the fuel tank sender because the liner filled the threads. I just hope that I caught everything as I re-threaded each hole.
Seems the "original" hose that I bought from Jim Carter's had the incorrect threads on it. Just one more thing to add to the list of reproduction parts that did not fit. I was able to use some of the old fittings and fabricated a flexible hose to go from the tank to the stainless line. Once I finished that I decided that I had better rebuild the carb just in case. Turns out it was pretty clean and really did not need much attention.
On Labor Day I set out to do everything that I needed to to take the first ride. here's what I got done:
Fixed all of the leaks in the brake lines (seems everything leaked the first try).
Bleed the air from the brake lines (seems that this took 3-4 tries before I finally got it). A two person job for sure. Marla helped out with this one.
Find out why the Front Driver's side wheel seems to "wiggle". Thank god I noticed this "wiggle" - ends up I forgot to put the washer on the spindle just before the Castle nut and cotter pin went in. Just enough to make the wiggle go away. I would have to say I was consistent - I forgot it on both sides!!!! All fixed now!
Bolted in the engine pans.
Installed and hung the stainless exhaust.
Lubed Chassis - man are there ever a lot of grease fittings. Almost used an entire tube of grease.
At this point - it was ready to be driven for the first time in almost 30 years and for the first time since 5/11/2001 when I brought the truck home and began the restoration. I did a test of the brakes by placing a parking block a few feet both in front of the truck and behind it (just in case). Once I was comfortable that they actually worked I got Marla to get the video camera out to tape the first drive!
IT RUNS AND IT DRIVES!!!!!!!!!!! The first drive was in a circle around the cul-de-sac then off I went around the neighborhood 3 times! 3.5 miles and all is well.
Now I need to get the temp gauge and the oil pressure gauge hooked up and I can install the front end. This truck does not seem to be the most friendly truck to work on with the front fenders in the way so I wanted to be sure to work out any bugs before putting it all together.
9/17/08 I've been busy since my "first ride". I got all four fenders and running boards installed. It took moor than I thought to get them lined up. Although I used a lot of tape and paper to prevent scratches, I still managed to get a few that I will need to touch up. I guess you can't use too much tape when reassembling. I ended having to trim the freshly painted part that goes between the running board and the box. The passenger's side part was about 1/4" too long. Don't ask me how this happens. I measured them against the original ones and they were the same size. What I did not do was completely assemble the truck to test fit it. I did assemble the front end but did not do the same for the rear end and box. Ends up I was able to trim what I needed to with a dremel and a lot of blue painter's tape. It turned out pretty good and no damage to the paint.
Marla helped me carry the hood from out of the house and place it on the truck. What a difference. it really pulls everything together as far as looks go. Too bad it covers up all that work I did under it.! My dad was here for my daughter's 3rd birthday party and this was the first he saw the truck pretty much put together. We would have gone for a ride but it was raining all day so it will have to wait for now.
I spent a few hours tonight running through the wiring and getting the lights to work. I am still waiting to get my dimmer switch so I am at a standstill for now. I am also waiting to get some more interior screws. I ordered 90 of them to start with and it was not enough. I don't know if I lost some or if 90 is just not enough to get it done. On the 16th I took all three of my girls for a ride in the truck . You may see that my oldest does not seem too happy. She was pretty excited until I lifted her in and smacked her head on the door jam. OOPS!! I guess she grew over the past 8 years since I got the truck!
The coming Sunday I plan to show the truck for the first time down in Beloit, WI at the Autorama. I figure that being that it was built at the Janesville, WI GM plant (which is unfortunately shutting down in 2010) and it spent its long slumber in a barn in Beloit that it was fitting that it be the first show. I have quite a bit to do on Friday and Saturday but hope to get it cranked out and ready for the trip to Beloit.
I'll be picking up the grille from the chrome shop on Friday and pulled together this spec sheet to be displayed with the truck on Sunday. Stay tuned for more photos as well as photos from the show!!!
9/20/08I took Friday off this week to work on finishing the truck in preparation for the Beloit Autorama. I figured a while back that this would be a fitting show for the "maiden voyage for the truck. Beloit is just south of Janesville, WI where the truck was originally built. Beloit was also the location of the barn that the truck took it's long "nap" in. The barn is literally just down the road from where the show is located at. I had a lot to get completed before the show but I figured it was doable. The biggest thing was pulling together the interior.
Around mid day on Saturday, I decided to take the truck to the store to pick up some photos that I had printed up for a brag book for the car show. The truck died on me!!!!!!! The carb completely flooded out and was literally spitting gas out on the manifold. NOT GOOD!! After just about killing the battery, I was able to finally get it started (about 1.5 hours later) and limp home at about 5-10 MPH. Any faster and it would flood again. At this point there wasn't anybody that wanted to be near me.......I was steaming mad. Most of all it was driven by the disappointment that I may not be able to make the show in the 21st. After researching the problem on the Stovebolt.com forums, I decided that I needed to start by tearing the carb down. I did that and replaced the needle and seat and blew out all of the passages to ensure they were clean and clear. Not that it made much sense but someone suggested that I replace the coil too. It was REALLY hot when I was having the problems so I figured since I had a spare I would change it out. After a couple hours I had her running again! Changed the timing a bit because the plugs showed that things were running a bit lean.
After a 12 mile drive, I was in a much better mood. Got it going 40MPH without incident. Spent the rest of the night on the interior. Got 1/2 of the headliner in and realized that the rear piece needed some trimming and I was pretty beat so I left it for another day. So although it is not quite complete, it is road worthy and most at the show won't know what is not done. Still need to finish the headliner and a few misc interior parts, need to wire the fog lights, heater, defroster and get the wipers working better (not sure if the old vacuum wipers do work any better so I Rainx'd the windows pretty good just in case).
9/21/08 TODAY IS THE BIG DAY!!! I borrowed my Brother Chad's truck and the neighbor Chris' trailer. My plan was to drive the first hour from Oconomowoc, WI to Janesville, WI with the trailer then take the truck off the trailer at my parent's house to drive it to Beloit. I got up a bit late that morning (6:30AM) and loaded up the truck. The fog was extremely thick and the air was so damp it was almost like it was raining. At this point there was not much that was going to stop me so I pressed on. Marla woke up the girls and got them ready for the road trip. Marla wanted to be sure to properly document the first trip/show.
With the problems the day before, i was a bit gun shy so I drove a bit further South to my brother's house where I met up with my dad in the '46 Olds Woody and we all drove to the show together. You can see here a photo of her following me and just how foggy it was. We got to Janesville without incident where I met up with my Dad and my Uncle Don. Remember Uncle Don - he's the one that gave me the truck to start with!!!
After a commemorative photos, we headed over to my brothers where I just hoped and prayed that it would start!!! IT DID....AND IT RAN BEAUTIFULLY!!!! My dad showed up with the Woody and we hit the road to drive to Beloit Autorama.. I kept reminding my dad that my top speed was about 40 but we did end up hitting 45 at one point. My Uncle Don road with me in the truck - of course with the windshield and the cowl vent open!!! We got to the show with no problems. I heard at one point that there was about 1,400 cars (still need to confirm that though). What a great show.! Perfect weather on top of it. The sun took care of all that fog and there were very few clouds all day long.
We decided that it was more important to park together than it was to make sure we were parking in the "correct" class for each respective vehicle so after paring in a late model section and being talked into moving by one of the show organizers, we parked in the Antique car section (pre'49) which both qualified for. The guy from the show stressed to me that I should park with the trucks and have a good chance at an award but he ended up saying you never know it may work out here too. We were fine with staying right were we were. I love the old cars that surrounded my truck that day and I got to park next to my dad with the woody (Thanks to Tom for letting us take the woody to another show)!!
Wouldn't you know it; the first award that was handed out they called registration number 710 - Tim Sheridan 1947 Chevy half ton truck. The club is sponsored by the Lion's club and ends up one of the guys that was key to pulling it off for 24 years had passed away. I was awarded with the "LION DON JOHNSON" Memorial Award for 2008!!!! What an honor!! I did not know him but what a great show it was. In addition to winning the award, I was also invited to an invite only indoor car show in the spring of 2009. Not sure if I will go to it but it sounds pretty neat. During the show, I was asked on several occasions what the truck's name was - Good question. I told my wife that in honor of the fact that my uncle Don gave me the truck and the fact the the first show that I went to the truck won the Don Johnson Memorial award that maybe I should name it "The Don". Not "Don" but "The Don". She didn't like it.
Now it is time to enjoy it and put some miles on it. After the first show weekend I had just over 50 miles on it!!! What a great new beginning for the little truck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here's a photo of me and my dad after the show just before I headed back to Oconomowoc. While the truck is still not technically completed; this has been one great experience. I never would have though back in May 2001 that I would have gone to this extent.
Thanks again to My uncle Don for getting me started, my dad for staining the bed boards and most of all thanks to my wife Marla and my girls for putting up with it for this long. Marla was so pleased that it was pretty much done that she actually went out and bought a Pandora bead in the shape of an old vehicle for a bracelet that commemorates the completion.
See you at the shows and on the county highways!!!
01/25/2009 It's freezing around here this time of year but I have been making a list of things to get done when the weather breaks a bit. Although I had a blast last fall driving the truck around there's quite a few finishing touches that I need to crank out this spring - finish headliner & weather stripping, finish up the e-brake, wire the heater, install and wire the original radio, wire the fog lights, figure out the wiring for the horn, build and install a hidden bracket for the ignition switch, get the door lock, glove box lock and the ignition switch re-keyed, tweak/adjust the front end to better line up the body panels and most of all, get the truck back up to Dave at Paintwerks to paint the grille stripe, do the pin striping (after removing the temporary tape I used) and give it a "final buff".
On a very cool note, the Stovebolt.com page has placed my truck in one of their calendars for 2009. My truck is March - very cool since it is the month of St. Patrick's Day!!
In addition, Mar-K has featured my truck in the Customer trucks web page.
4/9/09 After bleeding the brakes, changing the oil and getting an undetermined engine chirping to stop, I took the truck for the first drive for 2009. Seems to be knocking a bit so i need to play around with it and tune things up a bit. I have just over 200 miles on it since the first drive last fall so it is probably time to do a complete once over and check everything to ensure it is all tight, etc...
4/10/09 Ordered the wiring harnesses from Y&Z for my turn signals, heater and fog lights. I purchased my main harness on e-bay from a guy that originally purchased it fro these guys and never used it in his project (he sold the truck before completing it). The quality was top of the line so I decided to get the "rest of the wiring" from them as well.
It's funny how many little things there are at the "end" of a restoration that take so much time to get done. Everybody (including myself at times) thinks the truck is "done". It's those little things that take so much time at the end that I would imagine add up REALLY fast if you were paying someone to restore a vehicle for you. Setting the cab and hanging the fenders, body panels was the easy part (and most visible).
4/12/09 Started out this afternoon with good intensions of working on the many things that still need to be completed on the truck. Ends up I just drove the truck - just over 20 miles today. Never getting much over 35mph. Had a great time and found a couple spots for photo ops. Photos are high res thumbnails.
5/09 - Pulled the grille off the truck this spring and got the
Brewster green mid stripe painted as original and the red lettering and top
stripe painted. It turned out fantastic. These are those little
details that really bring this truck back to it's original state!
5/8/09 Marla and I visited our first VCCA event tonight by
driving the truck through the WI countryside to the Fox & Hound near Holy Hill,
WI. Here's a photo of Rich Gilbert's, mine and Dean Box's Chevy's.
We followed Rich there from Oconomowoc. Made for a good night as well as
the longest trip I have taken in the truck so far. We ran into rain on the
way home so thank goodness for RainX. Those vacuum wipers just don't cut it.
7/1/09 My truck was been selected in the!!! 1 of 32 that was selected to compete in a bracket style competition for $10,000! I made it to the third round and received over 600 votes in that round alone which was the second most in the entire competition; however, the car it was against was the only car that had more votes. It was fun while it lasted!!!
Today I returned the "Official Invitation" to show my truck in the Masterpiece
Speed & Style Showcase on Milwaukee's Lakefront on August 23rd.
Check out the details at www.milwaukeemasterpiece.com It is a real honor to be selected to this Concours event. I am really looking forward to it and will post photos when it is all done!
8/1/09 I am working towards having the original 216 rebuilt to put back in the truck with hope beyond hope that I get it done in time for the Milwaukee Masterpiece. This will bring things back to original. The truck was originally titled under the block number so getting the original block back in will not only be good because it is original but good because it will once again match the title. I chose Pakes' Engine & Machine Inc. In Janesville, WI to do the work that is beyond my knowledge, skill and available equipment. Having grown up in Janesville I had heard some good things about them over the years.
8/7/09 Seems we have run into some confusion about the oiling systems and differences between the '46 and '48 216 blocks and the routing of the oil line to the head. We are researching to learn the differences. As a start here's a link to the ENGINE OILING SYSTEM pages of the shop manual (large file in Adobe Reader format .pdf) and a couple photos.
8/22/09 Well it has been a challenging few days. I took off work on Thursday and Friday of this week to work on thee truck in preparation for the Milwaukee Masterpiece show. I picked up the block from Pakes' in Janesville, WI on Thursday morning and spend the afternoon painting and reassembling the engine where I could. On Friday I put the engine back in the truck and began to attempt to start it only to hit a wall of sorts - valves!! I have never adjusted valves. After a few phone calls and e-mails, I made an attempt at it. On Saturday it just left actually getting it to run, reassembling it and detailing it for the show. Well I got there! I will add more details on the problems I encountered with the engine assembly with reference materials in time so stay tuned...........
The truck is back together, running and
ready for the Milwaukee Masterpiece on Sunday!
11/14/09 - Winter is quickly approaching but the truck has not quite been put away (maybe one last drive). This winter, I will be focusing on restoration of some of the accessories that I have collected over the years . I have my original radio working and it is ready to be installed. Still looking for an original dual post red ball antenna. I will VERY much struggle to install that once I get it. Just the thought of drilling holes in the cab just kills me.
I picked up an old uniform coverall which made the perfect place for me to put my "Approved Chevrolet Mechanic" pin.
12/07/09 - My search for that elusive spare tire carrier has officially ended ! A HUGE thanks goes to Michael Davidson from Northeastern Oregon. Michael learned of my search through this web page and set out on a mission to find one. As a fellow owner of a '46, this is the type of thing that really makes this hobby a great one. I have replaced my former Spare Tire Carrier parts wanted page with a Spare Tire Tech info page covering the spare tire carriers.
I also managed to find that dual post red ball antenna. Just waiting to get it in the mail. I was a bit shocked at how much these things go for.
- Winter is growing old and I have had the itch to drive the truck on several
occasions. I have continued to look for some of the more rare accessories
and have managed to find the extremely rare grille cover. I guess it
is fitting that I found it in the dead of winter. I don't ever plan on
actually installing it (other than maybe for a photo) but it will make for a
nice thing to show with the rest of the accessories.
Thanks goes out to John Tuzza of Mechanicsburg, PA. John also has a '46 Chevy truck and saw my post on VCCA chat room where I was asking for measurements for the radio brackets so I could fabricate some. John had an extra set and actually mailed them to me!!! He also took the time to measure up, photograph and snap photos of the original rear bracket so I can fabricate one! Thanks John! You are what makes this hobby GREAT!!!
Here's a couple of photos of John's Truck. One from 1979 and one that's a little more recent (1997). I love the Yard Sale photo!!!
09/06/2010 - Labor day now and it was time to labor on the truck. I
finally got brave enough to drill a couple holes in the side!!! I used a
brand new #1 1/8" - 1" step drill bit and it went pretty smooth.
So now I have a dual post red ball whip antenna on the driver's side. Next step - install the original radio.
03/20/2011 Spring is here! Woke up today to it raining pretty hard and knocking off the salt from the roads and melting what is hopefully the last of the snow!! I am planning a few upgrades and additions for 2011 to the truck:
Finish installation of the optional factory radio. I
got the antennae installed last fall and never finished installing the
Install the optional radiator overflow
Install the long awaited spare tire carrier. Need to
complete the restoration of it first but that is a pretty simple job.
Build a custom wood/canvas canopy over the bed for
"roadside vegetable sales". This will be an entirely new adventure for
me in woodworking!! My inspiration comes from a truck I saw on e-bay several
years ago. Not sure where the truck ended up but it was located in MN
in the lobby of a farm.
Unfortunately, I need to remove the dash, strip it down and repaint it. Unfortunately, last fall when I was putting the truck away, I dropped a large magnet on the dash putting a nice dent in the dash and chipping the paint pretty good.
I still have not decided if I am going to install the
optional Grille guard. To be honest, I am not sure if I like the
looks. Either way, it will be shipped out in the next couple weeks to
If you are looking for more photos - visit the Events page!!!!
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