01 March 2015
1951 Chevy 3800 1-Ton
From Mike :
From what I have been told, this old truck was built in December 1952 in the Kansas City GM plant.
I found the truck on one of the rat-rod sites. The price started out almost twice what I paid for it (no one wanted a 1-ton pickup truck, I guess). The fellow who was selling it had hauled it from Farmington, New Mexico to his place in Indiana. The last time it was "working" was on on a ranch in Farmington.
All I had to do was pay his asking price and his fees to ship it out to my place in upstate New York.
I bought it site unseen, which is crazy, but it was everything I thought it was going to be. So, there were no surprises. Compared to the upstate NY rot that I am used to -- well, this truck has issues but nothing like what I see from the local stuff here.
The truck has a significant name. Howard Knapp was a retired farmer that lived in the once quiet town of Round Lake, NY, where I live now. He was in his 70's I bet when I starting seeing him running around town in a dark green (Forest Green maybe ???) AD style truck. I was just a kid then. His truck squeaked and banged and blew some smoke out of the tail pipe and I loved it! That must have been seed enough for me to want to try and build one. This is my fourth one of this style since about 2006 or so. I am hoping this one will make it one the road.
It is an old, smelly farm truck. It came complete with numerous bullet holes and no glass left. I will leave some of the holes but will patch a lot of them up.
It had a 235 motor. I found a rebuild tag on it. So, it had been rebuilt at one time. If I can't get it up to speed, I may have the local NAPA shop work on it. Then it will go back under the same smelly old truck hood it had been sitting under since it last ran down the road.
I have to mention that this is the first project that I don't feel any stress when I work on it. I actually enjoy working on it. .I did fiddle with four Willys Jeeps before this Chevy truck -- never seemed to enjoy all that kind of work.
I got some brand new Copper all weather 15" tires mounted on 1966 Chevy truck wheels. The tires were about $100 each and the wheels were $100.00 for the set. The truck came with dual wheels in the back and big (I think 20") split rim wheels on the front end.
I needed to install rear end brakes from a 1985 K5 Blazer (that I got for free), and mounted rear shocks, too. Picked those up from Rock Auto. It was less than $250 for the two new drums and all the fixens that make the back brakes work. I wanted disc brakes on it, and keep it 6 lug on both ends.
I had to figure out how to make the 1985 K5 Chevy Blazer parking brakes to work with the existing 1952/53 Chevy braking system -- you can see the pictures on the Photobucket album.
I had taken the original e-brake mounting brackets off the frame when I removed the old rear end. I kinda thought, "Hey, maybe I can use these over again" -- and I did when I did this conversion. I have not mounted them up tight yet. I am thinking tomorrow night for the final fitting, a little bit more cutting and fitting and some welding too.
I learn so much from all you guys. Every time I log on, I learn more. Thanks for all you do on the site!
Mike continues to work on this restoration and has been posting regular updates in the DITY Gallery ... be sure to go back and see how far he is getting on the truck. Lend a "virtual hand" if you can! Be sure to check his pictures, too, as he continues to update those also. Thanks Mike for keeping us all up to date on the doings! Helps everyone this way. ~ Editor
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