1956 Chevy 6100 2-Ton Dump Truck
29 December 2006
From Grant :
The Truck that Grant's Building
Ok, I thought I would spend some time to tell you about my '56 Chevy. First off, it’s not your usual hot rod project (although it will be a hot rod). It’s a dump truck. A 1956 Chevrolet 6100 2-ton dump truck. My plans are for it to be a showy, working, hot rod, dump truck.
I found this truck about 50 miles southwest of my home in Roy, Washington. It was advertised in the local auto trader for $1600. So I headed out in a south westerly direction til I came to the town of Elma, Washington, where the truck was currently living.
As I looked over the truck, I found it to be in much better shape than I could have ever dreamed. The truck was covered with green from the trees that leered overhead. It had no battery in it. Overall, it was in great shape.
The guy told me that everything on the truck was functional but naturally, I wanted to see for my self. He had a tractor near by so I convinced him to let me borrow its battery. Wow! It fired right up and purred like a kitten. The box went up and down it drove around the yard fine. I had to have it! I wrote a check and told him I would be back in a week or two.
Not even a week had passed -- I could not wait any longer. So I pulled of the job I was on early (oh, I might add that I drive dump truck), rushed home to drop my pup trailer and hook up to my "tilt top" equipment trailer and headed for Elma. Three hours later, we had the old girl loaded. The now previous owner signed over the title and I was headed home with my prize.
With her at home, the next few weeks of spare time were spent blasting her with the pressure washer. The more I cleaned, the more I found her condition to be, well, unbelievable. To my amazement, this truck has zero rust. Even the battery tray was sound.
I put her up on blocks and pulled the wheels and tires. I sent the wheels out for powder coating and had them shoed with new 10.00 x 22.5 rubber, nice ribbed steers in the front and a heavy lug traction for the rear. I wish that there where aluminum wheels available. Maybe when I win the Lotto, I’ll get Alcola to build me a set with little Chevy emblems instead of ovals like the Peterbuilt wheels.
I striped the interior and ordered all new body seals, a polyvinyl floor mat, glass, power window and door lock kits, and too much other stuff too list, from LMC Truck.
That brings us to where I am at today -- in the mock up stage. The plans are to update the drive train, safety and comfort factor to modern day. Originally the truck had manual steering that at some point in time someone added a Vickers power assist ram to the manual system. This system is not up to my standards, so I am replacing it with a Saginaw power box from an International Scout and changing it to crossover steering.
The stock power comes from a 261 straight six that will give way to a 496ci stroked big block Chevy. An Edelbrock performer rpm pro-flo EFI will help bring the old truck into the 21st century. Of course, this will all have to exhaust through a set of big truck stacks. With the addition of big power, plans for new heat and A/C are also in the works.
The original SM420 transmission will give its space too a Fuller FSO 6406A six speed overdrive. For now I will be keeping the drum brakes all around. However, a complete rebuild and plans for a hydro-boost and modern master cylinder are happening now.
After all this comes together and works how I want it, I’ll take it all apart and start on the paint, body and chrome. I am thinking a peal green somewhat like that color on a mallard ducks neck. A real light, long and thin set of ghost flames would sure be a nice addition to the scheme too.
I have thought about having the front bumper chromed along with the grille works. Although not sure how this would look, the grille surround will most likely have to be painted. Maybe if it where a charcoal gray metallic. Another thought I had for the grille is to have one made that looks like the smaller '56 Chevy truck.
As for mirrors, I am going to have a set of west coast style brackets made that mount to the body and not the door, like Kenworth mirrors. Then add a set of heated motor mirrors to each side.
When finished, this truck will be asked to safely and comfortably pull a 20,000-pound GVW trailer on a daily basis.
As of December 27, 2006, I fabricated a model of the steering arm that will bolt to the right hand spindle via the upper brake backing plate bolts. If I had a Bridgeport mill, I would make the arm myself but I don’t. So I will send the model that I made out of wood, the spindle and bolts to my uncle who will build me the piece I need.
By the first week of January, I striped the front axle to the beam. As soon as funds allow, I will send the hubs out to be measured for new bearings and seals that will change them to oil bath hubs. The spindles will first go with the wood model I made of the steering arm to my uncle. After Uncle Billy has worked his magic, the spindles will go out for new bushings and kingpins to be fit.
It’s not like I don’t have enough to do before spending more money, it’s just hard to get motivated right now. The heater needs to come out for the firewall pad and floor mat instillation. I have old style cab lights that need to mounted to the roof. Oh and my shop is a pig sty. I sure hope to have a better update next week. Here's some of the discussion from the forums on my Big Bolt!!
Bolter # 12065
Grant added a second Bolt to his collection in March 2007 -- a 1964 GMC. He also included a link to his web shots, so there's lots more pictures. Great job! ~~ Editor