| Around the 'Bolt...
Search the 'Bolt - more than 100,000 pages of info. Start here if you're hunting!
More than 38,400 registered
from around the world talking old trucks, some hard core restoration help, tall tales and exciting moments (with videos!).
Gallery More than 3,140 old truck stories with photos from Stovebolters worldwide! More in our DITY Gallery. Year at a Glance - all the Gallery entries from 2015 and from 2014.
Helpful tips on truck restoration, identification, preservation; project stories, Build Blogs and Stovebolt histories.
More than 1,025 useful sites for
information, parts, electrical, fire trucks, services, other sites, tools, insurance, clubs and a "publications library."
Find out who's doing what, where and when! See who else is in your neighborhood with an old truck. Read some great stories and enjoy all the pictures.
FREE Classified ads for trucks, parts, truck citings, eBay / Craigslist, Hauling Board, Stovebolt Spotting Alert, Freebies! and other good stuff.
Nothing new under the sun ... got some good Frequently Asked Questions here, and will probably have more!
Sagas, Feature Stories, The "Roadkill" Commentaries, The old "It
Ran When I Parked It" Photo Contests, Poster Contest, and some stuff we've
done here and there and don't know where else to put it!
'Bolter wear, calendars, bling and other goodies!
About Us, Contacting Us, Stovebolt Supporters,
and other pertinent administrivia.
Return to the home page
AD Chevy Trucks
Over 6,000 pictures
Brad Allen has an awesome collection of Chevrolet factory pictures that he has set up from film strips.
This one is on AD Chevy trucks (1947-1955).
Lots of work on Brad's part ... pure enjoyment for you.
Have you checked the forums?
You have an old truck and an insatiable desire to work on it, drive it, learn more about it. You are not alone. There are others like you ... many others ...
The Parking Lot
- General Truck
- Big Bolts
- Stovebolt Volunteer Fire Department
- Daily Drivers
- Panels & 'Burbs
- 1960-1966 Trucks
- Tons 'o Fun
The Shop Area
- The Engine Shop
- The Electrical Bay
- The Radio Bench
- The HiPo Shop
- Paint & Body Shop
- The Doors
- The Tool Chest
- Making a Stovebolt Bed
The DITY Gallery
The Side Lot / The Swap Meet
The Front Office / IT Shortbus
There is no cure
09 July 2014
# 3074 & #3075
From John :
My interest in Advanced Design Chevy trucks began several years ago when I saw a 1952 Chevy Series 3800 truck at a local job site -- only I didn’t really know what kind of truck it was other than being a Chevy. The simple “old fashioned” design and original paint really caught my attention along with the fact that the truck was a working truck with regular Wisconsin license plates. (A working truck -- my favorite! ~ Editor)
A few months later, I saw the truck again and decided to take pictures of this “survivor” that looked pristine with a beautiful patina.
The third time I came across the truck, I left a message in the door pillar notifying the owner that I wanted to talk to him about his truck. By this time, I was thinking how wonderful it would be to own an old truck like this.
I started looking online for old trucks for sale, something I could do for hours on end without getting tired. I never did hear back from the Series 3800 owner but just looking for trucks was gratifying enough since I didn’t have the determination to buy one at this point. Perhaps the issue was that I wasn’t able to find a truck like the Series 3800 that originally caught my eye.
Over the months, I’d share my search results with those who might care. One friend who is into cars admonished me strongly not to purchase an un-restored truck because it would most likely be a nightmare, would take forever, and would end up costing more than purchasing one that was already restored.
With this advice in mind, I came across a 1950 green half-ton truck in Oklahoma that seemed perfect. It was an older restoration, looked great, and was my preferred Forester Green color. I was stoked at the prospect of actually purchasing this truck but now faced the practical, hereto un-thought of issues, like getting a mechanic, an appraisal, and a way of shipping it back to Wisconsin.
I spoke with the owner and I thought we came to a fair price provided I could ship it for a reasonable price. As I was working through these details, I came across a 1952 1/2-ton that was for sale locally in Wisconsin. It was an older restoration as well but looked very clean and I could simply drive it home. After a visit to see this other truck, a couple of hours with an appraiser, I drove it home 40 miles in mid-December of 2012.
Through the winter months, I was able to do some things to improve the aesthetics of the '52 more to my liking. For example, I cut down and redid the bed rail fence, added signs for an old family business, redid the door panels, added turn signals and safety belts, re-aligned the doors, repainted the wheels and added trim rings.
During the summer months, it was fun to drive but I ran into some issues with the gas and temperature gauges not working properly. These eventually got fixed but simply going out for joy rides became old and I didn’t feel that I could actually use the truck without the worry of damaging or devaluing it.
I still had the itch and continued to lose myself online looking at trucks for sale. I eventually learned the difference between the 1/2-tons (3100), the 3/4-tons (3600), and the 1-tons (3800) and realized why I liked the original Series 3800 I had seen a couple of years earlier versus the 1952 Series 3100 that I now possessed. The 3800 had the 9-foot bed and 17” wheels that gave it a much higher stance and longer profile. Besides, it was a working truck that could be used without worry of scratches and the elements.
My searching now shifted to Series 3800 1-ton trucks.
Because I had a 1952 Chevy Series 3100 truck, I met and got to know a guy who runs a restoration shop about 10 miles from my house. Every time I’d visit his shop, I’d have to tour the shop updating myself on the progress of his various projects.
The owner had the reputation of being good at what he did, honest as the day is long, and had storage facilities around his shop. While I hated spending money when I visited his shop with the 1952 Series 3100, I loved spending time in his shop updating myself with the various projects.
There was something unexplainable about watching old vehicles become transformed and brought back to life. I loved the way I felt when I was there and I loved the details and longed to do some of the work.
Well, I started helping out at his shop last year. Getting a taste for restoration and what could be done, only fueled my desire to find a “survivor” Series 3800. My garage was filled at home which presented a problem should I actually find and purchase one.
As fate would have it, I found a few trucks online in North Dakota that caught my eye. One in particular, a yard truck, was of primary interest. It was a 1949 that was in pretty good shape for what I could see beyond its tow bar, naked wheels and back end, and its bashed in rear fenders.
After a brief conversation with the yard owner, I made an 850 mile road trip to Minot, North Dakota, spent six hours looking at his various 1-ton trucks, had lunch with him, and then drove 850 miles back home to Wisconsin – all within 50 hours. Within a week, we had a verbal deal where the owner would remove the front tow bar from his green yard truck, throw in a rear bumper, and include another 216 engine and two replacement rear fenders in the bed when it shipped.
The truck that was produced in Janesville, Wisconsin in April of 1949 returned to Wisconsin in October of 2014 when it arrived from the previous owner. I’m not one who had proven mechanical skills, nor was I a gearhead by any stretch. I was simply a guy who had a passion for Chevy Advanced Design trucks and connections to a restoration shop. The shop owner was supportive and afforded me storage, access to tools, and possessed vast knowledge and experience. In true Montessori fashion, he had me learn by doing the work, drawing from his wealth of knowledge and experience.
Since October 2013, I’ve been able to do the following to 1949 Chevy Series 3800 truck as time permitted:
- install a new water pump, fuel pump, belt, water/heater hoses, vacuum hose
- cleaned the oil bath and air filter
- cleaned the oil filter canister and replaced the oil filter
- changed engine oil
- filled differential with oil
- added transmission oil
- flushed and cleaned radiator and added new coolant
- greased entire chassis
- installed resurfaced brake shoes, new wheel cylinders and new brake hoses
- installed a new master cylinder
- adjusted emergency brake cables
- installed a new glove box
- installed a new tail light and brake light switch
- installed new front-end king-pins
- re-packed the hubs and front wheel bearings
- reconditioned, painted and installed a used front splash apron and license plate bracket
- removed excess rear steel so I can install a standard tailgate
- stripped, repair-welded, and prepped two rear replacement fenders
- installed a new throttle cable
- repaired / replaced front light rings and seals
- replaced driver’s side rear-view mirror
- shined up the cab stainless steel components
- installed license and tail light brackets
- installed and wired a second brake light
- installed new wiper blades (the vacuum motor works!)
- installed new speedometer and speedometer cable
- replaced the Pittman Shaft seal and lubed the steering gear box with corn head lubricant per the Stovebolt Forum suggestion
- replaced spark plugs / wires, distributor cap, rotor, coil, points, condenser and new coil-distributor wire.
With these items done, the truck made its first real trip from the shop, an 18-mile run to a neighboring village, to get a new exhaust system that included a reverse-flow muffler that was standard on the 1949 Chevy trucks.
This is where my ’49 Series 3800 stands as of April 2014. With the primary mechanicals in good shape, my efforts now turn to safety.
I’ve installed a new cab rear-view mirror and soon will install safety belts and turn signals. From there, I want to paint and install my rear replacement fenders and tail gate to match the truck’s old patina.
Lastly, I’ll then move to door and cab weather stripping, new window seals, and then the cab’s aesthetics that will include new door panels, re-upholstered seat, new headliner, floor patches and new floor mat.
My truck will not be a trailer queen but a working truck that looks its age. At the same time, I’m sure it will continue to draw looks of its own.
This project has taught me patience, perseverance, how to deal with frustration, but it has also provided me with much joy, pride, and an on-going sense of accomplishment. Stay tuned…
What an absolutely great story. What inspiration for folks who've "never done any of this before." Well ... what a great way to learn -- volunteering to help at a shop. Good way to learn some things the right way. Be sure to continue to follow John's updates on the truck in his thread in the DITY Gallery! ~ Editor