15 October 2012
1946 Chevy 1/2-Ton
From Gary :
In June of 2011, I was already 27 months into this truck and just getting around to posting about it in the DITY Gallery! I went from New Guy to Wrench Fetcher in a hurry.
I was consumed with having this truck road worthy by August. If you asked my wife, I was obsessed. Yes, it meant late nights, cold or no dinner, which I'm sure others have experienced.
Anyway, this was my first build and I enjoyed everything about it. I have had a lot of experience with mechanical and electrical work. As a kid, like most, I had '55 Chevies, Cameros, and the like. All that came and went. So, I still had a little bit of that "hot rod" in my from when I was younger.
I saw these old trucks on the road and I really got an itch for one as my restoration project. I told my wife I'd like to have an old truck to mess with. The little lady said if that's what you want, get it.
So my search began. I did not want to buy a completed truck but one that I could make my own. I fell for the 1946 after being a day late on a 1941. I have to admit, the front end just grabbed me if you know what I mean.
Much to the Mrs.'s surprise, I came home with a basket case on a 1953 frame and a lot of loose parts. (She asked, "What's all that?!") I located a complete stock frame in our only salvage yard in town for $100 bucks (what are the odds on that?). I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel though.
I installed the Mustang II kit from TCI, 350, 700R4, 10 bolt rear. Other features include Flaming River tilt column, Hyper Cool heat and air, aluminum radiator, Spal fan, electric exhaust cutouts, Mar-K Oak wood stainless bed with hidden latches and bowtie embossed on tailgate,
I also moved the fuel tank to rear of the frame and fabbed a filler neck to the right rear fender to a pop up lid.
I used the space under the seat to install electric cut off switch, hidden audio and alarm system. I hinged the seat (third row Chrysler minivan) and used struts. I added latch and key lock from a Kia Sportage to provide a hidden lockable storage.
I added plunger switch to door posts for courtesy lamps.
This truck seems to have been ordered with a few options: dual wipers, sunvisor, twin mirrors, bumper guards. It also has the heavy rear springs with helper set.
I had help from a friend who owns a chrome shop with my metal work -- a fascinating art. The grille was in pretty good shape. It is the original grille and bumpers. We just replated them. My friend helped me with the fenders. We put in new metal there.
I had parts at the body shop first and later sent the cab and bed for prep and prime.
I did have it ready to drive by August 2011 and took it to the Frog Follies. I put about 1,000 miles on it, running around in gray primer. Several friends thought I should keep it that "color."
In the fall, I began the tear down for paint. We didn't start the paint process until February. It took several months. The colors are White Diamond Pearl and Orange Crush. The color looks different depending on the lighting.
Got the interior done and made the Frog Follies again in August 2012, with a "finished" truck. (Yea, I know they are never finished! )
She may not be for everyone but she suits me. I've got about 2700 miles on it right now and it's been fun driving it.
I named the truck Elvis because chicks really seem to dig it. I have never seen women go over a truck so much. Guys like it; sure. But the chicks -- just amazing! I met two teenage girls (with their Dad) while in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. They are re-building a 41-46 and will write their senior paper on it. Suggested they might want to meet up in the Stovebolt Virtual Garage.
Obsessed? Maybe. Passionate? Definitely!
Thanks for reading.
Gary did a great job with his write-up and also has a lot of pictures and details of his process that may be of interest to you all. Check his Photobucket -- and keep checking! I think he'll be adding more. ~ Editor.
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