06 January 2016
1946 Chevy 1/2-Ton Shortbed
Join the discussion about this truck
From John :
I came on to the Stovebolt site in October 2009 knowing I would need some help with questions I had about restoring this 1946 Chevy 1/2-ton truck.
I drove a '66 C20 LWB with a 292 through college, but sold it a couple years a good while ago when I needed the money (man I miss that truck).
Anyway, I have this truck to restore and it's pretty rough so bear with me. This old truck restoration will definitely not be a fast build. I want to keep myself motivated and having a build thread is a huge step.
This truck was my Grandfather's. It was given to me before I was 15 years old. So far, it has just hopped from one Uncle's garage to another. If I was picking a truck to start a build from, I'd have picked one in better shape, but it's my Grandfather's and it has to be brought back. My Dad remembers driving this truck on a couple dates when he was in high school (he was born in '44, so I guess it was still on the road in the early 60's).
My Grandfather bought this truck sometime in the early '50s and when he couldn't run it on the street anymore, it became the farm truck. It was used hard until it quit and then it was parked. They replaced it with a newer truck and this old one just sat around for a while. It ended up at the Pontiac dealership where my Grandfather worked for 34 years, and was used as a parts truck. So you can imagine the shape she's in now.
Actually, the cab isn't bad at all. Good floors, good door skins, the corners were fiber-glassed so I gotta blast them clean and get patch panels.
My Uncle started restoring it in the 70's or 80's. The bed was beyond repair so he scrapped it. He rebuilt the 216 but parked it with water in it. The engine cracked over the winter and after that, he lost interest. He parked it in the barn for a while and never went back to it. About 2001-2, he gave it to me.
Since I didn't have anywhere to work on it, I just collected parts for more than 10 years. The front fenders were shot, but I scrounged up some really clean steel replacements.
I thought when I bought a house seven years ago, I'd have room to work on it finally. But it wasn't until this year, when I built a bigger shop, that I have finally gotten the truck into a building I own, with my tools in there, too.
The 216 in the truck is shot (and it IS a 216) so I got a 235 from a '54 Powerglide car; short water pump, full pressure, hydro lifters. I've also got some motor goodies like an Edmunds 2x2 with Stromberg 97's, custom 235 valve/side cover, Fentons, and a T5 adapter plate.
For the truck, I've got a '59 front axle to rob of it's better Bendix brakes, a '59 rear axle also for the Bendix brakes and the open center section, and a cool vintage flatbed for the missing bed.
The cab is fairly solid, but there's some rot at the windshield hinges. The brakes are stuck along with most everything that should move (but the windows in the doors roll up and down!).
My Uncle said he thought he patched the cab with some fiberglass somewhere, but I can't find it with a magnet so it's either really small or he's mis-remembering the truck's history.
I want the truck to be clean, usable, and fairly period-correct (although I'll lose a couple points for the T5 if anyone actually crawls underneath). I know the flatbed will also be pretty tough to pull off "right" but I'm gonna go for it.
I said the project would be slow. Well, besides working with what I have to work with, we had our first child in November. So that makes shop time a little scarce for a while.
Nonetheless I have made a little progress. It's good to be here, and have appreciated the help with my constant questions.
I should add that there's also a '49 Chevy 5-window 2-ton on the farm still that my brother has laid restoration claims to. We've got the Stovebolt bug over here.
Home | FAQ | Forum | Swap Meet | Gallery | Tech Tips | Links | Events | Features | Search | Hoo-ya Shop