1946 1.5-Ton Chevrolet Stake Bed
From Eric :
I already have a 1939 Chevy 1/2-ton pickup truck that I picked up in April 2012. I want to keep that Art Deco truck as original as possible. It's "Fresh out of the Garden" you could say.
I wanted another truck that I could modify a little bit, still keep the original looks -- just make it more of a highway and big city stop and go driver.
So I started my search. I found quite few trucks that were missing a few parts and needed a lot of work. I saw the this one for sale in Loveland, Colorado back in September 2012. It was a very clean truck with no rust and only a few minor dents -- and all the pieces were there! But, what was I going to do with a ton and a half ton truck with a 9 foot stake bed on it ???
So I kept looking. I looked at a lot of pictures here in the Stovebolt Gallery and a few on the web. The more I looked at pictures, the more this old truck grew on me.
On December 15th, I went to look at it again and decided to bring it home with me. In the picture above, we stopped and parked in front of the Denver Bronco's Stadium on the way home -- to do some Xmas shopping.
We got home, drove the truck off the trailer and backed it into the yard. The next day, my wife and two kids covered the old truck with Christmas lights.
My plans are to leave the rebuilt 235 engine with the 4 speed transmission. I'll swap out the front straight axle with one from a 1941–1946 3/4-ton and replace that 1 1/2-ton rear axle with a 1970s – 1990s dually axle into the back. This will give me highway gears and lots of choices for 8 lug wheels.
The wheels on the truck now are 20" with 7.00 - 20 tires on them. The axles that I can get do not have any wheels on them, so I'd be looking for some. I have checked the local junk yards and the are some 8 lug wheels off of late model dually's out there, just not sure what size to go with yet. I was told to stay away from 16.5" wheels due to tire selection. It will be a few months before I get to this swap, but when I get into the rear axle, I'll be back in the forum with my ring and pinion questions.
I'm thinking about cutting down the stake bed sides so they are just below the back window, similar to a steel sided pickup bed. Not sure if I’ll shorten the wheelbase down from the stock 134 1/2” or not.
I have to wait until after the holidays to do any work anyway. My six year old boy is my biggest helper as far as not getting things done -- he's my wrench stealer.
My wife is quite a sport in all this. I was into older cars before this. These two Stovebolts are my first truck projects.
This truck was so cheap and in such good shape. I have a lot of options as to how to proceed. I'd like to be able to use it as a hauler, making trips to the hardware and lumber stores ... a junk yard here or there! We hope to go back to Minnesota some day and you can't find these old vehicles in good shape back there.
Before too much joy riding, I need to do something with the brakes. And figure out all the issues with the split rims and tires. I'll leave it as it is for now. I have to work on the car anyway. I am doing a complete frame off restoration on a 1940 Chevy Sedan, in honor of my Dad who passed away six years ago from cancer. He was born in 1940. I was hoping to find a 1940 Chevy truck to go with the Sedan but the 1939 Chevy 1/2-ton is close enough -- and it is in such perfect and original condition, I couldn't pass it up. If a 1940 truck shows up, and is worth it, I'll probably snag it and update it for modern driving, similar to what I intend to do with the 1946 Chevy.
Thanks and Happy New Year!
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