14 September 2014
1949 GMC 3/4-Ton Longbed
From Greg :
As of this month, I have had this old truck for four years. A buddy of mine from first grade bought it over 10 years ago and it sat in his garage for most of that time. He was going to restore it, and he got some stuff done, but life got in the way and he really couldn't seem to get back to it.
I asked if he would like to sell his truck and he gave me a price that I could not refuse. A week later, I was bringing the truck home -- most of it in boxes! He had the chassis, cab and engine in the garage. The rest of the truck was in boxes in his basement. His wife was very nice to help us get all those boxes up from the basement and O U T!
The chassis was completely bare. We bolted on the running gear just to get it on the trailer so that we could get it home. My wife was a little apprehensive when I brought the "truck" and all these boxes home. She was concerned that it would sit there in pieces.
The truck is all stock. It has not been modified in any way other than the 12 volt wiring and using late model rims with radial tires. The truck came with the original 2-piece rims and bias ply tires but I opted not to use them.
As I went through some of the boxes, I saw the previous owner had a lot of new parts that he bought and never got a chance to put on. I still had to purchase new wiring, brakes lines, extension parts.
This is the first truck I had ever done. I have done cars before. I did all the work myself, with hand tools -- I have no power tools. A did have a machine shop do the brake drums.
I had to figure out how some of the stuff went back together. I probably spent more time researching than I did wrenching. I spent hours researching on the Stovebolt site.
As I said in the beginning, the PO and I have been friends forever. He didn't come over to check on my progress of the truck but when I had questions about some of the things, he was good about coming over and showing me what the different boxes of thing were.
I replaced the fuel tank. The PO had bought it and I just had to install it.
Installing the new wiring harness was the most intimidating part of the whole truck re-creation. I had never re-wired anything. I was very nervous when I hooked it up to the battery. Fortunately, there was no smoke or anything and apparently, I did it right.
The truck came with the original running 228 engine but it needed re-building so I used the freshly re-built 270 engine that also came with the truck. I didn't do much else to the engine but get new plug wires and plugs and she was good. February 2011 was the time time to turn the key to fire it up. It started right up.
On the interior, the seat was re-upholstered. Most of the gauges didn't work and I had them re-built. I replaced the headliner. I had help with that. I had very little trimming to do. I heard enough horror stories about installing the headliner but it went pretty well.
So, mechanically it's all been re-done.
The truck came from a Southwest Kansas farm. It probably had four or five owners before I got it. No real rust problems. It had all the good dents and dings that a farm truck has. I didn't, and won't do, any body work. The paint is faded but I don't intend to re-paint it. I like the rustic, farm-life look it has.
The original owner did a thick undercoating on the truck. It was so thick I could not get it off. That undercoating is what preserved the truck. It has no rust in the cab corners or floorboards. The only rust is on the kick panels and it is very minimal. Plus, being on a farm, it was not out in the salted roads.
We took the truck to a place south of us and parked it near some Christmas trees and used it for the background of our Christmas card.
I drove the truck that April for a mile shake down cruise. It ran good but the wheel cylinders were leaking, fuel pump leaking. It just needed some tweaking.
This year, I took it to a car show that was 150 miles each way.
It is done so it is just usual maintenance. There is nothing else I want to do but drive it.
Wife is happy. She rides along some and will come to the car shows.
When I came to the Kansas City All Truck Nationals in 2012, the truck took first place in the stock class. In 2013, it took second place. I took it to a local car show yesterday (September 13) and the truck got the Fire Chief's Pick award.
Because of my geographic location, I am fortunate enough to be able to drive to three of the major suppliers for truck parts which made building it a whole lot easier.
Home | FAQ | Forum | Swap Meet | Gallery | Tech Tips | Links | Events | Features | Search | Hoo-ya Shop