Parts and Parts
1949 Chevy 3600
This whole restoration story started in late August 2013. (You'll need to see the Project Journal page for all those details -- this is an update for the Gallery. ~ Editor )
In mid-October, my brother Craig and his neighbor Dan Price reduced shelves in the garage and organized space. That enabled him to work on it over the winter in his heated garage. Craig sent me some pictures as they pushed the old truck into the garage. I doubt this truck ever was in a heated garage in its life and once the finishing touches are applied, out it will go again into the elements
It has been a joy and honor to see how many folks have been interested in this old truck! It is quite a testimony to Craig for all the hard work he has done to get this truck complete enough to turn it over to me!
We had requests from an assortment of media to run the truck restoration story and showcase some fun pictures: Barnfinds, The Filling Station, Haggerty Insurance, the Chicago Tribute, WTAE TV, the Pittsburgh Tribune, Gearhead Geek, Minot Daily News (ND), The Homer Horizon and the Cranberry Eagle (Craig's hometown newspapers).
We also heard from Patricks in Arizona, congratulating Craig and me on our efforts to listen to their advice ( ) and properly restore this truck correctly. We were invited to tour their shop if we were ever in their area. I assure you I will go out of my way if I am close to them.
All this was very cool and quite an honor.
We are really looking to help others who take up such a challenge. This is a great way to pay back the hobby. The hobby IS a money pit, a back breaker, a stress inducer and much more. But, the satisfaction the project provides outweighs all of these obstacles. As we moved forward into the new year, we got such a kick with our progress and especially longing for the day to drive the truck and tell the story to others.
Craig and I obviously were in regular contact as the project moved ahead. Options began to open up. My job from afar was to search web sites, data bases and investigate any source I could to help find a part, see what others have done, or find a picture or two in order to forward on to him reliable information. I spent hours over the months looking and searching. In most cases, it was fun and educational but at times frustrating and fruitless. My humble advice to anyone who is going to do any project like this is: to be patient, have more money that you think you will need, listen to others, be ready to switch on a dime, prepare your body and mind for a huge roller coaster of events, and never, ever, give up.
On to some work.
The engine in the truck was a 235 from a 1954 Chevy and it was locked up tight. When Craig and I tore it down Labor Day weekend last year, we knew we had a big problem. He looked at me with those big eyes as to ask what step would I take next. Used engine?
I decided on the spot to get the block professionally machined and all new parts. All internals are new. I kept the head and had the crank re-ground. Got new cam, lifters, valves, guides, push rods, etc., new carb, new fuel pump, all new fuel lines, new gas tank etc. ( See the list to the left for the explanation of "etc." -- actually all the stuff I got for this project. )
Craig got back to work.
It wasn't too long after we did this initial story here on Stovebolt, Craig called me in the afternoon ... a day we all waited for. The engine started! He put all the ignition parts in and tightened everything in place to see if the engine would fire, At that time, there was no exhaust system and the valves had not been adjusted properly. He said he ran some fuel to the carb and "hot wired" the ignition and when it cranked the engine fired right away!
He ran the motor for a very short time and shut it down. Later his neighbor Dan came over (it's so fun to share!) and they fired it again so Dan could hear it run as well. I was thrilled beyond words but also a bit blue since I could not be there to hear it run and to hug my brother for all his hard work.
We new there was much more work ahead but this was the highlight of the entire project. Waking this truck up from its 33 year sleep and getting it ready for its next life was so exciting. The light at the end of the tunnel had gotten brighter that day and Craig's exhausting hard work had paid dividends. He was low key but I imagine when the engine roared to life, he knew in his gut he once again proved why he is a winner.
By the end of October, for the first time ever, I dreamt that I drove the truck. It was very slow and hard to drive and somewhat noisy. The top of the gear shift knob kept unscrewing itself from all the vibration. Yet, I recall the dream as a pleasant one .... but short. I wondered how it would really be? I had a feeling it would be like riding a bike for the first time. Excited, yet very afraid. Time would tell.
Needless to say, during the so very cold winter we all had, Craig worked on the truck. Some major stuff and plenty of plain old gruntwork (see the parts list on the left?). To name a so-very-few: exhaust pipes, radiator, manifold, generator re-build, starter pedal bellows, re-wiring, gauges and seals for dash, tailgate, wiper motor, horn installed, wiring speedometer and re-setting, brake lines, master brake cylinder, manual engine hand crank (that was fun to get), headliner, heater switch, cables for choke and throttle. And that was just up through February. Spring was suppose to be at the door ... NOT!
I had been collecting period-correct old tools and I purchased a repo old tool kit for the truck. Had all I needed to complete the picture.
It's been almost a year since this project was started and now you know it's running and it'll just gonna get better!
You know how it goes ... every time you think you’re getting close, you find more to do. But that's great!
We've gotten a lot of comments on the patina. Craig said we should be able to maintain the rustic appearance, using Clorox and Scotch-Brite pads, topped by a clear coat.
If you want to see all the details as they continue to unfold, please check the thread in the forums ... or my Facebook page. We are happy to share as we know it may help and inspire others to keep the old iron hot!
Craig and Mark
Well, the BIG DAY arrived. Check out his video as The Beast rolls out the drive and down the road! That is a beautiful site for those who have put in a lot of energy. ~ Editor
06 October 2013
From Mark :
I hoped for a long time that I might stumble on an old "barn find" someday -- thinking it might be a Corvette or something like that. I already had a Corvette and a souped-up Mustang at home. Well, surprise, surprise! THIS is my "barn find" -- an old Advance Design TRUCK! It's great!
( Mark has a nice story about the truck on barnfinds.com -- with embedded photos. ~ Editor )
As a boy, my friend's Dad had a 1950 Chevy that he painted with a paint brush. It was orange -- the only color he had. The memory of riding around in that old truck is locked in. I love the 1949-1953 era styling. A guy at work has a 1941 but I really like the big fenders, big hood, big truck!
My brother and I are gear heads from way back and we've owned an assortment of cars, trucks and motorcycles. I always had an affection for old trucks so I decided to go on a hunt.
I Googled "Old Chevy trucks," and found this 1949 Chevy 3600 in North Dakota. It had been left in the barn since 1980.
I made arrangements to ship the truck to my Bother in Chicago. He had no idea it was coming. I told him I was having it sent to him so he could get it running. He is a former Master Mechanic and he volunteered to lead the restoration with my older brother and three nephews helping. Except for the nephews, everyone is older than me! Even though we live 500 miles from them, we are a tight family. They all jumped right at it to get this old truck on the road.
After the truck arrived in Chicago, my Brother called a few days later and said it was a "Beast" (that's how it got its name). He finally told me I needed to get up there and help tear it apart. I pulled the engine and my Brother did all the heavy lifting. He really likes this kind of stuff, too.
The engine is being re-built. The clutch is in. Brakes are done and safe.
One thing leads to another with fixing the truck. We have to do some wiring and other things to make it safe for every day driving. I'm not going to add turn signals since this truck didn't have them. We have the original steering wheel.
Mice ate the seat and my nephew re-did it. We have to replace the window regulator.
I had to go to radial tires which I didn't want to do. I decided to get rid of the split rims -- that seemed important. I did add seat belts.
We recently took the dash out. We want to be sure all the gauges work correctly.
We took the heater box out and we found nests from mice. We took the core to a radiator shop and it was good. We will have the radiator re-done but not repaint it.
The truck has the typical cab rust in the corners and I'm not patching them. It did not have a tailgate and I just got one from New York. They had a '49 tailgate just like mine and the seller threw in the two rusty chains that goes with it. Yea!
Naturally, I talk to my Brother over the phone a lot about the truck. We had hoped to have it ready enough by the end of summer to bring it to Pennsylvania. I can finish it off with the minor items. The end of summer obviously has gone. But I'm not too disappointed since where The Beast is now, is a heated garage! We are hoping to have it road-worthy by the first of the year.
I have been documenting this journey and hope maybe to write a book about it. I have hundreds more pictures! I have kept track of every part I purchased. I have kept a diary since day one. Not only do you find yourself spending a lot of money (when you look at the notes!) but some of this can get you down. It seems the internet is full of trucks that people have given up on their restoration. It is sad for those guys but a blessing for others.
I've owned a lot of cars and truck and motorcycles. I have an old gas pump (and I collect old telephones). This is our first big project -- an entire project. For me, old trucks represent a simple way of life. It is associated with a farm or hard work for a decent wage. A real guy understands the truck and what it means to have one.
I intend to leave it original looking, but add safety features as necessary. The patina of the truck will stay the same. I will sand and clear coat it, but no other change to its original look. I go to a show every week and there are a lot of shiny vehicles, lots of chrome. I just don't want that for my truck. I want someone to walk up to the truck and have it remind them of their Dad or Grandpa's old truck.
I have the 1980 North Dakota license plate that I will use on the front of the truck. I have a 1949 Pennsylvania plate for the back to make it legal in this state. I have a friend who is in the sign business and I'm going to have one painted saying, "Obviously, I ran out of money." (Ha, that's easy to do in this hobby! ~ Editor)
I work for a diesel engine company and many of the guys there have old trucks they are restoring. Every one of these guys said, "Just go over to Stovebolt -- that's the place to get your answers." Even a guy I met from Warren, Ohio said to go to Stovebolt for anything you need. He's done two cab overs and he said Stovebolt is the place to go.
Working on this truck has been awesome - bringing people together. Everyone who has a part in the truck has signed it under the hood with a permanent marker. Some neighbors are keeping an eye on the truck. Folks have lent us tools. The Nephew who did the seat had never done anything like that in his life. The other nephew did the fuel tank - again he never had done anything like this. None of them are mechanically inclined. They are in their late 20's and early 30's but want to help and understand the family dynamic. My older Brother doesn't know mechanics but he wanted to help. If it wasn't for all the help, this old barn find, would still be sitting in North Dakota.
My Mother is 91 and she's in great shape. I am looking forward to taking her out in this old truck.
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