Rick Brown's

1952 Chevy 2-Ton

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22 January 2007
# 1787

From Rick :

           Hi there. I was new to all this back in November 2006. I really didn't know much about these older trucks, but was willing to learn. I had picked up a 1952 2-ton Chevy for $1,000 that was in fair shape, I guess. It needed a lot of work, but that's why I got it. I love to restore old cars and boats, but this was a first for a large truck.

           A little background on it. It belonged to a casual neighbor of mine who lives down the road. He used it up until about three years ago and then it just sat. Well, myself and a few others, including the owner, got her running. It ran very well.

           The problems were these. It had a dump bed on it that we couldn't get to go up. When we engaged the PTO, you could hear it trying to go but just wouldn't. So we manually raised the bed up and checked the fluid and it was full. Check with the guys in the Big Bolts forum and as they advised, I found the sweet spot and up she went. Filled it up with fluid and it's workin' like a champ

           The driver's side door latch would not hold the door shut. (Not good when going down the road.) It looked as though the piece that hooked into the plate in the door would not hold. It was just kinda hanging there and wouldn't "snap" up and lock in. I noticed that you can buy the entire latch or just the springs for the latch. I'm guessing that a spring cut loose in there and that's why it wouldn't latch tight. They also make some kind of repair spring that I saw, but didn't know anything about where it would go. So I ended up buying an entire latch mechanism ... and it worked great!

           The one other thing in the beginning was that the truck really vibrated above 15-20 MPH. It seemed more than a balance problem to me. There was a lot of shaking going on at such a low speed. I was wondering if the tires could have flat spots in them from sitting so long. I thought about taking it to have the tires balanced to see if that would help. It ended up that the tires smoothed out after being driven for a bit and the vibration was gone. I eventually replaced the tires with 8.5 x 20's, as they had a good bit of weathering going on!

           I wanted to get some paint on her soon, but I needed to locate someplace warm to work on it. That was gonna be a real trick. The weather made it touch and go. So, check out my "paint booth." Hey, it worked ... and she's got a fresh coat of black.

           More? The heater wasn't working, but I was able to fix that. Everything else was just minor stuff. It was a good project and I was able to iron out some of those bigger problems and got going on it. I ran new electric to the back, so all of the lights work without blowing fuses. I repainted the interior and put new leather on the door panels.

           I'm about an hour away from the nearest town that has anything I need (paint, parts, etc.), so I have to plan ahead on what I'm going to accomplish. Unfortunately, I wasn't thinking about the cream color paint for the grille when I got the black ... so that was an extra trip.

           I did most of the maintenance that I felt necessary for a truck that's been sitting for a while. I want to really wanted to get the mechanics of it in shape and then work on the cosmetics afterwards. Early on, I ordered the Manual for it.

           Once I got that done, I was able to use the truck to haul wood and hay. This was a big priority for us. Delivery out here was killing us. When I would take her into town, I was swarmed by people wanting rides and to drive her. The old owner was there and I think he now wished he had kept her. But he was still happy to see her running and on the road again.

           I'm real happy to be at this point without any major issues with the truck. Everything works and that's all I can ask for right now. Hopefully I can gradually do more work and make her even better. I'm not really concerned about perfection, as it will be used as a work truck again. I want it to look nice and run good, though.

           I like the black color and am happy I did it now. Can't wait for warmer weather so I can do more. The wife made me take down the makeshift paint booth/shelter, so I have to wait until I can work outside to do more. Just a few inches narrower and I could have gotten her in the barn. I should have planned ahead when I built it, but who knew I would be getting such a large old truck.The horses probably wouldn't like it anyway.

           I appreciate the advice here and love reading through the old posts. Lots of good help to be had. Thanks for looking and I hope I can help someone else in the future. It does kinda warm the heart to have others so interested in your project and wanting rides and such. Who could resist a neat old truck anyway?? [Wink] I'm happy to have the interest. It provides more incentive to do more.

           Just did a little holiday decorating for the trips to town....

           Great forum here! Once again, thanks for the advise and encouragement....

Rick Brown
Bolter # 12515
Lake City, Colorado

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