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See more 1947-1955 Trucks

The Advance Design Trucks


09 September 2013
# 3025

  Owned by
Scott Feldman
Bolter # 23538
McMinnville, Oregon


1954 Chevy



More pictures of my old truck

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From Scott :

Here's what happens when you glue a 1954 Chevy 3800 to a 1988 Jaguar XJ6 car. You can see all the pictures on the Fotki album.

This project took two years to complete. I had seen others use Jag suspensions on Ford F100 trucks and I thought I'd like to try it on a Chevy AD truck.

This wasn't my first restoration project. I previously had yet another 1954 Chevy 3800 that my Dad and I restored. We did everything but the body work and paint. It was in bad shape when we started. There are some pictures of it in the Photobucket album. I have since sold that truck, so fear not ... it was not the donor truck for this project!

I got another 1954 3800 for the donor truck for the Jagrolet project. I used the engine, cab, and front fenders. The rest of it I sold for parts or scrapped.

I bought the Jag specifically for this project. The Jag was pretty much shot as a car. The exterior was beat up and the interior was completely trashed. The engine did not run.

I got it cheap and pulled the front and rear axle assemblies off and sent the rest to the metal recyclers.

I found a 1954 frame from a posting I put on Craigslist. Someone locally replied with a '54 frame from a 1/2-ton hydramatic-equipped 3100 truck from South Dakota. He was nice enough to deliver it. I stripped the stock axles and grafted on the Jag axles.

I dropped in the 235 from the 3800 that we rebuilt with a 1954 block and 1956 848 head. We adapted a T5 5-speed from an S-10.

I pulled the cab and front dog house from the 3800 and installed on 1/2-ton frame.

I put another ad on Craigslist for the 1954 short bed. Again, someone local was using the bed as a trailer, so I bought it. Finding a '54 1/2-ton bed is difficult since it's essentially a one-year model. I would have liked to have a found a green one, so it would have matched the rest of the truck but beggars can't be choosers, I guess.

The pine bed was new but we kept the old metal strips. I wanted to keep outside original, but we stripped inside and installed peel-n-stick fake dynomat and re-did the seat. Seat frame springs were in great shape, so I bought a re-upholstery kit and did it myself. It was pretty easy to do.

I got a high school kid to clean the inside. We used CLR -- Calcium/Lime/Rust. We mix it 50/50 with water and used a Scotch Brite pad to scrub the paint (or rust!) really good. It really does a good job cleaning up what's left of the paint and in some cases, removes the surface rust to reveal paint or primer underneath.

The interior was rusty, dirty typical of old farm truck. The old 3800 truck was used on a Hazelnut farm in Oregon all of its life, so there were many empty hazelnut shells in every nook and cranny. Probably deposited there by some rodent.

We rattle-can painted the interior using Rustoluem Forest Green.

The old truck is running great and drives nice. I need to install a power steering pump because the Jag rack doesn't like being used manually.

The truck steers, but I'm basically pushing fluid from one side to the other when I turn.

It's got disc brakes all around and I'm thinking about upgrading to a power booster. I also want to lower the rear about 2" by raising the top of the shock towers. I was surprised there is enough room to do that with the floor in place in its original position, but I measured and I've got 2" to play with. I might splurge for airride shocks in the rear so I can drop it really low if I want to.

No plans to paint truck. I like the old look and it cleaned up nicely.

I've been driving it around town and in the county and am getting lots of thumbs up or waves. Even though I'm still running with the Jag wheels, I have to point out to people that there is something unusual going on with the suspension. In the future I'd like to switch to stock-looking wheels, to give it an even more stock appearance.

I'd like to find a '54 bed in the same green to match the rest of the truck. The orange bed is solid, but looks kind of weird. I had to use what I could find. The new thing, and I'll admit I was shooting for it in this build, is the original patina look you only get from 60 years of use (abuse). The trend seems to be to leave the exterior alone, redo the interior, and upgrade the mechanical bits (engine / transmission / suspension / brakes) by using parts from newer vehicles. In my case, using the Jag suspension components and using the 5-speed T5 transmission from a never S-10. I have a really nice driving truck.






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