Terry Hartman's

1954 Chevrolet 3100

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10 May 2005

From Terry: 

      I have attached a few more pictures of my '54 3100 to update my gallery page. Hope you like my latest pics. Your site is my favorite and I try to contribute.

      The shinny silver gearbox is a T-5, Borg Warner, 5-speed transmission with overdrive. The origianl 11 inch clutch pressure plate was used but a new 11 inch clutch disc from an Astro van was used to mate with the metric input shaft of the 5-speed transmission. The Astro van shifter is the best shifter to use as it has the shortiest throw with an extended shifter shaft to give that stock look and feel.

      The original 235 ci engine has been rebuilt as a retro '50's hotrod six cylinder. The block is bored 1/8th inch with oversize pistons and deck height lowered by 0.040 inch. The cylinder head is an early '60's high compression unit with casting number 848. The head received a total rebuild with hardened valve seats, new valves and springs. The head was milled an additional 0.025 and the combustion chambers made a final size of 76 cubic centimeters. The exhaust manifold is an "original" '54 Corvette dual cast iron split exhaust. The intake is an Offenhauser fitted with dual Carter-Weber progressive 2-barrel carbs.

      The ignition system is a Chevy HEI / remote coil style, from a V-6 which I recut the length to work with the 235. The cranking cylinder pressure on the engine is now 170 psi verses the 105 psi stock. This engine coupled to the T-5 Borg Warner 5-speed transmission makes a great driveable package while improving mileage to about 18 miles per gallon.

      To add a little shine "bling," we dressed up with Offenhauser polished valve and side covers as well as a cool dual element oval air cleaner and oil filter top.

      This winter Joe and I added the Secret Audio sound system. The whole system fits under the seat as well as a 300 MTX amplifier and a custom built 8-inch subwoofer. Go figure -- I would rather have put in a wilder cam but Joe talked me into the wilder sound system.

      We have the second '54 in the work shop but is still not torn down as we continue to have different ideas of what we want to do. Joe's sister Jill has given up on helping us as we always have greasy hands / fingernails and she would rather not ruin her nails -- if you know what I mean. Guess its a girl thing?

      Here are lots more pictures to check out.

      Keep up the good work.

Thank you,

Terry Hartman,
Northwood, Ohio

01 June  2003  

From Terry


      I started restoration on this 1954 1/2-ton about four years ago.  Before that time, I had restored eight John Deere antique tractors.  This was my first attempt at a truck.  In hindsight, the truck that I started with was really too far gone for such a restoration.

      My Chevy still has its original 235 which I rebuilt to perfection.  The modifications that I have made have all been aimed at allowing me to enjoy driving the truck, yet keeping it very original.  I installed a T-5 / 5 speed Camaro unit with a S-10 tailshaft transmission, seat belts, '58 rear-end with open drive line and 3.90 gear.  The truck still has original straight axle but I have installed mono leaf springs to bring the center of gravity down.  The truck has parts on it from 14 states as the only original parts I ended up salvaging was the engine, rolling frame, and cab.  Virtually everything else was replaced with new or better parts from many swap meets. 

      Over 15 coats of primer blocked down to give a great smooth body.  The final touch was to apply a base coat / clear coat finish from PPG Industries. The paint color we chose was Chevy 2001 Victory Red.  I painted this truck totally in pieces and reassembled it.  My teenage son, Joe helped me with the project.  Many nights and weekends we would just sit in that cab blocked up in the air saying how great it will be when it's finished. 

      I have recently purchased my second '54 from South Dakota.  Guess I need to see if Joe's little sister is about ready to learn the facts of Stovebolt therapy.  I have attached finished picture. I also have about 300 more of the step by step process.  

      Thank you for a great web site. It has guided us all the way.

Terry and Joe
Northwood, Ohio  

      Terry (and Joe) - You have a truck you can be proud of!  Feel free to send in a few pictures of the project when you get a chance! ~~ Curator

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