1949 Chevy 3600
From Sam :
This is a picture of me with my near complete 1949 Chevy 3600 pickup truck. This truck [ pix ] belonged to my Cousin who lived in Denver, Colorado. He passed away last fall of a bone disease. When we went out for his funeral, his wife said that I could buy it from her. So when I went out to buy it. she gave it to me and refused any payment.
The truck is all stock, has a 216 with 4 speed and 6 volt electrical system. The engine is a 216 from 1952. According to the serial number on the cab tag, this Advance Design Chevy truck was built in February of 1949. It is a Deluxe 5 window cab with polished stainless trim everywhere. There is no radio (maybe it was removed).
The truck was registered in Colorado Springs for most of its life. I found a drive-in movie theater ticket under the old fuel tank as well as an old registration card from 1959, all showing a previous owner in Colorado Springs, Co. It was sold by that owner to my Cousin seven years ago before he became ill. He parked it and never started any work on it because of the illness. He did drain the fluids (thank goodness).
The previous owner had hit something on the passenger side of the truck and both the passenger side fenders had been replaced with rusty fenders. The door had come from another pre-1952 vehicle. The running board escaped damage and the cab has a horrible dent in the bottom rear passenger door frame.
At the time I got the truck, it was in ok shape. I completely tore it apart and restored / rebuilt all of the mechanical and electrical components. I just put a quickie tractor supply paint job on it and created a wonderful daily driver. I have nicknamed the truck "The 49 -- The Green Monster." This is the first classic vehicle for me.
I did all the work myself except the brakes. They were completed by the family brake and alignment shop.
During the restoration, I picked up the shop manual and the factory assembly manual as well as a reproduction owners manual. I then began tearing everything apart and bagging and tagging everything as I went. I got it down to a frame on jack stands with a stripped cab, the engine on a engine stand and the transmission in a push cart.
The wiring was the original cloth braid and was in a pretty sad state so it got all ripped out. About his time, it was deep into Kansas winter and the unheated barn was an uncomfortable place to work even with a small heater and insulated coveralls. So work ceased until the temps got back in the 50's.
I also was getting very discouraged from not seeing any progress other than teardown. Thatís when I stopped on the truck and worked only on the engine. I completely tour it down and went over it. Everything was in great shape and very clean. So maybe my Cousin had done some work. The babbits were all within spec and very new looking. Everything went back together with plenty of lube and the engine looked great. I did everything on the engine - carb, air cleaner, manifold, new water pump, new thermostat, all new gaskets, fuel pump.
Once that was done, I really got motivated. I sandblasted the frame and used rust treatment, sealer and black chassis paint. Then I went to work on the cab. There was some cancer in the fender / wheel well area where the rock and water spray would be directed from the wheel. I treated all of that as well as the rear cab corners.
By the way, the back three windows all came out with no issue. The windshields and door glass were all cracked or broken, so they were replaced. Then the cab was primed and painted -- Valspar truck and trailer Hunter Green (rattle can for now) after their sandable primer. Then I used Walnut Brown for the interior.
Next I worked on the doors. That weekend work was the most motivating in getting the truck done. It was starting to look like a truck again.
The engine went in next. Then the front fenders (inner / outer) plus radiator support. I put the hood on next to protect the engine. I took the truck to the family brake shop and had the brake lines, master cylinder, 4 wheel cylinders, and brake shoes and springs replaced. The old linings were falling off or were very worn. The truck has Huck style brakes and parts were not to hard to find. I picked it up a week later and got the rest of the fuel system completed and started the engine for the first time. It really purred (also put the original exhaust back on).
The engine would not idle, but would run if I held the accelerator. After tearing the carb down, I found that there was a BB looking piece of metal stuck in the flow passage. It was stuck and there was not much I could do.
So I began looking around for a new carb. I found a Rochester broken apart at an antique mall (it was in the bed of a 2 ton 1952 Chev truck). I asked what they wanted for the parts and they gave them to me.
It was at that time that I found an ad in the freebies section of Stovebolt for a 216 engine just two hours away from home. I spoke with the poster about it and the next week, I picked up what is basically 1 1/2 1946 216 engines, with tons of extra parts. I gave him $150 for it (all I had to give). Many thanks to Jim!
So, in that was a Rochester carb and I put it on the truck. I connected everything up (after blowing it out with carb cleaner and air) and the engine came to life and purred like a kitten. The carb leaked gasoline though so I pulled it and rebuilt it. Still leaks from the butterfly shafts.
I installed the radiator and such. Got the seat in. Put in a new speedo and the original instruments, except the temp gauge. I got a reproduction replacement and new choke and throttle cables, new headlight switch, new heater fan switch.
I cleaned up and re-assembled the fresh air heater and reinstalled. Then got the transmission in it. I picked up some 7.00 X 15 split rims with the correct 8 holes for the truck. I put new tires on the rims and mounted them on the truck.
I had some quotes out for other companies to paint the truck and they were very high -- higher than a new Chevy 3/4-ton deluxe truck. Plus I want a daily driver, one that I can clean up and not be afraid to scratch if I take it hunting, or down a gravel road in the Flint Hills of Kansas.
At this point, I drove it in the yard for the first time. Then I mounted the grille and bumpers.
I drove it about 300 miles that weekend and had no problems -- no major leaks (just a few teaspoons at the most of any fluid). The sealed propeller shaft leaks before the support bearing. The engine has a slight weep from what looks like the back of the valve cover gasket.
The next weekend, we got the bed on, and also the headliner, door panels, floor mat, and door gaskets. Labor Day weekend, we turned over 700 miles on the truck. Other than another water pump, we have not had any issues. With the slow rear end, the four on the floor, and the 216, I keep the speed between 45-50 for the cruise (max also) and double clutch for 3rd and 4th gear).
The truck runs great and It is a blast to drive. I did also put in some basic seatbelts for a little added safety.
It was good to see Sam at the 4th Annual Stovebolt Reunion in Kansas City. There sure are a lot of Stovebolters in that area! Late breaking news: before September was out, Sam bought himself another 1949 Chevy!