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11 July 2016 Update
# 3110

  Owned by
Leighton Knisley
Bolter # 26325


1938 Chevy 3/4-Ton


More pictures of my old truck

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From Leighton :

Well, it's been a while since I've posted much about the truck because it's also been a while since we have been able to do much on the truck.

Since telling the beginning story of the 3/4-ton back in 2011, I got married. Then we had a little girl and ... then a little boy ... and expecting our third child in November! Another addition to "the family" is a 1938 Chevrolet 1.5-Ton truck that we plan to restore to use on the farm when we move to Minnesota.

That was a big "pause" -- kinda multi-faceted since we are still in the "moving process." We are still in Nevada -- and so is the truck. Have a bit to do before we close out here and are able to the new place in MN.

We still wanted to keep the truck as original as possible. I needed to find a body shop who would work on it. I didn't have time to learn it and I wanted no bondo but have it done the right way. I found a shop and they were several months into working on the body, and they decided to close shop. As soon as I had a chance, I had to go down there and pick up my truck, which was all in pieces! We put it in a shipping container and looked for another body shop.

A few months later, we found a local "family" shop called B&T Custom Rod & Restoration in Reno, Nevada (where we moved from) and were able to keep it there while we finished the move.

B&T did the block sanding, removing more bondo, dry fitting, repairs, removing fiberglass replacing with metal, and primed the whole pickup! These guys went thru the metal and did a near flawless job! This shop is amazing. The people who work there are extremely gifted and generous. The Dad is a supporter of Hot August Nights here in Reno.

This is the only pickup we'll do this much of an restoration on. The '53, '56, '84, and '86 Chevy's will get their chance down the road! Three of these these trucks were bought by my Great Grandpa, Grandpa or Dad!

The most we had to do was parts of the cab and fenders. Had to cut it out and blend it in. It was a lot of work. They took the fiberglass and re-did it so it is almost pretty much all metal. All the work is done in house -- old stuff and new stuff. There was a lot of detail work done on it keeping it metal, especially the running boards that were originally with the pickup.

We got a brand new fuel tank as Dad had thrown out the old one. One problem was that the the neck of the new tank was about one inch off from the original hole. The B&T guys said they could modify it perfectly so it will fit correctly.

We are ready to paint and plan to go with a two tone colors - pearl / metallic.

The new bed needed some work done on it but turned out fantastic. It looks so much more than what I could imagine being mostly put together with a straight body on it!

After talking with a few guys that have swapped engines, we bought a 261 to change the 216 for the 261 to keep the straight six Chevrolet look close to that era, but to have a better engine. Any little affordable part we can buy and task, we can tackle now and we’ll do just to keep things moving!

We’re excited and can hardly wait!

~ Leighton

Keep track of the restoration project details in the DITY Gallery and check for new photos to the Photobucket album. Leighton's got some good pictures of the work that has been done on the cab, fenders, chassis, interior -- and then there's a good shot of the motor!

Any and all questions welcome! If you post in the forum, others can share in the discussion. Thanks ~ Editor


11 October 2011
# 2913

From Leighton :

October 2010, I purchased this 1938 Chevy from my Dad who bought it roughly eight years ago. Before I bought it, I was looking for a 1937 or 1938 Chevy pickup. That took quite a while, trying to find one that I could afford. So after a long while, I was close on purchasing one but my Dad said to hold off a bit because he might have found something. The next day, he completely surprised me in selling his to me! Since he bought it from Lemom Valley close to Reno, he hadn't done much to it. SO I'm starting to fix up the ol' Chevy and am looking forward to completing it!

It is a 3/4-ton with a 122 inch frame base, manufactured in Oakland, CA! The odometer showed 95,000 thousand miles. It looked like the original gauges and were still in good shape.

First I worked on getting the motor to run, and worked on the tank and fuel lines. I needed to order a few parts. I had a lot of parts that came off of it when we disassembled it that were the original parts.

By the first week, we got it running and it just fired up and sounded great! Even the fuel pump worked. I put a hose from the fuel pump to those red five gallon jugs of gas in the bed away from the motor, primed it up, had my brother put some gas in the carburetor to help it start since it hadn't for quite some time. Presto, it started! smile

There were no real major problems (knocks, etc.). I just needed to replace the gasket on the valve cover and side timing cover! What a joy. I was hoping that I could keep the old 216 in it!

The next step was getting the fuel tank put in and check the clutch. I have a video of it if you're interested.

Grandpa and I spent some time working on the old truck. Grandpa's expertise is in hearing certain engine knocks and noises, some I didn't hear at first. He said the engine was fine, but if I would like to run it for a long time without having to do any major work on it, it would be better to have it looked at.

So, I hunted to find someone who knows their 216-six cylinder motors in the Nevada area. The machinist said the motor had general wear but nothing broken, cracked, or unfixable. He started on that while I started on the sanding and preping. There were no rust throughs on anything here, just surface rust here and there.

The next phase was a lot of little stuff -- torching off the completely rusted pins on the shock absorbers and replacing them; replacing all the brake lines; preping for sanding and the big paint job; getting all the parts I needed to paint them when we do (tailgate, center strip on the front grille, etc.).

My deadline was before January 1, 2011. I tried to spend at least an hour at the end of every day, whether it's 9 or midnight!

There was some good discussion in the forums about soda blasting and I was amazed. I decided to go with Precision Soda Blasting. The guy said it would only take a day to completely do my pickup since it was all in pieces. He came up from Carson City to soda blast my truck! You can read on the website what it cleans and so forth.

I’ve been looking at my Great Grandpa Bill’s 1956 Chevy pickup. I haven’t seen it yet but I’m trying to get some time to go and look at it! Grandpa was telling me it had a 235 in it and was a sweet running pickup. Great Grandpa Bill didn’t buy it new, but he bought it when he was close to 80 and had it until he died when he was around 90 years old. So we’ll see how that will turn out.

The latest and greatest is the body work is all done from cab to hood to fenders to all that needed to be fixed up. Now all I need to do is make the two hour drive to take the paint to them so that can get it painted and put it together!




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