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1952 Chevy 1-Ton Longbed

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Leonardtown, Maryland



Owned by Grigg Mullen
Bolter # 6590
Lexington, Virginia

Talking about this truck
in the Tons O' Fun Forum

12 July 2010 Update
# 1107

More pictures of my old truck

From Grigg :

It's been a few years since I've updated Gallery pages. For this 1952 Chevy 1-ton, more plans have been coming together in the past weeks and months!

The axles and suspension for this truck are currently residing under my 1948 Chevy 2-ton. Future plans for the 1 ton are a 14 bolt GM rear axle and a custom made (by me) disc brake conversion up front.

After removing the (new) axles, springs, and steering from this truck to put them on the 1948 2-ton, the '52 went out to pasture for about five years so far. In the meantime I've been collecting ideas and parts.

The current plans are for a Silver 3-53T Detroit Diesel engine,140 Hp at 2,500 rpm. This engine is a 3 cylinder version of the 4 cylinder in my 48 2-ton. Here's a video of the new engine.

The transmission will probably be an ex-military Spicer 3053 five speed overdrive. Rear axle is a GM 14 bolt that appears to swap nicely and still run single wheels. Here's the discussion in the Stovebolt Tons O' Fun Forum about it.

The front axle is still undecided, but I'm leaning toward using the original and doing my own disc brake conversion. Wheels are single 19.5" with 8R19.5 tires - this time on single 8 lug wheels.

I've already collected all the big parts now just need to finish the '48 before restarting on this one.

16 May 2005
# 1107

From Grigg: 

      Here's a little bit about my 1952 Chevy 1-ton pickup truck that has a 9-foot bed.

      In April of 1999 I was given a truck. It was a 1-ton, nine foot bed Chevy. Not at all what I was looking for but it sounded like fun. Little did I know how much fun (and work) it would be.

      I put some gas and a battery in it and drove it on to the trailer to get it across town and home. After bleeding the brakes and fixing some lights, I began to drive it to high school. Sometime in there, I found a second 235 engine that I rebuilt with the help of some friends including my shop teacher. I then swapped the two engines with only a few weeks of not driving.

      I drove it until I was done with high school. It sat for months and months at a time while I attended The Apprentice School as a machinist in Newport News, VA. Three years and four months later I was done, moved back home, and started working on my truck. I had six months before I started college at Virginia Military Institute and I wanted to drive across the country in an old truck. I needed to fix my brakes that have needed help since I was given the truck. I looked at what it would cost to repair what I had. I also looked at replacing the rear axle with a newer one with more than two choices of very slow gears.

      My search led me to a 10 lug Dana 70HD with disc brakes on eBay. I picked it up over Christmas break and went from there. The disc brakes in the rear then required discs in the front. I found the front axle under a 1994 Chevy 3500HD. It required narrowing 10.25" as well as some machine work to the spring pads. Then it was easier to go to power steering than to use the old gear box. I found a rebuilt 1978 IHC Scout box that would fit our Scout if it did not fit my truck. It fit my truck! I rigged a pump on top of the generator driven by a short belt to a second pulley on the generator.

      New springs were made all the way around, the front with 2" of lift to work with the new front axle, and the rears used to be 2" wide. Now they are 2.5" wide to fill the shackles and cover the spring perches. To complete the brakes, I adapted a new '04 Ford Super Duty master cylinder and hydrobooster, and bent and flared all nine of my own stainless steel lines. I had the driveshaft shortened 1.375" and had two rear wheels made and I was ready to go.

      It cost a few thousand dollars more than just fixing the original brakes but I thought I might have a truck that I could drive anywhere. A trip across the country would be an adventure to prove it -- or just an adventure if I did not make it.

      I did make it --- 8,000 miles in 28 days with only a tossed fan blade and a bad generator bearing to slow me down.

      Now, my current project is building a 1948 2-ton truck with a 5 window cab and a Detroit Diesel  


Grigg Mullen III


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