Link Shadley's

1951 Chevy 1.5-Ton Flatbed / Tiltbed 4100

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10 October 2006
# 1685

From Link :

           Mary (my wife) and I restored an old 1939 Allis Chalmers tractor a few years ago and it was fun to see my spouse with grease up to her armpits (photo). We had been talking about getting an old truck. In August 2006, I came back from the Dufur Threshing Bee, a local antique machinery show in Dufur, Oregon and just happened to check the classified ads in the Capital Press, our northwest farming newspaper. One ad caught my eye: "1951 Chevy Pickup $400." I called. The verbal description was better. It wasn't a pickup, but a flatbed / dump bed, dually truck and they claimed it ran in 2002 and "was all there." I bought it sight unseen and we headed about 120 miles west on Sunday to retrieve her.

           The truck was sitting at a commercial nursery and the husband had thoughts about restoring her some day. The wife had different ideas and had placed the ad without her husband's knowledge. He was a good sport, though, and went along with the sale.

           We rented a big flatbed trailer and he helped us push her up on the trailer using a front end loader. I had no idea how heavy this beast was. I started out pulling the trailer with a Dodge Dakota pickup and of course, the trailer started fishtailing at about 30 mph. The truck took up the full length of the trailer bed so I didn't have any room to adjust the tongue weight. We made it to the first town and rented a big u-Haul truck. We switched the trailer and took off again. I still had problems over 45 mph so it was a slow and somewhat stressful drive home.

           Home was a new problem. How to get her safely off the trailer! I parked the trailer on a downhill angle and used a come-along and safety chains attached to a handy light pole and we slowly backed her down. My arms are still sore a month later!

           We get to work on the truck a couple of weekends a month and a few evenings. The most common tools to start with were a sledge hammer and cutting torch. First priority is the brakes. I've rebuilt all the cylinders, purchased a rebuilt HydroVac and am now replacing all the lines (as of 9/26/06). We live on a hill and I'll feel better if we get the "stop" part working before bothering with the "go" portion.

           The engine turns over fine with the starter motor and I don't see any obvious problems looking at the top and bottom of 216 cid. We'll get her running and do whatever driveline work is needed then start on the body. I'll send updates now as work progresses.

           An interesting side note: My son lives in the Seattle area and unbeknownst to either of us, we both purchased 1951 Chevy trucks the same month. "Like father, like son" perhaps - but this was just plain weird!!!

"Proponents of change must, at the core of their being, believe that change is possible. This energy in itself feeds the epidemic." Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Link Shadley
Bolter # 11953
The Dalles, Oregon

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