Hello all;

I haven't posted here much, but I have used the site a few times in the past year since joining. In February I bought a 1946 Chev 1/2 ton truck with the intent of modifying it. Modern suspension, 350 V8 - all the usual fun stuff! Even though I bought the truck not running, I figured I would get it running and drive it for the summer while I finalized plans and sourced parts for the build. Well, funny enough I fell in love with putzing around town in it. So much so that I began to feel guilty about planning to tear apart a running/driving all original 6 volt 1/2 ton truck. How many are left now, can I really tear it apart??
I began hunting for another truck, missing out on 1 great deal on a basket case being dumped for 1/2 it's value. I then got a hold of a 1939 1.5 ton truck at an auction. I can now have the best of both worlds, leaving the survivor whole and modify the rough truck.
I consider myself very fortunate as my wife works in the retail store that is an offshoot of a restoration shop. The owner very generously allows the employees to work on personal projects. That means I have access to a complete restoration shop where I can not only work, but get advice on what step to take next.
I started in on the '39 build by stripping down a 1946 1/2 chassis that I bought from a body-person at the shop. She had swapped the body to a S-10 chassis and was not going to use it, so for 200.00 it was mine. I stripped it down to the rails and rear suspension and sandblasted it. I left the rear suspension on it so that it was somewhat portable. While I do have access to the shop I need to move it in and out of a bay when I am working on it so as to not plug the bay up continuously.
Once word spread around the shop that I had started my build and was looking for a 350SBC for it, I lucked into 1980's Diplomat motorhome engine and transmission. The motorhome was rough due to water damage, but only had 70,000 original KMs on it. That converts to 43,500 miles for you Southern neighbors. I pulled the engine and confirmed it was a 4-bolt main and also found zero sludge in the oil pan and the oil gallery up top. I looked at the cylinder walls and there is still some faint cross-hatch visible! The engine is currently on a stand while I clean and paint it and ready it for install- Coming soon!
I decided on the rims/tires combo, which is a set of steel 10x16 (rear) and 8x16 (front) rims and will have them powder coated tractor Red. I bought some Michelin P265/75-R16(rear) P235/75-R16 (front) tires which I initially thought would fit. Turns out, the sizes mentioned on the website are not the mounted dimensions so I need to install some tubs in the box to make room for the rear tires. I could choose a smaller tire, but these are going ot look so cool that I am willing to spend the time to modify the box so they can fit.
In September I removed the body from the 1.5 ton and it dropped right onto the factory mounts of the '46. A few weeks later we installed a new Mustang II front suspension. I was really excited as the build was progressing nice with regular milestones to keep the momentum going. Since then, things have slowed a little. I have gotten bogged down a bit on the truck box. To start I had no box to speak of as the 1.5 ton had a flat deck and the 1/2 ton was the chassis only. I scrounged up some box sides and rails and then purchased new 47-54 fenders and front/rear panels. I spent a few days modifying the fender mounting positions as the box sides were originally from a long box. Long story short, I finally realized the hours I had spent and the hours I would need to spend were a huge waste of time. I purchased new box sides and started to move forward again. I left for work with the box 90% done so I can get on to the rear suspension when I return.
I purchased a Ford 9inch differential from the same lady that I got the '46 chassis from. The next task will be to narrow it and install the 4 link rear suspension. the pictures look a little goofy as the truck has way too much of a rake as it is still sitting on the original rear end. I am very excited to see it sitting on the new suspension and I want a look at the tires in the fender wells!

See the attachment for pictures.

More to come soon!


Attached Files
Last edited by Canadian_guy; Mon Nov 12 2018 12:16 AM. Reason: added attachment

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.