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Reliability Upgrades
#1321771 Wed Aug 14 2019 01:16 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 23
B
Bdron Offline OP
New Guy
Hey All. Been a while since I’ve had a chance to come in here. I wanna start working on my ‘51 3100. My plan is to make it driveable and reliable. Keeping the factory 216 and 3 speed/ driveline. What do I need to do as far as brakes, suspension, steering etc. to make it a reliable safe “town to town” bounce around truck? Thanks in advance!

Re: Reliability Upgrades
Bdron #1321780 Wed Aug 14 2019 02:00 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,146
G
.
Regular maintenance should pretty much do it.

Rebuild brakes and front axle if necessary.


1951 GMC 250 in the Project Journals [stovebolt.com]
1948 Chevrolet 6400 [stovebolt.com] - Detroit Diesel 4-53T - Roadranger 10 speed overdrive - 4 wheel disc brakes
1952 Chevrolet 3800 pickup [stovebolt.com]
---All pictures [picasaweb.google.com]---
"First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-
Re: Reliability Upgrades
Grigg #1321781 Wed Aug 14 2019 02:03 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 23
B
Bdron Offline OP
New Guy
Good to hear. Any suggestions on axel upgrades or just new factory parts?

Re: Reliability Upgrades
Bdron #1321786 Wed Aug 14 2019 02:30 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 9,449
5
Master Gabster
Original parts maintained in as-new condition is all that you need. Keep in mind that the maintenance schedule for most if not all are measured in thousands of miles and not tens of thousands of miles like newer vehicles.
I strongly urge you, if you haven't done so already, to get a Factory Repair Manual for your truck. A copy of the Operator's Manual is also handy to have since it is smaller and easier to navigate for maintenance information.
Go over every moving part on the truck to inspect condition and make adjustments or replace worn parts.This will take a while, but it is the fun part of having these trucks as far as I am concerned.
Carl

Last edited by 52Carl; Wed Aug 14 2019 02:31 AM.
Re: Reliability Upgrades
52Carl #1321803 Wed Aug 14 2019 03:24 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 23
B
Bdron Offline OP
New Guy
Great advice thank you! I have the manual which is amazing. I’m gonna start going through everything and replacing what’s worn. As far as brakes, I think the dual reservoir master cylinder and disc front may be nice.

Re: Reliability Upgrades
Bdron #1321808 Wed Aug 14 2019 04:06 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 172
N
Shop Shark
Originally Posted by Bdron
Great advice thank you! I have the manual which is amazing. I’m gonna start going through everything and replacing what’s worn. As far as brakes, I think the dual reservoir master cylinder and disc front may be nice.

Yes the front disc , m/c is a safety improvement, but it is the start of the slippery slope of modification. You will likely need different wheels if you have the factory 15", so do you go 5 lug for more choice, then you need to replace the rears axle to 5 lug, etc etc.. Also, all new brake lines and the correct RP, proportioning valve, and on it goes. I'm not saying don't do it, Just be aware and do your research. I made the switch to dual circuit power m/c front discs and am very glad to have the improved stopping ability.


NHluvstruck...
1951 3100 5-window
https://stonefacegarage.wixsite.com/mysite
51 Chevy Restoration Page
Re: Reliability Upgrades
Bdron #1321821 Wed Aug 14 2019 11:16 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,146
G
.
Get it going as is first. Then consider different gears and brakes later.

I haven’t had a 1/2 ton but from what my friends do with them swapping in a late 50’s rear for open drive line and also faster gears with or without an OD transmission depending seems like a wise choice for driving longer distances. I’d probably want a 4 speed and 3.55 axle. However original will still get you wherever you’d want to drive just at a comfortably slower pace.
If adding disc brakes I’d keep same bolt pattern and find old 16” wheels.


1951 GMC 250 in the Project Journals [stovebolt.com]
1948 Chevrolet 6400 [stovebolt.com] - Detroit Diesel 4-53T - Roadranger 10 speed overdrive - 4 wheel disc brakes
1952 Chevrolet 3800 pickup [stovebolt.com]
---All pictures [picasaweb.google.com]---
"First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-
Re: Reliability Upgrades
Bdron #1321827 Wed Aug 14 2019 12:52 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 797
L
Shop Shark
My '51 3100 is stock except for the lap seat belts and Coker 6.00x16 radial tires. It will travel all day at 55 mph (can go much faster if I need to merge) and if I need to stop I can lock up the wheels. I drove it to a reunion in Kansas City 5 or 6 years ago, 1200 miles each way. It also does short trips within AZ with no problem. If I needed to travel the freeways much I guess I would consider driveline and brake modifications but I am very happy with the way it is.

Your intended use will answer the question for you. You might enjoy the process of modifying it, or just enjoy the process of ensuring that the stock systems are maintained and reliable.

Kent


1937 Chevy 1/2 ton
1942 Chevy 1/2 ton
1947 Diamond T Model 509
1951 Chevy 1/2 ton
1950 Chevy COE Model 5700 ~ "Barney" ~ And more pix
Re: Reliability Upgrades
Bdron #1321866 Wed Aug 14 2019 06:47 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 262
L
Shop Shark
Like Kent said, a lot will depend on what you intend to do with it. I have kept the original drum brakes and transmission on my 56 and am very happy with it. I have no interstates nearby that I have to drive on, and mostly just country roads with speed limits of 55, so I don’t mind going slow (I drive between 45 and 50 at the most) and taking it easy. But I did add turn signals and seat belts, as I felt they were an important safety consideration for where I drive.

Good luck and enjoy your project.

Lee.


1956 Chevy 3200, 235 w/3 speed
Re: Reliability Upgrades
Bdron #1321875 Wed Aug 14 2019 08:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 6,869
W
Master Gabster
I have an AMC pacer front ifs and it has worked well for me but I would opt for MII now. I have had my 1954 3100 since 1983. I would do as Grigg said. I drove mine for 7 or 8 years stock then started doing things like the AMC IFS and then it got crazy after that but I take it on round trip runs of 600 to 1200 miles.


Ron, The Computer Greek
I love therefore I am.

1960 MGA Roadster Sold 7/18/2017
1954 3100 Chevy truck in the Gallery
2017 Buick Encore
Pix on Photobucket
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