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here'what i got
#1343200 Wed Jan 22 2020 05:25 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 65
Wrench Fetcher
So i've been on and off this website but i still own 2 51' GMC pickups. One is a barn find full original 51' 3 window all intact and hasn't run in 40 years. My goal was to buy a frame, build it up and use the barn find body over the new frame build. I find the frame, partial built up with a mustang II front end, disc brakes, a rear end out of a camaro, new leaf springs and cross member. However, the frame purchase came with an entire truck with 5 windows!!!!!!!!! darn, now a dilemma!!!!!! Both are long beds. Soooooo, my new plan is to build the 5 window, modernize it like it's been started and to eventually take the barn find and restore to originality, Boy will i be busy for the next several years!!!!!! So, my question to all of you, since this is my first frame off restoration..............what references are out there to be able to systematically finish the frame so i have everything done before I start on the cab, then install on frame and then the bed would follow. I would like to relocate the gas tank to the rear and take suggestions on what seating works and so on....... I will post pics as to what I have and will rely on your input to get me going...... thanks for your time.

Just to straighten my thoughts out. I'm going to do a restomod on the 5 window and i'm putting the barn find on hold.

1951 GMC 3 window 100
1951 GMC 5 window 100
Re: here'what i got
turnintotruckin #1343201 Wed Jan 22 2020 06:43 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,793
Shop Shark
Start off with figuring out your budget and intent then work from there. Write down all your thoughts and figure out how much it costs. Example: if I use a 350 ($), I need/want this transmission ($) that will work with it, I need this axle due to width, driveline, brakes. Can your frame handle the torque & HP of the engine?

As you take each thing apart, take pictures and when you think you are good, take more pictures. Put bolts in labeled bags, etc.

Just a few quick thoughts to get you going. This is not a quick project! I got in over my head a few times and guys in here helped me out. Understand, everyone here has an opinion, don't get offended when they are brutally honest with you. Do your research!

Good luck with your builds! Ask questions and learn before you do something!


Re: here'what i got
turnintotruckin #1343209 Wed Jan 22 2020 12:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 745
Shop Shark
DO YOUR HOMEWORK !!! I can't stress that enough, I didn't and it lead to a lot of issues down the road. As Chris said make a plan, it's not set in stone so you can make changes as you go. With a plan you can look at what others have done and how they accomplished things and maybe things you would do differently. read up on other guys projects and look at there pictures (the Gallery is a great place to start). Once you have an idea of your final project take it in bite size pieces, the chassis in your case will be the most involved. Break it down to projects, rear suspension, front suspension, brakes, steering, fuel tank etc.. Take steps to finish things before moving to another, if you bounce around you can lose focus and sidetracked.... I didn't follow any of these steps and have ended up missing out on being able to enjoy having the truck, now it's finally coming together after 30 years..


Come,Bleed or Blister somethings got to give!!!
Q:"What yah runnin"
A:"3/8 drive Black and Decker aquarium pump motor" (the movie HOTROD)

59' Apache 31, long term project (30 years and counting)
Re: here'what i got
turnintotruckin #1343220 Wed Jan 22 2020 02:32 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,038
Shop Shark
THIS LINK isn't a full restoration by any means (it's pretty much the opposite). But it's by one of our members and gives a different take on upgrading the engine. I suspect most of us don't have the knowledge to easily duplicate, but with a little research, we can learn what's needed.

Good Luck, it's an epic journey you're starting for sure. Looking forward to following along.


1951 3600 with Clark flatbed, T5, 4.10 rear
1970 340 Duster
1990 5.0 V8 Miata (1990 Mustang Gt Drivetrain)
1951 Farmall Super A

Re: here'what i got
turnintotruckin #1343315 Thu Jan 23 2020 04:22 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,696
Fox Offline
A teacher, but always an apprentice.
I second the plan: work order, time frame, budget.

I didn’t the first time and boy oh boy did it snowball out of my control and beyond my ability. I sold it for a massive kick in the wallet. Ugh.

Have a plan....stick with it!

I’d leave the barn find original too. You’d be surprised how enjoyable the vintage, original iron can be to resurrect. No modifications that cost big bucks. They don’t snowball and affect the next piece of the puzzle. Modifications start small and then darn near everything after that one “little upgrade” is altered and then that has to be modified. And then this piece and that piece...$$$$$, time^^^^^^, frustration ^^^^^, ....arrrgghhhh.....sold at a major loss.

It happens all the time. Just check your local classifieds. I was a seller one time!

Last edited by Fox; Thu Jan 23 2020 04:27 AM.

In the Stovebolt Gallery []
More pictures here []

1951 GMC 9430 1 ton dually—-Shiny!

1970 Chevrolet C10 - Grandpa’s- My first truck.—in progress to shiny
1972 Chevrolet C20- rusted
1970 Chevrolet K20 Suburban—rusted.
1950 Chevrolet 1300- in progress to shiny.

Parts trucks-
1951 GMC 9300
1951-GMC 9430
1951- Chevrolet 1300
Re: here'what i got
turnintotruckin #1343344 Thu Jan 23 2020 03:55 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 20,805
Back in my hotrodding days 50-something years ago, our slogan was "There's no substitute for cubic inches!" With off-frame resto-mods, it's more like "There's no substitute for cubic dollars!" Anytime the frame and the sheet metal get separated, the dollar-gobbling gremlins start multiplying geometrically, and there's always someone lurking in the shadows who claim they can solve all the problems by selling you something- - - -a trick suspension system, fancy wheels, a disc brake conversion, air bags, etc. These people are not necessarily your friends! About a year ago I did a pre-purchase inspection on a 54 Chevy 3100 that had gotten the full resto-mod treatment. An overseas buyer commissioned me to do a photo shoot and a test drive and file a report. The asking price was $70K, and the seller claimed he was barely breaking even. The steering system was just short of being deadly dangerous, the result of a poor routing job of the steering shaft and universal joints which made the steering try to lock up every 1/2 turn of the steering wheel. There were a few other pretty serious mistakes made during the project. I really doubt if the buyer took the bait, or if he did, I'll wager the price got heavily discounted to accommodate the repairs I recommended.

As several others have suggested, do your homework before you pick up a wrench! Have fun!

The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: here'what i got
turnintotruckin #1343450 Fri Jan 24 2020 05:06 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 65
Wrench Fetcher
to all of the above and those yet to come.............thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!All good advice and will follow for sure. I will also keep you guys posted of the serious work starting this spring. the plan has been started and im motivated with you guys behind me to get this project going............ Here we go!!!!!!!!! by the way , money not an issue but i'm a pretty frugal guy and watch my pennies ( Oh, right, now its dollars!!!!!)


1951 GMC 3 window 100
1951 GMC 5 window 100
Re: here'what i got
turnintotruckin #1347124 Wed Feb 19 2020 04:25 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 65
Wrench Fetcher

Attached Files
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1951 GMC 3 window 100
1951 GMC 5 window 100
Re: here'what i got
turnintotruckin #1347959 Wed Feb 26 2020 04:07 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 65
Wrench Fetcher
ive stalled on this post because i'm having a hard time getting multiple pics on this post.........

1951 GMC 3 window 100
1951 GMC 5 window 100
Re: here'what i got
turnintotruckin #1348068 Thu Feb 27 2020 01:10 PM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 326
Shop Shark
I like it. Just a fyi all the stock drivetrain parts are pretty stout and if your not building a truck to do burnouts with or beat to death power shifting and stoplight racing then you should be fine with most all the stock parts. That saves s lot of $$$$. As for engine stuff im obviously biased towards newer technology but either way ya go there are a million ways to do things. I generally look at it like “how easy can i make this on myself”. If i can make it happen cleanly then thats how i do it rather than blow $$$ on fancy stuff. My build was referenced above and as you see i kept it as simple as possible just with the only major upgrades being motor and a dual master cylinder. Everything else is pretty much how it came from GM. My 1 bit of advice is to have a GOAL. If you dont know your goal you cant build a car/truck 99% of the time. My goal was look and be as factory as possible with the exception of the powerplant. Not for massive horsepower or speed but for reliability and ease of maintenance and availability of parts. I had a lot of people tell me “dont bother building it with that stock front end. Its gonna drive like sh*t!” I told them well good! I want it to drive like a old truck not a corvette. Yes your goals may wander a bit as you get into it and find cheaper ways or smarter ways to do things but if you really know what you want it to look like finished then just aim for that.

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