Hello all. I picked up my 9 footer right after New Year's last year(2019). We were looking for an older truck and immediately fell in love. Original drive train, mostly original sheet metal. I am sure it took a hard lick somewhere in there left front area in it's past. The dash on the driver's side has a little ripple in it and the driver's door just doesn't match the body contour and refuses to close tight although it does lock. Started right up when we went to look at it, no smoke, no puddle underneath.
Born at the GM plant in Baltimore and raised on a farm in Virginia by an elderly couple, it spent much of it's younger days hauling various things around the farm. I found a couple of chunks of anthracite coal in the stake pockets as well as some bits of hardwood. Not a lot of time out on the road as it only had 59k miles when we got it. It was adopted by a younger couple with a teenage son in 2006 with the I tention of maybe restoring it. Around 2008 it was trucked to Arizona and sometime after that the tie rod somehow got bent and it was shuffled off to the garage where it would sit for the next 10 years. I did check driveability as well as I could under the circumstances. 25-30 miles an hour required 2+ lanes verifying that it ran, rolled, shifted and stopped was the extent of that ride. Needless to say we still had no problems making a decision and a week later we had it trucked here.
TIE ROD What an adventure that turned out to be. I did considerable searching, even had a tie rod delivered that I was assured would fit even though I was fairly sure it would not. I got advised to go to an aftermarket conversion to a newer tie rod and end assembly but couldn't bring myself to even entertain the idea of going to an essentially smaller tie rod assembly on a 1-ton truck. I didn't believe that it would even work without a certain amount of modification which again I believe would weaken overall strength.
I considered going to a machine shop and asking them to manufacture one but wound up finding a solution by a little junkyard digging. Length and diameter measurements in hand, I started looking under the front ends of the 1.5 and 2-ton trucks. 10 minutes in and WOOHOO!!! '46 ton and a half Chevy with 20" wheels and without even measuring it, I knew I had my tie rod. $25 pull it yourself, <5 minutes from my house. Had already purchased new ends just in case I decided on giving a go at straightening out the bent one myself which I may still do just because.
1500 miles later runs like a top, still has some issues to clear up but so far so good. More later.
Welcome aboard, Cheon! Sounds like a fine truck that you are going about rehabbing in good order. We're here to answer questions so be sure to check out all our forums, as well as our tech tips and gallery -- see the menu bar at the top of the page. We have some tech tip articles specifically aimed at the bigger pickups.
Good on ya for wanting to keep the truck as unmolested as possible. There are many things you can do to improve safety and drivability that are low-impact to originality. Best advice I've read around here is to do as you are already doing -- get the truck driveable, do plenty of research and have fun with it for a season (or more) before you make any big decisions.
You are starting on a great old truck adventure (and education ) Ask questions, learn from the old guys, have fun and then, as you are able to, share what you've learned.
Lastly, yes, owning a 1-ton puts you above the rest. But we try not to swagger too much as it tends to demoralize the 1/2-ton guys ....
John "There is a life about to start When tomorrow comes..."
Welcome to the site and congrats on the one ton! My truck was built in Baltimore as well. We know it spent some time in West Virginia but not sure of the rest of its history. The cool thing is it is back to close where it started life, just 20 minutes south. Yes, keep us posted on your progress and adventures with the truck. Feel free to post some pictures of it too, we love pics. Billy
Billy Old Dominion Stovebolt Society Exotic Animal Division
Thanks for the warm welcome. Today we are on a new mission. Currently the truck is wearing 8.00 shoes on 16.5" rims that are just like the ones I had on my '68 3/4ton. As we all know 16.5" is pretty much a thing of the past so I would rather not order tires that are going to become harder and harder to get. I want to go back to the origional 17" rim diameter but not the original split rim configuration. Not trying to fancy it up with rims that don't look age appropriate, if you catch my meaning. I would prefer it to look like the stout truck that it is. Final paint scheme will be about as fancy as it will get. Matte black, minimal chrome as, pretty much looking like the farm beast that it was meant to be. I am having some difficulty making this happen without going to a custom ordered set of rims. Most of the new ones seem to be more set up for disc brakes which changes the whole offset of the rims. If it were a smaller bed, it doesn't appear that this would be as big of an issue but with the 50" wide bed, there is little space for the tires to move towards the center of the rear end. On the front, the tie rod ends are very close to the wheels so any movement towards the center would create a rubbing issue or worse. I am at an off-road shop right now waiting on a rim to arrive that may or yymay not work. The shop does mostly rims and tires and by the time I left here yesterday, the guy behind the counter was scratching his head. I am open to suggestions. My parameters are 1. The 16.5" rims have to go. 2. I don't want to downsize to 16" but am willing to go as tall as 19" as long as I don't have to change drums or lug patterns. 3. "E" load range or better.
I am thinking that moving up to an 18" or 19" will give me more room in the front where the tie rod ends are concerned.
By the way, the truck is only 5 years older than I am and I have seen a thing or 2 so I am rarely if ever surprised by suggestions but always open minded.
Nice pics -- thanks. BTW, is that a 235 we see in the engine compartment? If so, somebody did a good job installing it without needing to butcher the radiator support or having to move the radiator forward.
Yeah, those 16's need to go. You will enjoy the drive better with 17's or bigger. I have 17's on the original multi-piece rims and they do fine.
John "There is a life about to start When tomorrow comes..."