The body is back off the frame, Body mounts are being welded on. The rear runningboard bracket conflicts with the spring perch. I collected the bed wood. I’ll glue up the cracks, clean it up, and finish. The wood is in pretty good condition considering the age. I had created a spreadsheet of parts early on for the build. I started with a Jim Carter catalog. Went page by page, adding to my spreadsheet whatever I thought was needed. The list is in no particular order, so it’s kind of jumbled, but it works. I then went through an LMC catalog since I had one in hand. Classic parts website next. I have a list of each part with the price difference. I found most of the parts from these three suppliers, but there are some things that I had to search for. LMC has some good generic options that I couldn’t find at JC, or CP, like aftermarket seatbelts. I added Ecklers, they have specific parts I couldn’t find elsewhere, such as hood hinge bolts. I’m adding a door lock to the drivers side and since I already have a left hand housing, I just needed the key cylinder. Chevs of the 40s has the left door lock assembly for 1941-1948 cars. I found just the cylinder at autopartsobsolete for $20 less than the whole assembly. I’m adding rear lights from a ’39 sedan. I found about 3 different makes from several vendors. Olddogstreetrods had the ones for me, but they did not include the gasket. I found the gasket at the Filling Station, they had some other interesting parts. I got a hood side emblem from them. At this point I wasn’t going through my entire spreadsheet to compare all the prices, just select pieces. ClassicPartusa has the doorlock gasket, and spring for the rear door lock rod. Simple little things, maybe I’m not looking in the right place, but I couldn’t find those parts elsewhere. I also read about an alternative part for the rear door bumper from 80/20 Inc. I had read about Steele Rubber, so they are on the list. I’m going to really have to want their product since the prices a quite a bit higher. I placed an order from Jim Carter, and Classic Parts awhile ago. Last week I decided to get more stuff, so I placed orders with Ecklers, Chevsofthe40s, and Filling Station. Now that the frame has been worked out it’s on to the bodywork, prep for paint. I may be getting ahead of myself, but I don’t want to wait for some parts that I could have ready to go.
The frame is painted, next step is put the engine back on and reconnect the exhaust, and set up the parking brake cable. We’ll swap the left and right rear brake cables and locate the ends near the middle on a bracket. They will connect to the lever mounted to the right of the transmission. Painting the firewall and under body so the body can go back for the last time. Meanwhile I have been working on the speedometer drive, and refurbishing the speedometer. The bedwood is in pretty good condition, so I’m reworking that.
The engine is back on the frame. Firewall is painted. I’ve told the builder to wrap it up. I’ll be hauling this home soon to take on the wiring etc. Once I get it home, progress will take a slower pace as will the outpouring of funds(my primary objection). I have decided to tackle the exhaust myself. It looks like the original hanger can be used and the pipe will be extended behind the muffler. As you may be able to see in the picture it only took cutting it up to figure this out. Actually looks like it originally dumps in front of the rear tire, so may not need to be extended at all. These little side track issues add up when it’s all billable time, just the nature of the beast. I’m not saying I could do it better myself, but I don’t know if I could do worse… I checked in yesterday and the body is on the frame. The lower rear corners are being repaired where the only rust through on this truck is. There is a significant dent above the drivers door, and a dent in the hood. There is also a crack in one of the rear doors. Once this body work is done, I’ll take it home. The bed wood is in good condition, so I reworked it. There were a few cracks on some boards. Here is a link to a post about the bed wood: https://www.stovebolt.com/ubbthread...store-original-bed-wood.html#Post1381523
After a year at the shop, I brought the Beast home, placed in a tent and began checking things out. I moved the boxes of old parts out and started surveying things. I made a list of what and when to do. I finally heard back from the Radiator shop with an estimate so I’d be getting the radiator soon. I’ll be able to test fit it myself. They will tack the brackets on, if it fits well, I’ll have them finish it. I took the driveshaft to get it extended 4 ½ inches. (oops! Should have been 5 ½”, I’ve had 3 driveshafts custom cut on various vehicles and always get it wrong. Measure once and cut twice or something like that.) I had refaced my speedometer, but discovered the high beam indicator lens was deteriorated. I found a refresh kit, so had to wait a week for that. After reassembly, the display would not read above 20MPH. I tore it apart again and discovered the spindle was independent of the speedcup. I glued the spindle and tried again. It took forever to get to top speed, and seemed to hang high before dropping. I tore into it again and found the speedcup binding. I removed the superglue, shimmed the speedcup and glued the spindle again, and again I didn’t get the orientation of the speedcup-to-stop correct. It didn’t rest firmly at 0. It was also binding again. I found that I could get just enough wiggle room to get clearance. I was able to loosen the screws of the speedcup assembly and spindle bracket and shift it enough to work. Once there was free movement, I looked at the stop tab. The speedcup tab was just past the stop tab, so I rotated it around and past the stop tab. I had to bend the stop tab up and then back to get the tab on the speedcup past. This put one revolution of tension on the spring. Now it didn’t read full scale, couldn’t overcome the spring tension. I tried to put it back and in the process of bending the stop tab, the tab broke off. I let the speedcup in it’s relaxed state, preset the spring by about 20 degrees, and glued a piece of wire as a stop. Upon reassembly, the old needle had a visible fracture, it broke. $8 and a week to wait, I glued the needle, and reassmebled. Now this old speedometer is working smooth and quiet.
I got a call from the radiator shop. I went to get my custom radiator for a test fit, they helped me load it into my pickup, and I asked if they wanted some money. He said I’d be back to have them attach the brackets and paint it. It is a pleasure doing business with someone who believes in the honor system. Although he was surprised when I returned later that same day with the position of the brackets already figured out. The fab shop left a brace tacked to the front of the core support that needed to go, so I needed to come up with an upper core support. I cut a length of hat channel from a bed cross sill that was removed. Fired up the ol’ Oxy Acetylene rig and had at it. I don’t have much time welding, but it came out o.k. except for one blow through. I’ll finish those welds later, probably remove the core support for that. I did weld the lumber rack that is on my pickup with Oxy Acetylene and it’s holding up so far. The custom radiator fits well, the sheet metal won’t need to be altered. The latch panel had been previously cut to accommodate the old radiator mounted to the forward of the core support. This new radiator does stick up a bit, I may be able to lower it a little, but I’m happy as it is.
1/2021 Progress is slow, but steady. I’m lucky to get 2 hours a week in on this. In the last year I have chipped away at various tasks. I moved the rear shock brackets, axle bumps, and spare tire hanger back. I modified one shock bracket to fit where the frame narrows. I don’t have much experience welding, but I did watch a video where someone welded a patch panel without using any welding rod. I tried something like that here where I heated up the metal until it melted together, it seems to work. I have also been working on the speedometer drive. I will be using the original speedometer with this modern drivetrain, so I have connected a motor to the speedometer. I finally hooked it up to a ’90 chevy truck and tested it out, here is a video I made of the ’47 speedometer running next to the ’90 speedometer in my truck: https://youtu.be/K6YOm1WTpqg
I picked up a Millermatic 135 and have been playing with that. It’s like a hot glue gun, and not as forgiving as the oxy-acetylene rig in my opinion. I made the brackets for the tire hanger, and cleaned up the core support. I’ll use the Gmaw on the exhaust. I noticed a fuel line contacting a bracket, so I dropped the fuel tank to cut some clearance. Painted the core support and set in place. Made a bracket and set up the parking brakes to connect to the floor lever. There are always different trucks to pick from each time I go to the pick it yard. I was thinking about how I was working for an hour for a part that I could get new for $10 and they’ll charge me $5. I thought about giving up with each bolt, but persisted. I got the front brake line that crosses from the driver side to passenger in the front. It has a lot of bends. I finally found a DRAC. It was in a ’91 suburban, maybe ’92. The RPO code label was gone, so I don’t know what the diff and tires were and don’t know what the DRAC was set for. I do have some charts and it looks close to what I need and is easily adjustable. I did a bunch of math to try to figure out what it is set up for and found the ratio is set to 0.800185, I’ll need it at 0.768707, so that may be close enough. I also got an A/C compressor. They charged me $4 for the DRAC so it was a good day. Here is a picture of the spare tire hanger in place. I mounted the crank bracket lower so it angles down and the access is below the rear bumper. The spare does hang at a slight angle.
I may have been better off to follow my instinct when I was wrestling bolts in the pick-it yard. The brake line that I got just would not attach to the brake hose on the passenger side. It seems to be metric. So the ’88 gmc has SAE brake fittings and the ’95 chevy has metric brake fittings. I haven’t found any information on when the change was made. I searched for brake hose and found only SAE for the whole range of years, ’88 to ‘98. The brake line kits that I found don’t specify if metric or SAE, only that they work for a range of years 88-89, 90-94, and 95-98. I searched for an adaptor and made several trips to various stores. I found a M10-1.0 female to 3/8-24” female adaptor. With that I was able to verify the fittings that I have. I did order a M10-1.0 to 3/8-24” adaptor but it didn’t specify how it went. Another trip to the auto parts store when they came in only to discover it was backwards from what I need. In the end I purchased a Flaring tool. I used the fittings from my old line, and put them on the new to me line. Now the line is in place I’m ready to cut the rod to the brake booster, thread it, and connect to the pedal. I haven’t used a flaring tool before. I watched some videos, and read some web posts. I decided to try the cheepo tool. Did a couple practice flares to figure out some bugs. I set the tool in a vise and used visegrips to keep the two halves level. I had read that there could be problems if the two halves are not level. I also read to set the tube length to a chamfer on the die, but the cheepo die doesn’t have much of a chamfer. I pressed the die. The claws on this version don’t have a consistent flat area, so the press tries to lean. I press some and then flip it around and so on. The two bars don’t seem to clamp together leaving a gap. The 3/8 part is near the end. I found that clamping the end more first and then tightening the other end gave better results. The second pressing without die was pretty straight forward. The end result looks good to me. There was a ridge on each side where the bar gap was, so I filed that down. The true test will be with pressure in the line.
5/2021 Moving right along with some possible tool abuse(I hate tool abuse). I purchased a couple dies and a die stock. I have no experience with threading rod. The brake and clutch rods have an eye at the end and are too long for the pedals, so the plan was to cut to length and thread them. I looked into my options and found few. I did read that it is not uncommon to modify the rod length when converting to power brakes in ‘60’s trucks. I watched a few videos and quickly learned that the hex dies are for chasing threads, round dies are for cutting. I had the hex, bummer. I watched a few more videos and found someone brute force some threads, no chamfer, no oil. I decided to not buy more tools and just go for it. Upside down under dash I worked the brake rod for about an hour. I couldn’t remove the clutch pedal, so I took out the bracket and the clutch rod fell out. That took about 10 minutes in a vise, but one side the threads were not deep. I think the clutch rod is out of round, but the nut and clevis threaded on o.k. I decided to remove the brake pedal bracket and paint both pedal assemblies. I’ll have to remove them again when I paint the firewall, but I need to bleed the brake and clutch for now. 6/2021
I bled the brakes with no trouble. The clutch, different story. After endless trying to bleed the system, I discovered a nick in the hydraulic line. Replaced the line, but still couldn’t get pressure. New cylinders got it done, good firm pedal, but… The firewall flexes a lot. I push down about an inch, then the firewall pops, flexes an inch, then the pedal can be depressed the rest of the way. I thought any flexing would be much more subtle. I have read about reinforcing the firewall for the brake booster, I guess I wanted to see what would happen, and my builder didn’t know about this issue. 7/2021 I have painted the rest of the bed rub rails and have been figuring out what bolts are needed. The cross sills were replaced with 1x2 so the bolt lengths will be different. I got the bolts for the perimeter and have painted the heads Gray. I wanted black bolts for the rails, and decided grade 5 black oxide bolts is the way to go. I could only find black painted grade A carriage bolts locally, so I ordered some from McMaster-Carr. It may be overkill, but I think it will work good. I had ordered an exhaust tailpipe from a parts store, got it set in place and checked for clearance of the spare tire.
I need to put in more time welding, but I think the exhaust system should work with the crusty welds I put on it. I also welded some on my Toy P’up exhaust before going on vacation, that seems to be o.k. Back from vacation I have been working on the firewall flex by the clutch pedal. I made a cardboard template before I cut a piece of 1/8” sheet metal. Kind of went down a rabbit hole here when I realized the firewall should be painted now. There was some matting left on the passenger side, a heatgun and power scraper helped remove that. The patch job that the restoration shop did looks great on the engine side, not so good on the inside. I’ll put matting over this so I left it as is. I test fit the stiffener plate and found the firewall was not flat. I don’t know if that’s how they are, or if it warped when the steering column hole was relocated. I added a bolt to the corner to draw it tight. I decided now is a good time to paint the inside of the dash. I started with a wire cup brush on a drill and got the firewall and kick panels. A wire cup brush and sanding disk on a dremel fit up under in the tight spaces. This has got to be the most miserable task of the build. Upside down grinding rust above.
9/2021 I applied Ospho to everything, and then Rusty Metal Primer. And finally painted with the Dark Bronze, the imperfections stand out. I cut some roofing tar paper to place between the firewall and stiffener. I thought it needed something as a buffer from physical wear and noise. The pedals back in and no more flex. I still need to adjust the pedal angle, but will get to that later.
Now I’m on to painting the cargo area, all the inside grey. I bought several cans of different grays this summer. Sprayed a test panel and found Krylon Fusion Matte Deep Gray 2914 to be a good match to the original color.
I went over the driver side cargo area with a scrub pad, and applied Ospho for the rust. The Ospho was a sticky mess on the paint so I used a cleaner degreaser. Then taped around the edges and applied two coats of spraypaint. I like how it turned out, I’ll go on to the passenger side this afternoon. The picture shows the passenger side as it is, and the driver side after paint. After the sides, I’ll do the rear area and then the front. After the Grey, I’ll do the rest of the Bronze including dash if I get to it while the weather is still warm.
Last edited by walterhvogel; Fri Nov 19 2021 06:59 PM. Reason: sequence