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Positive thinking ...
We are still asking:
What did you
get done on
your Bolt today
????


The question, initially posted May 23, 2005, was:
"Whatcha do on your Bolt
this weekend?"

After 51,906,997 views, 7378 replies over 185 pages, this thread in General Truck Talk is a happening! And it's not just weekends anymore.


Now with pictures
and No BOTS.


So ...


What did you get done on your Bolt today????


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Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project
Brian Wise #1429310 Fri Nov 05 2021 06:39 PM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 192
W
'Bolter
I just read through your build, it truly is a restoration. There was some writing on the firewall on my '47 when I got it 30 years ago, I would have liked to preserve that, but over the years and through several shops, it is long gone. There was also a paper oil change sticker in the door jamb along with a few price gun labels, that would be neat to preserve, but no longer there.


1947.2 Chevy Panel Truck 1 ton
1955.2 Chevy Suburban
1955.2 Chevy 6700 Bus/RV
Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project
Brian Wise #1438262 Sat Jan 22 2022 03:13 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 141
B
'Bolter
When I last posted I was getting ready to purchase patch panels for my cab. I was looking forward to digging in to the rotten metal. Before I could order the parts, my son informed me that I needed to wait until after Christmas. Christmas day came and I happily feigned surprise at the new patch panels my wife bought me! Then our weather turned for the worse (tons of snow, then tons of rain) and things at work (protecting our assets from flooding) took precedence over my project. About two weeks ago I was finally able to get going in earnest.

After surveying the damage to the floor pan on the driver's side, I decided I had to remove the seat riser first. It has its own damage (some of it man-made by a previous owner) and working on it up on the welding table would be much easier anyway. The first photo shows the floor pan after removal of the riser. I simply cut the riser off where it joins the back piece, then worked my way around the bottom lip with a very thin chisel and hammer, lifting the edge up to locate the spot welds. I then used a thin cut-off disc to in an electric end motor to slice the welds.

Next, I carefully (or so I thought) measured the new patch panel and marked out the floor where it would be cut out. Finding the point where the rear edge of the new piece would meet the old floor was pretty straightforward, and it turned out well. Not so much going up the toeboard, but more on that a little later.

I should add here that I have to replace the inner kick panel, inner to outer cowl piece (the bottom half of the arc-shaped firewall corner) and a small portion of the bottom of the outer cowl piece. I did not want to cut out all of these pieces right out the gate but did remove just enough of them at the front corner, along the toeboard lip, so I could remove the old floor piece and be able to weld in the new one. The second photo shows that area after surgery, and after I had replaced the end of the cab support rail where the parking brake pivot mounts. This was necessary because after cutting away the inner cowl piece that is spot welded to this rail, the end was pretty thin in spots. The area behind the lower door hinge was also cleaned up, treated with rust converter then shot with primer. At this time I also cut out the bad portion of the lower cowl panel and made new pieces from stock I had in the shop. They will go in later.

With the old floor piece out of the way, I cleaned up the underlying supports, treated with rust converter and spot primed. In the case of the U-shaped horizontal support where the cab mounting bolt goes through to the frame, I gave the inside surfaces a liberal coat of paint since this area will get sealed up by the new floor. I then test fit the new floor panel in place and trimmed where needed to get the correct gap at the rear edge, and to get it to sit down over the cab frame rail along the left edge (I notched the lip along the left edge where it goes by the door pillar). Next, I marked the new panel with a paint pen at all the points where it needed to be drilled for plug welding (third photo - sorry about it being a little out of focus. My iPhone is old and has issues like its user).

A note here that the new patch panels are really nice, but as I've read in many forum posts on various sites, they aren't exact matches and do require some tweaking. In the case of the floor pieces I received, the angle of the toe board is much less than the floor in the cab. I suspect this has to do with shipping issues. In any event, once the new panel was laid in place and clamped in, it was clear that I need to bend the toe board upward to meet the firewall. This is where my careful marking of the floor for cutting went awry, as where you bend the new panel changes the length of the toeboard. In this case, the bend caused the new piece to be a little shorter than I would have liked so the gap ended up being about 3/16" along most of the joint, and a little wider in some spots.

The fourth photo shows the new panel clamped into place ready for welding. All of the plug welds and the seam along the rear part of the floor (which will be under the seat riser) went as planned. The last photo shows the gap at the top edge of the toeboard and my first spot welds to connect it to the firewall. To bridge this much of a gap, I have a small piece of 1/8" thick copper sheet that I hold up to the back side of the gap where I need to weld. To get all the way across the seam, I have to weld about half of it from the inside with my arm around the door pillar, and the rest from the outside, lying on the floor with my arm up through the transmission hole. It's a tedious process but it works. My plan is to not have to do this when I install the new piece in the passenger side of the floor.

The left side inner kick panel is next.

Attached Files
01-15-2022_005c.jpg (183.27 KB, 114 downloads)
01-17-2022_007c.jpg (353.67 KB, 114 downloads)
01-19-2022_002c.jpg (168.43 KB, 113 downloads)
01-21-2022_002c.jpg (222.33 KB, 114 downloads)
01-21-2022_005c.jpg (160.39 KB, 112 downloads)

Brian

'51 Chevy 3604 Project
'28 Chevy LO basket case
'83 GMC Sierra 4x4
Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project
Brian Wise #1438309 Sat Jan 22 2022 07:21 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,385
P
AD Addict
Nice work Brian! Have you considered cutting a 3/16” strip to fill the gap. That would minimize the shrinkage.

I’ll be doing the same thing in the near future so I’m following your build. Keep up the good work!

Last edited by Phak1; Sat Jan 22 2022 07:24 PM.

Phil

1952 Chevrolet 3100
Project Journals
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‘59 235 w/hydraulic lifters
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Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project
Brian Wise #1438390 Sun Jan 23 2022 01:04 PM
Joined: Nov 2021
Posts: 158
W
'Bolter
Brian, I am also in a similar position as I have the patch panels (floor, cowl, etc.) but winter has gotten in the way. I will follow along and appreciate the effort it takes to document the activities.


1949/50 3600 Project
Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project
Phak1 #1438435 Sun Jan 23 2022 05:20 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 141
B
'Bolter
Originally Posted by Phak1
Nice work Brian! Have you considered cutting a 3/16” strip to fill the gap. That would minimize the shrinkage.

I’ll be doing the same thing in the near future so I’m following your build. Keep up the good work!

Phil, yes I plan to cut some strips from the piece I took out to fill in the wider gaps, especially towards the middle where the hump begins.


Brian

'51 Chevy 3604 Project
'28 Chevy LO basket case
'83 GMC Sierra 4x4
Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project
WICruiser #1438436 Sun Jan 23 2022 05:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 141
B
'Bolter
Originally Posted by WICruiser
Brian, I am also in a similar position as I have the patch panels (floor, cowl, etc.) but winter has gotten in the way. I will follow along and appreciate the effort it takes to document the activities.

Thanks, and I will look forward to seeing your progress as well.


Brian

'51 Chevy 3604 Project
'28 Chevy LO basket case
'83 GMC Sierra 4x4
Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project
Brian Wise #1439860 Thu Feb 03 2022 03:04 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 141
B
'Bolter
Since my last project update I've finished the installation of the left side floor pan, the left side kick panel, and the left side inner cowl piece. For this post, I'll add a photo of the finished floor pan, and talk about the left kick panel a bit.

The replacement of the left kick panel was pretty straight forward for the most part. I used the old piece as a pattern to get the new one close to where it needed to be, then trimmed it as necessary. Where things didn't go according to Hoyle was with the bottom of the new piece. The frame rail under the cab floor angles inward towards the center of the cab, starting just past the door pillar. Why, I don't know, doesn't the new kick panel piece? I'm sure it's because it's quicker and cheaper to press them out of flat sheet. So needless to say, you have to do some 'cut and paste' work to get the bottom of the panel to meet up with the floor panel. In the photo of the old and new pieces lying on the table, you can see one of the cuts I made at the lower right corner of the new one. I also had to take a very long and thin pie shaped piece out of the bottom, parallel to the bend. This allowed the flange at the bottom to bend and meet the floor. In the third photo you can just see the sliver of light coming up through that cut. Once all of that mess was welded back together, I had to make a funky jigsaw puzzle shaped piece to fill in the gap between the kick panel and the lower left corner of the toeboard where it curves in to meet the floor. There was plenty of grind, fill, grind, fill, etc. And yes, that welding along the door pillar is pretty gnarly. I misjudged the width of the new piece so had to cut little slivers of new metal to place between the new and old, so double the spot welds. I also discovered an interesting thing. I was using a small piece of magnet to hold each sliver in place while I tacked it in. The weld would be very erratic until I removed the magnet, as though the gas shield was turned off. Lots of careful grinding later and it all cleaned up pretty well.

The last photo shows the installed kick panel from the outside. Next up, the inner cowl piece.

Attached Files
01-26-2022_002c.jpg (162.3 KB, 61 downloads)
01-27-2022_001c.jpg (144.49 KB, 62 downloads)
01-27-2022_003c.jpg (173.88 KB, 62 downloads)
01-27-2022_004c.jpg (231.71 KB, 60 downloads)
Last edited by Brian Wise; Thu Feb 03 2022 03:09 AM. Reason: more info

Brian

'51 Chevy 3604 Project
'28 Chevy LO basket case
'83 GMC Sierra 4x4
Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project
Brian Wise #1439861 Thu Feb 03 2022 03:09 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 5,313
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
Your experience with the inner cowl panel is pretty what I (and most others who tackled that job) experienced. Mine needed some serious massaging like yours did.

But you got er done. thumbs_up

Get prepared for similar issues with the inner-to-outer cowl piece.


Kevin
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos [flickr.com]
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
Busting rust since the mid-60's
Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project
Brian Wise #1439863 Thu Feb 03 2022 03:31 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 141
B
'Bolter
Once the kick panel was done, I moved on to the filler piece between the kick panel and the outer cowl. I had removed the entire thing earlier in order to get the old kick panel out. This also allowed me to clean up the space behind the door pillar. Everything was treated with rust converter then given a coat of grey paint.

I've read a number of times that the filler pieces (what I call the 'inner cowl' pieces) are the worst patch panels in terms of the manufacturers not getting them very close to being a good fit. That's a bit of an understatement. First off, the manufacturers didn't appear to even try to get the top end the same shape as the original. It's also too wide at that end. Next, in the case of my new pieces, the sides bow inward so when you get the piece in place, it doesn't come close to touching the kick panel or the cowl. Lots more 'cut and paste' work!

Since the majority of the original inner cowl piece on my cab is in good shape from about the 1/2 way mark, I decided to cut off the top end and re-use it. The marks on it made by the spot weld cutter were great for getting it right back into the same position. The new piece was then chopped down to match and test fit. The outer side of the new piece was coaxed out with a hammer to get it where it would meet the cowl, but the inner side had to move about 3/8" to meet the kick panel, so I cut it completely off. Once the main portion of the inner cowl piece was tacked in, I fitted the side piece so that it fit snug to the kick panel and tacked it in. All of the pieces were pre-drilled in the appropriate locations for plug welding as needed.

With the inner cowl piece installed, I took some time to clean up the parking brake lever bracket, temporarily bolted it to the toeboard (the original top bolt hole was still there) and used it as a guide to drill out all of the mounting holes.

At this point I decided that another day of sitting and laying on a cold concrete floor wasn't going to happen so I spent some time cleaning up the inside of the firewall and giving it, and the new kick and floor panels and good coat of epoxy primer. The last photo gives a pretty good before-and-after view (comparing the left to the right side).

I have some new metal to install on the lower portion of the outer cowl panel (where the fender mounts), then it's over to the passenger side.

Attached Files
01-27-2022_004c.jpg (231.71 KB, 50 downloads)
02-01-2022_001c.jpg (228.14 KB, 52 downloads)
02-01-2022_002c.jpg (191.42 KB, 54 downloads)
02-02-2022_001c.jpg (167.89 KB, 53 downloads)

Brian

'51 Chevy 3604 Project
'28 Chevy LO basket case
'83 GMC Sierra 4x4
Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project
klhansen #1439864 Thu Feb 03 2022 03:33 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 141
B
'Bolter
Originally Posted by klhansen
Your experience with the inner cowl panel is pretty what I (and most others who tackled that job) experienced. Mine needed some serious massaging like yours did.

But you got er done. thumbs_up

Get prepared for similar issues with the inner-to-outer cowl piece.

Thanks! And yes, there were fun times ahead!


Brian

'51 Chevy 3604 Project
'28 Chevy LO basket case
'83 GMC Sierra 4x4
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