Well I had been picking some brains here for several months already so I thought I would finally post something and was encouraged to start a Project Journal.
A little background. I live in the center of Arizona in a little town called Camp Verde. I had sold one of my vehicles and wanted to start a new project. Having recently retired, I needed to stay productive.
I'd owned a 1953 Chevy 1/2 ton that I bought from my brother when I was much younger. I sold it to help with a down payment for our first house. So I have always been fond of this vintage of trucks.
I had been looking for a long time for something affordable to get started with but didn't have much luck. Last summer I finally found the 1952 GMC in Albuquerque, only 6 hours away haha.
So me and a buddy went for a road trip and ended up coming home the same day with a $2200 basket case. Knowing it was a long journey but I knew I wasn't coming home without it.
When I got it home is when I really saw what I was getting into. Like floor boards, inner and outer side cowls, firewall, and of course cab corners. Not to mention all the fender work and missing parts. The drive shaft was even cut in two.
You get what you pay for. I am about a year into this thing and it's now summer again and getting real hot in the shop so I'm starting to slow down some.
That's about all the words I'm putting down for now.
Last edited by Peggy M; Fri Aug 11 2023 02:33 PM. Reason: added more info to the title
I did get the truck home safely. Only 1 flat tire on the trailer, and started doing some inventory. The truck bed was totally roached out, I found a replacement bed in Phoenix. The cab was pretty bad too, in my novice opinion.
Since I wasn't the one who started this project, I probably won't know of all the parts I'm missing til reassembly time.
Anyway, I thought I would tackle the body work first, get it into primer and cover it up.
I took some classes at our community College a few years back: auto body 101, auto welding, auto paint. It was a lot of fun and great learning something I had never done before.
I am not going to go through a step-by-step process that I did to get things done. Rather I am going to just give me a overview because there is a lot of information on this website that covers all these step by step processes. I think it's fun to read about particular challenges that people run across the so that's what I'm going to try to do. So doing the usual cab corners inner and outer cowls floorboard patches firewall patches and getting everything pretty close to being good haha I sprayed epoxy primer on all the body parts followed by several coats of heavy sanding primer. I also wanted to tackle the front grill because it was really bad. I disassembled it drilling out all the rivets, did the body work on all the individual pieces painted them and then reassembled the grill using 3/16 rivets. I think it came out okay.
Welcome, good luck with your project. If you look at my project journal you will see that I am in a similar situation. I purchased a 1949/50 3600 in AZ late last year from a person that decided it was too much of a project (he had bought it from someone else who also decided that). Anyway, much longer haul from AZ to WI but I have been working on it and contune to make progress.
This forum has a lot of great experts that will help you along your journey.
I think the inner cowl panels where the hardest things to do. The replacement panels just didn't seem to fit well, a lot of cutting and tweaking was necessary. I think they may be covered during the interior process anyway, not sure yet.
When I first got this project I had noticed the drive shaft was partially cut through so I wanted to keep it semi original I found a 1950 Chevy Chassis with rear end motor and transmission to use. Since one of the Cross members was butchered pretty well I decided to use the 1950 Chevy Chassis also. Everything to me looked pretty much the same from one chassis to the other. After cleaning the chassis scraping wire Wheeling power washing priming and then finally painting I was ready to work on the rear end. I used Rust-Oleum super primer and protective enamel on the chassis 1 quart of each was just fine . Then I found out it had Huck brakes. Everything I read about Huck brakes said you had to realign the shoes but I found new shoes at O'Reilly's for $36. So to recap I am now putting a 52 g m c onto a 1950 Chevy chassis and rear end still using the 52 front end
I reinstalled the rear end, doing this all by myself was a challenge in itself. Installed new shocks. I cleaned all the original brake lines, they looked to me to be in really good shape and the fluid inside was clean so I ran brake cleaner and air pressure through all the lines several times and reused them. Of course, new MC. It's finally starting to resemble a truck again, at least part of one.
Paul, on your recently done King Pin project, just wondering if you used a reamer thru the two bushings for the alignment. If so, is it something you had on hand. I need to do King Pins on both my 1950 1 ton, and the 1946 3/4 ton. That's the tricky part of the project for me is getting those bushings properly aligned. Both trucks take the .921 dia. pin, so I guess your supposed to use a .922 or .923 reamer. Where in the world would you get one of those? Any comments welcome.