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54 GM bed on a 47-53 Frame - shaving the frame
#682903 Sun Oct 03 2010 09:01 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 34
5
New Guy
Has anyone ever shaved the top 2 1/8" of their 1947-53 frame to better fit the 1954 bed. Mar-K documented this suggestion, but I have to find someone that actually did this. I'm seriously looking into this and was hoping to find someone's completed work. Is it strong/safe if you box it?

from Mar-k
http://www.mar-k.com/54_bed_on_a_53_frame.html

A third choice that builders who are confident in their welding skills may prefer is to modify the 47-53 frame to more closely match the shape of the 54 frame. The top of the frame is chopped down about 2-1/8 inches in the area over the rear axle and is reinforced to compensate for the metal removed. The complete 54 bed could then be mounted on the earlier frame similar to its original location and the bed wood floor could be installed like the original 54 bed. The 54 front bed to frame mounting hole is about 3/4 inches different than the 47-53 bed, which requires drilling the frame for the new bolt location.

Re: 54 GM bed on a 47-53 Frame - shaving the frame
54Chev3100HotRod #683063 Mon Oct 04 2010 01:26 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,147
G
.
Haven't read the article yet, but from the info you give it sounds like a bad idea to me.
The small trucks already have small frames, why make it any smaller?

Can you trade your 54 bed for someone with a 47-53?, or sell and buy?

Grigg


1951 GMC 250 in the Project Journals [stovebolt.com]
1948 Chevrolet 6400 [stovebolt.com] - Detroit Diesel 4-53T - Roadranger 10 speed overdrive - 4 wheel disc brakes
1952 Chevrolet 3800 pickup [stovebolt.com]
---All pictures [picasaweb.google.com]---
"First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-
Re: 54 GM bed on a 47-53 Frame - shaving the frame
Grigg #683138 Mon Oct 04 2010 06:36 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 34
5
New Guy
Actually, my truck is a '54. Unfortunately my original '54 frame is rusted out. I found a '48 as a replacement. I really want to maintain the original '54 bed. I'm planning on installing a triangulated 4 link, which will minimize the stress on the back portion of the frame. I would think that boxing/reinforcing the frame would be enough. Really, its the reverse of a c-notch.

Re: 54 GM bed on a 47-53 Frame - shaving the frame
54Chev3100HotRod #683164 Mon Oct 04 2010 08:45 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,147
G
.
Originally Posted by 54Chev3100HotRod
..Mar-K documented this suggestion, but I have to find someone that actually did this...

After seeing the pictures and full writeup I think it's best to leave it as a "suggestion" for sure not a strong one, and hope that no one actually attempts it.
Still doesn't look/sound like a good idea to me.

The simple option is to trim holes in the bed wood for the frame to protrude through, and cover it with some nicely curved and fabricated heavy sheet metal covers, not unlike a wheel tub just a lot smaller. Looks like about 1.5" tall above the bed floor is all that's necessary, and I'm guessing 8-10" long, and a tad wider than the frame member, so 3-4" would be plenty.
Depends on your intended use for the truck. I might have problems with it because I use trucks for what they are, and a non level floor while not a huge problem would bother me. But the number of trucks I see at shows that apparently are never used is supprising... Many of them could get away with such a modification to the bed floor.

What are your thoughts?

Grigg


1951 GMC 250 in the Project Journals [stovebolt.com]
1948 Chevrolet 6400 [stovebolt.com] - Detroit Diesel 4-53T - Roadranger 10 speed overdrive - 4 wheel disc brakes
1952 Chevrolet 3800 pickup [stovebolt.com]
---All pictures [picasaweb.google.com]---
"First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-
Re: 54 GM bed on a 47-53 Frame - shaving the frame
Grigg #683171 Mon Oct 04 2010 09:07 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,161
O
Cruising in the Passing Lane
Later today I'm helping a friend pick up a '54 frame he paid only $75 for. I'd pass on the early frame and keep looking for a '54. They are out there.

Some states now require that any frame modification be designed by an engineer and any welding be done by a certified welder. If you state is one of those you'll want to avoid modifying the frame.


Its true, I really don't do anything but browse the Internet looking for trouble...
Steve@OldSub.com . www.OldSub.com . www.MaxwellGarage.com . www.OldGasTowRigs.com
'55 1st GMC Suburban . '54 GMC 250 trailer puller project. '54 GMC 250 Hydra-Matic . '54 Chevy 3100 . '47 Chevy COE . and more...
Re: 54 GM bed on a 47-53 Frame - shaving the frame
OldSub #683172 Mon Oct 04 2010 09:11 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 34
5
New Guy
One of the benefits of the earlier frame is the built in extra 2" of suspension travel. I'm having a hard time seeing the difference between me shaving the top of the frame or install a c-notch kit. Since I'm lowering my truck, the extra suspension travel will be ideal.

Have any of you installed a c-notch kit in one of these frames?

Re: 54 GM bed on a 47-53 Frame - shaving the frame
54Chev3100HotRod #683187 Mon Oct 04 2010 10:06 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,147
G
.
What do you mean by "c-notch kit"?

The way I see it "shaving" the frame is to remove the top part of the hump that gets in he way of the bed floor, in effect making your about 4" channel frame down to 2" over the rear axle, and then you need something to add strength to what's leftover. (still not a fan of this idea)

If your goal is for more upward suspension travel, then the factory frame is good, and anything you do to it to get more only makes the clearance problem with the bed even worse.

What do you think of leaving it alone and making small covers in the bed to hide the frame that pokes through?
Or am I missing how this is supposed to work/not work?

Grigg


1951 GMC 250 in the Project Journals [stovebolt.com]
1948 Chevrolet 6400 [stovebolt.com] - Detroit Diesel 4-53T - Roadranger 10 speed overdrive - 4 wheel disc brakes
1952 Chevrolet 3800 pickup [stovebolt.com]
---All pictures [picasaweb.google.com]---
"First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-
Re: 54 GM bed on a 47-53 Frame - shaving the frame
Grigg #683284 Tue Oct 05 2010 03:16 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 83
O
Wrench Fetcher
Ok, am I missing something here, but why not just use the wooden blocks or metal spacers to space the '54 bed up the extra 2" of clearance you need, similar to that of the earlier style bed. Doesn't really seem to make much differece in my eyes. You'd just moving it up 2" which is barely noticable. Or raise the inside of the bed up the extra 2" by cutting it and re-welding it. Easy enough to do, or chop that hump out and just weldin a new portion of frame or backhalf with the proper geometry if possible. You can make anything and everything work with a little time and effort put forth and with the proper skills of course.

Last edited by dubds10; Tue Oct 05 2010 03:30 AM.

1957 GMC 1/2T SWB Stepper - daily drive for summer
1965 Chevy P10 Shorty Ice Cream Truck - project
1963 GMC Commercial Fire Dept Van - project


http://s1216.photobucket.com/albums/dd364/otservice/
Re: 54 GM bed on a 47-53 Frame - shaving the frame
Otservice #683317 Tue Oct 05 2010 05:37 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,161
O
Cruising in the Passing Lane
Originally Posted by dubds10
why not just use the wooden blocks or metal spacers to space the '54 bed up the extra 2" of clearance you need

I've seen a '54 bed on an earlier frame. It does not look right, and filler plates have to be made to fit between the running boards and bed. Also the fenders need to be lowered or will appear too high.

Best plan is to find a '54 or '55 1st frame. My buddy got one this afternoon for just $75.


Its true, I really don't do anything but browse the Internet looking for trouble...
Steve@OldSub.com . www.OldSub.com . www.MaxwellGarage.com . www.OldGasTowRigs.com
'55 1st GMC Suburban . '54 GMC 250 trailer puller project. '54 GMC 250 Hydra-Matic . '54 Chevy 3100 . '47 Chevy COE . and more...
Re: 54 GM bed on a 47-53 Frame - shaving the frame
OldSub #683320 Tue Oct 05 2010 05:47 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 83
O
Wrench Fetcher
Then the only way to keep it's original stance and look would be to raise the bed floor up, which isn't hard. Done it many of times. But ya, if you don't like to cut and weld, then best find a new frame I suppose. There are tons around for cheap that I've seen.

Last edited by dubds10; Tue Oct 05 2010 05:48 AM.

1957 GMC 1/2T SWB Stepper - daily drive for summer
1965 Chevy P10 Shorty Ice Cream Truck - project
1963 GMC Commercial Fire Dept Van - project


http://s1216.photobucket.com/albums/dd364/otservice/
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