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Posted By: Brian Wise My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sun Dec 13 2020 06:35 PM
I joined Stovebolt earlier this year and have been cruising the various threads to get a lot of great information on various subjects. I finally decided to take the plunge and post up about my project. I acquired my truck back in September. I quickly discovered that the truck is a 1/2 ton (JP code) body on a 3/4 ton frame (hence the thread title). A previous owner had swapped the original motor and trans for a ca. '64 250-6 and Turbo 350 auto (operated by the original 3-speed column shift!). The rear axle was swapped for a GM 14-bolt (3.23 gears). This is a 'budget build' as funding allows, but since then I've done the following: removed the bed (an all aluminum copy made by a previous owner), cleaned and painted the frame behind the cab, rebuild the rear suspension, replaced the GM 14-bolt rear end with a Dana 60 (3.54 gears) that I got free, removed all of the front sheet metal, cleaned and painted the frame up to the cab, and rebuilt the front suspension.

I'm currently working on the front axle and brakes. I am replacing the original Huck drum brakes with Bendix. This is where I've made my first (of more to come, I'm sure) mistakes. I didn't do quite enough research before finding a '53 GMC pickup at a wrecking yard and purchasing it's front brakes. The truck was a 1/2 ton, so the drums are 11" diameter. I want to stay with the 8-lug hubs that were on my truck. After searching for new drums I quickly realized that I was at a dead end. I thought about going back to the yard and getting the whole front axle assembly, but then a friend pointed out that I'd have to carry two spare tires (one 6-lug and the other 8-lug)! Argh!! So now I'm on the hunt for the proper 12" dia. front brakes from another donor truck (the 1/2 ton brakes, with new shoes, are available for sale or trade).

Once the truck is back on four wheels, I will remove the cab, motor and transmission then complete all the frame work. I plan to rebuild the 250 and mate it to a SM 420 trans that I have. The transmission is a post-1954 model with the angled mounts, so I'll fabricate a new frame cross member. The later-design SM 420 means I should be able to ditch the two-piece drive shaft with a one-piece (which would lessen the horizontal angularity between the trans and rear end). I'd appreciate any input on that idea.

When it's all said and done, the truck will get a two-tone paint job of Union Oil blue and orange with appropriate "76" and "Minute Man" logos in remembrance of my grandfather who was the Northwest Territory manager in the 1950's.

Since my truck is a bit of a Frankestein, it's taken on the name "Pepper." Anyone who's kids watched the "Thumb" movies (Frankenthumb, Thumbtanic, Bat Thumb, etc.) would get the reference.

Best to all,

Brian

Attached picture 1951c.jpg
Attached picture Rear end_01.jpg
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sun Dec 13 2020 07:10 PM
You look like you have a great project going and its definitely a learning experience. In my case, ‘52 3100 with a ‘59 235, the more I look, the more screwed up things I find that PO’s (previous owner’s) did or had done. Allot of what I found was done was that “Git-Err-Dun” attitude.

With that all said, I still love working on the truck including the research necessary to find out how its supposed to be. This forum has provided me with much of the answers. Good luck with you restoration and keep posting with plenty of pictures!
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sun Dec 13 2020 08:04 PM
Phak1, thank you for your reply. I, too, really enjoy the research part of the project. One thing I'd love to do is find out where the truck was first sold (I know it was made in the Flint plant, but that's all). Have you ever researched your VIN? I've seen plenty of web sites that say they offer a "free" VIN look up service, but I have my doubts about them. Is there a legit method of getting the history of the vehicle?

Brian
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sun Dec 13 2020 09:10 PM
I don’t think those “free” (nothing in this world is truly free) VIN lookup services are going to help at all. Our trucks are just too old. GM Heritage Center [gmheritagecenter.com], although is a really fascinating site, only goes back to 1977 on certain models for dealer invoices. I haven’t been able to trace my trucks history at all. I think if you contacted the seller, he may put you on to at least some of its history.

Good Luck!
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Mon Dec 14 2020 12:21 AM
Here is a link you’ll get a kick out!
[LINK] [gmheritagecenter.com]
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Mon Dec 14 2020 12:51 AM
Thanks for the link! I downloaded the brochure. Sure would love to get my hands on a real one some day. I miss going to swap meets!

Brian
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Mon Dec 14 2020 11:56 PM
Since I purchased my ‘52 3100 in February 2019, it hasn’t run or drove good enough to go to any events. I just finished (hopefully will be) my last major mechanical issue, so next year I’ll be ready to go to shows and swap meets.
Posted By: WarEagle1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Tue Dec 15 2020 12:39 AM
Mr. Wise what you have accomplished so far is very impressive to me. I have a 1965 C10 that I'm working on. I am way behind you, and not even close in mechanical capability, but I am kind of taking the same approach. That is, I want to address the undercarriage rust so my current plan is to remove the engine, front sheet metal and bed and attack the rust there. Do you plan to remove cab?

Also what did you paint frame with? Looks really good. I hope to have mine looking that way one day.

Thanks
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Tue Dec 15 2020 01:21 AM
Originally Posted by WarEagle1
Mr. Wise what you have accomplished so far is very impressive to me. I have a 1965 C10 that I'm working on. I am way behind you, and not even close in mechanical capability, but I am kind of taking the same approach. That is, I want to address the undercarriage rust so my current plan is to remove the engine, front sheet metal and bed and attack the rust there. Do you plan to remove cab?

Also what did you paint frame with? Looks really good. I hope to have mine looking that way one day.

Thanks

Thank you for the kind words. My motive for attacking the running gear first is so that I can keep it in some kind of rolling condition in case I need to move it out of its current location. Yes, I do plan to remove the cab. In fact as soon as I can put four wheels back on it, I'll roll it outside so I can lift the cab off, and remove the motor and transmission. Then I can finish cleaning and painting the frame.

My process for painting the frame isn't too exotic or expensive (I don't have the luxury of getting it sand blasted and powder coated). I clean the metal with various types of wire wheels, then wipe it down with a clean rag and denatured alcohol (because I have a couple gallons handy, and it dries fast). The metal is then given a coat of rust converter. I use a product called Coroseal, which is also a primer. I put it on with a paint brush, wait till it turns black, then wipe off the excess with a rag. After that has dried, I spray on a coat of automotive primer. Last is two coats of an inexpensive industrial enamel that I get at my local hardware store. The painted part of the frame you see in the photo was done with a brush. Not show quality, but it isn't meant to be. I've got plenty of work to do on the frame, including fabricating a new cross member to suppor the transmission, new dual-circuit master cylinder, brake lines, etc, etc.. When all of the fab work is done, I may prep and respray the whole thing.

Brian
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Tue Dec 15 2020 01:25 AM
Originally Posted by Phak1
Since I purchased my ‘52 3100 in February 2019, it hasn’t run or drove good enough to go to any events. I just finished (hopefully will be) my last major mechanical issue, so next year I’ll be ready to go to shows and swap meets.

I'm really looking forward to going to some swap meets next year. We have a couple of really good ones at our fairgrounds out here.

I just noticed that you (and other posters) have a Project Journal for your truck. I guess I should start one for my project instead of posting my updates and photos to this thread.

*Edit* And then I just noticed that this thread is in fact in the Project Journals forum, so whaddaya know.

Brian
Posted By: WarEagle1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Tue Dec 15 2020 01:56 AM
Yeah I may be doing my frame about the same. One thing I'm going to look at is one of these special wands to turn your pressure washer into a sandblaster. Not sure how effective it will be but I think it's worth a try.

I hope you continue to post on how you remove the cab.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Tue Dec 15 2020 02:28 PM
Originally Posted by WarEagle1
Yeah I may be doing my frame about the same. One thing I'm going to look at is one of these special wands to turn your pressure washer into a sandblaster. Not sure how effective it will be but I think it's worth a try.

I hope you continue to post on how you remove the cab.

I will be sure to post some photos of removing the cab, etc. I've already done some preliminary work to get the cab off, like disconnect the pedals, wiring, and remove the steering column. Getting the steering wheel off turned out to be quite a fight. My first attempt to use a standard puller didn't go so well. I managed to damage the threads on the end of the column. I had the nut flush at the end of the shaft, but I had to put so much torque on the puller bolt that it walked off-center and forced down on the edge of the nut, ruining the threads (not all of them, thankfully, just at the end). Hitting the underside of the steering wheel with a dead blow hammer didn't do a thing. After some internet cruising, I found a photo (maybe it was on this site) of a puller that a guy made that grabbed the wheel from underneath (in stead of via the two 1/4" bolt holes in the steering wheel face). I made a similar puller and had the wheel off no problem.

Brian

Attached picture Steering wheel removal_01.jpg
Attached picture Steering wheel removal_02.jpg
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Tue Dec 15 2020 03:53 PM
Nice job on the steering wheel puller. I’ll keep that in mind when I pull my wheel to refurbish it.
Posted By: Mrwad3 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Dec 18 2020 03:11 PM
What did you use to paint the frame? Chasis saver? A brush or spray gun? I'm nearing the paint the frame portion and am trying to get ideas. I have some POR-15 from doing the wife's falcon's front rails and cross members. Was gonna brush it on and lightly rough it. Good work so far little by little whatever it takes. What did you wind up doing to the front suspension?
Posted By: klhansen Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Dec 18 2020 08:28 PM
I thought about brushing on coating on my frame, but the issue is there are quite a few spots that would be very difficult to coat with a brush. I missed my sandblast window so will be waiting till spring to blast and spray coat the frame. I think I'll use epoxy primer and industrial enamel on top of that.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Dec 19 2020 02:29 AM
Originally Posted by Mrwad3
What did you use to paint the frame? Chasis saver? A brush or spray gun? I'm nearing the paint the frame portion and am trying to get ideas. I have some POR-15 from doing the wife's falcon's front rails and cross members. Was gonna brush it on and lightly rough it. Good work so far little by little whatever it takes. What did you wind up doing to the front suspension?

After I clean the frame as best as I can, I give it a liberal coating of Coroseal rust converter/primer. After the Coroseal turns from white to purple (almost black), I wipe off the excess. That is allowed to dry, then I spray (rattle can) automotive primer from the hardware store. Once that has cured, I use a nothing fancy brand of industrial enamel, again from the hardware store. The rear end of the frame I used a brush for the top coat so it would go on heavy. On the front end, I used the same brand of enamel in a spray can.

If I had plenty of time to do this project, I would have used a HVLP spray gun for both the primer and the top coat. I would also have used a urethane for the top coat. Unfortunately, the space I have to work on my truck is not an long-term situation. I have to get the frame back onto four wheels as soon as I can in case I need to move the chassis to another location. So, I'm making concessions to keep things moving forward.

Brian
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Dec 19 2020 02:34 AM
Originally Posted by klhansen
I thought about brushing on coating on my frame, but the issue is there are quite a few spots that would be very difficult to coat with a brush. I missed my sandblast window so will be waiting till spring to blast and spray coat the frame. I think I'll use epoxy primer and industrial enamel on top of that.

I didn't have too much trouble brushing the paint on the rear of the frame as there really weren't any spots I couldn't get to with a brush. The front end is a different story. In fact with the motor in place I missed a couple spots and left a few areas pretty light. Once the motor and trans come out, I have to install new motor mounts (the existing ones were cobbled together by a PO) and build a new cross member at the bell housing (the original is gone, replaced with another cobbled together mess to support a Turbo 350 auto). After that work, I can finish prepping the remainder of the frame and give everything a good coat of paint, going back over the front end to get the places I missed.

Brian
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Dec 19 2020 02:46 AM
Originally Posted by Mrwad3
I have some POR-15 from doing the wife's falcon's front rails and cross members. Was gonna brush it on and lightly rough it. Good work so far little by little whatever it takes. What did you wind up doing to the front suspension?

Mrwad3, I forgot to finish answering your post. I also purchased a quart of POR 15 thinking that I would use it on the frame. If I had to buy too much of that stuff I'd be broke! I dealt with it once before, many years ago, on a painting project. I had to sand the crap out of it to break the surface so I could apply a urethane top coat. Exposed, POR 15 turns flat black. I didn't want to have to deal with sanding that stuff inside the frame of my truck, so I went a different route. I do plan to use the POR 15 on the underside of the cab, under the running boards and inside the fender wells, followed by a coating of bed liner or some other undercoating product.

The front suspension on my truck wasn't too bad. I replaced all of the pins and bushings as a matter of course, although only the rear ones were worn. I took the springs apart as much as I was able. Most of the leaves are banded, but they do separate a bit when you remove the center bolt. I cleaned them as much as possible, gave them a coat of Coroseal rust converter/primer, then painted them black. Before I squeezed them back together and put in the center bolt, I added a small amount of oil between the leaves.

New rubber grease seals for the front shackle bolts were used when I installed the springs. I've got a new pair of Monroe shocks ready to go in as soon as I get the front axle and spindle repairs completed (just about there).

Brian
Posted By: Mrwad3 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Dec 19 2020 02:34 PM
Nice. I know all about making concessions to keep it going. I'm currently at a stand still because I had to get the kids laptops for online school. The POR is some crazyness and hard to get off I agree but I bought 2 6-packs of the 8 oz cans after reading how hard it is to store after opening. I will likely use an undercoating in the very end as well.

I forgot your project is a 51 which means gas shocks. My 49 has the knee action or lever action shocks which means somewhere between $160-$220 a set to rebuild the originals. I am trying to convert to gas shocks for budget and future maintenance sake.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Wed Dec 23 2020 02:20 PM
The front axle presented a challenge when I discovered some time ago that the left end king pin hole was worn oversize. I took the axle down to a friend's machine shop to use his Bridgeport mill. Typically, the set up took much longer than it did to bore out the hole so I could install a bushing. Back at my shop, I made a new bushing out of 4140 steel. The bushing was only .020" thick, so using a press to install it was not an option. I put the bushing in the freezer for a couple days and the axle in a warm room near a heater. When the time came, the bushing installed with a light tap from a rubber hammer. After the temperature equalized, the bushing was held fast in place. I then used an adjustable reamer to increase the inside diameter of the bushing to .922" (the new king pins, from ClassicParts.com, are .921"). Finally, I cleaned up the cross pin hole with a 1/2" tapered reamer.

Next up was new bushings in the spindles. Using the lathe, I made a tool out of some bar stock that would fit just inside the spindle holes to press out the old bushings, and press in the new ones. The unusual shape of the spindle castings made setting them up in the press a real juggling act. I had to cut notches in a couple pieces of 3" channel to fit around the spindle itself and give it something flat to rest on. Once the new bushings were in, I used the same adjustable reamer to get the new bushings to the .923" called for in the shop manual. The reamer that I used is not long enough to ream both bushings at the same time (as the proper GM tool would have done) so I had to take great care to ensure that the two holes were in line. It was a long, slow process so I've only got one spindle done at this time.

My son is off work this week so he came home and helped me install the repaired front axle back under the front of the truck.

Attached picture Front axle_01.jpg
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Attached picture Spindles_01.jpg
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Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Wed Dec 23 2020 02:36 PM
While working on the front end with my son, I took a moment to snap a few "what the...?" photos. Here are pics of the front motor mounts, and the cross member holding up the Turbo 350 trans. Note that the left front mount has a lovely galvanized lag bolt through it, and the right one has nothing! The truck was driven daily like this back in its past. I have a tubular style front motor mount cross member kit (came with the truck) to fix this problem.

The original cross member under the bell housing was removed and a cludged together member was bolted in to support the automatic transmission (the truck also came with a new tubular cross member kit for the auto). I will be building a new cross member to support the SM 420 that I acquired. The 4-speed is the later style with the angled mounts adopted in 1954, so I intend to set the block and trans in place (after installing the new front mount kit), set it to the correct angle, then fab up the new rear cross member in place.

The last photo shows a nasty surprise that reared its ugly head after my son removed the intake/exhaust manifold from the 250 motor. I can repair the crack, but at this point I don't know what other damage their may be. The motor turns over easily, so I doubt there is cylinder damage. I'll probably just look for a better motor.

Brian

Attached picture LF motor mount.jpg
Attached picture RF motor mount.jpg
Attached picture Trans mount.jpg
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Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Wed Dec 23 2020 02:42 PM
Some really nice work. I get jealous of you guys who have machine skills and access to those tools.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu Dec 24 2020 02:08 PM
TUTS 59, thank you for the kind words. I am lucky to have access to a shop with a wide array of tools. Unfortunately, it's not my personal shop and my time using it is limited so I'm trying to get as much of the mechanical work done as quickly as I can without cutting corners.

Brian
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Mon Dec 28 2020 03:52 PM
After the recent discovery of a couple of cracks in the 250 block in my truck, I decided to start looking for a replacement engine. That evening I started cruising Offer Up to see what was in my area. An ad for an "old 265" for $100 that was less than an hour away from my house caught my eye. The poster had the displacement wrong, but from the one photo I couldn't tell if it was a 216 or 235. I got in contact with him and set up a meeting. The next afternoon, my son and I drove out to see the motor, which was in the ground-level basement of an old house that was going to be torn down. The room was literally full of stuff and debris, and in fact had been the location for some dynamite that was recently discovered and detonated by the local bomb squad! Fortunately for us the motor was sitting on a home made cart and right by the door. A quick check of the block number confirmed it was a 1950-52 model 235. A cursory inspection also showed that the motor had been rebuilt in the fairly recent past (it actually has a tag attached to the side of the block showing it was remanufactured by PERKINS MOTORS in Seattle, WA). I paid the seller and after a couple of his buddies showed up, we loaded the motor and cart into my truck.

Yesterday, my son and I unloaded the motor into the shop with a forklift and began a more thorough inspection. After photographing all of the block and head info, the valve cover came off first. There is light rust on the two studs that hold down the cover, but everything inside was clean. The cork gasket looked like new, but had turned brittle from age. We removed the valve train and checked to see if the valves were free (which they all were). Next, the head came off revealing a beautiful set of new pistons (all stamped for .040" over). The underside of the head showed the valves to be new as well. The block was hooked up to an engine jack and lifted into the air off the home built cart so we could see about removing the bell housing. The goal was to get the block onto an engine stand after using the bell housing as a pattern to make an adapter plate. Since the motor is stuck we couldn't get at all of the clutch pack bolts (yes, the motor came with a new clutch pack on it) so the bell housing couldn't be removed. The plan then changed to freeing up the motor.

After removing the pan (spotless except for a small pool of assembly lube in the bottom) we sprayed everything with Marvel Mystery Oil, filled the cylinders with the same and left it to soak for a day or two. Before leaving, though, we decided to pull the side cover and check the valve lifters. Almost all of them were stuck, so one at a time they were carefully removed, cleaned, lubed and reinstalled. It was then time to head home for dinner and learn that the Seahawks had beat the Rams to win the NFC West spot! GO HAWKS!

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Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu Dec 31 2020 02:58 PM
I took advantage of a short spell of dry weather (and my son's free help) during a couple days of vacation and got a little further with the project. I needed to get four wheels back onto the truck so I could roll it outside for further disassembly.

First up was getting the rebuilt spindles installed. Everything went together pretty well. The Classic Parts king pin kit comes with five .005" steel shims for the top side of the axle (figuring you'll need one or two for each side to take up wear). Because I lightly faced off the top ends of the axle to get them flat, there weren't enough shims to go around. I made a couple of .010" shims from brass shim stock and sandwiched them between a pair of steel shims for each side. That got the free play below .005" per the shop manual. While I did that, my son cleaned up the front hubs and re-greased the bearings before installing them onto the spindles. I don't have any brake parts for the front end yet, so this work is temporary. We also temporarily installed the tie rod (upgraded with new sealed-type tie rod ends) to keep the front wheels parallel. Four roller wheels went on the truck and then it was pushed outside.

I am fortunate to have access to equipment that most folks don't have lying around their yard or garage. After unbolting the rear cab shackles from the frame (I inserted wood shims under the rear cab wall to keep it from dropping) and the one bolt in the right front corner (the left didn't have a nut), I removed the cab with a strap passed through the cab with the doors open. I had previously disconnected everything between the cab and the frame/engine, or so I thought. I will be purchasing a new parking brake rod. The cab was put into storage, then we removed the 250 and Turbo 350 from the frame. Now I can finish cleaning, repairing and painting the frame.

Another item we accomplished that day was getting the recently acquired 235 onto an engine stand. After my son removed the pistons (they were all stuck in their bores and had been soaking in Marvel Mystery Oil) he was able to get the crank to slowly turn, allowing him to finally remove the flywheel, and then the bell housing. I used the bell housing face to make a paper template, then fabricated a 1/2" thick adapter plate for the engine stand per Deves Tech.

Attached picture Front axle_04.jpg
Attached picture Cab removal.jpg
Attached picture 235_06.jpg
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu Dec 31 2020 03:15 PM
Your moving right along. Nice score on your engine. It will look like its original to your truck even though it a 235 and recently rebuilt to boot!
Posted By: Fox Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Jan 01 2021 05:23 AM
Looking good!

I keep telling my wife I need a mini hoe. I sure hopes she understands what I mean! 😳
Posted By: klhansen Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Jan 01 2021 05:54 AM
Originally Posted by Fox
I keep telling my wife I need a mini hoe. I sure hopes she understands what I mean! 😳
Hopefully it's not one of these. grin A friend got this for his birthday a few months ago. (the pic is a capture from a video he sent me) It's remote controlled and he uses it to terrorize his dog. eek

Attached picture IMG_3610_Moment.jpg
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Jan 01 2021 05:55 AM
Originally Posted by Phak1
Your moving right along. Nice score on your engine. It will look like its original to your truck even though it a 235 and recently rebuilt to boot!

I think I'm going to be much happier with the 235 than the 250. The 250's horsepower would have been nice, but having a motor that actually fits like it's supposed to will make life easy in the end. Now I need to find all the pieces that make up the front motor mount. A trip to a local wrecking yard is in order (they have a '53 1 ton).
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Jan 01 2021 05:59 AM
Originally Posted by Fox
Looking good!

I keep telling my wife I need a mini hoe. I sure hopes she understands what I mean! 😳

My step dad, who worked in construction, used to call them Barbie Hoes. You'd probably have to be careful with that one, too!
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Jan 01 2021 02:19 PM
I’m curious, what’s your plan for the transmission?
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Jan 01 2021 03:28 PM
Originally Posted by Phak1
I’m curious, what’s your plan for the transmission?

I'm not going to use the T350. I have a pair of SM 420's and plan to rebuild the better of the two. One of them has the 1967-mandated reverse light switch in the top cover and I may incorporate that into my truck some way. The automatic is up for grabs.
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Jan 01 2021 05:25 PM
Might be a good time to consider a T5 tranny if you plan any highway trips.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Jan 02 2021 04:21 PM
Originally Posted by Phak1
Might be a good time to consider a T5 tranny if you plan any highway trips.

When I first got the truck I gave a lot of consideration to going with a T5. Based on how I plan to use the truck (no long freeway trips above 60 mph), the rear end gearing I wanted to have and most importantly, my budget, I decided that a T5 was not the path for me at this time (but certainly something I could do later down the road). I'm also pretty partial to getting the truck closer to original than it was. My profession involves historical preservation and restoration work so that's where my mind goes when I choose parts for this truck. I also learned to drive in my uncle's 1969 C10 (not unlike 1000's of other kids no doubt) with a granny low. Years later, my cousin and I drove the wheels off that truck. I'd like to get back some of that feeling with my truck, and use it to teach my daughter how to drive a manual.

On a side note, my SM420 needs a clutch fork and boot. I've Googled till my eyeballs fell out and can't figure out which fork is correct. Any chance you can point me in the right direction?
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Jan 02 2021 04:30 PM
Place a want add in the Truck Parts Wanted forum and I’m sure with a little bit of patience you’ll get what you need. The forum has always come thru for me!
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Wed Jan 27 2021 02:34 AM
I've made pretty good progress on two fronts lately. As I began tearing down the 235 motor that I acquired, I gave a lot of thought to how I was going to mount it in the frame since the original rear motor mount crossmember was gone. I gave thought to constructing a new member but ultimately was able to get my local wrecking yard to let me remove what I needed from a poor old 3/4 ton. My son provided plenty of moral support as I contorted underneath the old truck to saw off all of the rivet heads (fortunately the transmission was gone providing pretty good access). After a couple rainy hours on my butt in the gravel I had my prize. It didn't take me long to get it cleaned up, primered and installed (bolted in with Nylock nuts). I had previously rehabbed the pedal assembly (cleaned, painted, new bushings, etc.) so the mounting bracket went back on next. A new dual-master cylinder adapter bracket, springs and other goodies are on their way. I also decided it was a good time to install the new front shock absorbers I bought a couple months ago.

So with the frame back in original configuration again, I went back to my motor project. Although it was rebuilt (about 30 years ago), it was stuck so a complete tear down was in order. The block has since been cleaned inside and out, all the oil and water passageways blown out, and the outside of the block painted with engine enamel primer and two coats of engine enamel. I went through all of the discussions about which shade of gray is correct and finally decided that I would use whatever my local NAPA store had on the shelf. As of this evening I've got all of the pieces that go on the front of the block cleaned and ready for paint, too. I received a new Fel-Pro gasket kit so I'm ready to start putting the motor back together.

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Posted By: Fox Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Wed Jan 27 2021 06:53 AM
Very nice! I love it when you go junking and the hard work is done for you. Good show.
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Wed Jan 27 2021 01:04 PM
The frame is looking great, it's amazing what happens when can just focus on a task.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Feb 06 2021 04:09 PM
After getting my 235 block painted and receiving a new Fel-Pro gasket kit, I gave installing the rope rear main seal a try. My first attempt didn't work out so well as I couldn't turn the crankshaft at all. I ordered a neoprene-style seal to give that a try but the seal I received wasn't even close to being the correct one. I then ordered a replacement Fel-Pro rope seal when I returned the neoprene one. After watching a dozen or more YouTube videos of people making it look really easy, I gave the rope seal another try. I did a better job as with the caps installed (at about 40 ft. lbs.) I could turn the crankshaft, but with difficulty. I think I can improve on that with more massaging of the seal into the grooves. The nice thing about a project this size, though, is that it's easy to step away from one thing for awhile and work on something else. I also recently received a new master cylinder and adapter, so those were installed on the frame. The MC will come back off for bench bleeding after I've got the new brake lines installed.

My son took it upon himself to purchase a starter motor from eBay, purchase a kit and rebuild the starter motor. He did a wonderful job. He's also using the bead blaster at his work place to clean up a number of pieces from the motor (valve cover, push rod cover, bell housing bottom cover, etc.). On our last foray to the wrecking yard to get the frame crossmember I needed, we also picked up a few othere pieces including a remote oil filter cannister. This thing was mounted to the passenger side of the motor in a pre-'54 1-1/2 ton Chevy. I think the motor was a 261. The cannister was bolted flush with the forward push rod cover, right at the front of the block. I'm going to see if I can adapt it to my 235 in some way, or perhaps mount it to the inner fender across from the intake. The filter inside was an AC brand element, so I'm guessing the cannister was an AC product. If so, it'll get painted blue and I'll have to add the appropriate lettering.

I've spent some time cleaning and painting quite a few parts for the motor. Except for what my son is working on, I've got a lot of pieces ready to go back onto the motor. I still need to clean and paint the head.

While I am taking my time to figure out how to get the rope seal situation right, I decided to go down the SM420 rabbit hole. Some months ago, I bought a pair of 4-speeds from an Offer Up ad. Both are post-'64 versions with one of them being a '67 with the reverse light switch in the top cover. Both had been stored outside for some time so they had "issues" inside. The older of the two was in the best shape so I chose that one to disassemble, clean and inspect. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the nastiness I was seeing was mostly superficial and all of the gears and shafts were in good shape. I've since ordered a rebuild kit from Novak. I've also cleaned up the top cover from the '67 trans as I plan to install a reverse light on the truck.

Attached picture 02-02-2021_01c.jpg
Attached picture Starter rebuild_01.jpg
Attached picture Filter housing_01.jpg
Attached picture Painted parts_01.jpg
Attached picture SM420 rebuild_01.jpg
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Feb 06 2021 04:28 PM
You and your son are progressing nicely. Your making memories that you both will cherish for a lifetime.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Mon Feb 08 2021 04:14 AM
Originally Posted by Phak1
You and your son are progressing nicely. Your making memories that you both will cherish for a lifetime.

Thank you for the kind words, Phil. When my son was 16, we went to a wrecking yard and bought him a '65 VW bug for a father & son project. That turned out to be mostly him rebuilding and me spending (he taught himself to do it all). That was 11 years ago (the '65 bug is still in my garage, too). It's fun to have him help me with my project for a change!

I spent about half the day today on my project (had to watch the Super Bowl with the wife). I decided to tackle the rope main bearing seal on my 235 again. This time I had good luck on my side and had the crankshaft, timing cover rear plate and cam shaft installed. I'm a happy camper! I started cleaning up my pistons. The old "new" rings were glued in the grooves and I managed to break a few of them so I'll be replacing them all for good measure. When I got back home, I had a nice surprise waiting for me; my Novak SM 420 rebuild kit! This is going to be a good week!

Attached picture SM420 kit_01.jpg
Posted By: 20Mercman Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Tue Feb 09 2021 04:26 PM
This is a real fun project to follow! You and your son are doing some very nice work.

Steve
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Feb 27 2021 03:31 AM
I recently got the bottom end of my 235 engine buttoned up so it was ready to get off the engine stand and set it into the frame. Before I could do that, I needed to get the new brake lines installed. Instead of buying a 25' roll of tubing (I would never need that much), I chose to go with pre-made sections (with fittings) from my local NAPA. I planned out the runs so that I'd have a minimum of cutting/flaring to do, and a minimum of fittings. I used 1/4" nickel coated copper tubing which was very easy to shape by hand (although I used a tubing bender for the tight turns). Both the front and rear circuits have 10 lb. residual valves installed right at the master cylinder. While I was able to complete the circuit to the front brakes, I did not finish the run to the rears. I still need to purchase an adjustable proportioning valve which will go in the line near the rear axle.

Once the brake lines were in place, and I had put my clutch and brake pedals back on, I was finally able to set the engine into the frame. This was a big milestone and I celebrated with a couple pints of Guiness afterwards.

Turning away from the engine project for a little bit, I decided to work on my front brake situation. To recap, I am converting my 3/4 ton truck from Huck to Bendix brakes on the front. I was able to acquire a pair of backing plates from another Stovebolter not too long ago, which got the project moving in the right direction. What I didn't know at the time, though, was that the '53-'59 3/4-ton brakes also have a separate sheet metal piece that slips over the spindles to close off the openings in the backing plates (spaces needed to allow the backing plates to clear the turn stops). Instead of searching for a pair of these covers, I decided to make them myself. They are made of 18 ga. sheet metal and 1/4 sections of EMT conduit. I used a plasma cutter to cut out the sheet metal bits, and then put it all together with my mig welder. When the cover was all welded together and dressed out, I temporarily bolted it to the backing plate, chucked it up in the lathe and bored the spindle hole. A little tweaking of the bolt holes later and the first one is ready to be painted.

Attached picture brake lines_04.jpg
Attached picture 02-25-2021_04c.jpg
Attached picture Dust covers_01.jpg
Attached picture Dust covers_02.jpg
Posted By: Canadian_guy Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Feb 27 2021 02:39 PM
Those look like they took a ton of work, but they turned out great.
Nice job!
Great post BTW.
Steve
Posted By: moparguy Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Feb 27 2021 03:06 PM
Yep, another post that shows just how just inadequate I really am in the shop!!! smile Good Work Sir. And I appreciate the warning to get that extra shield if I'm ever successful in gathering the parts to convert my Huck brakes to Bendix.

RonR
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Feb 27 2021 06:09 PM
Steve and RonR, thanks for the kind words! You know, they really weren't that much work once I could visualize the end result. I searched my area for a donor '53-'59 3/4 or 1-ton truck but came up empty. I searched the internet for photos, drawings, etc. but came up empty. All of the shop manuals seem to use the same grainy photos of 1/2 ton Bendix brakes, so they were no help. I finally found a complete set of Bendix brakes for sale on a website called "20-40parts.com" for just under $100 plus shipping from the midwest. I was tempted to go that route but I couldn't see any means of contacting the seller directly with questions, which is a red flag for me.
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sun Feb 28 2021 01:02 AM
That is great work on the backing plates, once it's complete it will look factory original. Next on my shopping list a Plasma Cutter.... "Oh Dear, I really need to buy this"
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sun Feb 28 2021 11:29 PM
Originally Posted by Canadian_guy
Those look like they took a ton of work, but they turned out great.

I agree, nice work!
Posted By: 68ironhead Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Mar 06 2021 05:00 PM
Sorry Brian, found these at the bottom of the barrel.
Your fabed ones are much prettier.
Amazing work.
RZ

Attached picture IMG_4974 (2).JPG
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Mar 27 2021 05:55 PM
Originally Posted by 68ironhead
Sorry Brian, found these at the bottom of the barrel.
Your fabed ones are much prettier.
Amazing work.
RZ

Lol! That's too funny. I thought about sending you a PM about them, but I figured I had already bothered you enough about it all. Everything turned out pretty good in the end.

Attached picture Front Bendix brakes_01.jpg
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Mon Apr 05 2021 02:42 AM
I'm getting very close to having the mechanical work all done. I think the only thing I have left to "rebuild" is the steering box. Since my last update, I've finished the rebuild of my SM 420 transmission and got it installed. I finished my front Huck-to-Bendix brake conversion, and I received a new set of alignment rings which allowed me to get the intake/exhaust installed on the motor. I then went back to my favorite wrecking yard and acquired the two-piece drive line out of a poor old '54 GMC 3/4 ton pickup. After it was all cleaned up, and with new universals and support bearing in place, I fitted it up between the transmission and differential so I could work out the angles.

With the frame level I first measured the angle at the carburetor base, which gave me 3.7 degrees (down). I then set the differential pinion angle at 3.7 degrees (up) so they cancel out. I then raised and lowered the drive line with a floor jack just ahead of the support bearing until both sections of the drive line were at the same angle (7.1 degrees), in other words the two sections are 'flat' relative to each other. Since the Dana 60 rear axle I'm using has an offset diff, the rear section of the drive line is angled, too. The (sideways) angles of the universals at the slip joint and at the diff are the same, so they also cancel out. The new support bearing I used is of the modern type that comes installed in a carrier, and it is not as 'tall' as the original set up. So with the drive line set in position, I took measurements to make an adapter spacer to go between the new bearing carrier and the plate that is riveted to the frame crossmember. With all of the fun stuff out of the way, I welded the spring perches on the rear axle, installed the rear shock mounts and shocks, welded on a bracket to hold the end of the flexible brake hose and "T" fitting, and then painted the rear axle.

I should point out that I did all of the above twice: with and without about 200 lbs. of dead weight on the rear end of the frame. The results of my measurements netted a difference of less than a degree, so I felt pretty good about the whole thing.

I've also started working on some of the sheet metal bits for the front end. Since I figured I'd better get the motor to a point where I can test run it pretty soon, I dug out my radiator and radiator support. A previous owner really tried to butcher the radiator support in an effort to do what, I'm not sure, but it had quite a few cuts and gouges in it from a grinder, and several areas that weren't flat anymore. Also, the bar that goes across the top wasn't attached to the support; both welds had been chiseled apart. So after a bunch of welding, grinding, hammering, etc. the support was one piece again, then cleaned and painted. I also cleaned, repaired and painted the sheet metal apron that sits at the bottom behind the grill, and the piece at the top of the radiator that holds the hood latch.

My son is pretty close to having the distributor complete (just got a whole bunch of parts from Bowtie Bits) and is also working on my carburetor. A few other items are on the way to get the motor ready for that first start up. On my immediate to-do list is get the last of the rear brake lines installed and the system bled, and install the parking brake cables.

Happy Easter everyone!

Attached picture Drive shaft_01.jpg
Attached picture Rear axle_01.jpg
Attached picture Progress photo 04-02-2021.jpg
Attached picture Radiator_02.jpg
Posted By: Barnfind49 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Mon Apr 05 2021 11:09 PM
Im not 100% sure but dont you need to have at least .5 deg of angle from any joint? Otherwise the cups or needles get wore bad in 1 spot or the grease dosent get pushed around in them. I remember setting mine up on my truck when I swapped it. Was a pain to measure 20 times then do all the math and adjust the crossmember to get the height jusssttttt so.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Tue Apr 06 2021 02:46 AM
Originally Posted by Barnfind49
Im not 100% sure but dont you need to have at least .5 deg of angle from any joint? Otherwise the cups or needles get wore bad in 1 spot or the grease dosent get pushed around in them. I remember setting mine up on my truck when I swapped it. Was a pain to measure 20 times then do all the math and adjust the crossmember to get the height jusssttttt so.

I know that you need to make sure that the universals are "loaded up" so that they stay in business. All three of the universals in my driveline are at some angle either horizontally (the 2nd and 3rd universals) or vertically (the 1st universal). None of them are in-line, and the net angle is zero (or as close as possible to it) to prevent vibration. Of course the only way I'll know for sure how it all feels is to drive the truck, but that's a ways off yet.
Posted By: Barnfind49 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Tue Apr 06 2021 12:13 PM
Gotcha. I used the tremec app on my iphone and it helped make sense of the angles. You literally use the level in the phone to measure 3 angles and it gives you your totals. Pretty neat setup.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Wed Apr 07 2021 01:33 AM
Originally Posted by Barnfind49
Gotcha. I used the tremec app on my iphone and it helped make sense of the angles. You literally use the level in the phone to measure 3 angles and it gives you your totals. Pretty neat setup.

I used a free app called "iLevel" which works nicely, and the graphics (changeable) are easy to see even without my reading glasses on.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri May 07 2021 03:12 AM
Since my last update I've been busy with actual 'work' stuff, so progress on the truck has been slow. When I fitted up the drive shaft I discovered that the yoke at the tail end was not the same size as the yoke in the differential. I purchased the correct size 'weld tube yoke' from a local drive shaft supplier and have prepped the tube for the new, larger yoke. I also shortened the tube 3/4" so that the splined expansion joint between the two drive shaft sections wouldn't be bottomed out. I could weld the new yoke onto the tube, but I think I'll let the shop do it so they can re-balance it at the same time.

In the meantime, I finished installing the rear brake lines and with my son's help, have bled the entire brake system. I also installed new parking brake cables. That completes the brakes until I install the cab and can adjust the parking brake cables.

Going back to getting the motor ready to start, I put water in the block one day to let it set a couple days and check for leaks. About 5 minutes later, I saw water drooling down the side of the block from behind the exhaust manifold. I removed the manifold and found the water coming out from behind the brass rebuild tag affixed to the block. Whomever installed the data plate drilled through to the water jacket and the little brass rivets were not water tight! I wanted to keep the plate in place, so I drilled and tapped the holes for 8-32 screws and installed them with Permatex. After a couple days, I filled the block with water for another check and everything was dry. So the manifold went back on and I looked into a new exhaust system next.

After doing a fair amount of research, I chose an exhaust kit from Chev's of the 40's. They are located about 2-1/2 hours south of me, so I figured I'd save on shipping by picking it up in person. The owner has his own car museum at the showroom site, too, so visiting that was a bonus. Also, a few miles away is a wrecking yard called "All American Auto" that has a field full of pre-60's autos and trucks, so my son and I had to spend some time there as well (picked up a suitable air cleaner and a proper remote oil filter housing).

After getting the kit home and checking it against my truck, it became obvious very quickly that the header pipe was not correct for my truck. I have a 235 motor, but it has the older 216 style exhaust manifold that exits straight down. Ok, so I called the vendor and arranged to swap out the header pipe for the correct one. My son and I were headed to Oregon anyway, so a stop at the vendor's warehouse to make the swap was easy. When we got home and tried to fit the new header pipe, again it was not quite right. The new pipe is for a '41-'46 truck with a 216, so the vertical portion going up to the exhaust manifold wasn't really the right shape.

I went through my options and finally decided to just make what I had fit. So I cut the flared end off of the new header pipe and temporarily installed it into the exhaust manifold. Then I heated up the bend in the header pipe and straightened out the vertical portion to line up with the manifold. I then MIG welded the two pieces back together. With that done, I installed the muffler to the end of the header pipe and attached it to the frame with the proper clamp/strap. With that all hardened up, I then fitted the tail pipe which also required a small amount of heat at one bend to get it lined up properly, but it's done!

Now to get that carburetor rebuilt and I can find out what my engine sounds like!

Attached picture Block leak_001.jpg
Attached picture Exhaust header2_003.jpg
Attached picture Exhaust header2_004.jpg
Attached picture Exhaust header2_005.jpg
Attached picture Exhaust header2_006.jpg
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri May 07 2021 12:36 PM
Originally Posted by Brian Wise
Whomever installed the data plate drilled through to the water jacket and the little brass rivets were not water tight!
You got to wonder, what mechanic would think they could stop coolant leaking out of a hole drilled into the coolant jacket with a brass rivet. The cycle of heating and cooling on dissimilar alloys is going to eventually shrink that rivet to the point that it leaks.

Taping and installing screws was a great way to fix the issue. Nice fix!
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Mon May 10 2021 02:03 AM
Originally Posted by Phak1
Taping and installing screws was a great way to fix the issue. Nice fix!

I have to wonder how many other motors were tagged like that over the years, and how many complaints Perkins may have received from its customers! I tought about plugging the holes but really wanted to keep the Perkins rebuild tag in place as it is part of the history of the motor. Funny thing is you have to bend way over to see it under the manifold, so when the fenders are back on the truck, you probably won't be able to see it at all.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Tue May 18 2021 01:56 AM
Continuing towards getting my 235 ready to start up for the first time, I recently finished installing a new GM 12v alternator. I bought a replacement pulley for a 5/8" wide belt in order to match my crankshaft and water pump pulleys. I looked at the commercially available kits for mounting an alternator and decided to do something much simpler using the original generator bracket. I made a bolt long enough to pass all the way through the bracket, then made a temporary spacer out of a piece of 1/2" pipe to fit between the alternator and the rear end of the bracket. I then test fit it on the block to check the pulley alignment. As you can see in the first photo, it was too far to the rear (exactly 1" as it turned out). I drilled two new mounting holes in the bottom of the generator bracket which moved the mounting forward 1". After another test fitting to make sure the pulleys were lined up, I moved on to finding an upper bracket that fit. I had available a bracket from a Chevy 250 inline 6 and one from a Ford 300 inline 6. The Chevy bracket had a tighter curve to it which interfered with the alternator's fan. The Ford bracket had the right curve, but had an offset bend in it at the middle that put the slotted arm too far to the rear. I decided to use the Ford bracket and after some heating and beating to change the offset bend towards the front, it fit really well. I took everything apart and painted the brackets while I waited for some new parts to arrive on my door step.

A package from LMC Truck arrived over the weekend which included my new fan belt, a lower radiator hose, and pre-bent vacuum and gasoline lines. Before re-installing the alternator, I took some time at the lathe to make a permanent spacer out of a piece of bar stock. Then I re-installed the alternator and tried the new belt. I was very happy to find that the new 5/8" belt was just the right length for my alternator set up!

I also found a little time to install a PCV valve into the road tube hole. Since the distributor vacuum and gas lines both run up and around the front of the block, I will be running the PCV vacuum line around the back end. The connection at the intake manifold is at the rear face of the manifold, too, so that will be a much cleaner install.

Attached picture Alternator set up_001.jpg
Attached picture New alternator and belt.jpg
Attached picture PCV valve_01.jpg
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Tue May 18 2021 01:02 PM
I like the idea of running the PCV lines behind the engine. I found a PCV factory riser that replaces the road draft tube on eBay last year. The factory routes the hoses over the valve cover and I don’t really like how that looks. Now you’ve got the creative juices flowing and I might consider the behind the engine route instead.

My engine came with the alternator mounted similar to how you mounted yours. Unfortunately, they didn’t fabricate that nice spacer that you turned on a lathe and with just a 3/8” threaded rod, the tension on the pulley from the belt, cocked the alternator. Yours setup looks much better. I ended up replacing it with one of the vendor brackets made just for that purpose, which corrected the issue.

Your making great progress and it won’t be long before you experience that exhilarating feeling when you first “fire her up”. Good Luck!
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu Jun 03 2021 05:08 AM
This last weekend was pretty exciting for me and moved the project over a major hurdle. Last Friday, with help from my son, we started the rebuilt 235 for the first time. We had an issue with the brand new fuel pump not moving any gas to the carburetor, so I ordered another from NAPA. As it turned out, I had mistakenly installed the pump with the actuating arm behind the cam. Apparently this is not good for the pump. In the meantime, I installed a 12v electric pump in the temporary fuel line to push fuel past the bad pump. That worked well to get the engine running. Then I had to deal with a couple of minor leaks in the old radiator. The engine started with very little prodding and idled very nicely. We then adjusted the carburetor and the timing to get it dialed in nicely. We ran the engine for a good hour and was pleasantly surprised to find only one minor oil leak from the side cover.

Then on Monday, we made my bare chassis "driveable" by temporarily installing the steering gear, and adding a platform and a seat box. We had a good time taking the truck out on its first test drive, albeit at a rather modest pace since the radiator wasn't exactly held firmly in place. All in all it was a great success and I now look forward to moving on to body work and painting!

Attached picture Drivable Chassis.jpg
Attached picture 06-01-2021 drive-by_01.jpg
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu Jun 03 2021 11:58 AM
Congrats on firing her up! And a second congrats on taking your first ride! It’s a great feeling knowing all that hard work paid off when you hear her run for the first time. Nothing like it. Good work!
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu Jun 03 2021 12:14 PM
Very cool! I'm almost to the point of having a drivable chassis, I may steal your plywood idea and add a milk crate as that seems more fitting in my case. grin Great progress.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Aug 07 2021 11:39 PM
It's been a little while since I posted a project update thanks to work getting in the way.

I have managed to clean, repair and paint both of my running boards, and both inner front fenders. I then dove back into completing the repair/rebuild of the steering gear. When I test drove my truck, I used the original drag link (which has a broken spring) temporarily installed on the steering arm (which has a damaged ball stud). At that time, I was waiting on an order which included said replacement ball stud, and a drag link rebuild kit. That took quite a while. The kit was backordered but finally showed up, and the ball stud I ordered was the wrong one. In my defense, the catalog I was ordering from appeared to have a printing problem. I am convinced that the part #s shown for the two steering arm studs were reversed (so I wound up with the ball stud that actually goes on the Pitman arm). The salesperson was very helpful when I called about it. The vendor no longer sold the steering arm stud separately, only in a set with the other stud. Since I already had one, though, the salesperson split up a set and only charged me the difference. It showed up two days later and all was well with the world.

I ordered a rebuild kit for my steering box (one that included a how-to booklet) and once it arrived I read the booklet all the way through, then disassembled the steering box. I was prepared for a bunch of nasty old oil to pour out, but nothing. As you can see in the photo, everything was covered in grease. I'm not sure if that was deliberate, or if the original gear oil had coagulated. After everything was cleaned, I started the rebuild by replacing the bushing and the oil seal in the box. For the Pitman shaft bushing in the side plate, the booklet says it is "impractical to replace the bushing" so you're advised to throw away the whole thing and get a new side plate. I chose to split the old bushing with a burr tool in an end drill. Pressing in the new bushings required making a suitable tool in lathe. The 50-ton cap. press at my shop then promptly died so I was forced to encourage the bushings to go in with a dead blow hammer. With that part done, I moved on to righting a wrong I made wayyyy back when I first removed the steering wheel. At first, I used the wrong type of puller and managed to murder the threads on the end of the shaft. So, I currently have the shaft mounted in the lathe where I will attempt to re-thread the end. More on that when I've actually managed to pull it off.

On a different note, last year I got in touch with a lady who's dad once had a 3/4 ton Chevy from a Union 76 station/car dealership in my town. She didn't have the truck anymore, but did have lots of parts that needed to go. Sadly, there were only two things that fit my truck, but happily, those two things were NOS hub caps for a 3/4 ton truck. I bought them for the cost of two new repro caps, so I was stoked. And very recently, I decided to bite the bullit and get a pair of the Dexstar 16x6 steel wheels to use on the front end of my truck. The 4" backspace means I don't have to use a 1/2" spacer, nor do I have to install longer studs in the hubs. When I received the wheels, I had to set one of the hub caps on to see how it looked. I think they are going to look great on my truck! I have three Chevy steel wheels that will get used on the rear and spare. Next, I will install hub cap clips on four of the wheels then it will be time for paint and new rubber.

Attached picture Steering box_001.jpg
Attached picture Steering box_002.jpg
Attached picture Hub caps.jpg
Attached picture New wheels 08-06-2021.jpg
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Sep 18 2021 05:56 AM
Things have gotten busier at work the past month or so which has kept me away from the project. I have managed to get a couple hours lately stripping paint off of the cab. I bought a small right-angle die grinder and have been using inexpensive 3" dia. stripping and sanding discs from Harbor Freight. The coarse grade discs make quick work of getting down to bare metal. I follow that with a medium grade disc to get anything I missed the first time. Then I use a medium grade sanding disc to smooth out rough areas. This process has uncovered a couple spots of rot that were not previously visible, but I'm not surprised. My son spent a day removing all of the nifty bits from the inside of the cab (gauges, knobs, heater, etc., etc.). Once I get the outside of the cab stripped and primered, I'll move to the inside. I also bought a nice new sand blasting rig (and 25 lbs. of walnut shells) to strip the back side of the dash and other areas where I can't use the discs.

Oh, and there was a small delay in the project, too, when I had to take delivery of a 1928 Chevrolet 1-ton flat bed (LO) that I picked up free at a local yard sale. Now I really need to finish the '51 sooner rather than later!

Attached picture Cab stripping_001.jpg
Attached picture Cab stripping_003.jpg
Attached picture Cab stripping_002.jpg
Attached picture 1928 LO headed home_001.jpg
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Sep 18 2021 11:54 AM
Your making good progress. What a nice find on those original GM hub caps.

Nothing like putting the pressure on by getting another project but what a project! A 1928 Chevy 1-ton. Looks like you got your work cut out for you but that will be awesome when it’s done.

Now you need to start another “Project Journal”. Good luck on both projects.
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Sep 18 2021 02:24 PM
I man can never have too many projects. Your cab seem very solid makes me just a little jealous. grin
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sun Sep 19 2021 03:14 AM
Originally Posted by Phak1
Your making good progress. What a nice find on those original GM hub caps.

Nothing like putting the pressure on by getting another project but what a project! A 1928 Chevy 1-ton. Looks like you got your work cut out for you but that will be awesome when it’s done.

Now you need to start another “Project Journal”. Good luck on both projects.

When I got the '28 I decided I'd better join the VCCA, too, so I'll eventually post project photos and updates on that forum. Since it's a four banger, I don't think a project journal on this forum would be allowed?
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sun Sep 19 2021 03:16 AM
Originally Posted by TUTS 59
I man can never have too many projects. Your cab seem very solid makes me just a little jealous. grin

The cab isn't awful, which is a big reason why I chose this truck to purchase. I have to replace the front half of the floor pans, both inner kick panels, a small portion of the lower side of the cowl on the driver's side, and of course both rear lower corners. All of that will be pretty straight forward work. I was really happy that both doors are rot free.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Nov 05 2021 04:35 AM
The rainy days we're experiencing lately have given me good reason to stay in the shop and work on my cab. Much of the cab still had original paint under a coat of red primer (added by a previous owner) which protected the metal pretty well. Other areas were not so nice. I've had to do a lot of sanding to get rid of deep surface rust, and even then I still apply a coat of rust converter to be sure. The new primer on the rear of the cab has made it painfully clear that I will be doing a lot of filler work! The non-original bed that came with the truck does not have a front (end) wall, so it's no surprise that the rear of the cab took a beating.

Today, I stripped the paint off of the firewall and got a really cool surprise. On the driver's side appeared a name written under the original top coat. Since I was using a wire wheel in an electric end motor I was only removing the top coat. Had I been using the more aggressive tools that I have, I would have never seen it! I can only guess that this was put there by an assembly line worker, perhaps to give his or her (female auto workers during the Korean war?) stamp of approval on the cab before it moved on. Has anyone else run across something like this during your project? I plan to preserve this bit of the truck's history by leaving the name exposed (clear coated) through the new paint. I'd love to know more about this person, so I've sent emails to both the GM Heritage Center and the UAW hoping one or both of those groups has access to a list of Flint, MI employees in April, 1951.

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Posted By: walterhvogel Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Nov 05 2021 06:39 PM
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.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Jan 22 2022 03:13 PM
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.

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Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Jan 22 2022 07:21 PM
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!
Posted By: WICruiser Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sun Jan 23 2022 01:04 PM
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.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sun Jan 23 2022 05:20 PM
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.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sun Jan 23 2022 05:22 PM
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.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu Feb 03 2022 03:04 AM
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.

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Posted By: klhansen Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu Feb 03 2022 03:09 AM
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.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu Feb 03 2022 03:31 AM
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.

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Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu Feb 03 2022 03:33 AM
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!
Posted By: WICruiser Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu Feb 03 2022 12:54 PM
Brian, I am, tracking your progress as when the weather cooperates I will be doing the same floor, inner and outer cowl patch panel work. Great job, I can only hope to have as good a result.
Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu Feb 03 2022 02:45 PM
Boy, does that look nice! Great work!
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Feb 04 2022 04:53 PM
Thanks you guys for the encouragement! I've done similar body panel replacement work on railroad passenger cars, but the metal is a lot thicker. And, since you're not working in such a confined space it's not nearly as tedious. This project has been quite the learning process.
Posted By: klhansen Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Feb 04 2022 07:34 PM
Good job on the inner-to-outer cowl. That floor and firewall is starting to look like new. thumbs_up
I did nearly the same on the cowl piece, came close to cutting it completely apart and welding it back together. The fabricated piece is close to just raw material to make your own.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Feb 05 2022 03:37 AM
klhansen,

I took a moment to go through your flickr album. You've done some impressive work on that poor old truck! Way more than I will ever need to do. I really like the cab rotisserie you fabricated. I can't imagine doing the rear cab corners without turning the cab on its nose, or even getting the bottom of the cab cleaned and painted. I'm going to have to build one for sure.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Apr 22 2022 04:19 AM
Since my last post I found some stuff lying around the shop area with which to build a pretty decent rotisserie for the cab. Once the cab was on the spit, I was able to finish both of the lower cowls, clean up the welded seams at the new floor panels, and replace rotten parts underneath the cab. About half of each flange where the cab-to-running board seal mounts had to be replaced. Then I replaced the bottom sections of the inner rear cab corners. Once all of that welding was done, I cleaned, prepped and primed the bottom of the cab.

After rebuilding the rear cab shackles, it was a good feeling to re-install them instead of just putting them on a shelf for later. Next, I began the task of replacing the outer rear cab corners. To date I've got the left corner cut out and the inner area cleaned up and coated with truck bed liner. I'll use this coating on the floor under the fuel tank and seat as well. Once the cab corners are done, the bottom of the cab will get a top coat of paint then a coat of truck bed liner, too.

As a side note, the new floor panel for the driver's side toe board did not come with the seal retainers for the brake and clutch rods, or the accelerator pedal hinge, travel stop and seal retainer. My old floor was missing the original pedal hinge and stop as a previous owner had chopped them off to use a more modern pedal. Many months ago I had cut these pieces out of the floor of a truck at a junk yard. The seal retainers (with seals) I purchased through an eBay store called Bill's Truck Shop, Ltd. in Canada.

While the cab corner work is going on, I've also started cleaning up the front fenders. They are in pretty decent shape although it became pretty apparent that both had suffered damage and were pounded back into shape, more or less, many years ago. I've got one fender in primer now after many hours of sanding, and a whole lot of hammer and dolly work to (hopefully) lessen the amount of body filler I'll need to apply later.

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Posted By: WICruiser Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Fri Apr 22 2022 12:09 PM
Great work/progress. I am hoping to get my driver's side floor and cowl area to the point of pulling the cab off the frame in the coming weeks to allow the bottom side work you have completed and the rear cab corners that you are starting on.

Your fenders sound a lot like mine, pretty good shape for their age and experience but the closer you look the more "used" they appear.
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sun May 08 2022 11:59 PM
I put some quality time in on the left rear corner of the cab yesterday. After test fitting the new patch panel onto the corner a couple dozen times, I came to the conclusion that the "L" shaped corner at the bottom rear (where the rear cab wall notches up) was not going to wind up in the right place if the new corner remained in one piece. It simply isn't the same size as the original corner. So I cut off the corner and clamped it where it needed to go. I figured it would be easiest to get the rest of the corner to fit then fill in the gap (which turned out to be about 1/2" wide). The first photo shows the new corner piece temporary clamped into place with the "L" corner in the right spot. Note the difference in the two surfaces. In order to get the corner to "lie down" and meet up with the rear wall, I needed to get the bottom of the corner to tuck in further. To do that, I had to cut off about half of the "Z" shaped lip where the corner attaches to the door jamb. Then I had to slowly grind away the remaining material until the corner piece was relieved sufficiently.

Before that whole process, however, I took some time to make a couple of patterns from the door. Using overlapping layers of tape, and some strips of manila folder for rigidity, I made patterns of the bottom of the door, and of the rear edge. These patterns allowed me to check the alignment of the new corner piece before I tacked it in. Unfortunately, because the other cab corner is gone at the bottom, too, I don't have any means of gauging how far out the new corner should be from the door jamb. I made an educated guess based on the thickness of the bottom of the door (including the rubber seal). I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the door and the corner faces line up reasonably well.

In the last photo, you can see that after I trimmed the door edge sufficiently, the corner laid down pretty well and was easily tacked to the "L" shaped corner at the rear. The gap between the two pieces is easily filled in with a strip. I will need to make some filler pieces for the door edge as well.

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Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu May 19 2022 01:00 AM
When I fitted up the new patch panel on the left rear corner, I had to cut away a bunch of the "Z" shaped leading edge in order to get it to lay down in the right position. That meant I had to go back and make pieces to fill in those gaps, too. The first photo shows the new pieces tacked in place. At this point I spend quite a bit of time double checking dimensions to be as sure as I could be that it was right. The second photo shows the end result after a whole lot of spot welding, grinding, welding, sanding, welding, etc., etc. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

I then started in on the right side corner. In this case, I didn't need to replace the existing "Z" shaped section so I cut the old corner to leave that edge in place, and made the new patch piece fit up to it. I spent a fraction of the time fitting this corner vs. the other side. In the third photo the interior of that corner has been cleaned, metal prepped and then painted prior to putting the new corner in. I'm coating the interior of these corner spaces and the whole floor pan inside the cab with truck bed liner. Eventually I will coat the bottom of the cab the same way.

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Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu May 19 2022 11:30 AM
Your progressing nicely! I like your rotisserie! 👍
Posted By: klhansen Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Thu May 19 2022 05:48 PM
Originally Posted by Phak1
Your progressing nicely! I like your rotisserie! 👍
Me too.
I think I've seen that concept before. wink
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Jun 04 2022 03:25 PM
With progress on my cab moving along, I decided I'd better get some of the interior things rehabbed and ready to be installed someday. I brought home my gauges and ordered a number of restoration parts from a local vendor. Now, my truck is a '51 and as such it had an 80 mph speedo in it. The truck came with another pair of gauges that were not in the best shape, but I took both speedos apart so I could pick the best pieces to use. As it turned out, the decal set I bought (which was advertised for 1947-1953 Chevy trucks) came with a 90 mph speedo decal. This situation seems to be an issue with the various vendors I look at. At any rate, I went ahead with what I had. I plan to rehab the pieces I have for the 80 mph speedo, too, once I get a proper decal for the face plate.

I had a lot of fun with the odometer. I don't wish that little project on anybody that doesn't have the patience of Job. The decal instructions say to apply them directly over the old painted numbers on the wheels. That would ensure the numbers all line up properly. In my case, one of the odometers had teeth missing from the gear on the end, and the other odometer's wheels were stuck on the shaft. Also, the old painted numbers were flaking off the wheels so I had to scrape them all clean before applying the new numbers.

Since I wanted to reset my odo to zero, I jumped in with both feet and took them both apart. I always wanted to know how they worked anyway. For the uninitiated, each wheel has a dimple on one side that indicates the "0" position. Between each wheel is a thin metal plate with a small gear. The teeth on those little gears are different on each side so getting them installed in the correct way is critical. The wheels are held on the center shaft with washer-shaped keepers that are pressed onto each end. Only remove one of them so that the wheels stay in the same position on the shaft. I removed the keeper on the right (gear) end as it is much closer to the end of the shaft. Getting that keeper back onto the shaft in such a way that it is not too tight or too loose is challenging to say the least.

The end result is less than perfect as the zeroes don't line up just right. This is due to my application of the decals (not getting them in exactly the same spot on each wheel) and not the wheels themselves. I'm going to live with it until something better comes along.

The steel body of the speedo was prepped inside and out for repaint. On the outside I used Dupli-Color #SS100 "Stainless Steel" to replicate the galvanized look. The inside was repainted with Krylon #2437 "Satin Almond" which I found in my wife's stash of spray paint. The pressed ring that fits between the gauge body and the glass was originally painted in Chevy's "Champagne" color (I think that's what it's called). My son found a reference to Rust-Oleum #7272830 "Dark Metallic Bronze" right here in the Stovebolt forum. I found it to be a wonderful match to the original color.

I used a new chrome bezel and found that the bronze painted inner ring would not fit inside it as it should. The inner ring's flange was too wide across about 45% of its circumference. A short time with a good file took care of the problem. Next, the replacement gaskets that I got are not the same shape as the originals. The originals were round in cross section so they sat down inside the bezel. The new gaskets are square in cross section so they sit proud in the bezel. With the glass and inner ring in place, you can't push the gauge body down far enough to seat it all together and crimp the bezel. My solution was to take a razor blade and shave one the outer corner of the gasket to a 45 degree angle so that it sat down inside the bezel.

The speedo is done and I'm most of the way through doing the other gauge now so more on that soon.

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Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sat Jun 04 2022 03:33 PM
Here's a photo showing the two odometers all taken apart. You can see the thin metal divider plates with their little gears. The wheels have a full "ring gear" on one side, and a very short section of teeth between "9" and "0" on the other side. The little gears have "extended" teeth on one side that engage that short section of teeth on the wheel to advance the next wheel one place. It's a very clever design.

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Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Mon Jun 13 2022 03:11 AM
Today was a big day for the project. With my son's help I got the cab re-installed on the chassis. Prior to putting it on, we installed the cab-to-running board seals on both sides and I finished coating the bottom of the cab with truck bed liner. After removing the steering column and a few other items installed during last summer's test drive, the cab went on without any hitches. Now I need to shim it to the proper height. I'm very excited about getting the front end all put together soon!

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Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Mon Jun 13 2022 11:41 AM
That is a big day and it’s starting to look like a truck again. I think the best part is your not going backwards repairing every part you touch but moving forward toward a completed project. Congrats! chug
Posted By: Brian Wise Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Sun Jul 31 2022 05:07 PM
Last weekend my folks were visiting from out-of-state for my dad's birthday. He's been a big supporter of my truck project so I figured I needed to have the truck in a condition to give him a ride while he was here. My list of to-do's was fairly long.

Previously I had painted the interior of the cab. I then painted the upper cowl area where the hood lays. I figured this was as good a place as any to spray the urethane sample I had mixed to match the "Gloss Regal Blue" I used inside the cab. After letting it cure a number of days, and being satisfied with the result, I installed new rubber grommets in the firewall, and the reconditioned fuse holder and voltage regulator (just for looks, it's not in use). I needed to get some of my new wiring loom installed, too, but first I had to purchase a new rubber mat (with the jute backing) for the inner firewall and get that installed. The new mat had die-cut holes for the various penetrations, some of which didn't match up at all. In hind sight, I should not have punched out the holes before installing the mat. Instead, I should have test fit the mat and marked it with a pen through the holes in the firewall, then cut the mat myself. It is what it is at this point, so I moved on. The new wiring loom my dad purchased over a year ago went in along with a new brake light switch and headlight dimmer switch.

To finish up inside the cab, I installed the brake and clutch pedals, the accelerator pedal and its rod, the starter pedal, and the choke and throttle cables. I also installed a new speedometer cable and the speedo I rebuilt. Next went in the re-conditioned seat adjusters, the cleaned (but not yet painted) seat frame along with the original cushions, and finally the steering wheel.

Moving to the outside of the cab, I re-installed the steering box and column (removed when I installed the cab). Then came the radiator, the inner fenders and their support rods.

After installing a temporary temperature gauge that I zip tied to the passenger side A pillar, I filled the cooling system with water. I also installed a temporary oil pressure gauge in the tee fitting at the block. Lastly, I ran fuel hose back to a temporary gas tank mounted on a piece of plywood on the frame behind the cab.

After a brief hiccup involving the distributor timing (quickly rectified by my son) the motor fired right up and idled smoothly. My son and I took a quick spin around the shop area to make sure everything was ok then it was my dad's turn. It was incredibly rewarding to be able to drive him around in my truck!

The first two photos don't do show the blue paint properly. The third photo better represents the dark gloss blue that I had matched to one of my porcelain enamel "Union 76" signs from the 1950's. My son reconditioned the air cleaner (a swap meet purchase) and added the decal which he made from a scan of an advertisement on a 1950's Union Oil road map.

I haven't had any luck uploading video files to this forum, so I plan to upload some video to my YouTube account then post a link.

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Posted By: Phak1 Re: My '51 3100/3600 Project - Mon Aug 01 2022 11:17 AM
Congrats on your first drive. Won’t be long before you take your first spin on the road!
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