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#471715 - Sat Nov 15 2008 04:35 PM Making a "Super 3100"  
BlueSteel3100  Offline
New Guy
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 42
Charlotte, NC
When I started out to "overhaul" my 1950 3100 I really didn't have a HIPO setup in mind but I did want a bit more power than the stock 6 cylinder provided.

One thing led to another (as they tend to do in these things) and I have ended up with a 550 HP 560 pounds of torque street machine. I pulled a 350 out of a junked Chevy van had it bored and fluxed, put flat top pistons, a crane 3/4 cam and vortec heads on it. Added to that is a Weiand 142 blower and 750 Edelbrock street performer carb pushing exhaust out of Hooker headers. For mufflers, I chose Flowmaster 50 series with Delta Flow technology to make riding in the truck on long trips a pleasure.

I wanted some tunes so I mounted 10" subs behind the seats with 6" speakers under the seats. The system includes a DVD player, XM radio as well as a GPS system. Powering the sound is an 1100 watt Alpine unit under the passenger seat. Everything is stealthed so you have no idea when you get in that it has such a powerful stereo so I really surprise some people.

Protecting the truck is a Viper security system with remote. Any shaking of the truck, opening of doors or hood sets off the system. So far, the only miscreant I have apprehended is myself though

The stock gas tank was replaced with an under bed unit from an early Chevy car and works fine.

This gradual upgrade and continuing mod road has led to some interesting changes to accommodate the extra power and enhance the handling of the truck.

The front end needed a good bit of help so I went to Fat Man Fabrications in Fort Mill, just outside of Charlotte where I live. Fat Man's is not a really famous rod builder (although they are known) but I can tell you that what they do there is nothing short of miraculous. They have a great 4 link front end kit that bolts up extremely well. I also added the power rack and pinion steering option they offer. The result is truly amazing. The truck handles GREAT. The coil over shocks in the kit are adjustable and I was able to lower the truck down to the White walls which gives it a great street look.

Working with Fat Man's, I added a rear sway bar (the front sway bar was part of the Fat Man's kit) and had them relocate the shocks from the stock set up (mounted to the leaf springs) to a great setup using fabricated mounts to set the shock at exactly the right angle and lift locations (they way they should have been originally), mounted to the axle. I went with air shocks to allow me to adjust ride height and quality easily. The truck is actually a daily driver and I use it for the usual stuff you would associate with using a truck and that includes hauling loads occasionally (VERY carefully).

I changed the 2:73 gears in the rear (an old '72 Camaro Z28) to 3:23 and the truck really came to life. While power off the line is great, I'm not beaten up on the road with high revs at 70 (I'm turning 2700 at 70) so the 3:23's were perfect for my application.

I found and installed a solid T350 with a shift kit incorporated (3 speed). When I decide to break the rear wheels loose, it burns the tires through first and second with AUTHORITY.

I tapped in to the NASCAR network for a fantastic cooling system. One of the guys who builds racing radiators took my old stock radiator and built me an exact duplicate in aluminum incorporating two high output cooling fans. As a result, on the hottest day with AC on, I can idle for extended periods without crossing the 190 degree barrier.

Some detailed work on the interior by a Mexican friend of mine who has been doing custom rod interiors for about 20 years resulted in a clean and well appointed grey leather interior including padded dash and custom panels for the doors, kick panels and headliner.

For tires and wheels, I chose a simple approach with chrome smoothies, baby moon hubcaps and wide whitewalls from Diamond Back tires in South Carolina.

The end result is a street cruiser with all of the panache of the old school exterior with up to date modern performance equal to the latest muscle cars.

Its really fun to have some guy in a Honda (with the usual hipo stuff (i.e. coffee can exhaust, spoiler that is out of place, poorly installed body kit etc.) pull up beside me at a light and try to leave me. In every case, the old stovebolt has blown their doors off handily. smile and taught them a bit of respect for their elders.

A word of advice to anyone who is contemplating (or now into) going down this road....

If you are going to get help on your truck, get PROFESSIONALS like Fat Man Fabrications. They do awesome work and they do it with surprisingly less cost than many others I have encountered during this "odyssey".

Any work that I can't do myself I now automatically take to Fat Man's and they ALWAYS do great work and GUARANTEE it. I have not had a single complaint in any of the work they have done.

Good luck on your project and I hope that you will end up enjoying it as much as I enjoy my 3100.

Check out the picture:

This one ... This one

Last edited by Peggy M; Sun Nov 16 2008 04:35 PM. Reason: Added pictures

#471744 - Sat Nov 15 2008 06:04 PM Re: Making a "Super 3100" [Re: BlueSteel3100]  
dale937  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,896
NE Ohio
550 ponies,now thats what I call a nicely powered truck.

#471880 - Sun Nov 16 2008 01:22 AM Re: Making a "Super 3100" [Re: dale937]  
R-Bo  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 481
Charlotte, NC
Sounds very cool! Congrats on your truck. BTW, Fatman is in Mint Hill, not Fort Mill. (Those sound pretty close!!) Yes, they have a very cool shop and I enjoyed my tour prior to purchasing thier IFS for my '59.

Post some pics of your truck so if I see you at a stoplight I will let you go on. Even if I am in my turbo car!!


1959 Apache 1/2 ton Big Window, Short bed Fleetside (under reconstruction)
1966 GMC 305V6 in the family

#471917 - Sun Nov 16 2008 03:28 AM Re: Making a "Super 3100" [Re: R-Bo]  
chevman32  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,994
Sanger, Ca.
I had a 550 h.p. 400 small block engine in a 1966 El Camino years ago, it was a blast to drive. Back tires were a problem, they usually only lasted a couple months (if that), and it used a bunch of gas, but of course it was only about $.75 a gallon, so no problem. Have fun with your 3100!

#472090 - Sun Nov 16 2008 04:36 PM Re: Making a "Super 3100" [Re: chevman32]  
Peggy M  Offline
Worker Bee
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 6,754
Stovebolt Headquarters
Just added the pictures to Dave's post.


#472146 - Mon Nov 17 2008 06:47 PM Re: Making a "Super 3100" [Re: Peggy M]  
jockbolter50  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,905
Very nice Dave!.....Just need to see the rest of the truck now wink

550 HP, Sounds like a recipe for fun! Burning 'Ricers' must be a great laugh! thumbs_up

Look forward to more pix

Jock. grin

I've definately got this truck thing in my blood ... my DNA sequence has torque settings

"Of all the small nations of this earth,perhaps only the ancient Greeks surpass the Scots in their contribution to mankind" Winston Churchill.

1950 Chevy Advance Design 3100 in Scotland
In the Stovebolt Gallery
More pix on Flickr .

#472447 - Tue Nov 18 2008 05:10 AM Re: Making a "Super 3100" [Re: jockbolter50]  
BIG CHEVY 3600  Offline
Master Gabster
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 5,362
Yeah, get that camera clicking! pix

Big Chevy's Photobucket pix

Modern ‘science’: the wonder of a
pre-determined mind…

The ‘baseline belief’ of astronomy:
“Any day now, we’ll pick up a tiny,
coded signal from outer space. Then
we’ll know for certain that there is
intelligence out there, because coded
information does not arise by chance”

The ‘baseline belief’ of biology:
The precisely coded genetic information in
every cell would fill many books…
but we know for certain that no intelligence
could have created life.”

#472612 - Tue Nov 18 2008 05:56 PM Re: Making a "Super 3100" [Re: BIG CHEVY 3600]  
Hot Rod Dad  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,093
Taos, NM
550 hp seems a stretch for a Wieand 142 on a 350. They advertise a boost of about 100 hp. I think 400, or maybe even 450 is realistic, but 550 sounds suspicious.

Did you actually put it on a dyno? Or is that an estimate?
Please be careful with manufacturer's claims for hp gains. For example, spark plug companies that claim a 25 hp gain are usually lucky to see an improvement of 1 or 2 hp. K&N claims 10% gains, but you might actually only see about a 5 hp improvement. Headers gain a lot, but it's usually in the 25 hp range, not nearly what they advertise. And when you add everything together, they are almost never exclusive, meaning, its more of a package improvement. Instead of seeing a 120 hp improvement by adding all the manufacturer's claims individually, you might only see a total of a 25 to 35 hp improvement from the combined effect of all of them.

Another good indicator of true horsepower is the trap speed at the end of a quarter mile. Not so much the elapsed time. That has too many variables, such as traction, reaction time, tire size and gear ratio. But the trap speed rarely lies. There are programs you can enter your trap speed and the vehicle's weight with you in it, and it will tell you how much hp it took to acheive that.

A friend of mine has a 350 with a 142 blower on his truck, and it feels real good. So I have no doubt you've got a sweet motor there...

52 GMC 3/4 ton pickup
68 Big Block Vette
68 455 Firebird

#476143 - Fri Nov 28 2008 01:35 PM Re: Making a "Super 3100" [Re: BlueSteel3100]  
Desert_buick  Offline
Wrench Fetcher
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 128
Mooresville, NC
Sounds to me like you had a bad case of the "might-as-wells". The truck looks awesome. Bring it up to the Mooresville Cruise-in some time (first Saturdays of the month) when the weather gets better. We need more hot-rod trucks up here.

[b]1957 Chevy Big Window 3100[.b]

In the Stovebolt Gallery
More pix in Picasa

It ain't broke 'til you can't fix it any more.

#595334 - Tue Nov 24 2009 11:36 PM Re: Making a "Super 3100" [Re: Hot Rod Dad]  
BlueSteel3100  Offline
New Guy
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 42
Charlotte, NC
You are correct. The orignal was an estimate since I did not have access to a dyno (estimate based on MFR claims). I gave the car to two former NASCAR mechanics (now working at a tuner shop) and they worked on it for a week and then dynoed it. I now have the papers that show 400 RWH and 417 pounds of torque. I changed the carb to a Holley Dbl Pumper, and put a full flow air cleaner on it so the blower can breath better. 0-60 is a bit over 5.5 seconds and when the turbo 350 shifts from second to 3rd (at around 60 mph) the tires break loose and it kicks sideways. Not too bad for an old Stovebolt.

At the GoodGuys Southeastern Nationals a couple of weeks ago, she won the Rodder's Pick trophy. First time I showed the truck and she won a trophy, was I surprised!

Last edited by OldBlue3100; Wed Nov 25 2009 03:04 AM.

1950 Chevrolet 1/2-Ton 3100
"Ol' Blue"
In the Stovebolt Gallery
More pix of my old truck
My book: Spirit Wind

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