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Technical 1939-46 CHEVY TRUCK IDENTIFICATION THREAD

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by cshades, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. cshades
    Joined: Sep 2, 2011
    Posts: 487

    cshades
    Member
    from wi

    I saw a thread on ford trucks and thought it might be useful to some of you guys for a similar thread.
    I thought we would start with the 1/2 ton pickup.
    the 1939-46 chevy truck has a lot of parts at first glance look the same but in fact are not. i am a big fan of the 1939-40 truck which to a lot of guys is the same truck but actually has quite a few things that are not easily interchangeable. i think probably the best place to start is the cab differences. i am sure i dont know all of them and please feel free to add any i missed or have incorrect.
    The 39 dash was a thin flat plain panel that used 37-39 gauges. the windshield crank stuck straight out of the dash. the rear window is in a piece of rubber that is sandwiched by an outside ring that bolts from the inside. the passenger door has the external lock in the handle. The firewall is straight up and down with the strengthening beads running vertically. i also found this last weekend there is no drail holes at the bottom of the windshield opening.
    The 40 cab is similar with the exception of the dash is thicker , more rounded, and used a new designed cluster that had all of the gauges in one package instead of separate like the 39. The windshield crank is more vertical and comes out of the top of the dash instead of the front. the rear window mounts the same and the doors, door handle/locks are the same. as is the firewall. They did add the windshield drain holes to both sides in this year.
    The 41 cab started to change a few things. like the firewall, it was stepped out 1 1/2 inches for a bit more leg room. the firewall strengthening beads are in a criss cross pattern now. The cowl vent linkage and handle are really different than 39-40 the vent also operates a lot smoother. the door lock is still on the passenger side but moved to the door sheet metal like the car. i believe the lock cylinder is the same car to truck. the rear window bolts in the same, dash is the same as are the gauges.
    The 42 ( i think) they changed the rear window to a rubber pinch weld design. all other things are the same. There maybe other changes but i have only looked at (1) 1942 truck and not really close.
    the 46 i am not aware of any other changes in the cab from 42.
    Next i will go into the front sheet metal which is always a fun topic on these trucks.
     
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  2. cshades
    Joined: Sep 2, 2011
    Posts: 487

    cshades
    Member
    from wi

    FIREWALL 001.JPG FIREWALL 002.JPG FIREWALL 003.JPG FIREWALL 004.JPG
    pics are worth a thousand words so i thought i would add a few pics of the differences in the firewalls that i was talking about in my last post. the purple truck is a 40 and the other is a 46
     
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  3. Mac's kid
    Joined: Apr 22, 2012
    Posts: 2

    Mac's kid
    Member

    10:30 at night and I just went out to check my cowl with a flashlight. Thanks
     
  4. cshades
    Joined: Sep 2, 2011
    Posts: 487

    cshades
    Member
    from wi

    I am glad it helped you. i am going to get some pics together shortly on the differences of the front ends especially the difference between a 1939 and a 1940. i see the radiator support/ grille shells advertised all the time as the same and they are not.
     

  5. cshades
    Joined: Sep 2, 2011
    Posts: 487

    cshades
    Member
    from wi

    i am going to start the front sheet metal discussion with the difference 1939 to the 1940. the first pic is a 1939 radiator support, the upper trim bar only goes back about half way to the hood. the piece in between the trim and the hood is part of the rad support and not removable without cutting it off.
    the second pic is a 1940 radiator support, the trim bar wraps all the around to the hood on both sides and is removable. i see a lot of 40 fronts described as fitting 39 & 40 which is not true. the complete assembly is interchangeable but the individual parts are not. I.E. a 1939 upper trim bar does not bolt to a 1940 radiator support.
    the front of the radiator support is also a little bit different shape so just adding a piece between the trim and the hood doesnt make a 40 support into a 39.
    The problem with the 39 supports and upper bars are they are a bit fragile and easy to break the upper mounting tabs off. the upper trim bar has no support in the center and most have been broken in two and welded back together. the grilles are close to same with the difference being the 39 has 17 bars and the 40 has 16 bars. you can use a 39 grille in a 40 by removing the top bar. the v bar from the cowl to the radiator is the same between 39-40. the the brace above the radiator that the v bar attaches to is the same 39-40 other than the 40 has a strength bead rolled into it.
    The headlight buckets are physically interchangeable but the 39 has reflectors and bulbs and gm went to sealed beams in 1940. the front fenders and hoods are the same on a 39-40 but the parking lights were moved from inside the headlights on a 39 to a fender mounted park light on the 40 which i believe is the same light fixture as the car. the easiest way to tell if a front fender you are looking at is a 39 or 40 is by the mounting holes for the parking light or lack of holes. The inner fender is also interchangeable from 39 to 40. the hood handles are the same from 1939-46, but the hoods are not. also the cowl differences from 39-40 to 41-46 the front sheetmetal from a 39-40 isnt a direct bolt on to a 41-46 cab because of the hood latch system.
     

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  6. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 6,251

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    Those hood handles are used on many of the '30s GM cars as well. I was always able to grab a chromed pair from a Chev Master or Pontiac.
    The '41 truck parking lights were factory equipment on '40 Pontiac, and most, if not all were partially chromed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  7. jimdeere
    Joined: Apr 28, 2009
    Posts: 6

    jimdeere
    Member

    Thanks for the info: have been looking for a 1940 1 ton or larger for a while. My grandfather had one on the farm.
     
  8. MO54Frank
    Joined: Apr 1, 2019
    Posts: 344

    MO54Frank
    Member

  9. 5WINDOWJOHN
    Joined: Feb 10, 2009
    Posts: 43

    5WINDOWJOHN
    Member
    from SO CAL

    More info please, running boards, rear fenders, bumpers info please


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  10. 5WINDOWJOHN
    Joined: Feb 10, 2009
    Posts: 43

    5WINDOWJOHN
    Member
    from SO CAL

    Is there a difference between 39 and 40 rear fenders and beds?


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  11. cshades
    Joined: Sep 2, 2011
    Posts: 487

    cshades
    Member
    from wi

    yes there is. the bed is narrower on a '39 by 3 inches than a '40-'46. the rear fenders on a '39 are 1 1/2 wider to make up for the difference. the skirt between the frame and the running boards are also different because of the box. the rear fenders on a '39 are probably one of the hardest fenders find in any condition. i have one set that i am trying to fix for my current '39 project.
     

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  12. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,468

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I’ve always liked those taillights and wondered why more people don’t use them on customs. They’ve gotta be getting hard to find now. Nice job......


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  13. cshades
    Joined: Sep 2, 2011
    Posts: 487

    cshades
    Member
    from wi

    i actually bought the remains of the quarter panels and lights at a swap meet and didnt know what they were from or what i was going to do with them. i decided i wanted a custom box for this truck and they fit what i was going for. i have lucked out and found enough lights to make a nice complete set of 4. most of the time the guys i have bought them from didnt know what they were for. it also helps that the reverse lights are the same housings as the tail lights.
     
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  14. ...some of the war year trucks (41-5) used tin door handles, 2 peices of formed tin pressed together...
     
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  15. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 6,251

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    ^^^^^^
    And painted gauge cluster and dash trim, with a leather skirt around the gas filler in lieu of the rubber used until '41 ...
     
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  16. 5WINDOWJOHN
    Joined: Feb 10, 2009
    Posts: 43

    5WINDOWJOHN
    Member
    from SO CAL

    Going back to the front, is the chin under the grille the same on a 39\40? Also, how about the running boards from 39-46?

    Sent from my F-10XIPS using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  17. cshades
    Joined: Sep 2, 2011
    Posts: 487

    cshades
    Member
    from wi

    The chin is the same on 39-40 trucks as is the baffle from the chin to the support. i am not sure on the running boards. i think the 39 is different than the 40-46 but i will have to measure them when i get a chance.
     
    5WINDOWJOHN likes this.

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