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1957 Chevy Step Van build or do you want to see my Gerstenslager

Discussion in 'The Antiquated' started by anthony myrick, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    Found this in our local scrap yard
    4201BC1B-03FE-416E-9F60-301087130903.jpeg 65B50C56-A365-4E32-A8CB-5E1A60D3B0DE.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
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  2. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    turns out its a former mail truck the body is made by Gerstenslager
    has a government delivery plate from early 1957
    think I may just pull the trigger
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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  3. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    we got it in the shop
    students cleaned it out and are removing the chassis

    van 1.jpg van 2.jpg
    plans are to lower it and refinish it to resemble its former mail truck glory
    it has a 235 but is missing the hydromatic. I still have the hydro adapter, starter and flexplate if someone needs them
    I have a 472 Caddy that may end up powering this
     
  4. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 2,161

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    Cool truck!
     
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  5. theburningbush
    Joined: Jan 2, 2011
    Posts: 11

    theburningbush
    Member
    from Tacoma WA

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  6. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    I teach at a high school tech center
    I do old stuff like this mixed in with the newer stuff. Great for recruiting
     
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  7. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 2,161

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    I'm guessing that it's 3/4 or 1 ton suspension?
     
  8. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    3/4. It only has a 6700 gvw
    Going more than likely with 1/2 ton stuff
    Has a cool dropped factory axle that would drop a normal truck of the same years a bunch
    I need about an 8 inch drop and using the stock stuff want do that
     
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  9. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    we got the frame out
    van 3.jpg van 4.jpg
     
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  10. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

  11. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    I think we want to run these or something close
    1954-Buick.jpg
    the Buick bezels would fit how the body is stamped in the headlight area

    some Kaiser Manhattan ones would look great if I could find some without another mortgage
     
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  12. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

  13. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    Students pulled the engine out yesterday. Might save this exhaust manifold Looks like it would make a cool split exhaust.
    A4318668-9FDC-446E-93FC-5999D749CA9F.jpeg
     
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  14. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 4,251

    chevy57dude
    Member

    As a lover of all '57 Chevys, let me say that one's ugly! But I like it.
    Great that you are getting young people involved with some old tin.
    Guess you have to tolerate their wheel choices..
    Will there be plans for paint? My thought was to see if a local blasting company would donate time/material? Patina is free, of course..
     
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  15. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    Plans are to build the chassis and drive as is while we “restore” the original mail truck look
     
  16. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    Got to make an engine choice soon. We have the 472 on our run stand. Seems to have a mechanical timing issue. If we have to build an engine we may just use a 283 power pack I have. I do have a good running 235 but would include adding a clutch mechanism to the van. (It used to have a hydro)
    I also thought about a 250 6cl.
    We marked the front and rear axle center lines on the chassis today and removed the original suspension. Students will check the frame for squareness and start figuring out final ride heights and begin chassis mods
     
  17. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    Students have almost stripped the frame
    they are now removing all unnecessary brackets..........drill, hammer, repeat
    They have located front and rear axle center lines and are checking it for squarness
    we are now measuring ride height and verifying the wheelbase, we need to move the front wheels forward slightly to center them in the wheel openings.
    Students are also planning the new front x-member....measure cut, weld
    we are going to make it a bolt in to improve the ability to remove the engine without removing the body.
    we got a huge mess to clean up tomorrow.
    I use opportunities like this to teach chassis measurement and repair, suspension components and alignment


    van 8.jpg
     
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  18. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    our 472 is showing very low compression, just a little over 30 psi but on all 8
    PO said the car was running fine then shut down on him and never got it to run correctly again
    we did discover that PO had the firing order backwards and had severely damaged the distributor. looks like he threw a lot of new parts on it trying to diagnose the bad running condition.
    he also complained about it flooding, wonder if this has something to do with the low compression numbers
    car had around 80k miles on it.
     
  19. Great project!......I asked a young lady once if she wanted to see my Gerstenslager and she smacked me!:eek::D
     
  20. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 4,251

    chevy57dude
    Member

    Don, that's one you "pop out" once you are acquainted!
    The students of this truck are fortunate to have such a teacher.
    Teaching is a calling in life, few are in it for the money. The experience from this class will remain with them long after the book work fades.
     
  21. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

  22. ....So true........I was married to a teacher. I understand and respect their dedication to their craft.
     
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  23. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    van 9.jpg
    Students did good this week
    all suspension and mounting brackets, unnecessary x-members were removed
    they know how to remove rivets now
     
  24. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 4,251

    chevy57dude
    Member

    [​IMG]
    Searching ''Gerstenlager'' brought up a lot of bookmobile images.
    This one looked cool.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  25. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    They also built the Weiner mobile
     
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  26. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    Students noticed something weird about the paint on one side. Hmmmmmm
    This is untouched as found
    5BC74822-8EDB-4DCC-BBFF-8DC637638F94.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
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  27. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 2,818

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D Just amazing what can be revealed by some removal of old paint.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
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  28. One of it's ghosts from it's past.
     
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  29. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,860

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    Not removed
    This is how it was found.
    This is when we first got it in the shop. Zoom in on the rear portion of the bus and watch it spear
    911C4C6F-E6E6-4D38-8063-37E7213DAEDA.jpeg
     

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