Register now to get rid of these ads!

52 chevy work truck on the cheap

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dr.HairyOlds, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Dr.HairyOlds
    Joined: Mar 10, 2012
    Posts: 28

    Dr.HairyOlds
    Member
    from CNY

    Hey guys,
    I recently picked up 52 chevy ¾ ton truck. I hadn’t been actively looking for another project but it just kind of fell in my lap. A friend told me that his co-workers father had an old truck he wanted to get rid of. These were the first pictures I had of it.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Dr.HairyOlds
    Joined: Mar 10, 2012
    Posts: 28

    Dr.HairyOlds
    Member
    from CNY

    I got in touch with the father. He had it for about 20 years and never did anything with it. All the glass was busted, no motor, and no tranny. He said the rust had been patched over and that he had extra hood, doors and fenders. He said it was a 1-ton truck with a stake rack that he had disassembled. He made no mention of what he wanted for it and I would have to drive about 4 hrs each way to bring it home.

    I was skepticial and told my buddy that with all that it needed and picking it up, it would need to be dirt cheap to be worth it. Apparently, he knew something and pushed me to keep at it. So I did and finally got a number: $600 obo! I offered him $500 and made plans to go pick it up.

    When we got down there, I found that this guy had a second truck at one point that he had parted out and then scrapped. So we loaded it up all the spare parts we could in the both trucks and on the trailer. I got the vin tags and registrations from both trucks. When I paid him, the guy gave me $100 back!
     
  3. Dr.HairyOlds
    Joined: Mar 10, 2012
    Posts: 28

    Dr.HairyOlds
    Member
    from CNY

    After looking the truck over, I’m pretty impressed. Despite what the last owner said, I wouldn’t consider this thing cobbled. Whoever was working on this before was doing what they could with their abilities. The frame has been cleaned and painted with new lines and suspension. Any rusted areas were blasted and cut out. However, it appears that they either couldn’t weld or didn’t have access to one. You can see that the cab corners are bolted on but the old ones were cut out cleanly. Everything was painted in rustoleum. The underside is nicely undercoated and everything north is brush painted in what looks like red primer (that’s the color it has faded to anyway). The worst spot is the bottom of the doors.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Dr.HairyOlds
    Joined: Mar 10, 2012
    Posts: 28

    Dr.HairyOlds
    Member
    from CNY

    My plan is to build this as an old work truck that I can cruise around in and throw something in the bed without guilt. With it being a ¾ ton, I would love to be able to tow a car trailer with it from time to time. Also, I want to build it as cheaply as possible.

    Chassis-wise, everything looks good and was replaced before it was put away. The suspension has no sag to it at all. I will replace things as necessary.

    Wanting to tow with it, brakes are a huge concern. Trying to find a way to upgrade the front brakes since I have not seen anything using the ¾ ton axle. Anyone have any ideas? One option is to swap to a ½ ton front axle and spindles and use a 6-lug disc brake kit. The difference in weight capacity for the front axle is negligible, 2200 lbs. vs. 2500 lbs. So if anyone has swapped out their stock axle and wants to get rid of it, let me know!
     

  5. OldoginMd
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 295

    OldoginMd
    Member

    Dr. Olds

    Great ! I am going to follow this thread ,,, I love drivers and trucks that actually WORK ... no matter their age
    Oldog
     
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,165

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It sounds like a cool project. I'd be building a solid flatbed with a gas tank under one side and a tool box under the other.

    If the front drums come off the hub you might hunt down a 73/85 or so Chevy 3/4 ton 4x4 front rotor to see if it will fit up. A free junker would work for trial fits.
     
  7. Reminds me of my cheap ($340) 3/4 ton GMC. yours looks better. Amazing how much it takes to get it up and running. I've got almost $2000 in mine now. and it was a driver when I started.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Dr.HairyOlds
    Joined: Mar 10, 2012
    Posts: 28

    Dr.HairyOlds
    Member
    from CNY

    I was thinking of swapping out the rear axle but this one is in good shape and just looks right. Only problem is that it has stock 4.57 gearing and they don’t make any other options.

    truck 013.JPG

    So in order to make it work, I need an overdrive. I did some research and found out about the NV4500. It’s a 5 speed with granny low 1<SUP>st</SUP> and a .73 overdrive that uses the same input shaft as your typical 10 spline muncie. Also, they are damn near bulletproof, which helps my work truck goals. I was lucky enough to find one right around the corner from me. Score! This will drop my effective rear end ratio to a live able 3.34. With 30” tires, it should cruise at 70 mph at around 2600 rpm.

    truck 008.JPG

    For a motor, I have the Olds 330 that I pulled out of my OT 66 cutlass to make room for the new 455. But I have receipts for the full rebuild of this motor and it ran well before I pulled it. I was tempted to grab a new BBC for it, but I already have this one taking up space in the shop. Besides, I also have a flywheel and full clutch kit for it. I’m going to use a speedway adapter plate to bolt this up to the chevy bolt pattern on the tranny. I know a friend that may be upgrading from a 600 cfm edelbrock so I hope to score that for cheap to replace the cheap old holley that’s currently there. I will need a belt drive as I used them on my 455. I’ll need shorty headers for this to work and Sanderson makes some. Unfortunately, at $500 ceramic coated, they’ll be a big ticket item for my build.

    truck 009.JPG
     
  9. this is the way to do it. did my [39 gmc 6 lug by sliding 6 lug rotors over original hub.
    i thought all the axles and spindles,1/2 or 3/4 ton, were the same?
     
  10. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,805

    jetnow1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    3/4 ton axles and spindles are not the same as 1/2 ton, the springs are the same. Scarebird was working on a disc brake kit for these but I have not heard anything
    as to if he has them available yet. !/2 ton axles are easy to find if you want to go that
    route. The rear end was used till the early 60's and there are some with better gearing
    but they are hard to find. If you swap to the early 6 bolt pattern then you will probably
    want to swap the rear end to match bolt patterns. Front of the frame is almost the same
    as the 1/2 ton- slightly heavier steel but the rear frame is very different so do not plan
    on using any 1/2 ton kits- they will not fit. The 3/4 ton frame is straight back from the cab
    the 1/2 ton frame flairs out so we 3/4 tonners have a narrower rear frame.

    Sheetmetal is the same other than the bed being longer. The same cab was used even
    on the larger trucks but they had different front fenders. Good luck with your project I will
    be watching this one as I have simular plans for my 3/4 ton. Jim
     
  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,763

    squirrel
    Member

    Sounds a lot like my new work truck. almost 2 years ago I was talking to a friend, he said he had a line on a 57 chevy one ton, $500. so I bought it. Had a 283 that I was able to get running, and had a flaky flatbed on the back. The wiring was a mess, pretty much anything that the previous owner had worked on was done wrong. I undid most of the modifications, put the wiring back to original, I had extra parts from some of my other trucks so I was able to fix a lot of things without spending much money. I also had a parted out 86 3/4 ton suburban, so I got the springs and 3.73 rearend out of it, and put them in the 57. I had a left over 59 long fleetside bed, so I cut the frame down (1 tons are 9 ft bed), and shortened the wheelbase to fit the 8 ft bed. I got it running and driving like this, then decided the 283 was too tired (almost no oil pressure when warm), so I took the front of the truck apart and swapped in a big block that was sitting in another project that I havent got done. While I had it apart, I did some bodywork on it, and brushed white rustoleum over the whole truck. I found a set of those crappy looking chrome spoke 8 lug wheels which have enough offset to clear the tie rod, and bought some new tires. It came out pretty good, and I've been driving the heck out of it...I've put 4k miles or so on it since last November, including a trip out to California.

    So...my suggestion is to fix the stock front end, and find a 3/4 ton rearend from something newer. Get it running, and drive it. You can make a flat bed or find a long stepside bed for it. 54 stepside beds are almost just like 55-66 beds, the fenders are different.
     
  12. Nice score. I will be following this one
     
  13. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,078

    Truckedup
    Member

    Dr Hairy Olds,you're in central NY? I live east of Rochester and have a 50 Chevy 1/2 I use for a work truck 8 months a year.
     
  14. sounds like a great pick up, I will have that front axle, but you being across the country does not add up when you think about shipping. that should be a great runner with all the go parts you are thinking of installing. good luck
     
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,165

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I like the idea of the 330 Olds in it. A set of Headers that would fit that engine in the Cutlass it came out of might work better than the tight tuck style.
     
  16. Dr.HairyOlds
    Joined: Mar 10, 2012
    Posts: 28

    Dr.HairyOlds
    Member
    from CNY

    Thanks for the all the support!


    I have two 80's 3/4 ton six lug axles lying around but they are wider. Also they are pretty rusty. However, I do have a full set of new brake parts for them. I would like to retain the old rear end since it is so clean and functional. I won't mind having mismatched lug counts. Truck came with two newer steel rims and practically brand new tires. Still have the whiskers showing and no dry rot! Just need to blast and paint em and mount these centers. Unfortunately, the six lug steelies I have around won't fit these caps.

    truck 027.JPG

    truck 012.JPG


    I'm looking for a period bed. I dig look with rear fenders. Stake beds are for farm trucks. The 3/4 tons have a bed between the 1/2 and 1 ton lengths. Whatever I find, I'll shorten or lengthen as necessary. I might end up building a bed. Their aren't any real curves on them minus the fenders. That would eat a lot of my time and in the end idk if it would be any cheaper. So let me know if you know of one around.


    Truckedup, I'm from Syracuse. I'd love to hear more about your truck and what's running it. Post some pics!


    Pdunn, you never know. A guy on ebay in minnesota would charge $60 for shipping but he wants $250 for the axle and spindles. Depending what you'd want for it, might be worth it.


    Mr.48chev, When I had the 330 in my cutlass, no one made headers for it, save dick miller racing, for about a grand. I have a set of 350-403 olds headers for a 68 and later cutlass. Might give them a try. Looks like a tight fit in there but you'd know better than me. I have manifolds but olds manifolds have an extra exit in the drivers side for a crossover. Hardly smooth exit for the exhaust. Idk if I can step back to those manifolds without revoking my rodder's license, haha

    102_0393.jpg
     
  17. Hey, congrats on your find - looks like a great start. I'm located in Baldwinsville and just picked up a 51 1/2ton a few weeks ago. I'll be following your progress and just subscribed to your thread. Here is my build thread in case you're interested.

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=672888
     
  18. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,078

    Truckedup
    Member

    Another NY truck. I've has this 50 for about 7 years.In that time put in a 80 Blazer rear axle and kept the SM 420 4speed.Had a later 235 and this winter built a 261 engine. And put disc brakes in the front .Use it to haul firewood , scrap metal and just general transportation.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. sierra rod shop
    Joined: Feb 16, 2011
    Posts: 382

    sierra rod shop
    Member

  20. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,805

    jetnow1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    If you want a 1/2 ton front end- put an ad on craigslist saying wanted- It took me less
    than a 3 weeks to get 4 replies all within 50 miles- 1 in the next town. There are a lot
    of people doing m11 front end swaps in these trucks. I believe the 50 and later had bendix brakes, early ones had huck brakes but not a consideration if you are going to disc brakes. Jim
     
  21. Dr.HairyOlds
    Joined: Mar 10, 2012
    Posts: 28

    Dr.HairyOlds
    Member
    from CNY

    Sorry there hasn't been much movement on this. Found a rough but complete 58 apache stepside for sale. I'm looking at it to score a bed and 1/2 ton front axle. My question is, do you think the later style fenders will work with the AD? I may get it anyway and try to find fenders to swap on.
     
  22. Jdeshler
    Joined: Jan 2, 2011
    Posts: 210

    Jdeshler
    BANNED

    Nice project! Man, that thing would look good with an all wooden bed! Those fenders may be hard to find.. But I'm sure you can have a nice set freighted to you from out west where rust is nonexistent.. I have a friend who paid 500$ for a PERFECT cab, I mean flawless from somewhere in Nevada.. No telling what the cost to ship was.. I'm sure it was more than what he paid for the cab
     
  23. Dr.HairyOlds
    Joined: Mar 10, 2012
    Posts: 28

    Dr.HairyOlds
    Member
    from CNY

    Thanks man

    Things are beginning to settle down for the moment so I am looking to start working on this again. Sold a lot of the extra sheet metal so I&#8217;m pretty much into this for free.

    My plan is to get the motor and trans in and build from there. Brakes are still a concern. I was hot to find a box for the truck but the more I thought about it, I need to get the mechanicals situated before I start worrying about that. However, I do have a line on a parts truck for $800. It&#8217;s rough but the bed seems to be in good shape. I could also rob the ½ ton axle off of it so I could use a disc brake kit. Then hopefully sell off/ scrap the rest.

    What does everyone think of that plan?

    Also, going down the Carlisle in a couple weeks for the first time. Might pick up a couple parts down there.
     
  24. 45_70Sharps
    Joined: May 19, 2010
    Posts: 331

    45_70Sharps
    Member

    Very cool find.
    As soon as I take my first drive in my '54 ( month or so ) I'm going to be either starting in on a 1950 ish truck or some sort of a roadster. Fate will decide what I work on next.
    I really like the idea of a daily driver truck that I can drag parts home with and pull a trailer though.
    I had a '52 Chevy truck when I was a kid so I kinda want another one. No 216 this time though.
     
  25. Jdeshler
    Joined: Jan 2, 2011
    Posts: 210

    Jdeshler
    BANNED

    The only thing I regret about the build on my 64 was scraping unused parts of the donor truck! If you can and the parts may ever be usable again, my advise would be not to scrap em.. I promise a week after you do you'll need something that was on it lol.. You definately have a solid foundation! The 6cyl you mention will be plenty of power with that transmission.. Even though in my thread im updating to a s10 subframe I have been told by several that a booster/ master cylinder upgrade will make these drums stop very well..
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  26. Thumper
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,610

    Thumper
    Member

    I like the way your thinking on this. For a bed..have you ever considered a service or utility body with the built-in toolboxes? It would be different for sure. Just throwing an idea out there.:)
     
  27. deancrozon
    Joined: Jan 30, 2014
    Posts: 1

    deancrozon
    Member

    Did you settle on a body for your truck? We have 49 Chevy deluxe cab 1 ton with a grain dump box and are searching for a service or utility body from that era.
     
  28. Coneboy
    Joined: Dec 14, 2010
    Posts: 102

    Coneboy
    Member

    Love the plan and "real work truck" idea, I did my '51 the same way. That Olds motor will be waaaaaay cool in there! I'm looking forward to seeing your progress. Keep up the good work!
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.