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Projects '57 Chevy Panel Truck build "the Patch Panel"

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by randy, May 29, 2013.

  1. randy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2003
    Posts: 677

    randy
    Member

    It's been a long time since my last update! I've been super busy at work, but have managed to steal little bits of time here & there to throw at the panel.

    The story from the last many months is titled "GAPS" and the photos will bring us up to speed. Plenty of people have spent a zillion hours making perfect gaps on these trucks & I salute each and every one of them. In the case of the driver's side door, I had to move the door jamb! Perfect gaps on a rattletrap old truck look great, but they don't come easy!

    I scored a few key parts over the last few months too. In both cases, I had to buy complete trucks to get the parts but it was pretty entertaining both times...

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  2. randy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2003
    Posts: 677

    randy
    Member

    Chapter 39: A tale of two parts trucks.

    When I got my 1/2 ton panel truck, it had a crazy 70's era bench seat built up on 2x4's. I found a couple low back buckets out of a late 80's Chevy truck that would've worked ok but I really wanted a set of stock bomber style bucket seats. For whatever reason, they're fairly rare & I've seen a decent set sell on ebay for $600 +.

    Anyway, I figured I'd never score a set and had decided to use the 80's buckets...until I found this!
    IMG_2887 - Version 2.JPG
    It's a '57 1- ton 3800 panel truck that I found for sale off a local rural road. It looks more solid than it actually was, but it was COMPLETE and ran pretty well with the stock 235 & 4 speed. The gearing allowed a top speed of 45 mph. Anyway, I bought it for a song because it had the coveted & rare seats I needed.
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    I drove it around for a bit and reminded myself why I decided to upgrade the drivetrain & running gear in my 1/2 ton panel. Also worth mentioning: This truck was LOUD inside. Those big floppy side panels and worn out hinges & weatherstripping made it the loudest old ride I've owned. I mean like 50 gallon drum on your head getting beat on loud.

    As luck would have it, someone approached me with an offer to buy the beast. I broke even but left the table with the set of rare bomber bucket seats! I threw my 80's buckets in before the new owner took possession although it kinda broke my heart to pilfer parts from such a complete old truck... I got over it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
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  3. randy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2003
    Posts: 677

    randy
    Member

    The next truck I bought was literally a "parts" truck in that it was a pile of parts when I bought it. It's a '56 3200. I only wanted the '56 hood but the guy was selling the whole pile for about the price of a good hood. I couldn't pass it up...

    I made the pile 'o parts a rusty runner within 2 weeks of getting all the stuff to the shop. The blessing was that the frame was a running chassis with an I-6 292. The cab and bed and all the fenders were separate and both doors had to be replaced. I took the good hood that came with the parts and was able to score another (not so good) hood for the 3200.

    I just registered this thing and have been driving it around town a little. I think the last of the wasp's nests are gone finally. It'll be for sale soon.

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    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
    Model T1 likes this.
  4. thanks for updates! my 56 seats are locked up, to hard to find!
     
  5. YJ4000
    Joined: Feb 5, 2009
    Posts: 276

    YJ4000
    Member

    Good score on both. That looks like a lot of work on those gaps but will look great when all done. I don't have the skill much less the patience for that amount of detail. Keep up the good I mean great work even if its a little at a time. Oh and thanks for the updates.
     
  6. motoandy
    Joined: Sep 19, 2007
    Posts: 3,289

    motoandy
    Member
    from MB, SC

    Great thread.
     
  7. 2 cool. Man, you do great work. Can't wait to see some more. Panel action is bad ass.
     
  8. randy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2003
    Posts: 677

    randy
    Member

    "Almost" being a relative term and "metal work" being something that only truly ends when finish paint hits it, I can say: I'm almost done with metalwork;)

    Got a bit more work on the hood to get it all to line up & some massaging on the rear door gaps too. Also, I'm only about 90% done with side doors...so, yeah...almost done. Anyway, here's a gratuitous pic I snapped at the end of the day today.

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    Model T1 likes this.
  9. The hard work will pay off, good job
     
  10. randy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2003
    Posts: 677

    randy
    Member

    Scored a set of clear '56 California commercial plates with a '57 registration tag for the panel. I haven't registered them to the truck yet, so I'm posting the picture kinda blurred out because I don't want anyone stealing my numbers...err...whatever. Who knows what people do with license plate numbers on the internet? Anyway, sorry 'bout the blurrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
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    They are "D" series plates which I am told means that they were originally issued in 1957. A little banged up, but nothing a hammer & dolly can't fix.
     
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  11. this thread just continues to rock!
     
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  12. randy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2003
    Posts: 677

    randy
    Member

    Having already gapped one '57 style hood I decided I like the simple, smooth, blister-less look of the '55-'56 hood much better - especially with the egg-crate grille. Misery being a constant companion of mine, I decided to put the early style hood on & gap that one too. To my surprise, the early hood fit my truck much better than the '57 hood that came with the truck! A little work along the sides and at the cowl will get this thing done. I spent about 5 hours on it today, and got both sides done minus finish welding & grinding. The even 3/16" gaps should allow plenty of room for primer & paint buildup...

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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2014
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  13. Ronniej
    Joined: Sep 9, 2010
    Posts: 6

    Ronniej
    Member

    What are wedges? Are they really a parts house part for a straight axle. Please excuse my ignorance.
     
  14. Ronniej
    Joined: Sep 9, 2010
    Posts: 6

    Ronniej
    Member

    What are wedges? Are they really a parts house part for a straight axle. Please excuse my ignorance.
     
  15. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,711

    squirrel
    Member

  16. Ronniej
    Joined: Sep 9, 2010
    Posts: 6

    Ronniej
    Member

  17. randy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2003
    Posts: 677

    randy
    Member

    @Ronniej...The 6 degree caster shims are customarily used on the front axle. Generally you'd only install caster shims on the rear axle to correct a pinion angle after lowering. Hope this helps.
     
  18. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,711

    squirrel
    Member

    55-59 chevy pickups came with a shim in the front. it was steel. I haven't lowered one enough to know how much you have to shim for that, I expect it depends on how you do the lowering.
     
  19. dutchrodder
    Joined: Oct 4, 2005
    Posts: 13

    dutchrodder
    Member

    maybe a rude question but do you wanne sell this truck??
    really looking ' for a '55, '56 or '57 long wheelbase chevy or gmc panel
     
  20. randy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2003
    Posts: 677

    randy
    Member

    @dutchrodder My truck is a short wheelbase (3100) panel truck & I don't plan on selling it. I've slacked on updating this build thread although progress has been steady. It should be a runner in a couple weeks (months/ years?), just need to wire it and hook up a few things.

    Took this photo of the dash last night after I installed the radio...It's coming together, slow but sure.
    [​IMG]
     
    Model T1 likes this.
  21. Dont know how this thread escaped me........subscribed
     
  22. YJ4000
    Joined: Feb 5, 2009
    Posts: 276

    YJ4000
    Member

  23. Model T1
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 3,309

    Model T1
    Member

    Thanks Randy. Amazing work and a detailed thread.
    After abandoning my 1948 Chevy panel for ten years I gave it to my son in law back in Illinois.
    I remember spending over one week on each door. Someone had added trailer lights where the original small lights go and they dented both rear doors. These things were used and abused, not meant to be for show.
    Now it sits in a brand new heated garage.
    The ropes held the rear doors shut for a 1000 mile ride backward.
    1948 Chevy panel truck (3).jpg 1948 Chevy panel truck (4).jpg
     

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