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Projects Father/Son Project #2 - AD Pickup Build Thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by guthriesmith, May 6, 2020.

  1. Some of you all may have seen my other build thread that I have been updating somewhat regularly this year for my oldest son’s 63 Chevy pu. Considering my younger son will also be 16 this year and has a bigger project, I figure I should get started back on it too. We have actually had this pu since my son Samuel was nine, and he has had the same vision for it since then. To back up a little to set the stage for this thread, I should probably answer the question of how I have two sons that will be 16 this year (not including my daughter that will also be 16 this year). Anyway, my wife and I adopted all our kids and apparently I needed a lesson in patience having 3 teenagers in the house all at once. That is a long story in itself and I won’t get into all the details here considering this forum is about traditional hot rods and customs, not family stories.

    So, let me get back on topic and onto the story of this build. I have pretty much always liked AD pickups possibly because one of my best friends drove a cool 54 as his daily back when we were in high school. Anyway, that has led to us having a few as well over the years mostly during the time that my boys have been around. First, we had a 49 that we drove around quite a bit when the boys were small. As you can see in a couple pics below, it made for a good backdrop for pics when the boys were little. After I sold the 49, I bought a 50 from a guy at work and it is the one that ended up in a tech article on Nostalgia Sid’s website installing one of his dropped axles. We never got that one running and driving before we sold it. Next came another 50 that was a much nicer pickup although it was sold years ago too. So, that all led up to how we somewhat unintentionally ended up with a pickup for Samuel.

    The 49 that may have started it all and Samuel standing on the running board. (year is wrong in pic since Samuel wasn't even born until 2004 :rolleyes:)

    Both boys trying to figure things out...

    The 50 that became a tech article fashion model...

    Samuel "driving" the nicer 50.
    100905 001.jpg

    I used to drive around pretty much every day at lunch in the town I work in scouting any old cars sitting around that might be had. One day, I came across a real clean 54 Ford Mainline sitting at the city impound lot that they had pulled out of a garage of a house that was condemned. It was original paint, pretty much a perfect body, and something that I thought would make a great first vehicle for Samuel. I pestered the lady at the city office for a couple years before she finally let me know that the city would be having an auction where they would be selling the car. The only problem was that I was going to be out of town that weekend for the first St. Louis Hot Rod Hundred event. My wife decided to go to the auction for me to see if that car could be had. What happened was that it went WAY too high for what it was and as it turns out, the guy that bought it ended up selling it later for about half what he had in it. Apparently the whole bidding war deal got to him and at least one other guy at the auction. My wife bailed before the price got stupid on that car. There happened to also be an old city truck that they were selling that day too. It was a 52 Chevy 2 ton that had been the water truck in town since new. I told my wife what I might be willing to give for it and ended up with it as a consolation prize or something… I think there was only one person bidding against her and when she won the bid, he came over to her and mentioned that he had another truck at home that he would sell if we were interested. The price was very appealing on it, so I went to check it out after we got back from St. Louis. Turns out it was a short bed that had been completely taken apart, but was very solid and appeared to be mostly there. We made a deal and from the time we picked it up, Samuel claimed it as his own.

    The one that got away and ended up leading to Samuel getting an AD pickup.

    The consolation prize at the auction.

    And, the topic of this thread the day we picked it up back in 2014. It started out pretty much as a pile of parts, but the parts were all pretty nice.

    Oh, and some artwork I had done by a fellow HAMBer years ago that also plays into the whole AD pu deal...
    Jacket&Shirt Back.jpg

    Pretty sure that is already too long of a story for one post, so I better move on to pics and updates of what we have done over the last 6 years although it hasn’t amounted to much yet… :D
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  2. Nostrebor
    Joined: Jun 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,001


    You're killing me with these truck builds. Now and AD truck? SUBSCRIBE!

    My first "car" was a 55 1st Series. I'm in.
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  3. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,919

    Jalopy Joker

    Thanks for sharing
    Thor1, loudbang and guthriesmith like this.
  4. So, moving on a little (very little considering the amount of time we have had this pu), we have been collecting some parts over time. One of the things that has been the funnest about doing these projects with the boys is seeing how great of people are in this hobby of ours. We have had multiple people give Samuel parts for this build right up through last month when a good friend gave him new door handles, a new dash panel, and a brand new electric wiper setup that were spares from a Suburban project he had just finished. We saw him at Nostalgia Sid's open house and he brought him all those parts.

    Anyway, the vision for this truck has been the same since right after we got it home. Samuel decided that he wanted it to be black with flames and have Torq Thrust D's on it. So, that is the direction we are headed. I even had a friend do a rendering of it to help him with that vision.

    Rendering by Alan Childers

    Other plans include a traditional SBC and a build that could have been early 60's or so somewhat dated by the wheels if nothing else. It will be dropped axle front suspension, Camaro rearend, likely 3-speed manual, and have stuff like seatbelts and disk brakes for safety.
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  5. Have a 52 GMC pickup myself and it is a great driver. I used Jag IFS and IRS swap (very low budget way to go with cheap Jag donor), with a 350 SBC and 700R4. The truck is just the right size for a nice driver, and able to still haul stuff in the bed.

    I think that Samuel's truck will be a great build like the other 63 pickup you and other son built. Looking forward to seeing the progress pics and some of the build decisions you make.
  6. 48stude
    Joined: Jul 31, 2004
    Posts: 1,088


    I'm a fan of the Advance Design. Look forward to your updates. Bill
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  7. So, trying to gather up all the pics of this thing as far as parts we collected, etc. over the years. I will likely continue to find more stuff over the next few days, but figured I would throw out updates on a few things we have actually done over time. A lot of what has happened with it is outside storage for a couple years since I didn't have either a big enough shop or a shop at all after a move a few years back as shown below.

    IMG_3738.JPG IMG_8911.JPG

    I guess the above pic shows one of the first purchases for the build. I came across one of Sid's dropped axles on the local Craigslist and went to buy it. Although Sid is one of my best friends and where I always get dropped axles, this one came out from under a local truck that was swapping to MII and a deal I couldn't pass up. It was a 3" dropped axle and came with a steering column with add-on turn signals, the steering gearbox, a set of Posies springs, shocks, and a disk brake setup all for $200. Seemed like a steal to me.

    A couple years ago, I was able to build a shop and get the truck inside. If I remember right, it may have been the first one in the building even before we had electrical done.

    We did go ahead and install the dropped axle one day to start the project as much of a motivation tactic as anything.
    IMG_2174.JPG IMG_2177.JPG IMG_2178.JPG IMG_2182.JPG
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  8. Looks like I am already getting stuff out of order, but one of the main things this pu didn't come with was a bed. It had real nice rear fenders, but no box. I found one on the local Craigslist and we went to get it. That trip turned into an adventure in itself as it was a couple hours away and I got to change an alternator on our Yukon while I was down there in the parts store parking lot. Oh, and we did it on a weeknight making for a little later night than planned... I was just thankful that I had all the tools I needed to do it and that O'Reillys was open just long enough for me to get what I needed.

    IMG_1561.JPG IMG_1564.JPG IMG_1569.JPG IMG_1571.JPG
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  9. Also a little out of order, but since he wanted Torq Thrusts, I thought we would see if we could find some old ones (since I like doing everything the hard way). Two different friends have given him some five spokes that they had laying around. He started with a pair of 15x6's that came from a long time family friend that restores 55-57 Chevrolets and lives close. The others came from another friend up in Springfield, MO. We still need to find a matching 15x7 for one of the two we have for the rear and I suspect we will call it good even if they are not exactly the same as the fronts. I don't figure most will notice once we get them polished up some and the centers painted the same. He actually also has a couple 14 inch wheels as well that were given to him by the friend in Springfield. Also seen in one of these pics below is a couple stainless grill bars and some windshield garnish molding that came from another friend from up in the St. Louis area. Pretty sure we may have enough decent stainless grill bars to make a nice grill with the one that came with it and the two that were given to him.

    IMG_1375.JPG IMG_2583.JPG
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  10. After getting the dropped axle in, I figured we needed to work toward motor mounts and transmission crossmember as well as getting the rearend swapped so we could somewhat finish up the frame. We started by stabbing the 283 out of my pickup in the hole to get an idea what we needed to do for mounts. I still haven't decided whether to buy an off-the-shelf kit or just design up some mounts. When we stabbed the engine, he was thinking he wanted an automatic. However, I may have him convinced he would rather shift gears partly because I bought several 3 speed OD's recently that we could use. I need to teach him how to drive my pu and see if he likes shifting before we make that call. We also found an old set of Cal Custom valve covers that we plan to use on this build.

    IMG_3401.JPG IMG_3403.JPG IMG_3405.JPG

    Several years ago, a guy I work with mentioned that he had a freshly rebuilt 283 sitting in a barn down in Texas that his sister had built, but never used. I was reminded of that recently and hit him up about buying it for this build. We made a deal and he brought it up to me recently. Being in an open barn, and not covered, I was a little concerned with what we were getting. But, the price was right, so worth the chance. When I saw all the mud dobber nests all over it, I had to get it apart to see what we ended up with.

    IMG_9377.JPG IMG_9378.JPG IMG_9382.JPG
    So far, so good...

    What I was hoping not to find...

    After scraping it off and scuffing it up a little, I am pretty sure we will be good. However, with all the dirt in that cylinder, we have decided to pull it completely apart to hone the cylinders and clean the block out good. I am concerned with how many nests there may be in the water jackets too, so will evaluate once we get it all pulled apart.
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  11. I am always a proponent of having a parts vehicle sitting around in case it is needed and when a buddy told me about this one for $200, we had to go drag it home. It is pretty rough, and I don't know what all we may need from it yet, but I figure it was worth the money. If nothing else, we may cut the cowl vent out of it since someone welded up the one in Samuel's truck. Just happens that this one is also a 51. He is also still deciding on whether he wants door handles or not on this truck. The doors that came with his project are actually very nice and solid, but someone welded them up. And, my buddy just gave him a brand new set of handles in the box. So, we will make that decision, but have a couple sets of doors to choose from if needed. The box on this parts truck is also decent, so we will evaluate which is best once we get to that part.

    IMG_4259.JPG IMG_4263.JPG
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  12. Back when I was on Facebook, I had posted some pics of Samuel's project somewhere and some guys from Lange's Shop (LS Fab) saw it thought it was cool that a kid was building this thing. They make smooth firewall inserts as well as other parts and donated a set to Samuel for this build. Pretty darn cool actually. I wasn't necessarily planning to do something like that to the firewall, but think it will look pretty nice. As you can see, we will need to fix some of the butchering on the center of the firewall as well where it appears someone got crazy with a hammer likely trying to make clearance for an HEI or something...

    And, we should be all practiced up welding stuff once we finish fixing all the rust on Silas's 63. :)

    IMG_2275.JPG IMG_2276.JPG
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  13. We decided to pull the motor completely apart tonight. Found it was full of oil which was good. I think we can get away with honing the cylinders, a thorough cleaning, and new gaskets. Best I can tell, everything inside is new at least as far as what you would expect.

    19870C5A-CA60-48E6-98D1-F922080B263C.jpeg 961EE1E5-D6B3-48DE-9B10-7786F72D8CD6.jpeg
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  14. Sam is one lucky kid,...I like the way you are putting that truck together...I've built a bunch of those AD pickups...always like to have one sittin around like the first pic 50 chev kunce 7-27-19 051.jpg shows(BTW, my name is also Sam)
    my cars 016.jpg my cars 019.jpg my cars 027.jpg my cars 028.jpg cokers 003.jpg
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
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  15. Go Samuel! (and Jeff) Looking good so far!
  16. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 29,066


    You and your wife are GOOD PEOPLE for taking in those kids. :)

    And the build is cool too.
  17. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,713


    Samuel is such a good kid. He deserves this.
  18. Thanks man... But, to be honest, it is just how God provided a family for us. Being able to do this stuff with kids is a blessing to me as much as anything. I am just a goofball gearhead that was (and likely still is) pretty self-centered...
  19. 4 pedals
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 689

    4 pedals
    from Nor Cal

    I like it! Subscribed!

  20. Thanks Chris. He is an absolute joy to work with. He is one of those kids that brightens your day and also can predict the next step when working and is there to help. He is my kid that likely has “spending time” as his love language. No matter what we do together, it is about the time we spend even more than the actual task at hand.
  21. Looks like a great project. Happy for you that your boys are interested in your hobby. I didn’t succeed in getting that seed to grow with mine.
  22. Tall t 26
    Joined: Oct 6, 2017
    Posts: 228

    Tall t 26

    Awesome job guys!! Memories that will last a life time. Great post.
  23. Thor1
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,424


    Great thread Jeff! Thanks for taking us along on another ride with the Smith boys:cool: I'm looking forward to it:)

  24. No update other than we did move some of the junk out from around the pickup yesterday so we can get back to work on it. Since starting on Silas's project, this one has ended up somewhat a storage area with parts and boxes stacked around it.

    One bit of excitement I just go via email was the artwork below from B-Scott Studios. He has become a good friend and does our Hot Rod Hundred artwork every year. In talking to him a couple weeks ago, he mentioned how his revenue is WAY down this year as far as printing shirts since pretty much every car event has been either cancelled or postponed this first half of the year as we all know. Anyway, seemed like a good time to have him do some artwork for Samuel's truck that we could print on shirts, hoodies, jackets, etc. I think I will get some of these printed up on shirts and hoodies and let Samuel sell them to raise some money for his build while also sending some business to B-Scott in a down time.

  25. I'm in for a T-shirt, I was established in 1947 also.
    loudbang and Thor1 like this.
  26. Sweet! Sounds like you were established the same year as my dad. I'll shoot you a pm with more info on a shirt. Thanks!
  27. Your project is coming along nicely. Having spent 5 years getting my 51 on the road, I always enjoy watching other AD projects. My son (now 22) has fond memories of our "road trip" back in 2010 to bring ours home. Enjoy these times with your kids. :)
  28. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,705

    from Oregon

    PM me info on shirt and hoodie.:) I would like to contribute if I can .
    Thor1 and guthriesmith like this.
  29. Very cool project! I am doing a 51 GMC myself. Been on hold for a while so I cant wait to work on it this summer.

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