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Got a '59 GMC Fleetside

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mt94ss, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. mt94ss
    Joined: Jul 25, 2010
    Posts: 310

    mt94ss
    Member

    I just picked up this truck. I've been looking for one for a while now. It's as stock as can be. It doesn't look like it has had any love for a few decades. The guy I bought it from put on the cheapo rollers because the stock tires were rotting off. It has only 61,xxx miles on it. The passenger door and the hood work like a new car so I'm pretty sure it's correct.

    It looks like it sat under a tree, at the back half does, because it was full of fir needles, even inside the door!

    Had to replace the lower hinge on the driver door and the pocket in the door. Found a cool video on YouTube that showed how a guy fixed his. I had to replace the metal, but it was an easy repair. Now the door doesn't fall down when opened.

    I plan to do the Camaro/Firebird front clip that I saw on here from LUX BLUE. Looks like an easy enough swap with great results. I flipped the axle and put in a 60" 5 lug (from my '55) for now. Not sure if I'll keep that or go with a bit wider one. I just wanted to see what it would look like. I like it.

    I put the gangster whites on the 6-lug wheels on the stock front instead of those monster mudders that were on there. I'll probably just do steelies because I only have 2 of the 15x7 Fentons.

    I'll put in a 350/auto - maybe an OD. The 6 runs, but it's a stick and I just want a cruiser.

    Anyway, I'm sure I'll have more questions as I go. Like today I found out that the spring shackle bolts are actually threaded into the spring perch and have a nut on each end, and there is a zerk fitting on each one. Didn't know that before taking it off to do the flip. How does the front one come off? It needs a new bushing - kinda sloppy.

    One question is:
    What do you use in place of the 2-piece drive shaft?

    Thanks,

    Mike
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Looks like school district yellow. Good score. Wide box beds rule!
    I've done the Camaro graft on and old PU, makes it into a nice driver.
     
  3. schwerko
    Joined: Jun 18, 2010
    Posts: 150

    schwerko
    Member
    from bristol ct

    Good score, love that grill!
     
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,876

    squirrel
    Member

    The front spring hangar on the rear spring uses a pin, with a clamp bolt. remove the bolt, knock the pin out.

    What trans does it have? The Chevy long beds in 59 with a 3 speed used a one piece drive shaft. Maybe your trans is the short heavy duty one? pictures.....???

    Might be a 270 engine in it? if it's a GMC engine. Guys like them for old hot rods...
     

  5. mt94ss
    Joined: Jul 25, 2010
    Posts: 310

    mt94ss
    Member

    Hey Squirrel, yeah, it's a 6. I think the book says 261ci. The trans is short and tall with a 2-piece driveshaft. It actually runs good and didn't even smoke. I'm hoping to be able to use a one-piece driveshaft.
     
  6. mt94ss
    Joined: Jul 25, 2010
    Posts: 310

    mt94ss
    Member

    Oh, I saw the clamp on the pin in the front but there's a zerk on it so I didn't want to bash on it. Does it come out towards the inside or outside (away from the frame)?
     
  7. swe64
    Joined: Nov 22, 2010
    Posts: 415

    swe64
    Member

    i have 2 57 gmc and 1 58gmc
    270 engine with 4 speed is 2-pice drive shaft and on your hood i can see that there been a gmc sign so you have a good engine 140hp and good tourq,
    on v8 gmc one pice shaft seems that engine+ trans on v8 is longer
     
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,876

    squirrel
    Member

    I don't remember which way it comes out. You can take the zerk fitting off. If there's room for it to go in far enough that it will come out, that would probably the easiest way to do it. It's been a while since I took out a rear spring.

    The length of the transmission (and long or short bed) seems to be what determines whether it's a one or two piece driveshaft.
     
  9. APACHE FS
    Joined: Feb 20, 2007
    Posts: 569

    APACHE FS
    Member

    Slides towards outside of the truck, it's too long to go inside, it will hit the bracket. You can still get those with the bushings from NAPA. Good lookin truck, I want to do a GMC next time.



    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
  10. nachodog
    Joined: Dec 24, 2009
    Posts: 111

    nachodog
    Member
    from socal

    Some driveshaft shops are weary about making a long driveshaft due to the fact that the longer a driveshaft is it is more prone to vibration. I was told that they would make me one out of aluminum but it would need to be at least a 4" diameter and the cost was going to be anywhere between $600-$800 bux. I would just cut down the two piece and have it balanced. Nice truck by the way.
     
  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,876

    squirrel
    Member

    or just find a stock one piece driveshaft from a 55-59 chevy truck with a chevy 3 speed transmission. The wheelbase on these trucks isn't that long, it's only 123"
     
  12. 64LeSabre455
    Joined: Dec 29, 2007
    Posts: 779

    64LeSabre455
    Member
    from Adkins, Tx

    Thats a nice lookin truck. Looks like a School bus. The drive shaft in mine is a one piece.
    Here's a shot of my 58, gonna work on it one day, but need to find a new cab.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. mt94ss
    Joined: Jul 25, 2010
    Posts: 310

    mt94ss
    Member

    Cool. I was wondering how the Buick was going since you moved to Texas. Now you have a truck. Did you just pick it up? Too bad on the cab, too far gone to patch?

    That's one thing about my truck, I almost don't want to do anything to the body because it's untouched. Might have to figure out how to do the 'painless' dent removal. Although this metal is a lot thicker than newer cars. I do need to address the pass front fender, it was used as 'drive by braille'!

    Picked up a '76 Trans-Am sub frame today from a cool guy in Scappoose. It was only $125 and it's complete. Big brakes/ fast ratio steering / huge sway bar and HD springs.

    He had about 50 F-bodies in his back yard. If anyone in OR or WA wants to get a subframe, pm me and I'll get you his info. Standard Firebird clips are only $80! This guy has the setup and it's cool that he's helping others out by not being a prick.

    I'm sure that I am not the first guy to put a SBC/auto in a lwb '59. I would think that a standard driveshaft would work if it's long enough. I guess I'll know when I put in the stub and then the drivetrain.

    Mike
     

    Attached Files:

  14. mt94ss
    Joined: Jul 25, 2010
    Posts: 310

    mt94ss
    Member

    Thanks for the tip and the compliment.

    Thanks and I'll see how it looks after the front clip install.

    Might see if there are any at the local yard... need a tailgate, too. There are tons of 60+ but I think that they are a bit different.
     
  15. mt94ss
    Joined: Jul 25, 2010
    Posts: 310

    mt94ss
    Member

    Thanks, I hope that I can do it right. Did you use LUX BLUE's process?

    Thanks, me too. Just need to figure out what to do about the turn signals, they are trashed.
     
  16. 64LeSabre455
    Joined: Dec 29, 2007
    Posts: 779

    64LeSabre455
    Member
    from Adkins, Tx

    I still have the Buick! Been workin on it very slowly when I get a chance.
    Had an opportunity to pick up this truck for free, so I jumped on it!

    The cab is toast, the entire eyebrow is rotted, its so bad the front window fell out by itself, the roof is bad, the back of the cab below the rear window is bad. I knew it had some issues, but not this many.

    Been searchin locally for a good cab for a good price and haven't had any luck.
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=681268
    Here's the thread on it if you want to take a look.
    Thread Hi jack over!!
     
  17. 64LeSabre455
    Joined: Dec 29, 2007
    Posts: 779

    64LeSabre455
    Member
    from Adkins, Tx

    Nice score on the clip! Post progress on the install! Tons of great info on the LUX Blue thread!
     
  18. Brog
    Joined: Jul 7, 2011
    Posts: 207

    Brog
    Member

    Nice I kinda like the long bed on this one
     
  19. dubie
    Joined: Aug 17, 2004
    Posts: 698

    dubie
    Member

    NIce score on this one. You don't see many 58/59 GMC fleetsides
     
  20. Shane Spencer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,161

    Shane Spencer
    Member

    awesome truck man. im buildin a 59 myself
     
  21. mt94ss
    Joined: Jul 25, 2010
    Posts: 310

    mt94ss
    Member

    Yep. That sway bar is HUGE!!! I think he said it was 1 1/8". Could be a slot car when done. You know you can get a 'new' cab for only $9,000, then you'd have 9 grand into it. :D

    Me too, plus the color is growing on me. Washed it today and it looks pretty good. I saw somewhere on here where a guy cleaned the car with CLR and it neutralized the rust. We'll see.

    Thanks.

    Cool, thanks.
     
  22. mt94ss
    Joined: Jul 25, 2010
    Posts: 310

    mt94ss
    Member

    Looks like a cool truck. Needs a little rust repair. Why was your MIL not happy? She enjoy watching it rot? I thought that desert cars didn't have rust. :D

    Let me know if you start on it. I would like to see where you take yours.

    I have a bunch of stuff lying around from projects that I am incorporating into this one. I have a '95 B-Body Chevy frame that I am pirating the rear diff (63" wide where stock is 62") and I may swap the front spindles onto the T/A front sub so I can have all 5x5 wheels. Bigger brakes that still fit behind the 15x6 steelies I will run.

    Been a busy week/weekend so I didn't have much time to work on it.

    Mike
     
  23. mt94ss
    Joined: Jul 25, 2010
    Posts: 310

    mt94ss
    Member

    Been a while since I posted on this. I did decide that I want to keep it more simple on the drivetrain so I am going with a chebby 350 (painted Pontiac blue) and a 700r4 that I have that are ready to install. I don't have to rebuild anything. That gives me the time to do the T/A clip mod and hydro-boost brakes and new wiring. I have the headers and engine mounts for it. I don't think I will do any bodywork as I like it as it is. Also, I am going 5x4.75 BP so I can run the 15x7 slots and WWWs that I have.

    [​IMG]

    So, basically it will be a front clip. fix the brakes and electrical, exhaust and driveshaft. I really want to spend most of my time finishing my x-4door '55 gasser.

    Mike
     
  24. mt94ss
    Joined: Jul 25, 2010
    Posts: 310

    mt94ss
    Member

    My daughter and I had a fun time today dismanteling the front clip of the truck. We first got the hood and fenders unbolted. Not one bolt broke! It was amazing how easy it came off.

    [​IMG]

    Plenty of room to pull the engine and trans. I don't recommend pulling them as a unit - I couldn't get the hump on the trans to clear the crossmember. I'm not using that one again anyway so I torched it off and the assembly came right out.

    [​IMG]

    The firewall and drops are very clean and rust free! The only issue is the inner metal around both lower hinge pockets is rusted out - pretty minor.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I did use some cleaner on the firewall and it looks like new paint. The only thing is the pinch weld is kinda rusty, just surface.

    We got the whole front suspension off too. I am using this axle for my '55 gasser and the T/A clip is going on here.

    [​IMG]

    Good day's work with the kid helping. She wasn't that thrilled at first but I gave her specific jobs to do and she started having fun.

    Now to measure everything and get ready to graft the new subframe.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2013
  25. damagedduck
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 2,342

    damagedduck
    Member
    from Greeley Co

  26. Nice truck. good project. I love those trucks. had 3 so far.
    two 59`s , one 58
     

    Attached Files:

  27. 64LeSabre455
    Joined: Dec 29, 2007
    Posts: 779

    64LeSabre455
    Member
    from Adkins, Tx

    Mike, your pics aren't showing up for me? I don't know why!

    Nice to see ya getting back on it! Looking forward to seeing how its gonna turn out!
     
  28. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,406

    indyjps
    Member

    700R4 is about the same length as a long tail shaft TH350, that wll help you out with the driveshaft length, post up plenty of pics of the frame swap
     
  29. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,635

    1959apache
    Member

    that depends on where the new engine sits compared to where it used to sit.

    Cool looking truck. I am still working on mine. I am glad you have a helper! Post some pictures!
     
  30. mt94ss
    Joined: Jul 25, 2010
    Posts: 310

    mt94ss
    Member

    No pics still? It looks OK here.

    How is your truck coming along? Find a cab yet? I see them all the time here for cheap with titles.

    After looking everything over again, I am going back to the 5 on 5 wheel option. I don't want to run really wide tires and the 60" rear is pretty narrow, the tires almost hit the frame and the wheel tubs. My other rear is 63" and should fill the bill nicely. Also, the 'big spindle swap' puts 12" brakes etc. (from the b-body) on the T/A clip and I have all the parts. That gets me 5 on 5 for the front. Plus, I get to use the T/A spindles and brakes on the truck axle for my gasser. I have some steelies for now and may try to get chrome reverse or Supremes if I can find some 15x7s for a reasonable price.

    I am going to follow LUX Blues' thread here for guidance. I hope that everything goes as easy as his did. BAM55 had a great how-to on the hydro-boost.

    I'll post pics as things progress. Tomorrow is a day off.

    Here's a pic of the '56 Pontiac taillights in the stock housing. They look like they belong there. I may get the Pontiac housings if I can figure out how to get them off. Trade them out - put the GMC ones on the Pontiac for a different look.

    [​IMG]

    Mike
     

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