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Projects My '39 GMC COE Build On Hold,Got Sold

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Flowmeister, May 16, 2012.

  1. Here is the story,so far.
    I bought this cab off our local online classified site just about 4 years ago.
    I fell asleep in front of the computer while looking for an ot 69 Chevy truck. When I woke up, I wiggled the mouse and this picture was on the screen. I went to bed and when I woke up, the first thing I thought was, did I dream that ?
    I checked and sure enough,the ad was there.
    I sent the guy an email and he called me back within an hour.
    It was located a little ways out of town and there was no way I could get there till that night. I told him,consider it sold, but I know how it goes, if someone is there before me with money...
    He said I better look at it before I commit and he would hold it till i've seen it.
    That night my daughter and I drove down and once I saw how complete the cab was, I couldn't get the money out of my pocket fast enough.
    Then I said, now I have to figure out how to get it home.
    The fellow said he was hauling stuff into town the next day and he would put it on the trailer and bring it in.
    24 hours later it was sitting in my garage!
    I really feel this was one of those things that was just meant to happen for me.

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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  2. old1946truck
    Joined: Apr 9, 2008
    Posts: 667


  3. So I formulated what I wanted to build.
    I always like the look of these done as pickup style and with
    no where to park a car hauler, the direction was evident.
    I took a bit of time and gathered some parts.
    I got a mid 70's Chevy frame,I wanted the thing to look tough, so I was going to run with 8 bolt 3/4 ton underpinnings. Found a corporate 14 bolt and a mid 80's front crossmember. I determined I wanted to be able to haul my bike with the tailgate closed, so an 8' box was as short as I would go.
    While looking at some pics on the net one night, I was studying a cab and frame with a mid engine setup.
    My daughter who was 12 at the time, looked and commented that his engine was behind the cab. I said yeah, and explained the attribute of doing that, makes life way easier building one of these,and told her I was considering doing that.
    She stood there for a minute and said " Yeah, but you know, if you do that it's not really a COE, it's just a truck"
    Ouch, tuned by a 12 year old girl!
    So my first mock up got under way.
    I shortened the frame down to 100" which still gave me an 8' box,
    built some rough cab mounts and got that sitting where I wanted, stuffed the engine/tranny in place and used some wood to simulate the rough box height.
    The 350/700r4 sat in there but was quite intrusive to the imaginary floorboards.

    Attached Files:

  4. You know how sometimes things just don't gel?
    That was the feeling I was getting with this.
    Anyone that has built a COE knows they are freakin big.
    I guess the trick is to make it as small as one can.
    The momentum kind of ran out, there were a lot of aspects to this
    that were big things to overcome.
    The frame was ugly with the dips being different from side to side,the engine took up too much space,...
    I kind of back burnered it for a while and went to close a chapter of my life by building a '69 Short Fleet.
    I had bought a '69 3/4 ton as a parts truck.
    When I looked at the remains of it, I had a beautiful frame with trailing arm rear, a dana 60,maximum traction diff with 3:54 gears,an 80's front that someone had swapped in. I briefly thought about bagging it which would work well with the trailing arms, but am determinded to static drop it now.
    The fire was reignited and all I had to do was rescue the truck from storage at Dead Horse Acres. That is another story.
    1 year ago I brought it back and put it into my mothers garage.
    I shortened the frame and I was happening again!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
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  5. Looks great. Very nice project! Looks like you're going for the EIC instead of a COE :)
  6. Yes finally!
    I hit the wall on my build.I might work on it til winter ifI dont sell it/trade it for a running truck.
    I cant wait for more updates!
  7. I had set the cab onto the frame and put the truck in my yard,I needed the space.
    In January I decided I need to get on it and had a plan to get my list of 5 done.
    A friend of mine kept telling me I need to have a build book, so one day I drew this pic and said,Here, this is all I need.:D
    The first thing I did was to refine and finish my front cab mounts, then build my rear cab mount,Check!
    I went to our pick and pull and got a mid 80's 3/4 ton van steering box,centerlink and idler arm.
    It took a lot of thinking and then after a few nights,it was mounted and that was also checked off the list.
    I borrowed a plastic mock up engine and started making the mods to keep it under the floorboards and still have lots of foot room.
    I moved the engine back and down, this involved cutting and shelling the crossmember so the harmonic and crank pulleys could sit there.
    I did a lot of measuring,and then I bent up a piece of 1/4" plate to be the shell and cut a piece for the front wall of the recess.
    I have enough room to put a fanbelt down in front of the pulley,perfect!
    I pondered the engine mounting for sometime,and went with the 55-57 style front mounts. Thanks Cactus for sending me a pic of yours.
    The pads sit very nicely on top of the crossmember and holes from original mounts were in the perfect spot.
    I built the mounts out of 1/4" plate. My trans plans changed, I don't really like the thought of wires coming out of a trans, so i figured I would complicate things further and run a T5. I used a '69 truck bellhousing and built my rear mount from 3/16 x2 1/2 x2 1/2 square tubing,heavily modified.
    I will change the tailshaft to a s10 so the shifter is forward, but it will still be an engineering /fabricating marvel to make the shifter linkage. i'm up for it.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  8. A few more pics

    Attached Files:

  9. Keep chipping away at it man.
    Yours is shaping up really nice, you will regret it if you sell or trade it.

    Another update in the morning.
    Daughter has band practice in the morning,
    that means we are up at 5:30.
  10. LN7 NUT
    Joined: Sep 9, 2010
    Posts: 2,165

    LN7 NUT

    I was hoping I would catch your build thread on this truck!

  11. buggy5872
    Joined: Jun 18, 2011
    Posts: 80


    Looks like a great start. Can't wait to see the progress.
  12. RMR&C
    Joined: Dec 26, 2009
    Posts: 2,201

    from NW Montana

    Cool build.....been waiting for it!

    Do you have enough room for exhaust manifolds with the engine moved down?

    Thanks for the pics, my engine will be mounted similar.....someday.
  13. lockwoodkustoms
    Joined: Dec 22, 2005
    Posts: 3,882


    Hell Yeah! subscribed
  14. pex
    Joined: Oct 28, 2009
    Posts: 83

    from alberta

    Looking good! and in jest i say" its about time"
  15. Thanks for the positive comments guys!

    The last on my list of 5 was the track width and ride height.
    My goal is to have this be under 7',so it will be able to go into a regular garage door.
    My garage has an 8' door,so it's not really an issue here,but 7' was my target.
    I put the real engine in place to get the weight and found it only dropped about an inch. I pulled the coils out of the front and not wanting to take out and reinstall them twice I decided to whack one and a half coils off.
    When I dropped the jack,it was one of those moments that make you smile.
    I hung the fenders on and stood back and looked.
    The track width was increased by using 2" spacers.
    I found them online,but called a local 4x4 place and they had some coming in.
    1 week later I was holding them.
    I installed them and now had that issue fixed.
    I realize now that I should have gone with just 1 coil, the truck sits nice, but the steering is limited by the tires hitting the body.
    I will put another set in with just 1 cut off and play with tire size.

    Originally I was going to run the Duramax wheels seen in earlier pics,
    I really like the looks of them,they are all inset so I was planning on having them modified to fit the need.
    The black off road type wheels that were on the frame are the right offset for what I want, so they will be my blueprint.
    I am now planning on going with stock type 8 bolt steel wheels ,painted to match,with some type of cap. I think it will give me more the vintage 40's look I want to achieve.

    Attached Files:

  16. So with my list of 5 completed,it is time to tape a new piece of masking paper up and get out the Sharpie and make the next one.
    The cab will be going on a dolly this weekend,then off to sandblasting and the metalwork will begin.
    The frame will live in my yard for a couple months as I really need the room in the shop. I will keep updating as progress happens.
    I am glad I stuck to my guns about getting the first list done,despite it taking a lot of real estate in my shop.
    I feel the project has really come a long ways.

    RMR&C ,There looks to be enough room for exhaust, I have a set of headers coming this weekend,and will post a pic with them installed. Worst case, I may have to run stock manifolds.

    Thanks for checking it out!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  17. bfinch56
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 121


    I'm jealous... will be watching.

  18. In jest or not, I agree!
  19. Blaaze
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 17


    I believe that an inspection should be made by the local COE inspecters, before you get too far ahead. And there should be beer!
  20. That would certainly be the proper protocol to follow.
    This weekend?
  21. b-bop
    Joined: May 19, 2008
    Posts: 710


    Yee Haa, Looking good, can't wait to see that shift linkage. Maybe just put a rumble seat in the box and have that little girl that owned you do the shifting. :D
  22. That may just be a viable solution.
  23. spragg
    Joined: Aug 31, 2007
    Posts: 50


    Looking good, I have to stop by one day and check out the progress.
  24. Looks like it's gonna have a great stance. Can't wait to see the bed treatment. Good job Meister!
  25. xtremek
    Joined: May 1, 2011
    Posts: 73


    Subscribed.:D I'd like to do something similar. I'm looking for a early chevy cab.:rolleyes:
  26. Trying to get the cab all apart and sandblast it, but customer work is the priority right now.
    If not this week,definatley next.
  27. I dig COE's, and your GMC is looking killer.
  28. Shane Spencer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,022

    Shane Spencer

    i was just daydreaming about building a coe flatbed with a 12valve cummins and nv4500 5 speed. then i was trying to think how the hell would i setup that linkage for the trans. ill be looking to see what you come up with. if i ever get to build one in my life i may steal ur idea hahah
  29. Great progress! I really like it. It's so damn cool.

    Sent from my iPhone using TJJ app
  30. Thanks for the comments!
    I am hoping to go do the sandblasting of the cab within
    a week. Between the constant rain and customer work
    it just hasn't happened yet.

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