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Projects Old Friend - My '46 Pickup Build Thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by brett4christ, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. For those of you that know me, you’ll be saying “well, it’s about time!!” And for those of you that don’t, you’ll soon be saying it, too!!

    Growing up, I have ALWAYS been a car nut! From Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars to Legos and models, from CarToons to Hot Rod…Cars have been an integral part of who I have become. Dad always had something cool in the driveway, so I get it honest.

    Back when I was a very early teen, I spotted a super-cool Model A roadster pickup at the beach. It was bright yellow with a tan top and interior and five spokes. I just had to find it that week, since we were on vacation and would be leaving soon! Dad saw what an impression it made on me, so he asked if I liked old trucks. Obvious answer, YES! From then on, every time dad would spot an older truck, he would ask, “what about that one?” Again the usual answer was YES!

    Fast forward a bit to when I was 14...unbeknownst to me, Dad had been on the search for a truck. He had located one in town that he thought was for sale. We went to look at it. Dark metallic green 1946 Chevrolet half-ton pickup with baby moons and a 250-six with a 3-speed! Man, what a grille!!! And the price was right! We made the deal and dad drove it for a year as-purchased. Around my 15th birthday, we backed it into the freshly constructed garage and began a drivetrain swap that included practically all of a ’55 Belair’s propulsion bits. It was done and running in time for my 16th birthday, no big celebration or hoopla, but no doubt, it was my pride and joy! Yep, my first wheels! Drove the socks off that truck all during high school!! Even managed to carpool with my best friend and 2 girls! Imagine 4 people in this cab! Floor shifts were kinda fun! ;)
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    At one point, the 265 gave up the ghost and a ’66 283 was swapped in, along with a refurbished Muncie! Drove it for a couple years, then the cam lobes went south! A friend’s neighbor had just rebuilt my friend’s 350 in his Monte, so I struck a deal for him to build my 283. That was in ’86. I never got the engine to run right and ran out of money and desire! So it was parked just before college graduation and sat in one place or another over the next 30 years. Got a job out-of-state and couldn’t take it with me. I would tinker a bit here and there. It managed to follow us (married in ’89, kids in ’91 and ‘95) to five different homes in 3 states, each time on a trailer! Now that the kids are out on their own, I have the time to invest in my old friend!
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    My plans for the ’46 are a low-profile, nose-down, driver. (A non-traditional exception was made for the front suspension, it will not be a part of this discussion…so please, no “you should have done”s!) I will still keep the 283, Muncie M21 and ’55 third member. A custom dash will be installed with period gauges. I’m shooting for a late-‘50’s look with steel wheels and full wheel covers (seen below), although I have a set of original Torq Thrusts that will give off an early-‘60’s vibe if I don’t like the wheel covers. Gloss paint is in its future, but maybe not the IMMEDIATE future. Funds will determine this!

    Now you guys and gals are up to date. What follows will be my build thread. It may seem to drag out a bit going forward, but anything is faster than the last 30 years!!! Progress is still progress!!

    All this brings me to the last month or so. In a discussion with some of my not-so-local HAMB neighbors, I was able to arrange a work day this past Saturday. Unfortunately, two had unexpected medical issues within their families, so only one was able to make the trek south from Virginia. D-Russ made it to my place Friday evening and we hit it running Saturday morning. Early V8 motor mounts were installed (frame-side courtesy of Rotten Leonard, motor-side was an estate pick), along with the off-topic suspension brackets. I had previously fabbed up a transmission crossmember, and Dave assisted in prepping the frame and locating the member. I’ll have to drill and bolt it in at a later date.
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    During yesterday's cleanup, I just HAD to hang a fender to add fuel to the fire!
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    It's pretty low!!! That's a 10 oz. Cheerwine, not a 16 oz!!!
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    ...and a hubcap (wheel cover, I know) for good measure!
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    I’m so stoked to have these tasks done, as they needed to be done before I could do anything else. Special thanks to Dave for his instruction and assistance. All the welds are mine, so be gentle…I’m a newbie to the welding game!


    Any advice, inspiration, positive feedback, and/or constructive criticism is welcome going forward, and I’m looking forward to driving my old friend in the not-to-distant future! Build is on…..
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
    Bandit Billy, Merlin, Stogy and 8 others like this.
  2. I thoroughly enjoyed our time together this weekend Brett. Keep picking away at it – a little every week – and it will get done.

    P.S. I've gotta say I love the slots on this truck! That first picture you posted is PERFECT! If it were up to me, I'd paint it the same or similar green and run the slots with blackwalls! But please don't use the tan high back buckets in the tuxedo photo. ;)
     
  3. AV8 Dave
    Joined: Jan 3, 2003
    Posts: 680

    AV8 Dave
    Member

    OK - I don't usually respond to posts with "constructive criticism", and being as "gentle" as I can, I would very seriously consider either having an experienced welder redo what is already done and do all future welding or, practice your budding welding skills until you can lay down beads that have good penetration and look decent. A close friend had a major suspension component on his recently purchased hotrod fail due to poor welding and the resulting rollover injured him and very seriously injured his passenger. I would hate to see you and your "old friend" not be able to continue the close friendship you have had for so many years. Just my two cents Brett. Other than that, a great story! Good luck! Regards, Dave.
     
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  4. Thanks AV8Dave! I want to get better, so I ask questions...

    Message sent....
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
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  5. ...neat story, neat truck, but I ? those welds as well...
     
    brett4christ likes this.
  6. DylanHill1931
    Joined: Nov 7, 2016
    Posts: 185

    DylanHill1931
    Member
    from Va Beach

    Very cool story the plan sounds good, I do agree with AV8 Dave practice a little welding before doing anything that may result in failure on your Old Friend with such a deep history would hate to see anything happen to you, your family or it but have a lot of faith as they do not look bad for a "newbie" just doesn't look like they got great penetration on the metal maybe try a little more heat!! looking forward to seeing the progress!!


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  7. Thanks, Dylan! I welded from both sides knowing my welder was a little low on heat. It's a Millermatic 130, and the chart shows max heat for 1/8" steel. We chamfered the bracket and did a max weld on each side. Actually the back side looks better than the front, at least on the suspension bracket! We thought the motor mount welds looked fine, but they measured just over 1/8".



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    DylanHill1931 likes this.
  8. I will also chime in on the welds, I see a lot of craters in the centers which leads me to believe they are just series of tacks, not an actual bead. On suspension and engine mounts, that is just inviting in a worst case scenario. With tons pf practice you can lay it down to where it looks like a stack of coins. If you are really pressed for time, I'd grind them out and have a pro swing by and burn it in.
     
  9. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,146

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    i opened the thread hoping to find a '46 chevy. love the truck and the great history. i like the idea of the same green!
    with the small welders don't be afraid to preheat with a torch before welding.
     
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  10. @pocketnick @tb33anda3rd Got a question...

    I did a little Google research, and I'm wondering...Do you guys think I'm feeding too much wire??


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  11. captainjunk#2
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,332

    captainjunk#2
    Member

    your welds look like not enough amperage to me poor penetration , the filler material is just making a blob of metal
     
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  12. Ok, guys, you got my attention! It may take a little time, but I'm going to grind these down, one at a time, and redo the welds. We'll see how the second round turns out!

    I've got some more pics somewhere, including these current wheels when they were chrome and gold!




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  13. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,537

    40FORDPU
    Member
    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Great story..great you've kept it all of these years.
     
  14. I've had SEVERAL people tell me to sell the truck and jump on the Tudor! I reply that I'll sell everything ELSE before I sell the truck. Heck, even dad said it was okay by him if I sold it, but I told him no way and it meant way too much to me to let it go!!


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  15. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,146

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    slowing the wire down might help. you mentioned it welded better on the back side was that weld done after the metal was welded on the top?
     
  16. Quite possibly...I see where you're going with this! I might grind the weld and go RIGHT back with a weld while it's still hot!

    Also, I've had a HAMBer that's somewhat local offer to bring his larger MIG and his experience to burn a better bead for me.

    One way or another, the welds on the heavy pieces WILL get fixed!!


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    DylanHill1931 and tb33anda3rd like this.
  17. Brett, if you haven't taken a basic welding course at your local community college, it would be worth investigating. In addition to learning the basics it will afford a great opportunity to practice and get first hand, real-time answers to your questions. That's how I learned and it was time well spent. As mentioned by others, welds on critical pieces are a huge safety issue.

    'Truck's looking good, I like where you're headed.
     
    brett4christ and tb33anda3rd like this.
  18. Not to change the subject, BUT....

    A while back, I had the urge to find a dash to transplant into the truck. Nothing wrong with the original look, but I wanted something different! (My wife has a whole other story on "different"...I'll share that another time!) Initial thoughts immediately went to '59 Impala or '62 Impala. But I found one of my favorite dashes in a back row of the AutoFair...'54 Belair!!!

    Started with this...
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    ...marked it up. I needed to take 4" out of the width...
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    ...cut it...
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    ...slid it in place to check for fit...
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    ...and welded her up!
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    Still have some smoothing and trimming to get it just right, but I think it fits the space and style just fine. By taking the 4" out of the speaker hole, I just chopped off the right side of the speaker grille and it still securely mounts with the remaining left side studs.




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    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
  19. Never would have thought that dash would look that good in a 46- but it does- nice job cutting it to scale


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    brett4christ likes this.
  20. DylanHill1931
    Joined: Nov 7, 2016
    Posts: 185

    DylanHill1931
    Member
    from Va Beach

    brett4christ likes this.
  21. Killer look with that dash Brett! Still Bummed that I couldn't head down to assist, Aiden is just about healed up from his bout with strep. We need to make plans to do it again so I can come over and play!
     
    brett4christ likes this.
  22. Glad to hear Aiden is healing up!

    We DO have to schedule another work day...you need to pick up the dummy block! ;)
     
  23. Mini-update....

    Pulled the rear end out the other night. Got the springs off the axle and off the frame. Now I need to find new u-bolts to mount the new Posies springs to the axle, then relocate the spring mounts to match the shorter springs.

    Been communicating with Posies via FB Messenger (uber-prompt responses, I might add!) to make sure I get all the right components to make these SuperSlide springs work with my application. They are from a 35-48 Ford car/truck kit that I picked up second-hand a while back. They should do a good job at keeping the rear suspended AND lowering the rear a bit! We'll see when we get 'em mounted!
     
  24. I think I'll be cutting/grinding these spring pads off and remounting them!

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    I called Posies and placed an order for the hardware to install the Superglide springs I have under my truck! I can't say enough about the customer service and technical assistance they provided via text and over the phone! They've got my business!!


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    D-Russ likes this.
  25. It's about time brother! :D HRP
     
  26. Come on dow/up/over and gimme a hand here!!! (And not two hands slapping together in sarcasm!!!)


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  27. Though small, I got one more thing done! During a conversation with the Posies crew, I found out that their springs are just a hair wider that my OG perches, so I shaved a smidge off the width and pressed the new bushings in!

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    Then a coat of epoxy paint!

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    chryslerfan55 and D-Russ like this.
  28. More done yesterday...

    Took some small pieces to work yesterday and threw them in the blast cabinet...

    Before...
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    After...
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    Then, last night I cut the old spring pads off the axle...

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    And cleaned the old welds off...

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    Finally, I wire brushed most of the road crud off the axle...

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    The front cover/carrier was so gunky that I had to degrease and scrape the buildup off! Once most of it was gone, I sprayed it one more time and let it sit overnight. Today, I'll pull it outside and finish it up!

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    Gotta fight the battles to win the war!!!


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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
    D-Russ and tb33anda3rd like this.
  29. Now I've got a clean heinny!!! Let's see Charmin do this!!!

    Before...

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    ...after!!!

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    If it's nice tomorrow, we paint!!!


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    tb33anda3rd and D-Russ like this.
  30. Got some stuff done this week...

    A package from Speedy Bill...

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    Now I gotta get some 2" blocks!!!!


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    D-Russ likes this.

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