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Customs Stop, Drop, and Roll...1951 Chevy 3100 Redux

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by RodGuyinCO, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Here goes nuthin'... This is the abbreviated version, by the way, and just my particular experience. The shop manual/directions are much more detailed...
    If anyone cares, I'm using Permatex Aviation form-a-gasket for the gaskets. Kinda messy, but it's always worked for me... Also pictured is a tube of John Deere Corn Head Grease for lubrication. I'm sure the arguments for and against certain types of steering box lubes could go on forever. I've heard of it being used a lot on sites such as and the reviews seem to indicate it works well.

    For the record, buried in the grease of the worm gear adjuster screw area, I found a little copper looking gizzyditch (technical term) and a dished doohicky (um:confused:...) when I took the box apart. They're the little pieces at the upper left of the coffee can lid... They're not mentioned anywhere that I could find in the shop manual, nor did I find any reference to them anywhere...

    So after trying to see where they fit, I figured (which I might have figured wrong) that they belonged at the end of the worm gear like so...

    Grease it all up some and put the shaft back where you found it in the column mast. A bit of persuasion may be necessary. Please watch that you don't dislodge the top bearing when getting the shaft through...

    Replace the lower portion of the box with the worm adjuster and locknut (which I hadn't installed yet...) partially loosened.

    Secure to top mast...

    Make sure the ball nut is centered on the worm gear so the gears on the sector shaft can mesh correctly.

    Place one end of the sector shaft in the bushing and secure with the lash adjuster and locknut to where it sucks up completely and back it off just a touch. Attempt to install the sector shaft and mesh it with the ball nut/worm gear. Since you've already installed the new seal on the other side it may need a little push.
    IMG_1512.JPG IMG_1513.JPG ...And secure with the bolts...
  2. Steering box adjustment is next, of course...
    I bought a $5 fish scale at the local sporting goods store to help with this.

    Again, the instructions in the manual are much more detailed, but basically you still have the steering assembly in the vise. Take out most of the lash in the worm adjuster screw and tighten the locknut. Temporarily replace the steering wheel on the mast and determine a rough "center". Turn the wheel all the way (carefully so you don't damage your ball nut bearings) in one direction and then back about a turn. Following the detailed instructions while using the scale, pull the wheel with the scale and make sure your drag is about 1 to 1 1/2#. If not, readjust the worm gear until you end up with this number.

    With the wheel centered in the steering box, adjust the lash adjusting screw clockwise until you've removed all the lash (play). Use the scale again and make sure you come up with 2-2 1/2# and torque lash locknut to 10-15#.

    This can take a few or more times to get within specs and if you're OCD it's easy to get obsessed with this part;).

    Fill with your corn head grease and you should be good to go:D.

    Mine seems nice and smooth, but then again, it's not on the truck yet, sooo...
    Frankie47 likes this.
  3. Thanks for the great write-up and pictures on the steering box tear down & assembly. At some point I am going to have to do this with mine, and this will help immensely.
  4. @simplestone : Thank you. You're certainly welcome. Please enjoy. I don't know what my problem is, but I can read a shop manual, or you can explain to me all day long about exactly how to do something, but unless I have pichurs :confused:, or can actually SEE or lay hands on stuff, I still won't "Get It!".
    I am happy to report that going through the steering box and laying hands on the parts I read about make tons more sense to me now...:):cool:
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  5. OK, so since we got the engine back, let's try to mock things up a bit...
    Yeah, more boredom, but if you're like me, you need lots of stupid details, so here we go...
    So, I contacted Chassis Engineering for their engine adapter kit... Unfortunately, there's nothing on their site that addresses the engine swap... However, I did the ground work for y'all and talked to George (I think?) who was familiar with my issue... So, I ended up ordering this particular kit...
    IMG_1492.JPG .
    Apparently, you have to order a V8 conversion kit, but specify inline 6 mounts. Please refer to the above receipt. I hope it works for you...George was a great help from Chassis Engineering...Kudos!!
  6. IMG_1494.JPG ...Um, here's the kit, by the way...

    So, I put my junkyard T5 behind my 67-72 bellhousing which I bolted to my 74 Nova 6 banger with the Chassis Engineering kit...
  7. dirt t
    Joined: Mar 20, 2007
    Posts: 4,669

    dirt t
    from Kingman,AZ
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    RodGuyinCO likes this.
  8. So, as others have commented on before, there was going to be an issue with radiator clearance (I'm talking to you Mr48Chev and, Butch, 56sedandelivery...thanks for the input:D).

    Using the "bolt in" trans crossmember from Speedway, the above mentioned Chassis Engineering engine kit, etc., here's what I came up with depending on where you can position the engine mounts with a deadblow hammer, etc.
    Holy cats, do you have lots of options at this point...
    The Chassis Engineering kit doesn't come with instructions, but things quickly become obvious fairly quickly. As a "fer instance", you know your truck frame has a taper, and lo and behold, so do your adapter pieces...
    To make a very long story short, you need to install your rad mount and radiator in their proper positions after you've mocked up your motor. I could upload tons more pix to show how I moved the motor, trans, mounts, etc., for about 3 days and tons of consternation, but here's the bottom line (at least for me in this situation...).
    Um, don't be fooled:rolleyes:...I thought everything was good. The engine looked good. The trans angle looked good at 3.5 degrees and the T5 tailshaft was cradled (and centered) nicely in the Speedway mount...
  9. @dirt t : Most appreciated...:D.
    The words for today (in regards to the engine mount issue) are...water pump...o_O:(...
    Weird, but the water pump that came with the engine had a longer fan hub that would easily accomodate the double water pump pulley and the fan. In my ignorance, I bought the common water pump for "w/o air conditioning" which is available anywhere for cheap. Bad move. First, I had to ding my timing gear cover just a touch so the water pump would fit (hey, it's imported:eek:)... Once I bolted it on, the pulley was too tight against the pump and wouldn't move. Could I grind a bit off the casting to make it work?... Probably, but what the heck could be this miniscule difference?
    As it turns out, the common water pump is WITHOUT A/C. It appears that the one I have is the A/C equipped pump. Not much difference between the two, but enough to be a PITA...
    IMG_1550.JPG IMG_1551.JPG
    So, as they say in the infomercials..."But wait, there's more!!"
  10. It was suggested to me that I should just yank my engine and trans mounts, mock up the radiator and hang the motor where I needed it to be and work from there... I think that was a great idea...
    IMG_1567.JPG IMG_1568.JPG IMG_1570.JPG IMG_1571.JPG IMG_1573.JPG IMG_1574.JPG
    Please note that the water pump is the new, "shorter" non A/C pump... It gives me just enough clearance, but...
    It looks like the firewall might need to be banged back a bit to make things work.
    The "bolt in" rear trans mount will have to be trashed or modified to work if I stay with this configuration.
    The bottom line is that I'm trying to avoid changing the stock radiator mount if I don't have to, but I guess we'll see how things go...As it is, the fan sits awfully low in relation to the radiator...
  11. dirt t
    Joined: Mar 20, 2007
    Posts: 4,669

    dirt t
    from Kingman,AZ
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    I'm not sure about your truck , but I built a 53 with a big block Chevrolet and moved the radiator in front of the support. For some reason I think you could do either.
    RodGuyinCO likes this.
  12. Yeah, I was trying to avoid moving the rad in front of the support (you know, drill spot welds, modify goodness knows what, etc), but at this point I think I'm going to have to wait for the other pump (tomorrow) to see what happens...
    So, I'm heading back out to the shop and see if I can mess with the rear suspension kit for the remainder of the day...:D
  13. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,530


    I used a shorter V8 pulley on mine to be able to move the hub back. I used a thin blade flex fan and belive I said before that it doesn't pull enough air to write home about. I will most likely go electric fan this time even though I don't like the idea.

    Stock 47/53 crossmember has to be modified to fit the bellhousing to it. They did original frame with a torch and buzz box and it showed it but worked. The frame under it now is a 54 frame .
    RodGuyinCO likes this.
  14. Sooo, I got the new water pump. After mocking it up with the gasket, the pulley is free and I still think there's enough clearance to make things work. That would be a bonus...
    But, wait...
  15. There's more...
    A friend brought over an alminum V8 bellhousing last night... Hmm, no ears...and pounds lighter...a LOT lighter.
    Yanking it out of my friend's truck bed, I was prepared for more weight. Fortunately, I didn't accidentally toss it into my neighbor's yard...Man, it's light.:D
    Maybe I'm old and am used to having the convenience of having a rear bell mount so I can yank a trans, and drop the clutch and flywheel while not worrying about the engine hanging by itself because that's what I was used to working on when I was a kid, but here we are...
    IMG_1592.JPG IMG_1593.JPG

    To my limited knowledge, my understanding is that since the early 60's, I don't need the cast iron bellhousing, ears and associated mounting issues (besides the conveniences mentioned above)...
    Maybe I'm wrong, but with this massive 100 HP 6 banger, I'm betting I don't need those bell housing mounts if I have a decent front engine mount and a sturdy rear trans mount for the T5.
    I'm going to go with this theory for now unless someone pipes up with a better idea this is probably how I'm going to go...
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  16. So, when I last left everyone yesterday, I was going to head back out to the shop and mess around with the TCI rear suspenion...
    OK, so I somewhat followed the instructions...

    So far, I think the kit is awesome!! The rear spring mounts are pretty much idiot proof, because you don't really have a choice as far as mounting goes... The bracket can pretty much go only one way due to the rivets that were NOT taken out (um, check the photo). I found the mounting holes lined up perfectly. TCI has already drilled/punched the necessary holes so that if there's a rivet in the way, it's been accounted for. Very Nice...


    OK, so now it's on to the front mount...
    It's not a real good picture, but the instructions tell you to "dimple" the front of your running board mount a bit so the mount will fit behind. A couple of minutes with a BFH and a chisel did the trick.
    For the record, the instructions tell you to drill out yet even more rivets and remove the emergency brake mounts ( above pic...).
    Personally (at least at this point), I didn't see the reason to remove the e-brake cable mounts. I phoned Evan at TCI to ask questions about this procedure and he was somewhat baffled as well. I promised to email him pix of the install with an expanation. We'll see how it goes somewhere down the road...

    It wasn't mentioned in the instructions, but it appears that after you've removed all the rivets and stock mounts and start to install the TCI kit, guess what? Yup, you have to drill ONE more hole on each framerail. In the scheme of things, I'm totally fine with that. Sooo, I bolted in the front mount tight enough to give me a template of sorts to drill out the last hole.
    IMG_1582.JPG See it?...
    IMG_1583.JPG OK, so this is the other side, but you get the idea, right?
    IMG_1584.JPG Done deal...
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  17. @Mr48chev : Thanks, bro! I PM'd you for help, and you stepped up... I sincerely appreciate your input... I'm still fairly far away from welding in engine mounts and nailing/welding... everything down, but I'm doing what I can.

    Am I going to make it to the Gunnison show next weekend with a running truck? way...:(:(.
    Without a full crew of people to give me a hand with a full blown shop thrash (yes, I remember those days...) (and vice versa when the time comes), I'm hosed...

    In the meantime, I'm going to finish flap discng that S-10 rear to get a clearer picture of what it should look like before I use some kind of rust converter, primer, paint, etc., and then jack it up under the rear once I bolt up the TCI rear suspension kit.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  18. So, I've been messing around with various engine mounting positions, etc.
    At one point, the fan looked a bit close, but if you look closer, the 19 1/2" fan is going to hit the radiator outlet.
    IMG_1595.JPG IMG_1596.JPG

    Bummer:(. So, I ordered a steel 15" 6 bladed fan from Speedway which should clear the radiator outlet.
    IMG_1615.JPG IMG_1616.JPG .

    Looks good so far (at least in mock up)...
  19. At this point, I'm pretty much packing up to roll down to the Gunnison show (without a running truck...:().

    To say I'm ticked off and disappointed with myself is kind of an understatement, but, hey, that's how it goes sometimes :(...

    Anyhow, I got my steering stuff back and I'm pretty pleased with it.
    IMG_1620.JPG IMG_1621.JPG IMG_1622.JPG

    The machinist who did the work was thinking ahead a milled in a place on both the tie rod as well as the fabricated drag link.

    Hopefully, whoever does the alignment whenever I get to that point will use a wrench on the milled flats instead of using the (unfortunately) tried and true step of just applying a pair of vise grips :confused: to make adjustments.

    This weekend will be awesome, but looking forward to getting back to work on the truck next week.:)
  20. Been lagging a bit (OK, a lot) on my posts...
    So while messing around with engine position and such, my neighbor wandered over and I told him what I wanted for a bell housing...aluminum without the mounting ears that still has the bolt on inspection cover like my cast 67-72 bell.
    He said he thought he had something like that hanging around and we went over and retrieved an aluminum bell with a casting # of 3779553 (apparently off an early 283 Vette?). Perfect!

    My buddy came over and we did a little sanding and fogged on a light coat of black here and there.
    Car pix 762.JPG
    Then since there wasn't much under the truck (like any kind of drivetrain) I went underneath and hit the frame with some Eastwood Rust converter and then my buddy came over again and sprayed the frame.
    Car pix 803.JPG

    I needed extra clearance for the firewall and used a puny oxy/acetylene torch with a rosebud tip to heat the firewall, and with a BFH smacked the firewall enough to clear the back part of the engine that was contacting the firewall.
    Car pix 798.JPG
    Ugly? Yes. Did I clean it up a bit before paint? Yes. Note to self: Don't try to use a small torch on a windy day and expect things to stay heated up while you smack it with a hammer. Especially when you need 3 hands...
    After cleaning things up a bit, I painted the firewall.
    Car pix 834.JPG
    For the paint that burned off the interior part of the firewall, I found that Rust-Oleum Universal Flat Chestnut isn't a perfect match, but it's close enough.
    Car pix 002.JPG
    Not too bad...
    Car pix 004.JPG
  21. Oh, heck, let's go ahead and paint the motor and such...
    IMG_1653.JPG IMG_1654.JPG

    I figured since I had my new front spring packs apart, I should paint those as well and yank the 5th spring out of it to help drop it a bit more than what my 3" drop axle will do. Especially since the TCI kit for the rear is a 4" drop.
    To make a long story short, after I got the truck off jackstands, I had to drop the front axle again and pull the 4th leaf spring out of the pack as well...
  22. Maybe I should start putting some of this stuff back together, huh?
    I used a roll of slider material between the springs when I put the spring pack back together. Compress the springs a bit in the vice, get your locator bolt through the center and tighten down. Then tighten down the nuts and bolts for the spring clamps and you're ready to go.

    Now get out there and install those new shackle kits. Since the new spring kit already came with new steel bushings, I only had to worry about installing the top steel bushing in the frame.
    Normally we might use our handy dandy tool we used to remove the shackle bushings. I put the steel bushings in the freezer for a couple of hours and with it being a hot day outside it was enough that I could use a deadblow and brass hammer to knock the bushings where they needed to go.
    IMG_1661.JPG IMG_1662.JPG

    Let's mount our spring pack with some new rear eye bolts as well. Since it was a new spring pack that was aftermarket, I had to grind down the rear bushing and spring to get a decent fit.

    In the front, just screw in your shackle bolts, position your spring, install your grease seals and shackles (they're tapered and can only go on one way), and tighten your thru bolt to hold the whole mess together. I think torque spec from the Chevy manual for the thru bolt is 35#, but you might want to check that.

    And there you go...
  23. Time for the front axle install. Speedway 3" drop axle (p/n 910-4754), new shackle bolts-set of four (p/n 916-3327).

    Lift it on a jack up to the springs and install the spring bumpers on the top and slide the new shackle bolts over and through the holes on the axle spring mount plate. Don't forget to make sure your locator pin/bolt hits the hole on the spring mount plate. If you have heavy paint or powdercoating, make sure you have that cleared out before install to save yourself a hassle...
    I also made sure the tapered kingpin lock pins faced to the front before installing the axle to make sure I (hopefully) have the correct side out before I start installing the new kingpin kit.
    Oh yeah, don't forget the shock mounts in front.
    I think the Chevy manual called for about 70# torque on the shackle nuts.

    And, presto!
  24. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,703

    from washington

    If my son gave me such a truck, I would drive the hell out of it. Please consider me as a godfather and I will send an address as to where to send the truck. :D
    RodGuyinCO likes this.
  25. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,322

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Love this truck! Keep on keeping on here.
  26. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,731


    I put a 4" drop axle from Sid's on mine. This, with 9.50x16 Firestone dirt track tires on the rear, levels the engine out. I'm still in mock up stage, however, and stopped operations to search my shop for my lost ambition. Your build updates have given me inspiration to get going again.

    RodGuyinCO likes this.
  27. After standing back and admiring my work...:rolleyes:

    I suppose we should install the kingpin kit and spindles to keep on rolling.

    I used the Speedway Kingpin Kit (p/n 91032130) to put things back together.
    51 Truck 733.JPG
    It's pretty straightforward. No 12 ton presses or anything involved. Just follow the instructions and make sure all the grease fittings line up, etc. In my case, the included spacers were not necessary.

    51 Truck 733.JPG Simple, right?
    51 Truck 735.JPG Everything should slip right in...
    51 Truck 744.JPG Measure with a feeler gauge so you can get within the specs called for in the instructions.

    51 Truck 745.JPG Add whatever shims you need to get within specs.
    51 Truck 747.JPG And when you're done, it probably ought to look kinda like this...

    So, now what?o_O
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
    LAROKE likes this.
  28. 54Buick48D
    Joined: Jan 25, 2013
    Posts: 208

    from Maryland

    The truck is coming along nicely. I noted the cooling fan close to the radiator you pointed out. Was this due to the different water pump you posted a few back?
  29. Well, since at some point I'd love to see this truck with 4 wheels on the ground we'll need some kind of wheel mounting surface. Normally I'd go with the stock braking system. But to make a long story short, the entire 65 year old system sucked and didn't work properly even after I invested quite a few bucks over the last couple of years to try to keep the stock system working.

    Since this is my wife's truck (or so I tell her...), I decided to install a Speedway Deluxe Disc Brake Kit (p/n 91031916) to keep her safe.
    The kit is pretty straightforward so that even I might be able to make things work.
  30. @54Buick48D ... Yes, as it turned out, to gain the pulley to water pump clearance distance I needed, it necessitated that I use the A/C style water pump. That 1/8th of an inch means a big deal ... It didn't have much to do with the radiator/fan clearance. That was a whole 'nother thing...
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018

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