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Projects They call me Panelman

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1oldtimer, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. I sold the '54 Ford panel and proceeded to buy a '56 Chevrolet panel truck........soooo, I went from 2 panels to 2 panels :confused:. At least I sold one first this time. I'm going to try to sell the '64 Chevrolet panel when this is on the road.

    It's a 261 6cyl with a manual 3 spd and overdrive, it still has the stock panel seats (BIG bonus). It was supposedly a Helms truck in the past, made several trips to the Canadian boarder (with stops in Oregon) and fishing trips to Wyoming since the 70's. Found it real close to home, even seen it one night before I knew it was for sale. Downside is that it has holes cut in the roof for an old vent, spot light and most likely a Helms work light on the rear. The person I got it from works at a metal fab place and is a super nice guy (willing to help fill the holes). So far plans are to clean it up, change wheels/tires to stock 16", get the o/d working again, fix the rear end leak, re wire, carb swap to a Carter YF, do a master cylinder upgrade and drive it.

    It runs, stops and drives really good (no, the 56 number didn't stay)................Let the fun begin.

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
  2. Both roof lights work and the vent doesn't leak. It does need weather stripping REAL bad as it sat in the desert area around Palm Springs for a long time. I lubed up all the cables and got the vents to work again, found out the o/d still works but the cable is seized. I like the color green and the fact is DOESN'T have the optional tail lights cut into the 1/4 panels.

    This thing is too tall for the garage so I have to work on it outside as weather permits and it looks like it's going to rain later this week thru the weekend.
  3. Rice n Beans Garage
    Joined: Dec 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,430

    Rice n Beans Garage

    Very nice Dan, Congrats, I had a 57 panel years ago, I really like the color and the original seats.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  4. I pulled the seat top apart to look at the upholstery and to see why the seat back was a little loose. It was missing a spacer/bushing on the bolt it hinges on, I happen to have chunk of bar stock with the correct size inner hole. I turned it down, cut it to length and now the seat back is firm....on to the pass seat.
    seat repair-1.jpg

    Oh, and it also has a semi split exhaust manifold..........old style :).

    split manifold-1.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  5. Thanks Scott. I'm serious this more.....until I sell other stuff :).
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  6. I'm kinda going for this look.....I know it's a '55 picture, but you get the idea.

  7. Rice n Beans Garage
    Joined: Dec 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,430

    Rice n Beans Garage

    Ok Sure
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  8. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,006


    Solid looking truck! Black wheels like the brochure would look great IMHO.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  9. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,576


    I love everything about this truck! So cool. You scored big time. Have fun!!
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  10. Always been fond of commercial/ utility vehicles, especially if you know their history, like your '56. They are such "honest" vehicles with such great stories. Yours looks great. Good luck with the project going forward.........Don.
  11. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 7,995

    from Mesa, Az

    I have never seen one of those before. It's bitchin.
  12. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,788


    Panel paint it.
  13. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,597


    Looks to be well taken care of, especially for an old workhorse. I like your plan, how about a front visor to cut down on the glare as you drive this beauty around? Enjoy!
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  14. Much better than the yellow one....
  15. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,735

    from DFW USA

    That is an awesome truck! Enjoy it!
  16. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,879

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    Wow, that's really solid for an old commercial truck. Nice score! I'd take up the former owner's offer to do the roof sheetmetal work before he changes his mind.
    I'd challenge the story of it being a Helms Bakery truck unless you can find evidence of it once wearing their yellow/blue paint. Yours looks to be light green sprayed over the original (Neptune green?) paint?
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  17. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,631


    Very cool truck and in great shape!
    I had several panels and sedan delivery's when I was in my 20s, one of my favorites was a '55 Chevy Panel with a 394 Olds and a Hydro. My girlfriend and I used to load up the cooler, sleeping bags and pads and my '68 Honda CB350 and head out on weekend adventures regularly. We took that old thing everywhere with a stereo hanging under the dash and big box speakers in back.
    Mine was dark green with light green panels, widened black steel wheels with big tires all around.
    chryslerfan55 and olscrounger like this.
  18. hdman6465
    Joined: Jul 5, 2009
    Posts: 641


    Your panel looks very nice. I have had a 55 1st design for years, and am doing a 56 now. Here they were together before we started on the 56. It is now back on wheels, maybe this year????? 20140808_151854[1].jpg 20171108_153722[1].jpg Sorry for the rollers.
  19. It’s ok hdman, we’ll just think of it as one of those curveballs life throws at ya.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  20. I thought the yellow would grow on didn't. :D
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  21. Karen told me you hated the Yellow......
  22. Rearend is back together, freed up the o/d cable...waiting for the rain to stop and I'll get more pics.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  23. Found some 16" wheels, powder coated them black, found some used decent painted hubcaps and bought some cheapish tires.
    wheel-1.jpg wheel-2.jpg

    Changed the valve cover which had holes cut in it for smog junk. Changed the Rochester B to a Ford Carter YF from a 300 6cyl. Had to modify the linkage to work, also found an original AC fuel filter also.
    I had to replace the leaky water pump, the lower bracket was wrong for the generator (the belt was crooked) and I figured if I have to modify it or find a good original I might as well go with an alternator.

    I did decode the engine numbers because it runs a 235 water pump. It's a 1954 261, which is the first year.
    lothiandon1940, bct and chryslerfan55 like this.
  24. Re sealed the differential carrier and rear cover. It was a little rusty inside, I assume from sitting. I cleaned up the rust on the axle shaft, ring gear, carrier and added a magnet to the inside of the housing. I'll see how long the bearings last.
    brEad likes this.
  25. Leave it to me to take something that's driving, take it down to "just fix a few things" just to get it driving again. This panel isn't bad it just had PO's that maybe weren't car people ??? maybe. Some twisted wire holding things together, tape (electrical and duct), even some wood, because the upper bolt holes didn't line up for the radiator.:rolleyes:

    Went to the muffler shop and had them flair a piece of pipe to make an air cleaner adapter. It sure would be nice to hit the lottery an get a big hydraulic bender.......and a bigger place to put it..:). Also you can see the modified linkage to get the Ford YF to work on the Chevy.

    It didn't have a road draft, it had holes in the valve cover and a pcv, I used a pcv setup idea from the Deve's AD site. Re bent the fuel line and vacuum advance line, everything fits but it's kinda tight.
    I also went crazy with the grounds, I don't know if you can see it, but neg battery grounds at the firewall behind the battery. I ran a 4g battery cable from there down to the frame, then a 2g (chunk off of the new neg bat cable) from the engine to the frame (it still has the woven strap from the trans to the body).
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
    lothiandon1940 and chryslerfan55 like this.
  26. Things left to do just to move it out of Mom's driveway, wire up the alternator and warning light, change front tires, test drive and hope the o/d works now. Then I can work on it at home...outside of course. It takes time working off site, I'm always forgetting something (or many things), lucky I live pretty close.
  27. Oh yea, the overall motor shot.
  28. 0nedon
    Joined: Oct 20, 2017
    Posts: 286


    I've said that plenty--don't work for me
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  29. Back on the road, still a little fine tuning to do......and other things to repair.


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