Jump to content

34’ Chevy pickup


Recommended Posts

About a year and a half ago, a nice little 34’ Chevy pickup got dropped at my house to be freshened up. While it was running and driving, the motor and the mechanics were really tired. The truck leaked oil from everywhere, clutch was bad, and brakes were fair. The truck had been previously restored but as I’d soon find out, very amateurishly. 

    I took the truck for a decent ride to basically evaluate it and realized all I was told was true. The owner wants a nice looking, nice driving truck but doesn’t need it to show level. One mod he’d like if possible is changing the rear to a higher ratio as the truck will be driven fair distances. The motor, trans, brakes, and all mechanicals getting a full going through. A new paint job, nice fresh varnished wood bed, and new glass. 

     I pulled the truck apart, sent the motor to the machine shop, and started disassembly of the chassis. With the chassis fully stripped it went to powder coating. Pulled the front axle apart and sent the pieces to powder. Disassembled the rear and that’s where I found issues. The axle splines are worn and the axle tubes are badly worn from the rotating spring perches. Because of the rear being in bad shape and the owner wanting a higher ratio, I started investigating how I could accommodate him. I found that a 37’ rear can be used with 3.55-3.70 gears from a 50-54’. The width of the 37’ and 34’ are the same but the torque tube and drive shaft have to be cut and lose 6 1/2”. Also, this means the truck will get juice brakes so that means adding a master cylinder and hydraulic backing plates, also from a 37’ to the front axle. This mod will do double duty for the owner as it will not only give him the higher ratio but also juice brakes making it an even nicer driver. I’m currently waiting on him to get back to me on what he wants me to do. I will be starting the restoration thread from where it sits now.

02705101-F7E3-4168-8112-07E5FD1FBA7B.jpeg

84DF0201-54F4-442B-9259-B5A9E5C3FCBE.jpeg

CDEAAF89-87D1-400D-8304-AD21964CA966.jpeg

2377C711-9CA3-45B6-9E5C-5631C22663BF.jpeg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tonight I started on the cab. The doors were dragging badly but not because of bad A pillars. A closer look showed a rotted and bent passenger side front metal body mount and bad wood repair/replacement on both sides of the cab. The wood was previously repaired with plywood and soft fir housing lumber. Bad enough that soft wood was used, the two original main sills must have been rotted away at the rear of the cab so the person who did the repairs pieced the new wood to the original. This created a very flexible main sill which is incapable of supporting the cab sufficiently to hang the doors correctly. I will be contacting a few pickup owners to see if I can get some info on how the lower sills and bottom wood should be made. I will also check with bill Cartwright of KC wood to see what he might have in stock for the 34’ as he specializes in truck wood.

It amazes me how some will go to all the effort to do the work but don’t do the research to find out what proper materials to use. I found plywood de laminating, end splicing with spaces, and no glue used anywhere! I will have a lot of work to get this cab good and solid but I’ve been there before theonly thing being this is my first truck. Looking at things though, the trucks do look to be a ton easier.

62D78A09-2178-4603-B541-7595C685B575.jpeg

3ABCF29A-4A98-4485-BCFD-607FF98103F4.jpeg

74B6E32D-ADB8-4305-85C9-5B238E144416.jpeg

50631A77-BD89-4755-A45E-FFE55353B966.jpeg

CC227778-6E57-4306-B09A-8289FC604F4B.jpeg

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not really sure Steve on when they quit with the cab structural wood but I would guess like the cars,  36-37. Now the beds had wood available til at least 72’. Not sure if it was continued beyond that but it might have been. Bed wood was dark stained hard pine and not the pretty oak and maple sold for replacement these days. This truck will be getting some of that pretty stuff in the bed though. After all, it’s working days are over.

Edited by chistech (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here you go John, Here’s some more pictures of the coupes restoration. It was a nice driving car. I flipped the lower drivers seat floor mounts 180 degrees and bent the shifter slightly up and tothe right to get the owner more leg room. These 5 passenger coupes don’t offer much room for drivers over 5’10”. 

D29A1C35-7ECF-4AE9-9FD0-34818E064728.jpeg

1394E808-9209-496A-8730-8A1A58849378.jpeg

77263904-5219-41C9-9E35-9BDD4F206588.jpeg

29FDC4D9-5E8F-43CF-A3F0-D7C5B3CF1735.jpeg

Edited by chistech (see edit history)
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ted, did you do the interior on the Chevy?  I like what you did with the  front seat to get more legroom. A friend  of mine owns a 1930 Packard 7 passenger touring car.I  believe there is no adjustment  for front seat and was surprised  to see  what a tight fit it is getting your feet in between the seat and the door opening. For a big car it is a little awkward  for the driver to get in and out. Nice work as always. John

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another interesting restoration thread ! I've always loved the 1934-36 Chevy pickups.I once had a low-cab '36 that had been holding up a corn crib. Drove it the 20 or so miles home with no brakes, smoking like it was running on soft coal,and barely able  to see out the early laminated windshield. I never did restore it ,just got it safe to drive.

A couple of young fellows near me inherited their dad's original '34 and hope to carry on restoring it.I was happy to hear that they have no plans to bugger it up, but to restore to original. I'll be sharing your thread with them.

Jim

1936 Chevrolet pickup.jpg

Edited by J.H.Boland (see edit history)
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, John S. said:

Ted, did you do the interior on the Chevy?  I like what you did with the  front seat to get more legroom. A friend  of mine owns a 1930 Packard 7 passenger touring car.I  believe there is no adjustment  for front seat and was surprised  to see  what a tight fit it is getting your feet in between the seat and the door opening. For a big car it is a little awkward  for the driver to get in and out. Nice work as always. John

It was a Lebaron Bonney interior I installed. I did some side and rear sill wood repairs, and the passenger side front hinge pillar. Stripped and painted the chassis and whole drivetrain. The motor and chassis had over 6 different colors of paint on them. All new rubber channels, rebuilt windshield regulator, all new glass, new roof with aluminum moldings, and full body paint. 

On the packard, I find it hard to believe there is no adjuster. Possibly it’s missing or broken but I’m not that familiar with packard so I don’t know for sure.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I put the trans back together today. I had disassembled it previously and had washed it in my parts washer. Again, someone had done a restoration on it and like the wood work, not done quite right. The owner complained about the trans and it came with a parts trans so getting into the components, I found a few issues, some small, some not as small. One thing that drives me crazy is how people use black permatex all over things and use way too much instead of making the correct gaskets with sealer. I found permatex inside the gears, synchronizers, bearings, speedo drive, and basically every nook and cranny! Found a broken snap ring on the main shaft allowing the front gear to put pressure rearward on the front synchronizer cone which would make shifting hard. Found the lower shaft for the main idler gear assembly badly worn allowing the assembly to float up and down on the bushings and found the top shifter plate worn allowing the shift lever to float around a lot. Using the parts trans, I was able to source the shaft and snap ring from one and the shift plate fron another. Put in new bearings and reassembled it all after bead blasting the top and rear castings. The trans now shifts with more detent feel and is way more tighter feeling. One more component done. 

6D7A40B7-BDC7-464C-AE3F-2C5610B6208B.jpeg

D017F631-1495-4E31-AC37-98151E4B39DB.jpeg

23BE27D2-05C8-494C-92D6-B9E92F000168.jpeg

13B6F4B2-BA10-4BA6-B8B9-BDE06CD322D2.jpeg

62F65455-4C71-4008-8435-A1A7324BB6F2.jpeg

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doing some phonework I was able to research and locate most all the parts required to do the gear change and juice brakes installation. Luckily I have a Chevy only parts yard close by that not only specializes in 37’ and up, but also the owner is extremely knowledgeable and knew exactly what parts I’d need and what brakes to use for the conversion. Sent an email to the owner explaining the whole process of the conversion and I’m just waiting on him to get back to me.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Mike Macartney said:

Ted, I'm pleased I found your posts on the next project. Looking forward to my early morning 'fix' following this Chevy pickup. I had to think long and hard what 'juice brakes' meant, then I twigged - hydraulic. My excuse is that it is 6:30am!

Don't worry Mike, the first time I heard the term I didn't know what it meant either though it seemed everyone else did. Makes me feel better I wasn't the only one, I thought I was all alone! LOL

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, TexRiv_63 said:

Do you know if the 34 Master model synchro transmission can be swapped into a standard model with the silent second trans?

No, I’m not that familiar with the 33’ and up models. I would ask that question on the vcca, someone knows the answer.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, chistech said:

It was a Lebaron Bonney interior I installed. I did some side and rear sill wood repairs, and the passenger side front hinge pillar. Stripped and painted the chassis and whole drivetrain. The motor and chassis had over 6 different colors of paint on them. All new rubber channels, rebuilt windshield regulator, all new glass, new roof with aluminum moldings, and full body paint. 

On the packard, I find it hard to believe there is no adjuster. Possibly it’s missing or broken but I’m not that familiar with packard so I don’t know for sure.

Say Ted, I spoke to my friend with the Packard, and you were right about the seat. It does have an adjuster, but it is still a tight fit getting in and out. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The owner of the truck has decided he wants to proceed with a rear end gear change. In order to do this, I needed to locate a 37’ rear end and a 50-54’ power glide 3.55 rear. The 37’ will need the spring perches removed and the 34’ perches added in the proper locations. The torque tube and drive shaft both need to lose 6.5” and the pinion socket on the 37’ shaft needs to be replaced with the socket from the power glide drive shaft. I will be using bendix type hydraulic brakes on the axles which started use by Chevy in 51’. A dual chamber master cylinder will be added onto an original transmission mounted bracket.

     I was able to pick up a 37’ rear today along with a pair of complete bendix backing plates. I also located a complete 51’ power glide rear but it is located half way across the country from me. Telling the seller what I needed to do, he agreed to disassemble the rear, clean all the parts up I requested from the rear, and ship them to me in USPS priority boxes. Man, is my mailman going to be mad at me! So basically, I have located all the parts and will soon proceed getting the conversion done.

     Today was a busy day and I went by the powder coaters shop to pick up the front axle, spindles, u bolts, and rear brake drums. They came out really nice.

     Tonight, I continued to disassemble the cab. These cabs come apart into three pieces quite easily, the cowl, roof, and rear cab section. The rear bottom wood of the cab, while in good condition and intact, though incorrect in design, is way too soft and unable to support the cab correctly and this is the reason the doors are not hanging correctly. Many Phillips head screws were used and evidently put in with a screw gun causing most of the heads to be stripped out! Lot of fun getting things apart. No glue was used and even pieces of finished wall paneling was used to increase thickness. I found the bottom of the drivers side latch pillar rotted off and I will most likely be making new pillars along with new main sills, rear cab cross sill, and all corner wood. Basically, the majority of the wood in the rear of the cab needs to re done.

      

ED71CCA4-0854-419F-9D7C-62B0DE616852.jpeg

B600BBF9-FDB4-4634-9F3A-D3B649137B7E.jpeg

8D73FF5B-9335-4819-9F66-49921D2F2181.jpeg

9DBAE3EE-A139-4EA5-9C56-A928E4CED4A4.jpeg

22B96039-F88A-46EA-B677-78321F7FB8BF.jpeg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have heard Chevy moved the speedometer drive from under the universal joint to the top for the 1936 model year due to clearance issues with the master cylinder for the (new for 1936) hydraulic brakes. Does it look like your dual master cylinder will clear the speedometer drive on the 1934?

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great question! That will have to be addressed when I get to that part of the installation. You are correct, the 36’ has the speedometer drive on the top and the picture I have of the MC installed in a 36 shows the cable going over the top of the MC but sitting right on the top. Hopefully it will get by on the bottom location of the 34’ by just making it under the MC. If not, a 90 degree 1 to 1 drivebox will be required most likely. Right now, the speedo is shot and doesn’t work. That will be going out for repairs.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will you be saving some of the wall paneling for use in your house?  That's some fine looking material.   I'm not sure you need to worry with new wood, rather some more drywall screws, construction adhesive and duct tape should have it fixed right up.  A final coat of FlexSeal should ensure years of work in the future for other craftsman. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got some wood work done today. My brother had a leak in his trucks injection pump so it was in my garage along with his 67’ cutlass that’s up on my lift. Because his truck was in the way, I couldn’t get my table saw and vac system out of where I keep them plus I didn’t want any sawdust in the air when he had his intake off. Today he got the truck back together and out of the garage so I could get to work. 

      Got down some 4/4 x 10” ash then started laying out what I needed to make. Planed the pieces down to 3/4” for the framework around the rear window. Planed some 6/4 for the two side vertical pieces for the rear frame. Cut all the pieces to size, cut all the rabbets, bandsawed the curves on the two vertical pieces, then fit all the pieces together. Temporary screwed the framework together still using the top original piece and fit the top sheet metal panel to the framework to test the fit. It all fit perfectly and even the original nail holes lined up on the top original piece. Will make up a new top piece tomorrow and will be starting on the latch pillars soon. Still have the lower wood including the sills and lower corner pieces to make up. 

A70CF94E-870B-45A3-AEC1-2DADDC736A87.jpeg

B54B56EA-93A9-4CAE-BB9B-C6CDE176E62F.jpeg

1D22B388-D8B7-4B65-B952-83794C667AB1.jpeg

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, John S. said:

You do great work Ted. Love what you do. John

Thanks John. Right now my garage is a mess with my brother having two vehicles at each end, sandwiching me in the middle so I have stuff all around me on the floor. I'm getting through it though and my brother got his truck out tonight after having it out and bringing it back because of a bad harmonic balancer, alternator, and lower harmonic pulley. With diesel engines, if the rubber in the balancer starts to fail, the result can be a snapped crankshaft so he was back in the garage getting those things done. I was able to cut out the two latch pillars and the one header piece that goes at the top of the framing in my earlier posts. I have the pillars all cut to shape and sanded they just need to be run through the shaper to put the stepped rabbets along the full length of the outside edges. Pictures coming tomorrow.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got the two latch pillars made up and the two upper corner blocks. These blocks require a big mortise and tenon joint for strength. Because this truck has seat belts with shoulder belts mounted through the upper blocks, I will be making up special steel brackets that follow the shape of the blocks but screw into both the rear framework and the latch pillars. Still have the two 3/4” thick mid blocks to make up. They are also made like the top blocks with a M&T joint to make them strong around the full 90degrees of their shape.

      Doing this type of work isn’t really hard but it is time consuming and requires a lot of different tools. I enjoy the wood work and seeing the frame coming together. You do end up being a sawdust snowman though! Tomorrow I’ll plane up some more ash and start on the main sills, rear cross sill, lower corner blocks, and seat boards. 

E5922ED9-4E62-45E2-B666-69ABE2507FC8.jpeg

5E7C1431-641A-426F-9329-9D9B0397E62D.jpeg

19E38FF2-46F9-4059-86F2-7EDD776FA13B.jpeg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Started making up the main sills today, the rear main and front floor cross sills. I haven’t finished cutting the rear of the sills yet as I make the critical cuts and rabbets then fit everything as I go. I put the seat framing in place to check on the fit of the sill then just put the rear framing on the top of the sills. So far it all looks good. Tomorrow I’ll finish the rear of the sills and notch them for the latch pillars. I’ll continue making up all new seat frame wood and the lower cab corner blocks.

 

i now have all the parts to start on the rear end gear change and hydraulic brake conversion. Once the cab wood is done, I’ll start on the rear so I can get the chassis together.

60D1A186-0940-4399-A1B4-E5F179E60A00.jpeg

15889DC9-C48D-4CD2-9BE4-89511587CA47.jpeg

1F9A4098-5682-407A-9C9E-61B13A2B4741.jpeg

C14F4FC2-57AF-407D-BAF9-21A0924D3F47.jpeg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I realized looking at the pictures of the main sills they look quite simplistic but they are actually a little involved with angled sides, angled rabbets, and angled cuts. More than anything it’s all the set up time, planing, layout, etc., that make wood working an effort. Here’s a couple more pictures.

07C6182F-75C0-4344-A606-C5CE69F45446.jpeg

124713D0-5D0D-4B43-A0C1-B2FD6EF67FBB.jpeg

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...