chistech

34’ Chevy pickup

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4 hours ago, Mike Macartney said:

 

Well if you did I don't remember seeing it. :) Our backgrounds are a bit similar, Metalwork and technical drawing were my best subjects at school, although I have difficulty in remembering the names of the teachers. Abattoir, could be another name for some surgeons!  Thanks for the interesting information.

Mike, my daughter became a veterinarian and when she was in school, she would call me to tell me things they were doing in class and I could tell her locations and names of the different bones and organs. When she told her professor that her dad was a butcher and we had these talks, her professor told her that I would have seen more of the insides of an animal that she ever would and the only difference is I ONLY took them apart and never put them back together! Little did he know we would often knock big dairy cows to find them with calf. We would immediately perform a C section and removed the calf. Sometimes we were successful, others, the calf was too premature but we were butchers with a ❤️! LOL Yes, I have to agree, some surgeons are indeed butchers, and not very good butchers!

 

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Completely assembled, glued, and screwed the whole wood framing together. Fit all the sheet metal, including the roof, in place and checked fit of everything thing. All is good so all the sheet met came back off and work will start on all the panels while they’re off the frame. I will put the whole cab back together in a fully painted state rather than assemble it then paint it. 

    After my Christmas break, I’ll be starting on the conversion of the 37’ rear to fit this chassis along with the gear change to 3.55. There is a fair amount of mechanical work to the whole change and it will be a little off my usual but hopefully will turn out all right. Will also start assembling the chassis and adding the hydraulic Huck backing plates to the front spindles. 

     Seeing that the owners intentions is to drive this truck a lot, at higher speeds, I feel much better knowing the cab structure will be solid and much safer than it was. Along with the addition of seat/shoulder belts, all new safety glass, and a double reservoir hydraulic brake system, a fresh motor and updated differential should make this a really nice, but safe driving 34’ pickup without changing the original look.

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Don’t feel that way Mike, I had decent patterns and this is now well over my 10-12th wood restoration with some just being a piece here or there to a few being full replacements. These early Chevy pickups come apart quite quickly and are all separate panels. The wood itself other than the latch pillars was all straight or angled cuts so very little router/shaper work was required. 

      In truth, im way behind on this truck because of all the painting issues I had with the Olds and another car 5hat kept me from doing this type of work in my garage. The machine shop has taken a while on the engine because we found a crack in the block and it’s getting stitched plus other things. Now the full fledged refit of the higher ratio rear is going to add even more time to this restoration. I’m easy full year behind schedule on this. I never try to go over two years on any vehicle and I’m only three months away from that now with my current completion target being late this fall now. That means 2 1/2 years and that upsets me as I have this personal code that I won’t keep a vehicle away from an owner that long and that I keep my time frame that I promised. On this truck I’m off that promise and that really bothers me. This is the second vehicle I’ve done for the owner and he does know the work I do and told me not to worry about it but that still doesn’t help that I’m taking longer than promised. The rest of this year will be a marathon with me fitting in showing the Olds and working on a 30’ Chevy 4dr inbetween when I can’t do anything on the 34’. Whew, I can see why my wife loses patience with me sometimes. The old saying goes, “I’ve spread myself around like manure in a barnyard”!

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Took the 37’ rear mostly apart and I’m summing up the work needed. I opened the boxes of 51’ Chevy 3.55 rear parts I got from a fellow  VCCA member. He sent me the ring, pinion, pinion socket, all the spiders, bearings, and the bendix brake parts. I discovered I can’t use the bendix brakes but all the other parts are exactly what was needed. The 37’ rear uses an offset to the centerline, bushed, spring mount where the 34’ uses a rotating mount that encompasses the outside of the axle tube. The 37’ mounts are also set 1 3/4” too wide on each side so will be cut off as they can’t be used anyway. The axle tubes are smaller diameter than the 34’ tubes so my plan is to get the rear housing chucked in a big lathe and turned down round to the width of the 34’ rotating spring mounts. Then, bushings will have to be turned with the inside diameter matching the new diameter of the axle tube and the outside diameter slightly larger than the inside of the rotating spring mount. The bushings will be cut in half then welded to the tube, then the bushing will get turned again down to the diameter of the mounts. There is also a lug that get mounted in the center on top of the bushing to keep the spring mount in place. All this work is just for the spring mounts. The cutting of the driveshaft, torque tube, and all the welding of the pieces is more of the work needed on this conversion. 

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Wait, what?

 

Are you sure that is a 1937 rear axle? From a CAR? I once saw pictures of Ray Waldbaum's 1937/3.55 conversion, and IIRC it had the rotating mounts, just too far apart, and he had to move the "location key" part of the rotating mount closer to the center on the 1937 axle tube. Apparently the spring spacing had been wider on the 1937 car than the 1936 1/2 ton truck. It sure looked like both used the rotating mounts, and that the axle tube diameter was the same. Am I missing something?

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Bloo said:

Wait, what?

 

Are you sure that is a 1937 rear axle? From a CAR? I once saw pictures of Ray Waldbaum's 1937/3.55 conversion, and IIRC it had the rotating mounts, just too far apart, and he had to move the "location key" part of the rotating mount closer to the center on the 1937 axle tube. Apparently the spring spacing had been wider on the 1937 car than the 1936 1/2 ton truck. It sure looked like both used the rotating mounts, and that the axle tube diameter was the same. Am I missing something?

 

 

 

I was told it is a 37’ axle from the parts yard I got it from. I haven’t checked back with Ray since my first few conversations about this whole conversion. I will double check with both Ray and the parts yard. 

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Well the axle I have is incorrect and I’m in the process of trying to locate a true 37’ so the conversion is stalled as of right now. I will assemble the original 34’ rear again and temporary mount it back on the chassis with the springs and front end so I can get the chassis off the rotisserie and keep this project moving along. Got a couple good coats of Cuprinol on the wood cab framing so that’s good until the owner decides if he wants it natural or painted.

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While I’m still trying to get a 37’ rear axle, I was about to locate a full set of front backing plates and drums from a 37’ from a fellow VCCA member. Got them in and blasted one side. The linings are in great shape so I’ll just need some new cylinders. Pressed the studs out of the 34’ hubs/drums and checked them for fit to the 37’ drums, perfect. I had installed the new kingpins on the powder coated axle and tried fitting the blasted backing plate to the spindle. I almost fell over,,,,,,another perfect fit! Put the drum and hub on the spindle and all lined up perfectly. What do you know, no snafu on the front anyway. Still have the other assembly to sandblast and then to get new cylinders. Thankfully the front is easy so far. The blast cabinet works fantastic but as those who’ve done it, takes lots of time. People who don’t understand the cost of the restoration can come and stand at my blast cabinet for what seems like eternity and blast these parts for me! It’s coming along now and starting on the chassis assembly.

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8 hours ago, TexRiv_63 said:

How do those 37 drums compare to the stock 34's in size?

Pretty much identical. I’ll mount a wheel tomorrow so you can see how the 34 wheel fits.

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4 hours ago, John S. said:

I love the Cutlass in the lift. 

My brothers. Pulled the motor for a higher HP freshen, replaced front drums for disk, new tubular A-frames, repaint of chassis front, all new body mounts, etc. Been on my lift now too long. Thank goodness he finally got layed off from his dump trailer driver job. He needs to get this thing done!

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Lots of blasting, priming and painting. Here’s some pics of work done earlier.

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More done. Started assembling the front axle. Ordered and waiting on new wheel cylinders. While the brake shoes are virtually new and just got blasted/painted, all the rest of the brake components will be brand new. 

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I’m posting these photos while I’m sitting at the desk in the hotel at the Philadelphia convention. First time here, we’re enjoying ourselves. My son and his girl met us from Florida and my my daughter comes in on the train tomorrow to attend the banquet with us. Went out for a nice lunch with our good friend Bob Whitmoyer. Will be heading out with Joe later on. 

 

Went and and picked up another 37’ rear that was brought to my attention for sale on eBay but was very close to me. Although it was stripped of all brake parts, the essential banjo housing and torque tube is exactly what I needed for the conversion. The wrong 38’ rear had perfect brake drums and shoes so it ended up yielding the necessary parts to make a complete, updated dated rear that I need. Funny how little things matter and how excited we can get. Walter, the seller of the rear, has a real nice 36’ Chevy pickup, and asked me if I knew of other parts i needed. When I told him I need the “one year only fit” 36’ brake petals to fit my master cylinder bracket, he not only produced the pedals, but the whole assembly with another master bracket and all necessary pivot pins. SCORE! Then he said he believes he has a 36’ transmission that I also need for the correct speedometer drive location! Got to love good old car guys who appreciate bringing all these vehicles back, not just their own. Blasted up the pedals and bracket after driving out the pins. All got etched primed. Finally feel like I’m getting this conversion moving towards its goal. Assembled the front 34’ hubs to the 37’ drums and seal slinger. Blasted and primed the rear brake shoes with their brackets.

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