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34’ Chevy pickup


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Here she is waiting on her bed. Ordered a few miscellaneous parts including a new steering wheel. Got to say I’m very happy with the hydraulic brake conversion. I’ve heard many stories of how the “huck” type brakes aren’t that good but realize that while they’re harder to adjust, they’re just as effective as the bendix ones. They’re actually not that hard to adjust either, they just take longer. With the higher 3.55 gear ratio there’s a want for a little more clutch chatter when engaging the clutch but that’s it. It wants to move right out fairly quickly. Have a friend 3D printing up some three wire inserts for the headlight connectors to replace the Bakelite ones that are virtually non existent. I should have those in a little over a week so I might just throw a tail Iight on it and take it down the road. The owner sent me the new tags for the license plate so I’ll be legal. Of course here in Nazichusetts, you’re not supposed to run your rear tires exposed without mud flaps or fenders, even for a test drive, and my town is notorious for their fund raising!

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21 minutes ago, chistech said:

With the higher 3.55 gear ratio there’s a want for a little more clutch chatter when engaging the clutch but that’s it. It wants to move right out fairly quickly.

A few days ago I had a chat with a 78 year old lifelong early prewar guy; he called me about clutch issues with a 31 Chevy he is fiddling with.  He said that early Chevys had a solid clutch disc without the shock absorbing spring hub, and that caused chatter and many broken axles back in the day.  He also claims that "Chevy used the same clutch spline forever", and there should be a replacement spring hub type disc that will fit.  Did this truck have a spring type disc?

 

One more thing on your 3;55 gear swap, my experience with all cars of this era is that the first and reverse gears were geared way up to compensate for the stock rear end ratios in the 4;50-4;80 range, and then the car will be way too fast in 1st and reverse with too high of a rear ratio swap.  I am very interested in your test drives for your opinion on the 3;55 swap, and most importantly, can the truck maintain enough traffic speed when you hit hills without running out of power.

 

I went with 3;80 from stock 4;73 on my 32 Nash and I sure can feel first and reverse being a bit higher than I prefer in my yard tests, but I was more concerned about being able to maintain 55mph on secondary State Routes without the engine screaming, but hopefully not running out of enough motor as it is only 70HP in specs.  I can't wait for my first road test.

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I’m also anticipating the first drive. The motor is completely rebuilt so at least the power will be about as good as a new motor or slightly better. .030 over and modern gas should also help. I am keeping the truck here for a while after it’s done to check for any kinks it might have so I should be able to give a decent opinion of the gear change.

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If you could slide a clutch disc in there that has a sprung hub and the correct thickness, I would sure do it. Considering it may not have had one originally, you would have to check clearance very carefully around the sprung hub.

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Got a little, very useful education from another AACA member about these pickups. I learned that this 34’ has a 36 radiator shell and lower valance on it. The reason I couldn’t find the lower molding is because it’s attached to the valance. Looking at my pictures closer I realize the previous restorer painted the lower trim black. The front valance was is pretty bad shape with many patches pop riveted on and over a 1/4 think worth of body filler. My original intention was to try and replace it anyway and that AACA member had an almost mint one that I purchased. It’s on its way and one of the last pieces to get this truck finished up.

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Ted:  You mentioned needing fenders.  Under Mass. RMV regulations, it says that cars after 1949 need to have fenders if they were made with them.  Shouldn't that give you a pass on the '34 pickup?  But, the mudguard sentence is confusing.  Here's the section in the code:

 

(b)
Fenders. Front and rear fenders must be in place on all vehicles manufactured after model year 1949 if such vehicles were designed and manufactured to be operated with front and rear fenders. Every passenger motor vehicle under 10,000 lbs. (GVWR) , except four wheel drive vehicles which are equipped with tires which extend beyond the fenders or body of such vehicle shall be equipped with flaps or suitable guards to reduce such spray or splash to the rear and side.

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In essence Gary, it there's no bed on it, it's like a tractor trailer truck, which has to have flaps by law. So it you run a pickup frame without it's bed, lots of guys run a 2x4 across the frame with the mud flaps hanging off of the 2x4. I know this from owning many trucks for our family business.

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Mudflaps, eh?  It’s going to be interesting when I try to get the Indy car licensed and inspected to go on the road - no fenders at all. But, you say, I can just run a 2x4 across the rear end and hang some flaps on it…

 

Don’t forget to come up Reed Rd to Hixville for a visit.

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Gary, shouldn't you be off the hook because of it's age? It certainly has more pre-49 parts than 90% of the hotrods registered as "1923 Model T" - that hardly have a single part that dates to '23.

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My fingers are crossed.  I do have a local garage that I take the old cars to for inspection, was there today with the 1965 station wagon after 18 months off the road.  They are pretty good in interpreting the rules and haven't given me any problems in getting the old ones through.  I should send Ted there.

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7 hours ago, Gary_Ash said:

Ted:  You mentioned needing fenders.  Under Mass. RMV regulations, it says that cars after 1949 need to have fenders if they were made with them.  Shouldn't that give you a pass on the '34 pickup?  But, the mudguard sentence is confusing.  Here's the section in the code:

 

(b)
Fenders. Front and rear fenders must be in place on all vehicles manufactured after model year 1949 if such vehicles were designed and manufactured to be operated with front and rear fenders. Every passenger motor vehicle under 10,000 lbs. (GVWR) , except four wheel drive vehicles which are equipped with tires which extend beyond the fenders or body of such vehicle shall be equipped with flaps or suitable guards to reduce such spray or splash to the rear and side.


 

Having personally owned three inspection stations in Massachuetts, and inspected well over 50,000 cars personally.............. the truck should fail for open wheels. Mud flaps are certainly required. Problem is today, the registry has live feed cameras in the bay from all angles, when that registration hits the VID in Boston, it’s gonna switch over to that bay on the monitor screen. Personally, I would pull the owner aside, fail it, and have him bring it back in three weeks and then I would put a good sticker on it..........in the parking lot, as reinspections do not require the truck to be pulled in the bay.  It’s best to just wait till the bed is on the truck. I have driven my Pierce Arrow for the last ten years in mass pre COVID.........without a sticker on it. YOM plates and they just don’t bother me.

5 hours ago, Gary_Ash said:

Mudflaps, eh?  It’s going to be interesting when I try to get the Indy car licensed and inspected to go on the road - no fenders at all. But, you say, I can just run a 2x4 across the rear end and hang some flaps on it…

 

Don’t forget to come up Reed Rd to Hixville for a visit.


Gary.......do you want to know the proper procedure for getting you car on the road? Probably NOT. Mass State Police inspection in Westfield Mass is the current location to get it’s initial safety inspection. You will need ALL receipts for the build........engine, transmission, rear end, frame, wheels, ect........swap meet cash purchase does NOT fly. I know the guys there.......they have all the joy of an impacted wisdom tooth. If you have a title that has an engine number on it......run with it. I know the red flags in the system, if you need help, call me. Do NOT let RMV or SP see that car. Process paperwork like it’s a sedan and don’t say a word. Put a YOM plate on it. Then I will give you the ultimate inside line on being left alone. Ed.

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This state is the worst as Ed says. My brother is a drag racer/hot rod guy and anyone building a hot rod does everything Ed says then they still cross their fingers and say their prayers hoping to get their car registered. The registry police take joy in denying people. You can see it in their faces. That’s why i call it Nazichusetts! The MA state police even designed their uniform off the design of the Nazi SS. (That is a true story but now they’re trying to deny it. They felt it would intimidate people because of their visions of the SS) 

     Lived here all my life, like the area, even like the crazy weather, hate the politics of the state and even the town politics. Every town acts like it’s it’s own little state and try’s to out do the crazy state policies.

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This is kind of off topic but hearing this about Mass sure makes me glad to live in Utah, here you sign up for vintage vehicle plates or even standard issue plates and they just take your money and give you plates. Even getting a title is pretty easy. 

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3 hours ago, Tate said:

This is kind of off topic but hearing this about Mass sure makes me glad to live in Utah, here you sign up for vintage vehicle plates or even standard issue plates and they just take your money and give you plates. Even getting a title is pretty easy. 

Actually New Hampshire and Maine are easier to get vehicles registered but the Nazichusetts mentality and the people who support it have been moving across those state borders and contaminating the culture so things are changing some in those states too. Vermont was poisoned years back already on some of their thinking.

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1288EEF1-79FF-4B75-AAF2-9E9DEA0F80E4.jpeg.e1ace81b290446449635218d3ea64d50.jpegHi john, no, I had a local guy paint it. He delivered the bed in pieces last night at 6pm and by midnight I had it half assembled on the chassis. Tonight I added the rear fenders and added all the bolts to the bed strips. All are now tightened down other than one cross member, the one right above the fuel tank of course and the hardest one to get a washer, lock washer, and nut on each bolt! I’ll attempt getting those done tomorrow. Installed new tailgate chains and had my local canvas guy make up a couple of socks out of good heavyweight tan canvas. Tomorrow I’ll pick up a few pieces left at the powder coat shop like the rear fender braces and the front bumper irons. I wired up the headlights and I’m waiting on a new right taillight to come in to finish up the lighting. Almost at the end of another restoration.

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Okay, I took those pictures with my phone and when posting them then ended up sideways and I can’t find a way to rotate them. I’ll get pictures with my iPad tomorrow.

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Very nice Ted...but when I see how you can go right through a job like this I wonder what I'm doing wrong. I think you get more done in two weeks than I do in two years.

Bravo!

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Finished getting the bed board bolts all in and wired up the drivers side taillight. I’m waiting on the right side to come in. Put on the license plate, snugged up the fender bolts, and tested all the lighting. So at 8:30 tonight I decided to take it a mile down the road to fill the gas tank up. It went down the road really nice with the tranny shifting good, engine running great, and it’s pretty quick with the 3.55 gears. The brakes work extremely well with no pulling to either side with a hard stop. Of course the speedo is off unit I get an underdrive unit for the cable. Have to adjust the headlights up some and put on the bumper with some other small pieces but it’s almost done. I’m going to be driving it quite a bit before it ships so I get out any kinks. It’s a really nice little truck.

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Picked up the front and rear bumper bracket irons from the powder coater yesterday late afternoon. Installed the front bumper but still haven’t received the rear bumper we ordered. Today the bed bolt special washers with bolts came along with the right side taillight. The bed washers are a square offset hole type and the bolts are 3/8” carriage type. I really didn’t need the bolts but the complete set was cheaper than just buying the washers. When I checked out the package, in a sealed bag was two full sets! 
   Then I opened the box with the repo taillight. It looked exactly like an original “chevlite” taillight but without the taillight bulb sticking through the bottom of the lights body to illuminate the license plate. I attempted to attach the wires to the two screw contacts but found the supplied screws wouldn’t thread all the way in to tighten on the terminal. Ran an 8-32 tap through the brass contact and replaced the screws with my own SS ones. Connected the wires, mounted the light, and turned on the running lights. NOTHING! So now I think they didn’t supply the light with any bulbs so I pulled the lens. Turns out there was only a brake bulb and socket with no socket for the running light bulb, just a tab for the positive contact to the bulb. Found a socket in another TL bucket on a steel bracket that I mig welded to the head of the lower carriage bolt that holds the light to the bracket. I soldered the wire from the center of the socket to the tab that was already in the bulb. The taillight is now perfect with both brake and running lights.

      It amazes me how both items were screwed up by the manufacturers. Too many bolts with washers put in the bag and the taillight made beautifully on the outside yet totally missing the one bulb parts. Things are just done really shoddy today. 
     On the first drive I found the truck a little squirrelly so I checked things out. I found I put the pitman arm on the steering box shaft off three splines from the two indicating marks. This means I was trying to keep the truck going straight when the steering box gears were not in their centered, less twitchy spot. Pulled the arm and aligned the marks, problem fixed. Then while driving yesterday, I had lost the horn. I repaired the horn and installed a new steering tube bushing/contact so couldn’t understand how it had been working but now nothing. Opened the hood to find no wire coming out of the steering tube. For some reason, and I’ve never seen it happen before, the wire got wrapped up with the steering shaft and pulled itself out of the twist lock connector and into the tube. Pulled the tube up, unwrapped the wire making sure it was straight down the tube, crimped on a new contact and put everything back together. Problem solved.

   So I’ll continue to put it through it’s paces while I wait on the used lower valance to come in and get painted along with the new steering wheel I’ve coming. I might have another issue but I’m holding off saying anything to I know for sure. Nothing real bad but a little involved to correct. It appeared to get better with today’s second drive so I’m hoping it will correct itself. I’ll keep you posted. Here is some outside pictures in better light with more pieces installed.

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 Ted, the Chevy came out very nice. You  always do stellar work. I was reading that you may have one more restoration in you. Ted, you can't stop! Think about your adoring public, not to mention your fan club!! We learn a lot from your work and always enjoy your post. Thanks, John.

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1 hour ago, John S. said:

 Ted, the Chevy came out very nice. You  always do stellar work. I was reading that you may have one more restoration in you. Ted, you can't stop! Think about your adoring public, not to mention your fan club!! We learn a lot from your work and always enjoy your post. Thanks, John.

Thanks for those kind words John but I need a break after this next car. I will be doing a lot more wood work on cars so I’ll be posting that but this 30’ chevy 4dr will be my last full restoration for a while.

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Posted (edited)

I’ve been waiting for the rear bumper and bumper iron to come in for over 7 months with the vendor always saying it’s on back order so yesterday I took a 31’ bumper and iron and decided to see if I could mount it to the brackets as the 31’ front bumper is very close to what is used on the rear of the 34’ trucks. 
      To fit it, all I needed to do was to drill two 9/16” holes in the appropriate places and elongate them on the mill to accommodate some adjustment. So I did that and bolted it up. It looked very good so on my way back from a customer in Boston today, I dropped off the iron and the bumper for powder coating. The bumpers chrome is pretty much gone so they were going to PC it with the PC version of chrome which is basically a brushed gloss chrome look. I was giving this to the owner as a gift so he would have some sort of bumper on the truck because he wanted one. 
     So after I got home, a little while later, yup, you probably guessed it, UPS show’s up with the back ordered bumper and iron! So tomorrow I’ll take the new iron to the powder coater (it’s in the raw), and pick up my two 31’ pieces. As we all know, it’s how it usually goes!

Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Forgot to mention that I’ve been driving the truck around and was experiencing a lot of noise through the clutch pedal. Tried adjusting the pedal again but it’s still there and quiets down when I put my foot on the pedal. Pulled the bottom housing cover off, put the rear axle up on jack stands, started it up and put it in gear. With the truck idling and the rear wheels turning, I rolled underneath on the creeper and had a look. I can see the throw out bushing on the pressure plate wobbling and not running true, causing the throw out bearing and arm to vibrate. I’m also experiencing some slippage when it high gear and flooring the pedal. So, up comes the floor mat, floor boards, and out comes the trans with all the clutch parts. It’s all part of a restoration and sorting one out and I’m not really upset about it. Everything else I’m really happy with like the rear differential and the hydraulic brakes, especially since those items were retro-fitted and installed by me and it’s my first time doing those sort of modifications.

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14 hours ago, chistech said:

Forgot to mention that I’ve been driving the truck around and was experiencing a lot of noise through the clutch pedal. Tried adjusting the pedal again but it’s still there and quiets down when I put my foot on the pedal. Pulled the bottom housing cover off, put the rear axle up on jack stands, started it up and put it in gear. With the truck idling and the rear wheels turning, I rolled underneath on the creeper and had a look. I can see the throw out bushing on the pressure plate wobbling and not running true, causing the throw out bearing and arm to vibrate. I’m also experiencing some slippage when it high gear and flooring the pedal. So, up comes the floor mat, floor boards, and out comes the trans with all the clutch parts. It’s all part of a restoration and sorting one out and I’m not really upset about it. Everything else I’m really happy with like the rear differential and the hydraulic brakes, especially since those items were retro-fitted and installed by me and it’s my first time doing those sort of modifications.

Did you oil the carbon "bearing" on the throwout assembly?

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The pressure plate may not be running-releasing true? I understand they are very hard to adjust level. The carbon bearing itself just slides around on the that flat thing on the pressure plate, and probably doesn't care that much about centering.

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Yes, throw out has been oiled.

 

44 minutes ago, Bloo said:

The pressure plate may not be running-releasing true? I understand they are very hard to adjust level. The carbon bearing itself just slides around on the that flat thing on the pressure plate, and probably doesn't care that much about centering.

when I rebuilt the pressure plate, I made sure the bushing was level so something has happened. I’m even thinking possibly a piece of clutch lining is off or something like that to make the pp not sit true causithe wobble and the slippage. Going to go back and look at my pictures to see if I missed something. Either way, it comes out and I’ll figure it out.

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Found an article about leveling the arms of the pressure plate. Was told it can be a PITA to do and it was. You have to shim under the arm plates to lower the bearing bushing to level it. While it sounds easy it wasn’t probably because there’s three arms so moving one affects the height of the bushing on the others. The article describes using a dial indicator mounted on the back of the bell housing with the indicator on the bushing and adding shims where needed. I decided to try and do it on my fairly new to me 16” south bend lathe. I pulled the trans, pressure plate, and fly wheel then chucked the flywheel on the lathe. Using my indicator I made sure it and the face was running true. I mounted the pressure plate with a metal ring spacer the diameter and thickness of the clutch plate. Without any shimming, I couldn’t even use my indicator because the run out was way beyond its capacity. Locating the arm that sat the lowest I shimmed the others to lower them to match it. With the pressure plate shimmed and running about .011 out (recommended is no more than .020), I disassembled the plate from the flywheel, removed it from the lathe, and reinstalled it in the truck. I added the clutch disk and put the PP back in with the factory balance indicator marks lined up. I mounted the dial indicator to the bell housing to check it again and found it slightly off. Armed with my last couple hours of “arm leveling” knowledge, I was quickly able to get the bushing running at .006! I was very happy with that and finished assembling the trans back in. When it was all together I even installed the floor mat and my brother commented that I seemed pretty confident and I told him I was and to think positive. We took it for a drive and it’s a totally different truck running perfectly quiet with no vibration or noise!🕺🕺🕺🕺🕺🕺🕺Yay! It’s fixed.

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3 hours ago, Mike Macartney said:

Ted, what an excellent job, it's very pleasing when jobs like that go well. I think you have identified the problem with Janes 1934 Singer 9 Le Mans? It has only had a problem since 1969 when we first got the car! Mike

When this truck came to me it had a vibration through the clutch pedal and there was very little if any free play in the pedal. I realize now that they backed the adjustment way off to get the throw-out mostly clear of the bushing. The original clutch pedal is about 3/4 taller through the floor than the clutch pedal that's part of the 36' master cylinder mounting assembly so they were able to do that. I couldn't get it back enough to clear the bushing and still release the clutch to test if the noise would go away. If you look at any of the pictures of floor of this truck you will see that the clutch pedal sits lower than the brake pedal. They are uneven in height unlike the original set up. Not sure why GM did that but this is an original 36' pedal/master cylinder mount assembly. The original PP was worn and so was the bushing so I used the pressure plate from the spare motor I picked up. It too had a angled bushing but not as bad as what came in the truck plus the face of the original PP was grooved badly. So I now realize that I hadn't set this PP up correctly and it's my fault so I learned another new "old car" skill.

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  • 1 month later...

Well I’ve done some more work on finishing up this truck and it’s almost there. I have started to pull the tranny as the pressure plate springs are not strong enough so I need to get them replaced. The other issue I’ve been working on is the lower radiator apron. The original was a mess of cobbled pieces with many pop rivets and over a 1/4” of body filler over the top of it all. The original piece was misplaced but it was so bad I didn’t want to use it anyway so I searched for a replacement. I was told that the grill shell I have on this truck is a 36’ so I ended up finding a really nice 36’ apron with the lower grill trim piece that was originally missing on this truck. When the ne apron came in and I attempted to fit it to the truck, it was immediately apparent that it wouldn’t fit, it was just too long to fit between the fenders where the apron and fenders bolt together. 
     It turns out the previous restoration on this truck came back to bite me again. When it was restored years back, it seems they replaced the 34’ grill shell with the 36’. That made another problem as the 34’ fenders are different (at the radiator apron attachment points) , they come down lower than the 36’ fenders, making the 36’ apron too wide. A 34’ apron will not fit on the 36’ radiator shell as the bottom comes down lower than the 34’. Now I understand why the original piece was cobbled together, because it is a custom piece and a difficult one to make.

     I ended up having to cut a perfect 36’ apron into three separate pieces, then adding in filler metal at the back edge after each side was shortened and moved down on the “V” shaped piece that attaches to both sides of the shell at the bottom and which the molding is riveted to. I mig weld tacked everything in place, removed it off the truck then tig welded it all up. Some tin knocking, some grinding, some sanding, and some body filler got it shaped correctly and looking good. Today it went for paint and should be back for Wednesday.

    I didn’t take any pictures of the pieces all cut up as stopping and taking a bunch of photos takes a lot of time itself and I didn’t want to take that time. The photos of the back (painted black) show the welding that was to make the piece needed. Now if the pressure plate springs are heavy enough and fix the slipping problem, then I can finally be done.

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What a sin to cut up that apron Ted ,

At least it was good metal to work and weld !! 

The truck is beautiful. 

Sorry for the hold up getting the part to you , but we in Ontario , Canada have had the longest covid lockdown in North Ameria .

Still not fully open 

Was a pleasure 

Joe 

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Posted (edited)

It was a sin but a necessary one unfortunately. Yes, the metal was good and solid which made welding it up much easier. No worries on the time frame and I feel bad for you. I watched a program on a conservative network showing what is going on up your country and it’s absolutely incredible. I suppose now they’ll try another lockdown with the new delta strain. Good luck and thanks for helping me out.

Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Still addressing the clutch issue on this 34’. The machine shop tested the springs and found them varying in pressure from 80-100lbs in an inch of compression. So we came to the conclusion to just order a set of springs with a rating slightly  higher than the 100. What sounds easy is not. Trying to find a source of springs was the first challenge. I decided to call the well known early chevy parts supplier and ordered a $200+ clutch disc. I asked about buying a set of springs and was basically told they will rebuild my pressure plate but NOT sell me springs. I’ve done probably $30k in business with this vendor over the years in my name or the car owners name with all the cars I’ve done and I felt there was no effort to help me out. I then located a clutch and driveline specialty company out it the Midwest and got one of their tech on the phone. Immediately I got the same sort of negative response to just wanting to purchase 9 PP springs and that they too “rebuild them”. He told me he needed mor information like the PPI, length, wire diameter, amount of coils, overall diameter, and type of ends. When I promptly read him all those specs measured with a micrometer and spring gauge he balked again! It seems today people just don’t want to help you. So I asked what if I sent in a spring with its retention cup, could they then match it up with something. Then it seems the light came on and he agreed that would work and if they had springs in stock that would work, they would sell them to me. It’s amazing I had to think of that! Of course if the chevy parts supplier would just sell me a set that use when they rebuild a pressure plate it would make it a lot easier. 

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