1954 Chevy Truck... Just Getting Started...

Discussion in '1947-1954' started by BigDog9721, Mar 24, 2024.

  1. BigDog9721

    BigDog9721 Member

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    All, I have finally started to restore my 54 truck... I've got several questions...
    1. My VIN starts with J54Nxxxx, do I have a 3100 or 3600 series. From what I've seen the "J" is the 3600 series... can someone confirm this?
    2. The stock engine has been replaced with a GM 4.3L V6 engine. So the fitst 2 pictures are of the carborator and the 3rd is the distributer. Can anyone tell me what models or brands these are?
    Lots of future questions coming... but thanks in advance for your help!

    1954 Truck.jpg carb-1.jpg carb-2.jpg dist-1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2024
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  2. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    "H" is a half ton, "J" is a three-quarter ton.

    Stovebolt Tech Tip -- Antique Chevy / GMC Truck Restoration Help

    Are you sure your motor is a 4.3?

    All of the 4.3 liters I'm familiar with came with fuel injection in GM cars and 4BL in the trucks when they first came out in 1985.

    The 3.8L motors came with 2 barrel carbs. Wikipedia says they were Rochester M2ME or E2ME. Since the E2ME is electronically controlled I'd assume it was the M2ME

    Chevrolet 90° V6 engine - Wikipedia.

    From an early 80's Buick 3.8 -

    1980 BUICK REGAL 3.8L 231cid V6 Carburetor | RockAuto

    Distributor looks like a Delco HEI unit

    1980 BUICK REGAL 3.8L 231cid V6 Distributor | RockAuto

    I've had good luck googling numbers on parts like carbs and distributors to see if I can find them - try it.
     
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  3. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    I'm not aware of any 3600s with a short-bed on them like that from the factory. It isn't unheard of for folks to shorten the frame and put a short bed on a 3600 though. But it might be a 3600 cab on a 3100 chassis too. Curious
     
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  4. BigDog9721

    BigDog9721 Member

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    e015475, thank you for your responses.. so. .. 3/4 ton is the 3600? yes on the GM 4.3:, it's not the stock engine... it's 3 on the tree manual transmission. the block# is 10105867 and data is H158, so by my calculations it's a GM 4.3L V6 built on 8/15/88. So is this a fuel injection? (I want to convert to that,,, it's already been converted from 6V to 12V electrical. (ALOT of jury riggin!) I'll check on the carburetor...
     
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  5. BigDog9721

    BigDog9721 Member

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    Carburetor is a Rochester DualJet 210... and Distributer is a Delco Remy (HEI?)
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2024
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  6. BigDog9721

    BigDog9721 Member

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  7. Chiro

    Chiro Member

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    That's probably a 3/4 ton cab on a 1/2 chassis. There's really no difference in the cabs between the 1/2 and 3/4 tons. Also, the bed is from the earlier '47-'53 1/2 ton trucks. '54 and '55 first series 1/2 ton trucks have flat top bedsides, not the angled ones shown. Good looking truck. Have fun with the build. We need more pics of the truck too. We like more pics. Lol
    Andy
     
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  8. Chiro

    Chiro Member

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    Here's a couple of tips. Buy the 1/4 window curved rear glass used. The new ones don't fit as well. The best window gaskets are made by Steele Rubber Co. and they still won't fit properly like the factory. Most front windshields aftermarket are going to have to be shaved down by your glass installer on a large belt sander as they won't fit the rubber gasket and set properly into the cab. Good luck finding a good glass installer. Every single one I've ever found that will work on vintage vehicles has been more than a bit flaky and of poor quality. Also, edit your profile so we know where you're from. There may be locals to you that can help you out.
    Andy
     
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  9. BigDog9721

    BigDog9721 Member

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    Chiro, thanks for the suggestions... I've updated my profile to show Brentwood, Tennessee as my location... on 3100/3600, my VIN starts with J54Nxxxx, from what I've seen the "J" is the 3600 series. So maybe 3600 with the shorter bed? As far as windows, the lady I bought it from gave me the full set of windows... and yes I need a window installer, but probably further down the road? Below are more pictures... I'm going to swap the engine out with an LS engine and transmission.

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.JPEG 4.jpg
     
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  10. Bill Hanlon

    Bill Hanlon Member

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    The rear part of the frame is much farther apart on a 1/2 ton truck (46" ?) than a 3/4 ton truck (around 36"). Who knows if the cab is original to the frame? I know GMC didn't make any short wheelbase 3/4 ton trucks and I assume Chevy didn't either.
     
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  11. BigDog9721

    BigDog9721 Member

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    I just measured it... 36" width between frames...
     
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  12. Bill Hanlon

    Bill Hanlon Member

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    What is the wheelbase?
     
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  13. BigDog9721

    BigDog9721 Member

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    115-116 inches
     
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  14. Bill Hanlon

    Bill Hanlon Member

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    I'm going on GMC specs and I don't have '54 and first series '55 info, so take this as non-expert testimony. I assume that the Chevy and GMC trucks of the era had similar wheelbases.

    In 1948 through 1953 GMC 1/2 ton trucks had frames with the rails that were around 4 feet apart at the rear.
    3/4 ton trucks had rails that were about 3 feet apart at the rear.

    GMC made 1/2 ton frames with 116" and 125.25" wheelbase.
    GMC made 3/4 ton frames ONLY in 125.25" wheelbase.

    The 116" wheelbase and 36" wide frame do not compute unless someone has been doing some major surgery under your truck.
     
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  15. Bill Hanlon

    Bill Hanlon Member

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    I'm attempting to upload 1954 Chevy specs.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Bill Hanlon

    Bill Hanlon Member

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    Looks like a 3/4 ton cab (based on the leading J in the door jamb tag) on a shortened 3/4 ton frame (based on 125 1/4" wheelbase frame was the only 3/4 ton size AND based on the 36" frame width at the rear is 3/4 ton size.)
     
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  17. BigDog9721

    BigDog9721 Member

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    here's a picture...

    5.jpg
     
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  18. BigDog9721

    BigDog9721 Member

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    Thought you might get a kick out of this...
     

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  19. Bill Hanlon

    Bill Hanlon Member

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    That looks like early to mid 60s pickup rear suspension. The original frame and leaf springs have been cut off forward of the rear axle. Looks a bit sketchy to me.
     
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  20. Chiro

    Chiro Member

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    ^^^What Bill said. I would have that looked at by a quality suspension shop or certified welder to make sure it's not as "sketchy" as it looks.
    Andy
     
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