49 GMC Progress Report

Discussion in '1947-1954' started by e015475, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. e015475

    e015475 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Thought it might be time to start my own thread instead of imposing on LaTroca's. Here goes-

    Trying to take care of as many loose ends as I can while the truck is in the body shop.

    These are the stock GMC gauges with the mechanical gauges taken out and programmable Speedhut electronic speedometer and tach stuffed in the cases. Still undecided if the etched plastic is white enough to look kind of stock, and I may add a layer of white translucent plastic underneath the face to pull up the white of the numerals.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is the dial face that's been laser engraved on a thin piece of plastic laminate that is black over opaque. The black plastic is laser engraved off the opaque to reveal the numbers, tics and letters. Unfortunately the odometer window is off by about 1/8" so I'm making another one

    I backlit the gauge face with a RGB LED strip on a dimmer control so I can change the color of the gauge and play with it a little and see what I like.

    Here it is in blue-
    [​IMG]

    In red- looks like I'm going to need a little better light diffusion
    [​IMG]

    and in green
    [​IMG]


    Will put the oil, fuel, temp and volts in a skirt underneath the dash. Hope to work in the ac vents too

    The cab is mounted to the chassis with new bushings, all the metalwork
    (except the rear fenders) is done, new Dynacorn fender liners fitted, and we're starting to align the front sheet metal for the first time. The only problem so far is the tires in the rear are going to rub the fenders and I'm going to have to mini-tub it and narrow the Jag IRS about an inch per side to get the clearance I'll need.


    Here's what I started with - a basket-case I bought in Quartzite Arizona about two years ago this August
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Seat and steering wheel column are next while I wait for it to come home about the end of July

    Thanks for looking-
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  2. Elky67

    Elky67 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Messages:
    169
    Location:
    Bavaria South
    Looks pretty damn cool, have you done most of the work by yourself?

    What Jaguars are these IFS?s are coming from?

    Thanks.
     
  3. e015475

    e015475 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Thanks Elky

    I really wanted to do the sheet metal myself but decided I'd farm that out - had my house up for sale and didn't see how I could really keep the project at home and have the house ready to show at the same time.

    I've done everything else.

    I brought the rolling chassis to a local metal man's shop about a year ago to replace the floorboards, rot in the A pillars and metal finish the sheet metal. The work is very good, but keeping the truck in his work rotation and getting it back home is a struggle, but it is almost done. I try to find as much other work I can do while I'm waiting - like the gauges, engine harness, seat, steering wheel/column, new bed, etc.

    The front suspension is from a late 80s Jag XJS and the rear is from a Series 3 XJ6 (up to 1987), but with a center section (Dana 44) ring and pinion from an early 90s XJS with a six cylinder to get a ratio in the mid 3s and a limited slip.

    Phil
     
  4. LaTroca52

    LaTroca52 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    778
    Awesome

    Thanks Phil for posting your truck looks awesome.the Gage's are sweet
    Robert
     
  5. coilover

    coilover Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,421
    Location:
    Plano US
    Surprised to hear the Jag rear end is too wide. The XJ6 ones we have used from the mid 70's are very close to factory width for the AD's and a bit narrow for the 55-59 TF trucks. A 3" tub on the TF trucks gives plenty of room. Your are doing great work on your truck.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    925
    Location:
    Indiana
    Looking GOOD!

    Looks real good to me. Perfect stance, nice clean looking body so far.
    What tire/wheel combo are yout using?
     
  7. e015475

    e015475 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Coilover- the rear wheels are about 10 1/2" wide and are Boss 338s 18" with a near neutral offset. There's less than a pinky finger width between the sidewall and the fender lip, and about a half inch between the bedside and the sidewall on the inside. I'm still sitting at little bit of negative camber, and if I adjust it to straight up and down, I'm pretty sure it'll rub. There's a couple Jag rear ends that are narrower - one on a Jag sedan they didn't import here and another is the XKE, but I got prices of about $800 for the lower control arms and axles to change it over. Ouch! Looks like I can narrow it for about $200 and some fab work, so that's the route I'll go. Going to add the mini-tubs too.

    Thanks for the pics - I'd looked at your Jag IRS install before and drew some inspiration from it for my truck - thanks for posting it. Wish I could have made it work with the cage like you did

    LS3 - The wheels are the Boss 338s in the 5x4.75" pattern. The 18" tires are 40 series in front and 35 series in the rear - will look at what they actually are next time I'm at the body shop and post
     
  8. Zig

    Zig Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,848
    Location:
    Pittsburg KS
    I hate to say it, but GMC used the tan(?) face plates... I redid mine and wanted to use the black, (because I thought they looked better) but when I went to order them, I saw that GMC used the other color.
    I really don't think that matters one little bit, since you are changing your ride "dramatically". ;)
    And by the way, it looks friggin' awesome!
     
  9. coilover

    coilover Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,421
    Location:
    Plano US
    That is some serious rubber and explains the close fit. IIRC we used a Dana 44 limited slip from Randy's along with a 4L80E and a 3.90 gear in a 57 Chevy (car) and it made a real good combination. What do you think of the Jaguar IRS using the drive axle as the upper control arm?
     
  10. Bill Hanlon

    Bill Hanlon Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,384
    Location:
    Klein TX
    65-69 Corvairs (the post Nader, real IRS ones) used that same setup.
     
  11. e015475

    e015475 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Zig - You're absolutely correct, they should be tan for the GMC. But at this point I'm just playing with getting it to look ok and having the back-light and diffusion light up the numerals evenly. The laser engraver had the black in stock, so that's what I used for the first one. If you thought tan was more appropriate - this will probably shock you - I'm thinking they'd look cool in a color that complimented the paint color (which I've not picked yet). The engraver told me that after the first one, I could have any color in his stock colors for about $10 a face, so I might play with it a little since they're easy to change.

    Coilover - You're right. It is the classic case of 10 lbs in a 5 lb bag with those wheels and tires. I did the research before I bought them and knew it would be tight and that I may have to modify the IRS or the fenders. The metal guy said it'd take two days to modify the fenders (and I'd have to get back in line and wait six months), so narrowing the IRS & tubbing the bed is the better choice.

    I've heard the Jag IRS was designed in the US in the 50's - it uses essentially a Dana 44 ring/pinion/carrier and Spicer 1400 series u-joints. The design is hardly the state-of-the-art and there are much better IRS set-ups out there, like the Vette, Lincoln, T-bird and several others. If I had an Art Morrison chassis and setting up a corner-carver truck, the Jag is the last thing I'd consider. But I grew up in the 60's and 70's and it seemed like every proper hot rod had a Jag rear end. Like this truck, it is all about nostalgia for the past - it doesn't have to be the best, or even make sense for that matter, for a sentimental coot like me
     
  12. Zig

    Zig Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,848
    Location:
    Pittsburg KS
    Zig - You're absolutely correct, they should be tan for the GMC. But at this point I'm just playing with getting it to look ok and having the back-light and diffusion light up the numerals evenly. The laser engraver had the black in stock, so that's what I used for the first one. If you thought tan was more appropriate - this will probably shock you - I'm thinking they'd look cool in a color that complimented the paint color (which I've not picked yet). The engraver told me that after the first one, I could have any color in his stock colors for about $10 a face, so I might play with it a little since they're easy to change.

    I understand completely! I feel the same way. As you can see, I threw "original" out the window a l-o-n-g time ago.
    I went with what would make me happy.
     
  13. mobileortho

    mobileortho Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    547
    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    Those are some pretty cool gauges. I'm not satisfied with my after market I have so I may have to check those out myself!
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
  14. e015475

    e015475 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    mobileortho-

    Happy to give you the vector file to cut the faceplates yourself - but you might ought to wait till I have this set done so I make sure the odometer window is in the right place.

    The guts are just standard Speedhut gauges with the programming button that's usually on the face moved to a jack on the back so they can be programmed with an external pushbutton - Speedhut does this by request.

    I'm going to use a T5 out of a V8 Camaro and the reluctor wheel from a S10 tail-shaft to provide the speedometer signal.
     
  15. coilover

    coilover Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,421
    Location:
    Plano US
    Forgot about the Corvairs and I had a pretty salty one. 327/350hp with a Crown Engineering kit to make it a mid-engine set up. Only radials back then were Michelin or Pirelli tires so I chose Pirellis. Racing shocks/big sway bars/camber compensator/ground effects, etc. made it a real Porsche killer. SCCA banned them as their Porsche members just couldn't take their 40K toy getting whipped up on by a fifteen hundred dollar Ralph Nader car. If the truck being built here is anything like
    my Vair then handling is not a problem.
    The 57 Chevy 150 2dr had the Jag for the exact same reason you chose to do so, it is what he admired as a kid. It's all chrome and stainless with killer looks.
    With the big rubber I hope the T5 is a World Class one. In our experience big tires and big engines make a regular T5 short lived.
     
  16. e015475

    e015475 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    It is a WC T5 that should stand to about 300 ft-lbs and no clutch dumps.

    But I'm savin my nickles for a Tremec T500/600 - I know I'll need it eventually
     
  17. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    11,035
    Location:
    AMERICA !
    Those gauges look very nice ! kinda sorta stock .

    Lots of good hard work here I see .
     
  18. e015475

    e015475 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    July Update

    Well the truck is out of the metal shop and back home. Only the rear fenders remain in the shop along with the grill surround - both need the final metal finishing done. Metal finishing is a skill I'd really like to learn, but perfectionist tendencies (and I don't mean this in a good way), lack of time and urging from my wife to get the truck done (she wants a new kitchen) compelled me to take it to a shop. Wyatt Tichenor of Tichenor Coach Works in Mesa did the metal work (and I recommend him highly) and he graciously allows me to come into his shop a couple of nights a week and work on the fenders, tutoring me in how to metal finish. I'm still having a hell of time figuring out where the dolly is relative to the hammer or slapper, but I suppose anything worth learning how to do correctly has a steep learning curve. I want to 'buy my way out' with a bullseye pick and a shrinking disk, but Wyatt can do it all with just a hammer, slapper and a dolly, so that's the standard I aspire to. Hoping to have the fenders and grill surround done by next month



    Wyatt installed new bear-claws when he did the metal work on the doors. This looks very 'factory' to me and if you didn't know what the original latch looked like, you'd probably assume that's the way it came from GMC in '49
    [​IMG]

    Here's the cab side of the bearclaw. I have some plates made up to hold the pin and still trying to decide if I want to use them
    [​IMG]

    I cut some trailer fenders up and tig'd the sides on to use as mini-tubs since my tires were so close to the bed sides. They are pretty tight to the tire, so I'm going to have to center them perfect in the bed side.


    I didn't realize you had to move the rear axle centerline back about an inch or two to get the rear wheel to look centered in the opening, and I really don't like this mount for the jag IRS that picks up the top shock mount in the jag sheet metal cage so this configuration is going in the junk pile. Going to hang the IRS center section off of a 2"X3" rectangular tube on urethane mounts and ditch the cage - more in the next installment

    The aluminum 5.3L motor is moved back a couple of inches from where most people mount them, and there were so many holes in the firewall that Wyatt said it'd be about the same time to make a new firewall with a doghouse as it would to fill all the holes and put in bump outs (bump ins?) for the V8's cylinder heads. Here's the new firewall (note - it looks a little crooked- the engine is slightly cocked from an error I'd made fabing the motor mounts.) Will correct this by using a LS1 motor plate to put the motor mounts on the Jag IFS front cross member to mimic the way the Jag engine would isolated.
    [​IMG]
    Not a great picture - was trying to hold the hood up with my head and snap a photo. That thing stuffed in the intake is the cup holder liner out of my truck when I realized how dusty the body shop was.

    Heres the LM4 engine going into the truck

    [​IMG]

    Here's what it looks like inside the cab. It is removable in two pieces and allows me to get to the bell housing bolts and transmission from the cab. The S10 shifter has to go!
    [​IMG]

    Filled the cracks in the '59 Cadillac Eldorado steering wheel and shot the first coat of primer. Looks like it will take two or three times to get it looking good. It was two colors and I'm going to do the same and match the colors to the seat
    [​IMG]


    That's about it for progress. Next big job is narrowing the Jag IRS about an inch on both sides to get some decent tire clearance, then I can get the rear end located so the wheels look right in the wheel wheels, then I can mount the bed and fenders.

    I think I'm making progress, but still a long way to go
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  19. Zig

    Zig Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,848
    Location:
    Pittsburg KS
    Daaang that looks sweet!!!

    Who says you need to worry about a bed? :D
     

    Attached Files:

  20. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    925
    Location:
    Indiana
    Wow!

    I'd say your making progress! Looks real good. That 5.3 looks to have the truck style water pump, with a car style intake manifold, also, a three-bolt throttle body. Interesting. What was the donor vehicle?
    Also, did you set the engine rearward simply for weight distribution? My 6.0 fits without firewall modification, and, room at the radiator, also.
    The door latches look A1, in fact, everything looks fantastic to me. Please keep us updated!
    Very interesting build.
     

Share This Page