49 GMC Progress Report

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

  1. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    "Just one more time, why is it that the engine is set back like that?"

    Mostly it had to do with the front suspension and engine choice.

    The Jag front suspension is 'rear steer', that is, the rack and pinion is mounted to the back of the cross member.

    The engine can only come so far forward before the oil pan hits the the rack and pinion, so that dictates where the engine goes.

    Many of the LS engine installs, even those with Mustang II suspension had the engine pushed further back into the firewall anyway.

    I'v even seen old valve covers welded into the firewall to clear the V8s cylinder heads.

    So rather than cobble up the inline six firewall, which looks kind of goofy (my opinion only) with a V8 pushed up against it, it was easier to just make a new one

    The LS motor has the air intake pointing forward, not up like a SBC, and I see a lot of air cleaner setups that I don't like, so having the engine back gives me more options for an air filter.
     
  2. LaTroca52

    LaTroca52 Member

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    I showed my wife you’re photo shopped pics of the wide whites she also is a thumbs up
     
  3. RidesWithYah

    RidesWithYah Member

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    I am also a supporter of Wide Whites.
    Next time you're at the yard, see if they have a set of original GMC Hubcaps to go with them...

    Thanks for posting the pics from the yard. Looks like a GREAT place to spend an afternoon!
     
  4. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    This week's progress report...........

    Had some visitors from Texas so might be a little less than usual.

    I finished fiberglassing the fan shroud. There's two layers of 1.5 oz mat on the back now. Made a jig for the router and cut the hole for the fan. Started sanding off the nibs and brush hairs that got in the epoxy. Will take this to Wyatt's next week and skim with a coat of filler in prep for a top coat
    [​IMG]
    Here's the back side after I put the two layers of mat on it- I reinforced the corners with a couple layers of mat over the aluminum too.
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    A quick trial fit on the radiator. Still have to figure out how to mount it.
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    Here's the rework of the brackets for the 'custom fit' AC condenser from Vintage Air that didn't fit the GMC - ready for a trial fit in the truck as soon as someone wanders by to help me lift it into the engine bay. I didn't want to make the fussy clip that attached the condenser to the bracket, so I cut the VA ones off and used aircraft rivets to attach them to the new bracket.
    [​IMG]
    I mounted the PCM under the dash using some strap and an ebay over-center latch. Sticks out like a sore thumb so I'll have to hit it with some trim black.
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    I strung the wiring harness out on the engine and connected all the senors, then pulled all the excess wire into the cab - what's here is what has to be shortened. It looks like a rat's nest but really isn't so bad. The good news was I won't have to extend any wires in the harness (except for the coils, and I just bought a harness extension that's plug and play)
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    Here's the harness on the topside of the engine. All the injector leads are too long (what is draped over the fenders) and I have to change the plugs to the EV1 style anyway.
    [​IMG]
    I ordered some 3" mandrel bends for intake tubing along with some silicone couplers. There's going to be a fight for real estate between the engine and radiator where I need to fit the hoses, fan shroud/fan, and the filter/MAF/ducting. Dang, those bend radii look big.
    [​IMG]
    Summit had polished stainless tube for the same price as unpolished, so I bought some for radiator hose. I really should have a back purge of argon when I weld these up, so I'll have to make a jury-rigged system to trap gas in the tube. If my stainless welds look nice, I'll polish them on Wyatt's big wheel polisher, but if not there's always the old-standby of filing them flat and sanding them smooth before polish.
    [​IMG]
    Next week will be getting the intake, radiator hoses and fan shroud to all fit and in mock-up. I'll pull the harness back off the engine and start looming that up too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
  5. LaTroca52

    LaTroca52 Member

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    Wow nothing less than amazing as always .
     
  6. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    This once-stock engine harness.............
    [​IMG]
    Now looks like this..............
    [​IMG]
    Here's a foto of the injectors. The black ICO-flex has a white thread running through it and gives it a vibe like the old cotton yarn covered wiring harnesses- I like the look. I also got rid of the Russell adapter that connected the stock GM fuel connector on the fuel rail to a -6AN and put in a Swagelok fitting. I just don't trust o-rings in fuel fittings, especially ones not from GM
    [​IMG]
    The loom is a woven fire-retardant plastic that is split and easy to apply. It is called ICO-flex and is sold by Aircraft Spruce. Was about $15 to do the whole harness. The ends of the loom are wrapped with a self-sticking silicone tape also sold by Aircraft Spruce. The ebay EV1 injector connectors didn't have any strain relief so I made a 3-step strain relief from shrink wrap tube.

    I spent a couple hours making sure the connectors for the PCM were wired correctly according to the pin-out spreadsheet posted on LT1Swap.com (a great resource if you do your own harness) and checking to make sure all the PCM and sensor grounds were in place. Surprisingly all was good despite the fact I did it sipping a glass of burbon and 7 with Youtube on in background in the shop while I unpinned and repinned most of the harness to get the tangles and extra wires out of it.

    Engine Inlet

    My plans to use 3.5" steel mandrel bends for the air inlet came to naught - not enough room. (embarrassing after that lengthy diatribe to Zig on why my engine sits so far back to make more room) So plan B is a silicone coupler like this one (only they shipped me a 3" instead of a 3.5")-
    [​IMG]

    Will finish up the air inlet this week when the correct coupler arrives. The plan is to turn the air inlet down towards the ground with a 90 degree mandrel bed, then the MAF, then another 90 bend that will put the air filter down low just in front of the dampner pulley. Sounds confusing huh? More pictures when I get it done should make it clear.

    My new fan shroud is ready for Featherfill (didn't need to use any bondo to smooth it. I hate working with bondo and seem to get it all over me and it takes me 3-4 coats to get correct) and Tuesday is paint day if it doesn't rain.

    We'll enough work is done top-side on the truck that it is time to start plumbing brakes, hydraulics, air and fuel. I'm going to start with the brakes. I've never done a double flair and have always used AN 37 degree flares, but this time I'm gonna do the regular automotive brake flare, if for no other reason that if I ever sell it, I don't want to explain why I think the AN flare is just as good as a brake double flare. There's going to be a lot of crawling on the floor to plumb this truck and my 64 year old bones wish I'd sprung for a two-post lift years back (or I'd planned better and got all the plumbing done before I put the body on)

    Next progress installment will be wrapping up the inlet, MAF and filter. I'll mount the air compressor and the fuel swirl/low pressure fuel pump this next week too in preparation for the air and fuel system plumbing.

    La Troca - if you haven't done your swaybar yet for your Jag front end, I think I have a mount design that will work and I'll post some fotos so you can see what you think of it.

    Until next week.............
     
  7. LaTroca52

    LaTroca52 Member

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    Thanks Phil not much going on with the truck just been enjoying the wet weather indoors.
     
  8. LaTroca52

    LaTroca52 Member

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    Looking forward to sway bar install and brackets.
    Hope it’s a bracket I can handle making at home.
    Robert
     
  9. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    Robert

    Picked up the steel today so I should have the sway bar brackets fabricated by the end of the week. It is pretty simple - some triangular gussets and some flat strap

    Other stuff.........

    Here's some photos of the LS air intake system I put together today.
    [​IMG]






    From the passenger side
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    The assembly on the shop floor.........
    [​IMG]
    Painting Featherfill on the fan shroud tomorrow at Wyatt's.
     
  10. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    OK. Here's my weekly report. Lots of minutia but making slow progress forward.

    The new intake ducting is in and fitting well, just need to weld up some supports for it.

    [​IMG]

    From the other side. The new stretched t-shirt fiberglass fan shroud was shot with polyester primer and then top coated with a satin black. Here it is installed with the new Spal fan.
    [​IMG]

    The radiator hoses are made from 304 stainless mandrel bends. Not very happy with the way the top hose looks, but going to weld it up and bead blast it to a satin finish and see if that is a little better. If not, it will be satin black. Here is the bottom one-
    [​IMG]
    The fuel lines to the fuel sender are stainless and I couldn't flare them correctly for a AN fitting, so I cut the bad flares off and put on Swagelok connectors. This is my 'Frankenstein' Camaro fuel sender with a AD truck resistor track to match the AD factory fuel gauge. Ready to start fuel plumbing
    [​IMG]

    Robert/LaTroca - I made the front sway bar brackets out of 3/16" steel plate. Here's a photo of the bracket on the driver's side ready to be match drilled to mount to the frame rail.

    [​IMG]

    The bracket holds the urethane sway bar bushing out from the frame rail about 1.5". Keep in mind that the sway bar rotates in a path that is 90 degrees to the inner fulcrum of the lower control arm, so the urethane bracket will not sit square to the frame bracket - it is off by about 15 degrees.

    Here is the frame bracket tacked together. It is made from two 3x3" triangular gussets and some 2" strap

    [​IMG]
    Here's the part that holds the urethane bushing to the bracket. The top is made from an old steering column that had a 1.25" ID tube that matched the urethane bushing, and the sides are angle iron I cut from an old bed frame.
    [​IMG]
    Just about out of argon, so I won't be able to finish welding them until I get a refill, but this should give you an idea of how you could mount yours. I'll take more photos next week when I have it finished.

    Other stuff.....

    Mounted the pump for the airbag system on the frame rail next to the battery box.

    Checked the camber and caster of the Jag front suspension with no adjustment shims in it. It is good enough to get it to the alignment shop after a few test drives up and down the street.

    Cycled the suspension between the upper and lower stops, and lock-to-lock on the steering to check for tire rub. I found some. At about one inch of travel from the bottom stop at full lock, the tire will rub on the bolt of the fender brace. At normal ride height there's three fat fingers between the tire and the fender at lock. I can live with the limitation at the near bottom of the travel.

    Until next week,

    Phil
     
  11. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    Fantastic work. Thanks for the details.

    Steve.
     
  12. Zig

    Zig Member

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    Seriously! The thought and quality of execution is amazing!
    This is exactly why I love photos! Could you imagine just reading a description of this work?
     
  13. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    Thanks Zig.

    But you're going to be disappointed this week - no photos.

    I'm finally at the plumbing phase, and there isn't much to show. Lots of tubes, flares, fittings and head scratching as to where to put it all.

    Once I get the fuel, air and brake lines in, I'll snap some photos.

    Phil
     
    Zig likes this.
  14. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    Steve - thanks for checking in on progress.

    Phil
     
  15. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    Checking in with a little progress. Most of the activity of late is getting everything plumbed under the truck and I'm kinda sore from getting up and down from the floor and scooting myself under the truck - old, I guess.

    Here's the plumbing from the fuel tank to the boost pump. It is done with 3003 Al tube with a JIC flare and tubes held in place with MS21919 ADEL style clamps-

    [​IMG]

    The 3/8" line feeds the boost pump, the boost pump fills a 1 gallon swirl pot and the 1/4" line goes back into the main tank for overflow. The swirl pot and boost pump are mounted on the frame rail but can be accessed easily from under the truck - they sit under the apron that connects the bed to the running board. This is view looking down at the boost pump and swirl pot tank-

    [​IMG]

    The Walbro pump and the Corvette-style filter regulator sit in the frame rail under the cab - both easily accessed under the truck.

    There's hard line from the fuel tank all the way up to the engine with all mechanical seals - no rubber hose or o-rings. Here's the connection to the fuel rail/spider on top of the engine. I turned the spider backwards to have the fuel enter to the back side of the motor.

    [​IMG]

    I did all 1/4" hard aluminum line for the airbag system on the truck too, but I had to use flexible line to get the air lines into the cab to keep from cracking them. They made them up at a local hydraulic shop for about $10 each. Here is the rear airbag with the aluminum hard line- (I must not be drinking enough - this pic is a little shaky)

    [​IMG]

    The truck's ride height will be controlled from inside the truck using some miniature regulators. Most manual control systems for airbags I've seen use paddle switches or solenoid valves, and I've not seen any with regulators, but I'm an old guy and not interested in 'laying out' the suspension on a regular basis, so this will let me 'set it and forget it' - I hope. The front airbags are separately regulated but the rears teed to one regulator. They sit under the seat and can be easily accessed by the driver-

    [​IMG]

    Brake lines are all done with the exception of one bubble flare I need to adapt to the Jag IRS. Once I get that done, I can fill the system and bleed the brakes.

    Will be out of pocket for a while - next report in May probably

    Phil
     
  16. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    I really enjoy following this thread. I believe this is the highest quality AD truck, restomod build, I've seen.
    Steve.
     
  17. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    Thanks for the kind words.

    It has been going on four years now and I am hoping to be driving it this year. I am beginning to wonder if it is a project I want or a truck to drive. The weather is about to get hot and I'm planning to hunker down in the shop with the AC on and get some serious licks into finishing the truck.

    Wyatt has been coming over to the house on Saturdays for five or six hours to help since the beginning of the year, and that is really helping push the project along. Not much to show, but I have it all plumbed and we filled the airbag tank today and checked for leaks. I put a Rebel wiring harness on order and ordered all the steel mandrel bends for the exhaust. Made up all the lines for the hydroboost and will take them to the shop to have them crimped Put the front glass in but it looks like we need to take it out and give it another go.

    Not much to show for pictures, but I will try to take a few and post them just to keep the habit up.
     
  18. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    As promised, here are a few pics of recent progress.................

    Installed the tailgate with some stainless carriage bolts that I modified to take the 'square' off underneath the head (no lathe, so I used a die grinder and chucked them up in a drill and ground the head square to the shank) I welded a bolt and a nut to a steel rod to use as a polishing fixture and took them over to Wyatt's to polish. There's polished stainless acorn nuts on the other side to hold the gate on (trimed the bolt lengths to get the acorns to fit right)

    [​IMG]

    I opted for the sliding pins to close the tailgate instead of chains. I've lost the grommets that go in the receiving holes in the bedside and need to order more from MarK

    [​IMG]

    After pricing the repro stainless door window surrounds, I decided to take the pair of them to a local stainless polishing shop to give that a try. They turned out pretty nice and there's nothing like the fit of an OE part.

    [​IMG]

    Put in the front windshield. There were three of us tugging and pulling on it for a couple of hours and it still isn't quite right. Wyatt says that you usually have to put them in a couple of times to get it just right. I thought he was joking, but no, he wasn't. The gasket, glass and the pinch weld will get to know each other for another week then we'll take it out and try again. I wasn't too impressed with the safety glass I got from Jim Carter Truck Parts. There's quite a large burr on one corner of the driver's glass that isn't helping it seat any. Planning on trying some wet or dry paper to see if I can smooth it out, but if that doesn't work I'll try a stone or a diamond saw blade in the grinder. Like all repo parts the stainless trim had to be massaged to be used. It overlaped itself left and right and I had to trim the ends

    [​IMG]

    I went to the local hydraulic shop and bought all the material for the hoses to plumb the hydroboost, dry fit the hose on the truck cutting them to length. Now back to the hydraulic shop to have everything crimped.

    [​IMG]

    This truck is a mash-up of hydraulic components - the hydroboost if off of a Astrovan, the rack is off a Jaguar XJ6, the pump is a Saginaw TC off of a Chevy Suburban and the reservoir is a cheap ebay item. I wanted the hoses to be easily replaceable anywhere, so each of the individual components got adapters to convert the inlet/outlets to -6JIC so all the hoses could be simple -6 (3/8") hose with JIC ends. A couple of the hoses would have needed a 90 deg fitting on one end and a 120 deg on the other (an expensive and hard to find fitting). In addition, the two fittings would have to be 'clocked' correctly for crimping to get the hose to fit. As a work-around to keep the hoses simple, I fabed these adapters out of stainless tube. This is the one for the oil pump that redirects the outlet down along the frame rail to the hydroboost and lets the hoses disappear down the frame rail.

    [​IMG]

    Finish off with a little bling. Took the glove box door to the stainless polisher (Russell's Stainless Polishing in Mesa AZ) and it turned out nice. At one point in its life, the door had screws that were too long for the hinge and it bumped up the metal. The polisher said he'd have to drill some holes in the back to get a backing tool in there to get them out. I told him go ahead and I'll figure out how to hide the holes later! Might have to train a dog to bite anybody that tries to open the glovebox.
    [​IMG]

    Still looking for the finisher piece in stainless that goes under the ashtray/speaker grill (I have the top one with the 'General Motors Division' script)

    If anyone has a line on where I can get a decent original, I'd be very grateful

    Put some KYB gas shocks on the front of the truck too. I bought an old Jaguar XJ6 last year to play with, and the thing I like about it most is the ride. It doesn't drive down the street, it kind of oozes. It is so nice, it kind of puts my wife's Benz to shame. I'll be a happy camper if the airbags and KYBs on the truck come close to the way the old Jag rides.

    Phil
     
  19. LaTroca52

    LaTroca52 Member

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    Stainless trim looks good Phil
    Makes me wonder if all the door trim is stainless repop isn’t that cheap so polished might be a better option
    As always your truck is looking awesome .
     
  20. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

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    The stainless window surrounds and windshield trims I put on my '49 3100 had sat out side in a field for 30 years and looked grey in color, I set out my radio and polish things, they looked like mirror finish after a day of polishing and weren't cheap super thin, easy to bend/dent repop crap .

    Cheap too .
     

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