A co-worker really needs advise!

Discussion in '1947-1954' started by Kens 50 PU, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. Kens 50 PU

    Kens 50 PU Member

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    I've got a co-worker that bought a bucket o'rust ('52 model)a few years ago and was "Mr. Gung-ho" about it. He's run into some problems with it and I'm afraid it will turn into an unfortunate statistic.

    His frame looks awesome (Fatman Fab set-up for a V-8). Awesome work on the frame. Problem is, he made the fatal mistake of thinking that he could buy all of the patch panels, weld them in, and viola, "better than new" truck. Problem is, he cut the floor board out and the bottom half of the firewall, and then heard that gut-wrenching sound that only happens when an unsupported cab flexes because it has not been temporarily boxed-in.

    He's seen the pics of my truck and now thinks that I'm the "go-to" guy. I don't know what to tell him.

    Guys, put your "thinking caps" on and give me some good, solid advise to help this guy out. I'd hate to think that this truck will end up in a salvage yard due to total frustration.
     
  2. Sasky

    Sasky Member

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    My dad has 5 mid 50's Chevy and GMC trucks that we need to sell. They are located in deep south Georgia and have been sitting for years. Contact me via email at mailto:Sasky@barefoot-soul.com if you are interested.

    Blessings,
    Sasky
    htpp://www.barefoot-soul.com
    Christian Rock
     
  3. Kens 50 PU

    Kens 50 PU Member

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    Sasky, thanks for the input. Do you have pics of the trucks? Where in Georgia are you located?
     
  4. coilover

    coilover Member

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    Ken, a couple of $.02 worth of suggestions. To save his cab run a couple of nailed together studs (they're only $2 at Home Depot) through each windshield hole and out the back window and keep spread apart with a cross piece at each end and on the UNDERSIDE of the studs--this takes any strain off the screws or nails holding the cross pieces on. Find a balance point and slowly raise this "cradle" until the door fits the door opening. You may have to pull together with a come along or spread apart with a porta power to get the door to fit correctly. You can use your truck to pull measurements from. If he doesn't have a porta power measure you door opening and he can cut a 2x4 that same length and tap it into place to get the right dimensions. Tack a temporary brace from the bottom of the rear door post to the bottom of the front post but out of the way of the closed door. Once the door opening is correct put 4 or 5 GOOD tacks at both the front and rear of the door to the body. This will hold the right shape while the floor/firewall is replaced. Don't forget to measure across the cab at the bottom of the door posts and wedge a 2x4 the right length in here if necessary to get the correct width. Don't be afraid to rag the hell out it to get the dimensions because once you have them and weld the panels in it's that way forever or at least until someone cuts the floor and firewall out at the same time. I know it sounds involved but we go through this EVERYTIME with convertibles. The floors are always rusted away and since the floor is the only thing that joins the front half to the back half and when its gone you have two separate pieces. Here is a before and after picture of a 54 Olds Starfire Conv. Is his pickup worse off? Pictures are out of order--the last shows it under construction with the halves joined back together.
     

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  5. Zig

    Zig Member

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    Good grief, Evan!

    You are Da Man with metal!!! That is unbelievable that you could fix Humpty like you did! That's an awesome job you did there!:cool:

    When they get the door openings just right, and the width just right, they may have to move either side forward or backward to square it up, right? One thing for sure, there is someone out there who can fix this problem.
     
  6. Kens 50 PU

    Kens 50 PU Member

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    Thanks Evan! Great write up!
     
  7. GrandpaGlenn0

    GrandpaGlenn0 Member

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    Holy Batman, Evan, I could tell that you were good from your various responses but that is AWESOME!
     
  8. Chiro

    Chiro Member

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    Oh Yeah!!!

    Evan is definately the "go-to" guy when it comes to this stuff. I have dreams of visiting his shop someday. Tons of experience and absolutely amazing work. He doesn't post every day, but when he does it's like Merrill Lynch talking...EVERYBODY listens.

    Speaking of which, I have a question for him.

    Evan, my cab keeps tilting on me. It just won't stay put no matter how many times I square it off and bolt down the the rear shackle mounts. I even have a 1/2 inch shim between one of the shackles and the floor of my '55.1 cab. After a while, it always tilts low on the driver side by more than what I wan't it to be. How do I fix this? Can I fab up some rigid mounts at my buddies steel shop and replace the shackle type rear mounts so the cab finally stays put and level?

    I really wan't to solve this problem before I put any of the other sheet metal back on the truck.

    Thanks,

    Andy
     
  9. Sasky

    Sasky Member

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  10. Kevin's 48

    Kevin's 48 Member

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    Ken,

    Evan has definately got the only way I know how to do this. When I cut the rockers out of mine I didn't have a floor in mine either so a lot of cross bracing had to be done. The truck is definately fixable so don't let him throw it away. Follow Evan's advice and you'll be fine, but just a warning it's a long teadious road ahead.
     
  11. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

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    Body Jig

    No , that's not the newest dance craze .

    Evan nailed it ~ although I don't do bodywork , I paid close attention to folks who did as I come from the land of rusty cars .

    shimming the body until the doors fit perfectly then tack welding them in place is the very best tip in there ~ it gaurantees better door alignement than the factory made when the truck was new and is how rusty hulks become concourse cars.....

    Wood shims are your buddy's new best freind .

    BTW : a buddy of mine has a 1954 Oldsmobile Holiday convertible sliowly sinking into the mud in his dooryard and to make a bad job worse , he filled it with old newspapers......

    This is a car he bought from the original owner's garage in perfect condition some 35 years ago....

    Not for sale of course .
     
  12. coilover

    coilover Member

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    Geeze guys, I keep looking over my shoulder to see who the guy is that's getting all the nice things said about him. The reality of the situation is that I can't do a lot of the effort that comes out of the shop now days. I do teach the guys as well as I can and then get out of their way. The students have far surpassed the teacher--but thank you anyway.
     

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