55-59 door and cab woes - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:54 PM
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55-59 door and cab woes

55-59 chevy and gmc owners.
I have a 57 gmc that I am replacing the doors with another set of used doors. the fitment sucks. are they all like that? it seems like the door opening is wider than the door by quite a bit. also, the front post of the cab seems to be at a different angle than the door mating area. if I get the door to fit the cowl then it rubs at the top front edge and the angle at the rear of the door is off. if I match the rear door angle for gap then the front is off. can't seem to win. I am just mocking everything up before I do some panel replacements and hinge pillar work, but it should fit better than that I think.
I also need to replace the roof skin. anybody have any pics of what this looks like with the skin off? I don't want to go cutting through anything that is hidden behind the inner panel. does the roof skin attach at the window pinch weld, then along the drip rail? I could drill out the spot welds and take the skin off in one piece? I plan on going dripless so could I just zip disc above the drip rails?
thanks, any pics you could attach would be awesome and much appreciated.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:32 PM
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Yes, those doors fit like crap, you have to do some mods to make them better. Yes the skin is spot welded to the bottoms of the gutters and then lipped over the front above the windshield and then in a pinch weld at the rear over the rear body panel. I believe to get to all of it as the factory did would require removing the inner panels. I chopped the top on one years ago so it's been a while but damn I can't see how you would remove the skin without removing the inners structure that is spot welded all the way around.

Why do you need a new skin? Can it be fixed?

Brian
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:34 AM
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well, I have 2 cabs. one that is good above the beltline except it was hit at some point so the pass side door opening is sort o humped up at the top. the new (used) door really shows it (plus it isn't even close to fitting well), so I tried installing the old door just to see if my newer door was the problem. turns out the old door was custom welded to fit the wierd cab opening. not that it fit well either. when I got the truck i thought it was because the hinges and pillars were rusty, plus it was minus 32celsius. I have another cab but the area at the front above the windshield is badly rusted and soft, even on the inner structure as well. my doors fit pretty good on this cab. it needs about the same for repairs below the beltline, (I know, bad choice of words) the cab corners, rockers with steps, lower hinge pillars and some of the floor with front cab mounts. i am trying to decide what is less work, the door opening repair or the roof skin. i looked for another cab but no luck. I am just leary of the door opening problem because without the proper tooling who knows if there is anything else out of alignment. wouldn't want to do all that work and find out the hinge pillar is out of whack too. I plan on doing an extended cab so I want it straight before I start with cutting the back wall out and fabbing the insert.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:00 PM
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Pictures of each cabs issues would help make it easier to supply advise on which would potentially be the best route to take.

Look at the build thread on my '48 extended cab and see if it helps any with your planned extension.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:08 PM
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it's a truck, gm didn't put too much thought into fit and finish on trucks back then.
my doors fit like poo poo, you can massage the door or opening edges to get the fit better too.
you have to remember that your looking at your door gaps from up close
unless they're real bad, get them close and call it a day.
stuff like that will drive you nuts

like martinsr said, spot welds around the gutter to take the old one off,
a little more work to get the usable one off though
go here http://67-72chevytrucks.com/55-59chevytrucks a lot of guys over there are replacing the roof skin
you can find build pics of the process
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:21 PM
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hey, thanks for the reply guys. i checked out the extended cab build thread. man that is a lot of fitting. Iare you planning on pancaking the hood? always wanted to see one of those ad trucks with a pancake job. looks pretty cool so far.
well, I decided to check out the rusty section on the 58 chevy cab windshield area. I figured I had zip to lose by cutting it open. after I removed the centre piece (and the mouse nest that probably caused the rust problem) it doesn't look all the hard to fix, compared to the gmc cab. soooo, i guess I will have a 58 chevy cab, with a 57 gmc dash and front clip. could be worse. i just love that gmc front end, and I plan on using a cluster from a 2001 chevy p/u, so the gmc dash would work better because the hump over the speedo is wider. actually, I like the dash from a 57 chevy car, with the 2 humps. that would look cool in there, but not enough room for what I want to do, cluster wise. I will try to get some pics attached so you can see my dilema. the doors actuall fit pretty good on the chevy cab compared to the gmc cab.
on another topic, has anybody got pics of the classic air conditioner/heater combo? I just need to know if there is some reason why the vents from the cowl would need to be kept. i could fab up my own heater/ac unit, but if the afternarket has a good unit that works for me too.
dennis
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsraven View Post
I just need to know if there is some reason why the vents from the cowl would need to be kept.
dennis
the number one reasons our trucks rust is the cowl vent. i've often said if you do one mod to your truck, shave the cowl vent

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Old 01-11-2013, 10:46 PM
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At the moment. I'm not planning on pancaking it but this is an ever evolving project so you never know.

I just got done installing a '58 Chev p/u dash into it and am using a flamed aftermarket gauge cluster. To make it fit better, I cut and widened the hump over the speedo by almost 2". I would recommend doing that to yours if you want it wider rather than changing your entire dash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsraven View Post
hey, thanks for the reply guys. i checked out the extended cab build thread. man that is a lot of fitting. Are you planning on pancaking the hood? always wanted to see one of those old trucks with a pancake job. looks pretty cool so far.
soooo, i guess I will have a 58 chevy cab, with a 57 gmc dash and front clip. could be worse. i just love that gmc front end, and I plan on using a cluster from a 2001 chevy p/u, so the gmc dash would work better because the hump over the speedo is wider. dennis
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