I started my project some two plus years ago when I bought a farmers 57 GMC pickup to make into a daily driver. It had a 6-cylinder with a granny box and it was hard to stop...the brakes were pretty bad. So...I bought a change-out kit for Camaro power brakes that fit the old front axle. They went on pretty good...but then I had to change out the master cylinder. Decided to change out the transmission, bough a Saginaw 4-speed but needed a new bell housing.... Make one little change and you get to do another and another...so I took the body completely off the frame and started in to correct all the problems.
The frame was okay, but one of the rear spring frame holders was broken and had to find a replacement from the local junk car dealer. Then I completely cleaned up the frame and straightened the slight bend in the front. Had to weld a new piece to the frame for the front bumper to be attached. Had the front spring's power coated. The rear springs cleaned up pretty good, so left them with new paint.
The driver's door was welded to the cab...and really full of bondo. Both cab corners were really bad and had to weld in new corners and clean up the cab underside.
I decided to rebuild the GMC 6-cyliner ...but the parts were hard to find and pretty expensive.... Then a friend had removed his 68 Camaro 327 to install a big block. He needed some money and I bought the engine for less than the replacement pistons for the 6 cylinder. A 327 is now in the Jimmy.
I replaced the Saginaw and installed a 700R4, which I got almost free. This is quite a story...My wife saw an ad in the local paper in the "freebies" which was for a 84 Chevy C20 Van...I went up the owner and was the first one to see it...Rod hanging from the pan, the steering wheel was broken off and the windshield was broken. It had good tires so I took it and had it towed behind the shop at work. Sold the tires for $40, pulled the 700r4 and traded the fuel injection system off the engine for a rebuilt Holly 4-barrel & manifold. I then sold the remainder of the van to pick-n-pull for $81.00. The tow charge was $65.
I made out.... There were also 15 gals of gas in the tank...gas was at $3.07 a gallon then. This is part of the fun of working on this truck.
I had the 700R4 checked at the local shop and Jean said he had rebuilt this unit less than a year ago. He removed the electronics so I could install a Lokar floor shifter to this transmission.
Clean and painted the engine and installed the transmission. Needed to replace the original Splicer Rear end.... So I picked up an 86 Lincoln rear end from pick-n-pull for about $125.00. Another great story, I sold the original rear end to a guy from Maine for $100...but he paid another $200+ for the shipping. The fun part of salvaging for parts.... It is great! I sold the bench seat, which was in great condition to a guy in Utah. I did not like the short leg distance on the original seat. Planned to install some sort of bucket seats...but not sure which kind. Picked up some Camry seats at pick-n-pull and they seem to be very comfortable.
Well that was just the start...then came some bodywork on the driver's door and I bought the single piece window kit from Brothers.... Still have not installed the glass.... Waiting until all paint is completed.
Cab is installed; radiator was rebuilt and pressurized. Installed an electric fan to keep this baby cool. Efi distributor, hot coil, and ceramic headers.
Installed new steering box from and 85 Toyota in the same position as the original. Purchased the steering link from No-Limit Engineering and it works well. Had a problem with the headers being too close to the steering box. Had to dimple one of the headers to make sure it didn't rub together.
You learn by getting your hands dirty. Would have bought a different header set if I only knew.
Installed original electric wipers back into the original place. Found that the GMC had a "window washer" system in 1957. Didn't complete this item, but figure I could add it after I complete the basic truck if I so choose.
Installing a new wiring harnesses and has been a lot of time to get all the correct wiring in the right place. I keep adding new items. Like the rear tank...had to get another wire from the sender unit up to the gauge panel.
Speaking of dashboard gauge panel...no one had one for the GMC...not that I could find. So, I purchased a set of Stewart Warner old style gauges and built my own Walnut dashboard. It came out pretty cool. I had to split the cables from each side because there is a metal bar in the center of the dash gauge area that is used to stabilize the dash board gauges. Took more time to complete the wiring than anything else. I keep adding items and making sure I have the correct wiring for each item. I just decided to add the remote lock to the doors and that will be and additional wiring though the door. Working on how to do this without making it a real mess. I still have to install a radio antenna...have not decided what kind to install, and where to put it. Any suggestions?
Installed new one wire alternator, GM power steering pump and Air condition system from Hot Rod Air out of Texas. All seems to be good...have not had the engine running to test all the new items.
Pulled out gas tank from behind the seat to make more room in the cab. Replaced with a new rear mount tank which fits where the spare tire use to hang. Planning to install a gas tank door to the drivers rear fender for access to the tank. Don't like the ones that go through the bed...seem to me like a shortcut.
I also have to build the console for the center of the truck. I am planning to mock up the sides with cardboard...then make the actual sides from plywood. Whoever does the upholstery can complete the console. Will make a Walnut plate around the floor shift to match the Walnut dash gauge board.
Truck will be Cobalt Blue with a blue interior. Just like blue.... Seems to be a great color for an old truck.
Adding pictures as I complete this Senior Project. I'm 65 years young and still working 8-5 and working on my truck in spare time. Want it on the road next spring.