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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had mustangs (currently have two in the garage) and vintage Volkswagens that I've built and sold over the years but never pulled the trigger on a "farm truck". I grew up as a kid around the 80's and 90's street rod scene and always had an affinity for the 30's to 50's trucks but never really considered owning one; until the end of April when I finally caved in and picked up my first pre-war vehicle. It's a relatively stock 1940 Chevy pickup that was supposedly restored sometime in the 70's.
Wheel Car Tire Vehicle Motor vehicle

Ended up driving the truck home that day but took a bypass that avoided the mountain road.
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Took the better part of the day but the truck made it home. Initial findings, brakes worked great, original 216ci straight six smoked or leaked enough oil to rival the exxon valdez, 3spd bull nose trans was an experience and the wiring was sketchy as hell.... but it started, steered and stopped all the way home.

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Plans for the truck are to keep a fairly stock appearance with some slight alterations.

Paint:
Black body, black fenders and black solids... I have a theme going on here and wow has paint gotten expensive

Suspension: stock straight axle with disk brakes, stock leaf springs front/rear with a couple of leaves pulled , 10 bolt rear axle.

At this point I've ordered and received the disk brakes from MP that bolt to the original 1940 drum hubs. Picked up a crusty 8.2 10 bolt from a 71 lemans. Will be running 15x5 and 15x7 wheel vintiques series 12 smoothies on 205/75R15 front and 235/75R15

Drivetrain: This is where things get a little squirrelly, so far I've picked up a TH400 auto trans and a 396 big block Chevy.


The deconstruction has proven interesting
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When I looked at the truck, I ran a magnet over it and couldn't find any bondo in the body. I missed parts of the fenders or my magnet was to strong.

Two worst visible parts on the body are the dent in the lower grill area and some minor rust bubbling in the driver side front quarter. For an 81 year old truck it's damn impressive.


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Some of the current deconstruction state

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The rad shell is one part of the truck that I didn't run my magnet over....not that it helped .... which leads to finding some issues with the metal and of course a healthy dose of bondo. That means the shell has to come completely apart in order to do a decent repair.... doesn't sound to bad until you realize it's seven separate pieces that are spot welded together. Drilling out 80 year old spot welds sometimes located in awkward positions is not nearly as enjoyable as it sounds
Not the best picture...backside of the rad shell

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Surface rust got treated with rust mort and the panels had some dents removed then straightened before getting a skim coat of bondo... now primed and ready for paint

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Front fenders aren't to bad..no rust or accident damage but as a farm truck it accumulated a lot of small dents over the years. A lot of the dents hammered out and after another skim coat of bondo they look pretty good. Well at least one of them does... still have one left to finish

prior to sanding ..lots of sanding

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Guide coat

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The rear fenders are a different story... dents and accident damage of some kind. Oddly both rear fenders are damaged in a similar location and manner.

Doesn't look to bad sitting there... maybe I should have left well enough alone

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Crazing that one could hope was simply old lacquer paint cracking

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That straight edge in a curve is not ideal
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On the plus side for me anyway... the truck still has four mostly steel fenders
 

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Rod...from a Chrysler?
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Lots of steel is good, even with some dents. Beats rust any day.
Looks like you're having fun.
 
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the 'Duracell Project'
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looks like a solid truck, like pugsy said, dents beat rust any day
always wanted to build a pre-war truck until i sat in one, at 6'4" my knees were on the dash hard
i laugh when i think of the waltons driving 3 in the cab, my shoulders are half the width of the cab

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
First splashes of paint made it onto a couple of parts... which means the grill shell can go back together once some of the more visible pieces are color sanded

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Started ripping into the crusty rear that I picked up for the truck. To be clear, I live in a location that doesn't have a lot of access to old parts and shipping can/usually does cost more than the part. So while it's not ideal for a couple of reasons; I ended up grabbing an 8.2 rear for the truck out of a 71 lemans.

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The start of a very long day spent with a cutting wheel and a grinder

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Have a few parts on the way to hopefully help it out:
Moser engineering diff cover
Summit Racing Axles
Richmond gears 3.73 R/P
Yukon Dura Grip
and a Richmond Complete Ring and Pinion Installation Kit

Also snagged new and complete drum brakes from craigslist
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Grill shell is coming together

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Got some degreasing done after cutting off the brackets and melting out the old bushings. Then threw some por15 at the rear

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Changed up the look of the engine to better suit my style... blacked out the intake/heads and ditched the modern valve covers for some basic chrome

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Getting a few small things done on the truck
Rear shocks were mounted to an awkwardly mounted plate, outside of the ugly welds the plate didn't line up well with the frame; causing the shock body to rub the frame.

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I took the cutting wheel/grinder to it and will be running a bar across the frame to mount new shocks


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Based on the condition of the frame, I've decided to leave the body on the frame and not do a complete frame off. Mostly b/c I'm lazy and the body sits nicely as it is.

Got the rear frame section cleaned up and threw some por-15 at it. Followed that up by coating it with some ghetto tremclad Good enough for a farm truck
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Cleaned up the gas tank well and dosed it with some por-15
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Very nice work. I love Por-15. If you have it that far apart why not remove the cab. I did a 52 ford; took the cab off and had it hanging from the garage ceiling. Rolled it around like a giant beach ball and sandblasted.

Like your paint booth! Keep up the good work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you have it that far apart why not remove the cab.
Mostly because the cab fits nicely and all the parts that came off are aligned. I've already travelled farther down the rabbit hole than I intended.... well that and I'm lazy

Been working on the front of the truck...got the frame and the leaf springs cleaned up, took the springs apart and removed a leaf from each side. Dropped the beam and painted it while I was at it

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Front rims got some paint

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Had the rims mounted on the new coopers

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Spindles went back together

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Rolling chassis once again... next up is trying to shoehorn the BBC into it. Steering box is a bit of a concern and I'm itching to see what that puzzle is going to look like



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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Spent the morning getting the engine test fit into the truck and then made some adjustments to the firewall. Happily the steering box and engine have no interference issues that I can see...might need fender well headers of some type but I'd rather deal with that than attempting to redesign the steering


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Fuel pump needed to come out to get past the frame rail

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