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Old 07-29-2018, 09:40 PM   #1
RDrancher
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'64 LB Fleet to Stepper

Back in October of 2016 I was doing a little grading and sprucing up a gravel driveway for a customer and spied the front of a 60-something truck sitting out back in the weeds. It's a mostly complete longbed that he and his son had planned on stripping to build a shortwide back when the kid was in high school. In fact...the shorty is buried in the back of his shop. We head into the shop where he intros me to his 25 or so year old kid. They've (obviously) both lost interest, so I make a trade offer for both trucks. He pays for the materials and I give him the day on my track loader. Deal!
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:00 PM   #2
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Re: '64 LB Fleet to Stepper

The truck was originally blue, but had been primed and painted green at some point. The cab's floors have the usual rot, but it had also taken a pretty good smack to the left front and had a decent amount of bondo and oil-canning in the left rear. The good news was that the engine turned over fine by hand, and after changing plugs, points, condenser and wires the little 283 fired right up on fresh gas. Honestly, I would've left it banged up as is and driven the snot out of it. But that wasn't to be the case. More on that in the next post.
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:28 PM   #3
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Re: '64 LB Fleet to Stepper

My 14 year old stepson had fallen in love with the '60-'66 body styles, so when I got the two trucks we were both pretty excited to have found two to choose from. Just like the previous owner's boy, he wanted to swap out the longbed's parts and build the shorty. After a few days of pondering the amount of work that was going to entail...he started falling in love with the green machine haha! So he and his older brother swapped out the damaged fender and hood with spares from the shorty and for some reason swapped the decent passenger side fender as well. I guess so the whole front end would match in black primer?...who knows. Anyway, unannounced and much to the surprise of my wife and I, the kid flew the coop, moving in with his Dad. Turns out that lawn mowing (or something to that effect) was a bit too much for the poor guy. Oh well.

So know that the truck is mine, it's gonna go long stepper. Here's a few photos with the newer front fenders and hood installed. The fenders are a similar green to the truck under the primer. That's cool.
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Old 07-29-2018, 11:00 PM   #4
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Re: '64 LB Fleet to Stepper

Some (probably most) of you don't understand why anyone in his right mind would change a sleek fleet to a lowly stepper. For me, it's the memories. I have no connective memories from my childhood with fleetside trucks. All of the trucks from that era that my family owned were stepsides. Those memories are etched in my mind and the utilitarian look of a stepside just plane does something for me. Longbeds even more.

Fast forward to this week. I know a local guy with a stash of Chevy goodies and he's always willing to deal. He had a crusty stepside bed and was willing to throw in a bunch of other stuff I needed/wanted in exchange for my fleetside bed. Good enough for me! My 22 year old helped me cut the bed loose and we did the swap yesterday.

Old bed headed out. The stash. A little eye candy. Headed home with the new-to-me bed. A little posing with the Burb.
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:19 PM   #5
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Re: '64 LB Fleet to Stepper

The po had an interesting way of dealing with repairs. Apparently the tailpipe had come loose from the muffler so he wired it to the spare tire carrier and then took the time to drill a hole in the other end to attach it to the bumper with heavy copper ground wire. Interesting use of a gate hanger and galvanized pipe on the tire carrier too.
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:33 PM   #6
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Re: '64 LB Fleet to Stepper

Since the bed came off a '62, I knew there would be few things to sort out with the mounts. Both the rearmost bed and bumper mounts will have to be moved inward to match the narrower frame. I'll also have to redo the perimeter angle steel to mount the cross-bed sills. I'm not much of a fab guy so this should be interesting. She's rusty and crusty, that's for sure!
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:58 PM   #7
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Re: '64 LB Fleet to Stepper

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