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Old 08-24-2012, 11:52 PM   #51
ATVYP
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

My twins are always in the middle of the mess! (It's probably obvious why I get so much more done when they are in school? Perhaps they are future American hot rodders too?). This old truck is lots of fun! I believe the journey is as fun as the test drive will be, someday.
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:39 AM   #52
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

looks nice! keep up the good work and keep pressing on!

Do you have to do bodywork too?
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:01 PM   #53
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

I'm sure there will be some body work to do, but for the most part it's all done (although it will need re-spraying at very least). A family friend, Dick Schiller did the body work in the early 90's. He is very good at what he does, and everything has help up extrodinary. In fact, that has been one of the real joys of working on this truck the second time is it's like working on a brand new vehicle. The first time around we had to deal with rust, dirt, and old grease. Not this time! It's been a lot of fun. However, I do plan to clean up the firewall, but I'm not sure if I'll just fill holes or replace it.

I am at the point when I need to pre-assemble everything to see what fits and what doesn't. I dropped the frame off the rotisserie and have began assembling all the parts. I am also in the process of cleaning up all the aluminum components, so I will just have to polish / clear coat / paint - however I decide to finish it.

I really hope to install a 5 or 6 speed in it very soon. The TH350 is in great shape, and was built by Al Heinke with all the cool hot-rod parts, but there is something really fun about shifting gears. I understand most people get tired of stick for their daily driver, but this is my toy. So I am beginning a list of needed parts, and there are LOTS of nickel and dime stuff that will be needed soon. But if I can wing it, top of the list is a T5 (or if I can find an affordable T56) and possibly a TPI system.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:14 PM   #54
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

thanks for such detailed account of the work you have done. It really is inspirational for us DIY guys. Now my '70 snb project doesn't seem so daunting. It's just time and money.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:50 PM   #55
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

Sorry for the delayed postings. I'm not sure where I left off.

I had been shopping around for the serpentine belt / power steering pump / AC compressor assembly. On my "wish list" was a TPI fuel injection assembly. Wow did I hit the jack pot! While searching for the front assembly, I found the entire 1989 5.0 HO IROC Camaro engine - the ENTIRE engine. The car had been sitting in someone's yard and they where parting it out. I purchased the ENTIRE engine for less than I could find just the power steering / belt assembly.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:58 PM   #56
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

I know that I've probably gone a step too far sometimes, and there is a fine line between "trailer queen" and "fun driver" but I really hate cutting corners. So I took the die grinder to all the parts, shaved all the casting flaws off of almost everything I can find, and it really looks good. It is LOTS of work and takes LOTS of time, but I still believe it's worth it.

The plan is to assemble the entire truck, make all the cuts / welds / brackets necessary, and then take it back apart to paint it. For right now, I just plan to paint the aluminum pieces. My overall dream would be to chrome most of it, but I can't afford that and I don't want to spend the time polishing all that aluminum right now. Down the road it will be very easy to take pieces off and individually chrome or polish as necessary.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:23 PM   #57
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

I hope I'm not breaking any rules, but I thought it may be pretty fun to post a few pics of my some of my peer-group's rides.

Roger Hogan is the pastor of a neighboring Free Will Baptist Church. He is a great guy, has been a great source of advice and counsel through the years, and he won the Goodguy's Truck of the Year last year! He had to place top in several of the major district car shows to qualify to enter the major one in Texas. He has the nicest truck I have every seen, a 55' Ford F100. This thing is like a Picoso - you can't really understand how breathtaking this truck is without seeing it in person. I know this is a Chevy Truck forum, so sorry for posting a pic of a Ford, but this is one cool ride. If you would like to see more pics of it, look at: http://www.rkmotorscharlotte.com/sal.../133293/190102

Next is another good friend's two AMAZING rides. The first is Ted Tenholder's Mustang. Sorry, I don't remember the year, I think it's a 69' - but I'm sure everyone else will definitely know. If I could have any car I wanted, this one would be on my top 5 list for sure. Secondly is his (70' or 71') Dodge Challenger RT. I believe there where only about 2000 true RTs made that year, and this is one of them - and it is PERFECT!!! Just like it rolled off the showroom floor. They do amazing and professional work. He and his buddy Clay are just finishing up the last few details, and I believe this thing is worth between $100,000 and $125,000. It has the 340 with 6 packs, 4 speed - this is basically a factory race car.

Again, I apologize if I broke any rules posting Ford and Chrysler pictures on a Chevy Truck website, but I thought it would be beneficial to show some of my network's cars.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:41 PM   #58
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

One last thing tonight. I wanted to run all the parts possible within the frame rails. I know many caution this, but if done right there is no problem. Roger Hogan's main advice was to either hide things or make them stand out. He has always given me great advice.

It took the majority of a full day's work and much time thinking, but I mounted the 2 residual valves back to back, and the proportioning valve behind. Getting the brake lines plumbed correctly, safely, and functionally was some work, but I think I got the job done!

If you are interested, the residual valves should be used when mounting the master cylinder low, like under the cab. You should run 2 psi for disc brakes, and 10 psi for drum brakes. This keeps the fluid from returning all into the master and then prevents a low brake pedal. The proportioning valve controls the delay of the rear brakes. 70% of the braking power is from the front brakes, and if not adjusted correctly the rear brakes won't do much or they will lock up too soon. I've seen lots of guys cut corners here, and I just don't feel that is wise. My proportioning valve also has a brake light switch in it. There are ups and downs to a pressure-controlled brake switch, but it will work well for my needs. The disadvantage is you must actually have brake line pressure to activate the lights, so tapping the pedal to knock off cruise isn't as easy. However, this way EVERYTHING is hidden and easy - no need for a complicated micro switch I have to mount somewhere and then repeatedly adjust. Pretty trick stuff.

It's a shame I don't have better pictures, and recent. I guess you can't ever take too many! I also have 2 DOT approved stainless brake hose that connect the pass-through connector in the boxing plate to the brake master. I'm still trying to figure out what thread / flare style a 93' Corvette brake master uses. I keep reading conflicting info, and I've ordered parts 3 times to no avail - but I guess practice makes perfect!
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:37 PM   #59
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

I've been hard at work, but I've really been slacking at updating this blog. Sorry. I aim to give more details, for the guys like me looking for info that's hard to find! If I miss anything, feel free to ask me what I did / how / or why.

The plan is to assemble and build everything, then take it back apart to paint it all. The cab is installed, hooking up the TPI to mock fit with all the accessories and linkages.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:47 PM   #60
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

Every night (that I am able to) I work on the wire harness on my bedroom floor. This way I'm inside so my wife feels safe and the kids don't go crazy, but I am still able to get done some work done. I will find a way to post the Word Document of my notes for the harness. There are LOTS of great resources out there.

I disassembled the 87' Vette steering column. I modified the mount location so it would work better in the old truck. This was A LOT of work - definitely not a job to tackle for those who do not enjoy a challenge or have patience. However, if you have patience and enjoy a challenge, this is not too difficult of a job, just takes lots of time. The mechanical parts are in very good condition, but the grease had gotten old / dry from sitting in the donor car for unknown amount of years, so I was able to clean it up and put new grease in so this should hopefully last for many years to come.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:51 PM   #61
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

I cut the old mount off, plugged the holes, cut if off so the hight and position would be where I desired on the old truck, and welded on. It took some figuring so the linkage would clear and not cause problems.

One advantage of the aftermarket columns is that most the external electronics / switches are hidden. I plan to design some sort of cover to go around the lower axle tube later that will hide much of this. Not sure how yet, but I'll tackle that when it comes. I see there are not pics of the lower plate I made, but I made a plate that was welded onto the base of the vette column that matches the original mount locations. I worked really well. I am very happy with the turnout. More pics to come.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:16 PM   #62
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

Here is a picture of the TPI Harness schematic I modified to help me trace down wires, troubleshoot, and remember how I did it. Also, a GREAT resource for TPI wiring is at Hot Rod Handbooks. The website is:
http://www.hotrodhandbooks.com.au/eBooks/TPI/IX.html

Or the pdf. can be found at:
american-dreams-racing.com/files/TPI%20Handbook.pdf

Another great resource is this guy at ChevyThunder.com
http://chevythunder.com/since_its_inception_in_1985.htm

There are many more - too many to mention right now. Attached are my notes, so far... I had to convert from a .docx to a .rtf, so I apologize if something doesn't look right or is missing. I'll also try to update it when necessary.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:42 PM   #63
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

The wire harness is turning out very well. I set the entire harness on the engine, plugged in all the wires to sensors and aprox locations, then zip tied them together in a neat and straight manner with cheap little ties. Then I was able to set the harness on the floor and work on soldering wires at night when time allows. The harness starts at the front of the engine at the alt and AC compressor, then runs down the center of the manifold under the upper plenum. All the sensors, and wires plug into the 1 wire that runs to the back of then engine, down the transmission, and into the cab under the seat where the ECM, all the relays, and the fuse panel will all be located neatly and clean.

The steering column turned out very well also. The column drops about 1/2" below the bottom of the dash, and this appears to be perfect ergonomics for the seat / cluster / pedal locations. The column is tilt and telescopic, so it is adjustable in many ways to compensate for driver preference.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:45 PM   #64
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

I took these pics before going home to visit my parents for Thanksgiving. Cont...
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:54 PM   #65
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

I ordered 1 single 3/4" DD steering u-joint (good up to 30 degree bend), and then I took the original upper steering joint and shaft off the 93' Vette door parts and modified the shaft to work. At first I was concerned that the aluminum would be too soft to be used in the DD joint, but as I began to cut and file the shaft, it was more difficult to cut than many steel components. I could not believe it! I cut the shaft, then filed in the 2 DD flats so they fit exact. It worked out very good, but I must admit I've never worked with "air craft aluminum" used on these Vettes, and this material is the lightest and toughest stuff I've ever seen. It is incredible. I plan to raise the carrier support bearing about 1/2 up. The current angle is 29-30 degrees, which is safe, but I have the room to raise it and drop the angle pitch enough that it may help with longevity and steering effort. I'm not positive, but it's worth the effort to be safe.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:59 PM   #66
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

This finishes up the progress up to Thanksgiving 12'. Looking back 1 year ago, at times it feels I should be done, but in other ways I am VERY pleased how much work has been accomplished, and the quality of work.

I am glad I took the time to do everything right, and held to the higher standard. There are definitely times I must intentionally resist the temptation to move too quickly. I encourage others to take their time and do it right - it's always worth it in the end.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:02 PM   #67
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

Just out of curiosity, where did you bring the steering column through the firewall? Looking at it from the engine side it looks as if it comes through to the right of the stock location. Is the column centered in the gauges or off center. I have the same truck and I am trying to figure the best way for my column not to interfere with my frame mounted under cab brake pedal.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:26 PM   #68
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

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Originally Posted by paintman View Post
Just out of curiosity, where did you bring the steering column through the firewall? Looking at it from the engine side it looks as if it comes through to the right of the stock location. Is the column centered in the gauges or off center. I have the same truck and I am trying to figure the best way for my column not to interfere with my frame mounted under cab brake pedal.
Sorry about the delay, friend! The column is directly in line with the original mount holes in the dash. I will take a few better pictures so you can see better how it looks, the way I made the brackets and modified the 87' Vette column, and exactly how and where it comes out - it comes out in a very similar location to the original one.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:32 AM   #69
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

wow, amazing work and really coming along! Nice attention to detail. Cool that you get to work with your boys as well.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:03 PM   #70
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

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Originally Posted by ATVYP View Post
Sorry about the delay, friend! The column is directly in line with the original mount holes in the dash. I will take a few better pictures so you can see better how it looks, the way I made the brackets and modified the 87' Vette column, and exactly how and where it comes out - it comes out in a very similar location to the original one.
Here are some better pics. Continued...
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:17 PM   #71
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

Steering Column pictures continued. I considered starting a new thread on this. Should I have done that? Anyway...

The steering column is from a 87' Chevy Corvette, the year before air bags are introduced. It may have cost the same for me to run a aftermarket Iditit / ect column, but I wanted to remain with the Vette them as much as possible, and there is something cool about that flag emblem that the aftermarket companies could not give me. It is not complete, I still plan to build some sort of protective (or hiding) cover around the switch assembly, but I have not gotten to that point yet.

Previously, the ergonomics of this old truck was very awkward. The factory column was ok, but the correlation to the brake and accelerator pedals in different spots took the fun and ease out of driving it. Dad had the brake booster on the firewall, and this raised the pedal too far for it to be easily and comfortably depressed without double-footing it. The feel is much better now.

I don't have it all figured out yet, so if anyone has any ideas or experiences (or pictures / links) for me to consider, please send them my way.

A VERY helpful resource to easily find on the web is a little service manual that can be downloaded in a .pdf that gives detailed instruction in disassembly / repair / assembly of GM steering columns. I would post it, but it's too big for the forum's guidelines. It can be found by Googling Jazzman Steering Column Rebuild." If you can't find it, send me an email and I'll forward you a copy.

I hope I have answered any questions. Feel free to ask again if I need to clarify or add more details.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:50 PM   #72
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

Hey ATVYP thanx for all the column pic!!!! I t sure helped me decide how I wanted to do mine. In fact I hope you don't mind I pretty much followed your lead. My biggest concern was it seemed like the brake pedal was going to hit my column. You can tell by my pics that its going to be reeaaal close. I guess I'm just going to move the booster back on the frame a little bit. Thanx again!!!!!!!!


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Old 12-10-2012, 02:52 PM   #73
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

WOW, i havent checked in in a while , looking GREAT !
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:45 AM   #74
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

Are you using the factory cab mounts with the wood blocks etc, or something else?
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:31 AM   #75
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Re: Uncle Howard's 1946 Chevy Truck

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Are you using the factory cab mounts with the wood blocks etc, or something else?
We are not using the factory wood blocks for cab mounts. This is something that my dad figured out during the first build, and he did a great job. For the front pads Dad used a very thick piece of rubber that was cut in the same fashion as the original pad (but perhaps a little bigger), but it matches the thickness and general idea of the original deteriorated front. We are using a rubber mount with a thick washer used as a shim so the thickness matches the factory block thickness. This worked out very well, and looks good too. The rubber mounts look very similar to the radiator mounts used by several semi truck manufactures (like Freightliner and Kenworth), when the large radiators set on the two mounts with 1/2 bolts. I'm not sure the specific application Dad used, but that's what it looks like to me. I'm really pleased with how they appear, meaning it does not look hacked or cobbled together, and actually performs better than the factory wood blocks.

I have heard from many people that the trick polyurethane mounts may work well, but are notorious for endless squeaking and noise that consistently return, even after using some of the tips and tricks to keep that from happening. I personally really like the polyurethane, but I also know the body mounts are hidden (for the most part) and it would be a pain in the neck to re-lubricate them after a noise develops (or that fantom squeak from nowhere appears that we have all hunted down for months and sometimes just learned to live with...). I really like the way these rubber mounts look and work, and would feel comfortable advising others to use at their discretion.

If it will help, I'll try to take some pictures of them.
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