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Old 08-29-2019, 10:37 AM   #1
RyanPartridge
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Ryan's 57 pickup project

Figured I'd post my work in progress...

I purchased this truck last November on my way home from Arizona. It had been sitting out in the desert hills between Palm Springs and Temecula. The owner was a lady who inherited it from her step father "Mac" a couple years prior. She was recently divorced and just couldn't take care of it on her own. So the wife and I decided to bring home another project!

The only thing she told me was that Mac lived in Nevada and this truck came from there. It was his project he called "8DUNYET". Mac had done most the all the work on it except for the Toyota power steering kit that her ex had installed. She lived a half mile off a bumpy dirt road in an RV...so I wasn't surprised to find the truck had dozens of nuts/bolts shaken loose. So it begins...
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:04 AM   #2
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

Nice truck.
Pic's of that steering conversion please.
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:16 AM   #3
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

After I got the truck home I began to tackle all the obvious issues, snugging down nuts, cleaning and assessing the details...

I found that the truck was originally green and a base model straight six that someone had upgraded with an early 283 V8, Saginaw synchromesh 3 speed with a Hurst floor shift and an 8.2" 10 bolt rear end. Kinda neat! Also the six lugs had been swapped for 5 lug...
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:22 AM   #4
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

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Originally Posted by dieseldude4bt View Post
Nice truck.
Pic's of that steering conversion please.
Thanks!
Here's a bad pic, I can get better ones...
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:08 PM   #5
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

Some things I found that needed fixing or I just didn't like...


1. The truck rode like crap. The front springs were flat worn out, sitting less than an inch from the rubber stops and the shocks were way too stiff. Scary to drive. Bump steer from Hell.
2. The dual pipes had cherry bombs with no tail pipes, drone in the cab was unbearable.
3. The truck had a Purolator electric fuel pump that must've gone bad because it vibrated loud! Hammering at every idle.
4. Lots of holes in the firewall letting fumes in.
5. Hard line coming out of the fuel tank sending unit had a small hairline crack letting gas fumes in the cab.
6. Chinese gauges from Autozone for oil pressure and water temp added, I don't trust em.
7. Heater rattled and rang like bell, something inside must've cracked. It also leaked coolant...keeping that carpet nice and wet.
8. Carpet on the floors had a nasty smell.
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Old 08-29-2019, 05:01 PM   #6
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

I also found these old photos in the glove box.
This was Mac and must've been from the day he acquired the truck years back.
Pretty cool find!
Not sure what happened to that old straight six in the bed...
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:34 PM   #7
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

Nice truck... looks like a great body to start with. What are your plans for it?
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:30 AM   #8
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

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Nice truck... looks like a great body to start with. What are your plans for it?
It's in pretty solid shape!
Plans have always been to get everything mechanically dialed in, upholstery done and figure out the paint color/making it pretty later.

I've made quite a bit of progress in the last few months, trying to find photos to share. I rarely take photos while I'm tweaking on it.
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:52 AM   #9
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

Here's a photo after the new Posies 2" lowering springs, Bilstein shocks and Coker Classic tires were installed. I cut the bump stops down for more travel and all the bump steer was gone. Handling improved a ton, steering was still twitchy, and the stance was better...but not exactly where I wanted it.

I took the truck to the alignment shop and we discovered one of my kingpins had slop and needed replacing.
Sending in my axle to Sid's Nostalgic to be dropped and get all new kingpins had just been bumped to the top of the list...

At this point I'd also had pipes welded to the mufflers exit out the side just in front of the rear tires(helped cure the drone).
I'd trashed the crappy Purolator fuel pump and threw in a Carter mechanical fuel pump, new lines and filter. Changed all the fluids, plugged the holes in the firewall, and removed the rattling heater.
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Old 08-30-2019, 02:21 PM   #10
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

Great Pics. Love the ones you found. Helps tell a story.
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:12 PM   #11
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

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Great Pics. Love the ones you found. Helps tell a story.
Thanks Bosco!
Are you the same Bosco that's famous for carving tikis?
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Old 08-31-2019, 03:34 PM   #12
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

Updated stance...

Here's the truck after Sid dropped my stock axle 3", new kingpins, new tie rods, all fresh gear and 4 degree caster shims.

By the time the axle was shipped back to me the old 1957 yellow/black CA plates had finally cleared with the DMV so I was stoked to get those on.

At this point the truck rode and handled better than ever. The only issues I had was some serious body roll in turns...and the Toyota power steering box. I couldn't stand not feeling the road. After about 9 months of driving it this way I decided to ditch the PS. A member here wfojon offered me an original 57 steering box/column if I came to pick it up, so I drove 3.5 hours out to Tehachapi to grab it. I had it rebuilt by a local shop and last week my buddy helped me install it.

While it was on the lift I installed a front sway bar from Jim Carter. Body roll is totally gone. Truck drives great! I can feel the road! Gotta use some muscle when rolling slow in parking lots but it's worth it. The truck is handling better than I imagined it would with these mods.
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Old 08-31-2019, 04:25 PM   #13
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

Carpet removed and replaced with a stock style rubber mat.
I tossed a blanket over the bench for the time being.
Found a vintage Eelco gauge bracket and some era-correct Stewart Warner gauges. I had to drill the bracket to use some existing holes under the dash.

Found a vintage Bell Auto Parts shift knob which always makes me smile. My uncle Kenny ran Bell Auto in the old days so it pays tribute to him and the great history of Bell.

Future plans:

-Re-do the exhaust. After lowering the front, the bends under the manifolds sit too close to the center link. I've got Porter mufflers on the way. Should have it all in within a week or two.
-I just bought a rear bumper from my buddy, need to paint it and bolt it on. Then the license plate bracket and wire the light.
-Get the bench upholstered, probably going with black tuck n roll naugahyde.
-Find a distributor with a tach drive so I can use a late 50's SW mechanical tach I have in the garage.
-Replace the single left motor mount that has a bracket hanger for the old power steering pump with an original style mount.
-Restore the cracks in the steering wheel and paint it.
-Rig up some speakers and some type of stereo system that's clean and hidden.
-Replace bed wood
-Replace the shifter stick with something taller.
-Replace smoothie wheels with a stock looking steelie and paint either black or cream
-Paint?
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Old 09-01-2019, 03:43 AM   #14
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

A little sand paper, soap and water in the proper places would create a unique patina????

Just a thought. Maybe a rest stop on the road to restoration.

Keep on keepin on



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Old 09-01-2019, 09:58 AM   #15
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

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Originally Posted by Nut Case View Post
A little sand paper, soap and water in the proper places would create a unique patina????

Just a thought. Maybe a rest stop on the road to restoration.

Keep on keepin on



nutz
I hear ya! She does have some rough spots in the paint...doesn't really show up in photos from 20 feet away. I'm in no hurry for a pretty paint job...enjoying it as is. It's nice to toss the bikes in the back and not worry about scratching anything.
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:52 PM   #16
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

on your shifter, for the short haul, use a coupling nut and some all thread to extend the knob up to where its comfortable.
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Old 09-01-2019, 07:22 PM   #17
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

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on your shifter, for the short haul, use a coupling nut and some all thread to extend the knob up to where its comfortable.
Funny you mention that, itís already got a five inch all-thread extension.
Iíve got a buddy thatís gonna make me something custom in the next few weeks here.
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:16 PM   #18
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

Painted my rear bumper and got it mounted!
License plate bracket too...still need to wire up the light...
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:43 AM   #19
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

Keep up the great progress! Love the stance
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:07 AM   #20
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

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Keep up the great progress! Love the stance
Thanks Jason!
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:50 PM   #21
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

I didn't read everyone else's responses but I agree, VERY nice looking truck. What I SHOULD have done with mine until I go totally carried away.

Hey, just a pet peeve of mine for what it's worth: Your side emblems are on backward. The oval goes to the rear. It was supposed to invoke a feeling of rockets from that era. A simple fix. Nuts on the backside.

PS: The oval is supposed to be painted red. Letters inside remain chrome.
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Old 09-05-2019, 12:10 AM   #22
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanPartridge View Post
Future plans:

-Restore the cracks in the steering wheel and paint it.
Easy to do. Several threads on doing that here including early pics in m,y build thread. V notch the cracks with a Dremel or hand file, fill with JB Weld (in my case), Eastwood also makes a kit for this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanPartridge View Post
-Rig up some speakers and some type of stereo system that's clean and hidden.
I used this:
https://www.classiccarstereos.com/secretaudio-sst.html

But if I had it to do over I'd use this instead:
https://www.retromanufacturing.com/p...t-trucks-radio

- It's so much more in keeping with the look of our trucks. Yours especially because of its style - which I love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanPartridge View Post
-Replace bed wood
Personally, I'd do a truck like yours with pine but most; including me, use oak. There are places online that give you the dimensions to cut your own wood:

https://gmcpauls.com/47-72_BedWood_Info.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanPartridge View Post
-Replace the shifter stick with something taller.
I'd dispense with all the jury rigged suggestions and just get a tall Lokar shifter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanPartridge View Post
-Replace smoothie wheels with a stock looking steelie and paint either black or cream
I LOVE the smoothies and baby moons on your truck. But it is YOUR truck so if you do change them may I suggest either cream or body color red with factory '55 Chevy truck caps OR '51-'52 car caps? And add narrow ribbed beauty rings. Such a classic look one our trucks. BLwck (to me) just kills the vibe on our trucks....unless the truck is black.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanPartridge View Post
-Paint?
If I had it to do over I'd leave mine in the Rustoleum Satin Sage Green I had it in. Why? I LOVE LOVE LOVE my red paint, BUT now I can't drive it out to dinner for example and just park it anywhere. For one thing they're too damn easy to steal and if it got a door ding I'd have a conniption. When it was in Rustoleum it never got dinged and if someting showed badly, I'd just give it a light scuff and repaint a fender or whatever. Your truck is a classic just as it sits. I REALLY like it!
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Old 09-05-2019, 12:18 AM   #23
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan in Pasadena View Post
I didn't read everyone else's responses but I agree, VERY nice looking truck. What I SHOULD have done with mine until I go totally carried away.

Hey, just a pet peeve of mine for what it's worth: Your side emblems are on backward. The oval goes to the rear. It was supposed to invoke a feeling of rockets from that era. A simple fix. Nuts on the backside.

PS: The oval is supposed to be painted red. Letters inside remain chrome.
Thanks Dan!

10-4 on the side emblems. That's how they were installed when I purchased the truck and I took em off a few months back to paint em, still haven't got around to it. I'm kind of enjoying the clean simple look without em...even though the holes are still there.
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Old 09-05-2019, 12:30 AM   #24
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

You're welcome. Sorry for the "diarrhea of the keyboard" lol.

Guess I'm just digging your truck. I may have to sell mine and look for another!
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Old 09-05-2019, 12:43 AM   #25
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Re: Ryan's 57 pickup project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan in Pasadena View Post
Easy to do. Several threads on doing that here including early pics in m,y build thread. V notch the cracks with a Dremel or hand file, fill with JB Weld (in my case), Eastwood also makes a kit for this.



I used this:
https://www.classiccarstereos.com/secretaudio-sst.html

But if I had it to do over I'd use this instead:
https://www.retromanufacturing.com/p...t-trucks-radio

- It's so much more in keeping with the look of our trucks. Yours especially because of its style - which I love.



Personally, I'd do a truck like yours with pine but most; including me, use oak. There are places online that give you the dimensions to cut your own wood:

https://gmcpauls.com/47-72_BedWood_Info.htm



I'd dispense with all the jury rigged suggestions and just get a tall Lokar shifter.



I LOVE the smoothies and baby moons on your truck. But it is YOUR truck so if you do change them may I suggest either cream or body color red with factory '55 Chevy truck caps OR '51-'52 car caps? And add narrow ribbed beauty rings. Such a classic look one our trucks. BLwck (to me) just kills the vibe on our trucks....unless the truck is black.



If I had it to do over I'd leave mine in the Rustoleum Satin Sage Green I had it in. Why? I LOVE LOVE LOVE my red paint, BUT now I can't drive it out to dinner for example and just park it anywhere. For one thing they're too damn easy to steal and if it got a door ding I'd have a conniption. When it was in Rustoleum it never got dinged and if someting showed badly, I'd just give it a light scuff and repaint a fender or whatever. Your truck is a classic just as it sits. I REALLY like it!
Thanks for all the tips!

Definitely planning on the JB Weld steering wheel repair.
I'll look into those stereo options. I was thinking either hide a box I can plug a headphone jack into an ipod or phone or something. Maybe run an original AM radio in the stock location?
I haven't decided on bed wood yet but I just found that link to the spec measurements last night. A friend of mine does killer wood work and offered to help with it when I'm ready.
I'm leaning towards cream painted steelies with chrome baby moons. I do like the look of black steelies with chrome baby moons or stock hubcaps. I dig beauty rings too! I'm gonna need more time to decide on that one...
It is nice having a less-than-perfect paint job. I'm in no rush for anything nice on the paint.
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