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Old 01-02-2015, 11:19 AM   #1
55 Chevy Dave
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

Hi. I'm Dave and I purchased my 1955 Chevrolet 3100 on November 16, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The truck lived its life in California until being shipped to Milwaukee earlier this year.

While scouring the internet for information and ideas on my build, I came across this forum. I have learned so much from the members in this forum! Thank you for taking the time to post.

I decided to try my own thread. Here's how it all began...
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:25 AM   #2
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

The truck's original 235 cubic inch inline six cylinder was running at the time. There was no wood in the bed which made it easy to see how clean the frame was. The interior had been redone at some point.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:32 AM   #3
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

I guess it's time for the teardown! Everything came apart so easily. Most of the nuts and bolts came off without using any WD40!
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:43 AM   #4
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

I decided the first thing to do was to get the fuel tank out from behind the front seat inside the cab.

I ordered a 20-gallon, bed-fill fuel tank from CPP. It fit well without any modifications to the frame. I plan on polishing it at some point down the road.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:55 AM   #5
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

Now onto getting everything else off of and out of the truck including that original fuel tank. The tank wasn't even strapped in and the filler neck wasn't connected to the body. I am guessing that the previous owner lost the key to the locking gas cap on the body and decided to bypass it. Not good!

I guess I know what the truck's original color was now!
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:59 AM   #6
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Re: My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

welcome.
Looks like a real clean truck to start with.
What are your plans?
Kim
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:03 PM   #7
55 Chevy Dave
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

You should have seen the neighbor's face when I fired it up and pulled it out onto the street in this condition! I just wanted in facing the other way in the garage!
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:15 PM   #8
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

I removed the body mount bolts and disconnected everything still connecting the cab to the frame. I made some platforms on wheels and clamped them to the underside of the cab while the truck was up on jack stands. I then dropped the chassis down from under the cab.

It didn't go quite as smoothly as I planned, but it worked!
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:23 PM   #9
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

Time to get the engine out and start removing the stock suspension...
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:31 PM   #10
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

Time to go visit the sandblaster! I need a break from all those darn rivets!
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:39 PM   #11
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

Back from the sandblaster and looking great! There were only a couple rough spots behind the original suspension mounts where moisture was able to collect.

It certainly didn't take long for surface rust to show up, but then again, it was raining when I picked it up, so I guess that is to be expected.

It definitely turned out better than I thought it would.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:54 PM   #12
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

It is finally time to start welding in some new parts! First, the 4-link coil over rear suspension...

It's going to be time for a new rear axle soon. I am thinking about doing a narrowed 12-bolt Chevy. I plan to install some wide tires in the back. I don't mind tubs in the bed, but I don't plan on widening the fenders. I'm still researching how wide the axle should end up. I am also having a hard time finding a good axle shop in the Chicago suburbs. Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:08 PM   #13
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

I'm welding in all of the cab mounts. I removed the rivets and plug welded each one.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:14 PM   #14
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

I am filling in all of the old frame indentations I won't need with the new Mustang II crossmember.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:21 PM   #15
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

And that's about the point I am at today.

Kim57, I plan to redo all of the suspension, box the frame in, install a Chevy small block V8 and put some new wheels and tires on it this winter. I want to put the body back on in its current state, install a temporary interior and get it out on the roads this summer. Next winter, I'll finish the body and interior.

That's the plan, but we'll see how it goes!

Time to get back out to the garage and continue work on the frame!
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:41 PM   #16
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Re: My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

First Welcome to the site. You've come a long way in less than 2 months. Nice job so far, which 4 bar rear set-up are you using? Well I see you posted some more, so you've answered some of my other questions. Will wait for some more updates....Jim
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:45 PM   #17
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Re: My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

Welcome 55 Chevy Dave!

Very solid truck you have there. Surely there is an axle shop in the Chicago area that can narrow your differential. Wonder if the Roadster shop would do that? Maybe Moser engineering.

And I put a 10 bolt from a Nova in my truck. It was the right width to work well though I haven't checked the width for a 55 truck

Cool plans and looking forward to updates!
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:29 PM   #18
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

Thanks Jim. I picked up the rear 4-link from TCI. It has been pretty straightforward so far!
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:25 PM   #19
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

Here's the progress from the long holiday weekend. I started off by cutting off the lip in the frame to clear the stock steering box. I cut a patch and welded it in top and bottom and ground it down. You'll never know it was there!
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:32 PM   #20
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

I received the crossmember from Progress Automotive and dry fit it together. It's a little bent up from shipping, but it will straighten out fine after being coaxed with the torch. It should really strengthen the frame after installed. I need to box the frame first and I'm not quite there yet. It is upside down in these pictures.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:39 PM   #21
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

I filled more holes and continued grinding until the sides of the frame were fairly smooth. I still need to fill some of the larger holes. I think it looks pretty good!
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:46 PM   #22
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My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

I keep finding rivets. They are everywhere! I have a system now that seems to work pretty well.

I use a cutting wheel on my 4-1/2" grinder to cut off the head of the rivet as close to the frame as I can.

I grind the remaining portion of the head down flush with the frame.

I use the air hammer with a bit that comes to a point to drive the rivet out through the hole. Sometimes I need to use a chisel bit to help it along a bit from the back side.

I plug weld each of the holes and then grind each plug weld flush to the frame.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:27 AM   #23
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Re: My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

The frame is looking great.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:48 AM   #24
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Re: My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

Quote:
Originally Posted by 55 Chevy Dave View Post
I filled more holes and continued grinding until the sides of the frame were fairly smooth. I still need to fill some of the larger holes. I think it looks pretty good!
Pretty good my A$$, that looks super, nice work...Jim
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:53 AM   #25
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Re: My 1955 Chevy 3100 build

You frame is looking great.
Kim
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