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Old 01-25-2013, 10:59 PM   #1
dubie
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56 shop truck build

I've been gone from this forum for 8 years and start lurking again a few months ago. I have sold my MUTT 72 Chevy flatbed truck and have moved onto a new project. Since I was 14 years old, I've wanted a 55 Chevy shortbed pickup, so when I had the chance I took it.
Here's a brief story of how this came about

A little over 18 years ago, I asked a local car guy if he would consider selling me his 1956 Chevy step side that was sitting in his driveway. I got the typical answer, "nope, I'm going to restore it one day." I kept driving past it over the years and it gathered more junk and more junk and nothing was ever done with it. Fast forward to last year when this same guy came to me to have his Harley airbrushed. He pitched an idea at me and then asked what it would cost him. I didn't even have to thin about it, I said " that 56 pickup sitting in your driveway" He thought about it over night, and even asked his wife about the deal. Her answer was " can he come pick it up tomorrow?" So a deal was made, he got his bike painted and I got the truck I have been after for so many years.

When I got it, it was sitting on an 81 short bed chassis. I had done some research and asked around a few places and found a kit that would work to mount this body to that chassis. Only thing is, it wouldn't sit as low as I wanted it to. So I sold the 81 chassis and picked up a complete 56 from the local wrecker for a couple hundred bucks and stripped it for the stock chassis.

The entire idea I based this truck on was an old school shop truck. Say you're walking down the street in the late 60's and you come across a hot rod shop or your local garage and you see their shop truck sitting there. It's something from the 50's that's been used as a parts chaser, something to haul the garbage in but it cleans up nicely when it's washed and sports a mean sounding power train.
So with the use of a 3" dropped solid axle and a set of mono leafs, I've dropped the front and rear by 6" from stock ride height. The paint will be a patina's suede blue finish with my custom paint shop logo Dirtbag Kustoms hand painted on the door and then aged to match the truck. The interior will be sound deadened, rubber floor, no stereo, with a seat cover over the factory bench. I've already changed the paint on the interior from brown and copper to a semi gloss white. For power, a nicely built 350 from my buddy mud ma.rj from this very forum, backed by a TH350 and a 2500 stall. The rear is a 3.08 open end from a 65 Chevelle
This is the beginning of a long awaited story. I hope to have this truck completed by the end of May 2013, so please, stay tuned for more
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:03 PM   #2
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Re: 56 shop truck build

some other shots from the build. That blue truck was a parts donor I picked up for a couple hundred bucks. I needed a stock frame to work with. As it stands today, I'm about 8 hours away from having a rolling chassis again. Then it'll be time to mount the body and start the body work. This truck sat in the same spot for over 25 year and has very little body rot or very many dents to repair.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:09 PM   #3
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Re: 56 shop truck build

I bought most of my parts the The Old Car Centre in British Columbia who in turn bought them from CPP. So I have a CPP dropped axle, power disc brake kit upgrade, and mono leaf springs. I kept the stock manual steering for the nostalgia look and feel tot he truck. I wanted to do all the necessary upgrades to it, but not go over board and change everything about these cool trucks that first attracted me to them. I also picked up a set of Corvette Ralleys, they came off a 67 Chevelle. I'm still up in the air about tires, I'm leaning towards wide white walls
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:14 PM   #4
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Re: 56 shop truck build

Glad to see Flin Flon checking in again. Thanks for posting your build on this forum!

I think I have a photoshop somewhere I did of your old truck, Ill have to look for it.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:07 AM   #5
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Re: 56 shop truck build

Nice ol'truck. Glad to see another saskatchewaner on here!! keep it up. can not wait to see the progress.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:25 AM   #6
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Re: 56 shop truck build

Sounds like a great project.
Looks real nice.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:53 AM   #7
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Re: 56 shop truck build

I like the work you're doing. Did you go with a modified drag link, Pittman arm, etc? If not, any concern with bump steer? How will you lower the rear, flip the rear end on top of springs?

What color are you using on your frame/drop axle?
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:04 PM   #8
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Re: 56 shop truck build

I used a new replacement drag link but had to heat and bend the steering arm to bring it parallel with the frame to eliminate the bump steer factor. I also added 6 degree caster shims between the mono leaf and the axle to correct the caster after lowering it so much. The rear is being hung on a pair of reversed eye mono leafs to lower it 6 inches. I've also boxed in the rear section of the frame and installed a c notch for additional axle travel.

The frame was painted black with a brush. Before the paint set up completely, we sprayed some silver over top so it would react and give it an aged look to it. The darker grey pieces are primed with an etch primer and shot with a single stage charcoal grey. The entire rear axle will be getting the same dark grey treatment after I rebuild it this weekend.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:43 PM   #9
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Re: 56 shop truck build

I'm using this truck as inspiration for my build, minus the chopped top. I am using Hot rod flatz diamond blue metallic over top of black epoxy primer to get the patina'd effect over the entire body.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:20 PM   #10
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Re: 56 shop truck build

Thanks for the fast response Dubie!

I like that goal truck but it looks lower than you'll achieve with a static drop. It SEEMS like the rear mono leaf wouldn't lower it 6" maybe even flipping the axle. I want to lower mine like you've done yours so I can't wait to see your stance.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:24 PM   #11
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Re: 56 shop truck build

I won't get mine as low as the one in the picture,it's just for reference sake. The rear mono leafs will drop the rear by 6" just by mounting the axle underneath because they have a reversed eye on the back end that gains you an additional 2" from the standard 4" drop you get with regular mono's
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:32 PM   #12
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Re: 56 shop truck build

Looking good so far. Do you have a pic of your front straight axle setup
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:03 PM   #13
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Re: 56 shop truck build

yup
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:19 PM   #14
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Re: 56 shop truck build

Quote:
Originally Posted by dubie View Post
Her answer was " can he come pick it up tomorrow?"
i liked his wife's reply ^^ and the story
welcome back to the forums, your in the good section now.
your parts truck is better than what i started with
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:02 PM   #15
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Re: 56 shop truck build

Thank you for the pic. It looks really nice. What did you have to do to the lower steering arms to bolt the aftermarket tierod ends to them?
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:52 PM   #16
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Re: 56 shop truck build

You have to drill a hole in the back of the ball stud and then use a hammer and punch to punch it out. The new tie rod the pops right into place.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:45 PM   #17
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Re: 56 shop truck build

Thank you so much. Thats a lot of help. What about the drag link
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:22 PM   #18
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Re: 56 shop truck build

i bought a new replacement drag link but you have to heat your steering arm with a torch until it's cherry red and bend it slowly and in small increments. We made 5 different bends before we got it right. It's not for the faint at heart and it takes some time but it's necessary in order to avoid the dangerous bump steer. I'll snap a picture of it and post it up later for you
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:28 PM   #19
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Re: 56 shop truck build

Scribed. Im a born sucker for shop trucks/ drivers. That worn blue over black is going to look awesome.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:29 PM   #20
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Re: 56 shop truck build

I think so too. I wanted a worn out look and this truck sat for the right amount of time but it was sprayed red oxide that faded to pink and I'm not down with driving a pink truck. The fender was shot with rattle cans and sanded with 400 grit just as a test panel and I liked the way it looked so I decided to commit to it and buy my paint before I changed my mind. I'm going to leave to small dings in the body to add that extra character to the look but any rust is being cut out and replaced with new metal. Well newer metal, I found an old fender in the bush that was in good enough shape to use for patch panels. Gotta be as resourceful as you can sometimes.
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My 56 Chevy shop truck build
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:45 PM   #21
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Re: 56 shop truck build

Subscribed.........awesome truck!!
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:12 PM   #22
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Re: 56 shop truck build

Looking good.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:14 AM   #23
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Re: 56 shop truck build

Some small progress tonight. We installed the front disc brake conversion in about an hour from start to finish. The CPP kit is pretty nice to work with. They supply all the parts required to get the job done quickly. I also included a picture of the bent steering arm drag link set up for those interested. As soon as the picture uploads I'll post it. Damn technology.
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My 56 Chevy shop truck build
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:35 AM   #24
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Re: 56 shop truck build

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Old 01-27-2013, 01:05 AM   #25
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Re: 56 shop truck build

Looks like a nice kit.
Kim
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