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Old 12-15-2017, 05:35 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Doodah Kansas
Posts: 4,885
recovering a rusted body plate number (a how to)

so I just recovered the last body plate number from the last of the 4 trucks I bought last year, and thought this might help someone. it was the last truck I bought and was an impulse "its going to scrap unless you buy it" deal. the body plate was there but was heavily rusted with even a hole or two. usually the body plates are in fairly good condition being a special alloy, but in the war years they are straight steel and subject to rusting.

take the plate off and get some evaporust from harbor freight. I use evaporust because I can leave it soaking for a month and it will not damage the metal, and it doesnt hurt paint or silkscreening either. it WILL turn the steel dark the longer you leave it though.

you need to know how they lay out the numbers on the plate, there are two places for stampings on the plate, one in the dead center which is the rated HP of the engine (usually 85 or so). the body number is along the bottom, about 1/2 inch up from the edge, starting about two inches from the left edge. there are two parts to the body stamping, the plant/body type/group number that is single digit, two letters, two numbers and is stamped in large type. the 4 (or 5) digit serial number is stamped close to the right edge, lower than the first stamping and in a smaller sized type.

I soaked it for a week the first time and wasnt able to see anything of consequence, but because I knew WHERE the numbers were located I kept trying. the second soaking, plus some stiff brushed scrubbing, got it.

with a magnifying glass I can make out 9MS45 and the four smaller serials on the right.
IMG_8005 by Joe Doh, on Flickr
underlined by Joe Doh, on Flickr

using the GM heritage site I can figure out that it was a 1942 1 1/2 ton with 160" wheelbase built in Norwood.

you could sand for the numbers because the stamping creates a work hardened area on the plate and sanding it smooth will reveal the impact areas around the numbers or letters, but this method worked great for me.
the mass of men live lives of quiet desperation

New Project! Project: KECHI
my L35 4.3 4L60E S10 49 chevrolet 3100

if there is a problem, I can have it.
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Hershey, PA
Posts: 706
Re: recovering a rusted body plate number (a how to)

That's crazy science! Looks like the surface of the moon.
Build Thread Phase 1 "The Swap": 1949 3100 with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

Build Thread Phase 2 "The Drop": Beginner Build with Ambition gets Air Ride
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