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Old 02-22-2021, 06:49 PM   #1
SARBlade
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My56 Chevy Shortbox Build

Hi All, I have been a car guy all my life, but never a restorer. Last year after a 2 month RV trip through western Canada, i noticed that there were not as many old trucks taking up spaces in farmers yards or back 40s. I grew up in a small farming community and drove my uncles 51 Chevy as a youngster on his knee. Then after awhile I started seeing 55-57 Chevy/GMCs around, not many, I always loved there look. I spotted this beauty in Medicine Hat Alberta, and looked at it. I didnt talk to the owner he wasnt around. I never forgot about it. Then last Feb 2020, I was trolling Kijiji, a Canadian buy and sell website, and I saw it there. I sent the guy an email and after some negotiations, I put a down payment on it. Then Covid-19 hit. I didnt pick it up until June of last year. I brought it home to Vancouver Island and stored it at a friends farm until I was ready for it. I brought it home first week of Feb this year. Its now ready for me to tackle!





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Old 02-22-2021, 08:52 PM   #2
87Lowrider
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Re: My56 Chevy Shortbox Build

Looks nice and straight.. what are your plans for it?


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Old 02-22-2021, 09:01 PM   #3
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Re: My56 Chevy Shortbox Build

Its got a Camaro clip, 8.5" 10 bolt rear end, so pretty much hotrod lol. I ordered a 4-link from Paul Horton, Welder Series, so that's going in, not sure on which coil overs to use there yet, open to ideas. Got a disc brake package for it as well. I'm starting at the back and moving forward I guess. The floors have been replaced and you see new fenders on it. These will need work, lots of gap issues there. I think the rear fenders are shot, same with the stepsides on the bed. Oh, and the A pillars around the front windshield are rotten, so I have another cab from which to rob the roof. From there, more body work, but its not going to be a show truck as I'm not that talented, have good mechanical sense and the will to try anything, but I do have limits, no shop, just a garage, and some tools. Never used a mig before, but I am learning, it makes an old stick guy like me half descent lol. I guess that's it for now. I'll just add progress as I go. With pictures. I'm also thinking about using YouTube to document progress as well. We'll see how that goes.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:50 PM   #4
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Re: My56 Chevy Shortbox Build

Nice looking project you have going. Look forward to following the build. Steve
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:20 PM   #5
87Lowrider
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Re: My56 Chevy Shortbox Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by SARBlade View Post
Its got a Camaro clip, 8.5" 10 bolt rear end, so pretty much hotrod lol. I ordered a 4-link from Paul Horton, Welder Series, so that's going in, not sure on which coil overs to use there yet, open to ideas. Got a disc brake package for it as well. I'm starting at the back and moving forward I guess. The floors have been replaced and you see new fenders on it. These will need work, lots of gap issues there. I think the rear fenders are shot, same with the stepsides on the bed. Oh, and the A pillars around the front windshield are rotten, so I have another cab from which to rob the roof. From there, more body work, but its not going to be a show truck as I'm not that talented, have good mechanical sense and the will to try anything, but I do have limits, no shop, just a garage, and some tools. Never used a mig before, but I am learning, it makes an old stick guy like me half descent lol. I guess that's it for now. I'll just add progress as I go. With pictures. I'm also thinking about using YouTube to document progress as well. We'll see how that goes.
Sounds like a plan... I'll be watching... we like pics!
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:54 PM   #6
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Re: My56 Chevy Shortbox Build

Looks like a very good foundation to start. Best part, you'll have fun. Good luck and looking forward to see the progress.
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Old 03-04-2021, 11:33 AM   #7
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Re: My56 Chevy Shortbox Build

hey sar, what kinda shape is the spare cab in? changing a roof can be more difficult than you may think. if you have registration for the other cab and it's in decent shape you may wanna just swap the cab instead of the roof.
common rust areas in the cabs:
-around the roof drip rail, check for bubbles and soft spots all the way around
-inside the cab above the windshield
-outside the cab above the windshield
-the lower corners of the pinch weld area that holds the windshield in place
-the rear window pinch weld area that holds the rear glass in place
-inner cowls, that is the area behind the floor vents. water runs down and collects in the cowls because the drains plug. it sits in there until it dries up so if it rains a bunch or snow melts and freezes in there the water level can rise until water runs out on the floor through the vent doors. then if rusts the floor, the lower hinge pillars and that whole area, the front cab mounts, the steps and rockers etc
-rear cab corners
-rear cab mounts, this is a dirt sandwich usually so the dirt holds moisture and rots the sandwich out
look at the patch panels available online and then check your cabs for rot in those areas. they don't make patch panels for stuff that isn't a common seller. sometimes they don't make patch panels for stuff that is a common problem, lol. you kinda won't really know what you have until you take it apart and blast it or grind off the old paint etc. sometimes the old farm bodywork can be 1/2" thick bondo over bare metal, which collects moisture and rusts the bare metal over time. I advise to get it apart, blast it and epoxy it right away, then decide when you see what you have left. ask your Napa guy if he has access to the CMax body shop parts. it is Napa's body shop division, at least in Calgary it is. use care when disassembling parts because what you think is junk you may be able to sell. thinking about your rear fenders etc. not cheap for repops and guys want the original stuff if available. I had a set of rusty bent rear fenders and steps, actually the whole long box step side. beat like crazy and rusted bad. I had a guy approach me who just had to have it and traded me some doors, a hood and some small parts. just saying.
when you get a minute snap a few pics of the truck from all angles so we can see what you have top work with. looks good from the first pics.
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Old 03-04-2021, 12:13 PM   #8
SARBlade
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Re: My56 Chevy Shortbox Build

Raven, the truck has a different cab from the extra one I have. The other cab is the original and is pretty much rotten from floor down. Not sure where it sat but its bad. The top of it is surprisingly good. The cab on the truck now is solid except for the A pillars and top of windshield. There are more dings on the present cab but nothing hammer and dolly wont take out. The previous owner put in a complete new floor, front to back and steps. Door pillars are good up to the windshield where, as you mentioned, are the pinch welds. Bottom of the vents are fine, some pinhole rust so Ill cut what is needed out there to repair. I know the roof is going to be a huge job, Im going to follow what Jean-Marc did here

I will snap some pics today and post, I think everyone loves photos! I picked up my 5.3 on the weekend and have taken accessories off, they were pretty much shot, now to clean. Its supposed to be a 100K motor, I doubt it, looks more like 200k, but I got it for $600 so Im not complaining. Compression was good and it ran. Got all the wiring harness, ECL, etc. What I didnt get, and didnt notice was that the throttle is drive by wire, so will need a pedal, not a big thing I imagine. At least the guy took the time to disconnect the wiring harness and not cut it. All plugs are there.
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Old 04-29-2021, 04:03 PM   #9
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Re: My56 Chevy Shortbox Build

Hey all, its been sometime from my last post, you know life, wife, pets, Covid get in the way of things! Well I bought a 5.3 LM7, rebuilt it, now working on the standalone wiring harness. I have to throw out a big thanks and say that Brendan at LT1Swap.com sure knows his stuff. I have used his sight and YouTube videos to get where I am. So I do have a couple of questions before buttoning up the harness with tape and loom. I am thinking about keeping the original instrument cluster. The info provided as you know is speed, temp, amps, oil and fuel level. I'm unsure if the PCM from the harness can provide info to this wrt speed, oil pressure, amperage and temperature. I guess the sender from the fuel tank will provide fuel info. I know the only thing from the harness is a 4000 hz pulse for a tach. LT1Swap has me take out the oil pressure, does that mean I'm stuck with a mechanical wet line? what about voltage for the ammeter? Id like to know so that I can add whatever wiring now as to later. Thanks

BTW, some pics I guess.

$450


Done after $1500 for new accessories, LS3 manifolds, Sloppy stage 2 cam/lifters and a good cleaning. Engine had good compression and only 100K miles. Looked rough tho. Pretty clean inside.


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Old 04-29-2021, 04:05 PM   #10
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Re: My56 Chevy Shortbox Build

Oh and here is the wiring harness mess
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Old 04-29-2021, 04:20 PM   #11
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Re: My56 Chevy Shortbox Build

looks great,

the pic of your wiring harness makes me love my Carb and distributor.

I respect you guys that can figure out these computer controlled engines.


keep it going
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Old 06-16-2021, 11:41 PM   #12
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Re: My56 Chevy Shortbox Build

Looking Great! Great start with the Camaro front end and the 10 Bolt. I also used the Welder Series 4 link.
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Old 06-17-2021, 12:09 AM   #13
SARBlade
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Re: My56 Chevy Shortbox Build

Do you have pics of the location of your arms and mounts on the diff? Also, just curious what you did for coil overs and did you notch the frame. I hope to take the box off next week and do the rear end work.
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Old 06-17-2021, 12:13 AM   #14
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Re: My56 Chevy Shortbox Build

Never mind there 59Chev, I found your pics on page 7 of your build, looks really good. My link set up is going to be triangulated.
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