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Old 08-15-2019, 05:10 AM   #1
big_dan
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53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

So let's get started. I've had this truck 5 or 6 years now. It's a sweet little truck, but time to add some attitude. I'll start by bringing this thread up to date . . .

Several years back I decided to build a shop for myself to play with my toys and teach my boys a thing or two. The 53 stayed in driver status all that time, watching a few other builds happen, hauling the occasional parts and attending a few cruise ins here and there. Shop was finished (if they ever are) so a long term 65 Ford had to be finished first, so now the little 53 is front and center. When I got the truck it was a 4.3/350 turbo sitting on a full size 79-80 chassis. I lowered it a little, added a chrome grille, white walls, etc. but it still didn't have the attitude I wanted, so it began.

I found a 53 frame locally and started the project with the truck still on the road. Stripped the frame, had it blasted then stored it while I finished the shop and my 65. Finally, time to start, so here's a few pics to start getting up to date.
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:45 AM   #2
big_dan
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

Finally, after a few years stashed and waiting, this spring we pulled the chassis out and got started. We fixed the rusted factory cross members with Speedway bolt-in parts, got everything square then made them weld-in. After that we started boxing and smoothing the frame in earnest. I think final count was 200+ holes welded up.

More to follow.....

Dan
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:39 AM   #3
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

So while smoothing and boxing the frame, I turned down some weld nuts and welded then in at the running board bracket holes, front bumper holes and cab mounts.

More later . .

Dan
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:09 AM   #4
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

Nice truck to start with.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:21 AM   #5
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

I'll tag along for the build, nice truck...Jim
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:10 AM   #6
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

nice start...
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:46 PM   #7
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

Thanks, fellas. A few more smoothing and boxing the frame, checking square every so often. Rounded the frame horns, broke some plate to smooth in around the speedway crossmember as well. Almost ready for the IFS.

Dan
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:42 PM   #8
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

Very nice looking frame and project. You think you truck has any idea that its about to get its frame pulled out from underneath it???

Marc
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1948 Chevy Truck - Finished SOLD!!

1953 Chevy Suburban "Family Truckster" Completion date: Spring of 2020
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Old 08-15-2019, 04:57 PM   #9
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

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Very nice looking frame and project. You think you truck has any idea that its about to get its frame pulled out from underneath it???

Marc
No idea - but maybe . . .

More updating. Finished smoothing and boxing, mocked up crossmember for rack clearance, notched for the rack, etc.. Made some mock up bars to keep it at ride height as well.

Thanks for looking -

Dan
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:21 PM   #10
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

Nice work on the frame, and a Falcon in the background to boot!
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:31 PM   #11
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

Quote:
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Very nice looking frame and project. You think you truck has any idea that its about to get its frame pulled out from underneath it???

Marc


its staring right at it!



nice start!
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:50 PM   #12
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

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Nice work on the frame, and a Falcon in the background to boot!
That was the first project finished in the shop. It's quite hateful .

So on to the rear end. Using a speedway 9" with 31 spline axles and wilwood discs. To mock it up without a center section, I turned some spacers and lock rings on the lathe to hold the axles in the tubes. Almost ready for the 4 link . . .

Dan
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:33 PM   #13
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

And a few more of the IFS mocked up. If I didn't mention it before, it's a Scott's Hot Rods setup. Still have the front torsion sway bar to install, but there's some other issues I'm pondering on to get ciphered out first.

Thanks for looking -

Dan
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:31 PM   #14
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

Looking great..!!...after you weld those 4link brackets on be sure to check your housing for straightness...you can see how I did mine in my IH build..
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:57 PM   #15
big_dan
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

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Originally Posted by mongocanfly View Post
Looking great..!!...after you weld those 4link brackets on be sure to check your housing for straightness...you can see how I did mine in my IH build..
Absolutely. Thanks.

So at this point of the chassis work, I made the realization that starting on the 4 link and notch using jack stands and sawhorses was just wasting time. I needed a better way to fixture the chassis while I got the rear going...... So, off to the steel yard. I picked up a few 6x6 beams and misc steel and whipped up a chassis table.

Here's the start -

Dan
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Old 08-16-2019, 12:08 AM   #16
big_dan
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Smile Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

We made sure it was perfectly square, of course, and added adjustable feet with lock nuts to keep us level. Once the jig was in position where we wanted it, we locked it down and set the chassis at ride height. Pretty simple; the top of the jig is "zero" based on 3 things; front and rear axle centerline based on our wheel/ tire sizes and the frame level with running boards 5" off the ground. Front wheels will be 18's, rears will be 20's, no air bags. Fairly easy to tell a simple C-notch isn't going to cut it -

More later-

Dan
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:19 AM   #17
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

Really nice set-up table...Jim
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:31 AM   #18
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

What are your shop dimensions? Plenty of room. Interesting build.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:59 AM   #19
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

That is too cool. Looking forward to more.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:14 AM   #20
big_dan
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

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Originally Posted by oldman3 View Post
Really nice set-up table...Jim
Thanks! My sons and I enjoy our fab time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lv2tri2 View Post
What are your shop dimensions? Plenty of room. Interesting build.
36x48x12. I live out there when I can!

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That is too cool. Looking forward to more.
We'll try not to disappoint!

Dan
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:49 PM   #21
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

Ok, rear suspension. Again, Scott's Hot Rods stuff, standard 4 link with torsion sway bar and coil overs. Got all my angles/ ride height/ etc. dialed in and tacked it in heavy. Won't fully weld it in until everything (shocks, panhard, sway bar, step notch) is located and where I want it. It's mocked up at ride height. Bars are parallel and running downhill to the front of the truck about 1 degree. And no, the axle isn't touching the frame, but about 1/8" off. We'll get it some room pretty soon.

Dan
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:04 PM   #22
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Talking Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

I guess I should take a minute and explain the plan here since I forgot in my first post.

Starting at the bottom - no air bags, full suspension travel with about 5 inches at the running boards. Scott's suspension all around, with coilovers and power wilwood discs at all 4 corners. Pondering on the possibility of using a hydra boost setup, just not sure yet. I pulled a tape for a few days before ordering the suspension; front and rear track width is 58". Front wheels will be 18x8 with 245/40's and rear 20x10 with 275/40's, I'll dial in exact back space once I set the body on. Plan is currently for Detroit smoothies, but I'm not 100% committed to that yet.

Body should be fairly simple, but we want to get the factory trim back on it and a few other body mods. I'd really like to take the time and hammer out new running boards to eliminate the gap at the front of the board, and I'd like to swap in either a 57 Bel Air or 59 Impala dash; depends on time I guess. Heat, defrost, delete vent windows, functioning cowl vent again, power wipers, maybe some Studebaker trim rings, and I have a few plans for the bumpers I won't discuss yet. It'll either stay red or I'll shoot it the gunmetal grey of the falcon in the background.

I've got a fresh 5.3/4l60 waiting, but I'd like to go with a warmed over 6.0 if one pops up.

And a trailer hitch. .

That about sums it up - more later -

Dan
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:14 AM   #23
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

So this should about get us up to present day.

When I picked up my Scott's suspension I had him throw in step notches also. That saved me a little fab time, and their stuff is top- notch. So, drug out the sawhorses and pulled a tape till I decided on what width I would go with. Once we had that dimension, I clamped the notches in position then squared then and leveled then to each other. I used some 11 ga 1x2 box tube and tacked them together to keep us in spec then started the positioning. Once we're trimmed and welded in, I'll shoot for about 6" from the bottom of the notch to the axle, then shocks, sway bar and panhard bar.

It'll slow down a bit now as we're up to date, but I'll try to keep plugging along!

On a side note, some of you may be aware Scott's Hot Rods moved from Cali to Knoxville a while back. Since that's 45 minutes away, I took advantage of the opportunity and took a tour and got to know the place a little when I ordered my suspension. Outstanding shop, all American made, very cool, super talented people. I highly recommend their stuff.
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:49 AM   #24
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

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I'd really like to take the time and hammer out new running boards to eliminate the gap at the front of the board,
Dan, I'm sure with you talent, you could build some great running boards. I also didn't like the gap at the front, but I used the stock boards and added to the front. Here's a few shot of how I did mine. If you current boards are in good shape this could be another way...Jim
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:50 AM   #25
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Re: 53 3100 - complete rebuild and upgrade . . . .

a few more
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