New life for the '30 Chevy

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Old Stuff

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
278
Location
Austin, Texas
After catching up on Soltz's bug I'm inspired to do a build thread on my '30 Chevy truck. A little background....

Been working on this for a little over two years and this has always been my favorite body style, having driven away from our wedding in '81 in my first hot rod- a '30 model A. Disclaimer- There's a lot of stuff I don't know (I know enough to be dangerous) and like to hear ideas and suggestions. I grew up a red-head so I learned real quick one is better off not to get offended easily! :p

It will take me a bit of time to get caught up to date so hope you enjoy what has been a crazy fun project for me. Hopefully the learning curve posting stuff won't burnish my brain too bad!
 
How I found this (1 1/2 hours from my house) is a cold beer around the campfire story but suffice to say, this rascal came home with me along with a good Texas title!

http://ratrodsrule.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=170003&stc=1&d=1640048569
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When I got it back to the house I just spent some time looking and soaking it in. What in the world was I going to do with it??? [S
 

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It is a 1.5 ton, completely original with 57,000+ miles on the speedo. Started taking things apart/cleaning it up some (if you could call it that). Another cold beer and lots more looking over the next couple of weeks...

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After a short period of time went by, I started seeing a picture of what I wanted. My younger years as a truck driver had some influence to be sure. This was destined to be my new daily driver and trailer puller. Yes- 70 mph down the highway with a load. :D

I'll try to get y'all caught up to date quickly as possible!
 

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I pulled the original drive train and stripped off all the old flatbed pieces, most of which will get reused. Let's get rolling in no particular order...

The frame got boxed (not all at one time) welding in some nuts on the inside in various places for things like body and fender mounts etc.
Out back I picked up a 97-99 a Ford 9 ¾ rear axle with a 3.55 locker. When pulling it apart fount the gears were in good shape but it turned out the axles (at the bearings) were trashed. A call to Dutchman had a new set coming (drilled to 5 on 4 ¾ with 1/2” studs) so those went in with new bearings etc. Now to hang it...

https://ratrodsrule.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=170022&stc=1&d=1640177694

The original packs were impressive- if you are a log truck driver LOL. Those had to go! Wanting to keep the axle position placement as original, General Spring had a set with exact measurements (front and back eye to center) that was listed as fitting the ’87-96 Jeep Wrangler- 1,080# each. Who woulda figured? A Jeep YJ shackle kit took care of that end of the stick but had to fab up hangers for both ends... S-4 front final, S-5 rear, S-5 rear final.
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Still have to do a brake job on it. Used the original shock mounts and simply bought a new set of shocks for that year range.

I'd mentioned the 1,080# springs. Not enough for comfortably hauling a trailer of course so..... Air bags to the rescue! That will be the next set of pics.
 

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Good, solid fab work, Old Stuff. It will be bullet proof. I've bought Dutchmen axles a few times. Great service, good parts.
 
Found the bags I wanted on eBay. Also the mounting brackets- at $45 it was worth it to buy those. Now to modify the heck out of ‘em.

The challenge was bag placement. The rear axle length sticks out wider than the front axle which I like the heck out of. (the bonus being I didn't have to cut it down [cl. The best spot to put them in was between the frame rails and the tires giving the load more support/balance- but that put them directly over the axle ubolts which definitely needed to remain accessible. A bit of brain storming with a lifelong buddy of mine ended up with a sneaky way to get that accomplished. I think the pics will tell the tell…

https://ratrodsrule.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=170040&stc=1&d=1640223843
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The bags are 2,500# which should let me have my cake and eat it to. Later on I'll post pics on the really cool part of how I'm going to handle the air.
 

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