Wednesday, July 27, 2016

'53 axle swap....

On the list of things to do to the '53 was to swap the 8 lug 3/4 ton axles out with 1/2 ton 6 lug axles.  The original wheels were a solid split rim design and the owner was having a difficult time finding an OEM style replacement.  Combined with the fact that the truck rode terrible with the original springs, it made sense to swap everything out.

The front was relatively easy with the exception that the front shackles were froze.  It took some heat, persuasion and time to get them to unfrozen.  Luckily, between some spare parts that we had in inventory and the two front ends, the were enough good parts to put it all back together correctly.

The rear was a little more involved.  The original mounted under the rear springs and the replacement that came from a '57 truck was setup to mount on top of the springs.  The spring perches had to be removed and new ones placed in the correct location.

While everything was apart, we ended up taking a couple of the helper springs out of the leaf pack.  This should make the truck ride a bit better...

Friday, July 8, 2016

Interior wiring is done....

I am so glad to be done lying on my back while working under the dash.  For as large as these trucks are, there really isn't much room.

One of the last items that needed finished was the installation of the electric wipers.  I purchased this kit from LMC and have used it before.  A word of caution though...if you are thinking of getting one for yourself, don't have too high of expectations.  While the wiper motor itself is good, it doesn't really fit. Each bracket had to be modified slightly and the switch doesn't really fit the hole in the dash.  The switch interferes with the wiper motor and the supplied hardware is about a size too small.  Also, the instructions are very poorly written.

Once you get past all of this and address the issues, it works great.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of it installed.  It's pretty much up behind everything else and hard to see anyway.

In case you don't remember, here are some before and after shots...


On this truck rewire, the customer wanted to have a switch mounted for the heater.  Since there really wasn't place in the dash for one, I decided to make up a switch mount that attached underneath.

I first started by bending a 90 degree flange and then hammered some shape over a piece of steel rod mounted in the vise.

I then used a socket as a form to hammer a relief around where each switch was going to go.

Initially, I focused on getting the rough shape then went back to planish and fine tune.  This was followed up by grinding with a 2" air powered abrasive wheel and some hand filing.

The ends were welded on and ground down...

The panel fit fairly well and doesn't distract from the overall look of the interior.

With a little bit of paint and the wires hooked up, it's ready to use.