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  1. #1
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    57 Chevy 1 Ton Build

    This section needs some action so here's what I'll be working on this winter.

    Earlier this year my dad bought this 57 Chevy 4400 1.5ton truck with a hydraulic dump bed.

    20170323_162334 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20170323_162357 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    This truck was being held together with bondo, bailing wire and sheet metal screws. Someone put an early 70's 400 small block from a caprice and a 2wd SM465 in it at some point.
    The steering, front king pins, brakes, 8.25x20 tires are all trash so we decided to take the sheet metal and dump bed and put it on a newer 1ton chassis.

    Lucked out and found this 2000 Express 3500 for cheap, it has a pile of miles on it and the body is falling off but it has a 350/4l80e 14 bolt FF combo. Drives and shifts great. The 156" wheel base is the same as the 4400 so that was a bonus.

    00d0d_c1eT2HNKG5f_1200x900 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Started pulling the 57 apart, front clip looks pretty solid besides the back edges of the fenders.

    20171111_165744 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20171111_165728 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Spent most of today cutting the bent up dump bed off the back. Plasma cutter is my favorite tool.

    20171114_133151 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    The plan is to fix the sheet metal and paint it the original Ocean Green. Keep the fuel injected 350 and put an NV4500 and tcase behind it. Might put a Super duty 60 under the front if I can find one that's 3.73 for cheap. If not that and a re gear will be next winters project.

    Bob the dump bed carriage and build a new stake bed for it.

    Plus about a million little things.
    Should be fun.
    Last edited by Colorado_Baja; November 14th, 2017 at 09:23 PM.
    197? DJ-5 LHD & 4wd

  2. #2
    tjjared413's Avatar
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    Cool!!!!!!!
    rig- 04 TJ for going to the malls and tow pig- 15 F350

  3. #3
    newracer's Avatar
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    Nice!


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  4. #4
    Can't wait

  5. #5
    So cool! I think something like this would be a of fun! I've seen some really cool COE's done as well, and even 4-doors! But I'd be going with a diesel power plant.
    God Forgives, Rock's Don't www.ucora.org
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  6. #6
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 74BuckinBronc View Post
    So cool! I think something like this would be a of fun! I've seen some really cool COE's done as well, and even 4-doors! But I'd be going with a diesel power plant.
    Thanks guys, we've been having fun with it.

    Never been ballin enough to build a diesel project, I like Chevy junk I can go to the junk yard and have my pick of spares. This thing is probably going to be 5-7K all done depending on how nice we go with the body work and paint.

    Spent some time getting the rest of the hydraulic bed broken down.
    This dump bed is rated between 6 and 8 tons and everything except the base frame and rams were too twisted to use. I would like to see the loads they dropped in it to bend it up the way they did.

    Probably only going to need to use one of these rams on the new dump bed since its going to be about 10' and I have the 9500 GVWR to think about.
    This model is a 44DL "Farm Twin"
    Daybrook2001 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Super beefy welds on this thing.

    20171116_150353 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20171116_150334 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20171116_150417 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

  7. #7
    It'll still be a cool project! But I still wonder if you couldn't find a wrecked 12v cummins and swap it's drivetrain in? No need for me to announce my dreams in your thread, but I am looking forward to seeing the end result!

  8. #8
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 74BuckinBronc View Post
    It'll still be a cool project! But I still wonder if you couldn't find a wrecked 12v cummins and swap it's drivetrain in? No need for me to announce my dreams in your thread, but I am looking forward to seeing the end result!
    Ive thought about it but it's just not in the budget, the prices on CL for 12v's are wild..(I'm probably just broke/cheap in reality)

    $2200 for one sitting in the dirt in someones back yard.
    https://denver.craigslist.org/pts/d/...351440238.html

    $800 for a core.
    https://boulder.craigslist.org/pts/d...377487758.html

    I don't have $800 in the van right now, after selling extra parts and running all this scrap it'll be damn near free. Plus after buying a Liberty CRD new off the lot my dad wont own another diesel haha

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado_Baja View Post
    the prices on CL for 12v's are wild..(I'm probably just broke/cheap in reality)
    No, people are crazy with 12 valves. Especially p-pumped 12V's.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Grant H. View Post
    No, people are crazy with 12 valves. Especially p-pumped 12V's.
    people are crazy with cummins in general. I've been searching for a newer truck (04' - newer cummins) and the prices on trucks is down right stupid. when i bought my old 2005 cummins with 28k miles on it in 2007 i paid $22k for it. Now your lucky to find a 5.9 truck with under 150k miles for under $24k. Biggest mistake ever was selling that truck.
    - Professional web wheeler

  11. #11

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    Three years ago I sold my '97 Ram 2500 CTD with 220,000 and got $12,000 for it. I bought an '07 2500 5.9 CTD Laramie with 87,000 miles and gave $23k for it. Sale was under protest but my wife insisted

  12. #12
    The Original Opie-Gone-Bad!!! Aaron's Avatar
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    Sweet project! Will be following this for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkainz View Post
    Three years ago I sold my '97 Ram 2500 CTD with 220,000 and got $12,000 for it. I bought an '07 2500 5.9 CTD Laramie with 87,000 miles and gave $23k for it. Sale was under protest but my wife insisted
    Lol, someone last week on a job site of mine offered me $14K for my '97 Dodge 2500 CTD that has under 151K miles. After considering it for a day or two, I turned him down. Figured I wouldn't find anything else in as good of shape for near that price.

  13. #13
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotMOAB? View Post
    Biggest mistake ever was selling that truck.
    I've always wanted a diesel but I don't have anything sizable to tow so I don't really need one.
    About 5 years ago I almost bought an 05 quad cab 3500 SRW cummins. It was the cheapest one on CL and it had a pile of miles and about as many mods.
    Smartest thing I ever did was not buying that truck haha.

    Not having any large trailers to pull is ultimately what led me to put an 8.1L in my K3500. My camper is only 1800ish loaded and when I go to the steel yard during the week I rarely get more then 1000lbs in a single load so the gas V8 does just fine.

    20170727_193918 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

  14. #14
    Your 8.1 will pull with any stock 12V or stock early 24valve Cummins all day long (or any pickup diesel of that vintage).

    Diesel motors are cool (I have several)- but they aren't the only way to tow.

    Besides, sometimes it is kinda nice to be able to just mash the go pedal up hill for days and not worry about heat.
    If you cross thread a bolt, there is no need for loctite.

    Run whatcha brung... And hope you brought enough.

  15. #15
    Your project looks fun!

    My only suggestion is to check the track width- the deuce and a half fenders are usually wider than stock stuff. Your van front end might be too narrow to look good in the fenders.

  16. #16
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PovertyByJeep View Post
    Your 8.1 will pull with any stock 12V or stock early 24valve Cummins all day long (or any pickup diesel of that vintage).

    Diesel motors are cool (I have several)- but they aren't the only way to tow.

    Besides, sometimes it is kinda nice to be able to just mash the go pedal up hill for days and not worry about heat.
    Good to know. I know my buddy's stock 454 can't hold a candle to it, especially hauling up hill.
    I was a little worried about the temp creeping up going uphill but it didn't move it all with the camper loaded going over Monarch.

    It's definitely the most fun I've had with 5k.

  17. #17
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PovertyByJeep View Post
    Your project looks fun!

    My only suggestion is to check the track width- the deuce and a half fenders are usually wider than stock stuff. Your van front end might be too narrow to look good in the fenders.
    That was one of the dims I checked before buying the van. The van is actually a couple inches wider tire edge to edge then the 57 front end so that should be good.

    The 1.5 ton and up trucks have different hoods(I think) and larger front fender openings then the 1 ton and lighter trucks but they use the same cab, doors, windshield,etc.

    Since this truck will likely need a set of front fenders I may go with the 1ton and lighter fenders to make the smaller tires look more proportional. The stock tires on the 57 are 37" tall and I was thinking of 32-33" tires when we're done so not a huge difference even if I end up with the larger fender openings.

    Replacement fenders are expensive and I've heard the fit sucks so ill likely try to find some originals to work with.



    In this pic you can see how much extra sheet metal there is in between the fender opening and door on the lighter duty trucks.
    Last edited by Colorado_Baja; November 22nd, 2017 at 08:33 PM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by GotMOAB? View Post
    people are crazy with cummins in general. I've been searching for a newer truck (04' - newer cummins) and the prices on trucks is down right stupid. when i bought my old 2005 cummins with 28k miles on it in 2007 i paid $22k for it. Now your lucky to find a 5.9 truck with under 150k miles for under $24k. Biggest mistake ever was selling that truck.
    Fair point. When I bought my 08, I looked at used first, but 1-3 years old was within $2500 of what I paid out the door for my brand new truck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    Lol, someone last week on a job site of mine offered me $14K for my '97 Dodge 2500 CTD that has under 151K miles. After considering it for a day or two, I turned him down. Figured I wouldn't find anything else in as good of shape for near that price.
    Don't do it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado_Baja View Post
    I've always wanted a diesel but I don't have anything sizable to tow so I don't really need one.
    About 5 years ago I almost bought an 05 quad cab 3500 SRW cummins. It was the cheapest one on CL and it had a pile of miles and about as many mods.
    Smartest thing I ever did was not buying that truck haha.

    Not having any large trailers to pull is ultimately what led me to put an 8.1L in my K3500. My camper is only 1800ish loaded and when I go to the steel yard during the week I rarely get more then 1000lbs in a single load so the gas V8 does just fine.

    20170727_193918 by colorado_baja, on Flickr
    The fact that you know what you need, and what you don't need, puts you ahead of a lot of people that buy trucks.

    I had to chuckle at your steel comment though, my last pallet of steel was more than what you're talking about by itself.

    2'x2'x.5" Plates - 1300lbs... Part of the 10k+ lbs of steel that I have bought, cut/welded, and delivered to galvanizing this week...
    20171121_141956_HDR by ARNEWB, on Flickr

    BTW - Your build thread with the 8.1 was great to follow. I'm excited to see how this build goes.
    Last edited by Grant H.; November 23rd, 2017 at 11:33 AM.

  19. #19
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant H. View Post
    I had to chuckle at your steel comment though, my last pallet of steel was more than what you're talking about by itself.

    2'x2'x.5" Plates - 1300lbs... Part of the 10k+ lbs of steel that I have bought, cut/welded, and delivered to galvanizing this week...

    BTW - Your build thread with the 8.1 was great to follow. I'm excited to see how this build goes.
    I got tired of lifting heavy shit and having to watch my toes so I do pretty much all aluminum these days. Luckily most of the material is customer supplied so when I go to the yard its mostly for side projects and stuff like the 57.

    20160502_115216 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    2017-11-23_08-19-13 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    What do those beefy 1/2" plates get made into?

    The 8.1 build was fun, I like cobbling junk together (obviously haha) Its been pretty reliable other then replacing a starter last week. Mileage isn't terrible either.
    Screenshot_20170816-204235 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Ill have an update actually relevant to this thread to post in the next day or two, been working on getting the cab off the old frame this week.

  20. #20
    Clod Hopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant H. View Post

    I think you might want to re-deck your trailer.
    Proudly un-offended.

  21. #21
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    Spent some time this week building a cart for the cab.

    20171125_134053 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Got the cab on the cart and rolled it in for the first time today. Holy balls that cab is heavy even with the doors off.
    Now one guy can move it around the shop and crawl around inside it to work on it.

    20171125_150649 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Some of the original Ocean Green under the undercoating.

    20171125_150711 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Almost done breaking this thing down. Got a couple scrap runs in my future.

    20171125_150905 by colorado_baja, on Flickr
    Last edited by Colorado_Baja; November 25th, 2017 at 07:50 PM.

  22. #22
    just sayin, this is awesome.
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  23. #23
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euroford View Post
    just sayin, this is awesome.
    Thanks, my dad and I are having fun with it.

    This pic pretty much sums up the quality of work that was done to that 57 the last 10 years it was on the road..

    20171126_095805 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

  24. #24
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    Rust and holes.. and rusty holes. This cab has a couple but its not too bad in the grand scheme.

    Decided to start with the driver floor since that was a big one and I had a patch panel.

    20171130_110843 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Under structure is still good.

    20171130_151735 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Got everything fitted and tacked. Still need to make another small panel for the top right, the damage in the pan extended past my patch panel and then weld it up.

    20171201_152116 by colorado_baja, on Flickr
    Last edited by Colorado_Baja; December 2nd, 2017 at 06:18 PM.

  25. #25
    I just helped a friend weld in a patch panel on the floorboard of his 68 camaro. A labor of love for sure! I like thicker metal myself...

  26. #26
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 74BuckinBronc View Post
    I just helped a friend weld in a patch panel on the floorboard of his 68 camaro. A labor of love for sure! I like thicker metal myself...
    It is for sure.

    If your setup right you should be able to fill bigger gaps pretty easy.

    20171204_111453 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    I like to snap a line of tacks onto the edge, itll pull your edge back 1/16" or so but now its 3x thicker so your hotter tacks that you'll fill the middle with have something to hold onto.

    20171204_111643 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20171204_121634 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20171204_145951 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Still need to grind the smaller patches but got the driver floor mostly done today, you might notice I didn't weld the top seam of the patch. Thats because someone had mounted some type of master cyl and tore the firewall out. Planning on cutting out everything from the top of the patch to the top of the fire wall and replacing it with 1/8". That way It wont tear out again since I'm trying going to have brake and clutch masters mounted there. Plus the steering column hole, holes for the frame mounted pedals and all those other garbage holes need to be deleted so that will take care of most of it all at once..

    20171204_145944 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20171130_110913 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado_Baja View Post
    It is for sure.

    If your setup right you should be able to fill bigger gaps pretty easy.

    20171204_111453 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    I like to snap a line of tacks onto the edge, itll pull your edge back 1/16" or so but now its 3x thicker so your hotter tacks that you'll fill the middle with have something to hold onto.

    20171204_111643 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20171204_121634 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20171204_145951 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Still need to grind the smaller patches but got the driver floor mostly done today, you might notice I didn't weld the top seam of the patch. Thats because someone had mounted some type of master cyl and tore the firewall out. Planning on cutting out everything from the top of the patch to the top of the fire wall and replacing it with 1/8". That way It wont tear out again since I'm trying going to have brake and clutch masters mounted there. Plus the steering column hole, holes for the frame mounted pedals and all those other garbage holes need to be deleted so that will take care of most of it all at once..

    20171204_145944 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20171130_110913 by colorado_baja, on Flickr
    Tell me more about "setup right". I'm welding on a body this week and am neither confident nor experienced.

    Mark

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  28. #28
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post
    Tell me more about "setup right". I'm welding on a body this week and am neither confident nor experienced.

    Mark

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    Most of the guys I see having trouble are using Harbor Freight or other off brand welders. They are cheap for a reason, the electronics are garbage and when you're welding on thin stuff it makes a difference. Some guys swear by them but every one I've ever had to use was a pile of shit.

    2nd biggest issue is electrode(wire) size, I see lots of guys trying to weld 18-22 gauge floor pans with .035, step down to .030 or .024 and you'll have a lot better luck. I use autoset on my one Miller and the other older Miller I always pull the recommend settings off the door and tweak from there.

    If your "setup right" you should be able to snap a line of tacks onto an edge like I did above. If it keeps blowing the base metal away you're either turned up to high or the metal your trying to weld to doesn't have enough substance left (too rusty cut back more).

    Be careful about the angle of your cutoff wheel or sawzall blade when making cuts, cutting at an angle will knife edge your material making it even thinner and harder to weld to.

    When ever possible stack your tacks by angling your electrode at the base of your previous tack. The last tack is a lot thicker then the metal around it, that will let you ride the trigger a hair longer and really melt it in there and once you get the hang of it you wont have to worry nearly as much about burning through your base metal.

    Lastly don't forget to skip around a lot and go slow, its easy to get in a hurry once you get going and warp some stuff.

    Hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions.

  29. #29
    Thanks man! I'm using a Miller 210 and may step down to 023 (from 030) for this. I need to practice, and your technique suggestions are how I'll start.

    Mark

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  30. #30
    Clod Hopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post
    may step down to 023 (from 030) for this.
    Don't just consider it. Buy a spool and tips for the thinner wire. You will be surprised how much easier it is on sheetmetal. All the other techniques are useless if you are still trying to pot in with 35 and even have minimal value with 30 wire. Thin metal needs thin wire.

  31. #31

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    Planishing as you spot weld also helps. As the weld cools, the metal shrinks. Once you have a round of spot welds done, hit them lightly with a body hammer with a dolly directly behind the weld/hammer to stretch it back to the original size.

  32. #32
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting guys, this is my first large scale sheet metal project so I'm no expert by any means.

    Fixed a bunch of little stuff..
    20171130_110900 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20171206_150915 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Took this one before I finished grinding the bigger patch out on the bottom.
    20171206_150835 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    And a ton of little ones in the middle of the fire wall.

    20171207_132354 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    All this is a warm up for the cab corners.

    20171130_111015 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20171130_111137 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20171130_111152 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Someone did a poor job of welding them on there so I decided to do some exploratory surgery today.

    20171207_132637 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20171207_132616 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    20171207_132622 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Since they put the new corners right over the old ones they used a mountain of filler to make it look decent. Chased most of it out of the driver side today.

    20171208_140853 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

    Driver side body mount was partially rusted out, luckliy the under structure is still good. Need to do some more grinding and ill be able to patch the floor in and hopefully the new cab corner patch panels will cover the damage on the back of the cab.

    20171208_140904 by colorado_baja, on Flickr

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