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Old 07-01-2013, 10:36 PM   #1
roger1

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Default I guess it's about time I start a project thread for my wife's '57 3200 pickup.

Well here it is the first of July and I started working on my wife's truck last April. (I started collecting parts for it late last fall however).

So, I'll start the thread now and try to get it up-to-date over the next few days and then keep up with it from then on.

First, I want to give a link that covers when and how we came to own this truck 2 years ago:
http://www.trifive.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59430
(Thanks again for everyone that helped me with the purchase decision.)

So, the story from there is that my wife wouldn't drive the truck the way it was. I drove and enjoyed it from time-to-time and she would ride with me but she only drove it about 3 times with me and wouldn't drive it alone.
What she hated the most was the manual steering. She didn't like the standard transmission without the synchro first either. It didn't help matters that the syncho was sloppy in 2nd either along with the fact that it would pop out of second sometimes. No A/C, black vinyl seats and a manual turn signal were things she complained about too.

Anyway, I decided to do a restomod on the truck and try to make it a perfect grocery-getter for her. Fuel injection, power front disc brakes, automatic, A/C are all mandatory things I want for her. She would like for the truck to be painted green and keep all the trim white like it is now. She also wants the interior to be tan with a cloth seat.

More to come soon...

Here's a couple of pics of the truck right after we got it:



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'55 Bel Air Sport Coupe - Ram Jet 350 / T56 Magnum 6spd, Restomod Completed September 2012
'57 3200 Pickup - 305 TPI / 700R4, Restomod Completed October 2015 PROJECT THREAD
'83 Choo Choo SS El Camino - LT1 350/4L60e, Owned for 25 Years and Restomod #2 is Currently Underway
'08 Corvette - LS3 / 6spd, 3LT, Atomic Orange, All Stock

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Last edited by roger1; 07-02-2013 at 12:09 AM..
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:51 PM   #2
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Last November I was cruising craigslist and just happen to find an engine and transmission for sale that looked to me like a good one for the truck.

It was a 305 TPI and 700R4 transmission that was still in a pristine '91 Z28 Camaro with 63K miles. (They guy had picked up an LS1 and wanted to put in the car.) He was asking $1,000. He sent me photos of the car and engine and even took a video for me so I could hear it run. (He was in Copperas Cove.) After that, I told him I would take it and the following week he removed the engine and met me and San Saba where we did the exhange. To me, this is a perfect engine for the truck and what my wife wants to use it for. The truck has a 3.54 rear gear and should be a great ratio for the combo too.

Here's the car and engine before it was removed:
(Frankly, I think he was crazy for altering this cream puff car.)





Hauled it in my El Camino:



So, this started my commitment to the project.
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'55 Bel Air Sport Coupe - Ram Jet 350 / T56 Magnum 6spd, Restomod Completed September 2012
'57 3200 Pickup - 305 TPI / 700R4, Restomod Completed October 2015 PROJECT THREAD
'83 Choo Choo SS El Camino - LT1 350/4L60e, Owned for 25 Years and Restomod #2 is Currently Underway
'08 Corvette - LS3 / 6spd, 3LT, Atomic Orange, All Stock

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Old 07-01-2013, 11:00 PM   #3
joninomader R.I.P. 3-19-2017

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All I can say Roger is if this one turns out as nice as your 55 car did, it should be a real beauty.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:10 PM   #4
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April 27th.
This was the official kick off day of actually working on the truck. I removed the bed wood. A little rust under here but not bad.

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'55 Bel Air Sport Coupe - Ram Jet 350 / T56 Magnum 6spd, Restomod Completed September 2012
'57 3200 Pickup - 305 TPI / 700R4, Restomod Completed October 2015 PROJECT THREAD
'83 Choo Choo SS El Camino - LT1 350/4L60e, Owned for 25 Years and Restomod #2 is Currently Underway
'08 Corvette - LS3 / 6spd, 3LT, Atomic Orange, All Stock

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Last edited by roger1; 09-05-2013 at 10:31 AM..
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:11 PM   #5
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Been looking forward to this thread...subscribed!
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Dean... '56 2D HT PP Belair ...

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Old 07-01-2013, 11:22 PM   #6
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This is gonna be fun to follow.....

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Old 07-01-2013, 11:39 PM   #7
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Another priority was to get the gas tank out from behind the seat. I also wanted a gas tank with an internal electric fuel pump. After a lot of thinking and studying, I decided to use the same tank that Speedbump used for his truck. It's a Tanks, Inc. poly tank meant for a Furd.

Here's the tank:
http://www.tanksinc.com/index.cfm/pa...prod/prd73.htm

I got their fuel injection pump setup and sending unit for it too.

I got the rivets out of the crossmember and moved it back to where it needs to be (which is 22 1/2" between the 2 crossmembers). Wow those rivets aren't easy to get out.

Now I need to drill some holes and bolt it in place. Also need to get some steel and weld it in to box the frame for strength. I'll also build 2 supports to span the crossmembers for the top of the tank to lay against when it is strapped in place from underneath. The poly tank comes with a universal strap kit.



Utilizing free time wisely while I'm waiting for my new tank to be delivered...

I cut out the flange on the original gas-fill hole.

Heck, I've got to patch a big hole anyway, I might as well make it a little bigger and make use of the flange. So, I used a 3 1/2" circle for a template and cut out the flange with a jig saw.



Then, I used a 3 1/2" hole saw and picked a place on the rear fender that had the same contour as the original hole up front.
I then welded in the flange and finished it off.



Now all I need is a new rubber mounting gasket and some hoses.



So I've got a low cost and kind of original looking solution for the gas fill. I think I like the idea of keeping a retro look rather than going to a fancy gas door kit and saved some $ too.

Now, just have to make a patch for the original hole up front out of 18 gauge sheet-metal.
__________________
'55 Bel Air Sport Coupe - Ram Jet 350 / T56 Magnum 6spd, Restomod Completed September 2012
'57 3200 Pickup - 305 TPI / 700R4, Restomod Completed October 2015 PROJECT THREAD
'83 Choo Choo SS El Camino - LT1 350/4L60e, Owned for 25 Years and Restomod #2 is Currently Underway
'08 Corvette - LS3 / 6spd, 3LT, Atomic Orange, All Stock

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Old 07-01-2013, 11:48 PM   #8
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I decided I wanted to raise up the tank as much as I could for maximum ground clearance as well as looks from behind the truck. I used some square tubing to do that with. I will have to notch out the bed cross brace to clear the tank doing this. I will lose some strength but I think I will gain it back if I have it fit tightly against the bars and weld it there. Also, with no room to work with, I will have to put in my bed boards before mounting the tank permanently. I don't see that as a big deal though.

I had to modify the flange on the tank fill to accept a 1 1/2". Since the stock fill assembly was 1 1/4", I welded a short piece of 1 1/2" tubing to that. No cost as the 1 1/2 tubing was some stainless tubing that I had left over from my last project.

Btw, I am going to weld caps on the top of the square tubing so water wont collect in there. I'm also going to blast the entire frame and paint it all up with black SPI epoxy primer.

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'55 Bel Air Sport Coupe - Ram Jet 350 / T56 Magnum 6spd, Restomod Completed September 2012
'57 3200 Pickup - 305 TPI / 700R4, Restomod Completed October 2015 PROJECT THREAD
'83 Choo Choo SS El Camino - LT1 350/4L60e, Owned for 25 Years and Restomod #2 is Currently Underway
'08 Corvette - LS3 / 6spd, 3LT, Atomic Orange, All Stock

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Old 07-01-2013, 11:55 PM   #9
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Default Finished my tank mock-up.

It turned out to be more complicated than I thought to get my fill hose setup all worked out. It involved some trial and error, ordering more parts and a little welding. Got 'er done though.

I needed a 90 degree 1 1/2 tube to go in the middle of 2 hose sections. Also, that red hose (given to me) wouldn't work. It was just too thick and stiff. I ordered a Gates gas-fill hose off the net. I also had to weld on a piece of tubing onto the original gas-fill neck to get the right angle and to adapt it to the right 1 1/2" OD size. I will be painting the gas-fill neck and the flange on the tank with epoxy primer.

So here's some photos:









The strap kit came with the tank and it was a cut-to-fit kit where you have to bend one end and drill the hole. I cut the small reinforcement brackets off the original tank straps before discarding them. I welded them on the ends of the new straps after I cut and bent them.
I put the fixed end on the rear of the tank and the adjustable end on the front for better looks.

I'm really happy that I got this tank tucked up really high. It doesn't hang down low enough to ever worry about hitting on anything and looks better too.







I removed the fender to start stripping the 1/4" thick undercoating (yuk).
Anyway, I thought I would post an underneath photo of the flange I welded in.



Addition Edit:
Someone gave me a super idea for making a patch for the gas fill hole on the cab. After I cut off my rusted cab corners, there is a contour on them that matches that cab area and makes a perfect place to get a patch. Great idea and done!
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'55 Bel Air Sport Coupe - Ram Jet 350 / T56 Magnum 6spd, Restomod Completed September 2012
'57 3200 Pickup - 305 TPI / 700R4, Restomod Completed October 2015 PROJECT THREAD
'83 Choo Choo SS El Camino - LT1 350/4L60e, Owned for 25 Years and Restomod #2 is Currently Underway
'08 Corvette - LS3 / 6spd, 3LT, Atomic Orange, All Stock

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Last edited by roger1; 09-05-2013 at 10:34 AM..
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:50 AM   #10
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Keep them coming Roger
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