1956 GMC panel truck - POS to RatRod in one year.........

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by MZcountryboy, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. tattewell

    tattewell Mad Poser

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    Love your build, those things look really good once you get your 4wd conversion done a few years down the road...
    #41
  2. Land

    Land Wanderer

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    Oh, yeah!!:clap

    :lurk

    Chris
    #42
  3. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Very cool! This is exactly the type of vehicle that makes for the perfect rat rod. No need for absolutely perfect pannels, or high dollar motors, just super cool looking and basic! :thumb

    Jim :brow
    #43
  4. syntec4

    syntec4 Long timer

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    :lurk
    #44
  5. MZcountryboy

    MZcountryboy Long timer

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    You and I don't always agree, but today - you're spot on. This truck had one foot in the grave, and anything I do to make it go down the road will be helping it live a little longer. It's too shitty for a nice resto - if that is what you want to do, you're better off starting with a western rig.

    But for a fun rig to drive around in - I'm gonna do some home-brew fix up, and "use it up".......

    :deal
    #45
  6. MrBob

    MrBob Out there

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    [​IMG]

    [/QUOTE]

    You have dared to go where I need to go with my Volvo. Two questions: Did you weld the patches with gas, and did you have a problem with heat distorting them during the welding?
    I had a 57 GMC panel in 1970 complete with a peace sign on the door and shag carpeting in the back. It was a hippie chick magnet until rust made important bits fall off.
    #46
  7. MZcountryboy

    MZcountryboy Long timer

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    All the welding on this truck is being done with a MIG - Thermal Arc Fabricator 180. I'm finding using .023 wire is giving better results than .030 wire on the sheet metal. In order to not warp the panels, tack them in place at the corners, and you "stitch" the panel in by making short welds, spaced apart, then come back later fill in the holes a little at a time, till finished. Be careful not to weld too much in one spot or you get the heat buildup you don't want. It takes a while but the mig makes it easy.

    Drilling holes through the top panels, and plug welding into the bottom layer gives the "spot weld" look you can see in a few places. That is a handy technique.

    Hippy dippy days with the poontang panel! I bet you got some stories there!
    #47
  8. kobudo28

    kobudo28 Banned

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    Great thread MZ! I bought one similar to yours when I was a freshman in college but I didn't have any way to get it home so I lost it.

    Mine was panel truck but a Carry-All version, barn door back end with an additional side door behind the passenger door.

    A classic that got away... damn!

    Another kid on campus had one of these.

    [​IMG]

    65 panel truck. His was not hot rodded like this one though.
    #48
  9. MrBob

    MrBob Out there

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    That's useful advice. The Eastwood web page tech section had similar advice though not as detailed as yours.
    The 6 cylinder engine and three on the tree was the most common configuration back in the day so I think you made the right choice. They were great trucks and a common sight when I was a kid. I look forward to following your progress.
    #49
  10. crankshaft

    crankshaft Guns are for pussies

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    #50
  11. MZcountryboy

    MZcountryboy Long timer

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    Thanks buddy - I'm getting a schooling on old american iron on this one.
    #51
  12. MZcountryboy

    MZcountryboy Long timer

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    So today, I ran the DA sander inside the truck, grinding off the surface rust off the inside of the roof panel. Showering myself with rust dust. Joy. The truck originally had a headliner, (now long gone) and those cheap bastards at GMC didn't paint under it. So, sand off the light rust and prime with self-etching primer, step one in getting the inside ready for the light gray navy-battleship style brush paint job I'm going to do on the interior.

    Before -

    [​IMG]

    After -

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And at this point in the game, I'm sick of running the DA sander. This is why I turn wrenches instead of shooting paint for a living. Funny, 5 layers of paint on the drivers side, only two layers on the pass side. Found some filler on the P/S too. Someone has been here before!

    [​IMG]

    You can see I got some primer on the roof too.............
    #52
  13. AWM

    AWM Beard Bros Racing

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    Hey old pal,you ever think of rolling some truck bed liner in there?Cheap enough,and can be painted.
    It'll stop rust,and take a beating,you know bike bars and shit.Works as insulation,and you can throw some sand in it for grip on the floor.Blah,blah,blah,you get the point.:D
    #53
  14. MZcountryboy

    MZcountryboy Long timer

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    I was actually thinking that stuff for the floor area in the cab, protection, grip, sound deadening, all in one tough package!

    Never thought about it for the inside of the cargo area.

    Hmmmm............
    #54
  15. AWM

    AWM Beard Bros Racing

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    You can get it in gallon cans,and it rolls on.You do the corners and hard to reach spots with a brush,then roll the rest.If you want it thicker let it dry between coats,the thicker it is the better the sound deading.
    When i used to customize vans for a living,we'd do the whole inside of pannel vans for guys that wanted to use every inch of space,but still wanted some insulation.
    Last time i looked,,,it was about $40 a gallon.Well worth it in my opinon.You can kill two birds with one stone.


    Oh and its great for cover'n up the wrinkles that paint can't.
    #55
  16. ddavidv

    ddavidv Thrifty not cheap

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    Did you learn nothing from all those years donking around with rusty Fiats? :dunno
    Oh yeah, you learned how to fix hopelessly rusted piles of shit. :rofl
    I like where this is heading...especially giving a big :fyyff to all the over-restoring, V8 swapping "has to be done THIS way" crowd. I wish I'd had that good sense years ago (like when I was a teen, and thought everything needed to be factory stock and perfect).
    Phelps is still Da Man. Keep the photos comin'. :clap
    Oh yeah, about the paint...please don't do yet another "rat rod" in black primer with red wheels. I'm so sick of those I could puke. Get a couple quarts of Rustoleum or Interlux boat paint and roller that bitch. The purists will hate that even more.
    #56
  17. MZcountryboy

    MZcountryboy Long timer

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    C'mon - now you're getting me down, my dream was really to do a Citroen rat rod like this, but all I could find was a rust-ty GMC.

    :lol3

    [​IMG]


    I originally thought about brush painting the outside. But after sanding 5 layers of paint off, I'm having second thoughts.

    :lol3


    ( I actually thought about white hull paint for the roof, but it would look too fucking british if I did that....)
    #57
  18. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Oh yeah! http://rolledon.forummotion.com/

    Jim :brow
    #58
  19. Gimpinator

    Gimpinator This is my Mom's cat

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    That Traction Avant gives me wood! The engine lived on in the DS series through 1976. What a cool rod that would be, though you'd have the Frenchies hopping mad :D
    #59
  20. MrBob

    MrBob Out there

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    You can have your truck liner, it's the shag carpeting that will pull in the chicks.:wink:
    #60