81 Chevy Stepside Pickup - Round 3

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Re: 81 Chevy Stepside Pickup - Round 3

Postby Huskiedrive2 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:55 pm

Great write up Tom! I look forward to your posts on your progress. Word of advice, the fiberglass (plastic) of the AC box will have absorbed some of the mouse urine. Thoroughly steam clean the box with scalding hot water and bleach or use the box from your dad's original cab. When the heater is on, the smell comes back as the fiberglass heats up. I went through this on one of my trucks and ended up replacing the heater box. Since then I have learned about the steam clean, hot water, bleach process and that works.
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Re: 81 Chevy Stepside Pickup - Round 3

Postby oldspwr » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:20 am

Thanks Stan... That is very helpful. I still have the heater box sitting outside. We considered replacing everything with a Vintage Air unit but right now we are leaning towards reusing all the factory stuff. The original cab was a non AC truck so we can't use the stuff from that cab.

Tom
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Re: 81 Chevy Stepside Pickup - Round 3

Postby Huskiedrive2 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:54 am

After a thorough cleaning, you could also seal the AC box with some clear coat to be sure of no odors.
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Re: 81 Chevy Stepside Pickup - Round 3

Postby Second » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:40 pm

Thanks for the update! I really enjoy your projects. Is the hot rod still on the back burner? Oh yes, please do not hurt Mickey...
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Re: 81 Chevy Stepside Pickup - Round 3

Postby oldspwr » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:11 am

Hi second, yes the 26 Model T is on the back burner for now. I would rather work on the trucks!!!

Once we had the cab fairly stripped down we decided to jump back on the frame. I had considered having the frame sandblasted and then painted but a long conversation with a friend of mine at work. He restored a handful of mid 70’s Blazer’s back in the day and mentioned that when the sand got between the crossmembers it eventually worked the rivets loose. He did a lot of offroading so maybe that had something to do with it. In the meantime I took much harder look at the frame and was concerned about the rust between the crossmember under the front of the bed. So one thing led to another and we decided to start drilling the rivets out...

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While Jason was working on the rivets I started working on removing the front steering components...

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I had decided to leave the motor as long as possible so that the weight would help with removing the front springs...

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Then it was time to finally pull the motor...

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More to follow...
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Re: 81 Chevy Stepside Pickup - Round 3

Postby oldspwr » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:12 am

Once the motor was out we started working on unbolting everything up front...

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And within a short amount of time we had is fairly stripped down...

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At that point we flipped it upside down to start working on the rear springs...

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Once the rear springs were done that just about wrapped up the weekend...

During the course of the next week I had decided to remove the dash from the truck. The dash is held in with spot welds through the lower windshield frame. I wound up buying a Blair 3/8” spot well cutter set (part #11082) but realized 3/8” would take me too close to the edge. So I wound up buying just the 5/16” cutter bits and using them with the mandrel that came with the 3/8” kit.

The key to this tool is to use cutting oil and low rpms. I believe there was a total of 32 spot welds all together...

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During the course of the week Jason also stopped by with my nephew Alex and we had him bolt the carb and a few other items back on the old 350 once it was bolted to the engine stand...

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More to follow...
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Re: 81 Chevy Stepside Pickup - Round 3

Postby oldspwr » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:13 am

I disassembled the front cross member and discovered the 1/2" pressed in studs that mounted the upper A arms were in tired shape. Only 1 of the 4 was in decent shape. I wound up using the pressed to removed them from the brackets. They make a nice ‘boom’ when they finally come out...

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Once they were out I tried to find replacements which are GM part number 6263840. They look to be obsolete and I didn’t have much luck finding any but more on that later...

The following weekend we drilled the rivets out of the frame crossmembers. There was enough rust between the crossmembers that I thought this was the best approach in doing it right...

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And by the end of the weekend we had 2 loose frame rails...

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Once the frame rails were outside we moved on the upper and lower A arms. Jason started with removing the upper ball joints...

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And then we moved on to the bushings. Lots of bull work to remove all of these...

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That’s it for now, more to follow shortly...
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