Category Archives: Restoration/Rebuild of our ’50 Chevy 3100 Pickup Truck

1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restore / Rebuild_4: Grilling on a Sunday Afternoon

When Mark said he’d be grilling this Sunday, silly me to think he was talking about a couple of juicy steaks on the barby, corn on the cob, maybe a dozen grilled jumbo shrimp. I blindly set out to make an awesome side salad to go with the grilled goods, but alas, I’m still standing here kinda hungry.

I should have known, Mark still has not recovered from a severe case of “truck rebuild on the brain.” I’m not dissin’ him. When it comes to this 1950 Chevy 3100 Pickup Truck Rebuild (1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restore/Rebuild_1: Committing to the Project ), it may have started out as an “us” project, but it is most certainly a Mark project. Too many aspects of this project have required Mark’s wide and deep knowledge and life experience to make it all just right. I’ve been watching in amazement on the sidelines, oohing and aahing at his fine engineering and immense patience in working out the zillions of unexpected kinks in this once-in-a-lifetime project.  (Mark SWEARS he will NOT be doing a project like this EVER again!)

Last you saw, she looked something like this . . .

Chevy 3100 pick-up truck, restoration, rebuild, restore, built from scratch, body, old chassis, new chassis, Teardrop Adventures, teardrop trailers

NOW, she’s looking more like this . . .

With this rebuilt, re-engineered engine tucked neatly (if not SNUGly!) in the engine compartment . . .

One of the final pieces to the puzzle is the grill that Mark realigned and wet sanded today . . .

After sanding it, Master Mark gave the grill a spectacular paint job . . .

Soon (tomorrow?), the grill will finally find its way back home on the old 1950 Chevy 3100 Pickup Truck she started her journey on, only now she’ll look prettier than she used to. (Thanks, Mark! You know my heart was stuck on chrome, but now that I see her paired up with the rest of the truck, I think it’s a match made in heaven.)

Next, Mark will paint the underside of the hood, so we can reattach that as well. (Yeah, this is the rare occasion where I can say ‘we’ . . . I’ve redeemed myself on occasion by at least being of help lifting the bed off the chassis, or lifting the hood or fenders when needed. <“Right, honey?”>)

I’m so excited. My re-imagined, rebuilt antique pickup truck is nearly ready to roll!

As always, stay tuned for updates!

Happy Restoring, Re-using, and Re-purposing to all you builders and restorers out there!


Related Articles in this 1950 Chevy Restore/Rebuild series:

1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restore/Rebuild_1: Committing to the Project

1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restore / Rebuild_2: Prepping Chassis and Engine

1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restore/Rebuild_3: Hard Body Meets Firm Foundation


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1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restore / Rebuild_3: Hard Body Meets Firm Foundation

ATTACHING THE BODY TO THE NEWER CHASSIS

Okay, so this is where the FUN starts.

Big airplane hangar to play in.

Big forklifts to drop the body parts on the chassis (Is this a Stephen King novel? lol).

Big-time sweating and swearing till we got ‘er done.

It all started here . . . 1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restore/Rebuild_1: Committing to the Project. By now, we’ve advanced considerably in the project.

This is the third update on the progress of our 1950 Chevy 3100 restoration and rebuild, reflecting one of our more active days, just before summer got cranking in Arizona. So much has happened in the last several months, enough that writing about it has become a luxury. But I’m here to make amends and keep on keeping on.

We’ve been so lucky to have an aircraft junkyard at our disposal–a large work space where we could tackle the tougher elements of our build, however long it took, and where we could have access to industrial-grade lift equipment to make our lives easier.

On this part of the build, we’re pulling the cab and truck bed from the old, original 1950 Chevy 3100 chassis and attaching them to the 1989 Chevy S10 chassis that’s been reworked and prepped for this build.

BUT FIRST . . . ONE LAST DRIVE IN THE OLD TRUCK BEFORE SHE GETS A MAKEOVER:

AND NOW TO STRIP HER OF ANY UNNECESSARY BODY PARTS BEFORE HEADING TO THE AIRCRAFT JUNKYARD:

Chevy 3100 pick-up truck, restoration, rebuild, restore, built from scratch, body, old chassis, new chassis, Teardrop Adventures, teardrop trailers

ONE LAST TIME LISTENING TO HER OLD ENGINE RUN; NOT BAD FOR A 66-YEAR-OLD ENGINE! . . .

TIME TO REMOVE THE CAB AND BED FROM THE ORIGINAL CHASSIS, WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM TEREX :

Somebody came by that very morning, bought the old chassis from us, and carted it away. Bye bye, now!

Chevy 3100 pick-up truck, restoration, rebuild, restore, built from scratch, body, old chassis, new chassis, Teardrop Adventures, teardrop trailers

A LOT OF MEASURING, A TON OF FINESSING,  AND AMPLE PREP-WORK TO CREATE SUPPORTS NECESSARY AND GET ‘EM WELDED IN THE RIGHT PLACES:

IRONMAN RETURNS:

Chevy 3100 pick-up truck, restoration, rebuild, restore, built from scratch, body, old chassis, new chassis, Teardrop Adventures, teardrop trailers

THE MOMENT WE HAD BEEN WAITING FOR, LOWERING THE CAB AND BED ONTO THE NEWER CHASSIS:

SUCCESS! SHE’S BACK TOGETHER AGAIN . . .

But on a chassis that will be able to handle the spacing and structure necessary for our upgraded brakes, suspension, engine, safety, and convenience requirements:

Chevy 3100 pick-up truck, restoration, rebuild, restore, built from scratch, body, old chassis, new chassis, Teardrop Adventures, teardrop trailers

This part of the project–transporting the truck to the junkyard, stripping her body from the previous chassis, prepping the newer chassis, and dropping the body onto the new chassis–took an entire day, start to finish.

Our truck is looking great (check out the optical illusion of her bed already filled up with rakes and shovels . . .

Chevy 3100 pick-up truck, restoration, rebuild, restore, built from scratch, body, old chassis, new chassis, Teardrop Adventures, teardrop trailers

but she’ll have to stay another day at the junkyard, so Mark can tackle attaching the engine and transmission. This part of the project I won’t be much help with. But as always, I have every confidence he will get the job done, and he’ll do it well. It’s what he does.

Once the engine and transmission are in, we can have our truck transported back to our home, where we can tackle the rest of the project in the comfort of our own garage. With the hot summer weather in Arizona, a garage fashioned with a swamp cooler will be a welcome treat.

Chevy 3100 pick-up truck, restoration, rebuild, restore, built from scratch, body, old chassis, new chassis, Teardrop Adventures, teardrop trailers
Me, messing around with photographing TEREX as seen through our 1950 Chevy 3100 side-view mirror. 🙂

Stay tuned for updates!

Happy Restoring, Re-using, and Re-purposing to all you builders and restorers out there!


Related Articles in this 1950 Chevy Restore/Rebuild series:

1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restore/Rebuild_1: Committing to the Project

1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restore / Rebuild_2: Prepping Chassis and Engine


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1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restore / Rebuild_2: Prepping Chassis and Engine

THE CHASSIS

So, as you might recall from our first post on this project (1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restore/Rebuild_1: Committing to the Project), we acquired this lovely hunka junka 1989 Chevy S10 for it’s chassis . . .

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck
Chassis from 1989 Chevy S10

This is the same truck, stripped of the worst part of the truck . . .

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog

. . . or so we thought.

Surprise!

And here was our first surprise . . .

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog

Errrrr . . . those two big bars that look shifted to the right isn’t a trick of the camera. This baby withstood significant impact and the result was a seriously misaligned front end. Still, Mark decided he was willing to keep working with it.

There, that’s better . . .

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog

Now for a bit of cleanup . . .

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog

. . . and a few restored parts (cleaned and painted) from a variety of trucks that have now been added to the mix . . .

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog

. . . and we have ourselves a half-decent looking, rolling chassis, ready for an engine .

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog

THE ENGINE

Seems we were destined to put this demolished 2004 Chevy Silverado Extended Cab to good re-use. We were happy to pull from it the LS 4.8 engine we would use for our vintage truck restoration project.

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog

The Silverado had seen better days, but her engine only had 112,000 miles on it. Plenty more to go, as far as we were concerned.

The engine looked a might frightful at first . . .

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog . . . but not so bad after we stripped her of her wiring harness and computer, and gave her a good cleaning. Next, we used a forklift to lower the chassis over the engine (rather than trying to precariously dangle the engine over the chassis) . . .

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog

. . . and checked her for proper fit before we committed to the rest of the project.

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog

She now looks good to go.

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck, engine, chassis, redesign, teardrop trailer blog

Next, we’ll install the truck bed, cab, engine, and transmission. And then we’ll trailer her back home where we can tackle the rest of the project in the comfort of our own garage.  Definitely something we’re looking forward to.

You may have noticed we’re pulling parts from a variety of vehicles for this project. Part of that is out of necessity. We were limited in our choice of chassis to match the 1950 Chevy 3100. Part of that is out of Mark’s desire for certain performance and reliability features. We will continue to walk that line and, in the meantime, have assembled a detailed spreadsheet, tracking where in the heck all the parts came from (especially VIN# of donor vehicles). Otherwise, fixing anything mechanical on this baby down the road (getting the right parts, in particular) would be a nightmare.

At the moment, our truck is in good company at the aircraft junkyard among several impressive rat rods (rusty on the outside, radically wicked power on the inside!).

Chassis Engine__IMG_1339

And by the time we’re done with our 1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restoration & Rebuild  project, we’ll have a hybrid truck that is retro and highly functional . . . a truck Dr. Frankenstein himself would be happy to ride in!

Stay tuned for updates!

Happy Restoring, Re-using, and Re-purposing to all you builders and restorers out there!


Related Articles in this 1950 Chevy Restore/Rebuild series:

1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restore/Rebuild_1: Committing to the Project


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1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restore/Rebuild_1: Committing to the Project

As the old timers used to say,

“Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!”

Along with the resurgence of love for vintage teardrop trailers, vintage, full-sized camping trailers, and pimped-out vintage decor, there’s also a significant resurgence of interest in vintage vehicles. Most everyone who owns or will own a vintage camper eventually toys with the idea of pulling it with a similar-year vintage vehicle.  But most folks don’t necessarily want to put up with the slow-moving, old-time nature of a vintage vehicle.

In the spirit of preserving one of those beautiful babies a.k.a. the fabulous vintage vehicles of the 40s, 50s, and 60s that look stunning pulling vintage trailers, we set out to acquire ourselves a vintage truck by keeping the babythe beautiful body that we loved so much. And disposing of the bathwaterthe old, under-powered, under-performing engine and chassis of a vintage truck.

The baby in question for us is a 1950 Chevy 3100 pickup truck. I’ve wanted to own one of these all my life. I mean way back, like when I was in a teenager, growing up in the 60s and 70s.

About a year ago, my interest was re-sparked, when I spotted this old beauty in a supermarket parking lot . . .

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck
The Chevy 3100 I saw that became the inspiration for our vintage truck hybrid rebuild.

That natural green hue. Those beautiful curves. It was love at first sight.

Mark took a picture of her, because I uttered the words, “Someday, I want a truck just like this!”

When we talked about the possibility of acquiring a truck like this, we realized we wanted something not only vintage, but practical, too. We wanted it to be powerful enough to pull a large camping trailer, if we wished. And strong and safe enough to use for long-distance driving or short hauls with a heavy payload in the truck bed.

In other words, we knew right away that we wanted a hybrid restoration/rebuild. So when we talked about “someday” making a truck like this a reality, we realized we’d have to wait for when we might also someday live on a big piece of property with a large garage and no HOV-community restrictions. In other words, someday wouldn’t be any day soon.

Then. An opportunity.

Mark knows the owner of an airplane junkyard who said he’d be willing to allow us space on his property to tackle a build project. The fella and his sons were deep into building rat rods–some nasty, some fancy, but mostly big ole rusted-out trucks, chopped up and stripped down, powered by over-the-top engines, just perfect for street racing and fun.

IMG_0546_resize

The offer was the answer to our prayers. Mark jumped right on it.

Within a week, we found a 1950 Chevy 3100 on a Texas-centric Craigslist ad. We live in Arizona, but soon found we had to extend our reach if we hoped to find the exact truck we wanted. For $575, we found someone to transport the slightly drive-able, but definitely not road-worthy truck.

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck
The body of this 1950 Chevy 3100

After a massive amount of research, Mark found that if we wanted to preserve the vintage body, but beef up the underlying power and handling, then we needed a late 1980’s Chevy S10 chassis to match up with the Chevy 3100. One week later, we scored a 1989 Chevy S10 chassis on Craigslist from a local seller.

So, the body of this vintage Chevy 3100 pickup truck . . .

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck
Chevy 3100 pickup from Texas

PLUS the chassis of this [technically an antique, I suppose!] 1989 Chevy S10 pickup truck . . .

restore, rebuild, re-use, vintage Chevy 3100 truck
Chassis from 1989 Chevy S10

EQUALS the TRUCK OF MY DREAMS in the making.

The rest of the build is all magic a la Mr. Google and Mark.

“Mr. Google, let me introduce to you the relentless research skills, metal fabrication expertise,  and mechanical prowess of my partner, Mark.”  🙂

Granted, it’s an ambitious project. But Mark is just the guy to tackle it.

About one month into the project and Mark has scored the body, chassis, low-mile engine, and transmission, most of which are originals, except for the transmission, which has been rebuilt. He has cleaned up the old and made much of it look new again, or at least new’ish. And he is finessing the heck out of figuring out how to pull it all together.

I can hardly wait!

Stay tuned for updates!

Happy Restoring, Re-using, and Re-purposing to all you builders and restorers out there!


Related Articles in this 1950 Chevy Restore/Rebuild series:

1950 Chevy 3100 Vintage Truck Restore / Rebuild_2: Prepping Chassis and Engine


Say, if you liked this blog post,
be sure to FOLLOW US by using the buttons/links
on the upper-left corner of this website
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Happy trails, y’all!

Sue J signature