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1947 Chevrolet 3800 Restomod


This 1947 came in for a restoration with the intent of being relatively stock with minor modifications but as with most restoration jobs project creep seems to work its way into the best laid plans. It ended up a full drive line and brake upgrade with later model 292 6 cylinder and AC and power steering. If you even done a 3600 or a 3800 you realize that no one make disc brakes and power steering for them that looks period correct so the project creep went to design and fabricate disc brake heavy enough to stop 8600 lbs of loaded truck and make it steer so the owner wife can drive it easily. Project creep is directly proportionate to budget creep, project creep + budget creep = checkbook anxiety. The time frame was about 6 and a half month start to finish.

On first glance this looked to be a nice solid truck but as you'll see it got scary quick.

First task was take it all apart and media blast it so we could see what it looked like. We did see an area on the A pillar that was rusted through but didn't look to be that bad. The rest looked as you would expect for a 65 year old truck.

We dismantled everything we could and cut open areas that were rotted so the media blaster could get into them. This is when it got scary, we cut open the pillar cover and saw this. We had a 1950 cab that was good in that spot so we chopped it out and sent it to then media blaster with all the other parts.


The back belt line also has some rot inside and out so we opened that up as well. The cab and bed are loose from the chassis and its ready for the blaster

Here it is blasted and ready to come back


In case you hadn't realized it , this is one long truck. 19.5" end to end. Its blasted, primed and ready to come back to the shop.

Rather than try fixing the belt line we cut off the back panel and replaced the panel bow and repaired the mating edge. The mating edges were weld bonded with panel adhesive and a spot welder.

I told you it got scary quick, that whole a pillar section was rotted beyond repair luckily I had a 50 that was in bad shape and the A pillar was good. We also found that the A pillars on 47 48 are different than on a 50 so we had to contend with the different edges and making then look right.

We tacked in the outer skin first to locate the pillar, once tacked in place we bolted on the door to make sure the pillar was located correctly.

Here it is outer pillar cover on, inner pillar welded in place, door on and ready for the metal finishing. Below is cleaned up and ready for primer.

Here it is the back panel is done and the A pillar done and ready to move onto other items. Yo thought none made disc kit for 3/4 and 1 ton trucks. They do now or we do now. We developed the brackets and spacers needed to add 2003 Chevy 2500 HD disc brakes. We also developed the power steering system that was never available for this truck before. we used the stock backing plates so it looks like disc brakes belong on the truck, The steering looks a little syfy but it works great and stops even better.

The power assist was made form 1967 chevy truck ram and control valve, we made the drag link and modified the steering arms to accept the tapers. It uses a standard GM pump with most of the mechanicals done we sent the body off to the paint shop. The rest was assembly adding new wiring and AC.

Here it is finished

The truck ended up with disc brakes all around, AC Power steering, Power brakes, 12 volt system, 292 CI GM 6 cylinder, 14 bolt rear end with 4:11's, intermittent wipers, and tubeless tries conversion to keep the stock hub caps