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Sheet Metal

Premature Body Rust

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Did you ever wonder why the 1934-46 GM trucks show major rust on their horizontal flat sheet metal? The mystery is solved! These pictures show without a doubt what a wonderful home Chevy and GMC trucks provide for field mice.

After the truck has been abandoned at the edge of a pasture, placed in a salvage yard, or just stored in a shed after harvest season the little rodents soon find them. When the trucks are left alone for 5 or 10 years, just think of the 100’s of generations that have called them home.

This 1940 1/1/2 ton was recently trailered to our shop for a visit. It was removed from a Central Kansas field a few days before after years of waiting for a new home. It was being taken to Western Pennsylvania by its new owners Robert and his son Robert Galet of Jeannett, PA.

What a perfect place for a mouse house. No wind or rain and probably no snakes! The little guys just keep bringing in more nesting materials. They make more and more babies and of course we know what else they do that rusts out the sheet metal.

Attached is a picture of how this 1940 Chevy looked shortly after he got it to his home. The other photos show what was in place when they raised the hood and opened the doors. It looks like Robert Galet and his son will have a big clean up project. We don’t need to guess what the sheet metal will be like!

You can contact Robert Galet at rgalet@hotmail.com

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1936 Fender Change

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

It is quite surprising to realize that for 20 years auto and truck makers did not make a simple needed change to their vehicle front fenders.

Somehow major car and truck companies picked 1936 as the year it would be introduced. Did they all get together and make the decision, was it government encouragement, or ____?

The addition was side extensions or skirts. Prior to this pedestrians, side walks, pets, and building fronts received more than their share of mud and water from passing vehicles. With more and faster vehicles on the road, the problem must have been very annoying. The greater the speed when you hit mud or a puddle, the further the slop was thrown. No doubt many diaries had a page that described the results of this while walking to church in the Sunday best.

The modification in 1936 was not a cure-all but it did help the problem. The following pictures show the open sided fenders on a 1934-35 Chevrolet truck and the 1936 with the change.

1936 fender change 1

1935 and Older (above)

1936 fender change 2

1936 Fender Change (above)

1940 Tailgate Hinge

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

In 1940, GM began offering a slightly wider bed on their Chevrolet pickups. This width increased from about 46 3/8″ to 48 1/2″.

Of course, the tailgate also required a width change. For some reason GM added a much larger horizontal tailgate roll on the top and bottom. Possibly for added strength. This caused the two hinges to also change. They were now much larger in diameter than the 1939, but this resulted in a new problem! Heavy weight on an open tailgate caused the oversize hinges to bend and split.

In 1941, the tailgate roll and hinge was reduced in diameter, though still larger than the 1939 and earlier design. This new size hinge remained through 1953.

1940 Tailgate Hinges

Solution to a problem: Pure 1940 tailgate hinges are not being reproduced. Even if you have a rare 1940 Chevrolet or GMC pickup with restorable original tailgate, your large hinges may be in very poor condition and not restorable. The solution is now on the market! A non-metal bushing is now available that fits over a 1941 hinge. This builds up the horizontal surface to equal that of a 1940.