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Posts Tagged ‘cab’

1937-1946 Deluxe Heaters

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Keeping the passenger area warm in cars and trucks during the winter was always a problem in the early years. Not only were the heater fans and cores small but the vehicles used recirculator heaters. Thus, the air in the cab was recirculated rather than using dry outside cold air being brought inside and warmed. This helped for quicker warming but with more passengers, the additional humidity from breathing caused the windows to fog inside. A wiping cloth would have been needed to clear the windshield.

To address this issue, GM provided an extra feature with the pictured “deluxe” heater. A blower motor attached to the top of the standard heater made it a “deluxe” model. This separate optional motor on top forced warm air into the defroster nozzles and onto the windshield. There were two switches under the dash, one for each motor. In colder climates, it is doubtful the small heater core could supply warm air from the two motors both at the same time! Although this is antiquated by today’s standards, it did allow some relief on colder days.

GM Deluxe Heater 1
Optional Defroster Motor on Top-Estimated 1939
Front GM Deluxe Heater
GM deluxe Heater 2
Air intake, back view ‘ Estimated 1939
GM deluxe Heater 2
Optional Defroster Assembly- Estimated 1939
Optional Defroster Assembly- Estimated 1939


1960-1966 Chevrolet Cab Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Though at first, a new person in the GM truck hobby might think all 1960-66 Chevrolet cab trim (only on the deluxe models) is the same. In reality no less than three changes occurred during this seven year body style.

During 1960 (maybe into early 1961) the optional stainless cab side trim on the Chevrolet truck was designed to attach to a long connecting horizontal trim strip. After production began, GM discovered that new owners could easily dent this more delicate trim. When carelessly throwing items in the bed or during fast stops, cargo could hit the stainless. This problem was solved by discontinuing this horizontal strip. The connecting ends of the side trim were then modified to show no evidence of a past attachment (see photo)

Therefore, side trim part# 8768843 and 8768844 as well as the horizontal strip #8768842 are very difficult to locate 45 years later. Most 1960 truck restorers must compromise and use the more readily available 1961-63 side trim.

In 1964, a major change occurred in the construction of this cab trim. Chevrolet followed the trend of other new vehicles and also began using aluminum trim. It was anodized to keep its shine and the production cost was less. It required lower pressure to be stamped as compared to the previous stainless steel. Thus, the tooling lasted much longer.

1960 1966 cab trim 1

1960 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 2

1960 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 3

Top piece in photo-1960 with notch. | Lower piece in photo-1961-1963 notch removed (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 4

1960 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 5

1960 Stainless Trim (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 6

1964-1966 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 7

1964-1966 (above)

1960 1966 cab trim 8

1964-1966 Cab Trim (above)

Defroster Damage

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Mix very cold days, almost 40 years, and the design of the original safety glass windshield and look what sometimes occurs. You can still see through the upper part of the original windshield. However, the large separations are there to stay.

defroster damage

Dash Repair

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

To comply with Federal safety standards, GM first equipped their truck cabs with a padded dash during the 1967-1972 body style. Though a practical and attractive addition to the vehicles interior, most original dash pads show their 30 plus years of use. Exposure to summer sun and winter temperature extremes have caused fading, cracking, and most even have pieces missing.

Until recently a total pad replacement was the only fix. A person needed to remove the glove box cardboard and gauge cluster plus attempt to reach the hidden pad fasteners above the factory radio. This required a good evening for a first timer or a few hours by a restoration shop with their meter running.

Now there is an alternative!

A preformed hollow stiff plastic shell has been produced that simply lays over the original dash pad. It’s shape is just right. Even the grain is correct. A small tube of glue (provided in the kit) and less than one minute installation time completes the job. The finished product is very difficult to tell from the real thing. The shell can even be painted prior to installation if its color is not your choice.

You must have much of the original dash pad for support of this shell. If the old vinyl covering is curling, it is best to cut off the raised cracked edges to allow the shell to better attach to the smooth pad. Even a weight on the shell during the glue drying time would help assure a smooth adhesion.

Check our catalog under the ‘Upholstery’ section and compare this price with the complete dash pad and it’s installation time.

dash repair 1

dash repair 2

1967 Small Cab Window

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1967 small cab window

On the 1/2, 3/4, and 1 tons, the small rear window was a standard feature during 1967. A large panoramic rear window cab was an extra cost option.

Beginning in 1968, the small rear window cab was discontinued except in the 60 series two ton. In this larger truck the small window continued to be standard through the end of 1972.

Thus, when you see a small window light truck in the distance, you can feel sure it is pure 1967!

Reduced Glare Dash

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

reduced glare dash

The interest of safety began showing in a few areas of the 1955-1959 Chevrolet truck cabs. In a salesman’s data book dated September 1, 1958, this changed dash is shown with the comment “Crown of the panel having a glare-proof crinkle finish.”

This was to reduce the reflection of direct sunlight – a beginning of what is now a major emphasis on vehicle safety.

Buy Parts for 1955 to 1959 Trucks

Deluxe Steering Wheels

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the early 1960’s, deluxe appearance options on GM trucks were slowly increasing in popularity. Though trucks were still basically purchased as workers, a growing group of buyers were requesting more deluxe features. Extra disposable US income meant more money to add to a new truck purchase.

One very noticeable appearance option was the deluxe interior on Chevrolet light trucks. This package included a steering wheel with chrome die-cast horn ring and attractive center. To save tooling on this slower selling option, Chevrolet used a wheel that was already in production on their automobile. The 1960-65 truck used a wheel from a 1960 Belair. The 1966 deluxe cab interior changed to 1965 Nova steering wheel.

deluxe steering wheel 1

1960-1965 (above)    Used on 1960 Impala

deluxe steering wheel 2

1960-1965 (above)    Used on 1960 Impala

1966 steering

1966 Steering Wheel Used on Early Nova’s

deluxe steering wheel 3 deluxe steering wheel 4

1960-1965 (top left) | 1966 (top right)

deluxe steering wheel 5 deluxe steering wheel 6

1960-1965 (top left) | 1966 (top right)

1966 Cab Data

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

With the introduction of the new Cameo in 1955, GM added their most deluxe features as standard equipment. This “Boulevard Pickup” was to stand out above all others.

For the person wanting his 1966 Chevrolet pickup restored to exact originality, authentic data is difficult to find. Most General Motors books from that year have been discarded and aftermarket books are usually far from being complete or accurate.

Therefore, the following data will be of great value to the perfectionist who is restoring a 1966 Chevrolet pickup to exact factory appearance. The pages are direct copies from a rare 1966 Chevrolet truck salesman’s data book. This is the final authority on how your truck originally came from the factory. It should settle any arguments on your restored 1966 Chevrolet.

1966 Conventional Cabs

Series 10-60

Exterior Features

exterior features

Interior Features

interior festures

Custom Comfort Interior

custom comfort interior

Conventional Cabs

conventional cabs

Cab Construction

cab construction

Two Tone Combinations

two tone combinations

Color Chart

color chart

Color Combinations

color combinations

Three vs Five Window Cab

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During all of the 1947-1955 series, the five window cab, often referred to as the Deluxe cab, was available as an extra cost option. Their two corner windows helped in visibility especially when backing. Cabs made during the same year are identical except for these corner window options. Some buyers in the southern states rejected this option. They felt these corner windows made the cab interior much hotter during the summer months.

Beginning in 1953, tinted windows became a factory option. Though today’s glass shops can easily cut and add the replacement flat tinted windows. However, the optional curved tinted corner windows are not easy to locate. They were only available from the factory between 1953-1955. The few originals are usually scrapped and pitted.

In the last few years a replacement corner window has been reproduced. They are available in green or gray tint. They are kept at Jim Carters Truck Parts as well as other full stocking dealers.

Roof Insulation

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During rebuilding of the Advance Design cab, the hobbyist will observe remnants of a tar paper material secured to the underside of the roof. This was partially for insulation but even more as a noise retardant. This reduces the bell sound in the cab when driving or slamming the doors.

When restoring your truck, be sure to replace or improve this material under the roof. Tar paper secured with layers of home roofing cement works well. It is not visible once the headliner is in place and will add to the quietness of the cab.

Pedal Pad Differences

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Yes, rubber pedal pads from 1947 through 1959 look the same when installed. However, because of the design of the metal pedal below them, they are different on their backside. Some suppliers market them as one item but the attached pictures will show this as not true.

pedal pad 1

Same Outer Surface (above)

pedal pad 2

1955-1959 Left | 1947-1955 Right (above)

Panel Truck Wood Floor Changes

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The very practical panel truck produced from the early 1920’s through 1970 was an excellent cargo vehicle. Merchandise was protected from the weather and equally important from easy theft. Being a freight hauler, its cargo floor is like the pickup truck. Hard yellow pine and cross sills support the weight and merchandise slides on the metal strips.

Though not obvious, a major floor design occurred in the 1/2 ton panel truck in 1950 of the Advance Design years. Prior to this, the floor consisted of about six wood panels, each separated by 1/4″. Covering this gap was the necessary 1 1/2″ wide metal bed strips. To prevent dust from coming through the wood plank separations, GM changed the bed to a single piece of 3/4″ marine plywood in 1950. It appears this was the same size that was used with the flat floor board Suburban. However, with the panel truck the plywood was grooved for the bed strips. Once installed in the truck it looked like strips between the earlier individual planks.

The reason for the new plywood design was to lessen dust entering the storage area (at least in cool weather).  Most back roads were dirt and gravel.  Thus, owners complained that small amounts of dust would come in between the bed strips and settle on merchandise.

With the change in the bed floor, the length of the strips were reduced from 82′ to 79 1/2″ at least three of the punched holes in the early and late strips are in a different position.

panel truck wood floor changes1

1947-1950 1/2 Ton Deluxe Panel (above)

panel truck wood floor changes 2

1947-1950 1 Ton Deluxe Panel (above)

One Piece Panel Truck Floor

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Beginning in 1950, GM introduced an improvement in the cargo area of the panel truck and Canopy Express. It now followed the example of the Suburban by using a one piece, 5 ply floor. This replaced the planks that were always used in the pickup.

GM implied this would better seal dirt and dust from an otherwise closed area used to haul merchandise and food products.

The following data and picture is as removed from a 1950 pamphlet announcing new features for that year.

one piece floor

one piece floor

1947 vs. 1948 – 1955 Cab Water Trough

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

A GM mistake on the 1947 Advance Design cab is the lack of a water trough on the top of the cowl. Heavy rains allowed water to run under the hood and down the firewall. No doubt some water damage would occur to the voltage regulator and the cloth covered wiring harness.

By 1948 GM corrected this problem by adding a side to side trough in the cowl. The photos show cowls with and without this water trough.

It should be noted that this trough is still lacking during the 1948 in slower selling cabs such as the Suburban and Panel Truck. Possibly these bodies were produced a year ahead.

new water drain 1

1947  no water troughs (above)

new water drain 2

1948-1955  water troughs in place (above)

Cab Engine Noise

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

In 1952 GM made a simple change to the accelerator linkage that made a major reduction in engine noise in the cab. This was definitely an improvement when older engines had developed excessive valve train noise.

Prior to this year the horizontal accelerator rod from the carburetor attached directly to the metal backing of the foot gas pedal. Engine noise was easily transferred to the pedal and into the cab.

A minor modification in 1952 eliminated much of this noise. Engineers placed a small ball on the end of the accelerator rod and a rubber receiver cup on the new foot pedal. Now noise stopped at the rubber cup and is dropped over 75% in the cab.

This GM improvement cost little when added to new trucks but made a big difference to driver comfort, particularly in the vehicle’s later years.

This later design easily replaces the original 1947-1951 style system. The later, 1952-57 accelerator pedal should be available from all older GM truck parts stores and the used 1952-1955 linkage rods can be found with limited research.

cab engine noise 1

1947-1951 (above)

cab engine noise 2

1951-1957 (above)

cab engine noise 3

Differences (above)

Cab Corner Trivia

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

When your 1947-1955 GM truck needs rear cab corners and you prefer original US made replacement parts, there is an alternative.

Surprise: These lower corners have the same round shape as the upper corners. Locate a cab that is considered a total loss and cut out the upper rear corners. They can be trimmed to replace the area of need on your rusted bottom edges. The metal gauge and curvature will be correct. For best results use the upper right corner on the lower left and the upper left on the lower right.

This tip comes from Richard Pasauage of Wilkes-Barre, PA. He personally made this repair on his 1950 Chevrolet truck and is very happy with the results.

Big Truck Deluxe Cab

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

An exception occurs on the 1 1/2 ton and 2 ton trucks. Though the cabs are the same as the smaller trucks, these deluxe cabs consisted of only the two corner windows. The Salesman’s Data Book shows no reference to a chrome grille or window stainless.

As money was tight and big trucks were all for work duties, it is assumed GM decided that the trim option would not be a good marketing item on the large vehicles. The corner windows were definitely a sellable extra. Visibility from these two additional windows helped much in backing.

The lower photo is from an untouched 1947 Chevy 1 1/2 ton. The corner window cabs have no trim!

big truck deluxe cab 1

Deluxe Small Truck (above)

big truck deluxe cab 2

Deluxe Big Truck (above)

1947-1951 Deluxe Cab

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

With the introduction of GM’s new truck body design in mid 1947, a delivered package became available on both Chevrolet and GMC. World War II was in the past, employment was high, and many American truck buyers were willing to pay a little extra for more options on their new vehicle purchase.

GM’s sales department recognized this as an opportunity to fill a need and sell a few more vehicles. A deluxe truck would look good in a dealer’s showroom and the market existed for nicer trucks.

Prior to this new body style, GM truck cabs were the same from the factory. Dealers installed the few extras provided by the manufacturer.

The new deluxe cab for the Advance Design trucks cost GM little additional in comparison to the standard design. Most items were already extra cost options or standard parts that were modified. The deluxe package included the following:

Five Window Cab. This was the largest expense. The Two corner windows required a different roof panel to be attached to the lower half of the body. The center rear window was the same.

Chrome Grill Bars. The option was also available for the base pickup. It was created by polishing and plating the five painted bars. This came only on 1/2, 3/4, and 1 ton.

Stainless Steel Door Window Trim. The factory dies that formed the painted standard trim could also stamp stainless steel. The outer was polished. The inner was left a satin finish to reduce glare from the sun.

Stainless Steel Windshield Trim. This was only on the deluxe cabs. Painted trim was not on the base cab. Therefore, GM had to create dies to produce it, give a high polish, and provide a modified windshield trim was still painted on deluxe models.

Right Inside Sunvisor. This was already a dealer accessory on the standard cab. The attaching holes were even punched on all cabs and covered with the non-punched headliner cardboard.

Left Arm Rest. A dealer accessory on the base cab, therefore holes are stamped in both doors at the factory. They are hidden with the cardboard upholstery panel on standard cabs. No extra tooling here!

By 1951 material shortages due to the Korean War conflict were effecting the automotive industry. Shortages of at least copper and stainless greatly raised raw material prices. To prevent a shut down of assembly lines due to no product, GM discontinued the deluxe option.

From late 1951 through 1953, the Chevrolet and GMC deluxe cab had no bright work. It retained the sunvisor, left arm rest, and corner windows, however most chrome and stainless were gone. It was not until 1954 that the trim was retuned to the deluxe cab.

The enclosed photos are of a 1951 Chevrolet 1/2 ton deluxe cab owned by David Bosley of Felton, PA. His grandfather purchased the truck new so David recently restored it just the way it was bought in 1951. Even the bed boards are painted! The door vent shades are a non-GM option but available in the early years. The other trim items are either part of the deluxe package or are options provided by the Chevrolet dealer.

1947 deluxe cab 1

1947 deluxe cab 2

1947 deluxe cab 3

1947 deluxe cab 4

1947 Floor Pans

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the first year of the Advance Design 1/2 and 3/4 ton pickup, the standard three speed transmission was a carryover from 1946. Its top loader shift lever extended directly from the transmission through the removable floor pan.

When the column shift three speed was introduced in 1948, the floor shift hole was eliminated. Therefore, the 1947 three speed floor plate has the round shift hole as well as the hand brake lever hole. The 1948 and newer column shift transmission and foot operated park brake uses the same floor pan but the holes are not punched.

Note the short metal upper horizontal stiffener on the 1948-55 pan. Because of the hand brake oval hole, it was necessary on the 1947 model. To keep tooling costs low, the length was unchanged even after the shift hole was not stamped.

1947 floor plan

1947 on left | 1948-1955 on right (above)

Buy Parts for 1947 to 1955 Trucks

WWII Cab Changes

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

With the US entry into World War II, trucks were quickly modified to be successful for military use. Pre-existing cabs, frames, and mechanical components were altered to be more usable when in everyday work duties or in battle.  NOTE:  The Chevrolet cab remains almost the same as those on civilian trucks.

WWII Cab 1
This photo shows a large military truck that was built by the Chevrolet Division of General Motors about 1941.  The items of much interest are the changes made for use overseas and when the truck was in the field.

WWII Cab 2

The horn button is of a very heavy duty basic design, not like on most civilian trucks.  Only the civilian ‘cab-over-engine’ body carried this style horn button on non-military vehicles.


Note: This is a civilian Chevrolet cab with many modifications. The windshield frame is operated differently. Its hinges are on the outside for easy repair. There is no crank-out assembly that is known for their short life. The frame is opened manually much like the trucks before 1936. The crank handle hole is not even punched in the dash panel.

WWII Cab 5

The crank handle hole is not punched in the dash panel.  The windshield frame is secured in the closed position by a simple wedge handle.

WWII Cab 6

The cab rear window is well protected with an exterior steel grill. We suspect many private owners would have liked this extra on their domestic trucks.

WWII Cab 6

The inside door and window handles are not die-cast due to the war time shortage of zinc. They are made of a steel stamping covered with a dull Bakelite molded material. This usually shrinks and cracks within a few years.

WWII Cab 7

The removable hood side panels are of extra thickness to protect the engine from enemy rifle fire.  The Chevrolet lettering was removed after 1941 to stop extra advertising.

WWII Cab 9

The windshield and hood have exterior hinges for easy accessibility if damaged overseas.

WWII Accelerator Pedal

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the war years, the US was plagued with a shortage of rubber. The Japanese occupied most of the islands that grew rubber producing plants. The majority of the rubber the U.S. could obtain was sent to the war effort.

WWII Pedal 1

Thus, manufacturers across the country were required to eliminate rubber and find substitutes. General Motors also felt the pressures on these non-war products. One of the more notable changed items was the redesigning of accelerator pedals on their trucks. All the rubber that had provided a non slip surface was removed. As a substitute, the metal surface was given three sharp edge slots. In this way the drivers shoe sole would not slip on the pedal surface. An excellent new design. (when you have a lemon, make lemonade).

WWII Pedal 2

No Pedal Pads

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Maybe the rubber was of lesser quality. Maybe the GM truck division was saving money. For some reason Chevrolet and GMC trucks were not designed for rubber brake and clutch pads.

No Pedal Pads 1

To keep the driver’s foot from slipping on them, these pedals are equipped with small “bumps” in the metal. This gives many years of use by the soles of the driver’s shoes.

No Pedal Pads 2

These bumps are molded in the pedals during production.

1942-46 Leather Gas Grommets

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The United States and its allies suffered from major rubber shortages during World War II as the Japanese had control of most Indonesian rubber tree plantations. To survive without this material, much of the world was forced to settle on a limited supply of synthetic rubber of lesser quality. This material filled some needs but lacked the strength and durability of real rubber. Synthetic tires got half the mileage and this material had limited resistance with contact to solvents such as gasoline.

Leather Gas Grommet 1

This created immediate problems with the gas tank grommets on GM trucks. (This rubber ring seals the hole around the large gasoline add-pipe extending from the tank through the right side cab corner.) A synthetic rubber grommet was not practical in this location because of occasional gasoline spills during fill-ups.

Leather Gas Grommet3 3

A solution to the problem was using a proven material that was readily available in the U.S. It was leather! On the assembly line a punched leather disc was pressed over the gas add pipe and held in place against the body with a metal attaching ring. Four screw holes were punched in the body and ring at the factory for the screws. This leather grommet was not equal to the original rubber unit, but did hold its shape against the elements.

Leather Gas Grommet 2

Therefore, you can always identify a GM truck cab from this era because of the four punched holes beside the gas hole. The rubber gas grommets used before the war and after about mid 1946 will not totally cover these four small holes. Unless they are filled, by a body shop, the cab must remain the World War II type with the leather grommet.

This is not a bad thing.  The leather fits well and you have a great conversation item on your WWII truck!

Early Dash Gauges

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Gauges in Chevrolet truck dash panels during the mid through late 1930’s are very similar and are spaced, from each other, almost the same. Even their smaller chrome gauge rings interchange. The 1934-35 gauges are in the middle of the dash and there is no glove box. The 1936-39 instruments are centered above the steering column with the glove box on the right side.

Early Dash 1

When restoring these rare gauges, waterless decals are now available to help make them look like new. They are available from Jim Carter’s Classic Truck Parts as well as a few other full stocking dealers.

Early Dash 2

1940-1946 Dash Trim

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

A unique feature on GM truck cabs became standard equipment between 1940 and 1946. Before and after this, truck cabs were very basic. As they were made for work, almost no extras were on them. The idea was to keep manufacturing cost very low. There was much competition with other makes trying to also keep their sale price as low as possible.

Dash Trim 1

Therefore, it was a surprise in 1940 when GM trucks introduced an unusual feature on their commercial vehicle cabs. This was hammered paint plus a three piece set of narrow decorative horizontal chrome dash trim. It served no particular purpose but added to the appearance of the metal dash. This original trim was chrome on steel, so most show rust after 50 years.

Dash Trim 2

Re-plating of the trim is difficult. It can not handle much polishing before rust pits will leave holes in the trim surface. It is now being reproduced in mirror finished stainless steel. It looks the same but is resistant to rust. Contact Jim Carter Classic Truck Parts or other full stocking truck dealers.

1947 Advance Design Cab

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The differences found on the cab during the beginning of the Advance Design years are subtle, yet on close study soon become quite evident. It probably exists on all vehicles when a body style is first introduced. Lab tests on a vehicle tend to overlook a few problems that later surface when it is in the hands of the consumer. Thus engineers made various corrections on the 1948 cab leaving the first year of this series with several unique differences.

Beginning with the Advance Design trucks in mid 1947, the top of the body cowl directly below the rear of the hood is smooth. This is the space between the rubber hood lace and vertical firewall panel. GM soon discovered that in this area an error in design existed. During heavy rain all water that flowed past the hood lace could run forward and then down the firewall. This allowed water on important items such as the voltage regulator, fuse box, wiring, fresh air heater motor, the rubber grommets that held tubes, lines and the original cotton braided wires.

By mid 1948, an appropriate stamping change was made which remained through the end of the series in early 1955. This was a groove or trough running side to side in the top of the cowl. These troughs drain rain water down the cowl sides onto the recessed area by the hood hinges and protect the firewall components. Now 50 to 55 years later we are noticing a rust condition due to these water drain troughs. Seldom will a 1947 cab have major rust in these hood hinge indentations. The cabs between 1948 and 1955 will usually be showing rust out or at least much surface rust when stored outside for many years. There is only so long this recessed area can resist the regular attack of water runoff from the troughs before it begins to show deterioration.

1947 advance design cab

No water troughs

Another very noticeable feature on only the 1947 Advance Design cab is the lack of a hump in the lower part of the dash above the steering column. On 1948-1955 cabs the hump is necessary to allow the three speed column shift lever to pass down to the shift box. During the developing stages of the Advance Design cab, after World War II, the 3-speed truck transmission with column shift did not exist. Both 3 and 4-speed transmissions were using the floor shift system and a column shift hump in the dash was not a consideration.

As the 1947 Advance Design trucks continued using the 3 and 4- speed transmissions of prior years, their park brake lever is also unchanged. It remains secured to the right side of the transmission and is a vertical hand pull lever. With the introduction of redesigned 3 and 4 speed transmissions in 1948 the park brake was activated by a foot pedal on the left side of the cab. This pedal was in 1/2 and 3/4 tons only. The 1 ton and larger continued with a hand pull lever design throughout the series.

The firewall on the 1947 cab is one of its most unique features. It is not only different from the other Advance Design years, but is an excellent example of changes that save production costs. Initially the firewall was a flat sheet of metal welded within the edges of the cowl, etc. To prevent possible flexing of this sheet, GM welded two vertical U-channels, 11/2 inch x 16-3/4 inch to the inside. These two channels are hid by the inside firewall pad and therefore are not normally seen by the owner. Close observation will show the channel spot weld dimples on the engine side of this firewall sheet.

This flat sheet type firewall differs from the other years. By 1948, the second year of this body style, a less expensive method was used. The welded vertical channels were discontinued and were substituted with stamped rounded ridges or stiffeners in the flat sheet. These could be made with one stamping while the necessary holes were also placed in the sheet at the same time.

NOTE: We are now discovering that the unique features on the 1947 cowls were carried over into the early 1948 suburban, panels, and the canopy express. As these large single unit bodies were much slower in sales, it was possible GM had an over supply of 1947 cowls at the particular assembly plant producing them. They continued to use these early cowls until supplies were used.

1939-1946 Deluxe Cab

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Deluxe Cab 1

Deluxe cab?  There is none!  Truck cabs during these early years all came the same from the factory. Accessories were dealer installed. You picked the factory installed exterior color and transmission.  The dealership added the requested extras such as heater, inside sun visor right mirror arm, etc.

This changed on the Advance Design Cabs during 1947-55. The pickup had a deluxe cab because it was given factory rear corner windows, a right side sun visor, and door and windshield stainless trim.

1936-1946 Seat Adjuster

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Some beginners tend to place 1936-46 cabs in the same category. Don’t do this! The 1936-38 and 1939-46 are a totally different design. Very little interchanges. The early style provided excellent building blocks for the new design 1939-46 trucks.

One major difference (when viewing a base cab) is the placement of the bottom seat cushion adjusters. On the early design a three prong bracket for a seat adjustment is attached in two places to the back of the cab. See Photo.

Seat Adjuster 1

The new 1939-46 design gives a totally different way the lower cushion adjusts. It sits on four front to back above the gas tank strips. Two of these have small pegs which fit into holes in the cushion bottom. In this way the cushion can be lifted at the front and moved forward or backward.

NOTE: On both body designs the lower and upper cushions connect where they meet. Thus, at least the lower part of the back will move with the lower cushion. Unfortunately, your shoulders and arms will always be same length from the steering wheel.

Seat belts? Unheard of in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Seat Adjuster 2

1936-1939 Glove Box Lock

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

This early glove box lock assembly has a weak point that makes it difficult to find complete. Its die-cast vertical pointer is held in place by a small steel tension spring. After the truck sets outside abandoned several years the spring rusts, breaks, or otherwise looses its tension. This allows the pointer to fall out and the glove box lid will no longer stay closed.

Most all locks you find will be without their pointer. The enclosed photos show a complete lock with pointer as it must be to operate.

Glove Box Lock 1

These locks do not have the ‘push button’ mechanism as the later design.  A small spring button attached to the dash moves. With this style, you pull on the key knob in the door when it is unlocked to overcome this spring button.  You don’t have to use the key to open the door.  Just pull the lock knob.  To lock the glove box door, just turn the key and the pointer moves forward.  The door is now locked.

During the beginning months of this 1936-39 lock, a double sided key blank was used. This blank has not been available for many years. If you need the early style your local locksmith may not be able to provide a key! (And the search begins.)

  • Painting your glove box door? You will need to remove this lock assembly. Here’s how: Turn the key to the right while pulling up on the pointer. You may have to jiggle it as you pull. Out it comes including the small tension spring! Now the large retaining nut can be loosened and the remainder of the assembly can be removed.
  • Lock removing tip from Scott Phaneuf, Hatfield, MA.

Glove Box Lock 2

Glove Box Lock 3

1936-1938 Cab Windlace

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

It is so unusual to find an unmolested mid 30s truck! When this all original 21,000 mile 1937 GMC appeared at a recent New England truck show, we had to take notice having never seen the correct installation of the small 3/8′ bead cab windlace on an early model. Our camera did some recording.

Left Side Cab Lace

Left Side Cab Lace (Above)

Right Side Cab Lace

Right Side Cab Lace (Above)

Rumors from a few past customers were correct, the attaching position at the upper front door corner changes. Take note of the way the two pointed windlace ends meet when the door is closed. On the top and back side of the door opening the windlace is attached to the cab. At the front, the vertical piece is secured to the door edge

Gap Cab Lace

Note the gap between the two pointed ends of the welt. Some shrinkage after 70 years.

1936 Cabs

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1936 Cabs

Three times during Chevrolet truck history there were mid-year body changes. This was in 1936, 1947, and 1955. These changes involved very few modifications to the bed and mechanical components, but it was the cabs that received the near total facelifts.

In mid 1936 a major cab change occurred. Prior, they are referred to as high cab (mid 1936 and older) and later the low cab (mid 1936 and newer). The earlier style is a more square cab and has few style differences from trucks of the 1920’s. Structurally, they used internal wood frames to which much of the sheet metal was attached with nails and screws. This makes a strong, solid quiet cab when new but often results in a shortened life as dampness, dry rot, and loose fasteners take their toll.

A few other specifics on the 1936 high cab.

  • 3 Door Hinges
  • Rectangular Rear Window Frame
  • Windshield Frame has two lower rounded corners and two upper square corners
  • Windshield Frame is swing out manually with a slide on each side. A hand turned screw tightens down on the side to hold the frame open
  • Built in Body Exterior Sun Visor over Windshield (see diagram)

The newer low cab reflects the modern rounded body, a styling that had been introduced in all mid 30’s cars and most of the competition’s trucks. The only cab wood remaining was two front vertical internal posts and two horizontal side sections to help reinforce the door weight.

A few other specifics on the 1936 low cab

  • 2 Door Hinges
  • Round Corners on Rear Window
  • Windshield Fram opened bt crank handle in center of dash
  • Windshield Glass 12″ high with all four corners rounded
  • No changes in the cream colored dash guages


1966 Cab Features

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

1966 cab features

Curved Windshield

The large one-piece laminated safety plate glass windshield has an area of approximately 1116 square inches.

Electric Windshield Wipers

Provide constant wiping action regardless of engine load or accelerator position. Wipers have 13-inch blades and a wiping speed of 110 strokes per minute. Two-speed wipers, including a push-button-operated windshield washer, are standard. Wiper arms and the metal portions of the blades have a matte finish.

High-Level Ventilation

Outside air enters through louvers at the top of the cowl – away from road dust, heat and fumes. The air passes into a plenum built into the the cowl, where water is separated from the air and drained out. Air enters the driver compartment through two inlets-one on the right side and one on the left.


Partial opening of ventipanes permits stale air to be drawn out of driver compartment. Ventipanes can also be swung wide open to force outside air into the compartment. Made of solid safety-sheet glass.

Rearview Mirrors

Standard mirrors on Pickup models are a left-side fixed arm and an inside shatterproof. Series 10-30 Chassis Cabs utilize left- and right-hand 6-1/4 inches fixed arm standard mirrors. Series 50-80 models have a left-side 17-1/4 inches swing arm mirror as standard. A wide assortment of optional mirrors is available on most seines. See the Optional Equipment listing in the Model Specifications sections for exact availability.

Full-View Rear Window

Available as an option at extra cost. Large solid safety-sheet glass area of 762 square inches (331 square inches for standard solid safety-sheet rear window) improves rearward visibility to make driving easier and safer.

Safety Glass

Series 10-50 models have door windows of solid safety-sheet glass. Laminated safety sheet glass with metal window frames is optionally available. Series 60-80 models have laminated safety sheet glass with metal window frames as standard equipment.

Soft Ray Glass

Tinted glass is available as an option at extra cost. It may be ordered for the windshield only or for all windows. Consult the model specifications pages for availability as it varies with the series. The light and heat absorption of this glass reduces eye-strain and helps keep cab temperature more comfortable.

Window Frames

Painted metal frames on series 60-80 give extra rigidity to windows and reduce likelihood of broken or cracked glass. Metal frames are also included with the laminated glass option on Series 10-50.

Door Locks

All cab models include a key-operated left door lock as standard equipment. A right door lock is available as an option at extra cost.

Running Boards

Cabs in Series 50 through 80 are fitted with a running board on each side for ease in entering and leaving the cab. LCF cabs also have two convenient steps on each fender.

November 1, 1965


Rocker Panel Moulding Instruction

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Yes the cabs are the same between 1/2 ton and 2 ton on the 1955-1959, however one extra does exist on the 1 1/2 and 2 tons. These larger trucks have an additional rocker panel! Their panels are held to and cover the regular rocker under each door with nine sheet metal screws. They even extend from the under door area to along the edge of the cab corner.

Check this page from the 1955-1959 Chevrolet Factory Assembly Manual printed in those years.

Tip submitted by Graeme and Helen Howden of New Zealand.
Email howdens@slinshot.com.nz

Their 1956 Chevrolet 2 ton had them missing and the truck was obviously lacking something. They discovered the problem when they found this page during their research.

Click image to enlarge

Step Panel Moulding Instruction

New 1954 Radio

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

In upgrading the Advance Design 1947-1953 cab for 1954, GM engineers created a totally different dash assembly. It required that the radio be much smaller. With better electronic technology and no push buttons, the new 6 volt radio could be placed into the smaller space. They even placed a cardboard sheet above the ’54 radio to protect it from settling dust over the years.

Yes, the 1954 Chevrolet and GMC had different designed dashes but each of their radios were similar and fit the smaller area. In the follow photos you can see the major differences between the 1947-1953 and the new 1954!

new 1954 radio 1

1947-1953 Radio/Weight 14.75 lbs (above)

new 1954 radio 2

1954 Radio/Weight 10.75 lbs (above)

new 1954 radio 3

1954 Radio, Side View (above)