GM 1956 GMC gets an upgrade or two!

Michael B

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Aug 1, 2012
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I have started a new project. I have had an itch to build a 55/56 GMC for a very long time. Well the time has come to scratch that itch.

I searched for a few months and finally found one in north east Washington state. It had very little rust, an original running drive train for a reasonable price.

We made the deal and arranged for shipping. The truck arrived about 3 weeks ago.

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Now the plan is to go diesel with a 5 or 6 speed manual transmission. The suspension will be 3/4 ton and the body will be left stock. Probably in it’s current condition and paint. There will be a contemporary braking system, AC and PS.

We shall see how it all works out!
 

Michael B

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Another piece of the puzzle. I found a 76’ 3/4 ton, 4x4, long bed chassis and traded a shotgun for it.

Now if I only had a shop to start working in! I am getting drawings and estimates to build my long waited for shop. But the last builder I spoke with said he is 6 months out on putting a shovel in the ground.



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Michael B

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I have finally resolved my carb issue and was able to drive it somewhere besides around the block. The visor was installed yesterday as well. I have also been fixing a lot of little issues on it. There has been no decision yet on drive train. Right now I’m leaning towards a Turbocharged LS 5.7 and maybe a 4L80e. I’m still researching the most economical combination to install and drive.

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Michael B

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I put some better tires and rims on it and added a bling as well. I also repaired the transmission cover. A P.O. had notched it for a different shifter at some point. Not my best patch job but it will keep the squirrels and road heat out.

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Michael B

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I scoured the interwebs for several weeks to find a stock hood bird (rocket) for the truck. Some folks say there were only 2k of these ever made during my production years. Given the truck is 63 years old, the attrition rate would be pretty high on these items. So when you do find one they are a bit pricey! I was fortunate and found one in poor condition in the hands of a motivated seller. He was asking $700.00 for it but I was able to negotiate the price way down. It’s not like I needed one!

It is in very rough condition but I believe it can be repaired and re-plated. But for now it pretty much matches the rest of the truck.

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Joined
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Steamboat Springs, CO
 
 
Sweet looking rig, over the last year or so my interests in the older american built trucks has definitely increased. Wife has a 65 f100 original and with little carb work it runs like a top. Wish it was 4x4 so we could drive it all year here in the mountains.
 

PAToyota

Keystone Cruisers
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I added one more piece to the puzzle today.
It’s from a late model Chevrolet.

View attachment 2166398
I put the same thing into my '94 Yukon. I'm pretty sure it had the exact same spill on the center console...

They're great seats. A lot more comfortable than the '94 buckets that were in there.



 
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Michael B

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Well the seats didn’t work out as I had hoped they would so I sold them (for $75.00 more than I paid for them) and I am once again on the hunt for seats. They were about 4” too wide for the cab at shoulder height.

On to other items on the list needing attention. From the first day the truck simply would not idle, AT ALL! The PO swears it ran fine when he drove it on to the delivery truck. I have adjusted and tinkered with the carb off and on to no avail. I ordered a carb kit for it last fall but never did the dirty deed. I, like most, don’t like carb rebuilds. The are dirty and tedious with plenty of opportunities to run a muck. Last Sunday I finally quit procrastinating and pulled it off the engine. It was quite dirty but my trusty can of carb dip eventually took care of that. There were no surprises during disassembly. Just the obvious need for an in line fuel filter. I will let the pictures do the talking for a minute.

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Michael B

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So a few hours later I had clean parts ready for reassembly. I even took the time to mask off the carb base and paint it to inhibit the inevitable rust demon.

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Michael B

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After 6 1/2 hours of cleaning and assembly work it was ready for installation. But after all of this the sun was setting and I was worn out. So the first start would have to wait. But at least it looked better.


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PAToyota

Keystone Cruisers
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Sorry the seats didn't work out. On my Yukon, they are closer to the doors than the old seats. You have to open the door to be able to adjust them instead of reaching down between the door and the seat with the door closed.
 

Michael B

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Today I came home early from work and the weather was perfect for outside work. In the intervening days I had the opportunity to view an NOS carb just like mine. I discovered the idle cam was installed upside down. Which is how I found it. This was probably the issue all along. So before the first start I corrected this item. I primed the carb manually and hit the ignition key. She hit and sputtered to life, then died. A couple of pumps on the accelerator, another flick of the key and the old man roared to life! It went right to idle, even cold. A small adjustment to the idle screw and it was a happy camper. It warm starts without touching the accelerator and idles smoothly at every stop. I suppose I can mark this one down as a win!
 

Michael B

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Sorry the seats didn't work out. On my Yukon, they are closer to the doors than the old seats. You have to open the door to be able to adjust them instead of reaching down between the door and the seat with the door closed.
Thanks! I knew it was going to be a tight fit. But only upon a test fitment did I see that it just wouldn’t work out for me.
 
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