The aims for 2009 start with a big cab upgrade. Some work had already been done last year.
The original gauges, the steering column adjustments and new compact steering wheel.
A cleaner dash board with controls removed and holes filled. The modern radio hole made good.
Finally the removal and relocation of the fuel tank top create more space.
10 way (2005) GMC Yukon Denali leather power seats are to be fitted.
All of the important work on this page was essential to the further upgrades on the truck
The first and main area if rust found in the truck was in the left side rear cab lower corner. We had known about
it for a long time but the repair was predicted to be quite complicated and so it was a matter of sorting it out
when the time was right. Now was the right time while the cab was being modified. The rusty metal was cut out.
New metal was fabricated (a complicated piece) and welded in. There was also some rust, indeed rusted through,
in the left hand front corner of the left hand foot well and the right hand front corner of the right hand
foot well (but only small areas). Both were repaired by welding in new metal. That was all. Could have been
a lot worse. There were (factory) holes in the firewall which also needed to be filled (metal and solder)
to produce a clean firewall. The cab interior was painted and completed by mid April 09.
A flat floor for the new seats.
The bench seat was removed and so was the seat frame. Then the large frame support was cut out.
This left a dip in the floor. This section of floor was 1400mm by 350mm. A large piece of mild steel
was cut and welded in. The end result was a flat floor.
There were a number of holes in the firewall left behind from original items being removed.
e.g. holes where old heater pipes had been, holes where the original 3 pedals had been.
All of these holes were filled with new metal. This was done by soldering in metal discs.
This work continued until the middle of April 09
Soldering the holes
The none destructive approach.
Wherever possible upgrades on the truck have been none destructive and reversible. Putting the old bench seat back
in would not be a problem as a flat floor would not stop it from being refitted. Original holes in the firewall
have had new metal soldered in. This is easily reversible. It will be necessary to re-enforce the underneath of
the floor with channel so that the seats can be securely bolted in and these fixings will also form strong
anchorages for the seat's integral seat belts. To weld these channels to the floor would be very destructive
to the truck and so they will be bolted in. Wherever possible existing bolt holes or strong cab mounting
points will be used to fix the channel. The channel will be bolted through mastic so that water cannot
get between the channel and the floor. On the 20th April 09 the channel sections arrived. See below.
This channel is 950mm long, 65mm wide and the uprights are 25 mm. It is made of 2.8 mm thick steel.
Manufacturing and fitting the seat brackets.
All of the new parts to fit the GMC Denali seats to this 1952 Chevy truck were manufactured and
completed by the 4th May 09. They consisted of 4 heavy channels to be fitted under the floor
longitudinally and one long box section to transverse the cab. The box was bolted to the channels
through the floor and the main rear cab mounts both through the cab, the channels and the box
section. The box section itself started out as a channel and then captive nuts were welded
into it. Flat plate was then welded to it to convert it to box which is stronger.
By the 6th May the box section and the channels were fitted. The channels and box were bolted
through mastic. In addition, the transmission cover was removed, re-conditioned, etch primed,
primed and gloss painted. Shultz was heavily sprayed underneath the cover to improve the sound
deadening. It was then fixed in place using PU adhesive and new self-tapping screws.
The end result was a much more rigid floor with strong anchor points for the seats and through
them, the integral seat belts.
Preparing the seats.
GM in their (lack of) wisdom have flat seat mounting plates on one side of the seats and on the
other side they use a strange fixing that results in vertical metal strips digging into the floor
It was therefore decided to weld metal plates to these fixings (two per seat) so that a flat
interface would sit on the floor on the inboard feet as well as the outboard feet.
Since the two inboard feet are difficult to access from above, nuts were welded into them
so that they could be bolted from below.
The work continues ....
During the next 7 to 10 days we will be working on the electrics in the seats. Clearly it is necessary to bypass
the microprocessor control unit that is inside each seat. Relays will be fitted so that the motors will work
from the microswitches on the side of the seat. The target is to have the seats bolted into and the floor
sound deadening completed by the first show on the 23th and 24th of May 2009.
After the show the seats will be taken out and the work inside the cab will continue.
Update 23rd May 09
About to leave for show. Worked until 1.0am on the Friday night / Sat. morning. Then another 2 hours
at 7.30am the next morning before the show. It went down to the wire!
Under the seats, sound deadening was applied. This was also applied under the floor and so it was
inside the cab and under the cab. The seats were then fitted.
The seats came from www.robertsonautosalvage.com
, a wrecking yard in the States. I own a 2005
GMC Yukon Denali XL and I wanted the same seats in the truck as are fitted by GM in my car.
These are 10 way power seats and are very comfortable. They are quite heavy but good seats always are.
Most importantly they also have integrated seat belts.
A matching centre console was found on ebay.
I have found a very good wrecking yard in North Vegas. I have been there a several times over the
last few years and they typically specialise in late model SUVs e.g. 2000 onwards. An ideal source for good seats.
See TNH Auto Wrecking
Tel. (US) 702 642 8086 Address - 5380 Novak St. Las Vegas, NA 89115
In 2016 the interior was revamped with new door panels, roof liner, carpets, and the seats shown
above were covered all to a high standard and all to better match the cream truck, as shown later on this site.
See upgrading to the interior
Update 24rd May 09
The picture on the left was taken late in the day when many people had left the show.
The picture on the right was taken mid-day and shows an interesting 1948 Australian Ford truck.
Update June 09. Fuel tank venting problems
Due to splash back problems at the pump, the bed was removed and the fuel tank venting was improved
Full details in Part 3 in the Fuel Tank section.
Continued problems with splash back resulted in the bed being removed again in
March 2017 for some additional modifications to be done to the filler tube.
See upgrading of the fuel tank