Modifying a 1952 Chevy Truck. Original bodywork - modern upgrades.

Jan 2009 - June 2009. This page includes -

Jump to sections - Rust Making a flat floor. Soldering metal into the holes. Seat belts. Seats.


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.

Update 2020 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.

The rusty sections are copied. New metal welded in.

Painted and completed.

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

Welding in a flat floor. Welding in a flat floor.

Welding in a flat floor.. After. Welding in a flat floor.. After.

Soldering the holes

Soldering the holes Welding in a flat floor.

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.

Making the channels. Fitting the channels.

Under floor channel.

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.

The channels have been manufactured. The channels have been manufactured.

Flat fllor. flat floor.

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.

Transmission cover fitted. Transmission cover fitted.

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 floor. The box is fitted.

The truck on axle stands.

Manufacturing and fitting the seat brackets. 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.

Seat foot mod. Seat foot mod. Seat foot mod.

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.

sound deadening.

The seats came from, 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.

Update 2020. 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

new seats. new seats.

Update 2017 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 (July 2016).

Update 24rd May 09

at the show. at the show.

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.

Update 2017 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 (March 2017).

Click on the banner below to see our new web site.

It is about a new hard tonneau cover (bed lid) for the 1947-53 Chevy truck.
Model - "Zero Impact Ultimate 3100" Tonneau cover. Fit without drill holes in your truck.
You can read about it and you can order it. It is available now.

Hard tonneau cover for the 1947-53 Chevy truck. Hard tonneau cover for the 1947-53 Chevy truck.

Click on the banner above.

• A hard tonneau cover. Completely rigid, solid and strong. Folding.
• Zero impact. It can be fitted without drilling any holes in the truck. All paint work protected.
• Does not detract from the appearance of the truck. Enhances the appearance of the truck.
• With the cover removed and just the hardware kit showing it still looks "show quality".
• When the cover is fitted but open it still looks excellent and does not detract in any way from the appearance of the truck.
• The cover can be removed in under five minutes.
• All materials and finishes are of the highest quality.
• There is a choice of hardware support finishes to suit painted or patina trucks.
• A water drainage system is included to prevent water from leaking into the bed.
• Better than original factory quality. Just look at the pictures above.
• The model shown is supported by a mirror polished stainless steel installation kit.
• This tonneau cover is for the - 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953 Chevy truck. Advanced design stepside 3100.

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