Tech Tips

 A great increase in truck rebuilding is now occurring throughout the country. Though most enthusiasts build a fun truck with numerous modifications and drive them daily, some require their vehicle to be as detailed as they were when new. For those involved in restoring their truck to this exact originality, the following data should be of interest. 

The 1954-56 steering wheels are the same and have their horn button on the same level with the outer ring. This changed during 1957-59. The horn button is about 3 inches deeper in this wheel making the steering column also a shorter length. This was to help protect the driver from hitting the steering column during a major wreck. 

• The bed planks were not varnished or given a related finish to show off the wood grain. Trucks were produced for work and the planks were normally painted black on the 1955 and earlier. After this, they were body color or black. This better protects the wood. 

• The bed planks have not been oak since the late 1930’s. From then to the newer GM step pickups, the wood is hard yellow pine. 

• The front fenders on 1955-57 Chevrolets are interchangeable, however, a slight difference does exist. Due to a different grill in 1957, it was necessary for GM to stamp an approx. 2″ square dimple in the inner fender edge. This dimple can be filled if placed on the 1955-56 Chevrolet. 

• The 1955-59 Chevrolet front bumper has the same stamping, however, only the 1958-59 has two quarter inch holes in the middle. This allows for attaching the new front license plate bracket used these two years. 

• Deluxe side trim was not used on 1960-72 step beds. The add-on rear fenders did not relate to full length trim as used on fleetsides. (One exception is the 1960-61 GMC stepside. On the rare, more deluxe models, cab and front fender only came with horizontal trim like the fleetside.) 

• During 1962-72 the deluxe fleetside trim was bright anodized aluminum rather than the stainless steel in 1959-61. This newer trim had been adopted throughout the automotive industry and saved in production costs. 

• The famous Chevrolet high pressure 235 engine was used between 1954 and 1962. It’s big brother, with some larger internal parts, was the 261 engine. A low pressure Chevrolet 235 was available on larger trucks only between 1941 and 1953. This earlier 235 has little in common with it’s later 235 relative. 

• The “wrap around” windshield, popular throughout the automotive industry, was used by GM from 1955-63. Modified cab and doors in 1964 changed this design to a more flat, slightly curved windshield. 

• Rear bumpers were an option on most new stepside trucks. When this item was not ordered with the new pickup, the license plate bracket was on the left side and protected by the bed. The license was only at the center with a factory installed bumper.

28 thoughts on “Tech Tips”

  1. I have a 1954 Chevy 5 window that I want to restore. I was told that it is one of the rare ones. How do i tell if it is really rare and which restoration style is more valuable, customizing or retaining the original look.

    1. Hello! The 5 window trucks were a more expensive option so in a sense it is rare. However, it’s not extremely rare as to prevent you from customizing it. Maybe one of of six surviving trucks from that era are 5 window. Have fun.

  2. Hello I have a 1964 Chevrolet k10 long box and am in need of a transfer case I am in the process of restoring the truck and the old one looked like a kid put a m80 in it . Any ideas?

  3. Does anyone know if the fenders from 1953 and 1954 are interchangable? I am looking at purchasing a 1954, but would much prefer the 1953 grill style. Thanks for any feedback!

  4. I have a 62 long bed stepside, I need parts to rebuild the steering column, any ideas on a site to get OE parts?

  5. Do you know of any site I can find specs for my 1965 Chevy C10 Long bed with factory a/c. I am trying to find out how many were made, if this is a rare find and also what the RPO Z62 package is all about.
    I would greatly appreciate any sites with this info or any info you could let me know.
    Thank you very much,
    Dave

  6. EU COMPREI UMA CHEVROLET 3800 1954,VEJO QUE A CABINE É DIFERENTE DAS OUTRA PICK-UP QUE VEJO NAS FOTOS,NA PARTE TRASEIRA DA CABINE NAO TEM AQUELE GOMO ,SO TEM UM RISCO DE DIVISAO ,AS PORTA PARECEM MENORES DO QUE A ABERTURA, SERA QUE ESTA COM AS PORTAS ERRADA.ALGUEM SABE ME DISER.GRATO,JORGE0 011 7852-6873.OU 30*55506.

  7. I have a 1957 Chevy 3100 and would like to find a front drum to disc 5 on 5 conversion. Want to match bolt pattern to the rear which is from a 5 bolt chevy pickup.

  8. Will a 1968 bed fit onto a 1957 truck? Since I don’t have the bed on the ’57, I cannot compare it visually to oa ’68 I’ve found that looks the same.

  9. My husband a 1955 5 window, that he is wanting to restore. How can I find out which series, and how many were originally made. I would greatly appreciate your assistance.

  10. I have a 65 c10 and would like to leave it a 3 on the tree. I have looked everywhere for parts to rebuild the column but can’t find any. I don’t want to put in a floor shifter. Does anyone know where to get parts?

  11. I have a 1954 Chevrolet 3800 long bed. Have been rebuilding it for about a year. It did not run when I bought it (no engine). Now it runs but it does not have a temperature gauge. It has been converted from 6 volt to 12 volt. The engine in it is a 1958 and I need to know how I can get a temperature gauge installed. The 1954 had a gauge on the dash but it will not work with the sensor in the 1958 engine. What can I do to work around this problem?

  12. Does a 1955-1956 Chevy 3100 truck hood fit a 1957 Chevy 3100 truck? As far as I can tell, the only difference besides the bullets on top of the hood is a dimple cut in the inner fenders for the 55-56 year models. The fenders are the same, latch the same, latch plate the same, cab the same. From what I can tell it should be an easy trade off. Any information would be appreciated.

  13. Does the 1955-1956 Chevy 3100 grill fit the 1957 Chevy grill opening?
    The grill surround appears to be exactly the same from pictures. The only difference might be the mounting points which is no problem to modify. Anyone tried this… out?

  14. Does anyone know what parts can be swapped between 1960 chevy trucks and a 1955? Looking at purchasing a 1955 but have lots of parts for 1960s.

  15. I am looking at purchasing a 1956 Chevy 3100 for 2500. I need to know what to look for so I can make sure this is a good price, and also where to start fixing it up when I get it! Any help please?

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