Chuck the Truck's 52 Chevy - Rocker,Floor, & Toe

I'm working in half of a 2 car garage, so most of the photos are of the drivers side - too cramped on the other side to get a shot. Because it's tight, I have parts stored under, inside, and above the truck (and in the shed and in the basement - really amazing how a truck spreads out). I'll claim the whole garage on Saturday and Sunday, unburying the truck so I can work on it, but by Sunday night my stuff better be put away.
Or Else!

[I would have been ahead of the game if I had taped two layers Visqueen to the walls before I started. After all the prep work, I could have removed the dirty one and had a fresh surface while painting, then pull it down when done and the walls would like new. Now I need to paint the garage.]



I had to replace almost everything in front of the seat. I was cutting out rust when I realized that the cab needed "crutches" to prevent it from collapsing. I screwed 2x4s to the firewall and braced them on the frame. Tacking braces across the cab would have been a smarter move. Working from good to bad, the rockers went in first. I never saw mention in the catalogs that the bed end of the rocker is, ummm, "interesting" to remove. A lot of stuff going on in that corner. Now that I write this, the front end would have been tough too if it hadn't rotted away first. A cab rotisserie would have made it easier.

Don't need a rotisserie, you can roll it onto the firewall, or CAREFULLY onto the back. Just make sure it is solidly supported and rigidly braced.




The driver's side door post was rotted and replacements weren't available, so I made this from 16ga sheet steel. I made a cardboard template of the old one then transferred it to the sheet. I made the hinge recess by using multiple layers of the sheet. It's not concours, but it is strong and will be virtually unnoticable when done.

All the vendors have this one now (5/25/03)




Floorpans were next. If you buy them, remember to buy the floor supports. I didn't know they were welded to the pan until I cut the old pan out. And strip all the cheap gray primer off the patch panel before you start. The black primer seems like good stuff; the gray flakes. You can see the airy footwells and the "crutches" in this shot.




"I can see for miles and miles and miles ..."



"Oh yeah"





Getting there.
The MIG made this job easy. On my last rust bucket, I tried to weld sheetmetal with a stick welder and usually made more holes than welds. The "spot welds?" I drilled 5/16" holes through the panel and used the MIG to fill the "spot". Worked well and on those cab supports it minimized the amount of upside down welding. Upside down is tough. Again, rolling the cab over would have made life easier.




The inner cowl didn't fit as well as I would have liked. It was not made to match the angle of the floor pan but there was just enough material in the lip to reform it to meet the pan. I thought it may have been all the replacing I had done, but I checked a cherry '51 with original rustfree Arizona panels (thanks Bob brjr51) and verified that they were stamped incorrectly.




Th RH inner cowl panel was lacking the proper detail around the vent opening, so I cut it back even though the remaining metal was borderline. I hope the ZeroRust does its job.

[I've gotten really fond of Duplicolor brush-on bedliner on top of the Zerorust. The ZR alone gets beat up underneath, but the bedliner is tough stuff. At this stage, I should have coated everything hidden by the outer cowl panel before welding on the outer.]