Author Topic: 81 Chevy Beater  (Read 22925 times)

Offline Powder Keg

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81 Chevy Beater
« on: September 30, 2011, 08:33:11 PM »
I had the chance to get a good running not so good looking Chevy 3/4 ton pickup a couple months ago for cheep. A week later my wife bought a old camper for $200. Now we have a camping rig\o/





I have a few things planned for it but first there are a few things that need fixed. A previous owner had added a separate fuel tank. The filler hole was mounted to the side of the fender in a hole that was cut in with a hole saw.



I went to a wrecking yard and found a Burb with a square door on the passenger side and they let me cut it out. I then cut a hole in the fender on my truck.



Here is the new hole fitted. I had the patch sand blasted to clean off the old paint.



I spot welded all the way around with my little MIG welder. I'm really happy with the way this turned out. I've never done any body work before. There is only a little wobble in the top of the fender but I think I can deal with it.



While at the wrecking yard I got some nicer gauges and an emergency brake pedal that worked. last weekend I installed them and a new speedometer cable. That was quite a job.

Today after work I started on a grill to replace the one that had fallen out. I made a angle iron frame and used a piece of scrap expanded metal and came up with this.



I still need to weld some mounting tabs to it. But that shouldn't take too long.

I have been messing with a paint scheme on Photo shop and have came up with this. Excuse my cruddy photo shop skills.



We have resealed all the windows and the roof on the camper. It is in really good shape for being made in 1973.

This topic will be updated as money and time allow it.

~Wes~


Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline Marauder

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2011, 03:33:24 AM »
Looking good.I keep on thinking. The A Team . For some reason . :thumbup:

Offline Bernd

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2011, 09:02:30 AM »
Nice one Wes. A true Madmodder.  :nrocks:  :ddb:  :nrocks:

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2011, 02:44:01 PM »
 :bugeye: wow Wes ,,,,,,,,,,,, that would be some paint job  :thumbup:


Cool truck  :med:


Rob

Offline jgroom

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2011, 03:25:18 PM »
Well, aside from being a Chevy....  :loco: :)  Looks like it should get the job done.  :thumbup:

Cheers

Jeff

Edit:  BTW nice work on the filler and the grill!

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2012, 09:48:09 PM »
No pictures but Things have been a little better around here lately. I had some extra money that we spent on the truck. I got some new body mounts and Add-A-Leaf springs front and back. (to help with the camper) Today we got the new body mounds installed. The two front bolts were a bear to get to and get out. They were corroded nearly in two so I replaced them. I'll install the new add-a-leafs in the next week or so.

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline millwright

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2012, 02:10:16 PM »
Wondered why things had gone quiet on the Penny Farthing build Wes, Now We know. Are You Going to put a bike rack on the back?  Thanks Marauder, got that A Team music buzzing through my head now.
John

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2012, 11:42:36 PM »
I tend to bounce around a lot:o) But the nice weather is mostly t fault. We have also been doing a lot of yard work. Last fall our sewer quit working and I had to dig up the old line and install a new one. It ruined my whole back yard. There was a giant patch of wild roses and we ended up pulling them all out because the line went right under them. We took the last load of them to the dump today\o/ I've also been working on my shop. The back needed the rest of the Tin installed. We got 3 sheets up today\o/ I might even get the shop done this year?

I drove the truck around some today. Those new body mounts are great!!! They got rid of probably 90% of the noise and vibration that the truck had. I can't wait to get the new springs on. That's another project though:o)

Penny parts tomorrow:o)

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline hopefuldave

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2012, 10:40:44 AM »
Nice camper! The demountables are pretty rare here int he UK, most seem to be panel van conversions or coachbuilt on a truck/cab chassis - any pics of the inside and all the creature comforts? I still miss my old Bedford camper, almost as much as the kids miss it :(

I guess with that grille, it's on the way to being a custom / hotrod camper ;)

Dave H. (the other one)
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Offline Powder Keg

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012, 10:06:01 PM »
Started on the springs today. Good thing that I decided to work on them. One was broke :bang:  It was a long day under the truck. Rusty, stuck, bolts were everywhere. But I got it apart and some replacement springs found so tomorrow she will go back together\o/

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2012, 03:46:37 AM »
Rear Springs upgraded\o/ Sorry no pictures. Way too dirty for the camera:o) We'll be doing the fronts on Monday probably.

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 10:59:25 PM »
Took a break from mechanic work. I wanted to weld :zap: Those new back springs raised the truck an inch or so. It was already a little bit of a climb into the cab. So, I decided that some steps were in order.

I cut up a few pieces of scrap metal and welded them up. It still isn't done but it will give you a good idea of how it will look when done. I'll be capping the tubing. I still have to finish the wood and paint it all up.



I'll try and get these done this week:o)

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline AdeV

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2012, 04:41:03 AM »
8 wheel nuts eh? They really wanted to make it painful to change a tyre in the pouring rain I guess...  :lol:

Nice step - I need to do something similar on my old bus, the first step is a bit of a reach even for me with my long legs...
Cheers!
Ade.
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Offline Powder Keg

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2012, 06:46:58 AM »
3/4 ton has 8 lug nuts and 1/2 ton has 5 lug nuts:o)

I think they'll be nice to use when I get them done:o)

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2012, 01:11:53 PM »
Trying to finish up the front springs. Nothing but trouble. It's a good thing I can fabricate:o) I'll post a few pictures later.

I was distracted a little yesterday. I made a zombie Apocalypse bumper for the front. Got to play with my welder and new Plasma cutter.





I'll probably end up jamming one of those flames into my thigh at some point :doh:

Made mainly from leftovers from work\o/ 3/8" C channel frame material for the center piece and the ends are made out of 1/4" plate:o) Lots of welding!!! 6018 rod root pass and 7010 rod cover pass ground mostly smooth:o)

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2012, 06:23:54 PM »
Welded a receiver hitch onto the bottom of the front bumper. I'll be able to put a bike rack or whatever there now:o)



It's welded all the way around. Corners and all. (It bugs me when guys weld to a edge and don't go around the corner. I think it looks bad)



More later.....

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2012, 12:06:20 AM »
Got the mounts made and the turn signal holes cut for my new LED signals:o) Here it is all bolted into place.



Waiting on a new brake line. One was a little bad looking so its being replaced.

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2012, 10:18:59 PM »
I'm building a rear bumper with swing-out tire carriers.. I've ran into a couple of problems. My camper lacks going in and letting me shut the tailgate by about 3/4". This was going to make my tire carrier funky. I had made some chains that were 4" long to hold the tailgate up. That's as far as it would shut. This would make the tire hang way out over the bumper. I started looking things over.

The front of the bed had been really beat up by a PO. Today I pulled the bed part way off so I could get to the bolts holding the bed front panel on. It was pretty beat up. Here you can see how crooked it is. The piece of ten gauge under it is my new bed front\o/ I just have to make it.



It looks like someone took a battle axe to it :wack:



I plan on adding a piece of 2" X 1/2" channel as a stiffener between the bed and the cab. This will give me an extra 1 1/4" of room in the bed.



Then I can get back to building bumpers\o/ and the camper will fit right\o/

Later,

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Online Stilldrillin

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2012, 02:12:29 AM »
It's beginning to shape up nicely Wes.

I particularly like the indicator mounts, in your previous post.

Watching/ appreciating quietly.......  :thumbup:

David D
David.

Still drilling holes... Sometimes, in the right place!

Still modifying bits of metal... Occasionally, making an improvement!

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2012, 08:02:59 PM »
Today I managed to get the front of my trucks bed made and installed. Yesterday I was able to use the brake at work and cross bend the piece to help dampen vibration. I made a lip out of 1/2" X 2" channel to reinforce the top edge. The top edge had  a arch to it from the cross bend. I clamped the two parts to a short piece of I beam to straighten them out while they were welded.



I was pretty excited\o/ My welds are getting better I think?



Here it is with the clamps off. It stayed pretty straight. It had quits a bend to it because I broke it a little more than I should.



Here it is installed. I think It looks a lot better than the old one. It is bent just a little. But it's not bad.





I'll paint it when I do the rest of the truck

We were measuring today and I might still not have enough room to shut the tailgate? I was going off memory and didn't actually take any measurements till today. I'll have to put it in to see for sure. I'll try and do that tomorrow. But the piece needed fixed and that's done. I might have to make some new hinges if the gate wont shut?

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2012, 08:16:17 PM »
Just a reminder for everyone to be careful when your working on your stuff. We were moving the bed front today and that I beam slipped off the saw horses it was sitting on. It would have hurt the lead for my TIG welder if it hadn't hit my foot.  :doh: :doh: :doh:

 :worthless:



I'll probably live

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline AdeV

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2012, 05:43:58 AM »
Nice looking bends there - and the metalwork ain't bad either  :lol:

Look on the  bright side - your foot will heal for free, whereas if you'd damaged the TIG leads you'd have been paying $$$ to replace them...
Cheers!
Ade.
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Offline Powder Keg

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2012, 11:58:56 AM »
A quick update. A little slow going around here. Still limping around. I did install some new shocks a couple days ago. Just some Monroe's but they should make the ride a little smoother. I might get some parts for the rear bumper cut out today. We'll see:o)

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline Mayhem

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2012, 07:45:18 AM »
3/4 ton has 8 lug nuts and 1/2 ton has 5 lug nuts:o)

I think they'll be nice to use when I get them done:o)

~Wes~

Yes, but 4 of those 8 are optional!

I grew up around wrecking yards and mechanic shops and it wasn't uncommon for the 'work' vehicles to have half the lug nuts, share one battery and require fuel to be siphoned from another before driving!

Good work there Wes - keep it going.

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: 81 Chevy Beater
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2012, 10:07:43 PM »
I managed top get the steps all built and bolted up. What a job!



I capped the square tube to make it look a little better. You cant see the brace underneath. It bolts from the square tube to the truck frame.



Getting closer\o/ I like how the wood steps look.



 I need to make some tabs to weld to the grill. Then it will be bolted on. Then back onto the rear bumper with swing out tire carrier.

Thanks for watching,

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...