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  #11  
Old December 17th, 2016, 07:57 PM
John Mann John Mann is offline
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Location: Monument, CO
Truck: 1963 GMC Fenderside
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Default Re: '63 Fenderside in Colorado

Okay everyone, I have been piddling around with this '63 long enough. I have it disassembled down to the frame, without a really solid plan for rebuild. But enough wandering around aimlessly. Here's the plan; would appreciate opinions and advice.

It's a great piece of American history. I want to put it back together so that, hopefully, it will be around for the next 25+ years. I also want to do as much of the work myself that I can. But I'm in my 60s, and I want to drive it before, well, you know.....

So I want it finished by the end of 2018.

To that end, I see three phases. First, rebuild it mechanically--clean, paint, etc. Second, bodywork, most of which is way beyond my ability. So I'm going to rebuild for a while, until it's time to bail on that and hire it out.

As far as rebuilding it mechanically, I don't want to make a Christmas tree of it, but I would like to make is so that when someone who has never turned a wrench looks at the frame and mechanicals, way off in the future, (s)he can see the different parts/pieces. So I'm thinking of painting the frame black, but using a contrasting color on stuff that bolts onto it: front axle, A-arms, etc. Has anyone ever seen that sort of thing done? Again, not to overdo it, but want people to see how the GMC was really built "back in the day". It's the history piece for future generations that is important to me.

I think it good to do a few safety upgrades (move the fuel tank to under the frame, disc brakes on the front) while preserving as much of the original as possible (leave drum brakes on the rear). Of course, leave the 305 and SM420 in it; it seems lots of folks on this site like the Holly 500cfm upgrade. Maybe change the gearing in the rear end, or does that change the truck too much? Could really use some opinions and advice on balancing original equipment/design with really long term safety and drivability.

Okay, thats enough. Thanks in advance for anyone's feedback and advice.

John
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  #12  
Old December 18th, 2016, 12:31 AM
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TJ's GMC TJ's GMC is offline
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Location: Cave Junction, Oregon
Truck: 1964 GMC 1500 LWB Wideside 305E V6.
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Default Re: '63 Fenderside in Colorado

Start your parts search now for rebuilding that 305. Your gonna have a hard time finding cam and main bearings if you wait. There are sets on Ebay as I type that you should get before they are gone. The Rod bearings are produced repop so no problems there, but main and cam bearings will have to be picked up NOS. Here is a list of parts that I know are available from the auto parts stores from within that last couple of months:

Block:
Full Gasket Set
Oil Pump
Pickup Screen
Timing Gears and Chain
Rod Bearings
Piston Rings
Water Pump
Clutch Kit
Distributor, Points type and HEI are available

Not sure on head parts, but I think you can get valve springs, guides, and seals. Valves are NOS as well I believe.

Stuff I think you have to get NOS:
Valves
Camshaft
For sure on Cam and Main bearings


You can get a carb kit or go the 500 hollley route. I'd do the 500 holley, you'll get a nice little performance increase. Also dual exhaust helps and with stock type mufflers it won't change the "stock" feel if that's what you want.

But my opinion, Get parts coming for that engine Now. They are getting scarce.

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  #13  
Old December 18th, 2016, 04:29 AM
John Mann John Mann is offline
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Default Re: '63 Fenderside in Colorado

Thanks, TJ,

To be honest, I hadn't thought about rebuilding the engine to that degree. Gaskets, etc, sure. Bearings weren't on my radar. I'll think about that. Probably should figure out how to know if bearings are worn, etc.

Appreciate the advice.
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  #14  
Old December 18th, 2016, 02:34 PM
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WDShaffer WDShaffer is offline
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Truck: 1961 Short Fenderside
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Default Re: '63 Fenderside in Colorado

I wouldn't know if there is one main bearing over anther that has critical wear or not. (e.g. '80s GM v6 center crank bearing was the critical one due to oil starvation.) Wile oil pan is off remove a bearing cap, use a piece of Plasti-gauge on both the crank and at least one piston connecting rod (secure piston so it doesn't drop when the bearing cap is removed). A visual inspection of the condition and the Plasti-gauge results will tell you.
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  #15  
Old December 18th, 2016, 02:43 PM
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WDShaffer WDShaffer is offline
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Default Re: '63 Fenderside in Colorado

Cam bearings not as easy, look at the wear on the cam lobes as an overall indicator.
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