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Builds and Journals This is where the magic happens. Photograph & document your GMC build progress for posterity.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 08:48 PM
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Default Jake Groby's - 1960 GMC

I'm copying this build thread from the 47-72 chevy site. The pictures won link just yet will address thsi soom I promice.


TRUCK: 1960 GMc with a 305V-6 3 speed trans, 3.93 rear axle, fornt torsion bar suspention. For now, the photo in the links won't work, webshots switched over to Smile and I' have not put them in Photo Bucket.

In January 2000 I found the first GMC I was to restore in New Orleans, LA. The idea was to have it ready for my son for his senior year. That did not happen because the truck I bought was a basket case. The cab was shot. However, the bed, frame, engine and transmission were in decent condition we decided to keep it and look for another cab and doors. The disassembly began as you can see.

This was the first time I had ever tried to do a project this big. Let alone fool with an engine. Being adopted and a single parent (mom) household, car were just not my thing. A friend Bill who found the truck for me also was into old cars and gave me a ton of pointers of what to do, where to save money and what not to waste my time on.

Many of these pictures were upload in Webshots and the originals were lost to Hurricane Katrina, so I feel lucky to have the ones I saved, when possible I’ll load photos from my CPU. I’ll also post the link to the entire album. I figure this might save server space on the club site.

These pictures show her one day one January 2000.

As you can see the truck was used for plumbing work in the New Orleans area. The custom made tool and parts bins in the bed were a work of art. The owner Ashton Chargois had built these in 1960 and they were still going strong. It took me and my son 2 days to dismantle and the boxes and piping. I have no idea how he managed to put the piping in the bed. Each end was threaded in opposite, as I unscrewed one end, it tighten the other side. I had to take a Saws-All to remove the pipes

We dug right in and starter tearing her apart, saving and numbering the zip-lock bags with the bolts and stuff we took off. In a notebook, we recorded the date and numbers of the bags so we could REMEMBER what the **** the nuts and bolts came off of YEARS later Everybody know what I’m talking about right? The first thing I noticed was the design of the engine which was like no other engine I’d ever saw before. The location of the plugs was the first indication I had that this was a weird engine. Little did I know that it was on the rare side and IT would start my love affair with the V-6.

The Engine

Before I get into the nuts oand bolts of the build and because the engine is the hearts of ANY truck, I ‘ll take a moment to explain why this engine is so radical and different. ( I would have said better, but all that does is start fights)

The 305 V-6 was the brain child of GMC engineers. In January of 1959 GMC decided to design a new truck, with a new type of engine. This was Detroit’s first V-6 and was hailed as a major engineering breakthrough with advances in metallurgy and design; they had developed the first of its kind, a 60 degree V-6 block with 12 degree off-set cylinder bank (narrower which created less friction/drag on the up-stoke). This is the only engine ever to be designed like this. The position of the sparkplugs (inside of the heads, plugs run cooler) and the design of the pistons (3 compression and 1 oil ring). Additionally, 92% of the cylinders are surrounded by water, which eliminated hot spots, the water pump moves 135 gpm. The camshaft sits in a bath of motor oil and is lubricated as soon as it's started. Cam lobes dip into a built-in reservoir of oil as the camshaft rotates, preventing cam and valve scuffing - a major reason why this engine gives long, dependable service.

(The following information is Courtesy of the 60-66 GMC page owned created by Jolly Goodfellow)

With thermostat open, only half the water goes to the radiator, the other half returns to the pump through a by-pass. This results in excellent cooling ability. There is less than four degrees variation in water temperature throughout the engine. This checks the possibility of hot spots. Here's cooling efficiency that is not matched by any other comparable size engine. Life of pistons, valves, valve guides and spark plugs in much greater, and the possibility of head-cracking is held safely in check.

Wires are short & designed to remain trouble-free. Instead of looping around & over the cylinder banks, they're neatly nested between the banks.

Identical left & right exhaust manifolds of special alloy iron & highly resistant to cracking & warping by extreme temperature changes. Large individual ports for each cylinder & short, large diameter passages permit more complete scavenging of exhaust gases. Result is better fuel economy, longer life, & better performance.

Short Intake Manifold with individual ports for each cylinder are a special feature of this engine. Individual ports permit faster intake & more uniform distribution of fuel-air mixture to each cylinder. Because manifolds are short & have a minimum of bends & curves, too rich or too lean fuel mixtures, usually found in longer in-line or V-8 engines are completely eliminated. This results in much better fuel economy, cleaner, more complete combustion & greater engine efficiency.
New, long-reach spark plugs have greater surface area in contact with cooling passages. These cooler running plugs stay cleaner so they last longer. Spark plugs, located inside the "V", away from hot exhaust manifolds, run cooler, have much shorter wires, & are easy to service.

Smooth, precision-machined combustion chamber minimizes carbon deposits, hot spots & pre-ignition. & there is uniform combustion in all 6 cylinders for smoothest engine operation. 6 equally-spaced head bolts surround each cylinder to reduce bore distortion, & guarantee gasket sealing for long engine service.
Valves operate efficiently at any engine temperature, The hardened steel rocker arm shaft is held firmly in place by 5 aluminum brackets. As valves warm up & expand, brackets expand too, assuring proper valve clearance under all operating temperatures. The engine runs quieter with fewer valve adjustments needed, valve life is extended. Brackets at both ends of the shaft, & one bracket between each set of rockers arms holds shaft deflection in check.

V-6 roller timing chains are double-strand, for double durability. They're quit, & positive in action, models 401 & up have a three-gear train.
Compared with other engines of equal displacement, V-6's have the largest exhaust valves of all to keep back pressure low, efficiency high.
Tough, Silchrome XB-steel exhaust valves, hard-faced with Ni-Chrome--plus long-life valve seat inserts.

Self-locking adjusting screws s-t-r-e-t-c-h the time between valve adjustments -- & then lighten the work; it's a simple & inexpensive one wrench job.

Ok Back on track. And to the Engine tear down
These pictures show what it took and looked like to tear the engine down. The back patio was a mess for about 2 months, my wife was having fits and I have to keep everything clean. After the engine was removed we took it to a local shop to have it dipped and de-greased.



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After we got the engine back from the shop then it was time to sandblast, prime and paint. These picture show the work involved over 2 days. The yard where I was sandblasting was Mr. Bill’s place in New Orleans east. His compressor is a heavy duty Leroy industrial road compressor mated to a 1,500 gallon air tank. At125 psi, you can blast for over a 45 minutes before needing to kick on the compressor, Compared to him, we are all amateurs and fly weight hobbyists!



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It took over 68 bags of sand, and 16 hours to blast EVERYTHING on the frame and suspension. All work proudly done me and I was really getting into the job. We used a engine hoist on a sheet of plywood to flip the frame over when done.

This pictures show a VERY UNSAFE PRATICE PAINTING WITH OUT A MASK. I’ve learned a lot. However, the way Bill tough me to paint rims was perfect.



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The fame and parts are finished the paint was a 2 part epoxy by Martin Senior bought from NAPA. Had I known about Por-15 them I would have used that. Oh well it was only my wife’s money.

Last edited by jbgroby; January 26th, 2013 at 08:53 PM.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 08:48 PM
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Post 2

You remember what I said about the cab being rotten? Well another around 2004 member from the 60-66 club offered me a 60-61 cab for only a $100, I jumped at the chance to grab it. Great deal you say, well the cab was in the state of Oregon and I was in the state of Louisiana, or as my wife said a “DERANGED” state. Steve was his name (I think) and he offered to drive the cab to his dads place in Illinois during the summer and keep it there until I could come get it. YES! Now, it was only 1900 vs. 2,400 miles away! Over a few months I saved up $400 for fuel, food and hotels.

My friend BIG Sam (you’ll see why) who had a decent truck and plenty of time off, got together with me and drove to Illinois to grab the cab. The story of the FIRST TRIP TO TRY AND GET THE CAB WAS A DUSEY, Yes I said FIRST TRIP.

On the first attempt we left on a Friday night about 6 PM and was happily on our way north along I-55. We got to about to Granada, MS. At about 10pm when Sam notices his engine temp a little high, so we pull off and into an all night gas station when the lower radiator hose decided to lost loose. At this point we forgot to leave Mr. Murphy (of Murphy Fame, “Whatever can go wrong at the worst possible time, usually does”) at home and he came along for the ride. Of course we had the great luck to be in the only town in America which did not have a 24/7 WAL-MART. We used a roll of duck tape to seal the hose along with some hose clamps to help hold the tape in place and drove to the nearest auto parts place we could find which was a Western Auto, (I had not seen one of those in years).

We parked and tried to sleep in a hot *** truck with mosquitoes along for the ride. At 10:00am the store opened and we were able to buy a new hose I told Sam to replace the upper hose and thermostat while we were at it and as Mr. Murphy was right by our side and decided to let Sam break the cast aluminum water inlet neck right then. So, one more trip back in the store to buy one more part. Oh **** it is not in stock, sorry I can’t help you. After explaining out plight to the mgr. he drove Sam to AutoZone about 5 miles away to get the water neck inlet. YEAH! We be back on the Road Again (Yes, I sang some Willie).

O.K. we blew through Memphis, got to Sikeston, Mo. When Sam notices the temp starting to rise again. We pull over and he figures that the fan clutch is not working, so we get to the local AutoZone and buy a new clutch. Mr. Murphy was right by our side again to inform us that although the store had the clutch it DID NOT have the special tool we would need to remove and install the new one. We are now about 700 miles from home with no way to get back. Then that AZ mgr, called another store located the tool and drove to go get it. We removed the old clutch, put a few more scratches on our hands and installed the new one was kept on trucking.

O.K. we made it about 10 miles when the temp stated to come up Again! We pulled into a motel 6 BEGGED for a room which was not available. We decided that was enough for one weeked from **** and decided to head for home.

That weekend was Founders day and the place was packed! WHAT THE **** IS A FOUNDERS DAY! We spoke very nicely to the lady at the front desk and she found us a room and asked us if a smoking room with 1 queen bed would be OK? I told her I was so tired that I’d sleep in the lobby if it was O.K.? The room at least HAD a bed, which by this time out eyes are bleeding we’re so tired and dirty. We get in the room and proceeded to attempt to scrub the grease and dirt off. I tell you, them wash rags that we used ain’t never going be white again!

Sam and I were so tired we barely made it to the bed. Let alone give a crap it was a queen and we had to sleep in the same bad. We promised each other we would not grope in the night and let it go at that!

At the time, I wore glasses and ONE OF THE SCARIEST things I’ve ever saw was the site of Sam in his Spiderman Briefs. Picture this, I woke up looked over forgetting where I was at for a moment and all I saw was Spiderman crawling across Sams’ ***, I jumped up and grabbed my glasses and made that made it worse because his Big *** was now in complete and utter focus. I took off the glasses and staggered into the bathroom.

Nursing a sick truck back home over 700 miles away is something I wish on NO ONE. We noticed about 50 miles into the trip home that if we stayed at 55 mph the temp held ok, any faster we started heading high. It took us about 16 hours to get back home. The problem was that Sam though he was doing good by prepping for the trip by flushing out the old radiator juice and putting in new stuff, but what he did not realize, that the small rust particles simply clogged up the core.

He brought the radiator to the shop and had it boiled out and he was a good as new. OK 4 more months later I was able to save up some MORE money and we tried again, only this time it went perfect. Got to see the Arch in DAYLIGHT . These pictures show the cab we went to pick up on the SECOND TRIP.



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EVERY place we stopped for gas the guys all came to look talk trucks and to say the Indian term “IHOJLT” I Had One Just Like That”, or the other Indian phrase “IHOJLT-EIWD” I Had One Just Like That, Except It Was Different?
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Old January 26th, 2013, 08:49 PM
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Post 3

OK, I got the cab home and it will need to be stripped and checked for rotten areas which were not many except the rockers panels as usual. How did they get that name anyway? Ok. We get a chance to remove the cab. And all is well. My brother gets his friend Rudy Ramelli to make me a great deal on soda blasting the cab., I’d always wanted to try this so I said sure lets do it. My brother and I load up the cab on a small trailer and deliver it to the place. What I did not know was that the deep heavy rust was not removed, so I only wasted a $150.00

This album will show you the pictures of the Soda Blasting



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I called my EX-friend Fred, Yes I said EX-friend, you’ll see why! To let him know I had the cab blasted and was dropping it off by his shop for him to put the primer on, I had bought all the primer and supplies. No problem, bring it over we’ll get right on it (famous next to last words) The cab sat for over a month in a high humid environment and re-rusted all to **** This is after he used the primer on someone elses project and was promising he fix the mess. I told him no thanks demanded the $200 for the primer and got the cab the **** out of there! I have not talked to him since. This is what a cab will look like if you expose the metal to Louisiana high humid air for about a month or so.



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I had another friend named Joe Manent who owned a body shop and does excellent work. He ride is the Puzzled? truck you see in the picture’s. His body work is so good, what you are looking at is 5 different truck parts morphed into one, Ford, Dodge, Chevy, Toyota, and Nissan. He's one all sorts of awards for that truck (lost it to katrina too) You had to see this thing in person to fully get a grip on how nice it was.



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Here we are delivering the cab and hood to the Ready Strip in Jackson, Ms. 250 miles from my home. When we picked it up you would not believe the great condition the cab was in, she looked new. I told Joe the day we were to pick up the cab and he was ready that afternoon with the primer and within 15 minutes after we unloaded the cab he was priming it. Please not that the date was August 25th, 2005.



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As most of you know we got his by Katrina just 4 days later. Luckily Joe had primed the cab and although she went under 11 feet of water, the primer keep the metal from re-rusting. However, when you lose everything you own, including the dog, things get in a lot better perspective.

I did not worry about the truck anymore. I was one of the lucky ones in order to find my family a home and everybody was safe. I was working non-stop at the water plant, was able to get off one weekend in every 6 to visit the family and get setup in a new home. Then things started to happen. More later!
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Old January 26th, 2013, 08:50 PM
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Post 5

August 29th., a date which will float in infamy. Did you know that your truck parts will float in 11ft. of water? Whew boy that was a blow. With the storm bearing down on the area, I was so busy I did not a give a single thought about the truck cab, engine or frame which was sitting finished under the carport at the house. On Saturday, August 28th. the family got out to Hammond, LA. and stayed with an Aunt. I went home and cleaned out the freezer because we know we would at least lose power before it was all over.

The weather got progressively worse all the day and evening around 2:00am all **** broke lose. The levees let lose and our entire Parish flooded. These pictures show me and a few workers in a boat that went out to rescue folks off their roofs and such. I did not know these pictures existed until about a year or so. They were given to me by a photographer that was at the Govt. Complex. The water is 18 ft. under the boat. These were taken the morning of and the day after the storm


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These pictures show the water flooding into the Parish at 6:30 am from Chalmette High School. My home is just to the left of the water at the top of the curved roof.


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These pictures show what the house and truck looked like after the flood.


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This is what was left of the GMC. Notice the gas tank. To give you some idea of what it was like the pictures were taken 9/20/2005 almost a full month after the storm and the mud and debris are STILL WET


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Old January 26th, 2013, 08:51 PM
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Post 5

After the storm passed our entire Parish (County everywhere else) was completely wiped out. You all have heard the stories by now so I won’t start repeating them. I work at the Public water Plant as Supt., we were so busy trying to get the system back up in a decent condition I truly did not have time to worry much about what was going to happen to my family. I knew they were safe but living with Dee’s aunt was only an emergency short time fix. After being at work for 3 straight weeks, were given a 3 days weekend. On to bigger and better things, the missus and I were some of the lucky ones to have insurance, not enough to buy a house out right, but some to get a foot hold in a new location. We found a house for a real good price in Lacombe, LA., which is only 35 miles north from where we lost the home in Chalmette.

We did a quick Act of Sale, moved everyone in as well as some other family members. While I was at work, my wife 3 kids and daughter-in-law Jamie cleaned and painted the new home. I was working 6 days on with Sunday off and reporting back to work on Monday morning for the next 8 months. It got old after a while but it was needed. We had 118 employees and we were down to 42 after the storm. Every warm body was sorely needed.

Because we now had a little land that went with the new home over an acre, it made since to build a garage to park the cars in. I worked with a contractor to have a 24’ wide by 30' deep 2 car garage built. I had the slab poured and built the structure myself. I had a friend come in and put up the roof. These pictures show the building of the Garage
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Old January 26th, 2013, 08:52 PM
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Post 6

I gave the truck some thought and figured that if I could salvage it out of the mess, I could start all over again, only this time I knew what I was doing. But I started looking on Ebay for something not as bad as my flooded truck that I could use some if any of the parts off of.

This is the truck after we pulled it in the partially build garage.



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On a rainy Saturday Dee asked me what I was going to try and do with the truck I had dragged over to the house and I told her it was possible to save, with a LOT of work. She tells me well why don’t you try to find another one off Ebay or someplace (This was not the same woman I married she was replaced with a nicer person).

I found a 1960 GMC with the same V-6 engine, in real good condition in Oregon and agreed to purchase and have it delivered. The delivery company gave me all sorts of fits and delays. I called the seller and explained that I bought the truck, paid the correct money to HIM for the Delivery and would hold him responsible for the truck. He showed me (via Fax) that the truck had been delivered to the yard and they signed off that it would be delivered. I called the delivery company and got the run around. What they were waiting for was to get the truck filled with other vehicles in order to make a better profit. They apologized for the delay and kicked back $300. I got the truck by the end of the month, only 3 weeks past due.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 08:54 PM
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Post 7

NO Good Deed goes UNPUNISHED.

I get a call from the truck driver who is held up somewhere on OK City because of blizzard conditions for 3 days. Then it hits me like a phone book to the head that I hope they put in antifreeze in the block, by this time I'M Sh*tting my pants thinking with all the bad weather reports comming from that part of the country, the block is gonna be cracked. The driver got lost 3 times trying to find the Lacombe Exit off I-12 and Hwy. 190. After about 7:30 at night he finally makes it do to the intersection and then as he trying to unload it we discover it has no brakes. He has to back it off all the way from the front of the truck with a come-along. I would not sign for it until t was on the ground and at one point he asked if he could just let it roll off the carrier. I said sure if he can guarantee that it would not roll across Hwy, 190 and into the ditch. Then the cussing began! He took over an hour to winch the truck off the carrier. I gave him $20.00 for a hot meal and was glad to see him leave. I called a flat bed and brought her home.

She started right up with a little pushing of the pedal after sitting for almost 3 week. Except for the brakes issue, she was a stated. A diamond in the rough.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 08:54 PM
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Post 8

While I was trying to get all the paperwork straight I looked into the brake situation and found no fluid, but no leaks? I changed the MC out to be safe and bled the brakes down. It took about 3 weeks to get all the paperwork straight so I could get insurance and a plate and then for 2 glorious days I drove many circles in the subdivision to get the feel for her.

I brought her to a radiator shop to have the engine flushed and found all the little lonely lost holes in my rad. Had her towed home, and bought a 3 core center mount radiator from US rad.

Then the fun began, slowly, ever so slowly I started trying to change things as needed. The previous owner tried to make a low rider out of this truck by simply clamping down on the suspension. I Removed a rear roll pan, put on a rear bumper, changed everything out on the front end, adjusted the torsion bars almost 4” to bring her to correct height, removed rear coil clamps and had to replace the rear coils because they were shot from being compressed too long. Engine wise I added a Petronix setup. I changed out the single barrel intake and carb. to a dual set up. I Changed out all 4 wheel cylinders. Bartered to find the correct 60-61 hood, picked up a few doors and tailgate that were in better condition. Basically, I found enough parts to build another truck.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 08:55 PM
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Post 9

It now October 2007 and for the first time I was able to drive an antique truck to Cruising the Coast. I saved up some money and was able to get a room at one of the host hotel and lived it up for a week. It was so cool to drive up and down the Coast meeting other truckers, and other club members (Susan Cooper) explaining to other folks that YES THE ENGINE WAS STOCK.

One of the best things about the CTC event is that they have one **** of a swap meet that literally fills the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum. Most years there are over 5,000 vehicles registered. 2007 was the first year back on track since Katrina although it was not quite as crowded as normal, it was still packed with many cars and trucks (3200). For many, it’s a once a year pilgrimage thing. Luckily I live just 20 miles from Mississippi Coast and can drive back and forth many of the days. That’s a good thing, because the rooms usually sell out by June each year.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 08:55 PM
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Post 10.

Been awhile since I posted any up dates but here goes. I'll call this chapter Alongs Comes a Gustav.

I had the truck bed dismounted and under cover out back, and pulled the truck out of the garage to the back side so we could use the garage to store stuff and cars in from the tree branches and such.

Gustavs forms in the Gulf headed for our area, everyone praying it'll turn and NOT TEST the LEVEES which were not ready for any storm yet. Dee and the family evac'd to her moms in Hammoond and I had to report to work. We got some rough weather but NOTHING like when I got home to find that someone had stolen the green GMC truck. For about a day I was checking with the wife and kids making sure that no one arranged a pickup to restore it (BOY WAS I HOPING). NOPE IT WAS STOLEN.

Call the police made a report and was so upset I forgot I had insurance on it. After filing it took about 45 days to settle out right and I took the money to restore the flooded truck. OH and decided to invest in an good alarm system.

Let me tell you these is something viseral aboout knowing that a total stranger walked onto your property and took something that belonged to you. Pisses you off to no end and MAKES you get something to defend yourself.

Lo be the sum-****** that tries it again!

I was able to pick up a rebuilt block off ebay listed by Flight-Lline engine rebuilders and started again from there.
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