Just a little out of the middle, please.

Posted: October 21, 2011 in GMC truck, Vintage trucks

You’ll remember in our last episode, where we’d left  the ’76 GMC “Big Dually” wedged in the shop, nose against the bench, frame rails against the door at the rear.  That’s all changed now, as I lopped a whopping 76 inches out of the middle of the frame yesterday.

I went over to Dads at 9:00, and got busy with the torch, cutting the filch plate welds off the original frame extension.  The material used was some 8×3 1/4″  angle, which happily, was only tacked at the top edge, and a very few at the bottom.  I just cut the welds at the top, pried it loose, and the bottom welds popped.  I was careful not to have my feet under the thing when it fell, its heavy stuff.

Then, after I cut the brake lines, fuel lines, wiring harness, and blocking the truck up at both ends, I started cutting.   I’d originally thought I’d use the Sawzall, but the torch seemed so much quicker.  I clamped a chunk of steel at each cut, and simply used it as a guide.  Worked beautifully, razor-sharp cut lines, right on the money.  I’d re-checked my measurements before cutting, and laid the lines out with a square,  just a little clean up with the grinder and a bevel on the edges for welding was all it needed. 

Dad came down to the shop about that time and helped me pull the two halves together with a come-a-long, clamp them together and square it up.  It went well, no adjustment needed, it went better than I could have hoped.

After I was confident it was (reasonably) square, I started taking the frame joint together.  I’d wired up a plug a few days ago so I could bring my old Lincoln Buzz Box welder down, and was pretty confident of my vertical welding skills, so I started in.  The results are not to shabby, the welds actually look good, and the frame turns out to be within 1/16″ of square, so I’m happy. 

After that was done, I cut the extension at the rear of the frame rails off, which was another 3 feet, seen above right.  I went to the original frame line, which leaves the bumper bracket holes.  I’m not sure if this is going to be correct, as the frame this length will extend 2 inches beyond the box, but maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.  Since I don’t have a bumper or brackets, I’ll leave that untill I do, and trim more off if it’s supposed to be shorter.  I’ll cut chunks of the old filch plates up to make new ones, and will get those on today, and trial fit the box. 

It’s a pickup!

  1. Kim says:

    Who needs a crew, aka Overhaulin’, when you have Rex! Still going strong at 87! This what I expect of you Brian!!

  2. Brian Rowley says:

    Might be beneficial to weld in a fish plate out and inside for strength. Just a thought.

  3. flynbrian48 says:

    I plan on plating both sides, as I have 12′ of 8×3 1/4″ angle, plus 8′ of 8×3 5/16″ channel (the frame rail extention and plate material) to use. If you can’t make it pretty, make it Hell for stout.


    • You know, I could build a new electric car out of what you cut out of that truck and still have extra left over! 🙂 Of course that frame stub probably weighs more than my Comuta-Car with batteries! 🙂

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