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Uuta 48 Chevrolet

Uuta 48 Chevrolet Ute

This is a Blog to document the Rejuvenation / Restoration of a 1948 Chevrolet Ute. At the beginning we bought a rusty body and chassis in a condition that was best described as "ready for restoration" After a few months of preparation and planning another complete and running Ute was found in much beter condition. So the original body was sold off and the process started again with the new vehicle. The plan is to do a major update of the drivetrain, motor / gearbox etc. to bring it to a "modern" standard. It will be classified as a "Streetrod" for registration purposes and subject to stringent testing of all components and workmanship during construction.


Modifying the Drivetrain Posted on Thu, August 04, 2016 05:16:14

The radiator is still the original and while it looked to be in reasonable condition it was decided to replace it. An aluminium one was chosen in the same shape. But it needs to move forward to make more room for the new electric fan. This is to go behind the radiator to “pull” the air through for maximum cooling.
So new mounts need to be fabricated and also mounting for the A/C condensor. A shroud is needed too to direct the maximum amount of air possible through the radiator.

Here is the radiator mounted temporarily in place to measure for the new brackets etc.
Also the front apron panel in place to check that all will have clearance.

Bolted in now to fabricate brackets to mount the condensor in front of it.

Brackets made and all bolted up. Looks to be okay.


Cleaning and Painting Posted on Sun, January 31, 2016 10:45:37

The suspension both front and rear are complicated components With many bushes and bearings that need to be renewed. So as they are to be cleaned and painted it is the time to do these. Both units were dismantled completely including the brakes. All parts were then cleaned and given a minimum of two coats of POR 15. This will keep them in good condition for many years to come. All bushes have been renewed with polyurethane ones. These last much better than the original rubber ones. And the wheel bearings replaced along with the rear suspension pivot bearings.
Here are some of the parts hanging to dry. Many pieces to these Jag units

Sorry for some of the photos. Sometimes the phone camera is not good.
Now for some of the components being assembled after cleaning and painting. This is the good part.The front end has now been finished including new bushes and new brake pads and discs. Ready to bolt back onto the chassis. Seen here coming together.
And from the other way. Looks a whole lot better now. Like new. Finally back in place ready for another twenty years of service.

The rear suspension units look good too. With some contrasting colours to show it off. This will be seen front the back.


Modifying the Drivetrain Posted on Wed, December 02, 2015 08:19:58

Now that the Inspection has been done and the work is approved we can move on. The next step being to pull all the drivetrain apart and strip the chassis to the bare frame.
All suspension components and motor,gearbox etc to be taken off. Then the chassis can be cleaned and painted ready for final assembly.
Before the suspension, motor gearbox, brakes and other pieces can be bolted back together they must be refurbished. That is disassembled and inspected. Then any worn or defective parts renewed and all painted. After all that the whole chassis and drivetrain can be assembled for the final time.

The suspension units front and rear are removed now. The chassis is bare once again. All welds have been checked and tidied up. The chassis was given a thorough clean and prepared for paint.
All the new brackets and crossmembers etc were given two really good coats of antirust paint. This is made for this type of installation It is called POR 15 and is extremely tough and hard to chip once dry.

these photos shoe the chassis painted. it looks a lot better now and will not need anything done to it for a long time.
The suspension parts are also to be done with the same paint process. This means that have to be completely dismantled. While they are apart ant parts needing replacment will be done. A couple of photos of front suspension pieces.

Sill repairs

Body Repairs / Changes Posted on Wed, October 28, 2015 04:19:55

The RHS sill has been repaired at some time but it has been welded out out alignment.
The whole section is set back too far, at least 6mm. Also this side has been damaged in the wheelarch area and repaired not as well as it could have been. To repair all of this it is necessary to remove the rear guard and cut back the sill. Then replace some of the wheelarch and the sill.

This is the sill out of alignment.The old piece has been cut out and a new section to be welded in it’s place in the correct place. This holds the side panel in place and the trim pieces that go on the bottom section.
The quarter panel was in worse condition then we thought. So I had to remove it and straighten it after removing about 1 kilogram of body filler. The wheel arch moulding also had to be done. The result of accident damage some time in the past. I guess it is over sixty years old. So has had a lifetime of hard use.

As I started to repair the sill the old repair to the panel started to look like it had to be done again. There was a lot of filler and rust under the filler. We decided it had to be taken off and repaired again.

Also the damage had been right along the side even up and over the wheel arch.
And so the panel was cut and the dents knocked out.
After this was done the rest of the side panel had to be cut off to repair the welded joint. You can see a section in this photo where the filler did not even adhere to the steel.
So finally after many hours all is sound again. And epoxy sealed against any future rust.

The repaired section is painted now and the paint is curing.

Door handles

Body Repairs / Changes Posted on Wed, October 28, 2015 02:38:34

The old Chevrolet door handles are in need of replacement. Apart from the chrome finish being in bad condition. They do not work as well as they did and the springs tend to be worn making the handles sag.
The handle shown here, you can see the way they hang with the weakened spring. Both doors to be updated with handle from a Jaguar.

So we will use some more of the Jaguar parts we have bought. The door handles from an early model XJ 6 work well and will suit the older style of this Ute.
The old handles have to be removed and a recess made in the door panel.
The replacements are quite good and will look as though they were the original handles
when the steel is painted.

Some photos of the stages to fit them.

A little final finishing needed and then some paint.

The doors have been painted now and have come up well. Just waiting for the paint to harden so the handles can be fitted. Photos of the finished result.


Body Repairs / Changes Posted on Tue, September 22, 2015 06:06:17

The fire wall was in need of some alterations and repair. There were many holes not needed anymore and the wiper motor location had to be changed. As this work has to be done before the motor etc are installed it is to be done early.
The holes were welded and filled and the whole area cleaned and painted. There is also a new section to suit the new pedals and steering column position.
At the bottom of the firewall the transmission tunnel was altered to suit the new gearbox.

This is the firewall as it was before any alterations were done. you can see the many holes and the wiper motor that is to be taken out.
The patch being done for the repair to the wiper area. The many holes shown above were also welded.
Then a coat of epoxy sealer to keep the steel from rusting and to seal for the next layers of paint.
Here it is applied, looking better already

Then more patching and sanding before primer coat and final colour

Now painted with the final coat and looking much cleaner without all of the holes and other pieces not needed now.

Finished with Specification plates fixed in place. Also this is one of the final body colours that have been chosen. The other one yet to be shown.

Rear panel

Body Repairs / Changes Posted on Tue, September 22, 2015 05:58:12

The panel at the rear of the ute need some modification. It can be seen in the photo at the top of the blog. It looks old fashioned and the lights need to be changed to more modern units. To do this we need a new panel made.

The old one was hinged to allow access to the spare wheel, this space is now to be filled with the fuel tank and will not have to be opened.
So it was removed and a new one is to be made.

First I made a test piece to see what the lights will look like. They are led units with brake, tail and indicators combined. Should be much more visible on the roads.
It is taped in place here to assess the location.

Then the new piece was folded . The panel will fit into the space where the old one was fitted and will have a recess for the registration plate and the new lights built in too.

This is the panel fabricated. Still needs some more work and to be painted to match the rest of the original colour. The lights will mount on the flanges each side. The first idea to recess them did not look right so was changed to have them sit higher and be more visible for all angles.

First fitting

Taking shape on the bench
Second fitting

On Again getting the shape now and the lights look pretty good

It still needs some more fitting but a there is little rust repair to do first. The side pieces are rusted under the rear panels, these need to be done before the panel can be fitted finally.

Now there is some rust to repair in the rear quarter. It looks okay on the surface but from behind there is evidence of some rust and bad repairs done in the past. When you realise this is a 67 year old vehicle that has been worked hard it is not to bad. It that time there would have been some “mishaps”. Many others from the same time would be long gone.

Some of the filler that is in this area. It may have been repaired more than once, a vulnerable area when reversing.

The rear panel is finished now and just needs to be cleaned and prepared for paint. The quarter has had the rust repaired, still some finishing needed then it can be painted too.
You can see the previous repairs where the steel has been welded more than once.


Modifying the Drivetrain Posted on Tue, September 22, 2015 05:29:26

The chassis works are almost finished. Just need to have the final inspection and get these works signed off. Then the painting can be started.
Before that is done though the exhaust needs to be fabricated so any brackets can be welded in place. The idea being to finish all structural items before the painting is done. This will lessen the chances of having to touch up the paint on the chassis.

So we bought the components for the exhaust. As it is a mixture of parts from different vehicles the system has to be custom made. Stainless steel is the most durable for this job and will last a lifetime, well mine at least.

Mufflers catalyst boxes as well as pipe and bends needed to thread through the chassis.

The mufflers were first laid out and setup temporarily in place. You can see the timbers holding them in place where they will be finally. There are many places where the clearances are tight and so all must be checked before final fabrication.
Suitable rubber mounting points will be added once the system is tacked up.

photo of pieces before starting

The first section from the headers to the Catalysts done and okay so far.

A piece of the pipe and bends in fabrication. Each bend needs to be cut and checked for the correct angles.

One side done up to the mufflers all tacked together until the whole thing is complete. Then all welding can be finished. A temporary tailshaft in place to make allowance for clearance on this part.

A little more done most of the pieces cut and tacked just need to make sure that all is okay with the body in place.
Once this is checked the final welding and mounting points can be done. Sorry about the bad photo it was taken on the Iphone.

Then up and over the driveshafts for the diff and out at the rear. It is a bit tight in here having to miss the fuel tank and axles and come out at the right height.

And almost fully welded, it needs to come out again though for final painting of the chassis. Also in this photo can be seen the new driveshaft from gearbox to the differential. And the tray for the battery is under there as well out of the engine bay as the new motor has taken most of the space in there. The pipework had to be made to go around here and connect in the middle at the same time. This connection makes for a more even pulse helping with tuning and keeping the sound from getting too loud

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