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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.


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