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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.

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.