Painting Inside Cab
I used a wire wheel inside to knock off all the loose stuff and cleaned it well with degreaser. I decided to sand, prime and then paint the inside up nicely. I suck at color choice, apparently, I mix-match my kids clothes frequently, so my Wife recommended I choose a Gunmetal Grey color. First, I sprayed the entire inside with 2 coats of Chassis Saver Aluminum paint. Its nasty stuff, so cover yourself head to toe and wear goggles and a mask. The beauty of it is minimal prep work. It has aluminum flakes in it that help fill in the pitting. I decided I’d just get a ready to spray primer HERE and sprayed 2 coats with my LVLP sprayer, man I love that thing. The important part about painting is to do proper prep work and then do several light coats. I taped the crap out of the truck and had no over-spray issues. I took out the speaker cover and glove box and painted them with a rattle can of satin black. Once the Chassis Saver had cured, I covered the floor in bed-liner spray, since I wasn’t doing carpet. It looks great and is very easy to touch-up if need be.
Installing Seats in a 1947-54 Chevy 3100
I chose the bucket seats out of a 2002 Silverado. I picked them because they have a seat-belt built in. I looked high and low for a nice set of grey leather seats and couldn’t find them. I settled on a pair of cloth grey seats, with no tears for $150 from a local junkyard. To mount them I slid them back as far as I could, which meant that I had to cut a few holes through the vertical cab support behind the original seat. I used a plasma cutter for that. For the front mount, the floor has a concave area. I used some scrap steel I had laying around to fab something up. I ended up using a section of 1×2 steel tube between the 2 front seat mounts and on the inside corner I added a 4” long section of 2×2 tube. This made my seats all sit straight and level. I ran ½ grade 8 bolts through the mounts and into the 1×2 tube I had previously ran under the cab. For the front mount, I just added a few fender washers under the cab for strength. I’m still keeping my eye out for some nice leather seats to swap in someday.
Steering Column for a 1947-54 Chevy 3100
For the steering column, I cut a hole about 2.5” left of the original steering floorboard hole and inserted the aftermarket steering column. For the floor mount, I placed a 2 ¼ exhaust clamp over the column and welded a piece of 1×1 tube to it with holes drilled. I simply slid it to where I wanted it and drilled holes through the firewall and bolted it down. For the dash mount, I installed a 2 1/2″ Drop Bracket. I had to cut a pretty large hole in the firewall and didn’t like it. I took 2 pieces of the old inner fender that I had trimmed and drilled 2” holes in it, then chopped them in half, laid each piece over on the firewall side and welded them in. I installed a Steering Wheel, which needed an Adapter.
Installing a Floor Shifter
When I started the truck and started going through the gears, I found that it would not go back past neutral, despite the indicator showing P. I decided it was a perfect opportunity to make the truck a bit more fun, so I got a floor shifter! I decided on the B&M SportShifter, this one lets me drive normal, or shift it by bumping the lever. I did also have a truck transmission with the PRNDL switch, so I needed an Adapter. The install was pretty straight forward and the instructions provided were great. I did build a pedestal that raised it 11 inches off the floor and placed the shifter between the seats. The ignition switch was not working either, so I trashed the eBay column and bought a Flaming River replacement Steering Column. It was much nicer, worked and had great instructions. Don’t waste your time with eBay junk columns. I now had a key in the dash too, like original, which I thought was a fitting detail.
Steering Linkage Install
I bought a length of ¾ DD bar HERE, a u joint for the gear box HERE and a u joint for the column HERE. I made a long bar from the gearbox and a short one from the column, I had to use both to clear the headers. Everything was solid and I did not need a support bearing. I did learn though to make sure the bar stops flush with the back of the hole on the u joint, if you go past that, it will bind.