I had previously moved the truck to my Dad’s, which is about 2 hours away. I went up for the weekend and packed a bunch of tools, but here is mainly what you need: Grinder x2 (1 cutoff, 1 grinder blade), Socket Set, Impact Driver with socket adapter bit, breaker bar, Reciprocating Saw with metal blade, Lots of ratchet straps, a chain and a couple 4×4’s 8’ long. The steps below will explain how to remove the body from the frame of a 47-54 Chevy 3100.
Removing the Hood from a 47-54 Chevy
I started here, because it was easy, took 5 minutes, I removed the 3 bolts from each side of the hood, and left the brackets attached to the cab.
Removing the Grille/Radiator from a 47-54 Chevy
This takes the longest of anything probably close to an hour for me, as I just kept finding bolts here and there that had to be removed, many were corroded and took work to remove them. There are 2-3 bolts on the inner front fender holding the fender to the radiator. I saw 2-3, because about half the bolts in mine were missing! There are also 2-3 along the bottom of the support, holding it to the frame. I also removed the plate where the hood latches, it has a bunch of small bolts holding it on, the impact driver is very quick here, as they are all accessible. Disconnect the radiator hoses. Lift it out and set it aside.
Removing the Front Bumper from a 47-54 Chevy
There are 3 large bolts on each side of the bracket holding it to the frame.
Removing the Fenders from a 47-54 Chevy
There were anywhere from 4-6 bolts inside the rear of the inner fender on mine, again some were missing. I left the inner fender attached and removed as one unit per side. This all took about an hour.
Removing the Bed from a 47-54 Chevy
This was the easiest, took maybe 5 minutes. There are 4 bolts holding it on, they were rusted bad, so I just cut them off. I had no wood in my bed, so this was easy. If you have wood, you’ll want to remove that first, but you could just cut the bolts from under the truck, but that would make the bed pretty heavy with the wood still in.
Removing the Rear Bumper from a 47-54 Chevy
Mine was missing, the process would be the same as the front though.
Removing the Cab from a 47-54 Chevy
This took more time that I thought, maybe 1 hour. I wasn’t planning on using the seat, or gas tank so I removed them. Under the seat frame are 2 bolts holding it to the riser on each side front and 2 more holding it on the rear at each side to the bottom of the bracket. This will allow the seat frame to be removed. For the gas tank, I climbed underneath and opened the drain line, I was lucky it was bone dry. I then screwed off the fuel shut off from underneath. I removed the rubber portion between the filler neck and tank on both lines and then cut the tank straps with a recip saw, being very careful not to puncture the tank. I even had an extinguisher there just in case. There were a ton of pedals in the old truck! The one to the far right is a starter, imagine having to hold down the clutch, brake and push the starter at the same time, you’d almost need 3 feet to do it! I disconnected them from the engine side of the firewall, they are all either cotter pinned, or bolted. I could have cut them, but it felt wrong even though I wasn’t going to use them, so I took my time. The starter was too corroded though, I had to cut it :(. Next came the steering wheel and shift linkage, I tried to remove the steering wheel and pull through, but it was too corroded, I hated to, but decided just to cut them with a recip saw. My heating box was missing, so I had no lines to cut there.
Original 47-54 Chevy Cab Mounts
The rear uses a shackle, 2 bolts per side from underneath, 3 of the 4 snapped off on me, they were pretty far gone. The front has a bolt on either side of the front floor board, near the toe board, these were not even holding on mine as they were too corroded, I discovered that I’d be replacing the front floor pan on both sides. I thought about just blasting them, throwing down some fiberglass, some por15 underneath, but I want to do this right, so I ordered replacements to weld in.
Lifting the 47-54 Chevy Cab
I cheated, my Dad has a tractor with a loader. I removed the doors, ran a couple 4×4’s through the cab, attached a rope over the top tied to the 4×4’s and lifted it with the tractor. This is where things got scary! The tractor maxed out on height, maybe an inch above the frame, I had to hold up on one side to keep it from shifting, while also preventing it from swinging into the tractor. We nearly had it off and the back tires of the tractor started coming up, we had to lower it back down and discovered that we had missed an E Brake cable, whew! Clipped it with bolt cutters and the tractor easily handled the weight.
The Long Road Home
We loaded it all on my Dad’s 10’ trailer, we had to stand the bed up on end, I got some weird looks on the highway, but we used every strap we had to make double sure it was all secure. Dad lives in a small Missouri town, so the first 30 miles or so were poor roads and I drove slow. I got up to 70 mph though once I got on I-70.
Tips: Glove, Long sleeves, pants, Glasses and earplugs. Be patient, the last time this thing was apart, Harry S Truman was President (A Fellow Missourian BTW)
Thanks a bunch, to Dad, My Brother and Kubota for helping with this one!