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Old 06-06-2012, 11:11 AM   #161
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Hey '49, that's interesting. I checked my notes against my recollection and found the rear frame members to be 34" o/c while the front frane at the front axle was only 25" o/c. I don't have the frame any longer but it didn't look modified as I recall. I'll keep an eye out for another '35 Chevy SKOOLIE to measure.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:13 PM   #162
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

My bad --- My main frame rails are spread 31" with the front about 25". Misread what the question was. Thought it whether the front rails tapered in the way the hood does.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:37 PM   #163
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Hey Tango, It was that 25" issue that finally got me started on a complete frame change. The Isuzu diesel was just too fat to get in the space without cutting the frame. If memory serves me right I think you have a better chance getting the Cummings in as it is taller and narrower. Oh, and thanks for the note--I was beginning to think I was loosing it! Don't ask my wife though because I'm sure she would say that I had lost it when I started this project--just kidding now, I couldn't ask for a more supportive spouse! I can hardly wait to hear how your bus fits together so get wrenching
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:33 PM   #164
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Ya..it's gonna be a tight squeeze, but like I said...based on the book measures oughta' fit without too much torching. Routing all the other "stuff" will be the big challenge. I'm finally getting close to wrapping up the underbody work on the main tanks (fuel & poo...killing my back). Can't wait to start on something that will actually be seen. The skin work will be tricky for me since I've never done anything like it before, but what the hey. Life is for learning, right? The motor & tranny install will be left to someone more experienced if I can afford it. Otherwise, I may not live long enough to ever actually drive this rig.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:05 AM   #165
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Howdy All --- getting close to wrapping up the fuel & black/gray tank installation (finally). Been a royal pain working under this old girl. Not tall enough to sit up...not low enough top lay down. Here's the latest...


The 44-gallon fuel tank is sporting its' new filler neck, drain and a return line, so it's ready for some diesel. Hope to be checking the sending unit this weekend.


The combination black/gray tank is hung and ready for locating the various inlets from the toilet, sink drains and a vent. The 3" square tubes above it are just for spacing to ease attachment of lines & such.


The drain will be accessed via a small hatch (yet to come). The tank itself hangs on full length angle iron supports and will also have 3" wide straps at each of the four all-thread points.


Meanwhile...since the gas guzzling 350 Chevy still moves it about, this is the temporary tank. Think outboard motor.

The newly rebuilt Cummins 4BTAA will soon get married to the 2012 Allison six-speed automatic. Then the fun really begins...figuring out how to stuff it all under that Art Deco front end. Hey Trunt...you sure you don't want to move to Texas?
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:49 PM   #166
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Tango, Why don't you TEXANS just anex Calif--That way we could be neighbors! That is a very "sanitary" job you have done on the black/grey tank. I've yet to face that part of the project but I sure will cut off the lower sheetmetal like you did before I begin!
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:34 PM   #167
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Hey Trunt...I monitored Ebay for several months and lo & behold, found both tanks in the perfect sizes. The (new) black/gray is heavy walled ABS and designed to be hung from the 3/4" thick lip along the edges, but I'm adding four straps below anyway (never engineer anything you can over-engineer).

The aluminum fuel tank was a used marine gasoline tank in the right size but needed some mods. Relocated and extended the fill, added a return (for diesel) and also added a drain. Still worked out much cheaper than having one built to specs. I'm putting a steel rock guard underneath since aluminum won't take much abuse. Both tanks will be isolated from wear/corrosion using 1/8" rubber.

The only advice I can offer is to raise the bus or work in a pit. They seem to be exactly the right height to kill your back when working under them.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:26 PM   #168
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Tango, like how your doing your tanks, what is the capacity of your black/grey tank? I'm also looking at the structure of your walls and wondering if the method of construction Superior used varied much between '46 and '78. didn't think I would have to remove the lower outer skin, but alas, my floors are very rusty, so I just might have to take it off for a proper repair.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:54 PM   #169
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

atcc77 --- The black/gray is 44 gallons. It is held up in compression against a 3" spacer by the angle iron rail that has the all-thread and nuts on them but will soon have four, three inch wide straps underneath to help support some of the weight. Since I have so little room, I decided to go with the black/gray combo and save a little plumbing.

And, my body is by Wayne, so I can't comment on the Superiors, but I chose to remove the lower skin due to rust at the floorline under the rubrails. The floor itself was in great shape. I figure replacing the damaged skin with fresh metal to be a better long term solution than patching might have been. Biggest change is that the new skin will be welded to the ribs rather than fitted in between which is how it came. I'm thinking cutting & replacing will be fairly simple if I ever have the need to do any repairs. The way it was originally put together, the whole bus would practically need to be disassembled to replace any given panel.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:55 AM   #170
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

I don't know why I thought your bus was a superior, it says right there on the side its a wayne. Oh well, it looks like the two companies used similar methods. I am slightly envious that all your under bus stuff is done, can't wait to see how you shoehorn that big ol motor in there!
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:47 AM   #171
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

LOL! --- ya...I'm curious to see how that works out myself. Will have to pull the entire front clip here shortly and do some head scratchin'. May be a bit like putting a turkeys' worth of stuffing into a Cornish hen. My engine is supposed to be ready in a week or two and the Allison tranny is right behind, so the big stuff is right on the horizon. There will no doubt be major adjustments necessary to the firewall & floorboard and very likely some tweaking to the inner fenders. I may even wind up with something like a small doghouse around the rear of the engine & transmission. At one point I was considering a Cummins six-cylinder since they are much cheaper to buy & build, but the rear of the motor would have pushed the pilots seat back so far I wouldn't have been able to reach the dashboard!
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:21 AM   #172
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

if one is using the original frame, removing the lower portion of the firewall, and fabricating up a tunnel is normal procedure for installing a newer transmission in a vehicle that only came out with a manual transmission. and removing the original core support and trimming the surrounding area is normal also esp if one is going to put in a newer crossflow radiator.

transmission hump materials can even come from van, or short front or cab over vehicles as well as purchased new or just made up.

i also imagine a 5.9 would fit.... but i would have to walk 350' to measure it against a std 216 size eng.
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:19 PM   #173
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Dang!!! --- I had hoped to finally hang the fuel & black/gray tanks this weekend, but the metal shop that's bending them said "next week". Meanwhile, I did receive a window I ordered to go into my door. It's a little 12 x 7, aluminum framed boat window that I will use down at the bottom as a "curb viewer". With the bus body much wider than the front-end, pulling up close to things like fuel pumps can be tricky. And while I do plan on about three cameras, there is a lot to be said for real-time, line-of-sight viewing.

BoatWindow...not sure why this one won't show as a pic???...but...

Also got a start on the rear frame extensions from which I will hang a small deck off the back. The genset will go to one side on top of it and my 140# spare tire will be mounted in the center underneath. Hope to have a little room left under to store some extra gasoline for the Genny as well.


These frame extensions are angled out to provide adequate room for my 37" tire between the rails under the deck. The final versions will extend out about 32".
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:48 PM   #174
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Cool I was measuring mine today for an extension as a back deck/spare holer/smoker holder/ladder holer and everything else I can fit
I am looking to just weld and bolt to the bumper...hell...its 3/16 plate!!
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:56 PM   #175
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Tango, you certaintly are good with the welder. Will this extension take the place of the rear bumper--I'm trying to visualize the final setup. I haven't been able to think up a spot for a spare tire on my bus. My biggest problem is that the bus is 22"6' long and the garage is 23' deep and I can't find a mini spare Any ideas? Jack
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:51 PM   #176
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Hey Trunt --- I am tucking the spare inside the existing frame rails so that only about 2/3's of it are actually hanging out the back under the deck. That's why I welded the 45 degree angles in place. It should allow me to tuck that big sucker in a bit and keep the weight closer to the existing frame with just a bit of it pulling down on the deck. I will still need to fab some kind of hanger to pull it up & lower it down, but that shouldn't be too tricky with either springs or hydraulic supports.

There will be a full bumper wrapping around the back of the deck. I bought a spare front bumper that I will cut to form the rounded outer edges, then fill in the center with some rectangular tubing to tie it all together. My finished overall length will be just under 24 feet (it's about 21 now). That should put it just barely short enough to tuck into most standard parking spaces, with a foot or so hanging over. My biggest concern will be the height. I want to add a roof deck, but keep it just under 12' if possible (so it will fit into a standard 12' overhead door).

PS...I only look somewhat remotely like a real welder because of the new Miller, dual voltage (110 or 240v) mig I bought recently, but thanks. Fantastic unit that I can recommend to anyone. A real sweetheart.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:48 AM   #177
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

why not just get a spare tire winch off of a pickup and weld that in. the cable would be strong enough. or get a bus spare tire winch... the one in mine is as strong as a boat winch. i scrapped one 1970 chassis mount camper that they used a boat winch and installed it inside the back of the rear bumper and had a couple of pullys... there should not be any problem getting a spare tire up against frame rails, if a 22.5 one will fit under a larger bus.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:59 AM   #178
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Thats what I did (twice). A boat winch + pulleys.

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Old 06-17-2012, 09:58 AM   #179
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Hey Bansil --- go for it. I would have done the same myself but my original rear bumper was a lightweight, three piece affair. My old Blue Bird had bumpers made out of armor plate that could handle just about anything. Another great thing about building directly onto a solid bumper is that it all remains easily removable should any damage ever occur.

Sdwarf --- Sweeet! Great idea...I'm sold. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:01 PM   #180
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Re: '46 Chevy Shorty

Look inclassifieds at steel soldier may be able to get a duece crank assy cheap! Or what is site...white trucks nc?...no acc to work comp
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