I need help with bad cancer

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by bkpickell, Feb 14, 2001.

  1. bkpickell

    bkpickell LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    ok here's my situation, like I said in another post I have a 77 C10 with horribly bad rust(go figure a Chevy with rust)
    but anyway my LH floorpan, rocker panel, cab corners and bed all on drivers side totally gone by rust, I am sloooowly trying to fix this but my problem is the hinge pillar is rusted from just below the lower hinge all the way down cause I have no rockers.. and I can't find anything aftermarket or oem to fix this. How hard would it be to fabricate something to work and be durable enough to keep the door from sagging.

    any help would be greatly appreciated..
    thank you,
    Brian
     
  2. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    Without seeing your truck first hand I can't tell exactly how bad the rusting is, but I am thinking that if the hinge pillar and everything below it is gone then the cab mounts are going to be in rough shape too. May I make a suggestion? I did this on my own '75 GMC when the rust (they l-o-v-e salt here in Ontario Canada!) got out of hand: check out the possibility of getting another cab (my experience has been that it is easier to get an entire truck, pull the cab and any other parts you can use then scrap the rest) do required repairs while it is off and then swap. And it is possible to use a later ('81 and up) cab on your '77 - I'm running an '81 cab on mine now. Some parts get unbolted and set aside (cowl piece & hood hinges) but the basic cab shell will work on your frame. Barring that, the only way I can see of fixing your pillar is a MIG welder, sheet metal and a lot of patience. This will be strong enough, since it is only body tin there to start with, but again I think that there is more rust down below that will need attending to. A cab swap might be the way to go.


    1975 GMC C-35
     
  3. gitzenlandscape

    gitzenlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    I agree with the cab swap. There is always more rust than what you think there is. The time you will have invested in your old cab after rocker, cab mount, door jamb, etc. will add up to alot more than finding and picking up a used cab in much better shape. Plus after you put all that time into the old cab, it will rust again sooner than you think it will. Trust me I have seen it happen before.
     
  4. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    A couple of things I forgot to put in my earlier post - changing a cab sounds like a pretty intimidating task but it actually isn't too bad. There are only 6 bolts (4 on the cab and 2 on your rad saddle) holding the cab & front clip on. Of course, they will likely have mucho rust on them so you may end up torching the heads off them, lifting everything off and then heating the weld nuts in the body mounts to turn the old bolts out. Replace your cab cushions while you're at it, they can be had through GM parts dealers or aftermarket (urethane replacement ones are the best way to go!) It will be easiest if you can find the same year cab with pretty much the same option package. This way the wiring hookups are as close to identical as possible. If you have an automatic trans, it will be easier to find a suitable cab. Cabs for standards exist, I just don't think as many were made. Linkages for transmission & throttle are pretty much the same across the board in GM (my '81 cab came from a 1/2 ton and it went on my 1 ton just fine) so you shouldn't have any hurdles you can't easily overcome. One last point - when lifting these cabs they weigh more than you think, best way is to use a nylon sling through the door openings (open the doors first, route your sling and then close them or just take 'em right off) and make sure that the two sling legs are pulling straight up, not angled back towards the centre of the cab roof. If they are, you will end up crushing the rain gutters and possibly putting a wrinkle in the cab sheet metal. Voice of experience here, since then I have fabbed up a spreader bar out of a length of HSS (square tube) with points at either end to attach a shackle to the sling legs and a lifting eye in the centre. Hope this can be of some assistance to you.
     
  5. bkpickell

    bkpickell LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    well I tried looking into a new well used cab and the cheapest I can come across is around 1500 dollars.. and right now that is waaay more than I am willing to spend.. I only got the truck for 350.. I already purchased floor pan rocker panel and cab corner for it.. plan on cab supports also. but I was more worried about the gap that its going to leave between my new rocker panel and where the hinge pillar leaves off... I can handle the body work, but sheet metal fabs I have never done.. I just wanted to know if it was do-able.. thanks
     
  6. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    It can be done, as long as you're willing to invest the time. (Time (labour) is the big ticket item on any bodyjob, that's why when my boss had my welding truck redone recently it came to $3200!) Invest in a good how-to book (Paint and Body Handbook by HP Books is a good one) and learn a bit more about what you're getting into. A 110-volt MIG welder is ideal for bodywork, I have one in my own workshop. As you mentioned, most of the components you need (floorpans, mounts, rockers, corners) are available so at least there will be a minimum of "from scratch" fabbing. You can do, it just takes time and effort. Good luck, and don't forget to post some pics when you're all done!


    1975 GMC C-35


    By the way, did you check out http://www.chuckschevytruckpages.com for info on your VIN plate and number yet?

    [Edited by 75 on 02-14-2001 at 10:40 PM]
     
  7. bkpickell

    bkpickell LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    I'm getting ready to start my project and after further lookin at the pillar realized this is going to be a huge job. the rust actually extends past the lower hing so I'm going to have to cut the hinge mount out which scares me, but I don't want it to come back if I can help it, just have to make sure I do all my measuring correctly..

    And yes I found the other vin plate thanks... it is a 77
     
  8. bkpickell

    bkpickell LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

  9. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    First step: Gather the repair panels that ARE available for your truck. This will include rockers, cab corners, floor panels, cab mounts, box skins. Fenders and doors are no problem, you can buy them complete and bolt them on so don't waste time fixing rust on those parts. You will have to transfer the "guts" from old doors to new, don't worry - it's tedious but not impossible. With these parts at hand, you will now be able to tell what you'll have to deal with "from scratch". Use the parts as guides for where to cut away the old stuff. This is MIG welder territory, for working with body tin a 110 volt unit works fine. .023 wire and Co2 is what I use at my own home workshop. I see what you referred to regarding the hinge pillar, unbolt the door and then unbolt the hinge so you can see just what you've got there. I believe the hinge area is reinforced with some thicker material (don't quote me on this though!) and there will be nuts welded in on the back side for the hinge bolts. Start the reassembly process with some of your complete replacement panels (rockers inner & outer, floor panels, cab corners) to "frame in" the areas you will have to custom fab. Now you will have a guide for what you have to cut and piece together. Take the task on in manageable doses, don't just hack everything out at once! When fixing the mounts you will have to support the cab while you do the metal replacement/fabbing - only do 1 mount at a time! Get new cab cushions too. (I know, I mentioned that already in a previous post!) Depending on what's available and in what price range (I read your earlier post regarding cab swaps and $$$) you may be able to get a complete truck with a less rusted cab for a lot less than the $1500 you mentioned - I find cabs on their own are pretty pricey. Okay, I'm rambling but those are some ideas to start off with, I know others will have plenty of valuable information to pass along. I like the page you have created too - good idea and I look forward to following your progress. Makes me feel a little better about the cab I am going to repair for my truck soon! :D Be patient and don't take on too much at once - you can do it!
     
  10. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    Hey bk - just wondering if you've started into the rebuilding process yet?
     

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