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Old 03-15-2010, 10:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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52 Chevrolet Panel Wagon Rebuild

I recently inherited a 1952 Chevrolet Panel Wagon from a Uncle who passed away just over a year ago. Its a pretty unique vehicle, he got it in 1997 as a shell and spent the better part of 10 years rebuilding it. Since he was a chain monkey he converted a lot of it into a RV type vehicle,he took a mid 80's K5 and used it for the running gear, making it a 4x4 and the motor is a 455 Buick. This is my first attempt at rebuilding / refurbishing a vehicle like this but I could not see it going to a junk yard or outside the family. Hopefully if I have questions about what to do I can fall on the expertise of these forums, wish me luck. I will attempt to post some pictures, not sure if I can being a new member.....


Front end


Drivers side view


455 Buick
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah pictures were an epic fail.....oh well.

http://s886.photobucket.com/albums/a...Panel%20Wagon/ for the 3 pics I tried to post....

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Old 03-15-2010, 11:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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1982 Toyota 4x4 - [URL="http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=774031&highlight="]The Dirt Squirrel[/URL]: Phase II underway: 4.3L CPI, TH350, Toy 2.28/D300 OTT doubler, D60/14B/5.13s, f150 RUFs, artec linked rear, Profender c/o's, 44" Skinny Boggers, fool hydro...

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1979 Toyota Hilux 2wd DD with a 2rz. Turbo coming soon.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Awesome, Thank you!
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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No problem. What are your plans for this beast? Stock resto, or building it up somewhat? Specs?
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1982 Toyota 4x4 - [URL="http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=774031&highlight="]The Dirt Squirrel[/URL]: Phase II underway: 4.3L CPI, TH350, Toy 2.28/D300 OTT doubler, D60/14B/5.13s, f150 RUFs, artec linked rear, Profender c/o's, 44" Skinny Boggers, fool hydro...

1992 Dodge D350 Cummins tow whore
1979 Toyota Hilux 2wd DD with a 2rz. Turbo coming soon.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Honestly I dont know where to begin. It ran well until Sunday when the wiring harness decided to fry on me (battery isolator wire cooked and took out the starter, heater and altenator wires). So I guess my first project is to rewire the beast. From there my vision is to lift it 4-6 inches, bigger tires etc. I would like to redo the interior and make it more of a family cruiser / pavement pounder than a RV type vehicle. Part of me wants to keep it as it is, the other part of me wants to tear it down and start over. Im sure as I work on it more I will figure out exactly what I want to do. The issue with this vehicle is that every aspect of it was custom with very little documentation on whats been done, its like trying to rebuild Frankenstien after the scientist has passed away. I do have some friends and family that are helping me with this, hopefully I will learn a thing or two
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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id start by fixing the bullshit hack stuff like the hood.

it already has modern axles and brakes, the 455 is kind of odd ball cool but maybe try to find something newer and smaller.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Jeepers Creepers comes to mind.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Subscribed. Love me some panel wagon.

What are your plans exactly with it? Not sure I could thrash something quite that cool/rare-ish too much.

My advice for the wiring is to just completely gut it and start fresh. Im sure there has been some wiring debauchery over the last 40 years.

Oh, and more pics...these things are cool.
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Actually I finished up the wiring today, it runs a dual battery with an isolator switch, seems to work great. I drove it around town today and scared most of the locals. trkklr77 I appreciate the advise but my Uncle built this thing with a specific purpose and vision mind and it wasn't for show. I like the fact that it looks and drives like a tank. The 455 Buick isn't that much different than a 350 in terms of weight and I appreciate the HP, so its gonna stay. The interior needs the biggest amount of work. He collected those fiberboard road signs for a lot of years and lined the entire interior of the panel with that and bubble wrap for insulation. He also welded in a rack for a portable stove and a TV. There is also a wood and metal frame for a bed. All that is coming out and I will start fresh. Proper insulation isn't that expensive. It currently has one seat, looks like its out of a late 80's Bronco and there are no seat belts. I need to pick up some 2005+ Tahoe / Silverado / Suburban seats for this thing as the belts are built on the seat. I also need to figure out where the kids are going to ride, I was thinking jump seats....I will take more pics as I go along, although I cant post pics I will put them on photo bucket for viewing. Thanks for the interest, I love this thing. Oh yeah, he was a chain monkey and the damn thing is full of 30+ sets of new passenger car tire chains, if anyone is interested hit me up and we will make a deal.

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Old 03-16-2010, 05:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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pics of the interior?
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I uploaded some pictures to Photobucket, since I cant post pictures, here is the link:

http://s886.photobucket.com/albums/ac67/thorgot/

Yes I have a School Bus....and Im the ugly guy with the beer...

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Old 03-16-2010, 09:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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there is a definate differance in show, hack and doing at least half way decent.
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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interesting, he used a toyota steering column in it for some reason!
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:06 AM   #15 (permalink)
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1982 Toyota 4x4 - [URL="http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=774031&highlight="]The Dirt Squirrel[/URL]: Phase II underway: 4.3L CPI, TH350, Toy 2.28/D300 OTT doubler, D60/14B/5.13s, f150 RUFs, artec linked rear, Profender c/o's, 44" Skinny Boggers, fool hydro...

1992 Dodge D350 Cummins tow whore
1979 Toyota Hilux 2wd DD with a 2rz. Turbo coming soon.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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ewww dude.. yer one ugly fawker... i like the beerglass though.

by the way, you will never find many panels that are this long. this is the superstretch version, it looks like.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Yeah I never got by on my looks, but I can talk my way into just about anything. Ive been gutting the interior and found some cool stuff. The whole thing had carpet inside, I lifted the carpet and all the original wood is underneath. Looks like it just needs some cleaning up and it will be pretty. I took some pics, I will get them up sometime this afternoon. I am pulling down all the garbage headliner material, anoyone have any recomendations for replacement materials ie. insulation. I was thinking about using herculiner to seal the metal, then covering that with Reflectix for insulation.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:58 AM   #18 (permalink)
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More research has told me that this particular Panel is a 3800 1-ton. Anyone have expirence with using bedliner material (herculiner) for cab / body insulation? I was thinking about using it for the initial layer and then covering it with reflectix house insulation, then a headliner. Thoughts?
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