View Full Version : Starting a 1/2 ton truck project

10-28-2017, 06:10 PM
Picked up this 55 half-ton truck, had a '61 289 and 4-speed put in it by some previous owner. Trucks not in terrible shape but it needs everything done to it. I'll break it down this winter and work on patching all the body panels. Luckily cab corners and floor pan in good shape, not so much with the fenders and bed. Not sure what is going on with the frame just yet, leafs shackles are wonky, I don't know if I want to keep front axle or swap out to an IFS. Really gotta watch the budget!





Cheers from Cleveland Ohio!

10-28-2017, 06:58 PM
Nice find! :!:

To be SURE, check the Engine number Stamped INTO the flat, machined Pad on the Drivers side, Front, Top corner of the Block for the Serial Number.
If the Hawk's Engine was not Original, anything is POSSIBLE!

10-28-2017, 09:38 PM
It looks like a good place to start. From the looks of that shifter I am guessing you have a car type 4 speed?

10-29-2017, 03:25 AM
Looks like a 70s restore.

10-29-2017, 11:05 AM
52-fan: that's what it looks like, it definitely doesn't fit. I might look into one of those adapter kits for bolting up a TH350 or such.

70Avanti2: it was last registered in 1980, so right on the money with it being a 70's restoration. Although calling it a restoration is being too generous.

Hoping to find all the literature needed before pulling anything apart - manuals and source books, if anyone has suggestions?

10-29-2017, 11:21 AM
Back in the 70s these were common out dated solid old cars. It was very common to put in a v8/4spd first time home paint job and a awful interior. And then call it restored. That was one teenage pick u em up truck.

10-29-2017, 11:53 AM
love seeing snow tires on a truck !

10-29-2017, 03:26 PM
The truck looks solid and reasonably complete. It looks like a good candidate for restoration.
I have to laugh about the previous "restoration" and the color choices. You'll have fun with the paint stripper!

Blue 15G
10-29-2017, 04:19 PM
That looks like a L O N G reach down to that floor shifter!

Skip Lackie
10-29-2017, 04:36 PM
You need two books: the 49-56 parts book, and a shop manual. A 56-64 truck shop manual will cover 99% of your needs. There were almost no changes between 55 and 56 trucks, and it will cover the 289 engine. They are available in both book form and on CD.


10-29-2017, 06:01 PM
I like the ideal of a truck AOD behind that engine. It will give the truck some towing ability. Live with the front axle for awhile see how you like it.

10-30-2017, 05:47 PM
All great suggestions everyone!

Truckguy: You mean I'll have fun paying for the paint stripper right?

Skip Lackie: Thank for those links, exactly what I need.

70Avanti2: That's what I'm thinking, keep the front axle and spindles, maybe do the Turner upgrade - depending on condition of exist. parts, of course. Doesn't look too bad although the drums looked like they've been beaten off with a hammer on more than one occasion.