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Questions About Parts of a 1953 Truck

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  • Questions About Parts of a 1953 Truck

    I ran across parts of a 1953 2R5 truck that may be of use to me. It is a frame, both axles with wheels, drive train, cab with doors and seat. I like the frame. It is in better condition than my 1949 frame is, and the tube shocks would be an upgrade for me.

    There are other parts attached to it, so I have questions:

    1. Has anyone successfully sold a bare cab with doors (cab, 2 doors, each with 2 hinges, nothing else)?
    2. Has anyone successfully sold a bed, 1 item, with no fenders or tailgate?
    3. Has anyone successfully sold a seat, appears to have new upholstery, never used, but that 'new' is probably 20 years old?

    If yes to any of the items above, then is anyone able to estimate what might I expect to be able to ask and successfully be given for these items?

    4. There is a Commander engine installed. No generator, carburetor, wiring, fan, linkages, radiator, etc. It has a car's bell housing which puts the starter where it looks like the accelerator linkage needs to be, if it were there. I like the possibility of an upgrade to a Commander engine, but I would need all of the missing parts. Can the car's bell housing be made to work in a truck?
    5. My 1949 parts manual shows a different part number for the Commander and for the Champion bell housings. Does this mean that I cannot bolt a Commander engine to my Champion bell housing?
    6. If I install my existing Champion engine and bell housing into this frame, then is there a difference in the length of the two bell housings that would prevent me from using the drive shaft that is now connected to the overdrive transmission behind the Commander bell housing?
    7. One question is answered in one of my earlier postings about my truck. The number on the overdrive solenoid identifies it as 6 volts, so that is a negative for me. It makes me believe that the starter most likely is also 6 volts, but I did not look at that.

    Sorry, I did not get photos of this setup. I am told that this was a man's project, but he died before finishing. 10 or 15 years later his family sold what they had to another man who used some body parts then sold it to the current seller, so the work that was done to this setup is somewhere between 10 and 20 years old. The remaining body parts show no rust, but they are repainted, and I have no idea what is under the 20 year old new paint. I drove 8 hours to look at this. Hearing the seller describe his projects made it known to me that his asking price would be out of my league, so I did not ask, because I wanted to see it. I brought double what I wanted to spend, and his asking price is almost triple what I brought, so there is a gap. I ask my questions above because if I can get some of my cost recovered, then maybe I would be willing to go a little higher with what I want to offer, if I end up coming to an agreement with the seller.

    Does anyone have advice for me? Thanks.

  • #2
    It all depends on condition of the body parts what someone may give. The doors would be the part most wanted. The cab next if pristine. The bed can be had new. Fenders are the hardest to find in decent condition.

    As for the commander engine. If I were to get away from the champion engine, I'd go V8. Otherwise there's a lot of work either way, and I'm sure the champion tranny won't work behind there.


    • #3
      1. Many more people need doors than a cab, so they're normally sold separately. Pristine cab: $500-750. Pristine doors: $250-500 apiece. Condition, condition, condition.
      2. As stated, depends on condition. Solid, with no rust-through: $200-500.
      3. Prices are all over the place, and depend a lot on the upholstery job. A few hundred dollars, but shipping is a problem.
      4. Commander truck engine starters were on the left side.
      5. Virtually nothing interchanges between the Commander and Champion engines, including the bell housing.
      6. The drive shafts are different lengths, but they are easily shortened by an alignment shop. The exact lengths are in the parts book.
      7. The 6-volt starters used on Commander-equipped trucks were Delcos, and are worth a couple of hundred bucks. The basic starter without the Bendix drive also fits 6-volt Stude V8 cars.
      Skip Lackie


      • #4
        Thank you for your input. If I do follow through with this, then I will have to better evaluate the condition of the body parts before advertising. For me, the positives do not look like they are more than the negatives. Item 4 is interesting. If the left is the driver's side, then the linkages must be able to be installed without interfering with the starter. The engine and transmission in this truck include almost nothing that is needed to make them usable, so, with nothing being interchangeable with what I have, I would have no way to use them. I am losing interest. Again, thank you for your help.


        • #5
          The throttle linkage with the Commander engine is only about a half inch above the starter. The parts book would tell you which parts of things like throttle and clutch linkage are common between the two engines. I did the conversion about 40 years ago, and to the best of my recollection, not much is.
          Skip Lackie


          • #6
            Thanks for your further information. I bought an overdrive transmission a couple of years ago. The way I work means I will never install it until I find a truck that has everything that is needed to make it work. A bare engine would be one more thing to store next to my transmission. The transmission that comes with it has (like the one I already have) a 6v solenoid and nothing else that would be needed to make it work. I do not need any body parts, and I do not want to try and maybe get some of the cost back if I can sell them, so I will leave this one alone.

            It is advertised in the March 2019 issue of Turning Wheels, p 70, in case someone else would like to have a look. The 703 area code implies Virginia, but it is located in Fairmont, West Virginia.