Anyone can take an old beat-up Chevy and make it great again through either restoration or conversion; but what about starting from scratch? Building your own chassis, drivetrain, and engine is a monumental feat, and today, we have a video for you showing the guys at Classic Industries working with Total Cost Involved (TCI) Engineering to rebuild a 1953 Chevy pickup truck, in part 2 of a 26-part series of videos available on the Classic Industries’ Facebook page.
Dan and George get to measuring out a frame, as George explains: “It’s really important to get an accurate measurement because we need to duplicate the stock measurement into the TCI frame in order to get the original cab and bed to mount onto our frame.”
That done, George takes Dan to the computer, where he uses CAD to visualize how all the other parts must scale up to match the specifications. George explains that the laser cutter will get the pieces done once the blueprints are sent. Next, Dan and George shape out the primary side rails for the truck.
The team is dropping the more open I-beam chassis in favor of the boxed rail design, so the truck will get a stronger, more stable foundation to ride on. The team performs most of the welding on the chassis while it’s still exposed, but there will be more in the future, Dan assures us, before such parts as the brake lines, cables and suspension system can be assembled to the frame.
The next day starts off with Dan viewing the progress of the chassis, which now has the frame attached to the jig while it’s being welded even further. The welders are doing it TIG-style during the research and development phase, but will switch to MIG during production.
Entering the production area, the chassis is wheeled in like a gurney on the rolling jig. Smoothing out the welds with grinders, they make the chassis near-perfect for the next stage, where the team will apply all the accessories such as brake lines. TCI uses brass fittings, as opposed to aluminum, which will make the truck much more durable down the road.