Riz! I’ve got a ’57 Chevrolet Stepside standard cab ½ ton. I really want to put an aftermarket front stub and IFS in it when funds allow, but before that, I need to prep the chassis. I plan on powdercoating the frame. After I sandblast it, what do I need to coat the frame with before the powdercoating?
Hello Jim! Glad to hear that you’ve got yourself a project in the works. Now, since you’re getting ready to powdercoat your chassis I’m assuming that you’re planning on running your Chevy for a while before you switch over to an IFS stub (or else you’re gonna ruin portions of that nice new coating in the swap). If this is the case, and you’re gonna have it powdercoated soon after having it blasted, you don’t want to coat it with anything.
Powdercoating is performed over bare metal, as the frame needs to be electrically charged to draw the powder to it. It’s then baked in an oven and the powder melts and flows evenly and completely over it, sealing it with a tough scratch-resistant (not scratch-proof) coating that holds up better than traditional paint. If by chance you’re stripping it soon, but aren’t going to get around to the powdercoating for some months from now, I’d seal it with a good grade of standard automotive primer so it doesn’t get rusty between now and then. If this is the case just remember that you’ll have to strip it clean again before you get it powdercoated. Best of luck. RIZ
Hi Jim, I have subscribed to your magazine for the last two years and enjoy reading every issue, especially the do-it-yourself articles. I have a small problem I hope you can help me with. I own a ’68 Fleetside longbed and I recently purchased a poly fuel tank to mount under the bed. The tank was made for the Blazer or as a swap for ’67 to 72 pickups. The crossmember for the bed will not allow the tank to mount correctly. Do I need to notch the crossmember out (about 2 inches) so the tank can slide up into the frame enough for the straps to hold it in place? Also, I notice throughout your magazine, there are many different ways to install a filler cap, cut a hole in the bed floor, add a fuel door on the outside, or inside. What is the best solution? Thanks for your help.
Kevin, To be honest, your best bet would be to give the company you purchased your fuel tank kit from a call to see what they have to say about your situation (especially if as you say the tank is designed for use in your year C10). If for some reason you aren’t comfortable with the answer, here’s my suggestion. Take a close look at the crossmember. Is it indeed a chassis crossmember or a bed floor support? If it is a bed floor support (and you’re not contemplating using your pickup as a workhorse) go ahead and notch it as needed. If you’re the least bit concerned that weakening it by notching it will cause a problem, see if there’s room before or after it to add some support to it. This can be accomplished by butting a piece of square or rectangular steel tubing to it and either welding or drilling and bolting it to the modified crossmember.
As far as the filler choice is concerned, many times these decisions are due to the tank’s filler location. If it has a side-fill opening then you might want to take the easy route and mount your filler in a bedside or fender. If the tank has its opening on top, then a through-the-floor filler would be the quickest and easiest route. If it has a front or rear filler opening then you’re going to have to route a filler hose and neck assembly no matter what, so take the path of least resistance, or put the filler where you think it’ll look the best and be the most practical. RIZ
Riz, My name is Jeff and I am a new subscriber to your magazine. You recently took the time and effort to send a reprint of an old article describing the process of installing a Camaro subframe in a project pickup truck. I want to thank you again for your effort; I can imagine you are a very busy man. Your advice to me at the time was to check out the aftermarket front suspension products available and decide if the subframe idea was the best for me. I took your advice and went to my local speed shop. The owner explained the same thing you did and even let me see some examples of a Fatman IFS they installed in a couple of their projects. To make a long story short, I ordered a kit that day. I now am in the middle of installing it in my ’58 Chevy. Thanks again for helping a novice see the light. You keep on telling everyone to examine all the possibilities before they let dollars decide for them.
P.S. Fatman and Taylor’s Performance rule.
Jeff, Thanks for taking the time to drop me a line, I appreciate it. That particular advice has served me well more than once. We’ve all got to take a second and figure out what options are going to be the most advantageous. The cheapest way isn’t always the best way. Best of luck with your project. Keep us informed as to how it’s progressing. RIZ