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DIY ManualsDIY Manuals >> How-To Books >> Car Restoration >> General Motors Restoration Manuals, Guides, Books >> How To Restore Your Chevy Pickup: 1928-1991
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How To Restore Your Chevrolet Pickup: 1928-1991

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Few things say "America" as loudly and lovingly as a classic Chevy truck, and this restoration guide is aimed at those enthusiasts who plan to restore one of these trucks.

Aside of the challenge, fun and pride of any restoration project, a properly restored Chevy truck can also be a smart investment, and one that will continue to appreciate in value as years go by. So it comes as no surprise that more and more truck enthusiasts are restoring Chevy trucks andmdash; or giving it some serious thought.

In this new and revised edition of How To Restore Your Chevrolet Pickup, restoration expert Tom Brownell gives advice, insight, and detail, along with plenty of color photos, on what a restoration project will entail and what it will cost.

The book will also help inspire and guide you through the restoration process, regardless of the condition of the truck being restored. And if you're still shopping around, Brownell helps you choose the right truck, then shows you how to repair the bed and cab, rebuild the engine, suspension and steering, restore the upholstery and trim, and then complete your project with a fresh paint job.

In short, How To Restore Your Chevrolet Pickup: 1928-1991 will provide a road map to owning a truck to be proud of, and one that will be a faithful companion for many years to come.

Book Excerpt: How To Restore Your Chevrolet Pickup: 1928-1991


Despite the cautions against impetuous disassembly, the process of restoration requires that we take things apart. The question is what's the right way? Do we just proceed by intuition: loosen a bolt here, pry a little there, try to make the parts come loose? If intuition is our approach, we're sure to do more damage as we take things apart.

A better approach is to know the right way to get the pieces to come apart. Window crank handles, for example, are typically held in place by little "C" clips that are easily popped off (and popped back on again) with a window crank handle removal tool. Without the right tool, removing jobs like this can be very frustrating. Early handles to 1966 used a set screw, sometimes two set screws jammed in series down the same hole in the handle.

Body assembly manuals provided to dealerships by manufacturers and available today through automotive literature vendors, show the steps for removing window crank handles and the tool to use. Likewise, shop manuals detail disassembly steps andmdash; both in the right sequence and specifying the correct tools.

The problem with disassembling components of an old truck using body or shop manuals as a guide is that age often causes things to come apart very differently (and with more difficulty) than they did when new. Here tricks passed down by old timers can be of great help. Often these "tricks" are published in technical articles in club magazines and can be learned in restoration clinics and classes such as technical seminars offered at some national club events.

On 1960s and later trucks, some of the interior trim (most notably the dash on 1966 and later trucks, as well as steering wheel hub, knobs, and air conditioning controls) have a chrome plated look, but the base material is plastic.

In almost all cases, the bright finish on these parts will have dulled or disappeared and need to be replaced to return the truck's interior to its original appearance.

The deterioration of the bright finish on these chrome plated plastic parts isn't caused by wear or corrosion, but results from the natural exposure to ultraviolet rays and atmospheric ozone. Although the bright appearance on these parts looks like chrome, they are not actually chrome plated (at least not in the restoration process). Rather, a thin layer of vaporized aluminum is applied over the plastic in a process called vacuum metailizing.

Several companies offer this vacuum metalizing service for restoring chrome appearing plastic parts.

Subject: 1928-1991 Chevy truck restoration. ISBN-10: 0760316341 | ISBN-13: 9780760316344


  • History of Chevrolet pickups
  • Rebuilding versus restoring: one step at a time
  • Shop and tools
  • Cleaning, sanding, and derusting
  • Gas welding techniques
  • Front-end overhaul
  • Steering overhaul and adjustment
  • Engine and mechanical rebuild
  • Transmission and driveline rebuild and upgrade
  • Brake overhaul and upgrade
  • Body sheet metal restoration
  • Priming and painting
  • Powder coating: a different kind of paint
  • Wiring harness installation
  • Interior restoration
  • Rubber and glass replacement
  • Pickup box restoration
  • Plating trim
  • Storage and care
  • Big iron (with assistance from John Milliman)

  • Publisher: Motorbooks International
  • Author: Tom Brownell
  • Pages: 224 - Over 300 color photographs
  • Binding: Paperback - 8.5 x 11 inches
  • ISBN: 978-0-7603-1634-4
  • Years: 1928 - 1991
  • How To Restore Your Chevy Pickup: 1928-1991