dashboard completed

1956 Chevrolet 3600 Interior Restoration

After sandblasting the Farm Truck from “bumper to bumper,” including the interior, we got busy restoring the truck to its former glory. Owner Lewie wanted the two-tone dash as original, and we love the way it turned out. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

 

interior of 1956 Chevrolet truck freshly painted.
Fresh paint. Now is the time for…

At this stage, spend some time laying on the cab floor deciding what to do next, such as installing defrost vents and the wiper system.

electric wiper motor installed in our old Chevy truck
New electric wiper motor; our manifold vacuum will be reserved for brakes. Slots for defrost vents visible in this photo

Since we have added vacuum assist for the brakes, we opted to install an electric wiper motor in lieu of the original vacuum unit. We decided to purchase defrost vents late in the restoration and had to become contortionists to install them. Doable, but not the fifteen minute job it could have been.

defrost vents for Chevy truck
Take it from me… add your defrost vents before doing anything else.

The defrost vents, along with many of the parts for the Farm Truck were purchased from Classic Parts of America through their website:  classicparts.com. With the appropriate, e.g. 1955-59, magazine-sized catalog in hand, parts were routinely found and ordered in minutes. So, if your thing is exclusively Chevrolet trucks, they are a good resource. Customer service gets a passing grade, too.

sound deadener installed in cab
Making it quiet.

Google found this 236 mil Sound Deadener Heat Insulation on the Walmart website:  $24 for a 60″ by 40″ sheet. Two sheets got the job done.

speaker installed in corner of 1956 Chevy truck cab
Convenient place for speakers, even with in-cab fuel tank.

The speakers were bought locally at Fry’s, and they just happened to fit like they were made for the Farm Truck’s cab corners

wiring the dashboard on our old Chevy truck
Getting dash wired… note jagged cutout for radio.

Someone got a little carried away with the radio cutout. Since Lewie wanted the oval face “vintage look”radio, we made a face plate ourselves.

irregular shaped opening for radio
What radio fit this opening????
vintage looking radio installed in hand made plate
Plate for “vintage look” radio.

The headliner looks great, but the rubber gasket was a pain to install. We created a little more room under the lip with wood shims and used plenty of lubricant – along with a hammer and block of wood – to urge the rubber onto the lip. For the corners we shaped a piece of wood with a large radius. It was a two-person job.

headliner, dome light, and gun rack installed
Headliner, dome light, gun rack… check!
seat belts, fuel tank, carpet, and mats installed
seat belts, fuel tank, carpet, and mats… done!

Other than the sound of gas sloshing around in the tank, this cab should be quiet! Actually, our ’59 Apache is the same setup, and the fact the fuel tank is in the cab hasn’t been noticeable at all.

dashboard completed on our 1956 Chevy truck
Dashboard nearly complete.

We ditched the original ammeter and the mechanical oil gauge, opting for a couple after-market gauges from JEGS. More about that in the Rebel Wire post, coming shortly. The radio plate got a paint job to match the dark gray on top of the dash.

All in all, we’re pretty pleased with the interior restoration. It looks clean and tidy, and should be quiet, as well.

2 thoughts on “1956 Chevrolet 3600 Interior Restoration”

  1. Hi, looks like this is gonna be a beautiful truck. I recently purchased a 56 3600. Needs lots of work. Daughter asked when I thought I’d be done…told her that responsibility would probably fall on her shoulders. After purchasing the truck and learning more about it I found out that someone had replaced the original 238 with a 1952 216 with Babbit bearings and splash lubrication. Thought I’d add a little Lucas oil treatment to help with the smoking and leaking. NOT a great idea. So now I’m looking for a 238 6 cylinder. Not easy to find. I live inSan Luis Obispo CA… you don’t know of anywhere I can get a 238 do you? Really, I’d take anything that would fit relatively easily. I guess you’ve come to the accurate conclusion that I ‘m new at this. Always wanted a 56 Chevy pickup…got one now. Any assistance /advice would be great
    Thanks…TD

    1. We are very happy with the way the “Farm Truck” turned out. Re the 235 engine, I do know an engine builder in Fallbrook who always seems to have one of the Chevy sixes sitting in his shop. I will stop by his place later today and inquire. I will also send you an email and we can communicate that way for future correspondence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *