May of 2008 - Take a 1961 small window cab and make it into a BIG BACK window cab.
*** If you have any suggestions or think the info here is too vague, or you have done this project, let me know so this site can be improved upon. email@example.com
1961 Chevy lwb Fleetside Truck.
The 'donor' cab is from '48BigTrucks' (Stovebolter) from Iowa.
Thank You Scott
Angle grinder, drill, spot weld removal drill bit, screwdrivers, rubber mallot, chisel, cut off wheel and grinding wheel, safety glasses, ear plugs.
Ear plugs were needed because of excessive noise in cab while grinding and cutting metal out.
Inside of the '61 Apache with Little Window.
Pic of spot welds drilled out using special spot weld removal bit.
Most welds are 2 inches apart, some were 4 or 6 inches apart. And some were on top of one another.
DO NOT drill all the way through BOTH pieces of metal, only drill through the first sheet of metal. It does not matter which side you drill out. I chose the inside of the cab.
Now that all of the welds are drilled out, the two pieces will need to be seperated. NO WAIT! The seam is still welded together. The seam that runs from one side of the cab to the other side, the seam that joins the headliner to the back window panel.
This seam will need to be ground off. CAREFULL! DO NOT grind off the metal you are keeping! (The good metal)
If you are removing the SMALL Back Window than you will grind off just BELOW the seam.
If you are removing the BIG Back Window you will grind off just ABOVE the seam.
BIG Window next to SMALL Window. A comparison.
I took a cut off wheel and my angle grinder to remove the back window panel(s) from the headliner panel(s). Cutting just next to the seam. DO NOT cut into the seam if you want an 'original' look. Some people weld the seam together - not me!
Removing SMALL Back window. Notice the seam area, it is cut BELOW the seam because I am not using the small window anymore so it is okay to cut into it.
Next I am grinding down the excess metal left on the seam. I am NOT cutting the metal where the headliner panel is.
Using a screwdriver and prying down the left over sheet metal to see where the spot welds were. Being careful not to grind to much off at one time. Once I found a weld I ground down that area a bit more. Than pryed out the weld, popping it apart.
Grind a little than pop a weld, repeat. This took awhile. Since it is hard to see the welds under the lip.
Becarefull using the screwdriver to pry aprt the welds. DO NOT damage the seam area where the headliner is. I admit, I occasionally slipped while grinding and ground into the headliner metal. It should sand down and look okay.
The only way I saw to remove the spot welds from the seam was to do it the way I described. The other way was to remove the roof panel, and that was not an option. Removal of the roof panel can be done, but this project simply was not worth that risk of damaging the roof and or not getting it back on the truck correctly.
What did you say? (explaining parts on your truck - my lingo)
SEAM = Where the inside headliner panel meets the back window panel.
HEADLINER = The top of the inside of the cab. Since these trucks did not have headliners like todays modern trucks, I am calling the piece of sheet metal above your head the headliner.
PANEL = Any piece of sheet metal that covers a good chunk of area, like the roof panel or the back window inside panel, etc.
Now the BIG back inside panel window is in the SMALL back window cab. I have cleaned al the seams on all the parts now. It is not welded in yet! This is just a test fit.
It is EXTREMELY Important that the panels fit correctly or the glass and rubber molding might vibrate out while you are driving your truck!
FIT IS CRITICAL!
I did a test fit to see what I was dealing with. It fit very well. I made sure that there is enough of a lip where the two panels meet - where the rubber molding will go. I noticed that the BIG window panel flexed a lot.
Update: A stray cat has had kittens and they are living under my '61 Truck!
Site Still under Construction
Drill Bit for spot welds.