Now that I had all that fun separating the body from the chassis, it was time to get working on it. At first inspection I was really surprised at how good of a shape the chassis was in, I even found original paint on the frame. After finishing my inspection I found the front axle on the passenger side was twisted back. Other than that nothing else seemed obviously wrong so I started to take it apart and clean (Just a thought has anybody ever weighed their car before they started and weight it again after it was cleaned? I swear it had to be a couple of hundred pounds lighter by the time I was done.) I took the shocks off first followed by the rear end, the front end, and finally the springs. As I was disassembling I made sure to take pictures, made detailed notes, and organized piles to ensure I knew where everything went.
I was amazed to find that it even had the original straps holding the brake line down! They were in such good shape I was able to reuse them. Since the frame was stripped and in such good shape I was able to clean it with a wire wheel down to bare metal without having to send it out to the sand blasters, this was a first! I shortened the rear of the frame about an inch so it would not get caught on the back pan when reassembling. After all of that I painted the frame with chassis saver gloss black. Next I took apart the rear and checked the ring gear bolts (I always recommend you do this, they are notorious for loosing on their own), all the bearings, and replaced the seals. Note always make sure on both sides of the outside of the axles there are supposed to be grease fitting by the backing plates. If you find plugs there take them out and replace them with greasing fitting. Outer bearings need grease; it helps keep your lube in your rear end. If bearings are dry it takes about 20 pumps of grease per side.) Then I cleaned the rear leaf spring which were made out of a heavier spring material and had 8 leaf per side, I guess you need this with that long trailer and all the extra weight from the ½’” plate they used to make the fifth wheel. Now I was on to the front end, seeing how it was bent I decided to go with a 5/8’ axle, I figured seeing how it is a truck it should have a heavy-duty front end. I dissembled the front end and then put new kingpins in it. Next I cleaned and painted the leaf springs. I then serviced and cleaned the knee action shocks adding oil were it was needed. Finally I cleaned and painted all the miscellaneous pieces and before you know it I had a table full of parts ready to go back together.
I have to give a special thanks to my friend Dan who showed up from Pennsylvania and help me make short work of getting the chassis reassembled. It was great we divided and concurred! We each took an end of the frame and started bolting on all the parts and installing all new bushing, brake shoes, seals, brakes, cylinders, gaskets and brake lines. Before you knew it we had a complete rolling chassis again with working brakes.