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'53 to '56 Cab Swap

 
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:25 AM
jnb53f100
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'53 to '56 Cab Swap

After FINALLY getting situated to actually get a little more progress going on my '53, low and behold (wouldn't you know it) I see an ad on Craig's list where a guy had a '56 cab for sale. Talk about some inner angst and turmoil, here is why. My '53 cab is practically in perfect condition except for a few small issues. A PO had just undercoated the h--- out of the undercarriage on this old Western Kansas farm truck, extremely well preserving it. Ultimately I have decided to do the swap. This reminds me of a fellow FTE on here named John. You see I already did a new wiring harness on the old 5-3, a new steering column, bear claw latches,etc. The list goes on. I keep asking myself if I'm doing the right thing, but I have always wanted a '56 ever since my old man sold the one I drove to high school while I was gone in the Navy. I am committed to forging ahead and plan to have the '56 finished by this next spring or summer. I appreciate all the good help and instruction this forum affords me and thought some of you would enjoy my story. Thanks everyone, JNB
 
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:10 PM
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You are doing the right friend. You dont want to finish the 53 and say "Man I wish". I would caution although make sure that 56 cab is in good shape around the roof and the dogleg area near the front doors. Messing with these trucks for almost 25 years cab corner replacement is almost a given. You can remove the harness and bear claws. You can sell the 53 cab and recoup some of your cash outlay. Keep me informed sounds like a good project. Much success to you
 
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:05 PM
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Thanks Donald, I'm sure your right about the "I wish" thing. Your also right, as well, about the cab corners. I already have them done. The roof on the other hand is really in good shape, I did have to remove the field mouse nest up there. Someone had made a sheet metal headliner and installed it with pop rivets so I removed all of that because they had used liquid nails to glue carpeting to it! It's just all part of the fun, right? Actually, I think this is a form of insanity but I don't suffer from it, I rather enjoy it!
 
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:22 PM
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The "I wish I had..." will pretty much destroy how you feel about whatever you did do. Build exactly what you want. I looked for a year to find my '56 because I knew I wouldn't be happy with anything else.

Lots of what you used on the '53 you can swap over to the '56. Granite you have to repeat your work but it forever beats "I Wish..."
 
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:36 PM
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I think that was a shot at John Niolin! You guys shouldn't pick on him. It's not his fault that he has done his truck three times. That could happen to anybody! Most of my friends, err, some of my friends, one of my friends has also done that

On a serious note: While you've got both the slant cab and the 56, do me a favor. What is the length of the inner fenders of each as measured along the top edge between the fire wall and radiator support. I have been told by many that this is the same part, but I suspect the 56 inner fender is longer. Thanks, Jag
 
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:03 PM
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Well Jag, I'm sorry but I can't do that. I plan to use the inner fenders that were on the '53 with the '56. The 56 cab didn't have any inners with it. I hope there the same. Most parts catalogs don't list anything separate for the '56's though. Jay
 
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:18 PM
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Thanks anyway Jay. I bought the SS inner fender wells from Mid Fifty and they wouldn't fit until I trimmed them down. My theory is that they were cut out with a 56 as a template. Jag
 
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:06 PM
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would you like to put a price on the slant cab? i might help with getting it out of your way..if it nice and a fair price
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:34 AM
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jm, I haven't thought that much about a price but I KNOW that you would have to look long and hard to find one for sale that would be in any better condition. That's what made it so hard to decide to do the cab swap. It would depend on how much stuff I leave on it, as well. It has VDO guages in an aluminum dash insert, a black powder coated Ididit steering column with a leather Recarra wheel on top. I put a long armed Lokar shifter on the C6 transmission and now kind of wish I had done a column shift for more leg room. From there the list goes on. All of this stuff would be negotiable I guess.So that makes it pretty hard to put an exact price on. What do you think?
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:07 PM
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Jag, That wouldn't be the first time something from Mid-Fiftys didn't fit right, I wouldn't make that assumption until I had more proof about '56's. It may be that they are designed to be cut down, it would be a lot easier going that way than trying to add material!
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:45 PM
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Very true on the cut-down part. My only anecdotal evidence comes from one of the other Mid-Fifty customers. Si told me to call him and ask how his installation had gone. When I called and told him why I was calling, he said that he could give me no opinion since his new inner fender wells were still in the box.

After I explained the problem of the simingly wrong length, he offerred to measure his 56 stock inner fenders. They were 3/4" longer than the ones on my 54!

So, even though Si told me not to cut off the extra, I did trim off the 3/4" and it made them fit perfectly.

Thanks, Jag
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:24 PM
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Oddly interesting, Sy lists several different options for inner fenders but the ones I looked at all said they were for 53-56's? Guess I'll know more when I try to use my 53's but it looks like the fenders 53-56 would need to be different as well. I dunno.
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:59 PM
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That's a good point, except that the outer fenders have elongated holes so as to allow some variation in length. The inner fenders must fit between the "horseshoe" and the fire wall. If you are using the stock inners, I think that you will not have any issues. Good luck, Jag
 
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:40 AM
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JNB53F100 I sent you a PM
 
 
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