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Restoration Projects.


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A place to talk and record the progress of your restoration projects, the highs and the lows. What you have learnt and links to suppliers. Please fill free to post your pictures here as well.


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WOW !!!!! Where do I start?


Fun :D , dispare :? , bad bank balance :cry: , glee, acheivement :P , neglected wife :oops: .....er I'm sure there's a few more words to discribe it too.


I've learnt things can take 3 or 4 times longer than you thought and some things are a doddle when you thought they were going to be as hard as hell.


I started this restoration at the beginning of March and due to being a little busy and running out of money the last time I did any work on it was late June. I'll get back to work on it in September now.






Body off in a few days.




I sent the axles to Tony Sudds. He set up the back lash on the diffs. I then stripped clean and repainted them. New wheel bearings, brake lines, shoes and slaves cylinders.


I stripped each leaf spring cleaned replaced all the spring clips, rebuilt and painted them then new spring shackles and bushes. Each one took around 4 hours.


I replaced the intermediate shaft and front/rear seals on the tranfer box. The 1st/revserse selector shaft and 1st gear selctor fork in the gear box have been replaced.




There was nothing wrong with the engine so it was just cleaned and painted.






I've started the body now but it's thorwn up a couple of small suprises :shock: . There's a little more rot than I thought but it's not the end of the world.




I'll add a little more later about the highs and lows etc and updates.

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Thanks Jack.... I must admit I'm not sure of how many hours I have put in so far :oops: .

I've would say on average 4 hours a day and most Satudays for around 5 months.... I did wait 3 weeks longer for my axles than expected so I didn't get too much done over that period simply because without them I couldn't progress.

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That is a good point Steve.


The first thing I did was to photograph every single inch of the jimmy inside out and underneath. I will tell you my plans when I add my jimmy to this thread as it seems to change every week.

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Part 1


Well it’s a bit like this, I have wanted a GMC for as long as I can remember but never thought that I would have one at this stage of my life, as some of you will know having a children is very demanding in both time and money. Anyway, it pretty much all came together this year as everything was falling into place and I could see that it wouldn’t be too long before I could embark on the journey of tracking down a jimmy.


I knew exactly what I wanted, it had to be a restoration project, I am not much interested in off the shelf vehicles. It was going to be my vehicle and it had to be my work. It is the same view as I hold about our ancient woodlands, as soon as you do anything with them you become part of the woodlands history – you are historically link forever, I like the profoundness of that.


On the other hand I didn’t want a chassis up project either so it had to be just right. You take council from many people and everyone has there own scare stories but that is to be expected but I soon found a common under current of opinion i.e. look at the tyres, make sure it is a Norwegian truck, listen for rumblings in the engine, make sure that it isn’t rusted out around the bulk head, and the list goes on.



So knew what I wanted a GMC 353 soft cab in need of restoration but also in perfect condition, well that is pretty straight forward then, isn’t it? Well of course it is…………not! I was buying MMI and CMV as it came off the press. All the vehicles that I saw in the magazines where ‘restored’ but I did enquire about one or two that we near completion and just needed ‘cosmetics’. It is like this, I may not of been around the world but I have certainly be around life once or twice, the vehicles were inexcusable, to me it looked like someone just bought the GMC’s to make a pound or two. You see this is most trades, people believe that if they can make the outside look attractive then it is immaterial as to what everything else looks like. For sure a case of buyer beware – you live and learn. So the chase went cold for many months until returning home from the Veterans Day held down here in Dorset at Weymouth and I flicked on the PC and there was this humble advert…………



“GMC 353 1944 Soft cab, W/winch, runs well, nice original vehicle, drive home, £2700”


That was it, no picture just a simple ad but a very effective one as it grabbed my attention. I tried not to get to excited but it was only posted that day…so I thought about it and put together a very well constructed email, it went like this……..


“ere mister still got yer jimmy”!


I also left a message on his phone. That evening he called back and we had an excellent natter, sounded a very nice chap, very peaceful. He told me that it was coming from Norway and that it should in country in about a week “I will send some pictures over when it is here”. You wouldn’t believe bloomin a week could take so long. He called me to let me know that the truck was here and he would take some pictures over the weekend and would send them over on Sunday night. They arrived in my email, I nervously open the first of four pictures thinking is this going to be any good and all the rest of those thoughts that we have, so click the first one opened up and then number two then three and then four then that was it! I HAD FALLEN IN LOVE, that was the one that I had been looking and waiting for and I knew that truck was mine, no matter what and that it would soon be on its way down to Dorset. It is one of those moments.


I called the family around the PC and they also fell in love with it. So job done, called the seller and he said that he would be happier if I came up to have a look at it just so that I would be assured, I didn’t fancy a 9 hour round trip and said that I would have it without seeing it. Now I know that I lot of people would say that was a completely dumb thing to do and a completely naive move and if I got it wrong could cost me thousands, well it is like this, the deal was done on trust, good will and my gut instincts. These three things are pretty much missing into days world and it is a sadder place because of. I am pretty much one for listening to my instincts and it paid off.


The jimmy arrived and it simply was everything I wanted and then some. The seller was true to his word and wouldn’t hesitate buying cold from him again.




…………….to be continued.


Part 2.


My plan of attack for the restoration, what I did as soon as I got it home, up close and personal and my thoughts on my life long want………




But for now here are some pictures.




The pictures that were sent to me by the seller





Being delivered




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  • 5 weeks later...

Have to pull the front end on my GMC this weekend as it looks like the keyway on the crank pulley is worn.........so that is my job for the weekend :(


Shouldn't be to bad, grill off, rad out then I should be able to get to it all.

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Have to pull the front end on my GMC this weekend as it looks like the keyway on the crank pulley is worn.........so that is my job for the weekend :(


Shouldn't be to bad, grill off, rad out then I should be able to get to it all.


Right as it was a REME weekend here are some pictures of ' project HMVF' :shock:


After the Bovington weekend and a couple of good road run we found that the keyway was worn on the bottom pulley so this weekend I decided to take a look as I we have a couple of important events that we would like to attend in the near future so I have to pull my finger out.


So it was a case of removing the brush guard and pulling the rad and then you should be able to get to the pulley. Easy enough you say?! Well youo are right...........but you know what it is like, you take one bit of and then another and before you know you have about 50 different pieces of jigsaw in front of you :oops: ................well I have to remove the wings etc etc at some stage as they have to be rub down and painted at some point, so why not now?!


So all in all, I had a rubtastic weekend.........god, sanding gets boring after the first 8 hours!


............but I did manage to get out for a ride,











And now for that ride.........true horsepower, bear back style.





PS. NO GMC's were hurt in this restoration...........

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  • 2 weeks later...
right, I am off to work on the 353.....................more than likely that I will be back later to whinge and wine about something that has gone wrong :roll:


Well, you will pleased to know that I have nothing to report :roll: :twisted: only that the rubbing down is driving me nuts! But one good thing is that you get to know every square inch of you vehicle in a very short period of time.


It looks like I have found some white letters on the far right panel of the tailgate and they are on the last layer or two of paint, so this has got me rather excited.

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It looks like I have found some white letters on the far right panel of the tailgate and they are on the last layer or two of paint, so this has got me rather excited.


I could be wrong but CAUTION LEFT HAND DRIVE NO SIGNALS would be my guess,or it could be sothing totally different! what are you using to rub down? on original markings I use fine wire wool and white spirit so you just slowly go down without taking too much off.


Keep us posted!



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The pulley Jack, the pulley, whats the news on the bl**dy pulley?




arrh yes, the pulley............it is still attached to the crankshaft :oops: ordered a set of pulleys mid week but they haven't turned up yet :twisted:

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Pulley puller on it's way :D


Red Oxide will be picked up by the good lady today....so I will be applying the under coat tonight :D


.......is there any thing I should know or watch out for when applying this coat?

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Ok, the latest pictures of the 'rub down 2005'.


Not a bad job, again, it is about having the right tools for the right job. I wasn't to sure where to start but I thought that working from the front to the back would be a good plan. What tended to happen was that I would move around the GMC and do a bit here and there, this helped to break the boredom 8)


The top yellow layer was just awful, as it looks like it was just painted on without keying the coat underneath so I could never feather the edge out as the yellow would blister. Basically I have had to completely remove the yellow coat. I used 60 grit and the flattened it with 240. The problem I now have is that I know where ever blemish is and the seem to be shouting at me everytime I walk by!


The next problem is that I will be moving house within the next 14 days, we are moving to a new office at the end of the week and over the weekend and my business partner is due his first born at the end of the month, so what I might have to do is to make sure the truck has at least got its undercoat and then I have to get the pulley problem sorted as it has to come with us when we move................something tells me that Iam going to busy.



Here are the pictures and I can't believe that this is my truck :cry:









But this is starting to put a smile on my face!



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Hey Jack! I've just had a brilliant idea :shock:

Why don't you get yourself a proper MV like a jeep to use while your truck is out of action?


Oddball, come on! Don't you know that I have enough things to think about :shock:

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Ok, the whole the GMC now has its red oxide coat! It has now started to rain :twisted: I am running out of time here as I have to move house this month so I going to bolt everything back together and get the pulley sorted out and I might just have to drive around in a red GMC for a bit :twisted: :twisted: :evil:


...........but it will be green for remembrance day, hopefully :roll: I intend to spend the winter taking it to bits rubbing everything down again and the get sprayed ready for next years season. Well that it the plan for now :oops:

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I might just have to drive around in a red GMC for a bit :twisted: :twisted: :evil:



Well it can`tbe worse than the "purple" one from `Darling buds of May`

as displayed at the Hop Farm :lol: :lol:



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Hi all........remember this;









Thanks to the wonderful efforts from 'Captain' Karoshi..............we are getting there;
























I would just like to say that Iam so pleased that this site is doing what it was set up for, to share information, ideas, to meet each other and to help each other where we can. In spirit of all of the above, Karoshi gave up a day of his life, drove down from Portsmouth and sorted out the pulley problem.


Would just like to say publically........thank you mate, you are a star and I won't forget your kindness.







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