Chevy Silverado 1978 > Click here to see project.

Here we have an original 1978 chevy silverado p/u. This truck has come to us from Tucson Az. to have a restoration done. The owner would love to have this truck look like it did the day they purchased it new.

Here we go, the engine is being prepped so that it can be pulled from the trucks engine compartment. This is a small block chevy 350 motor, it looks to be original. This motor will be rebuilt and reinstalled to the original factory specifications.

Here the engine hoist is being hooked up so that the engine can be safely pulled from the truck. Theres a lot of various belts, hoses, exhaust, driveline and many other parts that need to come apart before this engine is ready to remove.

That was fast! well what you didn’t see was all the time it took to get this engine out. There were some serious oil leaks in this engine, the engine, frame rails and the entire engine compartment is full of greasy oil. Before we pulled the engine out, we pressure washed the engine compartment, but there is still lots of dirt and oil everywhere.

Here you can get a good look at the engine compartment. Even after draining all the fluids, theres still no way to avoid making a big mess. The engine compartment has been pressure washed once already, it will take lots of scrubbing and cleaning to make this area like new again.

Now how’s that for fast? The motor is all rebuilt, cleaned painted and ready to install. The Transmission has been all cleaned, new seals, filter and painted as well. This truck is from Tucson, so the emissions will go back together.

The engine compartment is pretty clean, and ready for the rebuilt  engine to go back in. There’s plenty of space to install this engine, but it’s still a tight fit between the frame rails.

This view of the engine installation makes it look real easy to install! This took more time than it looks, the engine and transmission mounts don’t have any give when there brand new. 

There’s still plenty left to do before this truck will run again, there are lots of components, belts, hoses and emissions left to install. This is a major improvement over what this looked like a couple weeks ago.

Here are some before shots of the interior. This truck has been sitting in the Arizona sun for a while, its going to take some work to make it new in here!

There’s a lot of dry rot and sun damage to the interior, finding factory replacement parts can sometimes be a nightmare. The difference when completed will be night and day.

Here’s the interior after the seat and carpet has been removed. This is from years and years of use in the southwest. This interior will have to be completely gutted to get it clean.

The old sound deadening materials are removed and all the panels have been taken out. This will allow us to clean the interior correctly, plus fix any damaged panels before reinstallation.

This looks so much better, and cleaner. the entire dash had to come apart to get all the dirt out of the ventilation system. The gauges were impossible to read because of all the yellowing and oxidation. The gauge panel will have to be taken apart and cleaned then polished by hand.

The bodywork has started, there is lots to do on just about any car or truck. Even from the factory most cars have things to be fixed, that is if you want a really great paint job. The more time spent on getting the body straight, the better the paint looks when done.

There is always bodywork you do, that no one will probably ever see. Prescott Hot Rods always pays attention to the details, even if no one else notices. It’s always been our practice to do the job right!

This truck has a lot of miles and looks like its been rebuilt a few times. The brakes are worn and the brake drums are shot. These parts will need to be replaced.

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The brakes have been all rebuilt and the drums are new. The shocks also were no good and had been leaking. these parts will need replaced. 

 

On a restoration job of this size, everything must be gone over. The rear end needed new seals and the fluid changed. The body work continues.

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The major bodywork is complete. The truck is taped off and ready for a coat of primmer sealer, this will get the truck ready for final sanding before paint begins.

 

The truck is all in primmer, that gets the vehicle ready for the next stage of bodywork. Now the truck will be gone over and any imperfections repaired before wet sanding begins.

It almost looks like we are starting the bodywork over, but there were still some spots we just didn’t like. The bodywork is always the most important part, the paint job won’t look good unless the body looks good!

 

The vent or wing windows in most cars, this old, need to be completely rebuilt. There’s some work that goes into these before they look and operate like new.

The truck is ready for its last coat of primmer sealer. After the last coat goes on, the truck will get blocked out a final time, then wet sanded and ready for paint.

The truck has had another stage of bodywork performed, the body looked pretty good, but it wasn’t perfect. The truck will now get a coat of ploy filler (like a sandable primmer)and it time to wet sand the whole truck for paint.

The truck is all taped off and the door jambs and hood area are ready to be painted. This is the first step before finally painting the whole truck. The inside dash and glove box area will get a new coat of paint as well.

The Interior dash and door jambs are now painted. The inside of the truck interior can now start to get redone. The new dash is going to look really great when its installed next to all this new paint.

 

 

The inside pieces like the tail gate get painted before the exterior of the truck. This way the truck will be completed once the outside is done.

 

Anytime you start to restore an old vehicle there are many many parts to clean and restore, repair and maybe replace. It takes time to get the job done right. Here you see parts of the door panel being cleaned and repaired.

The fuel tanks had to be dropped, the fuel gauge was not working and the wiring had signs that rats were chewing the wiring. This is the passenger side fuel tank, it will be cleaned out and the sending unit checked before its reinstalled.

The drivers side fuel tank is dropped out. Wow, there were rats living on top of this fuel tank. Looks like we found the wiring issues. The gas gauge was not working and now we know why. The drivers fuel tank is junk, when opened it was rotten inside and needed to be disposed of. A new saddle tank will be ordered with sending unit to put the truck back to original standards.

The dash is almost complete. The new dash pad looks just great, its just like the day it came out of the factory.

The New gas tank for the drivers side finally arrived. The old one was just rotted from bad gas.

 

This is a picture of the old sending unit from the gas tank. As you can see it’s all rusted and smells pretty bad! The new unit is next to it. This will get assembled into the new tank, and its ready to go.

The correct way to paint this truck is to take off the bed. After that, it’s time to start tapping off the truck so it can get painted. The truck should be all painted today!

The Truck is all tapped off and ready for the Base Coat of paint. This will take pretty much all day to get the truck all painted. It seems like it took some time to get to this stage, the body work on the truck was a little more involved than it looked.

The Base Coat  is being applied now,  a few more coats and the Clear Coat UV Protectant can be applied. The process seems quick, but there are many coats of Base and Clear that are sprayed before your done.

There it is, all painted! You would think it’s all done right? Wrong, the next phase after it dries is is to sand it all down again, several times… Most paint jobs are done at this point. This is where the attention to detail comes in. This Truck will be sanded and buffed to a high gloss shine, No Orange Peal like you’d find from the average paint job.

 

The bed came off during the paint process, looks like  the rear chassis needs a little cleaning and paint. The frame is now cleaned and painted black again.

The last time you saw the truck it was painted, it still is painted but the next phase was to color sand and polish or buff to a high shine. The paint gets sanded with very fine paper 3 times before its ready to shine up.

You can see the difference pretty quick. The truck bed has been buffed but not polished yet. This is the finish you get when you take the time to sand the paint very carefully and spend hours buffing the paint.

Ok now you can start to see how shiny this Dark Green is! This is going to be one great looking truck, its going to get lots of stares. Up next is a new windshield…Lol. This one is broken and pretty dirty! The Interior will be getting started real soon.

The outside of the truck is almost complete. The side trim as all New Factory parts. The Tail lights and turn signals also needed replacing, there where various lights, wires, switches and a few other things, that needed replaced. 

It’s starting to look like a new truck. The exterior trim is all assembled, an its about ready to have the New Tires put on. The rims will get a new paint job after the new tires are installed. The new hub caps are just waiting to be intalled.

Here’s the seat out of the truck. For being over 37 years old, it doesn’t look too bad. The foam will need to be rebuilt, and the springs checked. The original fabric from 78 isn’t available anymore. We found some cloth insert material that is close to the original and will take its place.

The seat back and bottom had to be rebuilt with new foam as well. The seat will feel better than new, todays materials are much better. You can see the seat bottom insert sewn and ready for the Vinyl wrap.

 

The new tires have been installed and now its time to clean up these wheels. The rims will get sanded down and a new paint job, after the paint dries, the wheels will get Chrome trim rings and new center caps. The look is going to be night and day.

 

The wheels have been painted and look great, now time to add the chrome! Its a little hard to see with the reflection, but the wheels look better than new! they didn’t look this good on the showroom floor..

It seems like we’ve been waiting for this forever, the old glass was broken and pitted. The new one is installed and looks really great. The original chevy front glass for this model had the antenna in the windshield, the new one is factory original, also has the antenna for the radio.

The back of the bed will always rust unless its painted or Rhino lined. The paint never seems to last, so it should be Rhino lined. This is one of the last big steps left to finish the outside.

The spray in lining is all complete. This will keep it looking good and keep it from rusting again. The bed also now has drain holes so the bed won’t hold water after it rains.

One of the last things to do to the outside of the truck, is to undercoat and paint the wheel wells. It looks like the outside of the truck is complete! The next phase is to finish the interior.

The carpet is installed and looks great! The pictures don’t always show the colors as they really are. 

The Interior is now complete! The looks like it came off a show room, the restoration on this project went pretty smooth. Lots of work, but this is one good looking truck!

The restoration on the 1978 Chevy Silverado is complete! The truck runs and drives just like it did when it was new at the Factory. This truck is a lot of fun to drive, its going back to Tucson pretty soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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