85 Chevy P/U – frame strip down and paint

This post highlights the frame strip down and painting from my 85 Chevy P/U – Short-Box, Step-Side Restoration Project.

I’m finally getting some pics taken of my progress (which has been relatively slow as I simply have a ton on the go this summer). This weekend past I finished up the frame restoration. Basically, it involved grinding down, spot blasting, cutting out, repairing and painting of the frame. It’s actually done, but I haven’t taken pics of the painted frame yet. Here’s what I do have;

85pu_frame_01a 85pu_frame_01b

A bad portion of the frame needed to be repaired. Here, I’ve ground off the original rivets used to secure the leaf spring supports to the frame — and pounded them through to remove the supports. The bad section was then cut out with a small cut off wheel in an air grinder.

85pu_frame_01c 85pu_frame_01d

After welding in the new piece of steel, the welds were ground down to produce a smooth, finished surface (well, better than the rest of the frame anyway!).

The leaf spring supports were then reattached with grade 8 hardware. The key to this was marking the location of the support on the frame before removing it. Of course, I had to do this on the top of the frame as I was cutting out most of the side. I would imagine you’d track poorly if you were to be off much here, which would cause excessive tire wear, among a host of other problems, such as handling.

85pu_frame_01e 85pu_frame_01f

Last, the frame was ground down with an angle grinder and stone, then with a wire cup brush to remove as much rust as possible. (Yeah, the underside was fun.)

I’ll have to take a few more pics and get them posted — I’ll update this as soon as I do.

Links to other parts in the series;

7 comments on “85 Chevy P/U – frame strip down and paint

  1. i was wondering if a 72 chevy Cheyenne long bed frame would fit my 85 c10 long bed ???
    the front part on my 85 broke

  2. I have a1967 chevy c10. I’m just starting the tear down process. It’s been fun so far. I unlike you have an exceptionally clean frame. So all I have to do is blast, prep and paint. I’m curious as to what your going to use for your finishing solution. I’m considering Eastwood’s ceramic chassis kit. It seems ideal. And the price is right. Do you have experience with them. And i would love to see your progress on your project. More pics would be helpful. Thank you!

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hi Dano;

    Unfortunately, the project is up for sale as I don’t have the time to complete it.

    As for your question about finishing… that was not my department… that was being left up to a buddy, who is a body man. I’m more of a “mechanics” man. :)

    Good luck with your project.


  3. Hey Kyle,
    I am starting a frame off rebuild of an ’86 chev long box, my plan is to cut the frame down and turn into a shorty, I know that I have to cut out a section behind the cab, but I just need to know how much? I think that it is 12″, am I right, if not then how much?
    Thanks Kevin

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hi Kevin;

    Sorry, can’t help you there as I’ve never done that myself.

    Good luck!


  4. i am resently going to be doing the same type of frame work to my 85-c10 long bed i have to rebuild the whole truck on to anouther frame because the orginal is rotten to the point of beond repaire if there are any tips you can offer me it will be deply apreshated

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hi Guest;

    Any tips that I have have or will be posted on my site.

    Thanks for visiting.


  5. Do you know where I can get some fiberglass Steps for a stepside like this. I know that US body does the rear fender and steps in 1 piece but a few years back I had to replace the rear fenders do to a slight mishap so they are already glass and now I’m just wanting to replace the steps

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hi Jricklefs;

    They are listed on this site for $52.70 each –> http://www.thefind.com/cars/info-chevy-stepside-pickup#page=3&local=0

    I have no real experience with buying or replacing the steps, so I’m only going on a Google search. Unfortunately, stuff like this isn’t that easy to find… you have to find sites like the one above and browse through them, most of the time.

    Good Luck!


  6. How’s the frame work coming along? did you run into any other surprises?… i was happy to see that i’m not the only person that ran into this issue. I’m restoring an 1980 Shortbox Stepside 4×4, and i had to do the exact same thing as you with the rear frame rot, both sides. Truck’s running great though so i am looking forward to getting her back on the road soon!

    Kyle’s reply;

    Hi Brian;

    Unfortunately, I have accepted the fact that I just don’t have the time in the near future to complete the project and have sold it. Originally I put an ad out for parting it out, but the first guy that came and looked at it (wanted the box for his project) took everything I had for that particular truck and is going to finish it. I hope I get to see it someday.

    Thanks for your comments, Brian, and good luck with your project!


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