Bombs and especially Bomb trucks are taking over the lowrider scene! Because of the popularity with these classic trucks, we decided to take on building a ’53 Chevy as our preferred choice. We started from the ground up with a TCI Engineering frame, and LSX Chevrolet Performance drivetrain. As we continued along with the latest build steps on our Lowrider Bomb Truck project, we finally got the chance to jump into the cab itself and begin the metal fabrication repairs. When we first found this ’53 Chevy Truck cab out on a farm, we chose it because of its fair body condition and minimal amount of rust. Though we had hoped to find a five-window cab we found out as we began our journey that they are becoming a lot harder to find, so we settled on this nice condition three-window instead.
Our quest to have a five-window Bomb Truck didn’t end there either because a while back and long before we started our truck build project we took a tour of the Brothers Truck Parts facility. We knew that they were America’s number one source for ’47-87 Chevrolet and GMC truck parts, both classic and custom. But upon our visit we saw that the sky on a classic Chevy or classic GMC truck was the limit. They have thousands of the highest quality truck parts you can find. Whether you’re restoring an original or seeking custom classic truck parts, they’re the source. So since finding out that nothing is impossible from our store visit, we knew that Brothers had a three- to five-window conversion and that the transformation would be a snap. They also reproduce the inner and outer rear window panels to convert any Chevy pickup from a ’47 to ’54.
After getting our ’53 truck cab media blasted we discovered the top of the roof was beyond repair too, so we decided to replace it as well during the conversion process. Once again Brothers Truck Parts came to the rescue with a whole new roof panel skin to replace it.
Since we had all of the pieces inside and outside, including all of the necessary inner braces, we decided to utilize our Miller Spectrum 375 X-Treme plasma cutter to get the bulk of the old and damaged sheetmetal out of the way. We examined our new pieces and laid out our initial cut lines on our cab a couple inches in from where our final cut lines would be. By doing this we were able to remove the old material very quickly and then lay our new roof panel and rear window panels on the cab in no time at all. These replacement panels are stamped to factory specs, and they are joined together at all of the factory spot-weld flange joints. For our cab we decided to cut off the flanges on the new pieces around the driprails so we wouldn’t have to remove the rails. This also worked to our advantage since we were then able to lay the new roof panel on the cab and scribe our final cut lines to create a perfectly fitted joint.
The corner joint where the roof panel and rear window panel meet is also typically an overlapped and spot-welded joint that is covered in lead from the factory. We decided to hammer and dolly the flange flat so we could scribe a cut line and make this a butt-welded joint. By doing so we were able to hammer and dolly the joint and metal finish it so it would require very minimal body working. Our Miller Electric Manufacturing Company Multimatic MIG/TIG welder worked perfectly for this whole conversion and repair job. After all of the outer pieces were fully installed and welded on, the inner rear window pieces from Brothers were spot-welded in and around the window frames and also to the new inner bracing.
Please see for yourself that the transformation on this Truck Projects cab is an easy one, as long as you have genuine Brothers quality metal panel parts and the right metal fabrication experience on hand. Follow along with our step-by-step five-window conversion and roof panel replacement install.
1. The metal magicians, aka the Engle Brothers, started off by grinding down the roof of the cab’s spot welds so that they could remove the old and sort of caved-in roof panel.
2. Here we have Greg Engle prying away at the roof’s flange.
3. The new Brothers roof top panel is now placed on top of the cab’s structure so it could be used as a template.
4. The old roof is then cut away and removed to the side.
5. Greg starts to do away with the old rear window panel from its structure.
6. Here we have the complete removal of the rear window and top roof panel sections.
7. From there, Greg begins to grind down the old metal and prep it for a cleaner and smoother finish so that the areas can be set for a good welding joint.
8. At this juncture of the fabrication, Greg begins to map out his exact cut lines on the outer (third) window panels from Brothers for the proper fitment.
9. The brand-new Brothers sheetmetal panels are then placed together as a rough mockup.
10. The Engles begin to clean and prep for surgery on the old cab. Everything, including the inside structures, are also etched in a primer seal. (Inner Horizontal Brace, PN RCB54RR; Inner Vertical Brace, PN RCB4754.)
11. The tight but also overlapping pieces of metal are scribed in a sharp line for the exact cutting to get the proper fitting of all joining panels.
12. The roof panel is placed near its exact and soon-to-be permanent location after more scribing is done.
13. The new metal roof panel is clamped down together masterfully as the welding will be the next phase of our reconstruction and fabrication.
14. The rear three-window panels are also clamped down in place, as the welding will be the next phase of our reconstruction and fabrication.
15. Diamond Dave grabs hold of his trusty Miller Electric welder and begins the tack welding process.
16. Tack welds are continuous as the puzzle of panels start to become permanent.
17. Follow along the dotted tack weld lines.
18. The outer and inner third-window panels are also tack welded together.
19. Dave and the Miller welder continue their journey welding seams together for a good cause.
20. Greg follows his brothers trail of welding and grinds everything to a semi-smooth finish.
21. The roof side panels are also ground down smoothly.
22. Dave follows his brother’s grinding trails with a DA sanding disc to completely smooth out the entire metal welding transformation.
23. The perfect joint! Tacked welded, ground, and DA to the perfect metal finish.