June 20th, 2011

Text and Photos by Courtney Halowell

Direct Sheetmetal Shows us How

How many of us have rummaged through hundreds of cabs or bodies for one that will need the least amount of rust repair only to discover that we have to cut it up to recess the firewall or put in a bigger transmission tunnel. My significant other calls that “me outsmarting myself,” and I hate to admit it, but she is right. I could have saved hundreds of dollars buying a body that needed some repair in places that I was going have to modify anyway.

That’s where Direct Sheetmetal comes in. They offer recessed firewalls and aftermarket floors with larger transmission tunnels. Knowing what is available for modifying the type of car you want to build can literally save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars when shopping for a body. Let’s face it, a body with some rust on the toe boards and the front floor is a lot cheaper than one with no rust.

Take for example this 1953 Chevy pickup cab that we’re getting ready to set on a S-10 chassis using the Advance Design Engineering body swap kit. It had some significant rust present in the toe boards and at the front of the floorboards and a little bit in the firewall that we needed to set back anyway. Knowing that we were going to have to modify these parts, and that Direct Sheetmetal offered parts to modify/repair the rusted parts of this cab, we were able to pick this particular cab up for a song at one of the local hot rod swap meets. It was so cheap that I would be willing to bet that we had more money tied up in the pads and tie downs we used to strap it down in the back of our truck than in the cab itself.

After we got it home, we ordered up the parts to fix/modify the cab, and about a week later, a couple of huge boxes showed up from Direct Sheetmetal with a smooth firewall with a 4-inch recess and a front floor section with toe boards and new cab mounts. As we got into the repair, we figured out that the factory cab mounts were in really good shape, so we just reused those that came with the cab. Other than that it was just like the instructions said: measure, cut, clean and weld. But don’t take our word for it; follow along as we show you what we did with our cab.

If you have any questions about the parts you see on these pages or want to know if Direct Sheetmetal can help you with your project, feel free to contact them using the information in the source box.


Direct Sheetmetal

1423 Pioneer Way

El Cajon, CA 92020

800.992.2925 (http://www NULL.directsheetmetal

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