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Old 05-04-2021, 10:38 PM   #26
daveshilling
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Special Rear Axle?

I noticed today that the rear axle much more closely resembled the rear axle in my GMC than the round cover of my last Chevy... and then I saw it.. a "45" stamped on the housing.

A Spicer 45 in a Chevy? I thought these only came in the GMC? Based on the rest of the truck, the owner didn't appear to be the swap-it-out kinda guy, so I'm curious how that got there. Someone on the HAMB said that it indicates a positraction rear, but thats a rare option for such a plane-jane truck and I doubt that is what I'm looking at.

Anyone else find a Spicer 45 rear in their Chevy?
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, Factory Positraction rear.
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Old 05-12-2021, 12:38 AM   #27
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Well after doing more research, it looks like the only way a Spicer 45 ends up here is when using Positraction, so that's pretty exciting! This is a somewhat rare option.... now I have to decide if I want to swap this into my GMC Suburban pickup that also has a Spicer 45, but didn't necessarily come factory with Positraction. They had the fast-cruising 3.07's back in 56, but no posi option...of course if I found a 3.07 gear set in there, it would stay!

While waiting for parts to arrive and taking a break from wrestling with doors (the passenger hinge pocket is also crap and the caged nut was set free to spin for eternity), I decided to see what else is wrong with this old girl.


I used a spare gauge cluster I had to replace a missing speedo needle and Both odo's looked bad, so I took the easy road here. I didn't have a new odo handy and I dont need to report miles to the DMV here, so eh.

I found some fried wires/melted plastic terminal insulators... not a good sign! Without rewiring the whole truck, anyone have a simple/economical how-to for adding a basic fuse block to a fuseless factory 59? The wiring is so strange with how things join at ammeters, on relays, etc. We really need a write-up on how to add some fusing and improve the factory wiring without needing an ez-wire and starting from scratch.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, Factory Positraction rear.
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Old 05-12-2021, 12:42 AM   #28
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

I also had a crack at rebuilding my first distributor. It's quite easy, actually, and I don't know why anyone would just swap out bits when the whole thing comes apart with 5 screws/bolts and a pin. Relaxing job, 10/10 will rebuild the next one that comes along.

I left out some of the good bits for now, as I'm doing the HEI conversion found HERE
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, Factory Positraction rear.
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Old 05-28-2021, 02:51 AM   #29
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Making progress on a few things

There are so many things to do with this truck just to get it working again... forget about customization. Working doors, hinges, electrical, etc.... just taking off the muck is a task by itself!

I managed to get more crud off of the engine. I've been scrubbing some areas down with old gas since its good for nothin else, and I've done another round of power washing since this step but it still looks pretty far from decent.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, Factory Positraction rear.
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Old 05-28-2021, 02:54 AM   #30
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Quick door latch fix

Both interior door handles had broken springs and as far as I could tell, you cant buy just the springs. I removed them, welded them back, and replaced them. Handles actually open the doors now!

These are those little projects that take a whole afternoon/evening and all you have to show for it is something just doing what it's supposed to do! Sure is nice to open the door though (=
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, Factory Positraction rear.
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Old 05-28-2021, 02:58 AM   #31
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wet sanding

While I was messing around with the door and fussing with dents and fitment, I took a break from the hard stuff to see how easily the old primer would come off the factory Frontier Beige paint that I love so much... it came off relatively easily! High grit and plenty of water and I didn't blow through.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, Factory Positraction rear.
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Old 05-28-2021, 03:02 AM   #32
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New body tools

I got some new body tools to play around with, including one tool I already owned that became a cab straightening device. Worked great! I pushed the bottom step against the frame and while creating tension there, I smacked the dented cab mount to straighten it out and help keep the step in it's new location.

I knew it worked because I had to remove and realign the door completely, which took a couple of afternoons and some profanity.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, Factory Positraction rear.
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Old 05-28-2021, 03:07 AM   #33
daveshilling
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More fixing crap wiring

I pulled the ignition only to find every terminal had a red wire attached to it, crimped to another wire, sometimes crimped to a THIRD color. I hate this crap so much...

I like when the colors match the schematics, so I ordered some bits and ran fresh wires, and soldered/shrank the connections instead of these crimps.

Sure, the old wiring might have worked, but I want to help me and the next guy out, and the vintage style insulators are cheap happiness.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, Factory Positraction rear.
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Old 05-28-2021, 03:13 AM   #34
daveshilling
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HEI Distributor converted

I finished the HEI conversion to the distributor today, and I had to order a second reluctor since i filed the first one incorrectly. I went much slower on round two and got a nice fit this time. After making the adapter plate that allows me to switch back to points anytime, I got it assembled, adjusted, and routed the wired out after notching the wall above the prior hole for the cap negative terminal wire. New vacuum and we're ready to install!

I made up a mount for the HEI module but I need to get some dielectric grease behind it before I secure it up. Once that's wired up I'll get some photos.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, Factory Positraction rear.
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Old 05-28-2021, 07:41 AM   #35
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

i never expect it to work as well as it does, but one cheap can of foaming engine degreaser and a warm water pressure washer does AMAZING work. blast, foam, blast, foam, blast and you could eat off an old engine.

that's freakin awesome about the primer coming off!
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Old 05-28-2021, 09:42 AM   #36
dsraven
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

I've had pretty good results with oven cleaner. Castrol super clean also works pretty good.
Going back a few pics, it looks like your cab mount/floor support has a rust hole at the door step/hinge pillar end. That will give you door alignment issues until fixed if that's the case.
Cool idea on the hei convo. Is that something you made up or a kit?
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Old 05-28-2021, 03:46 PM   #37
daveshilling
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6DoF View Post
i never expect it to work as well as it does, but one cheap can of foaming engine degreaser and a warm water pressure washer does AMAZING work. blast, foam, blast, foam, blast and you could eat off an old engine.

that's freakin awesome about the primer coming off!
Oh man I would love a warm water pressure washer! They are pretty pricey, I believe.. I have small consumer gas one.

Yes I was very stoked about the primer... It's going to a fun have-a-beer-sand-the-primer type of activity, just a little at a time. Granted the body still looks like crap nearly everywhere, so I'm not sure what I'm really accomplishing.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, Factory Positraction rear.
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Old 05-28-2021, 03:49 PM   #38
daveshilling
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsraven View Post
I've had pretty good results with oven cleaner. Castrol super clean also works pretty good.
Going back a few pics, it looks like your cab mount/floor support has a rust hole at the door step/hinge pillar end. That will give you door alignment issues until fixed if that's the case.
Cool idea on the hei convo. Is that something you made up or a kit?

That might be an optical illusion, but even so, this cab is still not perfect and never will be. I got the door to latch and that was my big victory (=

It can be purchased as a kit, but I DIY'd it. Check it out HERE. I think this is usually something reserved for a nicer build, but I liked the experience and knowledge that comes with it, and I'll take a hotter spark any day if I'm going to get this thing running.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, Factory Positraction rear.
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Old 06-01-2021, 07:33 AM   #39
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

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Originally Posted by daveshilling View Post
Oh man I would love a warm water pressure washer! They are pretty pricey, I believe.. I have small consumer gas one.
oh yeah, mine is just a basic washer too. i just run my hose from the slop sink and turn both hot and cold on full. when i ran just the hot i melted the grease out of the pump and had to open it up to get it working again. warm is within the limits in the manual. anything but straight cold for cleaning grease makes a huge difference.
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:07 PM   #40
daveshilling
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My truck broke a mans leg.

While working on some of the smaller bits here and there, I noticed that the axle was bent... the story started forming now.
  • Axle is bent.
  • Steering linkage is bent.
  • frame under front passenger bump stop is bent from hitting that stop so hard
  • Passenger door is dented
  • Passenger mirror was ripped off
  • Roof is dented

One big event happened in this truck, and I wanted to know what it was! So using the name on the title I have, I traced back to the oldest relative of the title name, and called the man.

An 85 year old kind gentleman answered and explained that it wasn't his, but he knew the owner. A gold prospector who used to sleep in the camper while he was out sniping for gold, he got run off the road one day and the truck flipped over into a river and landed on a small island, breaking his leg in the process.

And I had already named this truck Goldie.. how about that!!

So now that the dents and dings have a story, their value just increased! I asked if he had any photos of the truck in its heyday and he did, but he lost them all in a fire.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, Factory Positraction rear.
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:11 PM   #41
daveshilling
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Swapping out bent parts

I got lucky and found what I'm always looking for... good used take-off parts for someone doing an upgrade. A local guy was swapping to a crown vic front and had his front axle and springs up or $50...it had newer brake lines and shoes, so it pretty much paid for itself!

Come to find out the eyes of my leaf springs were toast, and the springs that came with this axle were in good shape still... so I got a whole lot value out of this purchase and saved some time doing the front brakes.

Check out how worn these spring bolts are!!! NOS bolts from ebay are on their way.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, Factory Positraction rear.
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:14 PM   #42
daveshilling
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New bench seat

I also picked up a correct 59 bench seat to replace the huge 60-66 bench that didn't fit.

It's a brown fabric that's faded by the sun... I might try a fabric dye, or just leave it as is for now.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, Factory Positraction rear.
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