01 February 2015 Update -- FINISHED
1959 Chevy Apache 3200 Stepside
The boxes and ziplock baggies are all in the trash
From Jerry :
For my Christmas present, my sweetheart sent a photo of my old truck to an artist in Europe who painted a watercolor rendering of it. The picture is called "Old Blue Truck" ... best Christmas present ever! What encouragement my wife has been through all of this. I'm one lucky man!
I swear, there's a thought for every little process I underwent in this endeavor to restore my old truck. Decals for the tailgate lettering or mask and paint -- ?? -- a painstaking and time-consuming process.
When I envisioned decal corners eventually sticking outward over time, I decided to do it my way ... the hard way. I might add that once finished, it looks pretty darned good for a person with no paint experience.
I also masked the rectangular frame embossing and painted it white. I saw a picture of a truck tailgate done this way and said "That's the way I want mine!"
I did some body repair to the cab and shot epoxy primer on it. Painting the two-tone color to the cab and doors wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The toughest part was patiently waiting for the first color to dry so I could mask for color #2.
To me, the worst part of the cab project was installing the glass. I was determined to do it myself but didn't have a clue of how to go about it. YouTube videos helped but it wasn't enough. I had to hire for that job and even then, feared breaking my new windshield. The gentleman let me help him and we had it done in a couple of hours with no breaks ... whew!
Putting the cab onto the frame would be tricky now that the engine and tranny were installed. The apparatus I made to lift the cab for removal wouldn't work so well this time. I needed a solution.
A new neighbor and his wife were moving furniture into their house. I walked across to meet them and offered assistance. A couch or two later, the fellow said he would like to return the favor by helping me install the cab. What made it nice was he had a company service truck with a crane! Oh yeah! We had the job done in under 30 minutes! This thing was beginning to look like a truck! (Use to be having a friend with a truck was a big plus for anyone -- now having a friend with a CRANE -- you can't beat that one! ~ Editor)
I was excited to link all of my controls and wiring from the cab to the engine. Now I could start the engine from inside the cab! I could even slip the tranny into a gear and ease out on the clutch to feel it want to move! I was SO ready for this!
I pulled my core support and Inner fenders out of storage and began assembling them onto the truck. I had already cleaned and painted these items prior to putting them in storage.
Now it was time for painting the front fenders and hood. The fenders and grille surround required masking for sections shared with the grille that is white. All this meant was I needed to spray my turquoise, let it dry, then mask for all of the remaining items to be painted white ... not just the sections mentioned but also the grille, headlight bezels, front bumper and brush guard. I also masked the recessed lettering in the grille and painted them black ... again, no decals.
The fun part was final assembly of the front pieces -- the fenders, the grille. the hood, bumper and lastly, the brush guard! I was down to the home stretch -- the truck is all here! Periodically stepping back to enjoy what I considered a work of art just made me beam with pride. It's not a show truck but it's exactly what I wanted and I love it.
More investigation was required as I wired the blinker system into the main harness and got the tail lights and brake lights working properly. Next, I sent off the vacuum wiper motor for rebuild. Everything was working great!
I licensed the truck as "classic" and was able to put on my '59 Texas Truck license plates that I found for a bargain on eBay. The DMV lady who helped me asked, "What color is the truck?" I told her, "Turquoise." Silence. She looked up sheepishly as to not tackle that spelling and asked what would be another color. I chuckled and said, "Blue." So now, like the water color painting, the truck is named "Old Blue."
Lastly, I drove the truck to a muffler shop where the exhaust was installed and then the inspection sticker put on the windshield. Whew what a journey!
My goal to get the truck on the road in 2014 was met! Since its original trailer-home day in 2009, it came with a lot of work, learning and experiences. It seems we covered it all, from engine and tranny and brake rebuild to seat rebuild and upholstery, heater rebuild and restoration, body repair and final paint.
I wire brushed and painted almost everything I took off the truck from the beginning, so it would look like new when I re-installed it. I think that was the bulk of my work! I had my hands in all of it. What a feeling of accomplishment!
The truck already made its debut in a photo shoot and I love the waves and thumbs-up as we introduce it to the community by taking short drives! What amazes me also is on the Facebook Page I made for the restoration journey. I continually get likes from all over the world. I'm in hopes that my experiences can encourage and even help other enthusiasts like me.
I just smile as I look at my Excel spread sheet that I made to plan each segment of the restoration. It was massive! I would color the task in gray when completed. My whole spread sheet is pretty much gray! I think all I'm lacking is buying and installing the floor mat.
It was bitter sweet cleaning the garage in mid-January. I had so many labeled zip-lock baggies for screws and such, and labeled boxes for project sections. It made finding my parts easy at time of reassembly. Now all boxes and baggies are emptied and in the trash.
Thank you so much for all you do here on the site ... to everyone!
Well, a huge congratulations to you. Besides all the work you did on the truck, you did an impressive extra-mile by documenting the re-build. It WILL be helpful to many who venture to your Journal and see how it went in detail. Enjoy the ride! ~ Editor
05 August 2012 Update
( Be sure to check Jerry's Facebook Journal of this old truck restoration. He has a lot of great pictures, a few tips and good write-up of what he's been doing along the way. Lookin' good! ~ Editor )
From Jerry :
The restoration is coming along nicely I must say. Back in June, when I was browsing through a lot of the old pictures I had taken as I disassembled the truck, I realized how much work was put into this truck ... or better put: PASSION!
I was awestruck as I retraced the journey to date. The pictures I posted on The Facebook Journal are but a fraction of all taken. I had many "sub-projects," like the front fender repair I did last weekend, I didn't even post. So, if you are looking for something (picture-wise) for a Task Force Apache Stepside, let me know!
I still don't have a target completion date but I feel it's getting near. The feeling is goooood.
Some things that I have recently done you'll see in The Facebook Journal with detailed pictures. A lot of the recent work was finishing the truck bed.
Early in July, I was still doing some bed assembly and moving forward. We shot our turquoise paint on the bed items. Everything had that "clean and new" look! That was a good day.
Like everyone else, I did have a few mistakes. I had a two-day recovery from the High Build Primer botch on the bed. While tugging on the engine dolly, one of the rear casters caught on a rock and buckled. I re-sprayed the dinged spots with Gray High-Build Primer again. That round didn't go as smoothly as did the Epoxy Primer but I did get 'er done. Then it was another round of sanding and another round of the High-Build.
Did I mention it was excruciatingly hot for the entire month of July? You folks with the air conditioned shops ... lucky dogs!
By the middle of July, I hoisted the engine and tranny off of the broken dolly and mounted them onto the truck frame! I was loving the Harbor Freight Cherry Picker Hoist I bought at the beginning of this project!
After that, I got back to working on the bed and installed the bed sills. I purchased the hardware from Lowe's for the bed wood assembly. The Cedar bed wood was drying overnight. That Cedar wood is pretty!
I applied some Fender Welt to the rear fenders ( a black gasket with a bead makes a neat separating trim ). I painted the clutch head screws and was able to put the fenders on. Yeah!
By the end of July, I had the bed steps installed and all the bed wood hardware was secured. This puppy was ready to install onto the truck frame. And so we did it!
In May I had powder-coated all five rims ... did it myself and was surprised how easy it actually was. We got the new tires mounted on the rims and the wheels on the truck by the end of July. Shortly thereafter, those wheels were sporting their new hubcaps!
The bumper ends and tailgate are now installed. If you need a tip for installing tailgate chain protectors, follow the picture descriptions to see what I did ( that info is posted under August 2 ).
Other than painting the letters on the tailgate and mounting the spare to the side mount, the bed is FINISHED!
The Cab is next!
11 April 2011
More pictures of my old truck
From Jerry :
I'd been daydreaming about owning my birth year (1959) Apache Chevy Stepside truck for years. I've always liked the twin lights and masculine looking cab and hood. For me, it had to be a Stepside with the spare tire mounted on the bed / fender ... brings back some fond childhood memories.
I would look on eBay, watch the classifieds, etc. Even when I saw a good candidate, I'd just shake my head and pass it by because simply, I wasn't ready for it. That is, until this eBay auction popped up and the truck was within a 50 mile trek. I simply said to myself, "Ok, it's now or never." I watched the auction end with "reserve not met" and contacted the seller to see if he was planning to re- list. His answer was "No" so I asked him what he had to have for the truck. He came back with $850.
I called the seller again and made arrangements to bring a lowboy to pull my new toy home. When I arrived to get the truck, he and his boys had already loaded the engines into the bed of the truck for me. The truck just barely fit between the trailer rails but it was meant to be. Lastly, we mounted the hood and off I went.
I love that all-metal sound when you close the doors! It's a good, solid truck. And this is where I stop with my story until I make progress with my project. I put all of my truck project status on a Facebook album. I've been adding progression photos almost daily as my family and friends follow my progress.
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