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#141483 - Wed Feb 16 2005 11:30 PM Questions...late 50's chevy Spartan 100
Kris Schneider Offline
Member
Registered: Fri Oct 10 2003 12:00 PM
Posts: 82
Loc: Delano, MN
Alright I have the opportunity to buy a late 50's model chevy spartan 100, for fairly cheap (probably less than $500...we'll see)

No motor, just cab and chassis but the body is in real nice shape and he says that the transmission and dual-speed rear are both in working condition and he thinks he's got a title for it.

So...a few questions about it:
1) what motor would these have had from the factory? Will a 350 bolt to the tranny? Engine mounts?
2) Would this be classified as an LCF?
3) the 5 speed in this truck - what ratio would 5th gear be? What transmission would this be?
4) what, if any parts, would interchange with the 55 2nd series-59 apaches?
5) what tonnage is a spartan 100?
6) about how much would this weight (trying to figure out if i can haul it from wisconsin on my dads 24' tandem axle gooseneck)

My dream for the truck would be keep it the current color (bright cherry red), have the front bumper chromed, throw a fresh 350 in the engine bay, maybe a few human comforts (bucket seats, cd player) and buy this tulsa winch/wrecker bed thats been begging me to buy it for it, and emblazon my website/business name on the side of the truck, and use it for what my mother likens the "trucks across america" program

smile
_________________________
God is not on the side of the big armies, but of those who shoot best.

http://www.speedyoldtruck.com
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#141484 - Thu Feb 17 2005 12:38 AM Re: Questions...late 50's chevy Spartan 100
koolkar Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Sat May 26 2001 12:00 PM
Posts: 2385
Loc: a little north of indy
any big, or smallblock should bolt up, as the truck has side motor mounts. the final ratio of the trans is 1:1. or direct, unless it was a special order, or has been rebuilt to overdrive. (yes, you can do that with the 5 speed).

i think the doors and some cab parts will interchange.

the rating of the truck depends on the way the suspension is set up. yes, there are certain specific capacity values for the 100, but guys had a habit of adding leaf springs, etc., to increase the capacity.

ought to make a killer tow truck.

just missed one locally that was set up with a 500 holmes on it. they cut it up. frown
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#141485 - Thu Feb 17 2005 01:20 AM Re: Questions...late 50's chevy Spartan 100
Mike B Online
Shop Shark
Registered: Sun Mar 07 2004 12:00 PM
Posts: 2170
Loc: Hughesville, MD
Hi Kris,

The "Spartan" name was first used on the 1958 Heavy Duty trucks, Apache is Light Duty and Viking is Medium Duty. The 1958/59 truck can be easily identified by there dual headlights, 1957 and back are single.

The model numbers were also shortened starting in '58, so your Model 100 is the same as a 1956/57 Model 10000 or 2-1/2 ton Heavy Duty.

The only engine option for the 1958/59 100 Series trucks was the 348 V8 rated at 230 hp with 335 ft lbs of torque. This engine shares the same bellhousing bolt pattern as all other Chevy V8's so droping a 350 in shouldn't be a problem.

The 100 Series is a conventional Cab, the 50, 70 & 90 Series are the Low Cab Forward (LCF) models.

Your truck would have a Spicer model #3152 or #3152A (close-ratio). Both of these have a 1:1 5th gear ratio.

The Cab and Hood are the same as the pickup's. Fenders and Grille are different.

The Cab and Chassis will weigh between 6000 and 7000 pounds complete. You didn't mention the wheel base length and if there was a body on it so this is just a rough guess. Your truck should weigh about 500-600 pounds less without the motor.

If it still wears the original paint then it is "Cardinal Red".

It should have Cast Spoke wheels (10 stud disc wheels were optional) with 22,5" Tubeless Tires and could have had Air Brakes as well.

A truck of this size will need a BIG wrecker body to look right, something like a Holmes 600 or 650 with a 15-20 ton capacity.

Check out my '56 Wrecker in the Photo Gallery.

Keep us informed and send pictures when you can!

Mike smile
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#141486 - Thu Feb 17 2005 02:41 PM Re: Questions...late 50's chevy Spartan 100
Kris Schneider Offline
Member
Registered: Fri Oct 10 2003 12:00 PM
Posts: 82
Loc: Delano, MN
Quote:
Originally posted by koolkar:
any big, or smallblock should bolt up, as the truck has side motor mounts. the final ratio of the trans is 1:1. or direct, unless it was a special order, or has been rebuilt to overdrive. (yes, you can do that with the 5 speed).
Any idea how much it would cost to do a conversion so fifth is an overdrive gear?

Quote:
ought to make a killer tow truck.

just missed one locally that was set up with a 500 holmes on it. they cut it up. frown [/QB]
Thats a shame. These vintage of trucks have so much personality about them...I really like the late 50's trucks and the 67-72 chevs/gmc's...I don't think GM has come close with any other body style.

Quote:
Originally posted by Mike B:
Hi Kris,

The "Spartan" name was first used on the 1958 Heavy Duty trucks, Apache is Light Duty and Viking is Medium Duty. The 1958/59 truck can be easily identified by there dual headlights, 1957 and back are single.
Ok, truck is definitely a 58/59 then. I had a '59 Apache 1-ton SRW cab truck that I fixed up to sell...only paid $100 for it but the body was so far beyond repair that I couldn't do anything for it, so I let it go to someone who was going to use the drivetrain for their '58 street rodded apache. Any particular differences between the 58/59 spartans?

Quote:
The model numbers were also shortened starting in '58, so your Model 100 is the same as a 1956/57 Model 10000 or 2-1/2 ton Heavy Duty.

The only engine option for the 1958/59 100 Series trucks was the 348 V8 rated at 230 hp with 335 ft lbs of torque. This engine shares the same bellhousing bolt pattern as all other Chevy V8's so droping a 350 in shouldn't be a problem.

The 100 Series is a conventional Cab, the 50, 70 & 90 Series are the Low Cab Forward (LCF) models.
Ok...out of curiousity then, would this cab have the same body mounts then as the apache (light duty) trucks since it isn't an LCF?

Any idea how hard it would be to throw on an 80's GM 1-ton chassis (I kinda have an appreciation for disk brakes and power steering) - around here they aren't hard to find completely rusted out but still running and usually have descent drivetrains too

Quote:
The Cab and Chassis will weigh between 6000 and 7000 pounds complete. You didn't mention the wheel base length and if there was a body on it so this is just a rough guess. Your truck should weigh about 500-600 pounds less without the motor.
Ok then, it should be fine on my dads 22' gooseneck tandem axle trailer behind our '89 V3500 crew cab. Kinda suprised that a truck that big doesn't weigh much, if any, more than my '72 Cheyenne/20 2WD in street trim (6000 lbs according to vin plate)

Quote:
A truck of this size will need a BIG wrecker body to look right, something like a Holmes 600 or 650 with a 15-20 ton capacity.
If the body isn't much/any wider than the regular apaches, I'm having fantasies of putting a standard long wide bed on it...I love the look of huge pickup trucks, though this one would probably see plenty of road time pulling trailers too.

Some pics of whats been giving me ideas:
[img]http://www.speedyoldtruck.com/images/bigt1.jpg[/img]
[img]http://www.speedyoldtruck.com/images/bigt2.jpg[/img]
[img]http://www.speedyoldtruck.com/images/bigt3.jpg[/img]
[img]http://www.speedyoldtruck.com/images/bigt4.jpg[/img]
_________________________
God is not on the side of the big armies, but of those who shoot best.

http://www.speedyoldtruck.com
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#141487 - Thu Feb 17 2005 04:20 PM Re: Questions...late 50's chevy Spartan 100
Mike B Online
Shop Shark
Registered: Sun Mar 07 2004 12:00 PM
Posts: 2170
Loc: Hughesville, MD
Kris,

The cost to convert your truck to overdrive really depends on what you want as the final product and how deep your pockets are...You can get higher speeds by swapping out the existing 2-speed rear for one with higher gears. I did this in my fire truck for less than $500. Or you can search for a 5-speed OD transmission.

"Any particular differences between the 58/59 spartans?"


Not sure I understand your question..do you want to know from year to year or Apache to Spartan? There aren't any major changes from year to year (58/59), but from Apache to Spartan there are tons!

All TF Cabs share the same cab mounts...a BIG truck will work on a small chassis. About the only difference I know of is the transmission floor covers are cut larger on the big trucks, but that normally not a problem.

"Any idea how hard it would be to throw on an 80's GM 1-ton chassis (I kinda have an appreciation for disk brakes and power steering) - around here they aren't hard to find completely rusted out but still running and usually have descent drivetrains too"

I'm not the one to ask about swaping chassis, but I'm not sure you really need to swap. Unless your going to load this truck to the max, why do you need new disc brakes? This truck has MONSTER size drums and is designed to stop 25,000 pounds! The 1 ton modern chassis is only rated at about 12000 pounds...I'll put my big Hydrovac brakes against the 1-ton disc brakes any day. I don't have any trouble locking them up!

As for steering have you looked to see if the Spartan has Power Assist Steering from the factory? You may have more there to work with than what you first thought!

Drop in a Chevy motor of your choice, big or small. Change the rear gears for better speed. Shorten the chassis to fit your pickup bed and GO!

I like the Tonka Truck!

Send pictures of your Spartan!

Mike smile
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#141488 - Mon Feb 21 2005 05:03 PM Re: Questions...late 50's chevy Spartan 100
Kris Schneider Offline
Member
Registered: Fri Oct 10 2003 12:00 PM
Posts: 82
Loc: Delano, MN
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=7954722986

There's the auction. Ended up winning for a whopping $152.51, just didn't want to post it up until I was sure I won lest some other 'bolter desire to bid against me.

Now I get to figure out how the hell I'm going to get the thing home...my dads crewcab 1-ton just ate a motor, and I don't especially desire to drive my cheyenne (which isn't running right anyway) all the way back to my house to get a trailer and then to wisconsin.

Hmm, might have to borrow a buddy's dodge to get this one done....who knows.
_________________________
God is not on the side of the big armies, but of those who shoot best.

http://www.speedyoldtruck.com
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#141489 - Mon Feb 21 2005 05:09 PM Re: Questions...late 50's chevy Spartan 100
Stovebolt Staff Offline

Registered: Fri Nov 10 1995 12:00 PM
Posts: 3669
Loc: Everywhere
Congrats, Chris! Looks like a good truck!

Now, what's so awful about driving a Dodge to go get it, hmmmmm? Some of the best people I know own Dodges wink

Regards,
John
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#141490 - Mon Feb 21 2005 09:56 PM Re: Questions...late 50's chevy Spartan 100
spanky Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Fri Dec 20 2002 12:00 PM
Posts: 4015
Loc: burlington, n.c.
Whoa !,That's a good "BUY", for that truck, at that price. And looking at those air horns, on top of the cab, I'd say this truck is probably a Full Air Brake truck, or at least, air, over hydraulic. I'd leave it alone, if it were mine. These "Heavy Duty" Chevy Trucks are pretty "Rare". It would be a shame, to "Hack it". Of course, this is just my opinion. Mike B, is "Da Man", when it comes to these "Task Force", '55-'59 Chevy Trucks.
_________________________
Spanky Hardy......Collector Of Fine Old G.M. COE Trucks & Antique Holmes Wreckers
1950 GMC 250 1-Ton in the Gallery
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#141491 - Tue Feb 22 2005 01:02 AM Re: Questions...late 50's chevy Spartan 100
Kris Schneider Offline
Member
Registered: Fri Oct 10 2003 12:00 PM
Posts: 82
Loc: Delano, MN
Quote:
Originally posted by spanky:
Whoa !,That's a good "BUY", for that truck, at that price. And looking at those air horns, on top of the cab, I'd say this truck is probably a Full Air Brake truck, or at least, air, over hydraulic. I'd leave it alone, if it were mine. These "Heavy Duty" Chevy Trucks are pretty "Rare". It would be a shame, to "Hack it". Of course, this is just my opinion. Mike B, is "Da Man", when it comes to these "Task Force", '55-'59 Chevy Trucks.
I wasn't planning on doing anything that would be very difficult to undo should someone desire to do a concours restoration, but I doubt I'll have an easy (or cheap) time finding a used 50's vintage big truck V8 when 350's are cheap and plentiful and will bolt right up. Absolutely no use in having a truck that is restored proper and doesn't have any practical use, especially not when I do a lot of car hauling/resto/mechanical work and don't have the money for a garage/trailer queen to sit around. And my dad would have a fit if I had another invalid car/truck lying around being restored (he's already unhappy with the buggy taking up machine shop space)

Don't have all that much information, from the website but I sure hope there's still a compressor in that engine bay so that I can actually move (and stop) the truck once I get a motor in it and play with those beastly looking airhorns.
_________________________
God is not on the side of the big armies, but of those who shoot best.

http://www.speedyoldtruck.com
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#141492 - Tue Feb 22 2005 09:01 AM Re: Questions...late 50's chevy Spartan 100
spanky Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Fri Dec 20 2002 12:00 PM
Posts: 4015
Loc: burlington, n.c.
Chances are, you would have a hard time finding the correct Big Block eng., to go back in it, but then, there's also the pretty commom 366ci. G.M. Truck Big Block, that was used for many years. Plenty, of those still out there, & if this truck is indeed full air brakes, you can probably find one still in a truck, that has Air Brakes, complete with the Compressor. If you get the right rear axle ratio, as Mike stated, you will have no problem, running the Highways, at good modern speeds. The 1960 Chevrolet L80 Spartan LCF, I had, was completely stock, but would run 70-75mph easy. It had the orig. 348ci., Big Block, with Full Air Brakes, Factory Power steering, 5 spd. trans., with 2 spd Eaton rear axle. I can't remember what Mike's top speed is, in his 1957 Chevy Heavy Duty Fire Truck, but seems like it was a modern speed also.
_________________________
Spanky Hardy......Collector Of Fine Old G.M. COE Trucks & Antique Holmes Wreckers
1950 GMC 250 1-Ton in the Gallery
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