John Amery's

1958 Chevy Apache 38 1-Ton


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25 July 2006 Update
# 1549

From John:

           Refurbishing the rear is nearly complete. Frame got the rust brushed off and coats of black rattle can primer. Primary leaf springs (2 1/2" wide) had all rust removed, paint, poly-liner put between springs, and new bushings and pins. Spring shackle is of the cast iron "clevis" type ... like the big bolts use. New auxiliary springs were made (2 1/2" wide), as the old ones were broken. The new ones are built like the originals. All these springs are held down to the axle with a 5/8", grade 8, 11" long U-bolt torqued to 120 ft lbs.

 

           Drums and hubs looked good, bearings and oil seals good, brake shoes good (still 1/4" of lining!). Outside drum got brushed and rattle can primed. Needed new brake cylinders. A minor amount of file to fit on backing plate was needed to bolt it on. Haven't bent the new brake lines yet. Haven't adjusted the brake shoes yet.

           Axle is in good shape. Lots of cleaning off grease and brushing off rust, then rattle can black gloss primer. I haven't actually removed the rear cover to look at the gears and change the oil. Will do that after my new gasket arrives.

           I LOVE the way this old axle looks. Looks just like the big trucks. I don't know the originality of the auxiliary spring "perches" (the things that the auxiliary springs ride against when carrying a big load). They are made of 4" x 4" x 1/2" angle iron cut 4" wide. However, there where only three holes drilled through the frame for attachment, and all the other "perches" I've seen that look original have four holes. So maybe this is original?!.

           The leaf springs had steel (what!) bushings between the spring eyes and the pins. They were replaced with new bronze bushings and pins. The steel ones had GM stamped on them, making me think they are original (but a bad idea in my mind). The leaf springs had "GM D" or "GM F" in raised letters on the sides of the springs (D for thicker springs, F for thinner). I suspect GM used this lettering system to identify thickness when the shop guys where making the springs. The shackle bushings where bronze (GM stamped on outside of bushing) and replaced with scintered bronze bushings and new pins.

           My brake line runs on the driver side of the frame (all the books I've read have it on the passenger side). The bracket that holds the junction between the solid line and the tube is riveted onto that side of the frame (same type rivet as holding cross members to frame). This makes me think this is original, as no aftermarket modification would bother to hot rivet when you could use a bolt. Additionally, the bracket on the axle is welded to the axle, and there does not appear to be any "cut off" spots on the other side where it would have been moved from.

John Amery
"jhaa_lives"
Bolter # 11088
The St. Louis, Missouri area


5 June 2006
# 1549

From John:

           Greetings. As of yesterday, I'm the proud new owner of a 1958 Chevrolet Apache 38 1-Ton. I acquired it from a farmer in mid-Illinois. The odometer reads 029xx.x miles ... I'm guessing it already flipped over.

           It's got the expected rust outs here and there, but all in all it's in pretty good and it looks like everything is there ... just covered with oil, muck and dust.

           It's a six cylinder, I expect the 235. The gas tank actually smells like gas and the oil in engine looks fairly good. They said they had it running a year ago and I believe it.

           It's much nicer than other "projects" I've resurrected. I think it's the 4-speed. Shifter is on the floor. It has the parking brake on the outlet of the transmission (Yaah!). I suspect that the rear axle (Eaton) has the 5.14 gear. I'll be looking for a 4.11 (with a Detroit Locker !?) pumpkin to switch in.

           Biggest surprise ... it's got 19.5" rims on 8 x 6.5 bolt pattern (Woo Hoo!). Brakes are shot. From what I can tell, vacuum assist. It's got a 9 foot grain bed (Knapheide) with twin hydraulic lift, 3 foot sides, and all the metal appears in fair shape. The bed wood is shot (I expected that) but that shouldn't be a problem to replace.

           The PTO comes off the tranny and goes back to a pump that is sitting next to the hydraulic tank.

John Amery
"jhaa_lives"
Bolter # 11088
The St. Louis, Missouri area


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