Posted By: j744 59 apache - Mon Apr 05 2021 03:57 AM
I was looking at restoring a 59 Apache. Is it cheaper to or comparable to frame off and put newer suspension parts, motor... to make it more modern and reliable or should i do the S10 frame swap and build it from that approach with older but still newer parts. I'm not looking for show quality but a nice driver that I can be proud of.

Is it harder to frame off and put new parts on it? I'm not looking to custom fit most parts. I'm thinking they have some after market suspension part along with other things i will need. I would like any and all advise to starting a possible adventure. I do have automotive knowledge but just not to this extent.

Jason Brown
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 59 apache - Mon Apr 05 2021 12:29 PM
First, Welcome to the "BOLT", there are a bunch of great folks here to help you along with your project. Be sure to check in on the Southern Stovebolters Forum, there are quite a few guys in Florida.

Second, I don't believe I would peruse the S10 under your 59", the Task Force trucks are wider and require a larger chassis, a 73' and up 1/2 ton would be a better choice. The parts are available everywhere and they came with most of the upgrades you would want to do, IFS, power steering, disc brakes and so on.
Personally I decided to stay with the original frame, parts are available to upgrade the suspension or modify the stock axel. I just couldn't bring myself to cut the frame so I choose to stay with a straight axel. Power steering and disc brakes can be added easily. Most modifications should only take a few days and allow you to enjoy your truck while you work on it.

Just a note on going into a complete teardown, "DO YOUR HOMEWORK". I can't stress that enough, I didn't and have had to live with the lessons learned the hard way, I have lost out on a lot of time being able to enjoy the old truck. Just my thoughts. In the end it is your truck and it should be built as you like, it's a great adventure.
Posted By: Wayne67vert Re: 59 apache - Mon Apr 05 2021 01:09 PM
Welcome Jason. It's good to have another Florida 'Bolter in the group.
What area of Florida are you in?
Your project idea sounds interesting. I don't have knowledge about frame swaps but did a frame off restoration to my '38.
I agree with Craig, do your homework and determine which direction to go before tearing anything apart.
Posted By: Mike B Re: 59 apache - Mon Apr 05 2021 03:45 PM
Welcome to the Stovebolt wave

Your stock frame is already set up for a V8 and if you replace all of the suspension parts with new you'll have a nice driver. If you're looking for a road racer and need Corvette type handling then you might want to get a custom made chassis that your sheet metal will bolt right onto.

My '56 has a stock frame and I-beam axle and does just fine. Upgraded to a SBC 350 V8 with 4-speed and a Camaro/Trans Am posi rear, front disc brakes, power steering and AC.

I'd recommend you get the truck running and driving first and see if it meets your needs before jumping into a major rebuild. There are tons of half completed projects where the builder lost interest before getting it done. It takes way more time and money than you may think to build a truck...make a budget and then triple it and you might be close.

Don't forget to post pictures!

Mike B smile
Posted By: j744 Re: 59 apache - Tue Apr 06 2021 04:12 PM
Thanks to all. I'm a rookie on the forum. And appreciate all advice.
If I'm able to work with the same frame and add on to it with new suspension parts and some upgrades for comfort and reliability. Does anyone know where to buy a 59 apache. Sold frame small amount of rust. Don't need motor.
Posted By: Justhorsenround Re: 59 apache - Tue Apr 06 2021 04:17 PM
Asking for trucks/parts in the garage forums is against our site guidelines. Read the Sticky thread (Why posts are......) at the top of this forum for our published guidelines. Post in our Trucks Wanted section of the Swap Meet Forum for best results.
Posted By: bartamos Re: 59 apache - Tue Apr 06 2021 09:47 PM
Let's back up here. Do you have a 59 truck? If so, what is wrong with the frame.

Secondly, I've owned lots of TF trucks (55-59). The advice is right on, keep the frame and "restore" it and update it. All is available and has been done by many, many members. One thing that has not been mentioned is that there is a large list of headache issues regarding mating a S10 or other frame to the existing body. I.E. body mounts, brake/ebrake and gas pedal linkage/system, donor frame shape, wheel base and width, stance, shift linkage. Fender, radiator, bumper and bed mounting. Steering box/shaft/column fit. Motor and trans mounts and location to fit body. Frame width vs body width. Tire rub..........destroying value of the 59, more costly to complete, as so on.......
Posted By: J Lucas Re: 59 apache - Wed Apr 07 2021 12:01 AM
Welcome Jason,

Unless you have a good permanent workspace that you can afford to tie up for a very long time, my advice would be to keep the original frame.

If you're looking to buy a truck or parts, post your request's in the parts wanted or trucks wanted forums. Craigslist, ebay, farm sales etc are also very good places to look for project and or donor vehicles.

Lot's of us really like the 58-59 Task Force truck models, and we all have our different thoughts on how we want our trucks done, so you've found the best website.

We're all here to help. The more the merrier and that means more knowledge to share.

Consider yourself home.

Posted By: Jim Karras Re: 59 apache - Sun Apr 11 2021 04:52 PM
The stock frame works for most upgrades. It works with small block or big block V8s, power disc brakes and a range of rear ends. My 1959 that I bought in 1976 underwent a full frame-off restoration in 2004. Here is a link to that project: and my webpage on the project:

I wish you all the best as you dive into your '59. Have fun with your project and keep us all posted as to your progress!
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