Posted By: TUTS 59 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Fri Aug 23 2019 05:15 PM
So I have been posting on the site for sometime. I figured it was time I really got going on my truck. Many of you have beautiful projects and great stories that go with them, well this is mine.
Flashback to 1990, I just left the Army after 8 years and found myself in Georgia, I didn't start out there but sure wasn't going back to California. Don't get me wrong I love California, but after 8 years it wasn't home any longer. I started a job as an Air Guard (Yes "Air Guard") Civil Service Tech for a Unit in Brunswick Ga. The job also required that I enlist in the Air Guard, so I went from Green to Blue in less the 2 weeks. I worked on Mobile Generators and Power Units, I had a background in the Army with Heavy Equipment and Large Diesels and Turbine engines. The new job was a great fit and I settled into civilian life. I got married and bought a small house on some land. At this time I had a 64' C10 SWB fleetside, the truck had been with me since High School. It was solid and looked fair, could have used some paint but solid just the same. My father and I had built a 396 and slid it and a muncie 4 speed in the truck years before, loved that big block. Forth of July that year I was hit broadside by a drunk and that ended the 64' C10. I parted out what I could, the insurance didn't pay off much on a truck that old, I kept the 396 and the Muncie.
So the hunt was on for a body to put the engine in, I really wanted another truck. My dad had a 56' LWB stepside when I was a kid, always liked that truck, finding a solid donor in South Georgia was proving to be a challenge. While at work my supervisor told me he had an old truck for sale, I could look it over and make him an offer. I followed him home and found a 59' Apache 31, someone had replaced the 235 with a 283 but it still had the 3 speed. the truck was as solid as most I had seen and the price was right (and he was willing to take payments :D) The deal was and I drove it home. The wife was not so impressed but I knew that ahead of time
The Apache had seats from some 80's compact and a homebuilt wooden box between them, The steering was so loose I could change lanes without trying, the exhaust was straight pipes and the 283 had a 4 barrel mnifold with a 2 barrel carb (a piece of plywood served as the adapter.) and brakes, well there was a pedal. I loved that truck.
I moon lighted for a friend at his home body shop back then. Johnny was maticulis with fit and finish, so the truck came apart. We worked on it when I had a chance and it set the rest. I deployed later that year for Operation Desert Storm and again the truck set. Two months into my deplyment I recieved word that Johnny had died of sudden heart attack. I was hurt that my friend was gone and angry over his kids cleaning out his shop, I didnt know where my truck was. After many foul words and as many phone calls I found the truck, in pieces at another body shop. I contacted my Brother in Law and and arranged for the 59' to be delivered to his house. As I said the truck was in pieces, down to the bare frame.
I retuned home for the Gulf War and life took over, the 59' was moved a dozen times over the years. I would get offers to buy it but I always refused, that was a very heated topic around the house. Time went on and I would work on little things again and again, gathering parts and pieces but never really had the means to get it back together. My Son and two Daughters were born and no truck, I went to war 2 more times (the second time I discovered "") and still no truck. I lost my wife to an early stroke, and life stopped for awhile. Still no truck.
So now here I am 10 years later and have finally gathered all the parts and pieces in one location. I retired from the Air Force this last spring and have remarried. My wife now wants to know why I never finished the truck, life is funny. You folks on the "Bolt" are my motivation and I have run out of excuses so here we go. Just a side note, the truck is named "Ernest" after the Senior Master Sergeant I bought it from, he for reasons only know to him took his life, he is deeply miissed. (RIP) frown

With all that now said lets get to work:
some Pics of the frame so far.

Description: Early frame mock up
Attached picture KIMG0187.jpg

Description: Frame after sandblasting and Ospho
Attached picture IMG_20181017_173617_148.jpg

Description: Frame with base coat of POR15
Attached picture 20181028_143204.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Mon Aug 26 2019 12:08 PM
I suppose I'll be playing catch up for a bit with this updating the project journal. Here is a picture of the 59's VIN. As far as I have been able to decode the truck was built at the Atlanta Plant, seems to have spent it's life in Georgia. Originally it was equipped with a 235, 3 speed and was Galway Green, the VIN has a 3104 desination. Plans for the truck include a 68' 327 (last year for the 327) and 68' Muncie 4 speed with a 72' 10 bolt rear end. thumbs_up

Description: VIN plate
Attached picture 20180722_110317.jpg
Posted By: Dragsix Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Tue Aug 27 2019 12:41 PM
If the frame is indicative of the rest of the truck, you have some good bones to work with. Take your time and enjoy the build. I look forward to your updates.
Posted By: popcornBen Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Thu Aug 29 2019 12:20 PM
Tuts 59 Thank you for your service! Life brings many down the same dirt roads. Prof. firefighter for 21 yrs. I had a wife that had a massive stroke, now married to a school teacher who loves old metal. My 59 sat in the shop for many yrs after a very terrible motorcycle accident 2016 decided it was time to get er done! My son and I built a 350 into a 383 added a Monster 700 R4 tranny. Complete frame off restoration it has been challenging but everything has been updated brakes, PS, rear end ect. My last hurrah lest say building it for my son and grandson! Good luck I love the Chevy dual lights!

Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Thu Aug 29 2019 01:52 PM
I dug around and found a picture of the frame with the top coat of POR15. POR15 is easy to use and goes on evenly with a brush, it levels out as it drys and leaves a smooth finish. Putting the top coat on requires that you you scuff the base coat with 320 grit paper, i found it was easier to use it more like a wet sand. After I rised the frame down I used final perp to do a final de-greasing. POR15 works best if you use small portions at a time, do not paint out of the can, it tends to set up pretty quick. I had the wife keep the small container that sandwick meat and cheese came in, these worked great to paint out of. I also bought an assortment pack of small brushes form Horbor Frieght, they were lest than $4.00 and I didn't worry about cleaning them. Overall the I'm happy with the finish on the frame, POR15 is hard once cured and should hold up for years. thumbs_up

Pops: this was supposed to be a Father Son project as well, seems I have to bribe my Son with food or beer to get him envolved. headscratch[img][/img][img][/img]

Description: Finsh coat on frame
Attached picture 20190106_172739.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Fri Sep 06 2019 06:08 PM
So we survived hurricane Dorian, my thoughts and prayers go the those folks in the Bahamas and Carolinas. I worked on the rear axel over the last week or so. I have a 1972 GM 10 Bolt, 8.2 inch. I removed all the coil spring mounts and welded on leaf spring perches from Speedway. The axel was originally from an El Camino so the width is about right. I cleaned and painted the housing with POR15, painted the rear cover red and used stainless hardware. The red is the same color I am using for the engine, it's a ceramic engine paint from Eastwood, it's a shade of Buick red. I rebuilt the axel, replacing all the seals and bearings, ring and pinion and adding a locker. The axel had a 2.56 ring and pinion, I changed that to a 3.08. I calculated the engine RPM using a 28 inch tire (255/60R15) the 3.08 gives me 2400RPM at 65MPH. I can live with that as I'm using a 4 speed. When changing from a 2.56 to a numerically higher gear you need to change the carrier, I found it costly to replace an 8.2 inch carrier. Years ago my father used a ring gear shom in a 12 bolt, I managed to find a vintage one to work with the 8.2inch 10 bolt. Essentially all the shim does is move the ring closer to the pinion allowing you to use the original carrier. For a locker I chose an Auburn Gear Max Locker, it allows the diff to operate as an open spool in corners and locks when torque is applied or one wheel slips. I think this will be a solid set up for my 327 and Muncie, if the gear choice is not enough I can always chang it out later. cool

Description: Rear axel assembled
Attached picture 20190331_122619.jpg

Description: Rear axel cover
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Description: Rear axel housing
Attached picture 20180503_082126.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Mon Sep 16 2019 12:27 PM
Worked on the drop axel this weekend. Cleaned it up and gave it a coat of POR15. The axel is from Sid's in Ok, really nice job with a 4 inch drop. If I had to do it over I believe I would have stayed with a 2 or 3 inch drop, you can always make up an inch or so somewhere else. I had my local machine ship fit new kingpins and bushings. I pruchased a disc brake kit from CPP so I mounted the brackets before I painted the axel. I still need to paint the tie rod and ubolts. grin

Description: Drop Axel
Attached picture 20190212_163448.jpg
Posted By: Canadian_guy Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Mon Sep 16 2019 01:26 PM
Looking good, those spindles are going to need some buffing though!
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Tue Sep 17 2019 12:11 PM
Nah, the spindles just have a coat of really old grease on them, it's been awhile since a lot of these parts have been touched.
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Fri Oct 25 2019 11:51 AM
So it's been another busy month, I have been neglecting the 59' just to complete the To Do List.

I spent the last few evenings doing some prep work on the front leaf springs for paint. I pulled the springs apart a few years back and cleaned and primed them with self etching primer and a Rustolium top coat. Now I have them ready for a coat of POR15. I am also adding teflon inserts between the leafs to help with the ride and stop some of the squeaking. I removed 3 of the shorter leafs to soften up the ride and aid with lowering the front.

I replaced the spring eye bushings, shackle bolts and the spring pack bolts, the originals were worn beyond reuse. I have the shackles ready for paint as well.
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Fri Jan 24 2020 02:51 PM
Back again, I keep finding myself playing catch up with My own projects.

This last weekend it was raining here so I thought I would just take inventory of the parts I have assembled for my engine. The truck wasn't stock when I got it, the 235 was long gone and a 283 was in it's place. The engine mounts were crude at best and the motor was tired too. I made the decision to replace the 283 with a 327 (this was in 1992). I had the 327 from another project and it was ready for rebuild. I have been keeping with a RestoRod theme for most of my ideas and the engine is no different.

Bottom end:
Block; 1968 327, 2 bolt mains, large journal (from an Impala) now bored 0.030 over to 331.
Line bored and decked, shot peened and magnifluxed
Crankshaft: Steel 350, turned -0.010 under on rod and mains.
Rods: GM 5.7" "pink" rods, shot peened and magnifluxed , polished I beams with ARP wave loc bolts
Milodon windage tray.
Melling high volume oil pump and pick up tube.
ARP main bearing stud kit.
Clevite P series rod and main bearings and cam bearings.
Keith Black flat top hypereutectic pistons (2 valve reliefs)
Speed Pro plasma moly piston rings.
Cloyes True Roller timing set
Clay Smith Tracksmith cam ( 280 Advertised Duration / 238 @ .050 / 108 Lobe Center / .427 Gross Lift Based on 1.5 RR)
Felpro Gaskets and seals
Jeg's one piece oil pan gasket.
Factory 283 truck oil pan.
All the machine work was done locally by my good friend Jim Bailey, he completed all the final balancing as well.

This is just the bottom end for now, I'll list the top end later. This next weeks 15 min a day project (thanks RustyRod) is to get the engine on the stand and start assembly.

P.S. For Alvin, thank you for the push.
Posted By: Apache1 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Fri Jan 24 2020 07:03 PM
Tuts 59 - What kind of HP/Torque are you hoping for...once you decide on a top end arrangement? I suppose the dyno will reveal that.
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Fri Jan 24 2020 10:39 PM
I have something in the 400 to 425 HP in mind. I basically took a build sheet from a 70's Super Chevy (I copied it down while in 11th grade English class) and changed it meet some of today's needs. Their engine made 440 HP, and had about the same amount of torque. I want the engine to thump with a lumpy idle, it will make power on the top end for sure.. I know that about as practical as a brick bat, that will be fine. I missed the whole teenager HotRod thing so I'm trying to make up for it now. Lots of work on the top end, more on that later.
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Sun Apr 12 2020 03:04 PM
[img] Engine Block.jpg[/img]I have had a little extra time to work on the truck since I was furloughed this month.

I have concentrated on the engine assembly, I have gather all of the parts together that I have sourced over the past few years.
With the block machined and prepped, the 327 was bored .030 over-sized and align bored, the block was decked as well. The crank shaft is an original steel GM part and was turned .010 under size on both the main and rod bearing journals. The entire rotating assembly was balanced by my Machinist.

I mounted it to the engine stand and spent the better part of a morning cleaning it and chasing all the treads with a tap.

I wanted to add a windage tray to the bottom end to aid in oil control, this required the use of studs for the main caps. I purchased an ARP stud set for the 2 bolt mains, I feel that even though this isn't a 4 bolt block the studs will help in adding strength. I installed the main bearings and caps, torqued them to specs and measured the clearance. Once I had verified all the measurements I removed the main caps and and set the crank in using Melling assembly lube.

After re installing the main caps I torqued them to 80 Ft LBS,in 3 stages as recommended by ARP, all threads were coated with ARP's thread lube. The crank turned freely and and no noticeable drag, I measured the end play and determined it to be within tolerance.

Description: Block Cleaned and Prepped
Attached picture 327 Engine Block.jpg

Description: Studs
Attached picture Studs.jpg

Description: Crank
Attached picture 327 Crank and Mains.jpg

Description: Stud Kit Sheet
Attached picture Stud Kit Sheet.jpg

Description: Balance Sheet
Attached picture Balance Sheet.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Mon Apr 13 2020 02:17 PM
I had a bit of a set back once it came to installing the pistons. The rings I had from Jegs were the wrong size, the bore is now 4.030 and the rings measured 4.285, way to big even though the box was marked correctly. I have been purchasing parts for this build for years, the rings were ordered in 2014, Jegs said it was to long ago to exchange, lesson learned I expect. I made a few calls to my FLAPS and OReilly's said they could have them the next afternoon.

I picked up the rings from OReilly's and verified the correct size prior to installing the pistons. I had never used anything but an expandable ring compressor, while ordering parts I purchased an ARP ring compressor. The ARP ring compressor is machined to the specified size and has a tapered design, the piston merely slides into the the tool a directly into the cylinder. I can honestly say this was the easiest piston install I have ever done. While the tool was around $30.00, it is sized for the Chevy 4" bore .030 over-sized, I will use it again so the money wasn't wasted.

The remainder of the install went slick as snot, the bearings fit perfectly and the rod caps slid in place easily. I used ARP Wave-Loc rod bolts, the bolt require the caps to be pre-loaded and torqued to 45Ft Lbs. so the bolts will stretch. Once the caps were fitted and the Rod bolts torqued it was just a matter of installing the rings and sliding the piston in place and torquing the Rod bolt one final time.

Once everything is in place I will fit up the windage tray and oil pump and pick-up tube.

Description: Correct Piston Rings
Attached picture Correct Piston Rings.jpg

Description: ARP Ring Compressor
Attached picture ARP Ring Compressor.jpg

Description: Fitting Rings
Attached picture Fitting Piston Rings.jpg

Description: Pistons in Block
Attached picture Pistons in Block.jpg

Description: Torquing Rod Bolts
Attached picture Rod Bolts Torqued.jpg
Posted By: Justhorsenround Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Mon Apr 13 2020 02:52 PM
Nothing like a good day in the shop.🛠
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Sat Apr 18 2020 03:06 PM
Yesterday I installed the cam and timing chain. The Cam is a Clay Smith flat tappet hydraulic " Tracksmith". The cam is designed after the cam of the "60's Duntov 30-30" it has a lumpy idle and good mid to top end power band, the difference is that it is built with today's needs in mind. The cam kit included a set of their "HI-Rev" lifters matched to the cam.

For the timing chain I used a Cloyes "Tru-Roller" double row chain and gear set. The crank gear allows you to advance or retard the cam 2 degrees. I advanced the the cam 2 degrees, to allow for more top end.

I degree'd the cam to verify the valve ratio to lobe separation, the cam was right on space with a 106 center line and valve operation at .050 lift.

Description: Timing Chain
Attached picture Timing Chain.jpg

Description: Cam Button
Attached picture Cam Button.jpg

Description: Cam TDC
Attached picture Cam TDC.jpg

Description: Cam Specs
Attached picture Cam Specs.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Sat Apr 18 2020 03:10 PM
More Cam pics...

Description: Intake @ 106
Attached picture Intake @106.jpg

Description: Intake @ .050
Attached picture Intake @ .050.jpg

Description: Exhaust @ 106
Attached picture Exhaout @ 106.jpg

Description: Exhaust @ .050
Attached picture Exhaust @ .050.jpg
Posted By: Phak1 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Sun Apr 19 2020 12:14 PM
I just read your Project Journal. Great story and a great tribute to your Senior Master Sargent. I’ll be following you posts. Keep up the good work!

PS Thank you for your service.
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Tue Apr 21 2020 02:01 AM
On to the top end. With the Cam installed I focused on the the Heads and valve train.

The heads are factory 327, 3917291 castings, they were available for the 302/327 and 350 from 62'-69'. These are double hump 64CC chambers with either 1.94 or 2.02 intake valves. My factory heads were 1.94, I had my machine shop open them up to 2.02, adding hardened valve seats and stainless valves. The exhaust valves are 1.60. I have blended the chambers slightly and matched the gaskets on both the intake and exhaust ports.

In addition to having the hardened seats added I had the heads machined for screw in studs and Manley guide plates. The heads were surfaced and the valve guides were also replaced. I CC'd the heads while blending the chambers, after being surfaced the chambers averaged 59.5 CC's. With the pistons I have chosen the compression should be close to 10.5 to 1.

The heads were reassembled using hardened retainers and locks, I used Edelbrock "Sure Seat" valve springs. The valve springs are dual coil rated at 110 Lbs seat pressure, 285 Lbs open pressure at .490" of lift. These are installed at 1.7" seat height with 1.160" coil bind. I chose Speedway stamped steel roller rockers, 1.6 intake and 1.5 exhaust ratio. The 1.6 ratio intake will add 200 RPM to the top end. Along with the rocker arms I selected Speedway's 5/16" Chrome Moly push rods.

Again all hardware was from ARP.

Description: Valve Guides and Casting Numbers
Attached picture Valve Guides and Casting Numbers.jpg

Description: Head Gasket
Attached picture Head Gasket.jpg

Description: Heads Torqued
Attached picture Heads Mounted.jpg

Description: CC set up
Attached picture CC Set Up.jpg

Description: CC Volume
Attached picture CC Volume.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Sat Apr 25 2020 01:36 PM
I ran into a snag with the oil pan. The addition of the windage tray wouldn't allow me to use the original oil pan. I was aware the some modification would be required but even after trimming the length of the studs it was evident that this wasn't going to work. I measured the depth of the pan, the factory 2 bolt main pan tapers at the front, this was just going to be to narrow for the windage tray.

I spent the afternoon on the web researching factory style pans, the later 4 bolt oil pans were deeper in the front and wider at the bottom. I have amassed a ton of parts over the years but sadly did not have a 4 bolt pan. I have a complete 350, a marine engine, the pan on it was altogether different. A call to Jegs and some discussion with one of their Techs and the correct pan was on it's way. In the time being I did the final assembly of the oil pump and pick up screen, I had thought of using a high volume pump but decided the standard pump was more the suitable.

Fast forward to later this week and the FedEx driver brought me the oil pan. (I'm on a first name basis with our delivery drivers) The new pan dropped right into place, all that fuss was over. I only used the corner bolts and couple in the center for now, I plan to paint the engine with ceramic paint and do final assembly with polished stainless hardware.

Description: Windage Tray and Oil Pump
Attached picture Oil Pump and Windage Tray.jpg

Description: Modified Studs
Attached picture Modified Studs.jpg

Description: Oil Pump Pick Up
Attached picture Mounting Pick Up.jpg

Description: New Oil Pan
Attached picture New Oil Pan.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Wed May 06 2020 04:47 PM
I had to take a break from the 59' project to get some Honey Do's done. As the saying goes "If Momma ain't happy nobody's happy". Working on our back deck and trying to finish up the laminate flooring.

I have made good use of my COVID19 stimulus money, I ordered a aluminium radiator from Cold Case, bought an air cleaner and valve covers from Amazon, found a NOS thermostat housing and used OEM oil filler cap on EBay.

I did sneak off to the wrecking and plundered for an afternoon with my Son, scored a 5 speed transmission for $145.00. Had a good day.
Posted By: S10DRAGINGASS95 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Thu May 07 2020 02:39 PM
59 Apache is my dream truck. Subscribed!
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Wed Sep 09 2020 09:40 PM
I'm trying a new approach on making time for the 59' "Truck Tuesday". I thought this way my better Half will know what my plans are for my time. Last night I pulled one of the front fender down from the loft, that took a couple of hours. I have yet to paint my engine or finish the frame assembly.
I pulled the fender down so that my brother in law could get involved with the truck. he's going to weld the patch panel for me and get the fender prepped for epoxy. It's first time the fender has seen daylight since 2012.

Attached picture Front Right Fender.jpg
Posted By: DoubleDingo Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Thu Sep 10 2020 12:05 AM
Cool project. I'm glad I'm not the only one that seems to not have time for the projects. For me it doesn't help not having a garage or shop.
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Thu Oct 01 2020 11:51 PM
So I'm trying take Rusty Rods 15 minutes a day a little farther. I do trying to devote one full evening during the week to doing something on the truck, "Truck Tuesday". The way I figure it now my Wife knows shat is happening once I get in from work...
This week I concentrated on some of the smaller parts for my frame. I had already coated everything with POR15 base coat, now on to the top coat. Everything must be scuffed with 320 and wiped clean with pre-clean prior to the top coat. The top coat is applied in two thin coats. I chose the "Chassis Black" for the top coat.

Attached picture Motor Mounts.jpg
Attached picture Trans Crossmember.jpg
Attached picture Sshock Mount 2.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Mon Oct 05 2020 11:19 PM
Over the weekend I cleaned up a set of Headers and painted them. The Headers were given to me by a friend that bought them for a Buick with a SBC, they didn't fit with the chassis so he offered them up... Price was right "FREE". He had already dimpled one of the down tubes so that had to be straightened out, they have never been run. I mocked up the engine in the frame with the headers and had no clearance problems. I used VHT ceramic exhaust paint, applied 2 coats. I chose white as it lends to the "Old school" look of the engine. My Dad had a set of Doug's headers years ago that were white out of the box, just a nod to him and his truck.

Description: Headers
Attached picture Headers.jpg
Posted By: glenns towing Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Tue Oct 06 2020 12:20 AM
Awesome props to your Dad as well. When mounted, be sure to post another pic. thumbs_up
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Sun Oct 11 2020 02:42 PM
This week I finished the top coat of POR15 on the front axel. The top coat is used to prevent UV rays from oxidizing he finish, it's applied in 2 thin coats with about 24 hours between. I took advantage of a hot sunny afternoon to let the paint cure. I'm really getting excited about finishing the chassis, from now on when something gets bolted in place it will be for the last time. I still have a few mods to make, hydro-booster, clutch pedal and steering gear, but those can all be completed on a rolling chassis. thumbs_up thumbs_up

Description: Front Axel
Attached picture Front Axel.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Mon Oct 12 2020 10:57 PM
I spent the past couple of days finishing up the Rear Axel and Leaf springs. Everything was coated in POR15 for a final finish. I have read some great reviews on POR15 and found it fairly easy to use with good results. The finish is self leveling so it leaves a smooth look on the parts, it cures hard in about 3 days. The rear axel is going to be moved to over the springs so I mounted the perches under the tubes. The rear is a 72' GM 8.2 10 Bolt (from an El Camino), I fitted it with a Richmond Gear locker and 3:08 ring and pinion. I added the red rear cover to accent the housing and carry the engine color through the drive train. I will mount the brakes once it installed in the frame.

The leaf springs have been reworked. I remove 3 leaves from the front spring packs to soften the ride. After some one-on-one tutoring from HRL, I added 1 leaf back making the count 5.

The rear spring packs have 5 leaves as well, the second leaf is the same length as the main leaf with a clamp added to secure it solid. The reason for the second leaf is to stiffen the spring and aid with traction. My father used a similar set up on his 56" 210 with the addition of a ladder bar (it hooked up really well). I'm going to add traction bars to finish up the rear suspension.

Both front and rear leaves have spring clamps added to keep things aligned (I found theses on 4Wheel Warehouse, their from Rancho). All bushings have been replaced and new larger 3/8" center bolts were added along with Teflon spring liners(from Speedway).

Description: Rear Axel 1
Attached picture Rear Axel 1.jpg

Description: Rear Axel 2
Attached picture Rear Axel 2.jpg

Description: Leaf Springs
Attached picture Leaf Springs.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Mon Oct 12 2020 11:03 PM
Leaf Spring Clamps

Description: Leaf Spring Clamps 1
Attached picture Spring Clamp 1.jpg

Description: Leaf Spring Clamps 2
Attached picture Spring Clamp 2.jpg

Description: Leaf Spring Clamps 3
Attached picture Spring Clamp 3.jpg
Posted By: Phak1 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Tue Oct 13 2020 12:52 AM
Nice work Craig! You seem like your really motivated and finally getting things done. Nice find on those clamps. Keep it up good work!
Posted By: Canadian_guy Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Sat Oct 17 2020 03:43 PM
Looking good!

Final assembly, I am so jealous...
The satisfaction, the accomplishment, great work - keep posting

Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Fri Oct 23 2020 12:58 AM
So as things go this week was a set back. I left the base coat of POR15 on the frame exposed to the elements for to long and had to recoat it, no real problem just time. I worked at it a couple of evenings and now have it ready to top coat. The plan is to complete the top coat this weekend and allow the finish to cure before I start bolting the chassis back together.

I spent a couple of hours on some small parts. I painted the front brake calipers with Dupli-Color Ceramic Caliper paint. Now I know that with my choice of wheels no one will ever see them, but I know their painted.

I ordered a couple of parts as well, the clutch set from Jegs, a street performance set that should work well with the 327 and Muncie. I also ordered a Tack, a Bosch retro, styled after the 60's Sun Tach's. I'll use this on the engine panel when I start the engine and later mounted on the dash as my Dad's was.

Description: Caliper 1
Attached picture Caliper 1.jpg

Description: Caliper 2
Attached picture Caliper 2.jpg

Description: Clutch Set 1
Attached picture Clutch Set 1.jpg

Description: Clutch Set 2
Attached picture Clutch Set 2.jpg

Description: Tach
Attached picture Tach.jpg
Posted By: DoubleDingo Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Fri Oct 23 2020 08:26 PM
Making good progress
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Mon Oct 26 2020 12:42 AM
Had great weather here this weekend. I applied the first coat of the POR15 Top Coat to the frame. There was some prep work involved, scuff sanding with 320 grit and washing afterwards, the last step was to wipe the frame down with Pre Prep. I had thought about spraying the Top Coat but decided to just brush it on as I had with the Base Coat. The Top Coat evened out and dried smooth for nice consistent finish. So far I'm pleased with the results using POR15 products, you need to work quickly as the product sets up fast. I don't have much clean up, I use cheap HF brushes, those get one use and then trashed, the rest is just paint thinner.

I will try to finish the second coat this week and then it time to start bolting the suspension together... AT LAST!!!!! yahoo

Description: Frame Top Coat
Attached picture Frame Top Coat.jpg
Posted By: Phak1 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Mon Oct 26 2020 01:18 PM
Looking good! It’s always nice to turn that corner from disassembling to assembling! Keep up the good work!
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Sun Nov 01 2020 09:32 PM
Like many of you I do almost all the work on the truck by myself. At the moment I need to turn the frame over to finish the Top Coat, just cant do it myself, so I'm waiting.

In the meantime I have cleaned all the shackle bolts and installed new zerk fittings and greased the new spring eye bushings. Once the frame is flipped I can mount the springs.

I ordered parts this week as well, seems I'm missing 1 front and one rear U-bolt ( my son just lowered his S!10 , Hmmm). I also ordered the hydraulic slave cylinder and release bearing for the clutch. Short of some odds and end with hardware I have most everything for the chassis one hand now.

It's going to be great day when it's on 4 wheels again... thumbs_up
Posted By: klhansen Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Sun Nov 01 2020 09:42 PM
Originally Posted by TUTS 59
Like many of you I do almost all the work on the truck by myself. At the moment I need to turn the frame over to finish the Top Coat, just cant do it myself, so I'm waiting.
Craig, If I was closer, I'd come help. I tried flipping mine myself when cleaning it up, but nearly lost control of it. Came to my senses and had my wife come out and steady it when it was up on edge.
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Wed Nov 04 2020 12:45 AM
Well it's Truck Tuesday- I got the frame turned over this afternoon. I enlisted some help (literally) had a couple of my former Troops give me a hand, your right Kevin it's good to have friends. I will finish the Top Coat later this week.

I took advantage of some time and worked on fitting the front drive and Headers on the engine. I used a POL power steering pump bracket, as with most of this build it required a little constructive engineering to fit just right. The alternator bracket is a Specter set up from Speedway, it didn't require much work other than some grinding on the waterpump mounting point and a little bending of upper bracket.

I hung the headers on the block to insure they had would work with the alternator mount. No issues with the Headers, they look COOL to boot.

I still need to mount the pulleys and fit a belt, I plan to use just a single serpentine belt for it all. The power steering pump will need to be moved back to allow this work. The goal is to have everything worked out prior to painting the engine. So making progress and have fun in the shop (well shed). grin

Description: Front drive
Attached picture Front Drive Layout.jpg

Description: Alternator mount
Attached picture Alternator Moch Up.jpg

Description: Headers
Attached picture Header Fitting.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Sat Nov 07 2020 12:35 AM
A couple of weeks ago I took one of my fenders to my Brother-in-Law, he had been wanting to get involved with the truck. I had ordered a lower patch panel some time back so I had all he would need to get started . He is not a new comer to welding panels, he repaired all of the panels on his 50' F1 and did a good job on it.

Today he sent me a picture of my fender cut and having the patch mocked up, he said he would get it welded in the next week or so. Some times help is a good thing. smile

Description: Passenger Side Fender
Attached picture Passenger Side Fender.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Sun Nov 08 2020 09:52 PM
I try not to complain about the weather down here, I know many of your are dealing with freezing temps or knee deep snow. We had one and off rain for most of the weekend so I didn't get the Top Coat completed on the frame. I did what I could and worked between the showers.

I managed to get the springs mounted on the frame, the rear are only hand tight as I will need to lower them to mount the rearend. I replaced all the hardware and bushings, new shackle bolts and pins as well. I chose to use stainless Poly Lock nuts and stainless washers on the shackles, I wanted something that would stay tight and not rust. I think the end result looks decent too.

The next step would be to mount the front axle, hopefully this next week. I feels great to be seeing some progress after so long. grin

Description: Front Spring
Attached picture Front Spring.jpg

Description: Frame with springs
Attached picture Frame With Springs.jpg

Description: Stainless Hardware
Attached picture Stainless Hardware.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Wed Nov 11 2020 09:51 PM
First of all "Happy Veterans Day" to all of My Brothers In Arms and thank you for your Service to this Country.

I spent the better part of the day with just myself, working on the 59', it's therapy for the mind and body. I tried to concentrate on getting the frame together, the rain has put a damper on my applying the Top Coat so I made the best of it and started some assembly. I used some creative engineering and my engine hoist to get things moved around and in position, it's amazing what you can come up with to get a job done. I set the rear axle in place and bolted up my traction bars, the traction bars serve as the bottom plate for the rear suspension. Having already mocked everything up this assemble went smoothly.

I re-positioned the frame and started on the front axle, again no problems at all. I still need to fabricate the lower mounts for the sway bar, this will attach to the front set of U-Bolts so I chose to leave them off for the time being. I want to be able to set up the sway bars with some weight on the chassis.

I took advantage of a break in the rain and mounted the tires, these wont stay on the frame as yet, I just wanted to get an idea of how the frame set. I took a few minutes and measured the front axel scrub line in conjunction to the lower rim lip height. As this is a Sid's 4" drop axle I my need to rethink my tire and wheel choice, that of course is for a later day.

I spent an entire morning and most of the afternoon getting the chassis to this point, a "ROLLER", after years of planning it's finally coming together. I may celebrate with a Beer and toast to my fellow Vets, just a Great Day... thumbs_up thumbs_up

Description: Rear Axle
Attached picture Rear Axel 4.jpg

Description: Rear Axle 2
Attached picture Rear Axel 3.jpg

Description: Rear Axel 5
Attached picture Rear Axel 5.jpg

Description: Rear Axel 6
Attached picture Rear Axel 6.jpg

Description: Traction Bars
Attached picture Traction Bars 1.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Wed Nov 11 2020 09:55 PM
More Pictures from this Morning:

Description: Front Axle
Attached picture Front Axle 1.jpg

Description: Front Axel 2
Attached picture Front Axel 2.jpg

Description: Front Axel 3
Attached picture Front Axel 3.jpg

Description: Scrub Line
Attached picture Axel Scrub Line.jpg

Description: Tire Rim Height
Attached picture Rim Height.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Wed Nov 11 2020 09:57 PM
And just one more:

Description: Rolling Chassis
Attached picture Rolling Chassis.jpg
Posted By: Apache1 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Wed Nov 11 2020 10:21 PM
Those slapper bars look a little on the long side. IMHO
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Thu Nov 12 2020 12:47 PM
When I mocked everything up I added weight to the chassis to compress the springs for normal ride height. At the loaded spring height the snubbers (which aren't mounted in the picture) are positioned about 3/4" just under the front spring eye. I can adjust the snubber mounting point 1" forward or rear as may be needed once it's actually under load.

Thanks for following.
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Tue Nov 17 2020 12:52 PM
This past week end I was only able to spend a couple of hours on the Truck.

I mounted the engine mounts to the frame using Grade 8, 3/8" X 24 x 11/4" bolts and swedge type locking nuts. I bought all the hardware from our local Automotive Fasteners, I was surprised at how reasonable the cost was. I spent a total of $16.60 for 20 bolts, nuts and lock washers and additional 40 flat washers.

I mounted the transmission cross member and front upper shock mounts as well. Everything received a Top Coat of POR15.

This week I'm going to concentrate on get the engine painted, we have a couple of days with no rain in the forecast and the temps and humidity are right. I have a couple of days off coming the week of Thanksgiving and want to set the engine in the frame and get it fired at least to break in the cam. It's seems like a lot of work just to pull it back out again but it needs to be done at some point and I'll have the time. We'll see how this all turns out. wink

Description: Motor Mounts
Attached picture Motor Mount Installed 1.jpg

Description: Motor Mounts 2
Attached picture Motor Mount Installed 2.jpg

Description: Shock Mount
Attached picture Shock Mount Installed R.jpg

Description: Shock Mount L
Attached picture Shock Mount Installed L.jpg
Posted By: Phak1 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Tue Nov 17 2020 01:04 PM
Your progressing nicely! Good luck on getting her fired up!

What Automotive Fastener store do you have locally?

Edit: Nice store, I just looked it up on line. Wish we had one in Upstate NY! Most of my bolting I bought online or from Ace Hardware and not cheap.
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Wed Nov 25 2020 12:46 AM
I finished prepping the engine for paint and taped up everything. Normally I would paint the engine myself if it were just a rattle can or something that I wasn't too concerned about the finish, not this time. I have a friend that has a paint booth and will do the honors for me. I have never used a HVLP paint gun and didn't want to use this engine as a learning curve. The up side of this is that I will get first hand knowledge on HVPL paint gun and set up, and get a good paint finish to boot.

I loaded the engine and stand on my trailer for a short trip in the morning to the paint shop. I figured it would be easier to paint it on the stand, there is a forklift at the shop to handle moving it around. With luck and good weather I will have a painted engine and can start final assemble this weekend.

Description: Engine Being loaded
Attached picture Engine Being Loaded.jpg

Description: Engine Ready for the Road.
Attached picture Engine Ready for the Road.jpg
Posted By: TUTS 59 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Thu Nov 26 2020 01:20 AM
Paint Day happened, I'm really happy with the results. I have to thank Keefe again for the use of the paint booth and him doing the dirty work (Thank the Lord for good friends). I used Universal Red ceramic high temp engine paint from Eastwood. We followed the instructions and mixed at a 4:1 ratio paint to activator, no reducer was needed. The weather was perfect, it was 72 degrees and sunny.

I wiped the engine down with acetone just prior to painting. Keefe applied a light coat for the first and we waited 20 minutes before applying the second coat. Keefe used a HVLP paint gun he actually picked up from Harbor Freight yesterday, he has an expensive gun but just wanted to try this one. He said he was impressed with a gun that only cost $9.00, it was easy to adjust and the spray pattern was spot on.

I'll let the engine set up over the Thanksgiving and bring it home Friday. The fun is just getting started, I'm still smiling. grin

Description: Engine Painting 1
Attached picture Engine Painting 1.jpg

Description: Engine Painting 2
Attached picture Engine Painting 2.jpg

Description: Engine Painting 3
Attached picture Engine Painting 3.jpg
Posted By: Phak1 Re: 1959 Apache 31 "Ernest" - Thu Nov 26 2020 12:40 PM
Love the red color! It will look great with those white headers!
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