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BlouDon 11-01-2020 07:53 AM

500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
1 Attachment(s)
Please forgive me for being somewhat "premature" but end of Nov, I will be doing a 500 mile trip in my '59 Apache.

I really am looking forward to this event !! I've gone and bought modern Ford Ranger steelies with well used (barely, but still legal) tyres, purely for the open road driving from Pretoria to Nelspruit and back. One of the rims is badly bent and it vibrates no matter how much balancing weights they throw at it. Original steelies are going with for the photos.

A friend of mine is getting married and asked if I would bring the car down for him as they want to use it for wedding pics. I'll post whatever I can grab. There will be 8 bridesmaids. At some point I envisage all 8 of them on the back. THAT should be close to its max load capacity!!! :-)

I will also be removing the external sun screen for the trip (but taking it with for the pics). With it I can cruise 100Km/h (64mph) with the accompanying tornado sounds, so I recon without it, I might even be able to cruise at the legal limit 120km/h (75mph). (She now has a 3.15 rear axle).

Should be FUN!! :chevy:

Katrina/10 11-01-2020 09:03 AM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
Good luck and have a safe trip. Truck looks great!

73kay 11-01-2020 09:59 AM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
Awesome very exciting!

geezer#99 11-01-2020 10:26 AM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
White knuckle road trips are always good for the soul!
Take a few spare parts with you.
You might need to do a little roadside repairs in ‘Resume Speed’.
Been there, done that!
Changing axle bearings in the middle of nowhere is always a joy!
Have fun!

BlouDon 11-01-2020 11:33 AM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59

Originally Posted by geezer#99 (Post 8830022)
Take a few spare parts with you.

And tools to fit them with?? I've given up on taking tools/parts. With my luck, I never the correct parts or required tools...

But she has new roller bearings in front (when I did the brake disc conversion) and newish entire rear axle, so that side of things is covered.

I'm confident she will drive all the way there and back not even needing any :help:

geezer#99 11-01-2020 12:24 PM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
You’ll be fie!
It’s only a couple hours.

1project2many 11-01-2020 08:01 PM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
That sounds like a fun trip. I'm thinking you're going to visit a very good friend or you've been waiting for any good excuse to excercise the truck. Either way I hope everything turns out well including the pictures!

mr48chev 11-02-2020 02:50 AM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
From reading your posts I'd say that you are well prepared for the trip. I wouldn't start out on marginal tires though.

Fresh lube and oil change, correctly packed wheel bearings, belts checked and carry spares even if they are the used ones you took off it. That old belt that came off the engine that is the same size as the new belt can ride a lot of miles tucked away in the truck and preferably slipped in the sleeve that the new belt came in. Then the sleeve is parts house reference.

Check over the radiator and heater hoses real close end to end. They may do great on short runs around town but may have a problem after two or three hundred miles of constant highway travel.

Since the build is new pack along at least two spare fuel filters and the tools to change them. Only buy gas at newer high volume name brand gas stations and avoid those cute old stations or old gas stations converted to min marts like we have here in abundance. It may cost a bit more but you have a lot better chance of the gas being cleaner and not contaminated.

Tools, you don't really need anything that you can't use to do what you might have to do on the side of the road, in a parts house parking lot or motel parking lot. Most of the time breakdowns on the road are going to be charging system (alternator or generator) starter, ignition or fuel related.

On our first trip in the 40 after it was painted and had a new seat done in 1973 we ended up having three issues, I didn't think to tape over the gas filler when I prepped it for my buddy to paint it. It ended up with a lot of gold paint in the gas tank that ended up in the carb and fuel filter. That called for a side of the road carb clean out. Then right as I crossed the River between Texas and Oklahoma the coil failed and one of my buddys who was going to the same event loaned me his spare for his 56 F100. Ten miles down the road there was a bang and a lot of smoke and I had burned out the tail shaft bushing and it actally welded the yoke to the tail shaft. We pulled the trans in a Texaco parking lot in Marietta OK and the kid pointed us towards a wrecking yard a few blocks away. The man had a core transmission with a good tail shaft but bad gears that he sold me for 15.00 and loaned me a tub of bearing grease to put the needle bearings in place and Bob and I swapped tail shafts with the old one still being hot to the touch, Set the grease tub back were the gent told us to, loaded up the trans in Bob's F100 and locked the gate at the wrecking yard and headed back. An hour later we were on our way to Tulsa. 3 fun days at the 73 Street rod nationals and head back the 400 and something miles home with the only mishap being that the bottoms of my wife's feet got sunburned because she laid in the seat with her head on my leg and her feet out the window for most of that 400 miles. No cell phones or digital cameras in those days so that may never have been recorded.

We did a 2000 mile one way trip from here in Toppenish to McGregor Tx where my inlaws lived in 1981 with 36 miles on the truck when we pulled out of the driveway. A completely fresh subframed truck with a freshly rebuilt 350. No hickups or mishaps on the trip except my missmatched radial and bias tires caused some issues. A swap to a pair of used radials on the rear in Texas fixed that then I ran over a piece of scrap metal with one of those and had to buy another tire in Colorado.

I'd say that you are probably better prepared than most guys who do a 500 mile run and shouldn't have any problems.

MiraclePieCo 11-02-2020 05:04 AM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
There's nothing more fun than cross-country cruising in a classic car! Good luck and have fun!

My college roommate was from South Africa. I still keep in touch with him.

mr48chev 11-03-2020 01:53 AM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
It sounds silly but carry a spare that fits, a jack that will work under the truck (two if you need to) and a decent lug wrench that fits.

I blew a tire on my sailboat trailer at nine at night one night and while I had a jack and a spare the big fancy chrome lug wrench I have for my dualie didn't fit the boat trailer. My little socket set didn't have a socket large enough to fit even though I had something for a cheater bar for the ratchet.

I was just thinking that over the past 13 years that I have been on the HAMB and here both most road trip breakdowns involve neglected parts and vehicles that were a bit suspect to begin with. I don't see that happening with your truck.
My guess is that you big issue is probably going to be figuring out how far you can go on tank of gas and still have a few gallons in reserve and where the next planned gas stop will be. Trucks run just as well on the top half of the tank as they do the bottom.

dsraven 11-03-2020 04:29 PM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
if you have a bent wheel you may consider getting a new one and using the old one as a spare or getting the bent one straightened. I would do this before you go on your trip. a bent wheel places undo stress on the wheel bearings and steering parts not to mention the tire on that wheel. maybe your machinist friend can get it closer to straight. also, from personal experience, a new set of tires could possibly cost you less in the long run. sourcing them at home compared to on the road under time constraints would be cheaper I think. a blow out can cause sheet metal damage or an accident, not just a new tire. I had what looked like a perfectly good tire blow out this summer. old tires that are already near end of life would be more suspect, especially if they have been sitting around getting flat spots.
just my thoughts, it's your truck.

BlouDon 11-27-2020 09:12 AM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
Drive to destination went without a glitch!

Lack of grunt uphills only shortcoming.

Lots of hoots and thumbs ups on the way!

_Ogre 11-27-2020 02:58 PM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
it's always nice to have a successful run :D

MiraclePieCo 11-27-2020 07:10 PM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
We want photos!

mr48chev 11-27-2020 07:49 PM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
Cool, I figured that you would carry it off without any issues. I think fresh build what iffs hit all of us though.

BlouDon 11-29-2020 12:11 PM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
So, 460 miles later, all went without a hitch!!!

At home I live at 4760' AMSL. Driving around at the wedding area (2230' AMSL), I was again astounded to experience how much effect altitude makes on a normally aspirated engine... and this one is certainly severely affected with its siamesed ports. At 2230', the engine, although seemingly still powered by donkey power rather than horsepower, the engine power is so much more "acceptable" at lower altitudes. Darn...

Still, she willingly cruised at 70mph on the level bits, but dropping down to 40-50mph on the uphills. Thankfully she would hunker down and fight back to 50 once in 2nd.

Fuel consumption (as if that's releveant....) came out to 13.8mpg. Not stellar certainly, but not atrocious either. This of course compliments of the 3.15 rear end and 255/70/16 tyres.

Excellent pics were taken with the bride and groom!! I'll post some of these as soon as receive them.

nvrdone 11-29-2020 04:45 PM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
that gas mileage is not bad. Im at 500' + here in seattle and normal driving - country roads and some freeway I average about 12.5 mpg. ( Thats a U>S> gallon, not an Imperial gallon). My truck is a "49 3100 witha a 327. aerodynamics aren't our friend.

mr48chev 11-29-2020 07:09 PM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
All of these trucks with different engine, transmission, rear gear and tire size combos have different happy spots as far as gas mileage and cruising down the big roads goes.

Even OT cars are that way. On the 2000 Cadillac DTS I had I found out that just because the speed limit on some states highways is 80 I didn't want to run over 74 because that was just below where the mpg started dropping off drastically. 74 was 23 mpg 80 was 16 Mpg.

Best thing is you had a great and trouble free trip and now it is on to the next road trip adventure with a lot more confidence.

BlouDon 11-30-2020 10:57 AM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59

Originally Posted by nvrdone (Post 8842446)
aerodynamics aren't our friend.

I could not believe the extent by which aero starts affecting this truck above 70mph!!!

Still cant.....

BlouDon 11-30-2020 10:58 AM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
4 Attachment(s)
Pictures 1

BlouDon 11-30-2020 11:00 AM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
5 Attachment(s)
Pictures 2

57tailgater 11-30-2020 12:46 PM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
Great pictures and details of the trip! Did you remove the visor?

BlouDon 11-30-2020 05:25 PM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59

Originally Posted by 57tailgater (Post 8842759)
Great pictures and details of the trip! Did you remove the visor?

Yes. Less wind resistance on road and I thought (incorrectly) it would result in better pics of passengers. 1

MiraclePieCo 11-30-2020 10:13 PM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
Best pics ever on this site!

Tempest67 12-01-2020 10:17 AM

Re: 500 Mile trip in my Apache '59
Great story with great pics.

Thanks for sharing

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