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Old 10-04-2015, 04:54 PM   #1
uber cool
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59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

Bought this is May 2014. Back story as follows :- I wanted a SWB fleetside 58 Apache, but didnt wont the hassle of buying in the US and then shipping to UK. Most trucks in the UK appear to be step side trucks, but I prefer the lines of the rear bed and rear tail lights of the fleetside. So when I saw one for sale as a fresh import about 250 miles away in the UK that I could afford and it was a fleetside, this was good enough for me. Bought over the phone with a brief description and just the photos below. The guy i got it off imports american cars and trucks and offered to deliver. When it arrived at my house with a quick look round proves it's miles better than I expected, biggest bonus is that the engine has been recently rebuilt. Glove box full of previous owner info, which is always nice. Appears the previous owner had to 12 years and used it to commute to and from the college where he worked. Hence explains why the engine and running gear in good condition. So not the barn find with everything rusted up! It had new plugs, leads, dizzy cap, points condenser etc. fresh coolant, transmission and engine oil.

Pictures below as bought.










Like most of us these rash decisions to buy don't come at a good time. That is I had been preparing my S10 to go to Classic Le Mans in france first week in July. So only 5 weeks away. Decided late 1 night with the good help of my mate it was possible we could go in the truck if we knuckle down.

First obstacle was water pump had a slight weep. Contacted the usually suspects for US parts, nobody had one. Posted a wanted ad on a UK hot rod forum and someone suggested Rex Ward dealing with WW2 GMC trucks and DUKW's which have the same engine. What a great chap and help that was, I stripped the pump Tuesday night and he returned it Friday am, overhauled for 105 inc shipping. I've since bought a few more spares off him.

Next was the brakes, stripped each hub off to find fairly recent brake shoes and cylinders, all adjusters worked as they should none seized. Replaced the front flexes and bled the brakes.

Carb stripped and rebuilt, rear oil seal leaking, was going to chance it but quite a bad leak. Again Rex Ward was my hero, the rear seal is a 2 part rope seal, followed some you tube clips and how to fit and no leaks:tup:

With it looking more promising we could make the Le mans trip I found time to do something about the paint. My long term goal is for a full repaint but thought we could do something with the green and see how much remained under the primer.




Also do cluttered the interior of radio and CB and random wiring and switches with the help of my young assistant. Stripped the dash down and painted the instrument surround matt black.





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Old 10-04-2015, 05:00 PM   #2
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

Next, swapped out 1 tyre and painted the rims Matt black and borrowed the white wall trims off my Galaxie 500

Removed the rear bump and best of all made myself a cool gear shifter :tup:



It was either grey prime the rear or paint the front to match the rear. The green of the rear bed was growing on me. So we decided to try some fake patina as most of the green on the cab had gone, hence the primer. Not a big fan of faux patina, but so far it's fooled most.






We also did many more things which I've slept since but fair to say we worked most weekends and evening till past midnight and had couriers or psotman at the house nearly everyday delivering parts etc.

Well after many many hours and very very late nights the truck was ready for Le Mans, here we are at Portsmouth UK ferry terminal





We had a great road trip there and back met many great folk, truck never missed a beat and cant wait for 2016 Classic Le mans.
We either got asked when are you painting it and are you fitting a V8, that was mainly by those that did't get it (mainly non car folk). The rest who did get it (the majority) said don't paint it and leave as is. And in case you're wondering it is staying as is for now, i.e. straight 6 ( maybe a turbo) and leaf springs front and rear (but maybe a few removed or drop beam) We completed over 1200 miles in 5 days and cruised at 60 MPH at less than 2000 rpm, so not changing a thing on the running gear. its worked well for its previous 55 years so don't see why I need to fit a front clip etc. Will be fitting a dual circuit brake master cylinder for safety.

I'll let the rest of the holiday snaps do the talking
























Found this on google earth:tup: Truck parked on the previous owners drive in the suburbs of San Francisco, looks like he liked his cars/trucks


Wasn't too keen on the GMC grill, compared to the chevy Apache grill.
I think GMC made a right arse of it! Looks like a big mustache
Plus it had the middle bit missing.:tdown: Found a bargain on uk ebay,:tup: Its not mint and had the top section replaced with 2 x round bars, but it will do for now.



Clean face, mustache gone :giggle:



Couldn't find a full set of chevy indicators, so being a tight wad. Or you could say, ahem following the tradition of old school hotrodders, I've used what i had. ie the ones off the GMC grill :tup:
Which BTW arent even GMC, its probably what the PO in California had lying around.
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:02 PM   #3
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

Way cool
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:06 PM   #4
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

Photos for a local Hotrod meet, where we took the Tot Rod I made for my youngest daughter








yep the Tot Rod even had its own parking space
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:10 PM   #5
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

Just so you know its not a prissy show queen sunday use only truck, its a working truck too.






Next job is too sort that the rear arch out, not sure how i'm gonna pull it straight yet? Might try a portapak hydraulic ram , or maybe lash up some heath robinson block and tackle to an eye bolt in the floor to pull it out.
Decided i would make a start on sorting out the rear bed sides. I had to improvise and welded bar to the arch to pull it down. Crude.... but seems to be working








Gave it a crack tonight with my butane gas torch, got it to a nice cherry red and seems to be work with a bit of hammer tapping, slow progress, but progress is good.

Also removed the tie down catches, they ruined the body lines of the fleetside, plug welded the holes







done some more on the rear bed, couldnt get a decent hit from behind, so with a bit of encouragement from a mate took a sharp intake of breath and cut the rear section off in 2 parts. Then i could give it a proper good bashing over a length of 2" angle held in the vice.

Looks a lot better now its welded back in, a few more gentle taps and heat here a there and then a a skim of filler.



















first skim of filler



looks a ton better than before



turned it round to do the other side. need to

plug weld random holes along the top each of the bed
remove the after market tie downs
knock the dents from the sides
weld up the hole a red neck had cut to try to bash the side back out :shake:

to get nice plug weld a put a piece of copper underneath, that way you get a flat weld on the other side and it wont stick to the copper .















managed using a slide hammer and heat to remove most of the dents and reform the shape of the side, below is after the first skim of filler



my favourite accessory on my truck, in fact its the only creature comfort




my new favourite tool in the garage, especially when combined with the above tool:drunk:



Also tacked the problem why the fuel gauge stopped working. Removed the sender and found it had been soldered before but it's holed again and full of fuel. I've tried to fibreglass it as it's too thin to solder again. But I'm not sure it will be fuel proof? So might buy a new plastic one. looks the same as any old mini or Beetle float.





Took this picture in July in France, but could have be taken 50 years ago in USA. Might get a nice big print of this for my study 8)

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Old 10-04-2015, 05:15 PM   #6
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

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Originally Posted by NASTY-LSX View Post
Way cool
Thanks fella, I've just posted all the old photos of my Apache on this forum as I have found the 60 to 66 forum section a great bunch of guys whilst I built a 63 C10 for a mate. Started with this in May 2015, been off the road 20 + years, no wiring, no brakes, no transmission, no wiring, no lights, trim or switches, smashed glass, basically a rolling shell



and turned it into this within 5 months, now has full air ride too



So with the C10 project coming to an end now it's UK road legal I can get back onto my 59 Apache
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:47 PM   #7
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

Count me in , is it going to get the same speedy treatment as the C10
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:56 PM   #8
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

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Count me in , is it going to get the same speedy treatment as the C10
No I'm knackered now Originally I was going for a mint paint job truck and just did the the quick faux patina job to get to Le Mans 2014. However it's now grown on me and always generates conversions whereever I go in it. My neighbours call it the murder truck

I think I'll keep it ratty for now, but make the underside and interior mint. Plans are to keep it old school, with old school mods, so maybe just drop it 1 or 2 leaf springs. Need to be sensible and fit dual circuit brakes and 3 point seat belts.
The Dodge Dart can be my shiny car
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:59 PM   #9
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

Very Cool, I'm along for the ride as well...
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Old 10-04-2015, 06:01 PM   #10
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

nice to see these truck out on our roads, good luck.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:22 AM   #11
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

Nice truck.
Very cool pics.
Nice repairs on the bed.
Kim
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:49 AM   #12
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

You've done great work so far, especially fixing that wheel arch. Removing all those accessories in the cab made a big improvement. You were lucky to find that truck in England!
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:56 AM   #13
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

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You've done great work so far, especially fixing that wheel arch. Removing all those accessories in the cab made a big improvement. You were lucky to find that truck in England!
your right, I don't think it has been used in anger much, not the usually farm truck worked into the ground.
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:12 PM   #14
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

I kinda like the GMC grille, maybe you could find the center part. Cool photo from its past location in California, too.
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Old 10-05-2015, 04:53 PM   #15
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

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I kinda like the GMC grille, maybe you could find the center part. Cool photo from its past location in California, too.
Funny you should say that, I've thought that lately too. Anyone have a centre section for sale?
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:05 PM   #16
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

I love the looks of your truck, thought your name looked familiar I remember the C10. I think the 59 will turn out just as nice as it.
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Old 10-05-2015, 06:19 PM   #17
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

Great truck!
Nice repairs on the bedside too!
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:57 AM   #18
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

If you can get replacement Jeep parts, the CJ fuel float is plastic and works great on old trucks.
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:01 AM   #19
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

Andy, just found time to catch up here, that was a very impressive repair on the wheel arch.....signed up too
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Old 10-18-2015, 04:28 PM   #20
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

I picked this up friday from Southampton docks, imported it from Texas
https://youtu.be/FRNsUuyfIcI
https://youtu.be/P0_JRTDsF60

next step is to sort out my garage so I can get both the Apache and Dart in before winter
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Old 12-31-2015, 12:33 AM   #21
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

Hi uber cool.
I didn't know where you went, but I see now that you've got a nice '59 build.

Nice job repairing the box sides. I'm anxious to see where this leads...
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:10 AM   #22
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

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Hi uber cool.
I didn't know where you went, but I see now that you've got a nice '59 build.

Nice job repairing the box sides. I'm anxious to see where this leads...
Hi Johnny. Yep over here now, had the Apache a few years and no plans to get rid of this one.

My garage extension is complete as in I can use it but needs little more weather proofing when the weather gets a little warmer. But for winter at least I can use the extra space.

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Old 04-26-2016, 02:18 PM   #23
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

Cant believe I haven't posted on here since last year!!! Well small update as Ive found sometime to work on the truck and get ready for going to Lemans Classic in July.

I've finished the rear bed sides and painted to match the rest of the truck.






Certainly a big improvement to when I first got it.




Next up is a generator to alternator conversion as the regulator box has gone tits up! will be using a new LUCAS alternator from a MkII fiesta
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:46 PM   #24
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

Looking good.
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Old 04-27-2016, 04:26 AM   #25
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Re: 59 Apache SWB Fleetside in UK

Good work on a cool truck.
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