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Old 01-12-2016, 04:15 PM   #1
Northwest Outlaw
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'61 Apache "BoomStick"

*recreating my "build thread" that started in the New Member area.

Seattle, WA. Recently purchased my first home and have a garage now, so what else would I do with it beside start a car project! Some how convinced the lady to let me do this and after a two weeks of Craigslist scouring I am starting my first ever car project.
The craigslist ad was for a "1962 Chevy Apache Rat Rod" aka, clapped out truck that he no longer had time for. It was far from what he led me to believe, but I had driven an hour and half with my brother and a uhaul trailer so I wasn't leaving without my truck. Settled on half the initial trade value and towed home the truck PLUS a 350 small block and turbo 400 transmission. Another added bonus was the spare windshield, extra stock dash cluster and an Edlebrock Performer intake for the 350.
Turns out the truck is a '61 not the '62 he thought, and it didn't "run and drive fine" as he advertised it. Also i'm pretty sure is got a different engine at some point in history. From what i've gathered on the interwebz it looks like a IL6 250? definitely not the 230(235) he said it was. Wiring is a mess, spark plugs look like they've been at the bottom of a swamp and there aint a single panel untouched by some level of rust cancer. But she's MINE!!
I have big plans, but aint got a big budget or all the know-how. My brother is a new mechanic and loves building cars, so i will be buying him a lot of beer over the next couple years. I'm embracing the slow process and the rat rod look it's going to have for a bit. I'll start a build thread at some point, when I have something worth sharing. Until then, any advice or encouragement is welcome. I know she aint a looker, but hopefully she'll go fast and make the neighbors hate me!
-Peter
Pictures: Craigslist Ad, First look at engine, On the trailer coming home
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1961 Chevy Apache "BoomStick"
-First build, lots of plans, little experience. What's the worst that could happen?
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=694506
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:21 PM   #2
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Build thread commencing, in hopes that it keeps me on task and moving forward. I'll warn you guys again that this is A) my first car project and B) i don't have much of a budget so new parts will be few a far between.
So far what i've done:
-got the engine running after replacing coil, plugs, "rewiring" most of the engine bay. Haven't been able to find the right engine numbers to get a build year, but i'm 95% sure its a 250 based off of distributor placement, intake and exhaust manifolds, valve cover shape. It's definitely NOT the original 235 that it came off the line with. Also has a four? (haven't been able to test drive fast enough to shift up out of third) speed manual tranny with a floor shifter. Steering column shifter linkage still in place in the engine bay.
-rebuilt the Rochester BV carburetor
-removed the gas tank to empty the varnish that was sitting in there. inside of tank was surprisingly "clean" and the sending unit looks to be less than 10 years old. added a clear in-line fuel filter before the pump and haven't had any debris show up.
-bled and replaced brake fluid. pretty sure the front passenger drum isn't really working. I picked up a booster and MC from a '76 c10 for $25 on craigslist in preparation for front disc conversion
-general cleaning inside and out. pressure washing revealed at least three paint colors and a whole lot of filler and rust cancer. body work is low on the priority list though, rat-rod style for the first few years has been accepted as the plan.


Status as of September 1, 2015: Running smooth after the carb rebuild and driving ok, during the day. No working head lights yet but I do have taillights, one brake light and front/rear blinkers.
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1961 Chevy Apache "BoomStick"
-First build, lots of plans, little experience. What's the worst that could happen?
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=694506
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:24 PM   #3
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Took my lady for her first drive in the truck! She was a little nervous but started to enjoy herself after a few miles. Her confidence in my wrenching skills is growing, slowly. After the drive I pulled her into the garage, the truck not the wife, and replaced the valve cover gasket and lowered the rear end about 1.5".
Valve cover took about 2 hours to clean out the inside with it's 1/8" of crud build up and another 45 min trying to clean up lifters, rocker arms and springs on the engine. I know the pictures look quite dirty still, but imagine what they started as! Finally got some numbers from the head that may lead to what year this 250 is from. While I had the cover off I sanded off the paint and rust and wire brushed the raw steel then sealed it with a gloss clear coat, turned out pretty nice. Did the same with the air cleaner.
Lowering the rear was just removing some riser blocks that had been put under the springs at some point. Really just needed something to do while the engine cooled off.
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1961 Chevy Apache "BoomStick"
-First build, lots of plans, little experience. What's the worst that could happen?
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=694506
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:28 PM   #4
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Haven't made much tangible progress on the truck lately.
Went to a car show and got some good inspiration, found a few relics hiding away on Vashon Island during our anniversary day trip, brought home the small block and th400 from brother's house, and got some sweet original badges as my anniversary gift! (6th anniversary gift is iron, there's iron in steel and truck parts are made from steel!)
*I do not advise loading a SBC and TH400 into a truck by yourself without a hoist...
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1961 Chevy Apache "BoomStick"
-First build, lots of plans, little experience. What's the worst that could happen?
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=694506
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:31 PM   #5
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Ordered Parts!!!
Spent the time to replace bulbs and reconnect headlights.
Received Parts!!!
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1961 Chevy Apache "BoomStick"
-First build, lots of plans, little experience. What's the worst that could happen?
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=694506
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:39 PM   #6
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

I found a guy looking to trade his running v8 for an Inline-6 on CL and I jumped on it, meeting up one weekend for him to hear my engine run and then he brought the engine over the next weekend. A buddy of mine came over to help prep for the engine pull and everything went smooth when NimRodz' Adam showed up. Got the v8 on the engine stand and pull the straight-6 from the truck to the trailer, lickity split (with a run to the auto parts store for long enough bolts to mount the engine on the stand).
So my winter project has grown from lowering and disc brakes to now include a drivetrain swap! The 350 SBC is from a '71 Chevy truck and will mate up with the TH400 I got in the original truck deal. Now I just got to figure out how all the parts will fit...
With some discussion on another thread I've learned I'll need to notch/replace the trans cross member to mount the th400. While i work up the courage to do that i'll be cleaning and painting the engine, engine bay and transmission and probably do the disc brake swap while the engine is out still for more room to work on the brake lines.
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1961 Chevy Apache "BoomStick"
-First build, lots of plans, little experience. What's the worst that could happen?
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=694506
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:43 PM   #7
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

You're on a roll, good job. Love the 61's, wrap around windshield, great hood styling, and torsion bar suspension and x-frame. Just really neat trucks! Congratulations and good luck.
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:03 PM   #8
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Awesome!!!!!
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Old 01-13-2016, 02:15 PM   #9
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Caught your 1st post and following now, had same year long box with a 305 4spd std trans, really solid. Had it 2 days and a friend from when we were kids spotted it, exact truck his dad had that we cruised in as kids and was looking for years, he just had to have it so trying to help him now build his truck, like yours being a short box, it's got it's own style that truck, keep at it.
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:12 PM   #10
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Very cool man - I am relatively new as well to car projects so taking the challenges as they come. What scares me the most is wiring and getting all gauges, lights and heater to work. keep it up
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:24 PM   #11
Northwest Outlaw
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Thanks guys, appreciate the words and encouragement.
Seems like everyone has a good story about an old Chevy that someone once had. My papa drove from Texas to Washington in a '58 apparently and when I showed my mother-in-law my truck she pulled out this picture of her as a kid on her dad's farm truck. Under all the paint on mine it's actually the same color as her dad's!
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1961 Chevy Apache "BoomStick"
-First build, lots of plans, little experience. What's the worst that could happen?
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=694506
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:02 PM   #12
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

The following thread may help with some of the chassis planning. I'm not sure how much has to be done to squeeze a TH400 in there:

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...gine+swap+1960
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Old 01-14-2016, 02:43 AM   #13
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

When installing an auto trans, you should just remove the original bellhousing crossmember. Installing a TH400 in the '60-'62 frame is going to be a little tight, especially in a shortbed. Depending on how soon you will need one, I may be able to set you up with a trans crossmember for your truck.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:44 AM   #14
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Part of the fun is gathering all the part's for the project.And than Getting it all together.Cool project.
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Old 03-09-2016, 03:32 PM   #15
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

got a little distracted recently when the wifey picked up this old 40's Coldspot refrigerator. She decided it was too small for the kitchen, so it is now my beer fridge in the garage. Naturally it needed a hot rod inspired paint job, and I got a little practice with striping tape.
Now that's she finished, i have room to get back to working on the Boomstick
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1961 Chevy Apache "BoomStick"
-First build, lots of plans, little experience. What's the worst that could happen?
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=694506
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:15 AM   #16
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

The Boomstick is cool.Though the brew has to be cold to help in the build process.The Coldspot fridge is biotchin'
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:54 AM   #17
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Looks like you have a plan!

As for removing engines from beds, alone, with no hoist...ahem...





Nice beer fridge!

P.
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Old 03-13-2016, 05:29 AM   #18
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Y View Post
Looks like you have a plan!

As for removing engines from beds, alone, with no hoist...ahem...


Nice beer fridge!

P.
I keep forgetting you got that little treasure stashed away Paul.

Fridge looks very good.
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Old 03-14-2016, 06:43 PM   #19
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Got back to work on the truck this weekend. Engine bay stripped and sprayed with primer. Removed the heater box and cleared out a bucket of dirt and needles from the fresh air vents. Heating unit will probably need to be replaced.
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1961 Chevy Apache "BoomStick"
-First build, lots of plans, little experience. What's the worst that could happen?
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=694506
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:48 PM   #20
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Chipping away at little things in preparation for the big moves. Engine bay and frame/crossmember painted (trans cross member is coming out so I didn't paint that) after about 3 hours of degreasing, scraping, wire brushing and cleaning. I should have pressure washed more while she was outside...
Mocked up the power brake booster, from a '76, and cut modified the bracket to fit/look better. Gonna paint it the same grey as the engine bay. I'll be using one of the existing holes and drilling 2-3 new ones to mount. The push rod matches up almost exactly with the original.
Picked up a set decent finned valve covers that cleaned up well. Only paid $100 for them and a set of headers (not pictured until i can clean them up and paint them)
Hoping to get the brake lines run and disc brakes installed in the next few weeks. Then figure out the trans crossmember and how to put the engine in.
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1961 Chevy Apache "BoomStick"
-First build, lots of plans, little experience. What's the worst that could happen?
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=694506
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Old 04-01-2016, 01:44 PM   #21
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Booster and MC mock-up. Units are from a '76 c10 that I pick up from CL for $25 total. After wire brushing and painting, I think it looks pretty nice in there. The push rod linkage lines up almost exactly with the original, just need to drill a few mounting holes in the firewall.
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1961 Chevy Apache "BoomStick"
-First build, lots of plans, little experience. What's the worst that could happen?
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=694506
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Old 04-01-2016, 04:15 PM   #22
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Wow that looks really good. I think I'm going to go that route when I do my power brakes
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Old 04-01-2016, 07:32 PM   #23
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Thanks man. I was actually looking through your build yesterday, you're doing a great job. I think my '61 may rival yours for body repairs needed!

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Wow that looks really good. I think I'm going to go that route when I do my power brakes
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1961 Chevy Apache "BoomStick"
-First build, lots of plans, little experience. What's the worst that could happen?
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=694506
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Old 04-01-2016, 08:21 PM   #24
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

Engine compartment looks good. Like the valve covers, always wondered why more people don't use them.

Dwight
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Old 04-01-2016, 09:06 PM   #25
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Re: '61 Apache "BoomStick"

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Originally Posted by Northwest Outlaw View Post
Thanks man. I was actually looking through your build yesterday, you're doing a great job. I think my '61 may rival yours for body repairs needed!
Thanks, I agree with the body repair part. When I bought my truck the lower area of the cab was just horrible and every single body panel but the hood had rust (but I just bought a 60 gmc hood with rust, so make that every panel).
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