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Old 04-19-2021, 07:37 PM   #1
daveshilling
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1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Hey Gang, New truck in the stable! I pulled this 1959 Chevy Apache out of the CA desert to get it back on the road. She has Farmer John repairs all over...I wish the sheet metal was cleaner. The whole interior roof skin was ripped out so Farmer john could use a rock to beat out some roof dents.

Rap Sheet:

235 and a 4 in the floor-turns over
Short Bed with spare
50's Caravan Top Camper Shell-Awesome.
Small window
Standard trim, no frills. No arm rests, no radio, no deluxe heater, no trim.. no nothin. Cheapest truck you could get I bet.



Current plans:

Power wash everything
get the 235 running
Fix the drivers lower hinge corner area in the cab so the door works.
Get the drum brakes functional and contemplate the ole dual reservoir upgrade.
Clean up some wheels and tires and slap em on.
Drive her to the local diner for a $5 milkshake.

Maybe...
Contemplate the T-5 trans swap if I can ever find one!


Parts I'd like to come across if anyone is in the Norcal Area:

Factory tan patina fenders
Factory bench seat
Chrome 6 lug wheels and tires
Top section of a small window cab
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1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread (by me)-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock- New addition to the club!!
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, not a single option whatsoever.
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Old 04-20-2021, 12:28 AM   #2
G&R's57GMC
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Hay Dave , another beater ? Really !

Get the GMC going and enjoy it .
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:52 AM   #3
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

lots of potential there, love the stepsides

enjoy
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:47 AM   #4
daveshilling
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Quote:
Originally Posted by G&R's57GMC View Post
Hay Dave , another beater ? Really !

Get the GMC going and enjoy it .
Hey Glen, yes, another truck getting saved from rusting back into the earth. She looks just like my first truck I bought from Del, the Jackalope, so how could I pass?

Of course the GMC is getting working on as well.
  • Replaced the fuel pump with an ethanol tolerant rebuilt unit
  • radiator is gone through
  • cleaned up the rust from the rad support and repainted it
  • Radiator support and shroud is at the powdercoat getting a fresh coat of black.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread (by me)-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock- New addition to the club!!
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, not a single option whatsoever.
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:54 AM   #5
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

First order of business was removing the giant bench seat out of a later truck.. not sure which one but it sure doesn't fit well!

After cleaning up the rat turds and nests and making space for tools, I pulled off the front clip last night to get at the disaster of a hinge corner that needs replacing. This looks like a complicated patch job, for sure!
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread (by me)-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock- New addition to the club!!
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, not a single option whatsoever.
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Old 04-20-2021, 06:45 PM   #6
G&R's57GMC
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Gee the neighbors must be excited to watch you go at it . Kinda like dejavu
Was the carb on the manifold or was it open to the world ?
Looks like you got some welding to do .
So what desert did you find this fine example in ?

So where did you find a ethanol compliant fuel pump ? I need one for my ‘57 .
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7 other cars & trucks , 5 trailers , 1 parts car

'56 Chevy Long Bed I6, 4 speed Bought 1990 Sold 8.22.2020
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Old 04-21-2021, 12:43 PM   #7
daveshilling
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

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Gee the neighbors must be excited to watch you go at it . Kinda like dejavu .
The neighbors near me put up with me, but there is some old bitty who always calls the city on me after a little while, they come out, make sure I parked in the driveway, and things are typically okay. They wont like the front clip off though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G&R's57GMC View Post
Was the carb on the manifold or was it open to the world ?.
The carb was there, I just pulled it off to start cleaning parts in preparation for the rebuild.. should go much faster than rebuilding the Carter AFB on the GMC!

Quote:
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Looks like you got some welding to do ..
I sure do! Kind of a complicated patch, to be honest. Fortunately its invisible to the outside and I will smooth out the 3" section you can see from inside the cab when you squint and know where to look. I just hope the door closes when I'm finished.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G&R's57GMC View Post
So what desert did you find this fine example in ?.
This came from Leavitt, CA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G&R's57GMC View Post
So where did you find a ethanol compliant fuel pump ? I need one for my ‘57 .
I found a guy rebuilding them on ebay. Costs a bit more than usual, but I wanted a factory rebuild, not a repop.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread (by me)-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock- New addition to the club!!
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, not a single option whatsoever.
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Old 04-21-2021, 12:50 PM   #8
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

the look with that capper is awesome
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Old 04-21-2021, 01:18 PM   #9
daveshilling
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

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the look with that capper is awesome
Yeah the tan color is my favorite, it blends perfectly with the patina, all shades of brown.

I need to figure out the wheel and tire combo that will look good with this!
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1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread (by me)-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock- New addition to the club!!
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, not a single option whatsoever.
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Old 04-21-2021, 03:14 PM   #10
G&R's57GMC
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Thanks for the link .

How about a fauxtinna on a set of white spokes , that you already have on the GMC .
That way you can make use of them and get the wheels and tires you really what for the GMC .
Meanwhile you could free up some of my garage space by taking the set of stock wheel and tires that came with my NAPCO.

Sounds like a win win for both of us , and you don’t have to buy a new set of wheels and tires until you’re ready for them on the GMC .
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‘57 GMC NAPCO Long Bed V8 4 speed Bought 2008
7 other cars & trucks , 5 trailers , 1 parts car

'56 Chevy Long Bed I6, 4 speed Bought 1990 Sold 8.22.2020
’56 GMC Suburban Pickup V8, 4 speed Hydramatic Bought 1996 Sold 10.11.2020
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Old 04-21-2021, 03:35 PM   #11
G&R's57GMC
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Or you could just put my NAPCO wheels & tires (there are 5 of them) on Goldenrod and call it good .
Did I mention that they are dark green.
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‘57 GMC NAPCO Long Bed V8 4 speed Bought 2008
7 other cars & trucks , 5 trailers , 1 parts car

'56 Chevy Long Bed I6, 4 speed Bought 1990 Sold 8.22.2020
’56 GMC Suburban Pickup V8, 4 speed Hydramatic Bought 1996 Sold 10.11.2020

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Old 04-24-2021, 10:53 PM   #12
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

i'm sure you are on this already but when doing the hinge pillars it is always a good idea to have some fresh hinges and hang the door first, then x brace the opening once the door fits to your liking. then take the door off and cut stuff out as required. test fit the door periodically to ensure stuff still fits. also, check the front cab mounts that weld to the underside of the floor since you're there anyway. lots of parts go into making the hinge pillar solid so the door fits consistently time after time.
nice find and hey, they all need a good cleanout when we get them, at least ALL mine do. wife would like me to find something, just once, that we could just drive right away. whats the fun in that, i would have to strip it just to make sure it's good, haha.
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Old 04-25-2021, 03:11 AM   #13
daveshilling
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

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i'm sure you are on this already but when doing the hinge pillars it is always a good idea to have some fresh hinges and hang the door first, then x brace the opening once the door fits to your liking. then take the door off and cut stuff out as required. test fit the door periodically to ensure stuff still fits. also, check the front cab mounts that weld to the underside of the floor since you're there anyway. lots of parts go into making the hinge pillar solid so the door fits consistently time after time.
nice find and hey, they all need a good cleanout when we get them, at least ALL mine do. wife would like me to find something, just once, that we could just drive right away. whats the fun in that, i would have to strip it just to make sure it's good, haha.
Thank goodness I have at least one truck that needs only many thousand$$ in paint and body but I don't have to touch a welder. Unfortunately, it also allows me know what a door should feel and sound like, and I'm nowhere even remotely close to that feel/sound with today's project.

I finished it up mostly today, and before I saw your comment. Fortunately I know all about bracing and the importance of fitting the door. I proceeded to toss all of that knowledge out of the window and slapped it in without doing either.... I mean the door was a disaster before so it can only get better from here, right? Also it didn't make much sense to brace a cab that was already damaged and probably not correct anyways.

I separated the patch into two pieces, and welded the jamb piece in first that holds the captive nuts first. Since it has the formed indents where the ID plates go, I was able to position it based on the measurements of indents. Once i had that in, I could fit the other piece. It was very apparent during this step that I would not get it perfect as the cab was deformed slightly, but some solid steel is better than what I started with. I accidentally sanded one section a bit thin so I overlapped a small piece of sheet metal scrap to strengthen it a bit.

The front mount and step are definitely off...pushed down. This is a driveway job, so there will be no cab mount repair, I'll just be thankful if I can get the door to correctly latch and not swing open while driving.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow so I sprayed some primer on there for now, I may go back and clean up some welds, tack in some spots. You can see how straight the door edge is, which is due to damage on the door. Everything on this truck is dented, damaged, or rusted except the bedsides and the hood!

I cleaned up and rebuilt the carb, one more item off of the bring-back-the-dead check list. I use this old metal hardware holder to separate and organize the little carb parts, and it really helps quite a bit.
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1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread (by me)-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock- New addition to the club!!
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, not a single option whatsoever.
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Old 04-25-2021, 10:39 AM   #14
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

I use some cake pans stolen from the house to clean stuff like carbs in. They collect the overspray well. For the small parts one of those steel mesh tea leaf holders works well. Again, stolen from the house.
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Old 04-25-2021, 03:19 PM   #15
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Coming along .
How does the door fit ?
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‘57 GMC NAPCO Long Bed V8 4 speed Bought 2008
7 other cars & trucks , 5 trailers , 1 parts car

'56 Chevy Long Bed I6, 4 speed Bought 1990 Sold 8.22.2020
’56 GMC Suburban Pickup V8, 4 speed Hydramatic Bought 1996 Sold 10.11.2020
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Old 04-26-2021, 01:11 PM   #16
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The Door Closes!

Yesterday I spent some time on the driver door itself. The bottom hinge nuts were all cracked and pulled forward, so I hammered those flat, drilled out the cracks, and welded them all. The lower hinge pocket itself was also slightly mislocated due to some deformation on the door side, so I hammered that flat again as well.

I also spent some time fixing the seam damage cause by Farmer Browns hammer and a previously mis-aligned door. It's not perfect but it's better.

After raising the cab-to-hinge height to it's maximum setting, I put the door on and the gaps were spot-on right away... I couldn't believe it. I adjusted the pillar striker as far inward as possible and it now closes solidly with no jiggling.

A week of work and we have a door! Now I have to fix the fender, and its on to the passenger door.

Am I doing this backwards? It doesn't even run yet, no brakes... and here I am doing bodywork.

I also took a scotch-brite to one of the inner fenders to see if I could clean it up... and it looks awesome! Worn but presentable, just how I like em.
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1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread (by me)-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock- New addition to the club!!
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, not a single option whatsoever.
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Old 04-26-2021, 03:32 PM   #17
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Do you have a big Ape to run shotgun with you?
Mind you that was a 55 bowtie, but the color and capper fit the look
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Old 04-26-2021, 04:03 PM   #18
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Looking good Dave , it’s coming along nicely .

You say you’re doing this backwards, body work first then mechanical , I say you’re doing the hard stuff first . So when you get it running you are done without having the bodywork hanging over you .

Keep at it and in no time you’ll be driving it and then you can focus on the GMC .
Besides you’ll have new tires and wheels for Goldielocks on May 10 .
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‘57 GMC NAPCO Long Bed V8 4 speed Bought 2008
7 other cars & trucks , 5 trailers , 1 parts car

'56 Chevy Long Bed I6, 4 speed Bought 1990 Sold 8.22.2020
’56 GMC Suburban Pickup V8, 4 speed Hydramatic Bought 1996 Sold 10.11.2020

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Old 04-26-2021, 04:29 PM   #19
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Quote:
Originally Posted by cameo View Post
Do you have a big Ape to run shotgun with you?
Mind you that was a 55 bowtie, but the color and capper fit the look
Ha, I had bought and sold a 56 last year and that was the first thing everyone thought of! Except Clint's camper was like twice the size.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread (by me)-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock- New addition to the club!!
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, not a single option whatsoever.
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Old 04-26-2021, 08:31 PM   #20
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

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Looking good Dave , it’s coming along nicely .

You say you’re doing this backwards, body work first then mechanical , I say you’re doing the hard stuff first . So when you get it running you are done without having the bodywork hanging over you .

Keep at it and in no time you’ll be driving it and then you can focus on the GMC .
Besides you’ll have new tires and wheels for Goldielocks on May 10 .
Thanks Glen!

I haven't lost my GMC focus, just waiting for and acquiring parts... although I am feeling a bit shy about the power steering rebuild...I'm pretty unqualified.

Part of me wants to just swap the box out for a CPP unit, but I would love to experience the actual feel of the factory setup. Either way, I'm not going to run manual steering in that truck. It deserves better.
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1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread (by me)-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock- New addition to the club!!
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, not a single option whatsoever.
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:33 PM   #21
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Dave if you decide to replace the P/S box use CPP #CP 50006C

Currently 15% off at Ecklers classic Chevy
# 61-866311-1 p/s box regular price $ 392.99 sale price $ 375.88
# 5559PA-T pitman arm also needed
Stock Modified steering column
New drag link

This mounts in the stock location so the drag link geometry stays stock .

Ya I know more money but this is what I planned to do to it if I kept the stock suspension .
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‘57 GMC NAPCO Long Bed V8 4 speed Bought 2008
7 other cars & trucks , 5 trailers , 1 parts car

'56 Chevy Long Bed I6, 4 speed Bought 1990 Sold 8.22.2020
’56 GMC Suburban Pickup V8, 4 speed Hydramatic Bought 1996 Sold 10.11.2020
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:30 PM   #22
daveshilling
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Quote:
Originally Posted by G&R's57GMC View Post
Dave if you decide to replace the P/S box use CPP #CP 50006C

Currently 15% off at Ecklers classic Chevy
# 61-866311-1 p/s box regular price $ 392.99 sale price $ 375.88
# 5559PA-T pitman arm also needed
Stock Modified steering column
New drag link

This mounts in the stock location so the drag link geometry stays stock .

Ya I know more money but this is what I planned to do to it if I kept the stock suspension .

Yeah, that's the one I'm thinking of...I probably just need to remove the factory box and diagnose.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread (by me)-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock- New addition to the club!!
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, not a single option whatsoever.
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Old 04-27-2021, 01:59 PM   #23
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Fender correction

Yesterday I did a bit of work on the front fender to allow it to fit somewhat correct-ish to the cab corner. There's still a hole, still 1 million dents...I spent some time trying to re-establish some semblance of the shapes and curves of the fender. I have no training/experience with bodywork, just a bit of youtube and trial and error. Ideally I would be working with clean, bare metal, not painted and rusty sheet.. but I like painted and rusty sheet.

The lower bolt is snapped off and was fighting me yesterday... welded three nuts to it to try and get it out... no luck yet. I'll keep working it/give up and drill.

Getting close to dealing with the mechanical function.
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My Current Trucks:

1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread (by me)-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock- New addition to the club!!
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, not a single option whatsoever.
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Old 04-27-2021, 06:45 PM   #24
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

Here's your new shoes for Goldielocks ... gee maybe I should have shoes on too
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‘57 GMC NAPCO Long Bed V8 4 speed Bought 2008
7 other cars & trucks , 5 trailers , 1 parts car

'56 Chevy Long Bed I6, 4 speed Bought 1990 Sold 8.22.2020
’56 GMC Suburban Pickup V8, 4 speed Hydramatic Bought 1996 Sold 10.11.2020
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Old 04-27-2021, 09:34 PM   #25
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Re: 1959 Chevy Apache Short Step "Goldilocks"

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Here's your new shoes for Goldielocks ... gee maybe I should have shoes on too
Awesome, those are really going to up my top speed! Thanks Glen
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1958 Apache Extra Long(Now Short) Step Big Window "Lucky" C4 IFS/IRS LS 5.3 build thread (by me)-Found a cheap truck to learn on
1956 GMC Suburban Pickup: Poncho 389, Hydramatic, Factory P/S, RSD, Clock- New addition to the club!!
1959 Apache 3100 Shortbed Camper Special with Spare, 235/4 speed, not a single option whatsoever.
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