Jim and Sabrina's
1959 Chevrolet Apache 32 Stepside Pickup
Solid Lifters - March 5, 2005

Another Saturday afternoon arrives and today it promises to be a mostly sunny day. This winter has been a very wet and cold one. We are just a few inches away from setting an all-time rainfall record this year. Because of the bad weather, work on the truck has slowed down just a bit. In between the rainy days, the guys at Auto Tek have also had a lot of regular auto work to do. So, I didnít expect to see much of any progress being made on the truck, but Sabrina and I decided to stop by and check just in case.

When we arrived at the shop, both John and Steve greeted us. They were happy to tell us that Steve had made a little progress on the head. He ran into some difficulty locating some parts for the head, but finally found everything he needed to rebuild it. Here are some pictures of the progress made so far:





While we looked at the head and the parts surrounding it, I noticed that the lifters looked different then the lifters I remember seeing in auto shop years ago. I asked Steve if they were hydraulic lifters. He said, no they were solid lifters. So, I decided I wanted to learn more about when Chevrolet switched to using hydraulic lifters in their inline six-cylinder engines.

After some inquiries on old-chevy-truck one of the internet list I belong to and some other reading, I learned that Chevrolet installed hydraulic lifters in the 235 inline six-cylinder engines in their passenger cars beginning in 1954. However, the trucks continued to be equipped with solid lifters through the end of the 235ís run in 1962. Beginning in the 1963 model year, Chevrolet finally also began to utilize hydraulic lifters in their trucks with the new 230 and 292 cubic inch inline six-cylinder engines.

That old click-clack sound of the solid lifters had finally disappeared from the unique list of Chevrolet characteristics once and for all. The funny thing is, back when I was a kid, I knew the old trucks back then sounded that way, but I thought my 1959 truck only sounded that way cause it was in need of a valve job. I can now take comfort in knowing those solid lifters in my old Task Force truck will continue to serenade us for many years to come! I am kind of happy about that now.

The old valve cover on my truck has seen better days. Steve said he would try and see if he could fix it up. Here is what it looks like at this point.



If he canít get it fixed up to snuff, I will try and find a replacement. I might have to go with an aftermarket or one from a passenger car as the particular type my truck came with has the oil cap in the center and the Chevrolet script towards the rear of the cover. This perticular style appears to not be readily available in great numbers. However, I will start hitting both the Pomona Swap Meet and the Long Beach Hi Performance Swap Meet to see if I can locate a good used one if Steve decides he wants to utilize another one.

Tom came over and joined all of us at the shop bench after he finished up with a few other customers. He told Sabrina and I that if all goes well, they should have the truck pulled into a bay in a week or two and the engine will soon be mounted back onto the frame. The next item they will tackle is the wiring harness. But that will all have to wait until a future report. With that, Sabrina and I said goodbye to the guys and headed off to enjoy the day.

To checkout the engine mounted back on the frame, click on the "Next" button below.


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