Jim and Sabrina's
1959 Chevrolet Apache 32 Stepside Pickup
A Stovebot Back on the Stand - January 29, 2005

As the New Year gets underway, so does progress on the restoration of our old Chevy truck. After a nice breakfast at our local Spires Restaurant (A local California based family owned and operated restaurant chain) My wife Sabrina, her mother Peg and myself drove over to Auto Tek to check in with the guys and see if they were able to put in any time on the truck this week.

When we arrived, we quickly noticed that our truck was parked in one of their bays. This was very exciting. As we approached the truck, we heard John yell at us with his usual friendly greeting - "hey how are you guys". He crawled out and up from the car he was working on and came right over. So too, did Tom and Steve. They were all excited to show us the progress they had made on the truck this past week. One of the first things both Sabrina and I remarked on is how nice the Tartan Turquoise paint shined in the sunlight. This was the first time we had seen the truck outside of Larry Cerny's paint shop.

The paint just gleaned with a bright and upbeat look to it. I commented to John that I bet it never looked that good even when it rolled off of the factory floor. He agreed. He said many of the other customers have been commenting on it since it arrived back at their shop. After we checked out the truck for a bit, Tom told us that Steve had started to reassemble the engine. With that we all headed over to the back of the shop where Steve does all of his engine work. Here are some pictures of the start of the engine rebuild:

Upon approaching the engine repair area, I thought to myself that the six-cylinder engine block looked very stout on the engine stand. Next to the stand on the workbench was the cylinder head. Steve said he still had some cleaning to do on it but that it looked like it was in great shape. He noted some wear within the valve guides and intends to replace them but overall the head is good to go. Tom pointed out the new cam they took delivery on recently. They were both happy that it was actually made in the United States and was of good quality. I was happy to hear that.

Steve confirmed for us the casting numbers are consistent with my understanding that the engine is in fact the truck’s original engine. Back in 1976, I was told by the previous owner - Jim Thompson (my high school buddy) that the engine was original and received an overhaul in 1973. This information was also consistent with Steve’s finding of evidence of ‘70’s era engine work. Even though the engine had been rebuilt, Steve said he believes that the block, head and rods are all original parts from the factory in 1959.

Here are the casting numbers for the various parts Steve noted:
Block Casting #3764476
Head Casting #3836848
Crank Casting #3701488
Rod Casting #3836671

Some technical notes about the Chevrolet 235 six-cylinder engine our truck is equipped with are as follows. It is a 235.5 cubic inch displacement six-cylinder inline engine with a 3 9/16” bore and a 3 15/16” stroke and a 8.25:1 compression ratio that delivers 135 horse power and produces 210 ft-lb. gross torque. The 1958-62 Chevrolet 235 cubic inch inline six-cylinder engine weighs 630 lbs. It is 55 lbs. heavier then its 283 cubic inch small block V-8 counterpart, which weighs in at 575 lbs.

This engine is considered by many to be a well-designed engine that was utilized by Chevrolet in their light-duty trucks from 1954-1962. It is often referred to the “High Pressure 235” as a low pressure 235 was available on larger trucks from 1941 – 1953. However, this earlier 235 engine was of a different design. The later 235 engine built by Chevrolet took many of the good qualities of the earlier engines and was further refined for better performance.

When the engine is complete it will be outfitted with a single barrel Rochester B carburetor and oil bath air filter. The oil filter will be an original style AC-Delco canister type. The engine will receive its electrical power from an original style group 24 battery and 12-volt generator. The distributor will be modified with an electronic ignition setup but the original distributor housing will still be utilized to maintain a stock appearance.

After we shot all of the pictures I asked Tom if he needed any parts. He said the only thing they needed right at the moment was a car cover so the truck won’t get dirty while it waits for its engine to be finished. I said I would go get one right away and we headed over to Kragen Auto Parts. We found a cover that would fit our truck and we headed back over to Auto Tek and dropped off the cover. We said goodbye and headed off to enjoy the rest of our weekend.

Click on the Next button below to see more progress on the head.





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