Jim and Sabrina's
1959 Chevrolet Apache 32 Stepside Pickup
Upgrades for Downgrades - June 13, 2004

This weekend came with a lot of progress made on the truck since our last report. During the past week, I caught up with John from the Whitewall Candy Store in Garden Grove, CA. He met Sabrina and I at his warehouse in Orange, CA and we bought four wide whitewall Diamond Back P235/75/R15 steel belted radials for the truck. John suggested that since the spare tire is mounted underneath the bed of my truck, I purchase a regular steel belted tire instead of a fifth wide whitewall tire. I thanked him for staying late to meet with us and let him get on his way to go with his wife to the Elks Lodge dinner. That evening, I ordered an inexpensive spare tire online from Wal-Mart. It should arrive sometime later this next week. I hope the opportunity to use it never arrives, but at least we will have a spare if we need one!

We also received our restoration kit from Bob Alder owner of Alder's Antique Autos, Inc. located in Stephentown, NY this past week. The kit contained color codes, a paint chip card, copies of restoration articles authored by Bob and lots of other useful restoration information. I will forward the specific paint information for my truck to Larry at Cerny's Auto Painting the next time we visit his shop.

Also during this past week, I placed bids on eBay for two original 1955-59 Chevy generator/power steering pumps from two differnt gentleman in New York state. One located in Staatsburg, NY and the other located in Duanesburg, NY. I was the successful bidder on both items and they both should arrive within a week or so. I bid on both items as I have been told these original generator-driven power steering pumps have a reputation of requiring regular servicing. We decided that If I was going to go with this type of a power steering pump, we wanted to make sure we had an extra unit on the shelf so we wouldn't run into down-time problems in the future.

Danchuk Manufacturing in Santa Ana, CA carries rebuild kits for both the generator and power steering pump. As soon as I receive the packages from New York, I will drive over to Danchuk's and buy a couple of each kits. Here are a couple of pictures of the generator/power steering pumps I bought.



On Saturday, Sabrina and I drove over to Auto Tek. We met John and he showed us all of the work he has done on the frame since our last visit. I was blown away with the quality of work. He did such a great job running the brake lines. Instead of trying to go with pre-formed lines, John made his own! They already have the new power brake booster and dual chamber master cylinder installed as well as the new power steering box all from ABS Power Brake, Inc. in Orange, CA. In addition, they have the differential bolted up. Even though the power disc brakes and power steering box are not stock, they will offer a safer and more enjoyable driving experience. It was a trade-off between the purist point of view and practicality. These upgrades certainly will improve the truck’s ability to stop and allow for easier steering. I am very glad we decided to go with these options.

John let me know one of the rear axels is bad and will need to be replaced. Tom is going to check with Unitrax in Anaheim, CA to see if either they have one in stock or if they can make one. John has been very particular in trying to keep the truck in as close to stock condition as practical. He has painted many of the parts with clear coat paint so they look just as they did from the factory. Sabrina and I are very happy with the quality work each of the restoration team members has performed on our truck this far. We are really getting excited to see the final outcome.

Here are some pictures of the latest work done. Also, we included a picture of the Vehicle Identification Number on the frame just for documentation and easy future reference.







After seeing all of the excellent work done this past week, John asked me to make my weekly parts run for him. He wanted me to get a set of original shocks for him to install. Sabrina and I left and drove around the corner to The Truck and Car Shop. They didn't carry any original style shocks for my truck but they did have a set of front shocks that fit it. So, we bought the front set and headed out to Brothers Classic Truck Parts in Corona, CA for the rear set - as we had previously planned to go there today anyway.

In addition to getting John his set of rear shocks, we wanted to buy gray engine paint and a car cover for the truck. Brothers too, only offers the same brand and type of shocks we got at The Truck and Car Shop. As luck would have it, Brothers was also out of stock of them as well. They were also out of stock on all of the other items we needed this week. We did however; get to check out the rear step side bumpers that Brothers offers. If we can't find an original one, we decided we would buy one from Brothers after seeing them. Since we struck out at Brothers, we decided to head back to Orange County and at least give the one set of shocks to John.

When we arrived back at Auto Tek we showed John the set of shocks that we bought. He was not happy with them at all. He told us they would offer a poor ride and were not anywhere near original in style. I was very happy with his cander and told him "no problem we will take them back". On Monday, John will start looking for original style shocks locally. If he can't find them, Jim Carter Classic Truck Parts in Independence, MO carries them. With that we said goodbye to everyone at Auto Tek and headed back over to The Truck and Car Shop and returned the shocks. After that, it was on to multiple home improvement centers for more items for our home makeover project!

Click on the Next button below to checkout the update on the truck's new brakes and front end.


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