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58 Chevy Apache questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by husker, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352

    husker
    Member

    So I got a bit drunk with a friend and we started haggling over a 58 Chevy Apache short box step side he purchased in southern Cal and brought back to Nebraska. By the time he got it here he had 3k in the truck. Its a solid old truck but I thought 3k was a tad bit to high. That's when the drinking started. Anyway we decided to flip a coin, I win I pay 2k, he wins I pay the 3k. I lost the toss so now I am into the old girl a grand more than I wanted to be so I am going to get her on the road.

    I searched the site and found some awesome articles on swapping in a front clop, flipping springs, adding a drop axle etc. I heard of a few other options and wondered if anyone had any advice on how feasible they are.

    Option 1, another buddy told me the front suspension on a Chevy van would fit on my frame like it was made for it. Has anyone heard of this?

    Option 2, installing the front suspension from a 03 -07 crown Vic. I have seen this on Fords and the Gas Monkey guys put one on a 64 dodge. It looks like a sweet setup and I can buy one for $400 complete with power rack. Has anyone tried this on one of these old trucks?

    Engine wise I have a fresh 350 and an overdrive tranny ready to go in. I also plan on lowering the rear but I have not decided which way to go yet.

    I am open to ideas folks and look forward to your input, pro and con.
     
  2. 1959apache
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,630

    1959apache
    Member

    there are plenty of threads on this. Buzznut, GreenGrenade, the-syndicate, dubie, have some great articles on lowering these trucks. Some others do as well, but these few still have pictures and are incredibly informative on the subject.

    I kept the stock suspension in mine, eventually to get a drop axle. You can do this for cheap as well. What is going on with the suspension now? What has he invested 3k into? I have 3k into mine and am almost completed with the restoration, minus paint and final body work.
     
  3. Hip
    Joined: Jan 3, 2003
    Posts: 848

    Hip
    Member

    70-81 Camaro/Firebird subframe. You get everything at once, and easiest to do. Any experience welding and fabing you can do it in one weekend.
     
  4. Bdub
    Joined: Jul 16, 2013
    Posts: 5

    Bdub
    Member

    Camaro sub frame and rear axle, or heidts mustang2 up front.. I do alot of mustang2 at my shop, rack and pinion is nice.
     

  5. Bdub
    Joined: Jul 16, 2013
    Posts: 5

    Bdub
    Member

    Sorry im new to the board , can anybody give me info on how to attach pictures?
     
  6. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352

    husker
    Member

    I have read the majority of the threads you referenced Apache. No doubt the clip makes the most sense. I am looking at all options and hoped someone on the site had some experience with the other two.

    As far as the cost of the truck. Purchase price was $2200 plus another $800 for the ride to Nebraska.
     
  7. jkski
    Joined: Jan 27, 2009
    Posts: 137

    jkski
    Member

    x3 the camaro/firebird sub frame is the way to go with gm rear end.if you consider a mustang II front get the heavy tublar arms it is a truck.
     
  8. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,344

    badshifter
    Member

    Whatever you do, don't replace the trans cooler lines..........That's a project killer.
     
  9. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352

    husker
    Member

    I just got back from a lunch time stroll through the local upullit yard. I see what my buddy was talking about regarding the gm van swaps. With the exception of the shock mounts it all looks like a bolt in job. It looks like a lot of measuring and drilling so I don't think this option would be any easier than the clip option.
     
  10. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,170

    oldolds
    Member

    I would think Chevy van would be too wide for your truck. If I remember C-10 from the 70s-80s unbolts also, but is too wide. Camaro sub is good, but you have to figure where to attach rad support. Jag might work out on your truck.
     
  11. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,857

    40Standard
    Member
    from Indy

    go with the Camaro/Nova front clip. you get power steering and disc brakes
     
  12. TomWar
    Joined: Jun 11, 2006
    Posts: 727

    TomWar
    Member

    I sold this a few years ago, But I put a 79 Z28 Camaro sub frame under it and then a 4 link rear. The Sub frame was easy.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352

    husker
    Member

    That was a sweet ride!
     
  14. APACHE FS
    Joined: Feb 20, 2007
    Posts: 569

    APACHE FS
    Member

    I've heard the 80s truck/van swap looks bolt in but is a pain to line up. The Task Force truck frames are fairly narrow, I don't have much crown Vic experience so can't comment on that. I do know dropped axle and f body subframe.

    What are you looking for, ride height, disk brakes, power steering or all of the above?


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  15. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352

    husker
    Member

    I want to give it a decent look on a budget. I don't plan on keeping this one as another buddy came up with a 56 GMC I want. So I want this one to look cool and be safe and reliable so I can sell it. I know I am into the old girl pretty steep as she sits.
     
  16. APACHE FS
    Joined: Feb 20, 2007
    Posts: 569

    APACHE FS
    Member

    Unless the truck is super clean a clip is gonna kill your profit. IE new wheels and rearend to match bolt patterns. I chose dropped axle on my driver because it was a bolt on and didn't change my geometry, kept my wheels and I could still do more with lower springs and add discs later etc.
    Cheapest too. Im not opposed to the clip, just my .02. There's a little more to the clip thing than just welding it on, if a flip is where the truck is heading I would consider the cost of reconnecting the steering, the new wheels and misc. things associated with the clip before proceeding.


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  17. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352

    husker
    Member

    I clipped a 53 Chevy years ago and know the work it takes. It worked out great but there was a lot of fab work involved. I have also worked with drop axles on a few old model A's.
    The gm van option had my interest as it is relatively cheap as I have found a bunch of running vans for a grand or less. I would have the drivetrain with fuel injection and an overdrive tranny along with the rear end. I was hoping someone had tried this here as the guys here know there stuff. I will agree that lining everything up does look like a lot of drilling and measuring.

    I have a 350/350 combo in the garage and think I will go this route with a drop axle for now. I don't have any major rust issues to deal with so I can focus on cleaning up the dents and drop on what I already own and go from there.
     
  18. husker,

    Look for the "clip in a day" thread and look at the posts by JAWS- the Camaro clip for a TF seems to be easier than on an AD.
     
  19. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352

    husker
    Member

    I went through all the threads related to clipping the old girl on the site prior to posting. I agree the thread you mentioned is very good. I simply need to decide what I want to do now. Thanks for the input folks!
     
  20. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352

    husker
    Member

    PS. No more drunken coin tosses!
     
  21. Now, how'd you get the coin drunk :D?
     
  22. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,877

    Frankie47
    Member
    from omaha ne.

    I'm more interested in drilling and bolting...? You are going to weld your new clip in place aren't you.............
     
  23. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352

    husker
    Member

    The drilling ang bolting is in reference to using a gm van front suspension.
     
  24. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352

    husker
    Member

    Beer pong!
     
  25. The van front is way too wide and your front wheels will hang way out of the wheel openings. I wouldn't even consider it.

    A Camaro clip is a cheap way to go, but you need to plan it out correctly. Too many guys just whack the stock frame and start welding the new clip on and never consider the core support mounts and front bumper brackets. There are ways to do this clip correctly, and I recommend you research it thoroughly.

    A Mustang II set-up is easy, you don't have to whack the frame, but they can be costly if you're on a tight budget. No worries about the core support or the front bumper brackets because the frame is never chopped off. Tons of aftermarket upgrade parts for this swap, and there are even some vendors who sell bolt-on kits, too.

    Crown Vic looks like an interesting swap. Never done one, so I can't give the pros/cons.

    Oh yeah, when you do this job, hold off on the beer until you're finished. I have fixed way too many shitty suspension jobs because the builders were drinking when they did it. I'm 100% serious about being sober when you're doing this job.
     
  26. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352

    husker
    Member

    I drink socially and very lightly at that so no worries on that one. I learned a long time ago beer and technical work don't mix we'll, I am sure everyone has run into this before. I also learned that drinking a bit more than usual on a Friday night while haggling over price can be costly lol.

    I can't complain though as my friend always sells me anything I want at his cost. In this case I am actually helping him out by taking one he was buried in off his hands. I will make it up on other deals.
     
  27. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352

    husker
    Member

    OK I said no more coin flips, I lied. So we were drinking a few beers last night and shooting the crap. My buddy started giving me crap about the projects I have sitting around. I took a 01 Olds Aero in on a trade and didn't have a dime in it. My buddy offered me $500 I said $1000 was my bottom dollar. Flip time and this time I won!
    I figure I am into the old girl for 2 grand now, I feel much better!
     
  28. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352

    husker
    Member

  29. PandorasBox99
    Joined: Dec 1, 2012
    Posts: 186

    PandorasBox99
    Member

    All Heck Nosebleed It Fourspeed It !!!!
     
  30. mechanic58
    Joined: Mar 21, 2010
    Posts: 681

    mechanic58
    Member

    Corvair front suspensions are also an easy almost bolt-on swap on some of these early trucks. How wide is your frame at the axle centerline? You'll have to upgrade the springs and I'd recommend finding a '65 or later to get the standard 5 lug arrangement. However I think they were all basically the same. I think these Corvair suspensions will accommodate about a 30" frame width.

    Here's a pic of one I removed recently, it came from a '63 so it had 4 lug wheels:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013

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