Iíve recently picked up a 1958 Chevy Apache 3800 1-Ton tow truck. Itís in great shape for being almost 50 years old.
I was searching through eBay for used tow trucks and came across this listing for a 1958 tow truck. I was looking for something a lot newer but it turns out the truck was on Long Island so I decided to take a look. It was a little rough but it was all there. It didnít run but I wasnít too concerned. The owner had gotten it about a year ago and didnít know any of the history. He didnít have the time to fix it. I made a deal and went back with a flatbed later that evening to take it back to the shop.
We brought the truck into the shop and took a closer look at everything. Someone along the way had swapped out the motor (I donít know if it was originally a 6 or 8) for a í72 Chevy 400 small block was a 2 barrel. We quickly realized the motor was frozen solid. With a new battery, few quarts of Marvel Mystery oil, some patients and a little ingenuity, the motor was freed up. A compression test showed all cylinders were in good shop. 8 spark plugs, a set of wires, cap, rotor and points and we had ignition. The fuel pump was shot and the carb was clogged up. We changed out the fuel pump, blew out the fuel lines, rebuilt the carb and it fired right up. The motor purrs like a kitten now. So now the truck goes, but the brake pedal went straight to the floor. I actually did get to drive it around the yard for a little bit but not the attention is on the brakes.
Everything related to the brakes is complete shot and the biggest surprise was when I pulled off the wheels. The left rear brake drum, shoes, and wheel cylinder were complete missing. The other drums at all over limits. Iíve found most of the front brake parts but the rears are proving difficult. No one seems to have the rear drums. They are 14Ē x 2 ĺĒ drums. Iím waiting on some parts before I can continue.
Iíve started scraping down 49 years of grease. A few things Iíve learned so far is that it is a í58 3800 but someone put í59 3200 emblems on it. It has a Weld Built back. The wheels and tires are 19.5Ēx8Ē. There seems to be tons of parts for Ĺ ton and ĺ ton trucks, but almost nothing for the 1 ton trucks. And thereís a lot of work to do. Iíll keep you posted on the progress.
Check out these pictures and let me know what you think. http://picasaweb.google.com/hanch04/TowMin8r