1959 Chevrolet Apache Sleeper ~ B-Body Chassis Swap

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

The gentleman that purchased the 1959 GMC Fleetside, our first B-Body chassis / body swap came back to us an basically asked for a clone.

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

 

He brought us a running 125K mile Chevrolet Caprice donor and a 4 Wheel-Drive 1959 Chevrolet Apache and told us to get busy, so we did…

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

 

The tear down of the donor car goes quickly. There’s little difficulty breaking things loose, and with the number of these swaps we’ve done, we can have the wiring harness out whole and body off in less than 90 minutes. 

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap



1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

 

Beginning to tear down the ’59 Apache. In this photo, we’ve already cut the steps out so the cab fits outside the chassis rail. 

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

 

The initial placement on the chassis. Note that the engine end of the wiring harness stayed with the engine — there’s simply no need to disconnect it.

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

 

The cab tipped up so we can do some minor trimming to get the cab to lay down nicely on the frame rails. The body mounts we use in these builds are not complicated. We located a welded in bung below the original ’59 cab body mount in the donor frame rail with a hockey puck (or two, or three, depending on stance desired) in between.

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap



1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

 

Moving on to the wiring harness and gauges…

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

 

Layed out, it is a lot less daunting. The bulk of the harness fits up under the dash. The computer is mounted under the hood.

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

 

The gauges from the donor car have been worked into the Task Force series truck dash. The headlight switch from the donor will also be mounted.

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

 

Power!

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

 

We’ll work the wires back towards the firewall connections. Also note the step now tacked back into place after cutting, swapping sides, and flipping the piece.

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap



Back to the body, let’s make the bed fit. The only section of the bed that needs to be modified is at the step — it needs to be notched around the frame rail. alternatively, the chassis can also be narrowed, however, for this project, the budget called for a body mod instead of chassis mod…

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

 

Cut the step between the 5th and 6th raised rib from the outside of the step. Once removed, rotate the piece towards you 180 degrees, tack, then weld into place once test fitted.

1955-1959 Chevrolet GMC Step Cut for Chassis Swap

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

 

Now let’s get this beauty running!

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

 

Buttoned up an and purring like a kitten…

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

A quick walk-around and first drive…

1959 Chevrolet Apache 4WD - B-Body Chassis Swap

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