Another custom vehicle built by John Harlowe's Moonlight Engineering.
Apache bannerfeather headress art.

1961 Chevrolet Apache 10 Short Bed Step Side Pick-up Truck


A Custom Truck Build Project with Detail Photos and Text Descriptions

Another custom vehicle built by John Harlowe's Moonlight Engineering..

UPDATE : AUGUST 2009 RE: 235 c.i.d. 6 Cylinder.

Here's what I really enjoy about this truck, for the last 3 years I've just done the maintenance on it, driving it occasionally ( approximately 4800 miles a year ) and it fires right up and takes me where I want to go with it — it is a good dependable driver.

I like the Apache because I schedule "down time" on it when it suits me and not the other way around if you get my drift. In any event, I had about a month or so where I could do some "touch-ups" on it, devoting 3 or 4 days a week out of that month for this work — so into the garage it went.

The 1961 Chevy Apache pickup truck in the garage for some updating : circa July 2009.

This "update" began on the Apache in mid July of 2009, and it started with an engine wash ( I "de-grease" all my vehicle engines every 3 or 4 years to wash off the road grime that accumulates over time ) and what follows in this update are a few items that I wanted to enhance but could not find the time to do until now.

The point here being : this Apache is a dependable driver that can be built-up in stages. Now that this stage is complete, the Apache returns to the road, and it might be another 3 years or so before I have the time to devote to the next "build" stage — but that's ok, because I know it is a dependable driver that will go where I need it to go when I need to use it.

The Concept of Ideal [ Perfect ] Combustion...

...and why the fuck should we care about it?

Ideal Combustion = INTAKE (N2 + O2)+ HC = EXHAUST N2 + H2O + CO2

Ideal Combustion occurs when an INTAKE mixture of (N2 + O2) + HC equals an EXHAUST emission of N2 + H2O + CO2. In other words, when the intake mixture of Air and Fuel enter the combustion chamber and the resulting exhaust emission consists of just Water, Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen; then perfect combustion [ A.K.A. Stoichiometric Ratio ] occurred.

The Stoichiometric Ratio, A.K.A., 14.7:1 [ 14.7 pounds of air to 1 pound of fuel ], this is the air / fuel mixture that produces the most efficient combustion process. The Stoichiometric Range are air to fuel mixtures that vary between 14.6:1 and 14.8:1.

Well, shit howdy, now that we know this, why should we care?

If you own old iron similar to this Apache and you are considering a multi-carb set-up ( and you are just going to have to trust me on this ), as long as you leave that road draft tube on your six banger; you won't ever be able to sync those multiple carbs correctly. So read on.


As most of us know, the road draft tube serves the purpose of exhausting crankcase pressure in the engine block, which, of course, such pressure is created as result of by blow-by gases in the combustion process, and as we also know, without an adequate means of relief from this pressure, engine gaskets would constantly leak.

But the road draft tube is a big and rather ugly thing, moreover, the tube design makes it seep oil at its connection to the engine block.

What to do ? Can't just take the tube out and plug it, unless, of course, one enjoys replacing engine gaskets all the time. I think the best solution in the quest to rid the 235 of its road draft tube appendage is to install a variable orifice valve and convert the engine from the OEM Open System to a Type I Open System.



The only difference ( besides the diagram illustrating a V8 engine ~ the principle is, of course, the same for a straight six ) in the adaptation I have made vs. what the diagram above shows is : rather than "plug" the road draft tube and drill a hole in the valve cover — I did away with the road draft tube altogether by fabricating a press-fit sleeve for the road draft tube opening in the block and installed the PCV device into that sleeve.

Photo of the PCV retrofit pieces required when eliminating the OEM road draft tube on the Chevy 235 cubic inch six cylinder engine.

235 c.i.d. 6 Cylinder. PHOTO 7

Photo of the PCV retrofit pieces assembled.

235 c.i.d. 6 Cylinder. PHOTO 8

Road draft tube eliminator and PCV fitting installed in engine block.

235 c.i.d. 6 Cylinder. PHOTO 9


The plug shown in this photo was created from a couple of DORMAN 1 3/16 inch steel deep center expansion plugs. I welded the plugs together to form a bullet, making sure I had enough bead on the bullet to be able to grind the bullet down to a press fit size.


Once the bullet was the correct press fit size, it was off to the drill press for the grommet and PCV tip holes.


The fabricated PCV plug is coated with some high-temp RTV and installed with a freeze plug tool.

PCV installed in place of road draft tube for 1960-1962 Chevy 235 cubic inch six cylinder engine in an Apache pick-up truck.

235 c.i.d. 6 Cylinder. PHOTO 10

PCV hose attached....and...

235 c.i.d. 6 Cylinder. PHOTO 11

...bracket fabricated for PCV hose and HEI distributor vacuum advance unit.

235 c.i.d. 6 Cylinder. PHOTO 12


A much cleaner look, and, a much more efficient method of crankcase ventilation than that big honkin' road draft tube, eh ?


With the hose installed...


...a bracket needed to be fabricated to facilitate a smooth transition of both the PCV and distributor vacuum lines to their respective sources and it gives a clean look to the retrofit.


The re-manufactured generator ( shown in the photos prior to this update section ) that was on the Apache is still in operating condition. However, being that the generator has been in use for approximately 5 years, brush replacement was probably going to be due soon. Since I already had all the parts for the alternator conversion, I decided to do the retrofit while I had the other engine items removed for the draft tube elimination.

The new alternator installed on the Apache is an A C DELCO brand CS 130. For those of you who know, yes, it is a bit of over-kill. Yet, should the apocalypse occur, it is comforting to have the knowledge that I could still be able to weld 1/4 steel if electricity was no longer being produced ( of course, that is, if fuel was still available to run the 235 ).

For those of you not familiar with the beauty of having CS 130 installed, I refer you to Joe Guilbeau's Alternator Theory Page, where you will find a complete explanation of the CS 130's attributes.

1961 Chevy Apache 235 c.i.d. six cylinder generator removal and alternator installation. CLICK PHOTO FOR ENLARGEMENT.

235 c.i.d. 6 Cylinder. PHOTO 13

A C DELCO brand CS 130 alternator installed on the 1961 Chevy Apache 235 c.i.d. six cylinder engine.

235 c.i.d. 6 Cylinder. PHOTO 14


The alternator conversion kit is from Langdon's Stovebolt, and it includes a pre-drilled H.D. bracket, the lower alternator mounting bolt with spacer and the proper alternator pulley. The weatherpack connector for the CS 130 is from Painless Wiring.

The configuration of the CS 130 required that a new upper bracket be fabricated for proper alignment. A new wire harness for the CS 130 also had to be fabricated, I used 8 gauge for the BAT feed with terminal ends crimped and soldered. In keeping with the over-kill theme, I also used firebraid and heat shrink in the new alternator harness.

( I tucked the generator harness back into the I re-wired that harness a few years ago and it is still "new"...doing this just in case the one who purchases this truck would want to convert it back to an OEM state. The old generator's voltage regulator I left in it's OEM mounted position in the Apache for the same reason, and, I have the old generator saved too )


Overall, I think that the additional effort of the wiring fabrication work gives a clean look to the install, i.e., no "wild" wires hanging out here and there.

The CS 130 is connected as such that it still turns on the "generator" light in the OEM instrument cluster at key on, then turning off at engine fire. The light will, of course, come on should there be a malfunction in the charging system, however, the driver would be aware of a potential problem before the "idiot" light came on by "reading" the Auto Meter Pro Comp voltage gauge. I just thought it would be good for nostalgia to keep the function of the OEM light.

R.I.P. | Restorations in Progress. One man's trash is another's treasure.

As of October 1st, 2017 Langdon's Stovebolt Engine Parts Co. will only be selling parts for 216, 235, 261 Chevrolet and Chrysler Spitfire and Mopar flat-heads. Please continue to order using our on-line catalog. Langdon's will call you to discuss and complete your order as appropriate, for your needs. Credit card will only be taken, after we discuss and finalize your order.

Langdon recommends you now purchase parts for 194, 215, 230, 250 and 292 Chevrolet engines through:

12BOLT located in wild and wunderful Dysart, Iowa. The URL is:

and | or speak with owner-operator Tom Lowe by calling 319-476-2172



I replaced the spark plugs a little over three years ago and thought it be a good idea to check on how they were doing. If you click on the photo it will bring up an enlarged JPEG of just the plugs. you can read the plugs for yourself and decide whether or not this Apache is a driver.

Sure I could have done a clean / re-gap, but, replacement of plugs every three years suits my schedule better.

Click to see readable JPEG of spark plugs.

While on the subject of maintenance, I thought I'd post what the typical oil and filter change consists of for the Apache.

Lucas Hi-Performance Oil Products have been used in the 1961 since I purchased the truck in November of 2002.
Every 3 months or 3000 miles the 1961 Chevy Apache pickup truck has used this combination of oil additive, oil and oil filter.
Castrol and regular interval oil changes dramatically reduce the formation of sludge in an interal combustion engine.

Since purchasing the 1961 Apache in November of 2002, I have religiously changed the oil and filter every 3 months or 3000 miles using this combination ( Lucas or Morley's H.D. oil stabilizer along with Castrol or Valvoline H.D.oil and a FRAM PH8A Extra Guard oil filter ).

As you will see shortly, keeping this oil / filter change schedule has kept the 235 c.i.d. six cylinder engine in the Apache free of sludge build-up.

Granted, when I purchased this truck, the engine was "recently" overhauled, i.e., approximately 4 years prior to my purchase of the truck. Being that this is August 2009, and I have owned this truck for nearly 7 years now, the engine ( internally ) remains clean, so I would have to say that this combination works well for the Apache.

To be honest, I change the oil / filter on all my vehicles every 3 months or 3000 miles ( and I've been doing this since 1970 ) and I know that keeping the "lifeblood" of an engine clean goes a long way in keeping engines performing well...long story short, the benefits of 4 oil / filter changes per year far exceed the cost of such maintenance in terms of reliability and performance of an engine.


As the saying goes, proof is self-evident, and the enlargements of the photos below speak for themselves about the wisdom of regular, scheduled oil and filter changes.

1961 Chevy Apache 235 c.i.d. six cylinder engine with rocker arm cover removed.CLICK PHOTO FOR ENLARGEMENT.

235 c.i.d. 6 Cylinder. rocker arms.


1961 Chevy Apache 235 c.i.d. six cylinder engine with pushrod cover removed.

235 c.i.d.d. 6 Cylinder. lifters / push-rods.


As we all know, in any engine oil flow is important, and among the list of other aspects of oil flow, we also want the oil to drain back to the pump in an efficient manner — and — we would like very much for the oil to flow / circulate and drip without "sticking" and burning, say, to the top of the valve cover.

A Glyptal treatment of internal mechanical casting areas and the related component covers thereof, (e.g., the lifter valley, the floor of a cylinder head or the inside of a valve cover ), that are exposed to oil flow, this treatment greatly enhances flow / circulation and drip. I did the Glyptal treatment at the time I first installed the pushrod cover ( 3 years ago ), and when I removed the pushrod cover for re-paint and polish for this August 2009 update, the Glyptal coating was still intact and clean. That's another nice feature of a Glyptal treatment — once it is done, it does not have to be re-done. I forgot to take a photo of the Glyptal treated inner surface of the pushrod cover after being bathed in oil for 3 years — except for a slightly dull finish, it looked the same as when I first applied the Glyptal 3 years ago.

I have included a photo here of a partial assembly of the Apache's 235 c.i.d. 6 Cylinder. engine so that the finned aluminum valve and pushrod covers can be seen in greater detail.

NOTE: photos of the assembled engine from this August 2009 update are posted on page three in the APPEARANCE CHRONICLE SECTION.

Inside view of aluminum valve cover with Glyptal treatment, 1961 Chevy Apache 235 c.i.d. 6 Cylinder.

Glyptal treatment.

Chevy 235 c.i.d. 6 Cylinder.. partial assembly. CLICK FOR ENLARGEMENT

235 c.i.d. 6 Cylinder.. partial assembly

END of AUGUST 2009 UPDATE RE: 235 c.i.d.. 6 Cylinder Engine.

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