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Chevrolet V-8 By-Pass Oil Filter

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Its 1955 and Chevrolet trucks and cars offer their first small block V-8, a light weight with 265 cubic inches. (Not counting their short lived V-8 in 1917-18).

This series of V-8’s, along with the high pressure inline 235 six cylinder (1954-62), are probably the most successful engines in the General Motor’s history up to that time. With proper maintenance they were long lasting and repairs were possible even by medium skilled “shade tree” mechanics.

As with their 235 six cylinders through 1962, the first V-8 did not come with an oil filter. It was a Chevrolet dealer accessory. Adding an oil filter was usually done by the dealer from a GM kit. There was no place on the side of the engine block to receive a filter! To create this V-8 filter assembly the Chevrolet Division used a canister from a 235 six cylinder and welded a right angle lip on the bottom. Here, this unit was secured under the thermostat housing on top of the intake manifold. Quite unique!

The big change was in 1956.

It was this second year of the 265 V-8 that GM added a position in the engine block casting for the oil filter on the lower side. This was not a spin-on filter but was in a canister held to the block by a large center bolt. Now for the first time the new truck or car had a factory installed “full flow” oil filter like vehicles today. Motor oil goes through the filter before it reaches the engine!

Accessory Oil Filter Installed

Oil fill pipe on side of canister

Close up. Lip under water outlet


265 V-8 without option oil filter

1955-59 Utility Tray

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

What a useful dealer installed GM accessory! This takes advantage of the lost space above the gas tank, behind the seat back cushion.

The attached page came in the box with the parts. It greatly helps in installation for the dealer’s mechanic or a customer buying it across the counter.

It was quite practical to keep stored items off the floor and the seat cushion.


1964-66 Optional Air Filter

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

What an unusual and almost forgotten Chevrolet Truck option. Most 1964-66 truck enthusiasts have no idea this option was ever available.

Paul Bremer of Seward, Nebraska recently discovered a 1964 Chevy ¾ ton in a back row of a salvage yard with the remnants of an option air filter. This was Paul’s first encounter with this option after over 30 years researching older salvage yards in the mid-west. He took the attached photos and then began looking through 45 year old Chevrolet option books. Two drawings were found in a Chevrolet truck assembly instructions manual. They show this extra air filter was a correct option on 1/2 through 2 ton trucks. The actual primary filter in the salvage yard had been lost but the piping remained.

An interesting discovery: This optional air filter attaches to and pulls air from the driver’s side inner top cowl. However, the photo from a different truck shows no opening for this special air filter. Possible the factory made the cut in the cowl when it was special ordered. This inlet must have reduced dust into the air intake system. The original air filter on top of the carburetor pulls in dust direct from the radiator fan air that adds more dusty air direct from the outside.

Therefore, did the dealer cut out the hole in the customer’s truck to install the heavy duty air filter or was it factory installed only?

With ideas contact Jim at: jcarter@oldchevytrucks.com

With Optional Air Filter (in salvage yard)

Without Optional Air Filter

With Optional Air Filter (in salvage yard)

1957-62 GM Tool Bag

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

One of our good customers, Scott Phaneuf of Hatfield, MA recently purchased a NOS (New Old Stock) GM tool bag with all the correct tools. It was found in a San Diego dealership back storeroom. Somehow it had not been thrown away over these many years.

In earlier years canvas tool bags were with the vehicle when new at no extra charge. Later they became an extra cost option and this design is our feature item. As the quality of clear vinyl improved, they could now use this material as part of the tool bags.

Photos show the pouch, the enclosed tools, and the original cardboard box that kept the total package. The part number 987322 was for customers that had bought most all General Motors cars and trucks between 1957 through 1962.

1955-1959 GMC Heater Control Panel

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

heater control

Chevrolet and GMC cabs are basically the same during 1955-1959, however their dash boards differ. Thus, removable dash items such as guages, glove box doors, and radios will not interchange with Chevrolet. It seems it was a way GM divided the two marques using limited expense.

A major difference on the GMC dash is the long horizontal ridge at the lower edge door to door. Therefore, as the accessory fresh air heater was mostly the same in Chevy and GMC, the dash mounted control panels were different. GMC’s must have a hump in the lower half to go around this ridge. The two heater control levers must be 7/16 inches longer then Chevrolet. The upper half including the fan switch is the same on both brands.

This control panel on GMC has never been reproduced as fewer of these trucks were sold. Restorers must hunt for restorable originals. The longer levers are available from Jim Carter Truck Parts and a few full stock dealers.

First Factory Air

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

first factory air 1

The demand for in-dash factory air conditioning or GM trucks greatly increased during the 1960’s. (Automobiles had this feature available since the mid 1950’s.) An under dash ‘box’ (Cool-Pack) was available on trucks since 1958, however, this unit was dealer installed and took up much cab room especially for a third passenger.

In 1965, Chevrolet (not GMC) offered the first factory in-dash system. As it was introduced in a pre-existing cab, a custom non-metal panel was designed to fit over a new stamped larger dash opening. Its three movable vents could blow cool air on all passengers!

This new air conditioning panel covered the portion of the stock dash that held the ash tray. Therefore, engineers created a small under-dash slide in ash tray just for factory air Chevrolet trucks in 1965-1966. Unfortunately, few people recognize this small ash tray once it becomes separated from the truck in a salvage yard. This will be an almost unobtainable item if you don’t have it on your truck!

GMC Ash Remover

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

There are few GM accessories that are more unusual and rare than this item that was seen at a recent truck show. It was offered by GMC dealers in 1958 and 1959.

The item is an “Ash Remover” for the smoking driver and his passenger. With a touch of a small lever, the ashes on a cigarette or cigar is instantly removed from the cab. A rubber vacuum line from the engine manifold pulls the ashes to a small glass jar on the engine side of the firewall Quite a novelty on trucks that were usually bought for work.

Was it worth an extra price over a stock ash tray? Probably not but it appears some found owners. At this time at least two are known to exist.

Even when other “Ash Removers” are seen, they will not be recognized if they have lost their original box. Very few will know what these parts are made to fit.

images by Ralph Wescot

ash 1

ash 2

ash 3

1958-1964 Chevrolet Cool Pack Air

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

When we look for rare Chevrolet truck accessories available during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, few are more unusual than the Chevrolet dealer installed “Cool Pack” air conditioning system. Truck cabs were not engineered for factory air as there had been little demand for this expensive accessory. Most people didn’t even have air conditioning in their homes, much less in a truck that was usually for work related jobs.

Chevrolet’s first attempt to provide truck air conditioning was the “Cool Pack.” The evaporator and blower unit was attached to the underside of the dash panel. It was good in the middle of the lower dash with a three speed column shift but had to be moved to the right if a 4-speed transmission existed. The floor shift lever prevented the air box to be center mounted in the cab. Yes, in this case the passenger certainly received more air then the driver!

With the introduction of factory in-dash air in 1965, the “Cool Pack” under dash system quickly lost its popularity. Its sales then were mostly to a few owners of late model trucks that wanted cooler summer comfort in their used vehicle.

1958 1964 cool pack air 1

Drawing from a 1950 Chevrolet truck accessory Manual (above)

1958 1964 cool pack air 2

An original under dash eveporator and blower unit. Note: the beige plastic case with silver “Cool Pack” letters and chrome plus blue bow-tie emblem. (Excellent condition for 45 years old) (above)

1958 1964 cool pack air 3

1958-1964 cool pack air 4

1958 1964 cool pack air 5

1958 1964 cool pack air 6