Project Geronimo: Put A New Spin On It… Cheap!


Have some time on your hands and need a groovy Saturday afternoon car project? And, would you like to keep that project under 30 bucks? We’re going to show you how!

Trans-Dapt Oil Filter Relocation Systems allow you to relocate your oil filter to a more accessible location for quicker and easier oil and filter changes.                 – Marc Lewis, Trans-Dapt

Chevy’s time-honored 235ci Thriftmaster and 261ci Jobmaster inline sixes have been a great American post-war platform for 70 years. And, because these tall-standing overhead valve “Stove Bolt” sixes have a reputation for raw dependability, Rod Authority is committed to helping our readers achieve even greater levels of durability from these hard-working six-poppers.

An engine’s greatest need is lubrication. If you are torn between lubrication and cooling, and which is more important to engine life, consider this, and ask yourself which element could your engine do without the longest: coolant or lubrication?

Since oil provides both lubrication and cooling value you can bet the answer is coolant. Why? Because oil not only lubricates – it cools.

Trans-Dapt offers affordable real world solutions for classic car and truck buffs everywhere including the #1028 Remote Oil Filter Adaptor. With a street price of just $17.99, this is a simple modification you can do on your old Stove Bolt Six for under thirty bucks if you reuse the original oil hoses or have some leftover braided hose from other projects.

Oil comes in intimate contact with the hottest parts of your engine such as valve stems and guides, main and rod bearings, pistons, and cylinder walls. Oil also provides a protective wedge between moving parts so you can keep rolling. What’s more, it carries heat away from moving parts. Without effective lubrication, your engine expires in a matter of seconds. At best – one-minute.

We like the No. 1028 Trans-Dapt Remote Oil Filter Adaptor, which can be mounted almost anywhere including the engine block, firewall, or inner fender apron. All we had to do was fabricate the mounting plate shown here, which enabled us to mount the adaptor to the 261ci six. The larger three bolt holes on the outside designate where the engine block mounting bosses are located. The three inside bolt holes are where the oil filter adapter will mount.

Because these vintage GM sixes are both old school and hard-working they’re simple to service and maintain. Because these engines are old school, they call for more maintenance than their fuel-injected successors. They were fitted with oil bath air cleaners, point-triggered ignitions, and remote drop-in oil filters. All of these items were areas mandating constant maintenance.

If you own and drive one of these classic war horses you understand what we’re talking about. They’ve got to have regular preventative maintenance throughout the year. If you take good care of yours, it will serve you well for thousands of miles without complaint.

The Trans-Dapt No. 1028 remote oil filter adaptor is a simple piece you can locate anywhere in the engine room. We like the idea of a remote location away from the engine, which can be accomplished with fabricated pressure hoses you can make yourself or have made at a hydraulic shop.

It may surprise you to know not all of these GM sixes were originally equipped with oil filtration. Those fitted with oil filters experienced only partial filtration allowing huge amounts of dirt, crud, and sludge to circulate throughout the engine. Adding insult to injury, gasoline had lead additives to enhance octane, which only made matters worse.

Parts List

  • Trans-Dapt No. 1028 remote oil filter adaptor
  • Approximately 3 feet of 3/8-inch braided hose
  • Four -six hose fittings for 3/8-inch hose
  • Two -six to 1/2-inch NPT adapters
  • Two 1/2-inch NPT to 3/8-inch adapters for the engine block ports
  • Home-made filter adapter mount
  • Three 3/8 x 1/4-inch hex head bolts
  • Three spacers cut from aluminum tubing
  • Three 1/4-inch x 1/4-inch x 20 hex head bolts
  • Six 1/4-inch x 20 nuts
  • Three 1/4-inch flat washers
  • One Fram PH8A oil filter
In 1960, the average lifespan of an engine was 100,000 miles. Lead was employed in motor fuels in those days to both increase octane and lubricate poppet valve seats but was phased out of gasoline in the 1980s to improve emission levels.

Though there was mass panic with us old timers about the absence of lead in fuel at the time, it turned out to be better for engines old and new because now there are fewer contaminants in the oil. Cleaner burning engines live longer because there isn’t lead to gum up the monkey works.

Knock down an older mid-20th-century engine that has never been apart and you will understand why the absence of lead is a good thing. Most will be sludged up with tremendous amounts of crud along with high levels of wear.

We’re enjoying the company of a genuine American classic truck – the 1960 Chevrolet Apache C-20 Fleetside known as Project Geronimo. Nineteen-sixty was the first year for a new generation of Chevy and GMC pickup trucks, and these beautiful brute beasties didn’t get their reputation for durability just sitting on the service rack.

They continue to roam the planet because they were built so well and engineered for pavement duty as work trucks. Only the coveted few were purchased for driving pleasure and a nice, dry garage. Few examples in pristine condition survive. Most were out there doing the real grunt work of truck life doing what trucks do best — serving generously without a day off – succumbing to the crasher when their time was up.

Here’s a side profile look at the Trans-Dapt remote oil filter adaptor. You can find the modern spin-on oil filter anywhere for this adaptor.

This brings us to our own Project Geronimo 1960 C-20 Fleetside. This is the first generation of the C/K trucks spanning 1960-02, which emerged from GM assembly plants for the first time a lifetime ago with a whole lot of character.

Our beloved C-20 is a nice survivor with most of its original bones, including the big 261ci Jobmaster six. It hums down the road with enduring confidence as we navigate the cogs and work the clutch.

We couldn’t help but notice items that made this guy high-maintenance. One was the original remote drop-in canister oil filter, which could be decidedly messy when it was time to change the oil and filter.

Back in the day, it was suggested you change the oil filter at every other oil change, which is remarkable to us today. Regardless, old school oil changes were a drippy disgusting mess and something we’d rather not do if it could be avoided.

“Trans-Dapt Oil Filter Relocation Systems allow you to relocate your oil filter to a more accessible location in your engine compartment for quicker and easier oil changes,” said Marc Lewis of Trans-Dapt. “It takes the Ford and Chrysler based oil filter (Fram PH8A, Motorcraft FL-1, K&N HP-3001, Wix 51515R, etc), which makes it easy to find an oil filter.”

We decided to mount our Trans-Dapt remote oil filter adaptor onto the 261ci Chevy Six, which makes it anything but remote, yet convenient and easy to access. Remember, not all of these rugged sixes were equipped with an oil filter to begin with. An oil filter of any kind is a big improvement.

Our completed installation isn’t long on aesthetics. However, we get improved function and filtration for under 30 bucks.

We managed to use braided steel hose from another project that was laying around, and we repurposed them for this project. You need to be aware that raw braided stainless hose stock and fittings will need to be sourced to complete this project. Truly a cheap conversion that adds a lot of modern efficiency to an old warrior.

About the author

Jim Smart

Jim Smart cut his teeth on automobiles in the 1970s with a passionate interest in Ford and Chrysler musclecars. After serving in the United States Air Force, he transitioned into automotive journalism as editor of Mustang Monthly magazine in 1984. In 1990, Jim joined Petersen Publishing Company as a feature editor at Car Craft, and later as editor of Mustang & Fords, then senior editor at both Mustang Monthly and Mustang & Fords. Jim writes for a wide variety of automotive publishers and websites.
Read My Articles

Classic Street Rods in your Inbox

Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Rod Authority, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE!

Free WordPress Themes