Saturday, April 30, 2005

Swap Meet Lessons

KB and I met up this morning to go to the Pate Swap Meet. I picked him up at 6:30 and we were there at 7am. The parking area was open, but most of the vendors seemed to be sleeping off Friday night, as evidenced by lots of beer cans and at least one nearly empty bottle of Jack Daniels, sitting right in the middle of a sales booth.

So we cruised the Car Corral, the main area where ready to drive cars are sold. Most of these guys just leave a spec sheet and price on the window and a cell phone number. It was cool to check out all of the different cars.

Car Corral Highlight - a Mazda RX7 convertible, with a blown Chevy 350 under the hood for only $11k and change. Thankfully the owner was not around. He would have cried with all of the guys standing around laughing at his herd work. There were several nice 67-72 Chevy and GMC trucks, but no Stepsides, not even a Shortbed.

We hit the main swap meet area about 7:30 and started walking the full length of each aisle, at least 1/2 of a mile. There are about main 15 aisles and lots of side streets. We walked the entire place in 4 hours. And that included about 45 minutes of backtracking to find a guy who had some good original equipment door handles for $5 each and some great 68 fenders for $75 each.

I was planning to come back and buy the door handles, but we never found him again. THE LESSON OF THE DAY – If you find a needed part that is good enough to use on your truck, buy it when you see it. SECONDARY LESSON - Take enough cash, so that if you find a dude practically giving away rustless original equipment fenders, you can snatch them.

After giving up on door handle guy, we started walking the main aisles again. I found a couple of good deals at a commercial booth, Outback Truck Parts. I got a replacement chrome gas cap for $11, an OK deal - about the same price as NAPA. I also bought a lockset for both doors and the ignition for $25 with original style keys, a GOOD deal - $10-25 cheaper than most of the other parts catalogs I have checked. And probably made in the same factory as the others.

I was ready to give up, since I had blown the budget already. But it was a nice Saturday morning and neither KB nor I wanted to get home too early. So we kept cruising.

A few streets from the end, I found THE DEAL OF THE DAY – $10 for a set of original 1968 Chevy ½ ton, 2 wheel drive hubcaps! They are pretty hard to find and not reproduced. I have long ago given up any hope of finding a complete set. I was hoping to fine one or two decent ones this weekend. Remembering THE MAIN LESSON OF THE DAY, I snatched them and we headed out. After walking the last three aisles.

And that is when I learned THE FINAL LESSON OF THE DAY – Just because your neighbor tells you that the swap meet is too large to walk in one day, does not mean that it can’t be done, just that it shouldn’t be done. He is an old man, and not trying to dare you or challenge your youthfulness. So listen to him. Especially if you wear crappy shoes.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Off to the Pate

As soon as TBL get home this afternoon, we are off to the Pate Swap Meet. This is one of the largest car swaps in the country. After dropping off the family this evening, I'll be out there by 7:30 AM and I hope to walk the whole thing.

Lots to look for, not lots of $ to buy, but hopefully I'll learn something about my truck along the way.

The things I want to look for:

1968 Truck License Plates
Seat belts with shoulder harnesses
A Manual Choke Assembly
A good deal on a Rochester 2G 2BBL carburetor

The things I really will end up buying:

A parking pass
A Dr Pepper
A hotdog

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Battery tray, short version

I posted a few minutes ago about a battery tray replacement. Hopefully that post will show up eventually, and I can take down this shorter version. 'Cause it was a good post.

Original battery tray in many pieces due to rust and battery acid

Repaired with wood and bailing wire at least 12 years ago

I tried to replace the now rotten wood. Broke it all to hell. Cussed. A lot

Guy emails me on the Chevy forum that he has a battery tray setup for $20 out of a 68 GMC

Gotta drive an hour away to get it, to the town my sister lives in

I will be going up there to get it soon. But only because she has finished her move to a new house

Actually, this seems to be a better post. So maybe I'll leave this version online.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

A few steps forward, nine letters back

After two extra trips to the parts store, I got the battery cables reinstalled and I replaced an in-line fuse holder that had a broken fuse wedged inside. I did not take time to trace the wiring to see what this fuse was protecting. I realized the old fuse was not going to come out, so I spliced in a new one. For the time being, I am using some crimped connectors to repair old splices. Eventually I want to make more permanent repairs to the wiring.

After success with the cables, I decided to try and remove the hood emblems that spell out CHEVROLET. I have not really wanted to do this, but there is no way that the hood will look OK in it's new paint without it. It was a bad idea. I broke the first letter I tried to remove. The emblems cost about $30 plus shipping for the replacement set. The damage was done, so I went ahead and removed them all.

The good news, I only broke seven of the other letters. If anyone needs an original E for a 1967 or 68 Chevrolet truck hood emblem set, I'll sell you one. For $75. Shipping included.

After I finished the necessary moping around - complaining about breaking the emblems off of my hood, and a little more wet sanding on the hood, The AtHomeFamily headed out to Car Night at Home Depot. Funny thing, I noticed that neither of the 1968 Chevy trucks out there had hood emblems, either. I guess I started a fad!

Getting wired

We are still a long way off from driving Marge around town. But Rick is making progress and I don't want this truck to sit forever, so I am still working on little things.

Today I replaced the battery cables. The ones on the truck might be original equipment. Regardless, the insulation is worn through on the positive cable and the negative is easy to replace. So they both went. It was a little tricky getting the positive cable bolted back to the starter, with the starter installed. But I got it done.

I also started checking out some of the wiring that has been pieced together over the years. My grandpa obviously did not believe wire connectors of any sort were necessary. Every splice, and there are LOTS, is made of the two wire ends twisted together and wrapped with electrical tape. Ugly, yes. But it obviously worked for a long time. Hopefully my wiring will work as well and look a little better, too.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Second coat

Here are a couple of pictures of the roof and hood after a second coat. Actually, about half of the hood is just has one coat. After I wet sand, I'll put at least one more coat and admire my handiwork. After that, I'll likely wait a week or two and then wax the heck out of it all.

The roof and hood, Compared to the original pics, It looks pretty good.
The hood. Notice where I taped around the emblems. Classy!

It certainly is not a perfect paint job. But I think it looks pretty good for $45 and a first-timer truck painter.

Liar Liar, Primer on Fire

I said I was not going to start on the rest of the truck until I saw how the roof turned out. Well, I was encouraged because it looked pretty good so I started on the hood and cowl.

I am trying to decide how much disassembly I want to do to the truck. I am not sure that I want to strip the trim and badges off of the truck right now. It would surely look better if I pulled it all off, instead of taping over it. But, I am concerned about breaking the badges during removal, especially on the front edge of the hood, where there are individually mounted letters, spelling out CHEVROLET.

I don't have the cash, or the want-to, to replace all of the trim pieces. So I might tape and trim around them and do the best I can. Here is a pic of the roof, after one coat of paint, and before wet sanding. Compared to the starting point, It looks pretty good, streaks and all.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Red Oxide Primer

Yesterday, I made pretty good progress on the cab roof. I decided to wait on the hood and truck sides until after I see how the roof comes out. If it looks like carp, then I can just throw in the towel and hopefully won't have done any extra damage.

After grinding the worst rust off and hand sanding a lot more, the roof was fairly clean. Not perfect, by any means. If your body shop left it like that, I am sure you could sue 'em. There are a few dings and a lot of pitting up there, but that is getting primed and painted, too.

I sprayed some red oxide primer on the cab roof and called it a night. I asked about the primer at Wal Mart. They guy that recommended it had a 65 Chevy sitting in the parking lot, covered in red oxide primer. Said he did it two years ago. It looked like a big dirt red old truck, so I was satisfied with his idea.

But I also bought some blue paint. I am going to try and cover the cab roof this afternoon. Even though I trusted his recommendation, I don't want to trust the primer for two years.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Progress Pictures

This is a front view of the truck, that I have posted before. Now compare this more recent picture of the hood. A long way to go, but it is looking better.

Here is another shot from this afternoon.

This picture is a before shot of the cab roof. Hopefully I'll make some progress on it soon.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Battle of the rust

This weekend I have been playing with a couple of ways to remove rust from the truck. I had some naval jelly so I smeared that around on the hood. It did a pretty nice job on worst rust. I also played with a wire brush and some steel wool.

All in all, good results. The hood looks 10 x's better.

I am thinking that I might just work one body panel at a time, trying to get the rust knocked down and then I can prime and paint these areas afterwards. It might make the truck look like a patchwork quilt for a while, though. Next, I want to tackle the cab roof. I think I'll save the bed for last.

I'll post some pictures Monday.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Driver's Door Handle

The push button on the outside door handle has been screwed up since before I brought the truck home. At first I thought the push button was missing. Luckily, it was just wedged, cock-eyed into the handle.

I got out there this afternoon and was able to get the push button operating properly again. Without opening up the interior door panel! Of course, this was only possible, since the rubber and felt gaskets that keep the window frame rattling and keep the rain and wind out, are no longer attached to the window. Mostly, these gaskets are crumbled and laying in the bottom of the door, in a bazzilionty pieces of rubber and felt.

This was not a permanent fix. But now I know how to get everything lined up, next time it happens. A shim, that holds the button in place and assures that it contacts the internal mechanism properly, is missing. I suspect it is laying inside the door, covered in little bits of rubber and felt gasket crumbs.

One of these days I will have to open the doors up. But I hope to repair/replace everything that needs attention at the same time. Until then, I'll keep peeking in through the opening left by the missing gaskets.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Not so mysterious, now

The Hole of Mystery, that I blogged about earlier? Turns out it is called a clutch inspection cover and no big deal. But the other night I removed it and cleaned it. I knocked a few of the worst dents out of it and re-installed it.

Could not do anything about The Hole. Guess it will just add character to the underside of the truck. Believe me, the topside of the truck has enough character (also known as holes) already.

I also went online and found a parts number for spark plugs that they sell at Wal-Mart. Since they are half the cost of the auto parts store, I'll be heading back out there, soon enough to get plugs and light bulbs for the dash gauges.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Odd Things, #'s 5 and 6

What's this called? No, not the hose, the filter. It came off of the passenger side head cover, and vented from the air cleaner through the hose. I have asked over at the 67-72 Chevy Forums, but no one told me what it actually is called.

Now this part, they knew what it was. No, not the spark plug, the other piece. It is a non fouler. If a spark plug is getting ruined, you could screw the non fouler into the block and then install the spark plug. Now I know.

When it came out, attached to the spark plug, I was wondering if I was in big trouble. Had I really screwed up and removed something that was not supposed to come out of the block? The plug and non fouler were so rusted together, that I thought maybe part of the plug had broken off in the cylinder.

Glad that is not the case.

I tried to find some cheap spark plugs last night, at Wal-Mart, but their cross reference materials only went back to 1973 on the computer, and 1980 in the printed book. And since they only had Autolite spark plugs, I could not tell which to use. So, no plugs installed. Maybe this weekend.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Carb Off, Round 2

Sounds like a good name for a diet program, right?

This afternoon, once the party go-ers were gone, I got to work re-removing the carburetor. Since I was taking it off, I decided to remove the manual choke cable, that I broke an in or two off of, when I installed the carb last week.

And since that was coming out, I decided to start gathering the engine parts that I need to obviously replace. Plus, I wanted to start cleaning any other parts that I removed. So now I have lots of pieces of my truck engine sitting in a box in the garage.

Spark plugs and wires? In the box.
Cap and rotor? In the box.
Carburetor? It's in there, too.
Starter? Yep.
Ignition coil? Why not.
Distributor? Was in the box, but I reinstalled it. Hopefully correctly.
I only removed it because I dropped the cam oiler right down the distributor shaft.

I sealed all of the openings up, so I can take my time getting some of these parts replaced. And hopefully, once these are all reinstalled, or in the case of the carb, re-reinstalled, that 307 will come back to life.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Car Night

The Home Depot by The Boss Lady's school hosts 'Car Night' on Saturday evenings. I went out to see if any of the local guys from the Chevy Web Forum were there, with their trucks.

The one guy I met has a great looking 69 Chevy truck. And appropriate for Austin, Texas, it is orange with a white cab roof. Very cool ride. I also saw a guy from our neighborhood who has a cool Ford, red and white, with white vinyl interior. Now that is a cool ride, baby! I learned tonight that it is a 1964 Ranchero. I blogged about his ride, over on AtHomeDaddy, back in October.

In other truck news, I tried to deal with the leaking carb this morning. No success to be had. A remanufactured unit will fit nicely in there. And if it leaks, it'll have a warranty. The bed renovation is complete. I bought a piece of pressure treated plywood and threw it on top of the rusty steel floor. Problem solved.

Temporarily, I hope.

Friday, April 01, 2005

I fought the carb

and the carb won.

Rebuild - done. No problems getting everything cleaned and put back together. Yeah!

Getting everything hooked back up, not much problem, except with the manual choke cable. Once I figured out that I was trying to thread it through the retaining block, while holding the retainer upside down, life was much better.

Until the leak showed up again. Yep, the one that convinced me to rebuild the carburetor in the first place. Back then, I was hopeful that one of the gaskets had simply failed. Guess not. I think it is leaking through one of the linkages. But, which one? Dunno, don't care. I'll be looking for a professionally rebuilt carb, soon enough.

I must have really done a number on the carb adjustments, too. There was not even the slightest glimmer of starting up tonight.

Of course, once I saw the gas leak, I was not really that interested in getting her started, anyways. My firebug days are over. Just ask Rick.

Odd Thing # 4

There is a hole in something. Don't know what the part is called and I don't know what it does. But I bet the hole is not a factory option.

See the Hole of Mystery, here.

And please, no jokes about my High School years, or puberty... This truck is a classic, show some respect, man.