Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Wheels are rolling

As of yesterday afternoon, My new/used wheels are in transit. They are traveling Parcel Post through the USPS system, from Wisconsin, so it will take a few days. I am betting on a full week.

Hopefully they will fit great and look OK on the old truck, too.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Running the roads

My grandpa used to say you were "out running the roads" if he thought you were wasting time away from home. So The Talker and I went out to run the roads this afternoon. Did not really turn out like I expected, so I dropped the boy off at home and made a couple of more loops around our block and the next.

I am still stuck to our street, since the truck is neither street legal nor insured. Plus, either direction away from our street leads to some steep hills and I am not skillful enough with this old truck's clutch.

And then there is that whole not having rear brakes or decent tires thing...

De ja Ebay

Another set of 1968 truck plates, unissued this time, same result as last time. And the real pisser, it was the same guy that outbid me as last time.

Stupid PowerSnipe. No I won't provide a direct link, 'cause they suck.

Edit -

I contacted The Collector. He got screwed on these, the seller said he won't sell them for less than $250. So I am glad I wasn't involved. I take back the bad things I said about The Collector.

Friday, June 24, 2005

New plates, almost

I almost had a new set of 1968 truck license plates off of Ebay. I was the high bider until 4 seconds left in the auction. They were a good deal, guess that is why the other guy wanted 'em.

Ode to the American Farm Truck

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I promised a picture of the steel that I removed from the bed floor, a while back.  I finally got around to it today.  Aren't you glad you waited?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

New wheels to the rescue

Thanks to one of the dudes over on the Chevy Truck Forums, I will be getting a new set of wheels for the beater.

The check goes in the mail today, so it will be a while until we are rolling in style, but the wheels are definitely going to be the best looking part on the truck.

I started out looking for stock steel wheels, but these were too good of a deal to pass on. I might have to keep looking for some nice original wheels, though. I need something to put my nice hubcaps on.

While I am waiting for the wheels to migrate south from Wisconsin, I'm going to attempt the brake line replacement. Then, we will need decent, yet cheap rubber for the new wheels. Then...

Monday, June 20, 2005

Think it is time for new wheels?

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Check out the valve stem.  And wanna know something scary?  This was the front passenger side wheel until an hour ago.  It is only holding air because it has an inner tube inside.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

And this is what we have now

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I took The Talker for a ride on our block. That was an awesome Father's Day present for me!

Back at the farm (This is what I started with)

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It is a lot cleaner and running, now!


The last few pictures I posted should be working, now. Sorry for spoiling your fun. But hopefully you can go back and see the pictures of my first drive. Let me know if they won't work.

The Greatest Mile

Here are a couple of pics of the drive yesterday. The first one was taken a while back, before the drive. And this picture, I took this morning.

Thanks to the wife, for the title of today's post. And for putting up with the old truck addiction.

And for giving Father's Day some real meaning.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

First Drive!

Thanks to Racecar Man spending an entire afternoon in my driveway and a new carburetor, I drove the truck this evening! Here is another view.

It was only a few hundred feet up the street, but it was still a drive. Except, of course, the parts where I was rolling backward because I had stalled the engine. And that happened a couple of times, while I was trying to figure out the three on the tree transmission.

But give me a break, I was driving up a hill. I got the truck turned around and parked in the driveway. But of course, I could not stay away after such a short first run, so I tinkered for a while, and drove it to the other end of our block and back home.

Later, I was heading to the far end of the street to drop off a vacuum cleaner, so I threw it in the bed and drove to Racecar Man's house and back. Three trips, no mechanical failures. What a day!

There is still a lot to do before the truck really gets moving again, (like rear brakes), but the to-do list got a lot shorter today.

Wanna come over and take a ride?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Carb day cometh

This evening, I went over to Advance Auto Parts and finally did it. I plunked down the cash to buy a new carburetor. I found the best deal in town on a rebuilt unit, so I jumped on it. I also got a nice surprise, when they told me that it would be delivered to the store Saturday afternoon. I though it would take several days.

Hopefully the install will go smoothly, and this truck will be running again next week. But just in case, I saw Racecar Man and told him that I am going to install it Saturday night or Sunday afternoon. He knows that I am generally in over my head on this project, so I might end up with a little help on this project.


Yesterday, I struck out. But I was not too discouraged. This morning, I headed out to another junkyard. Nothing there, but I did not find this out until I walked the yard looking for "the yellow 68 Chevy out on the left side". Never found that truck. The closest I got was a 74 that was yellow. And it was sitting on the right side of the yard. And it was a Ford.

I haven't been on this side of town in a while, but I remembered there were a few yards, so I kept cruising. Nothing at the next lot, but the counter staff knew that, so no time wasted. They sent me to another, a half mile away.

This place had a white 68 3/4 ton sitting next to a green 69 or 70 1/2 ton. The white truck has the same blue interior as mine. It HAD seatbelts that looked like they were seldom used. It also had decent looking visors.

The seatbelts and visors were the score of the day, but the rubber horn button retainer is a close second. I grabbed a couple of other small parts and hit the road. A lot lighter in the wallet, but with a big grin and some grease on my face.

I am going to think about buying the front end off of this truck. The fenders, inner fenders, grill and bumper are all nicer than mine. I don't know if it will fit my truck, though. If it will, I might have to drag The Boss Lady out there to see what a great deal it is. Especially when you consider the time that it would take to repair mine.

Or maybe she will let buy it if she does not have to go.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


I took an early afternoon trip over to the nearby junkyard to see if they had any 67-72 Chevy trucks. I wasn't even sure if they would let me out in the yard, but I grabbed a set of tools and the digital camera, just in case. They would let me in the yard, no problem, but they sold their 67-72 Chevy and GMCs for scrap a few years ago. Dang. I felt a little better when he said it was only a couple of 1/2 ton trucks and couple of 1 tons, but they were all picked over.

The manager told me about another yard that might have some. So I might head over there in the morning. But it was 100 degrees out there, so I decided not to walk the lot today.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Homeless batteries welcomed

The entire time I have had the truck, I have not had a battery for it. When I need one, I pull it out of one of the other cars. Last weekend I saw a battery sitting out on the sidewalk at my neighbor's house. It was sitting right by the street so I assumed someone had done a quick battery replacement and stopped mid-job. I can appreciate that.

But neighbor mom came over to ask if I knew anything about the battery. She had no clue why it was sitting on her sidewalk. Since neighbor dad is a longhaul trucker, and he just left for three weeks, I told her I would pick it up and get rid of it when I bought a battery for the truck.

"DING" the bells went off. I set the battery in the truck tray. A perfect fit. I pulled out the battery tester. A good volt reading. I hooked it up to the charger and this morning I'll go have it tested at Autozone. Says it is a 550 CCA battery. If it is really a good battery and it is powerful enough, then I am one step closer to having the truck move on it's own power.

If it is not a good battery or it is not powerful enough then I'll just swap it when I buy a new one. Or maybe someone will drop me a better battery next door.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

8Y 2619

I got my new Farm Truck plates in the mail yesterday. SWEET! They are super cool. Actually, I was a little disappointed when I opened them up. They are a little rougher than I thought, based on the EBay pic. The Boss Lady came up with a great idea, and as usual, I followed her advice without hesitation.

I washed the plates and put a nice coat of paste wax on them. Now they look great. Ok, they look about the same, but a little cleaner and they are more shiny.

Don't know what I'll do with them, but I like them. Which is the exact same thing that The Boss Lady thinks about me.

Friday, June 10, 2005

10 W What the hell?

Friday morning I was all set to get a little accomplished with the truck. I mainly planned to attack the oil leak. It started leaking after I changed the oil a couple of weeks ago. Since I am still trying to make sure there is no gas in the oil, from the bad fuel pump, it was not a total waste.

But it is now leaking worse than ever. Racecar Man suggested that I might have cross threaded the drain plug. Bummer. But he also had a possible solution. I could install an oil drain, like the Fram SureDrain. I am going to go pick one up and install it, once the oil all leaks out of the pan.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Bed Pics

Unlike the cherry bed that poor Brianna is probably still waiting for, MY bed is finished. OK that is a lie. I should say the truck bed is DONE. But not complete, done as in worn out... And it only took 37 years to get it done...

When I got the steel out, this is what was staring back at me. Not much wood left. And the steel strips that hold the wood in place are gone, too. Hopefully the supports that bolt to the frame will be good enough to re-use, but none of the other floor structure will be. Here is another look at the tailgate end of the once-upon-a-time-bed floor.

If you look close, there are several spots where you can still see the original blue paint on the wood and the bed strips. I don't even want to know what is in that paint. Especially since I did all of the destruction yesterday wearing a goggles, gloves, blue jeans and my Birkenstocks.

Here is a look at the installed wooden floor. I cross braced the underside of the wood, so the The Talker won't fall through if he decides that he just has to dance or jump around in the truck bed. And there is a better chance of that happening than of Brianna ever getting to sleep in her pretty bed.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

40 pounds lighter and 2 plates cooler

Here are the 1968 Farm Truck license plates I bought off of Ebay. I can't license the truck with them, since it won't be a farm truck any longer, but I could not resist for $10.

And the 40 pounds? I cut out the steel bed floor today. No pictures. The digital camera is missing in action. The wooden bed floor was better than I expected until I started poking around with a hammer handle. At least 80% of the remaining wood fell out without me applying any real effort. Every thing on the bed floor will have to be replaced but that is not a surprise. The surprise was that this only took an hour. I thought it would be a much harder project and I wanted it done before Bulky Trash Day, on the 27th. Now I have to store a giant rolled up piece of jagged steel for a few weeks. If it could not give you tetanus, it would be a cool piece of yard art. When I find the camera, I'll post a pic of 'Ode to the American Farm Truck'.

I already had a piece of plywood covering the bed floor, trying to make sure The Talker did not cut himself on the rusty steel. Now, the plywood is back, screwed to a 2 x 4 scrap wood frame to help keep the boy from falling through.

After finishing the destruction, I pulled the truck to the front of the driveway so that I could clean up the mess and the greasy stain underneath. I brought it too far out and when we rolled it back a few inches, the passenger side rear brake line burst. To this point I have not even looked at the brake system, so I guess this is a not-very-subtle reminder that there is more to do after I get the truck running.

After I scrub the back half of the driveway again, I'll put the truck back. Then I can scrub the brake fluid stain off of the front half of the drive.

Friday, June 03, 2005

High Dollar Belt

I went to NAPA this afternoon to pick up a carburetor base gasket. I have already learned, the hard way, that they sell the best gaskets there. While I was there I grabbed a few other things. When I got to the car, I realized that I had just spent $15 on a fan belt. I thought it sounded a little pricey, but I don't want to be without a fan belt.

So I headed across the street to Autozone, where they had the same belt for $4. A quick trip back to NAPA and a little bit of humility later, since the counter guy was annoyed at having to process an instant refund, and I was on my way.

After 10 minutes at home the belt and a new PCV filter are installed. And I am a couple of steps closer to needing that carb for real...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Parts hunt

I have not had much time to work on the truck lately and I don't expect to have much time in the next week or so. So I am spending a little time trying to track down some parts that I know I'll be needing soon. Mainly, I am looking for the manual choke cable and another carburetor.

Hopefully I can find these cheap online, but no great deals, yet.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Timing is everything

I have been reading up on getting the timing set on the truck. Hopefully once the new carb is on in a few weeks, it will fire right up, without leaking fuel. But I have a feeling that it is not going to be that simple.

I had to pull the distributor off a while back, because I dropped a piece down inside of it. It all went back together easily, but I did not realize I was screwing up the timing when I pulled the distributor.

With new spark plugs and wires, points, condenser, rotor, cap, ignition coil, battery, battery cables, a new fuel pump, a starter that checked out OK, and the shiny happy carburetor installed, this bad boy SHOULD start pretty easily once everything is setup properly.

I did find a couple of things that I have to double check when the rain stops. I do not remember checking that the points were making contact with the distributor shaft when I installed them. Also, I have already tightened the fan belt a couple of times, maybe, maybe too much tightening. It really should be replaced before I go much further.