Sunday, July 31, 2005

Voltage regulator

I am going to have to order the rummber grommets for the voltage regulator. So the truck might be sitting for a while. Only $3 for all of them, from the first catalog I saw, but it would be about $10 in shipping for purchases up to $50, so I might as well order a few other things, too.

I tried to remove the ignition lock cylinder again today. No sucess. I have spent at least 5 hours jerking around with this thing. I want to install a new one that came with a matched set of door locks. Right now the doors don't lock. Hopefully I can figure out what is wrong with them while I am installing the new locks. But I don't want to do that until I get the ignition key replaced.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Electrical system progress

The 37 year old alternator tested fine. Good, because it cost about $40 to replace. Next I am going to pull the voltage regulator. Better that it be the problem because it cost $13 to replace.

Now if I can just get the damn thing off of the truck. The rubber grommets that hold it to the radiator support are proving to be difficult to remove. Especially since I don't know where I could get some more if I trash them during removal.

While I had the alternator off this morning I cleaned the bracket arms and everything else that I could get to easily with the alternator out of the way. A little oven cleaner and elbow grease did a lot of good.

Now the driver's side of my engine is lemony fresh, thanks to the Wal-Mart oven cleaner.

Friday, July 29, 2005


Now that the weekend is here, and the family is heading out of town, I should get to have some fun with the truck. But not this weekend.

Something happened between the time that I bought a new battery for the wife's car and finally installed her old one in the truck. Now the truck won't run without being jump started.

I am thinking it could be the alternator, the voltage regulator or the battery itself. I'll have to read up on it this weekend, because I have no clue.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Broke down

no, not that kind. I am trying to promote marital harmony around here, so I finally broke down and bought a battery for the truck today. Actually, I bought a battery for The Boss Lady's car at Costco and I am leaving her old one in the truck.

Until now, I have been pulling her battery out anytime I wanted to run the truck. So just about every time she gets in her car she needs to reset the clock and radio. Yeah, I could do it for her, but it IS her car, you know...

Maybe just in time, too. When I got everything buttoned up on the truck, I turned the key and got nothing. A quick jumpstart with the minivan got it started and it seems to restart fine since.

Good enough for now.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Not quiet as bad, close up...

And they look even better from inside of the truck, where I can't see them while I am running the roads.

They are ugly, I tells ya

There are no words to describe how bad the new whitewalls look on my beautiful truck...

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New Wheels, Again

After our zoo trip, The Boss Lady talked me into taking a quick run up to a Chevy truck junk yard that we pass when we go to The Queen Mother's house. But they always seem to be closed on those trips.

Within 2 minutes of getting out of the car, I was 50 buck poorer, but I had two stock wheels that would bolt right onto the truck, unlike the wheels I bought online, a while back. These wheels are white. I'll repaint them silver, eventually.

The big bonus of the deal, they had tires mounted still. I wanted the guy to take the tires off, but he said he could not do it then. Once we got home, I tried to see how bad the tires really were. Both are holding air and in much better shape than I first thought. Of course, a brick would make a better tire than what was on the truck yesterday morning. Yes, I have been riding around on this, the whole time. Or should I say 'hole time'...

The only downside to the new wheels/tires? The 1 1/2 inch wide white wall. I can't even describe the look. Especially when only the fronts have the stripe and the rears are still rolling on tall mud grabbers. I'll get a picture for you.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Odometer update

The Odometer has been updated.

For the record, I think when I talked to Rick last night I told him that I had driven 75 miles or so. I was wrong by more than half. So you still might have driven your truck further than I have driven mine.


Made several short trips around the neighborhood this weekend, between rain storms. I tweaked the idle a little more, too. I had it where it sounded great, but it was hesitating a little on take off. Now, it is idling faster, sounds a little rougher and does not hesitate.

And unlike my usual method, of trying to fix something by seeing how broken I can get it first, once I got the idle set I left it alone!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Neighborhood run

Thursday morning, the boy and I got the truck started with no problems, so we went for a neighborhood cruise. While we were out, we saw Racecar Man and his family, so they hopped in and rode a loop of the block with us.

The Talker loved the ride, because all of the kids and Racecar Man rode in the back of the truck. They were not even disappointed that we were only going 15 miles per hour.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Too much rain today

for a ride or working on the truck. But it was cooler than in the past weeks, so I spent a little time cleaning the garage and straightening tools.

Big fun.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Gas run!

Lots of running around in the neighborhood today. A bunch of small trips and one memorable trip to the gas station. I was going to borrow a 5 gallon gas can from a neighbor, but he wasn't home. And by my estimation, it was only a couple of miles to the gas station, so off I went. I was feeling brave since the wife and kids were not around to bail me out if the truck broke down or the cops were not amused by my sweet ride...

When I left the station I was worried that my gas gauge might not be working properly. But then I remembered that my $5 bill had only bought me a couple of gallons of $2.15 per gallon gas. So the tank still might not have enough in it to get a good reading.

The station is less than a mile from our house, but since I drove side streets instead of the major route, it took me about 20 minutes and 6 miles to get there and back. Very exciting!

The Talker and I took a ride this evening before bed. We went up to the park and back. He really wanted to stop and play, but I wanted to make sure we did not have to walk home in the dark if we broke down, so we headed home. Without breaking down.

Clutch Going Bad?

Of course I knew it might. Since I assume it is the original clutch, it is not unexpected in a 37 year old truck. Still it surprised me a little that Racecar Man thought the truck might need a new clutch soon.

Then I was reading over at Rick's place. And once again, he posts about a car problem 1500 mile away from here and mysteriously one of our cars ends up needing the same repair in short order.

Thanks again, Rick. By the way is David's dog limping? 'Cause mine is, and I thought y'all might know what happened?

The Odometer

BEGAN work with 45232.2 miles.
NOW reads 45800.4 miles.
TOTAL 568.2 miles driven.
PER mile cost $3.52.

PARTS off of at least 18 different trucks.

Most of it is still the original farm truck.
The right fender and door skin came off a junkyard truck.
The visors and seat belts came from a 1968 junkyard truck.
A couple of small engine parts came off of a 1970 junkyard truck.
Two of the wheels came from a junkyard in Waco, TX.
The mirrors and door handles came from a swap meet.
The side reflectors came from a 1972 Blazer.
The hubcaps came from a swap meet.
The replacement bed came off a 1968 Anniversary Edition truck.
The battery tray came out of a 1968 GMC in Temple.
The wiper motor came from Minnesota.
The washer bottle holder came from Minnesota, also.
Two fuel senders came from a guy in Virginia.
The rear brake lenses and 1 reverse light lens came from Virginia, too.
The other reverse light lens came from California.
The master cylinder cover came of a 69 Chevy from Leander, TX.
The cigar lighter delete plug came from Illinois.
The hood letter badge set came off of a couple of trucks in Pennsylvania.

40 different streets
2 trip on the highway
12 trips out of the neighborhood
30 miles, the longest trip was to downtown and back
3 Walks of Shame, thanks to a dead battery and a clogged fuel filter

Only two repairs have been done at a shop.
The drive shaft was rebuilt at Austin Drivetrain.
The BRAND NEW tires were installed at Discount Tires in Austin.

I'll update this post as the stats change, to come back to this post click on The Odometer on the sidebar

Friday, July 15, 2005

Check out the sidebar

I added a section to the sidebar, titled The Odometer. Several stats that you might find interesting over there.

Or not.


I changed it up, to make it easier to edit. Click on The Odometer on the sidebar to jump to the stats post

Timing is everything

Back when Racecar Man helped me get the engine running again, we got the timing set pretty easily. And the truck was running fine, especially for a vehicle that had not run a dozen years. Afterwards, Racecar Man remembered that we should have disconnected the vacuum advance before setting the timing. Since the truck was running OK, we left it alone.

But then Wednesday the truck was hard to start and it was not idling smoothly, so I decided to tackle the timing today. And after just a few minutes and a minor adjustment, the truck runs completely different. As it turns out, we were about 15 degrees too far advanced.

So this afternoon I have cruised the streets in my easier idling, quieter and more powerful truck. I am amazed at what a small adjustment in timing did for this engine. Racecar Man even got to take a drive. He may not have been the first passenger, but he will now go down in history as only the second driver since the truck came back into service.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Saving money left and right

When I add in the miles I drove today and the cost of this morning's fuel, we are now down to only $112 per mile.

Rolling through the neighborhood.

The truck sat for more than a week without being started. So this morning I decided to make sure she remembered what to do. Alas, she had forgotten already. It took me a while to get the truck started. I suspect that I ran out of gas last time and it took a little cranking to get fuel to the carb.

Once it was idling, I went for a quick drive but the truck did not seem to be running as smoothly as before our week apart. Racecar Man confirmed this when I cruised past his house. This afternoon I was planning to tinker a little and I was going to check the timing, but Marge must be slowly remembering how to be a truck.

She started on the first try and purred like a kitten for The Talker and I to take a drive down to Racecar Man's house to deliver some swim towels this evening.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

It is SOMETHING, at least

Yesterday I rolled the windows down in the morning and back up when we left the house, because it looked as if it might rain. If only I had left them down, it actually would have rained....

And this morning I put a Cabela's sticker on the rear window. So the truck is now one step closer to it's ultimate role as my fishing truck. Also at Cabela's yesterday, I saw some rod holders that I want to mount inside of the bed walls, so that I can carry six or eight 8 foot rods without having them rattling around on the bed floor.

Once the truck is road worthy, I'll decide how I want to mount them. They will need to be removable, so I am thinking about using some really strong magnets.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Have you seen my truck?

Because I haven't.

This is the first time since I brought the truck home that it has sat for an entire week without me touching it. I was out of town for several days, but mainly it is too freaking hot out there to touch metal and I don't have decent enough lighting to work at midnight.

So she might sit until October at this rate. Or should I say at this temperature...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Cruising the hood

During the last few days I have hauled six different people in the truck. Never more than a block or two, but everyone has made it safely to their final destination. Actually, The Talker and I drove the truck a couple of miles in one trip the other day. We even left our street for a block or two.

For the record, I have now driven the truck 7.3 miles. Considering the money I have spent on this thing so far, that comes to a little less than $125 a mile.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Making the new wheels work

I never thought to ask about the length of studs needed to mount the new wheels when I bought them online. And as it turns out, they need to be a lot longer than stock. Crap. Good thing I haven't bought tires yet.

The stock wheel studs are 13/16 of an inch long. I am guessing that I will have to replace them with studs that are at least 1 1/2 inches long. I have never taken the drums off of this truck and I have no idea how hard it is going to be to swap out all 24 studs. But I bet it will be a pain in the butt. Plus, the drum hub is a lot smaller than the wheel center. I don't even know now if these will work at all. Double crap.

And I want to make sure that I will still be able to use the original style wheels and hubcaps later on, too. If not, I might see if I can find a buyer for these and keep looking for a decent set of original equipment wheels.

Anybody need a good deal on 6 lug slot wheels? I can hook you up.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

New Wheels Are Here

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I recieved my wheels today from Wisconsin.  They are not the ones I thought I was getting, but they will work fine. I left it up to the seller which ever set he wanted to part with since he was making me a great deal on them.  A little cleaning and they should be good to roll with new tires.  In a few months.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Battery, maybe not...

I found my discount card, but now, I am not heading to AutoZone anyways. I might need the $40 for something else.

Might mean the tires have to wait a little while, too. And the brakes, too? Maybe so, but who really needs them anyways.

Battery Day

I was heading out this morning to buy a battery for the truck. This entire time I have been pulling the battery from the wife's car when I need to start the truck. And at least once I have moved it by jumpstarting it without having a battery in it.

But my shopping trip is on hold for a while. I have been keeping up with a frequent buyer's card from Autozone for two months. Today would be my last purchase before I get a $20 discount. But I can't find the @#$*)(@ card.

I saw it last night. Right by the bread box in the kitchen. So if you find an Autozone card with 4 punches already on it, can I have it back please?