Monday, October 31, 2005

Learning as I go

I found out that my truck does not have a proportioning valve on it. What I thought was the prop valve, the junction of front and brake lines right after the master cylinder, is in fact an electric switch that lights an idiot light on the dash, if either the front or rear brake lines lose pressure.

Odd, what I learn when I actually pull out the repair manuals.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

I got the sumbitch

I spent the entire afternoon underneath the truck. After another 4 1/2 hours working on it, I got the rear brake lines removed. The line running from the proportioning valve, under the engine and to the passenger's side frame rail was in great shape. Maybe due to being buried under 2 inches of oily crud for no telling how many years. After I got all of the muck off of the crossmember and off of the steel line, I reinstalled the one good brake line.

It went back in pretty smoothly and should give me a good point of reference to make sure I get the other lines installed properly. The rest of the rear lines are really rust and weak. I do not think they are worth reusing.

The only casualty, besides my knuckles - since the scarecrow is wearing my work gloves, was the rubber line that connects the main line to the smaller lines that service each rear brake. I was working around that hose, but eventually I realized that the line is 38 years old and not worth saving. Once I cut through the hose, I made much quicker progess, too.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Dirt Dauber habitat (aka The rear brakes)

Image hosted by

Here is a picture of the driver's side rear brakes as soon as I got them opened up. I quit counting when I knockewd 40 nests out of there. The passenger's side was not as bad.

The good news, once I got most of the nests and dirt out of there, it looks like all of the parts are still in place, 37 years after installation!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I give up

I am going to remove the entire rear brake line set. I am not sure that I can separate the lines without a vice and a lot of cussing. So tonight I started removing the lines from the proportioning valve and the master cylinder. The line between the master cylinder and the prop valve does not have to come off, but it is a 6 - 8 inch line.

If I end up replacing the rest of the rear brake lines, this one should not cost very much, right!?!

The biggest problem with the new plan, under the engine I need to get to the clips holding the lines to the frame. And they are buried under some of the worst crud on the truck. Looks like a lot of scraping is on tap for this weekend!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Brakes to Grime

I planned to remove the rear brake line this afternoon. This was to be the third attempt and I would not surrender until the dang thing was off of the truck.

PB Blaster, heat, flare nut wrenches... threw everything I had at these 37 year old compression fittings. They won. The line is still attached to the truck.

So I pulled the front wheels and took a flathead screwdriver to the caked on crud and muck on the front suspension and frame parts that I could reach. I worked for two hours scraping anything that I could get to. Afterwards, I had another huge pile of crud under the truck. Since the truck is not drivable this time, I guess the pile will sit there, under the heap, until the next big rain.

While scraping, I tried to add up how long I have spent scraping under this truck. Best figure I could come up with, more than 10 hours, but less than 15. And I think another 5 hours would get most of the crud off of the truck and into the pile underneath.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Brake question

I just had a question about the emergency brake, but I don't know the answer.

If there is no brake fluid getting to the rear drums, will the emergency brake still work? I know that there is a fluid leak on the main line. So I know there is no fluid at the rear brakes.

Could this keep the emergency brake from holding? I thought the emergency brake was purely mechanical, so that you had brakes in case of a loss of brake fluid.

The manuals don't say.

Emergency Brake non repair 101

I pulled out the repair manual today and decided to tackle the Emergency brake. It has to work in order for the truck to pass inspection.

After making the written adjustments, with no change in performance, I decided to open up the rear brakes. Did you know that dirt daubers will nest in brake drums? I have photographic proof to post, someday.

Nothing seemed to be obviously out of place or missing inside of the rear brakes. But I still did not manage to make the emergency brake hold.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

It's not about the pay...

When I finished working on The Boss Lady's car this weekend, I started cleaning it out. I found $1.03 in loose change under the floormats and seats. I would have added that cash to my truck fund, but I bought a soda instead.

Besides, it was kind of depressing to think that I worked on the car for 10 hours and all I got out of the deal was $1.03 in sticky change.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Right idea, wrong vehicle

Since the whole family is gone for the weekend, I wanted to work on the truck, but I spent all day working out some bugs on the wife's car.

Tomorrow I may mess around with the emergency brake on the truck. Or I just may take a nap.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Fuel line install

I cleaned up and re installed the fuel line. I did not find a suitable replacement for the missing clip, but it is one of four, the other three are holding the line tight and in place. I'll keep looking for another clip, but for now, it is good enough.

While under the truck, I switched up the install for the inline fuel filter. Now, the gas line after the filter makes a much less severe curve before the fuel pump. I was worried that the sharp turn might be restricting fuel flow. By using a longer section of fuel line, the curve is hopefully less restrictive.

Still trying to decide what I want to do about cleaning the fuel tank. I may try to clean it up myself, soon. Then I'll just need a $30 fuel sender and float set-up to be running a complete and clean fuel system.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Got it!

I swapped a set of truck wheels for some miscellaneous parts. So i have gotten busy the last couple of days, swapping out old parts for different old parts.

But the biggest move of all on the truck, is that I FINALLY got the fuel line removed from the truck. It was easy enough, save for the last clip holding the line to the frame. I mesed with that clip for an hour last night and for an hour this afternoon.

Turns out it was just a clip, through the frame, like all the others. But this one wrapped around the line and doubled back on itself. Plus it was really hard to reach. Not real sure how I'll get another clip back in there, but I'll worry about that another day.