Friday, November 25, 2005

TruckinDaddy, chauffeur

I took the kids, one niece, one nephew and two cousins for a truck ride after lunch yesterday. The Boss Lady climbed in with us, to chaperone all of the kids in the bed of the truck. The Princess and The Babysitter rode up front with me.

We cruised our street and one street over. Could not take it too far away from the house, but everyone had a lot of fun cruising, anyways.

I'll try to post a picture, soon.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Tire time is coming

I am getting really close to getting the truck to pass the safety inspection. A little more wiring repair (it has to have a license plate light on the rear plate) and some brake adjustments will get most of the problems out of the way.

But I have to put new shoes on the truck, too. I still have one of the tires on it that I brought it home on. Two of the other tires came out a junkyard, when I bought some wheels. The 4th? My old spare from the minivan. 4 tires, 3 sizes, 4 different makes. Classy!

The dry rot is obvious on the three old tires, so I know they have to be replaced first. But I am trying to decide what to do.

I could go buy some new cheap tires at Walmart. For about $200 I could have 4 brand new tires. Or I could find a decent set of used tires. Might be out $100-$125 this way.

Then there is my grand plan. The tires on the minivan are junky. They are safe, but we have had lots of problems with several sets of these tires. So a while back I started thinking about putting new Goodyears on the minivan and moving the tires that are now on it over to the truck. Total cost for this plan, about $400, maybe $425 if I have to pay to have the tires mounted on the truck wheels.

This might be the best option. The minivan gets new rubber and the truck gets decent tires that should last a long time, with as few miles as it will be driven. But these tires are smaller than I really want on the truck. And it might look a little silly.

The sacrifices I have to consider making for the family...

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Haw!

The kids and I went for a ride down the street this afternoon. The Talker was sitting in the passenger seat and The Princess and I were snuggled into the driver's seat belt.

When we started driving, The Talker screamed Yee Haw! At the top of his lungs. This child is a city kid. I don't know where he learned to do it so well, but he can yee haw with the best hillbillies.

I had no choice. I laughed at him and yelled yee haw right back. Then The Princess threw her own into the din. Then it just didn't stop. We were an old truck cruising, screaming happy bunch of fools. Quite a site to see. And hear.

After we got home a neighbor told me that he could hear the three of us yee hawing from five houses away, as we were going around a corner. Now that is a yee haw to be proud of.

Yee Haw!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Truckin again

This afternoon I received a fuel sender that I bought from a guy in Virginia. I mailed him the check last Tuesday so this was pretty good turn around time.

I had no plans to work on the truck today. But I could not resist installing the new fuel sender and getting the fuel system plumbed again. While I was at it I moved the fuel filter closer to the tank. Someone told me that my installed location might lead to vapor lock, because it was too close to the fuel pump. Since I don't know any better, I moved the filter.

Once I got everything buttoned up, I could not miss out on taking a quick cruise. Sitting on my milk crate, I made a couple of runs down the street. I only had a little gas in the tank, so I kept the cruising short. I dumped 5 gallons in the tank tonight, so maybe the boy and I will take a ride Tuesday.

After seeing the neighborhood, I reinstalled the seatbelts and the seat. The Talker had fun bouncing around in the truck when I was finished for the night.

Almost as much fun as I had on my first ride in a couple of months.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Brake line update

I guess I did a decent job on double flaring the brake lines. I found two places that are leaking. One might be due to a bad joint that I made, but the other leak was between the brake hose and a block that just needed to be tightened up some more today. Hopefully I can get the brakes bled sometime next week.

Then once my fuel sender arrives, I can put Marge back on the road. Or rip her drivetrain out. I haven't decided which I should do next.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Cool truck sighting

The kids and I were pulling out of the Costco parking lot after lunchtime and we got passed by the coolest looking medium red 68 Chevy longbed stepside. He even still has the original hubcaps on it. I have two sets of these non-reproduced caps in storage right now!

The only major difference between our two trucks, except that his was nice, awesome, red, and running and mine is a rusted out beater that hasn't seen a street in two months., was the side mounted spare tire. Which did not have a hubcap on it...

I ended up in a turn only lane, so I could not stalk the guy. Next sighting, I will chase him down. I want to see more of this cool old stock ride.

It did not have any obvious evidence of old decals, but it might have been an old fire truck. I guess this because of the red lights on the roof and the searchlight mounted in between, with the control handle was up on the center of the cab ceiling.

My great uncle's farm truck had a search light mounted on the roof just like this red truck. I always thought it was the coolest thing about his farm trucks.

Now if I can just find that red truck again...

This makes six 1967-1972 ongbed stepside Chevy trucks that I have seen since getting my truck home. Mine, this red 68, a green and white 71 or 72, a medium green 69 or 70, and two I saw at a swap meet last year. But one of those might have been a GMC...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Internet Parts

I stopped at five chain auto parts stores yesterday, looking for the rubber pieces and fuel sender. No luck at any of the stores. I made a deal on a truck website for a used fuel sender. I still need to order the rubber parts for the tank install, but I am getting closer to putting the interior back together.

I wanted to run the engine a little yesterday morning since it has been sitting for a month. After checking everything out, I could not get the engine to fire. I was tempted to call around and ask my buddies to suggest a solution, but I diagnosed the problem myself. It seemed to be getting no fuel. The fuel filters were not dirty, and the line to the carburetor looked pretty dry. So I decided it was time for a new fuel pump. Seemed like the logical solution. And it turns out that I was right! A first time for every thing? After I installed the new pump, the truck fired up quickly.

When I bought the fuel pump, in May, the parts store had two in stock. A $12 pump that had a 3 month warranty, or a $14 pump with a lifetime warranty. I guess that was a good $2 spent, because the store swapped me for a new pump and I was out of there in 5 minutes. Without spending any more money!

Which is nice, because I noticed a new leak yesterday. Now the rear differential is leaking. I think it about time to remove the driveshaft and fix the oil seals on both ends.

Hey Rick, how do you pull the driveshaft out?

Friday, November 11, 2005

All hooked up

I got the last of the rear brake system hooked up this afternoon. I'll have to read up on bleeding the brake system before I add the fluid and know for sure if my new lines will work.

I think I got the oil pan leak fixed tonight. After I removed, cleaned and reinstalled the SureDrain plug, there was no oil dripping from the usual spot. I'll check again in the morning, just to be sure.

Finally, I cleaned the gas tank some more, tonight. I kept knocking crud loose inside the tank and then I would rinse it out with some clean gas. The last couple of times the gas was pretty clean when I dumped it out. I'll try this again tomorrow, too. If the gas comes out clean a couple of more times, I'll reinstall the tank.

I won't be able to completely finish that job this weekend, though. I will have to get a new floor/fuel line grommet and a fuel filler grommet along with a new fuel sender. The grommets were destroyed during removal, and the fuel sender is trashed.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Rear brake plumbing almost complete

The last hose I needed for the rear brakes arrived today. When I picked it up at the auto parts store, I was worried that the connections would not match up to the new replacement line I installed. Both ends looked too big. No worries, though. The new hose attached tot he new lines perfectly.

I was having trouble getting one of the retaining clips back into place. So I disconnected the frame rail brake line. The clip went in easily, but now I can't seem to get the connection to tighten up again. I'll have to revisit that this afternoon.

Want to get everything tightened down today or tomorrow, because I hope to bleed the brake system this weekend.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

New brake lines

I spent a lot of the day underneath the truck, installing new brake lines to the rear brakes. I could have bought a set for the entire truck for about $150 plus shipping, but I wanted to try making the lines myself to save a little cash.

I still need to buy and install the rear brake hose. Once that is done, I'll find if my efforts were worth the trouble. If it leaks when I add the fluid, I might still be ordering a complete set of lines. I bought the lines for about $30 and the double flaring tool and bender for about $15.

One of the lines had metric fittings installed on it, so I ended up back at the parts store this evening, buying another line, and spending another $5. Then it was just a matter of remaking the line to match the first one.

Of course, this line was the line with the most complex curves on it, the line along the rear axle that serves the driver's side brake. In the end, the first line looked a lot better than the second. But the second actually connects to the rest of the system and should work.

This morning I thought I had defeated the oil pan leak. But I didn't. When I was finishing up the brake lines, I saw a nice spot of oil under the truck. I was going to address the rear oil transmission seal today, too, but if the truck is leaking from one place, it might as well leak from two (or more).

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

No help this time

The Princess gave up on helping in the garage. After the wife got home, I headed back out to tinker. I finally decided to tackle the oil leak on the truck. I stripped some threads on the oil pan a while back. I have a plan to fix the leak, but I need the oil plug out and the surface around the drain to be clean and dry. So I started with half an oil change today?

What's that, you ask? . I have all of the oil drained and the new filter installed, but I won't finish the repair until this weekend, so the truck will sit a few more days dripping oil.

Which really is not that big of a deal, seeing as the gas tank is in the garage, right beside the bench seat and the rear brake lines are currently hanging on the bike rack. This truck would be sitting all weekend, even if it had oil in the engine.

Tonight I spent some time organizing and cleaning tools. I am learning a lot about the old truck lately. But I still have the same low level of organizational skills. After getting all of that done, I spent a few minutes listening to a little Willie Nelson and fixing up The Talker's Shrek scooter.

My right hand girl

This afternoon, while the boy napped, The Princess and I worked in the front yard. Mainly she played with a doll and a toy stroller while I gave the minivan an oil change. Before I started I set the box end wrench on the front porch. After I showed it to her, I told The Princess that I would need it soon and that I would appreciate her brining it to me when I asked.

When I got ready for the wrench I asked one time and she was right there, wrench in hand. Of course, she wanted to keep the wrench and give me the doll, but she had the right idea and her timing was perfect.