Monday, May 30, 2005

This weekends progress is brought to you by mom...

My parent's were in town for a couple of days. Sitting at breakfast Saturday morning my dad and I were talking about the truck. My mom slipped me a few bucks to work on the truck.

I always listen to my mommy, so I ran like a scalded cat to the parts store. Thanks to The Queen Mother and Autozone, the truck now has a new fuel pump, another shop manual and a new ignition coil.

I also bought a new set of wrenches at Costco. They are not top of the line, but they are better wrenches than I am mechanic, so they are way better than I need. But the wrenches I was using are total crap. The set came with a new socket set and a couple of pairs of pliers, too. I don't know if these are better than what I had, but I suspect they are.

After working on the truck, I started straightening up the garage and re-organizing tools. I did not want the new tools to be scared of the giant pile of tools in the garden wagon, so I finally put all of them away. I pulled a few useful pieces out of a couple of old junky tool sets that I had in college.

I am setting up The Talker's tool box with the leftovers, so that he can help me out in the garage. This afternoon I am going to setup a board with some screws and bolts on it, so that he can practice and play workshop with me.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Fuel Pump and Ignition Coil Install

When I changed the oil the other day, I got a surprise. Lots of gas in the oil. Evidently the truck needed a new fuel filter. While I was at the parts store, I picked up a new ignition coil, too. Both are now installed. I also added an inline filter and new rubber gaslines before the fuel pump. I decided to leave the steel line to the carb alone for now. I might replace it when I swap out the carb next month.

I also rigged up a manual choke assembly, but I need to order the correct replacement, this one does not fit exactly.

Even though the carb is still leaking a little, I tried to fire up the engine this afternoon. I was hoping to run it for just a couple of minutes. But it would not start up. I think the timing is really off. But the new fuel pump must be working because the small leak at the carb was a gusher in no time. The plan to fire the engine died quickly, before I really got FIRE in the engine.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Battery box install

25 days after I pulled the remains of the old battery box out of the truck, I finally got the new one installed. Everything bolted in pretty easily, except two of the lower bolts on the radiator side. I think the radiator will have to come out to get them fastened.

When I removed the bolts, I was able to slide a box end wrench between the radiator and the tray. But I don't have enough room to get my hand in to get the bolts started, so I attached the four that I could get to, and called it a night.

This weekend I was planning on working on the fuel pump and ignition coil, but it is raining like heck. Happy Memorial Day weekend, enjoy some TV time. Except that the satellite won't work during the storm, so it'll have to be DVD movies.

By the way, am I the only one who gets really excited when blogger finds no spelling errors in my posting?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

And Again

I walked past the truck today.

Several times.

It did not whine or cry or refuse to nap, like the three children inside the house.

God, I love this truck.

Parts List

Last night I only had a few minutes under the hood. So I pulled the ignition coil off and removed the nasty old air filter. Both of these are on the shopping list for the next trip to the auto parts store.

I took a good look at the fuel pump. Should be a pretty easy swap. The pump and the fuel lines are all easily accessible. Nice!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Revenge of the Oil Change

While the gunk was gushing out of the oil pan this afternoon, I got a souvenir, a huge oily stain on my nice clean driveway. Luckily, I managed to contain the mess to under the truck. So it should be a lot of fun to work underneath the truck until I get it moving again.

After watching the fluids pour out, I headed out to buy some oil and a filter. The filter on the truck is no longer available but I got the filter that replaced it. No one at the parts store seemed to know that. They were insistent that the new filter was the right one and that I must have misread the number off of the old filter.

After checking with the forums, I installed the filter. I shopped for oil at the auto parts store, but I ended up at Costco to buy.

The truck will not be getting a taste of the $5 a quart, Mobil One that goes into the van. It did get a nice drink of Shell 10W30 that Costco had for $1.10 a quart, though. And at that price, it will be drinking more of it in the future.

I got some advice that the fuel in the oil was likely caused by a bad fuel pump. So I added 'Fuel Pump' to the list of things to get done before the truck runs again. And if I am changing that, I want to put in an inline fuel filter and change the steel gasline to the carburator. So those were added to the list, too. But 'Oil Change' got crossed off of the list, so in the end, not a bad day. I made a little progress and did not spend much money.


Oil Change day. Started great. The drain plug was not seized to the pan and the filter was not too tight to remove. But once I got the drain plug out, everything got ugly in a hurry.

Instead of a stream of funky old oil oozing out of the drain, there was a gusher of gas smelling, almost water thin black liquid. And a lot of it.

The oil pan should hold 4 quarts and the filter should hold another. When I drained this crud out of the pan, I got 7 liters out. I know it is 7, because I had to put it into three, 3 liter Dr Pepper bottles, since it was overflowing my oil drain pan. Filled two bottles and 1/3 of the next. 3+3+1=7, see.

I don't know what caused this, could it just be really old oil? Could it be bad engine parts? Other ideas?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

CarDomain Site

I set up a CarDomain site last night. You can check out some pictures of the truck over there, but right now I don't think there are any pics that have not been posted here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Hey, lay off, I had a hard 1/3 of a day at work...

I did manage to get outside for an hour and fiddle with the ignition lock. No success. And I don't think my truck even has an ACCESSORY position. It won't turn counter-clockwise for anything. Even if you cuss at it.

But I can definitely feel the spring in there.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Best case scenario

I am trying to make little steps of progress on the truck. Eventually I'll have to deal with some of the bigger issues. So I am starting to think about everything that the truck will need to 1. Run, 2. Stop, 3. Drive safely and 4. Look better.

These are the things I plan to do for each category. More things will be added as I realize something I forgot or something breaks along the way.

1. Running Engine - I am going to need the new carb, a new set of radiator and heater hoses, a new fan belt, a fluid change and radiator flush, a tune up and getting the timing set. Then I will work on anything else that needs attention

2. Stopping - A complete brake job is in order, along with a new set of wheels and tires, The original wheels are completely rusty and I hope to find better used ones. The tires are trash, but if they wheel fit (That's a pun!), I might move the old ones off of the van and put new tires on it.

3. Driving safely - The truck will not be driven much at night, but I am going to put new bulbs all around and I am thinking about LED tail lamps. Brighter lights could not hurt anything. I also need to get the gas gauge rewired and replace the license plate lamp. The windshield wiper motor is dead, I'll have to replace that before I can pass inspection. And new seat belts with shoulder harnesses will eventually be installed. But I'll have to modify the cab a little, so regular lap belts will be installed for a while.

4. Looking better - I never really though that the spray can paint job would make the truck look great. I am just hoping that it will fend off the rust for a while. Eventually the truck is going to need some considerable body work. Lots of dents to knock out, the doors need new skins, also the bed floor is shot and I want to go back to a wooden bed.

Lot more to be added, I am sure.

Production numbers

Rick pointed out the original production marks on my firewall, from this picture I posted yesterday.

See the white letters on the top left of the photo? CE10904. That is my trucks model number and it was written on the truck as it rolled down the assembly line. They kept the production line straight on what they were building, since they were building lots of differently equipped trucks on the same line. In this case it meant a 2 Wheel drive, V8, 1/2 ton, Longbed Stepside.

And those marks are the main reason that cleaning the engine is going slow. I want to make sure they stay there. Heck, this writing has been on the truck longer than I have been alive.

Here is a close-up photo, from when I first found the. I snapped a picture to try and figure out what they meant.

I thought I had blogged about this earlier, but I could not find the post. Sorry if it is repetitive. So sorry if you have read this before. My apologies if you think this blog posting is repetitive.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Busy day in the driveway

I have been scraping and knocking gunk off of the engine since I got it home. Today, I stood back and realized that it is starting too look pretty good. Believe me, there is a long way to go to get the old girl all cleaned up, but it is nice to see some progress. Here is a pic.

And just so I can remember where I started with this truck, here is the first picture I took of the engine, back in February, while it was sitting in the mud out at the farm. Yes, those are corncobs. I found at least 20 in the engine bay. A few even made the 45 mile ride home.

And just for grins, here is my blog entry from back then.

Before I got everything re-assembled for picture time, I installed new spark plugs and wires and a new cap and rotor. I also got the points gapped properly. I think.. We will see if this helps it run, once I install a decent carburetor.

While you wait for that to happen, you can oogle a couple of other engine pics. Here is one. And here is another.

And if you would rather google my engine, go here.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Busy Saturday

Went over and helped a guy swap out his cab on a 69 Chevy Truck this morning. One stubborn bolt kept progress pretty slow until lunch time, but by 3:15 we had the new cab sitting on the frame and the old cab sitting on the trailer. It was a pretty cool project and I was able to check out a lot of mechanical things that I have yet to locate on my own ride. But hopefully my cab will remain attached to the frame for a long time. This was a big job.

I was thinking about heading to pickup some parts this afternoon, but maybe we will do it one afternoon this week. Instead, I cleaned a little more under the hood. I seem to have the best luck with an old screwdriver and a high powered blowgun attached to my air compressor. After scraping, I can just blast some pretty good chunks of caked on mud and grime right off of the block and body.

I tried to swap out the ignition for the new one I bought a few weeks ago. I read online how to remove the old one, but have evidently forgotten everything I read. I could not get the old one out. Will try that another day, after some online searching.

I stated removing the carb again, but got sidetracked when I remembered Car Night out at Home Depot. So the whole family loaded up and we checked out the cars and a few trucks. Highlights - A 1955 Chevy Cameo Truck, A 1972 Chevy Shortbed that I have seem at another show and a 1956 GMC that still has good looking original paint and an original spare tire. It originally belonged to the guy's great-grandfather.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Weekend plans

The truck will hopefully be getting a little attention on Saturday. But it might be the wrong truck. Saturday I am going to help a guy swap his cab for one that is in better shape. I am really interested to see how much work is required to pull this off. And I don't want to miss a chance to see it without goofing up MY truck.

Saturday afternoon, I am planning to get in touch with Sis. She is hopefully holding some truck parts hostage for me. Though, I have forgotten to call since the guy dropped off the parts with my brother-in-law. Every time I try to call, it is too late in the evening. Hopefully there is a battery box sitting at Sis' house that will be mounted soon in the 68.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Another day, another try

It has been a while since I tried to get the truck running, and I am quickly gathering a large pile of parts in the garage. Since I am starting to get worried that I might misplace a part, or forget how things go back together, I got under the hood and re-installed the carb, battery and plug wires.

The good news: the new battery cables that I installed seem to be working fine. All of the electrical is working great.

The bad news: the truck would not start.

The worst news: even though I re-tightened and double checked everything, the carb is leaking like crazy. So I will definitely be getting another carb. No sense in beating this leaking horse to death.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

I got nothin'

I have not made any progress on the truck this week. That is unless you count as progress rolling the windows down yesterday morning and back up last night.

If you do, then I was busy yesterday.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Roadtrip, almost

The Talker and I almost took the truck on a trip tonight. He wanted to pretend that he was driving to Steve's house. And since I am a good daddy, I wanted to make this trip a reality.

No, the truck is not yet running. And I would not let a three year old drive it anyways. When he is six, maybe...

See, Steve lives right across the street.

If I had shifted the truck out of gear and moved the 2x6s that are blocking the tires, we would have been at Steve's house in 12 seconds.

But we did not go. We stayed in our driveway and dreamt of a day when we can drive the truck over to Steve's house.

Yep. That'll be sweet.

Monday, May 02, 2005

The old battery box is outta here

I have made a deal to buy a battery box out of a 68 GMC that is bring converted to a drag race truck. He is removing all extra metal from the truck and relocating the battery. I am hopeful that I might score a few extra parts when I go to pick up the box. My truck is going to need another radiator support someday, it would be nice to find one soon.

I spent an hour tonight removing the side rails of the original battery box. I managed to get everything removed without breaking any of the bolts. This far, I have only broken one bolt on the truck. That was back when I removed the busted mirror head from the driver's door mirror.

After I got the side of the box out, I was able to scrape and clean a lot more rust and grime out of the engine bay. After a half hour, I lost interest and took the boy for a bike ride.

Two Longbed Stepside Trucks and a Comet

These were the only two I saw this weekend.

This one is a 1969 GMC. It was already sold by 10 am on Saturday morning. Here is another view.

This one was not for sale. I am not sure what year it is. It was sitting on the backside of an exhibitor's booth. Looks like it still a regular driver.

And here are two views of a Comet. I dont' know what year and I doubt they came with this much engine, originally.

Pictures from Saturday

A picture of the new hubcaps. They are not getting installed yet. I'll keep them in the garage until the truck is back on the road.

And here is a picture of a hillbilly pull cart, made from a center console out of a suburban, a couple of steering wheels, and a long handle. Don't miss the gear shift lever used for a front prop!