Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Finished the rear differential

Yesterday afternoon I got a new rear pinion oil seal in place. This morning I noticed no leaks on the driveway. Hopefully that trend will continue once the driveshaft is in place and the truck moves under it's own power again.

The kids and I are off this morning to dump the oil that I drained from the transmission and rear differential. Since the drain pan got rained on, the oil has to go across town to the hazardous waste drop off site.

Since this place is across town and only open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I am gathering every unused chemical I can find in the house. So far we are still short of the 30 gallon limit individuals can drop off.

If the steel scraps from the stepside bed will fit in the trunk, we will stop on the way and drop them off at a recycling center

Friday, May 26, 2006

Not much truck time

Between dealing with insurance adjusters and contractors to get our new roof installed and dealing with insurance to get the wife's car totaled out, I have not touched the truck this week.

I am hoping to clean up a little bit more of the rear frame on Saturday. And today I have called around to find a deal on having the u joints replaced in the driveshaft. Best I have found is $185 for all new joints, the carrier bearing replaced and the whole thing balanced. A lot more than I expected.

So I may go back to the original plan and try to remove them myself.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Or so I thought

Not Done.

This morning, while waiting for the insurance guy to give The Boss Lady's car the once over, I noticed the rear differential oil seal is leaking again. I removed everything and noticed that I dented it when I was installing it yesterday. Now it is not sealing the oil.

One of these days I'll install another oil seal. Hopefully for the last time in a long time.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


The new rear oil seal is installed, after a neighbor took pity on me and brought out his impact wrench. I tried for half an hour to get the pinion nut off by hand, so that I could get to the oil seal.

5 minutes with the impact wrench, and I was ready to install the new seal that I bought at AutoZone a while back. Too bad it was the wrong part. Since I had to run over anyways, I picked up the rear differential gasket, so that I could close everything up on the rear end.

I may tackle the tranny oil seal this afternoon. Then I have to remove and reinstall the u-joints in the driveshaft and install a new carrier bearing. After getting the driveshaft back in place, I'll need to refill the transmission fluid and reattach the speedometer cable.

If I can get these leaks stopped, then I'll only have the oil pan dripping on the driveway.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Disassembly day

I don't really know why, but I decided to start removing parts from the truck this afternoon.

The driveshaft needed to come out so that I could replace oil seals in the rear differential and the transmission. So I drained the tranny and the rear end. By the way, gear oil stinks to high hell and 38 year old gear oil will make you lose your lunch.

The driveshaft came out easily. The retainers for the u-joints came out with a little effort, but the u-joints won't budge. Time to make friends with someone who owns a hydraulic press.

Before I replace the driveshaft, I want to replace the oil seals and all of the u-joints and the carrier bearing that supports the joint between the two sections. But I can't remove the old carrier bearing from the driveshaft until I get the u-joints out.

I also decided to try to remove the rear shocks, since everything is easily accessible with the bed off. With a lot of force, some kicking of the socket handle for added leverage and a little bit cussing, the bolts finally broke free and I got the old shocks removed.

Turns out the shocks are one of the few non original mechanical pieces I have found on the truck. I guess grandpa had a set of shocks put on at Sears at some point many years ago. They are so rusty that I just assumed they were original to the truck.

After several hours in the driveway, I had an impressive pile of parts removed from the truck. Now I just have to get it all back together before I forget where this stuff goes.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Not bad for a couple of hours

The wood slats from the bed are in the neighbor's trash, thanks to a bitter divorce that has left the house uninhabited and the trash can unguarded. The strips that held down the wood floor, the end that held the tailgate, the bedsides and lots of little scraps are destined for the metal recycler and the tailgate, steps, the behemoth of a bumper, the front bed panel and the support bars underneath the bed are all stored nicely in the shed.

I think the bedsides are really trashed, so I am just going to cut the fenders off of them. Once I get that done, the stepside bed will be gone like a six pack on prom night.

Actually, all of the sheet metal would probably head to the recycler, but I just can't toss it yet. When I rebuild the step bed, maybe I'll be able to reuse something. The pack rat in me is strong.

Monday, May 15, 2006

What is this?

The completion of modern art sculpture? Or the beginning of a great classic truck parts collection?

Whatever it is, The Boss Lady loves having it in her side yard...

Can a guy really

remove a truck bed from the frame without help?  And without a lift or shop crane?

A Stay at Home Dad can, IF the kids will play in the driveway for a couple of hours.  And he has enough 2x4s to pry that bad boy off.

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Now I just have to drag the bed carcass into the backyard before the neighbors think I am opening a neighborhood junk yard.

Hanging on by a thread

There is only one @#*(&@ bolt holding the truck bed on. I circled it on the picture. I thought I had them all broken off, but when I tried to raise the bed off of the frame, I found the bonus bolt. Guess I'll try to tackle it later today.

Once I get that bolt off, I have a plan. I am going to park the truck at the front of the driveway, on a steep hill. Then I'll get a nice long 4x4 post under the bed to use as a lever. Hopefully then the hill will help me get the old bed right off of the frame. The good news is that the stepside bed weighs a lot less than the other one.

Which is not a big surprise, since almost all of the wood is gone and a lot of the steel is now dust in the street.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Why do you want to swap the truck bed out?

One of my buddies asked me that yesterday. And here is my answer.

Here is the first picture of the new bed. Sorry it is upside down, but that thing is heavy and I am not touching it again until it is ready to install on the truck.

After church, and before the rain started, I got three of the eight bolts off that hold the stepside bed to the frame. Only three of the bolts are actually holding anything, but I still have to remove them all to get the bed off.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Upside down and sideways

Sitting on the top rail of the trailer.

No pictures, because by the time we got that big bitch home, it was 95 degrees and we were worn out from wrestling the 400 pound box.

Turns out the new bed is much better shape than I imagined. It is the complete bed from a 1968 longbed, fleetside anniversary edition truck. I felt a little guilty taking fairly rare pieces off of a cool old truck until I remembered that I was getting it for the cost of the rental trailer and three cases of beer.

Pictures tomorrow.

The question of the day...

How well do you think a truck bed that is a tad over 8 feet long will ride in a trailer that is a tad under eight feet long?

Should be a fun ride. Glad I won't be in the car behind the trailer.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A family affair

The entire family got some truck time this afternoon. The Boss Lady finished painting the rear bumper lettering for me while the kids played in the truck. Later this evening we were playing at the neighbor's house and the kids hung out at the truck, checking out everything under the hood. I removed the air filter so they could look into the carburetor and see the butterfly valve open. Then they got to watch the steering linkage and shifting linkages while I sat in the cab and moved everything around.

Good times.

We made it home before another storm hit this evening. Just made it into the garage with the new car before it started pouring again.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Fuel Pump #3

I swapped out the fuel pump this afternoon. This is the third one in a year. Pretty bad, since the truck has moved only 250 miles in that year. AND that counts the 50 miles it rode on a trailer to get here!

Not a huge deal, since the pump has a lifetime warranty. And with the practice, I can now install a fuel pump in less than 15 minutes. But now that I think about it, I might have been swapping out the wrong parts. But since the pump was off and it is under warranty, I switched it for a new one.

There was gas in the oil pan. I noticed that the level on the dipstick was really high this morning and sure enough, I could smell gas in the oil. Both signs of a bad fuel pump. But the truck was running fine before the swap. So I am thinking that maybe the fuel is getting to the oil pan another way. But that is where my mechanical knowledge ends.

I don't know what other ways it could be getting into the oil. Do you?

Or have I just gotten really unlucky with the fuel pumps from Auto Zone. I am sure they are not the greatest parts, but who can pass on a $15 part with a lifetime warranty?

Anyways, after swapping the pump and changing the oil and filter, we were back on the road this afternoon. Until I ran out of gas. But again, I was lucky. It happened at the end of the driveway.