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.