Sunday, July 30, 2006

Now hear this

You might wonder what that is in the photo above.

But if you are Rick, you surely know that it is speaker wire. Good for tying windows back onto Chevettes or in this case, I found it strapping the license plate bracket to the bed of a 1968 Chevy.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Re: Feeling Strong or Stupid?

That was the subject line of an email I sent out to the guys in the neighborhood. At least the ones that I thought might be willing to help me lift the fleetside truckbed onto the truck frame.

Waiting to meet her rear end transplant

The view from the backyard

After some discussion and measuring to see if the truck would fit back out of the gate with the bed mounted, after one of the guys reminded me that we brought the bed into the back yard on it's end panel, not flat, like I remembered, I backed the truck into the yard with 6 inches to spare. But because of the mirrors, that was only about an inch on each side when I backed up far enough to get out of the truck.

It took me several tries to get lined up on the narrow gate.

It only took us about 15 minutes with 4 guys. I backed the truck right under the bed while the other guys held it up. About 10 minutes later we were done bolting it down and ready for a quick ride to the front yard.

There was one other guy around, but he is a lawyer and for legal reasons, I don't want his picture on my blog.

By the way, The Talker skipped out on the work, but he was sure ready for the ride...

The bed floor. Not perfect, but much better than the old.

I think this is her best looking side, now.

Front Half, meet Back Half

In a couple of hours a few buddies are stopping by to help heave the fleetside bed onto the truck frame. The cost? A few beers per man. This bed has really gone through a lot of beer since I got it.

Pictures later.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Progress pictures

I am getting really close to installing the replacement bed. The driveshaft is back in. The shop even painted it black for me.

And I am wanted the cab to look a little better before I install the bed, so I pulled out the paint last night and covered a little more sheetmetal and rust with a decent looking Pacific Blue. I know it is a short term solution, but if the crappy paint job can buy me a few years without having to fork over $$$ for body work, then it is fine with me.

I still have some painting to do on the cab. But I don't really consider the replacement to be a permanent fix for the bed. One day I would like to put another stepside longbed on the truck. The replacement bed is still mainly in the original gold and white paint, but one outer bedside is primer grey. And it may stay that way while it is on my truck.

All of this is OK, since I am trying to fix this truck up to use around town, not to have a show truck. A lot of guys build good trucks that look awesome from 10 feet away, a "10 Footer". Lots old trucks look really good from further away, they might be "20 Footers". I am hoping my truck at least turns out to be a decent looking "20 Yarder"

An aside: After all of the work yesterday, I could not resist taking the truck for a spin around the block. No bed, no tail lights of any sort. But you know I was laughing all the way.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

One step closer

The driveshaft is back from the shop and already installed. After I finished the install, I got the transmission filled back up with gear oil. Is there any stinkier stuff in the whole world?

I checked all of my fluids and topped off the tires. In the next couple of days I hope to drive the truck into the backyard and not come out until there is a bed attached to the back half of the frame.

Next up, a new battery and rear brakes.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The worst $19.90 I ever did not spend

This afternoon I am picking up my driveshaft. When I called originally, they wanted $185 to tear down and rebuild the entire thing. But I decided to do it myself. After a dozen hours or so of pounding, I finally got the old universal joints out. Then I spent another few hours trying to get the carrier bearing off. After all of that, I gave up.

When they called to tell me it was finished, I found out that I had saved $19.90 by taking the u-joints out. But considering the time spent and that I still have a thumbnail that hasn't healed from hitting it with a hammer while trying to push one of the joints out, I now wish I had spent that money and saved my thumb instead.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

When I want something done right,

I hire the job out.

For the first time since I started messing around with my old truck, I am paying someone to work on it. Which is surely breaking the number one rule I set for myself when this all started. Back then I wanted to learn how to do everything to get the truck back on the road.

Now, I just want all of the pieces and parts that once made up my driveshaft to be put back together. And I gave up a while back on getting that job done myself. Technically, the shop is working on PART of the truck, not the truck itself.

I dropped the driveshaft and extra parts off today, hoping they would be back sometime before the truck or I turn 50 years old. And it SHOULD be back tomorrow afternoon. A nice surprise for my 36th birthday.

Now I can tell everyone that I really got the shaft on my birthday!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Driveway Dreaming

I hopped in the truck the other day and started it up just for grins. And it worked. Every time I hear this truck start up, usually on the first try, I just crack a huge smile.

I don't know if it is wise to run the engine without the driveshaft in place, so I kept it running for just a few minutes. Now that I have had my fix, maybe I can wait a few more months to actually leave the driveway.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Better frame pictures

In these shots you can better see the progress I made on the frame last weekend.

Friday, July 07, 2006


I recently have gotten tired of looking at the rusty truck frame in the driveway. So today I rednecked a frame paint job. Thanks to a half dozen cans of primer for rusty metal and a bunch of Rustoleum flat black spay paint, I got a half-assed paint job on the truck frame. I'll throw another can or two at it before I declare it DONE.

Does it look great? No. Does it look better? Yep. Does it look like it was done with a $20 budget in one afternoon? Indubitably.

But I think it looks better. And this was never planned to be a big budget restoration, just an effort at slowing down any further rot and deterioration.

Will it work? Don't know. Ask me in another 40 years and we will know for sure.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Easiest repair ever?

I have given up on the driveshaft. It is going to a driveshaft shop or a machine shop to get a new carrier bearing and universal joints. I took back the parts I bought, minus one u-joint that I think I damaged, and got a refund.

This week my self imposed deadline will pass. I wanted to have the truck road worthy to drive in the neighborhood July 4th parade. Maybe next year.

I am still trying to make some progress on the truck this summer, so I picked up a set of rear shocks and new mounting hardware this afternoon. Within 20 minutes of getting home with the parts I was putting tools away. Hopefully I installed them right, 'cause I know I installed them quick.