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About Speed

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    Old Cars & Trucks,Harleys,BIG Old Trucks,exploring Ghost Towns,Nevada History

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  1. Okay-I got the exhaust tightened up,Got the wheel bearings packed/replaced,and the Exploder is substantially more fun to drive. Still a bit road-wild,due to the right lower ball joint being shot,but FAR better than before. Gassed it up and drove to Carlin and back,and it seems to be better gas mileage around town than on the highway-To Carlin,a wee bit of creeping around town there,and back got 18.2 mpg,but before that,a week of just town driving around Elko got me 20.4 mpg. The mileage COULD be about the same if I kept the highway speed closer to 65-70 instead of 75-80. (80 is about 3000 rpm.) The shop who did the exhaust and wheel bearings gave me a quote to replace the lower ball joints,but the owner said,"Huh-THIS is weird. For only another 3/10ths of an hour flat rate you can get ALL FOUR done." That'll make it around $360.00 plus my cost for parts. Not sure if he's set up to align it but that's not bad. As far as "farmed out" work,that'll be about all I need. The rest of it is just little stuff I can do myself. OH-that reminds me,I was given a '93 Exploder parts car. No title,but it's complete and is a runner. Has an auto. tx and full time 4X4. The guy says he thinks it has a posi rear end too. If that's true,I HOPE it's a 3.73 ratio. That'll also give me a couple of doors and the LF hinges,the inside liftgate cover,and a receiver hitch,and MAYBE even a set of hubcaps. I'm going out to check it out Sunday and do an "inventory" of what I can use. Speed
  2. Found a shop that "specializes" in rusted exhaust bolts;their shop looks a mess but they have a good rep for doing good reliable work,so I'm getting an estimate to fix the exhaust leaks and do a wheel bearing pack,installing the locking hubs I'll be bringing in. (I have new Timken bearings and National grease seals to use-they're fine with using the parts I bring in,as long as they're not used or "no-name" junk.) I have a brake hose to replace on the right front,but I can do that myself. I also bought some synthetic ATF to use in the T/C when I install the manual shift unit. Still need a couple of pieces of linkage for that-the tab and retaining nut and washer on the T/C,the shift link to the shifter and the shouldered bolt the shifter pivots on. I could make these parts,but I'd need a transmission to attach everything to,to mock it all up and test its operation on the bench.The way I see it,I'm getting close to having the machine I've wanted for quite a while,comfortable,roomy,reliable,set up the way I LIKE it,runs down the 4 lane at 90+ all day long,with decent mileage thrown in while still capable of bashing around the hills-all for under 2 grand. Down the road I might throw a little more into it for a locking rear end,a receiver hitch,maybe a beefier front bumper with a winch,but that's really about all I could want. I have PLENTY of OTHER trucks for other purposes. It must look like I'm lazy,but this last year has wrought havoc with my health,and I've discovered there's a LOT of work I just can't do anymore. Speed
  3. Okay-we found the wires for the O2 sensors and got them plugged in. The PO had them tied back and just didn't plug them in when he was "finished" putting the clutch in. The "check engine" light hasn't been on since plugging them in. It seems to have a little less torque than before,idles at about 700 rpm (down from 1000-1100) and now backfires a LOT on compression. Looks like I'll have to remove the crossover pipe bolts,clean threads and reinstall them tighter. So far the two shops I had check 'em wouldn't try to snug 'em up-one guy tried a little but was afraid he'd break one because they were so rusty looking.
  4. So far no problems other than having to pump up some pedal if I leave it parked for 6 months or so. I'll get one of those valves in the front brake line when I bring the truck home to replace the alternator and add the high power headlights. I'm also going to slide the flatbed about 6 inches closer to the cab and re-attach it. Last time I put it on I left it back a ways because I planned to add dual 4" stacks to it,mounted to a cross-frame bracket between the cab and the bed,but now I think mounting stacks to the headache rack would work fine;and if I decide to remove the bed and install the 5th wheel plate again I can use that time to build the bracket and bolt it to the frame,with nothing in the way. If I do it right,it,and the pipes,will fit with the bed in its original location. Speed
  5. The GMC has been upgraded to a dual reservoir master cylinder the same bore size as the original;I eliminated the Hydrovac,but the brakes work well without a booster,and there's room to add one if I need it. I had to use an adjustable proportioning valve which I mounted inside the right frame rail near the battery box,to compensate for the master cylinder's Disc/Drum configuration. The A/C compressor is for an on-board air system,to inflate tires,run the air horns and possibly operate air brakes if I need to move a trailer so equipped. It wouldn't be DOT legal,but would work for a short distance. I could make a very basic set-up and operate the trailer brakes via a trolley valve on the steering column-I have a couple in the shed. Speed
  6. Well,the clutch problem is SOLVED! And I didn't have to do ANYTHING to make it work! I took it to Les Schwabb to get some decent tires on it;they did the swap and PUSHED it out of the service bay,leaving it parked just outside the door. I'd explained the clutch would "work" if started in gear but would drag when stopped,like an automatic would. Apparently that scared 'em. Anyway,I got in the truck to leave,and as I did,my toe got under the clutch pedal and pulled it up a little. Something popped,and after that the clutch worked perfectly. My theory is that the pushrod from the pedal wasn't seating properly,and wasn't letting the master cylinder operate all the way through its range,and lifting the pedal allowed it to "center" itself. A closer inspection shows only ONE lower ball joint is bad,and it's DESPERATELY in need of a bearing pack. The NEW plan is to junkyard a set of stock locking hubs and spindle nuts/springs/etc. and installing those as I do the wheel bearings. Dutch says if I can make it to his place he'll help me do the lower ball joint (s) and get it aligned. I have some parts-N-tools to bring him anyway. THAT brings me to my next concern. My mileage has been hovering around 10 mpg,and I KNOW it can do better than THAT. This truck has two NEW O2 sensors,but the plugs they should plug into are missing. I know what the color codes are,one is a 3 wire,the other is 4 wires,of which two wires are paired to the 3 wire one,and the wires go from there-not sure where. I believe the PO butchered the wiring harness to 'em by pinching 'em between the block and bell housing when he installed the clutch and either cut 'em off or tied 'em off somewhere. I've noticed this thing starts GREAT in cold weather,and runs GREAT,but its behavior,and the fact that even with a leaky crossover pipe it NEVER backfires on compression braking,tells me it's running rich. The "check engine" light goes on and off randomly;I'm pretty sure the O2 sensors are most of the problem,but I'm nervous about doing anything with the wiring-I don't wanna risk smoking the ECM,even though there's half a dozen of these at Garcia's Towing in Wells. I ALSO need to go to school on adjusting the headlights on this thing-this is the first ever "modular headlight " set up I've ever owned. I have to find a 3mm socket too. I gave it a set of 100W headlight bulbs,so I should have a LOT more range than I'm noticing. I have my "Gotta Do" lists done for each vehicle now,and I have most of the parts,excepting a clutch and ring gear for the BroncWorth and some sort of an A/C compressor bracket for the '54 GMC. Speed
  7. The MAIN reason I've always liked the 420 is the "deep as an oil well" low gear. Was there ever a 435 or 465 with anything close to the 420's low gear? Were either of 'em offered with the E-brake option(?)? Regarding the limitations of the Jimmie Six,I've NEVER been a fan of high revs. When I had my 80 Harley 80 incher,I had 'er geared to run 80 mph at around 2500 revs. IT was happy there,I was happy there,it was perfect,and with solid lifters and a points ignition it had plenty of torque to get rolling even riding two-up with a load of yard sale treasure. BTW-the 4 main six seems to be VERY critical of balance,so when a build is done you have to have the rotating assembly balanced REALLY well. Another thing that will make it live longer is a set of lighter pistons-those stockers would be a liability if it's gonna wind more than 3500. (Not sure how a set of light,higher compression pistons would hold up in a 2 ton truck,though-I'd assume lugging it down to 300 rpm would no longer be an option.) I'd be curious -to see what changes happen with pistons 1/3 the weight of stock ones,with a couple of points higher compression-horsepower curve,torque curve,MORE torque or less,MORE horsepower,or less? At what rpm? I've set my own redline for the 302 at around 2750 if needed,but usually around 2600 against the factory's 3400. Besides,a Jimmie doesn't NEED more than 2600 to do its work-twisting it beyond that's just bangin' your head against the wall. It looks like finding the 4 speed I'd like will be a long shot,so I'll roll with the Clark for now. My next projects have to be a new alternator,and 5/8" pulley,a new 5/8" belt,rebuilding the rear section of drive line,better headlights,swapping the Cherokee black leather bucket seats in,and a new clutch. (MAYBE new rear axle seals and brakes...) And an EXHAUST system. I've decided on a high flow quiet muffler in 3",going back into a 3" stack on the left. A LOT of this will have to wait until later,as I have other more pressing things to deal with. The alternator/belt/pulley is a MUST HAVE. Speed
  8. Nothing is as easy as it seems. I got a call from the shop manager asking me to come to the shop. When I got there I expected the truck to be apart waiting on installation of its new clutch but NOTHING was done. Turns out the rear spring hangers and shackles are rusted through,and the mechanic said he wouldn't do the clutch until I got these parts replaced. (It ALSO needs front wheel bearings and lower ball joints.) I have the parts located,it'll be a little spendy but it fixes everything I need to start driving the Exploder. Then,all that's left is little stuff-a door,some power window switches,a heater fan switch,a shifter for the manual shifted Transfer case I'll be installing when Spring comes and a set of locking hubs. Grand total will be under $2,000.00 for something I've wanted for a long time. Speed
  9. I don't know about quality,but I'll be getting my switches from LMC. It seems like everyone has problems with the window switches. It'd be worth sourcing the best of 'em and offering a conversion harness and switch to fit whatever vehicle you own. Sounds like the mechanic had plans to bleed the clutch again but he says he'll go ahead and change out the clutch first. He's convinced that quick release coupling at the release bearing will allow air into the system so he'll have to bleed the system again anyway. Something that crossed my mind is this;When I got this truck there were supposed to be two nuts welded to the inside of the firewall that were to bolt the master cylinder in-the bolts were to be inserted from under the hood,and the one closest to the transmission was a genuine pain to get to-the brake booster hung right over it and my arm had to bend backwards to start it. the other hole was useless,the nut had broken loose,so the hole it left was almost the size of a dime. I went ahead and broke the other nut off the firewall,and put a modified "clip nut" on each ear of the master cylinder,and using bolts with medium sized flat washers,I was able to bolt the master cylinder in from INSIDE the truck-MUCH easier. Here's the question-the clip part of the clip nuts is,I'm guessing maybe ..020-.040" thick,and that's what is between the cylinder and firewall-would that stand the master cylinder far enough from the firewall to affect the clutch travel? I doubt .040 is enough to make a difference,but then,I didn't think a BB sized air bubble would keep the clutch from working either. Popular opinion in the shop is that the PO installed something wrong or something he installed is defective. (release bearing-is it supposed to have a spacer or something behind it to push it forward from the transmission a set distance??) Seems like there was a hard plastic "sleeve" about a half inch or so thick that kept the release bearing from bottoming against the front of the transmission,but this might have been a different application.Looking at the Manual I see there IS a bolted in "alignment collar" of sorts,and a spring behind the release bearing;I think forgetting either one could cause a failure to release.
  10. STILL waiting for the Exploder to be finished. They finally got the hydraulics working but it still isn't disengaging fully. Since I have a full new clutch set,he's replacing it all;should be done today,but I'm figuring Friday. Then I'll take it over and get tires on it. I have a set of P235/75-15's for it that only have about 100 miles on 'em. I've decided to replace all the power window switches and I'm going to replace the left rear door complete,since the linkage,switches and motor are all toast in this one. (Besides-this truck is the only one I've ever had that doesn't have at least one door of a different color. Can't stay that way-it's TRADITION. Regarding the 4WD,while it's on the rack I'll look at the wiring to the shift motor,and see if I can figure out why the 4X4 isn't working-that's kinda necessary up here. After THAT,all it needs is a real trailer hitch,wiring plug and brake controller. Oh,I also need to figure out why the heater fan doesn't work;I checked all the fuses/breakers in the truck and all is well there. Hope the switch isn't bad-it's about $70.00 new. (That's where a toggle switch will come into play...) More to follow....
  11. The Exploder-I mean Explorer,has a hydraulic release bearing,with two stub lines coming out of the bell housing and a bleeder also outside the bell housing. As near as I can tell,the lines at the bell housing use quick couplings that keep everything sealed up until they're connected. I have some shop time booked Monday to get this thing finished. I decided the next project is a front axle rebuild on the Toyota. It's had one axle that's been a little noisy for some time,but it worked fine at 45 mph or under,but last time I locked the hubs it shook like hell even at 15 mph. I noticed it got even worse when I made a right turn. I have a couple of good axles I bought from a guy last Summer when he changed his rock crawler over to the Chevy style axles. I figure this is the time to swap the good axles in and re-seal the pinion and steering knuckles,and convert to Synthetic lube. Maybe drain and re-fill the REAR axle with Synthetic too. I wanted to go for a couple of Yukon pocket-lockers too,but their price has gone beyond ridiculous. One painful step at a time,right? Speed
  12. Hope you all had a Merry Christmas! 😇 After about a Month of work,I got the Explorer back,it STILL isn't fully functional but the mechanic said to drive it a little and see if it works better or worse,bring it back in a week or so and we could go from there. It got worse-well,it stays the same some of the time,is worse some of the time,I'm taking it back tomorrow to see if he can take another run at tilting the truck's nose up high on the hoist (to encourage the air to go to the lines so a pressure bleed might get the air out.) That got a lot of air out of the system with the pressure bleeder last time. 🤔I think there's some value to using vibration to jar the air bubbles loose from wherever they're hiding. He DIDN'T do that last time. Dutch suggested using an electric engraver with the point flattened and going all over the lines and M/C to make all the bubbles go to the highest point THEN bleeding it. ONE thing is obvious-this truck is WORTHLESS on any kind of snow,ice or mud without the 4WD working😠. (Only 1 wheel driving and no appreciable tread on it,and a clutch that drags enough to keep pushing the truck except on dry pavement.) I got in contact with the guy who owns the truck ( Bronco II) the manual shift T/C is from,he gave the truck to a friend but the friend says the shifter is still there and I can have it,so that's one less thing I need to find. Apparently the linkage is missing,but I can make that;the part I can't make is the little arm the linkage connects to that fits the stub shaft sticking out of the T/C case. I figure I could probably get by with the stock automatic hubs until I find a set of manual hubs. Not the best choice for mileage,but will work if needed. Not planning on ANY work on the trucks for the next 10 days or so,the high temps here will be the low/mid 20's-not conductive to working outside.🙂 Speed
  13. This truck had a 270 and a 420 originally,but probably had the Brownie installed before the current 302/Clark,which was pretty much standard issue for the Military trucks of larger than Deuce and a half sizes. The Clark doesn't have an E brake. Since I have other work to do on this truck (slide the bed forward,bigger alternator,dual batteries,100W headlights,new clutch,re-tube drivelines and change the front yoke,build a proper exhaust system),if you know anyone who has a one ton up 420 with the trans. E-brake who wants to trade it straight across for an overdrive,I'll pull the Clark out for 'em. I don't want to trade for a worn out 420 though,it needs to be in at least fair,usable shape. I suspect the Clark may need an output shaft bearing,but it works fine otherwise and is quiet,for a crashbox. Speed
  14. Thanksgiving Dinner was about a 7;the meat was tough and the dressing was good,but not enough. Enjoyed visiting with my Sister though. Yeah,I rode the Harley over-it was raining,but not slick. On the way home,it was SUPPOSED to be snowing hard,but it was clear skies and dry roads. Not sure what the wind chill was-temperature was about 35 degrees,not bad at all. That's been about the high in the last few days,and appears the same will be true for another week,with occasional snow/rain. WONderful! =========================================================================================================================== Turns out the new throwout bearing/slave cylinder was dysfunctional too. The Mechanic got everything in place,filled,bled properly,and it STILL won't disengage the clutch. BUT-Since I have a NEW clutch set,a NEW sealed hydraulic system for the clutch and NEW flywheel,I asked for an estimate to install it. Still waiting to hear back. I expect the labor to be around $500.00-600.00,and I know there'll be no warranty. Can't wait to have it done. Once I have it operable,I think the next job will be swapping the engine in my One Ton Chevy.Having THAT done I'll have it reliable enough to run even on the freeway,though somewhat slowly.(It seems pretty "short-legged",for some reason. Maybe it's a combination of restricting my RPM's to 2,000,to reduce the oil usage and switching from the original 235/85-16's to 9.00-16.5's,) ============================================================================================================================ Used the '90 GMC to run an errand,seems to be a sound truck. I need to get the hard water haze off the windshield. A friend told me about something called "Barkeeper's Friend" he says works awesome. I'll write a review when I try it. Monday I'll go to DMV and get the required paperwork to apply for a duplicate title,an affidavit of non-use and an official Bill of Sale. The PO says he'll fill out all the papers but will NOT take time off from work to go to DMV with me to get this done. (I THINK I can still get a 30 say Temp. Permit on it at this point.)
  15. My '74 Chevy one ton is inoperable-the starter doesn't work. MY opinion is the ignition wire's either disconnected or damaged. The point of mentioning this is that I had an appointment to get to on Monday,but the truck wouldn't start,so I drove the Explorer,still clutchless. Once that was handled I drove over and filled the gas tank and a 1.25 gallon gas can,just for emergency use. Then I took it to a local Garage I trust to get its clutch hooked up and bled. I called this AM,Wednesday,to ask how it was going,and the mechanic said he got it assembled,filled and bled it and it still has no clutch function. I've asked him to work up an estimate to just break it down and do a COMPLETE clutch job,labor only because I have ALL the parts for it new. Hope to hear from him Friday. I don't wanna spend that much on the clutch job,but I need this thing done,and I know I'm unable to do it myself. I think the labor and parts costs are nearly the same,it looks like the labor will probably be around $500-600. I know they can't offer a Warranty if they use owner-supplied parts,but the parts are good quality and the mechanic does excellent work,so I'm not worried. In the meantime,with nothing to drive operable,I'll probably ride the Harley over to my Sister's place foe Thanksgiving dinner. Hope it doesn't snow more than a couple of inches-this bike gets pretty unstable in any more snow than that. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Speed
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