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Owned by Irwin Arnstein
Bolter # 2139
Garland, Texas

01 April 2009
# 2583

From Irwin :

       This is my Plain Jane 1972 Chevy C-10 half ton with 350/350 combo and air conditioning and power brakes. (Not many vehicles are sold in Texas without A/C once it became available!) Nothing else. It was originally was that ugly medium olive color. 

       I have made progress on the 1972 Chevy truck though. Despite all the distractions (like painting and fixing other people’s projects), you can see I got a few things done.  I used the tractor paint I’ve talked about in the forums and it's looking good so far.  I imagine it's going to last better than the Zero Rust product with their crappy clear coat that didn’t work for poop.  The ZR was good though and is the primer for the red truck (the 1959 Chevy 1-Ton).  Maybe if I had used a high quality clear like DCU 2020, it might have worked.

       I made headway while the weather was decent. I had the dash in and the steering wheel on Ė but I think I will have to take it off again as the end bearing is a bit too loose.

       I had my brother over to help me debug delouse and decrapify the wiring harness on the truck.  Well, we started trying to track the circuits and it just went down hill.  Even after removing the ignition switch from the harness, we decided it wasn't worth further investment in time and effort.  In fact just about every circuit was grounded out and I found various wires with the insulation cracked and coming off -- and that doesn't include the various hacks that went on as well.  So, I won a Painless Wiring Harness designed for 1967-1972 trucks off eBay and that will be going on promptly.  My '59 truck was down to about five wires when I got it and I used a Painless Wiring Harness on that vehicle too and it has been great since day one.  They label all the wires and it will take less time to rewire the whole mess than it took to try to figure out what had gone off.  The harness from eBay was brand new never used.  

       I have gone through a lot with getting the transmission close to operational. Its main issue is the setting of or making a control arm to control the TV cable from the carb. The 700r4 transmission needs that cable to work perfectly or it will burn itself up. With the non-standard stuff I did that mean extra engineering.

       Last November, I did a lot of the easy stuff such as putting back in all the stuff I took out to paint the cab such as the dashboard bits. I also changed the seat belts as I had the ugly green originals and went with new gray ones which are a bit more attractive (or a lot less ugly).

       In putting the steering wheel back on I found bits missing that I had to try to locate or fabricate, and my clan gave me a nice Chevy/Grant wooden wheel. Every time you go non-standard it is another engineering task which just takes a bunch of time.

       I also have info for the product review (see Irwin's Tech Tip: Motive Power Brake Bleeder). The brake bleeder thingy did not work as hoped. When I tried to pump it up, the strap on cap didnít hold sufficient pressure or seal well enough to prevent DOT 5 from leaking out. Not sure whether I will re-engineer their product or just let the shop do it. They told me they are making a metal strap on cap thingy in place of the plastic one that will work better. I was thinking of making a backing plate for it.

       This picture is the Chevy more or less as it was when I got it from my neighbor for $100 with no engine and a clapped out TH350 automatic. Now it has a proper 230 and a 700r4 overdrive automatic (plus a holly 390 cfm carb on a Clifford water heated manifold), and A/C. However, the long headers won’t work in a '72 Chevy, and those have been removed for use on the '59. So, instead I bought the shorty headers that will work (all from Clifford). 

       Hopefully this will be my daily driver when my Mercury gives up the ghost. 

       The wheels it has now are a set of 15” saw blades I got at a swap meet for $60 and had them re-machined. I did that and put 255 size tires on for only about $450.  With the engine improvements and the low gearing of first in the 700r4, it ought to have decent pop and still have good economy. 

       I've also been working on the interior of the truck. I added those LMC gray panels in the interior and have '96 Ford Excursion seats installed that I talked about in my Tech Tip on Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner as a cloth upholstery cleaner.

       When I get a minute, I'll add a bit about putting the transmission temp gauge. Pretty close with the whole thing now. If I can figure out the main power tap to the cab and starter wire, then I am ready to fill the tranny with goo and see if the thing will run. I have changed so many things on it, that I expect problems accordingly.

       Last month, I finally got the improved dashboard in. Working on the '72 has been a real glacial pace of progress!


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