Happy Fourth Of July All!
Lets see, since my last check in, I moved my garage to the right side of the truck. During the week, I would putter with the brakes, cleaning and painting and installing parts. It went a lot faster having already done the left side. Still had to go back and look at pictures, but I think I have the hang of it. One trick that made it easier was to not cinch the wheel cylinders down until after attaching the cross connecting brake line. It was easier to line up the threads. I think the only other issue I bumped into was the brake she sneaking under the lip of the backing plate when I was not looking, so I had to take it off again after the drum would not slide on. It has been a long weekend, and my memory is fuzzy, but I think I adjusted the brakes after that. Turned the clicky thing with a brake spoon until it started rubbing, then backed off three clicks. I need some brake spoon hole plugs to keep the dust out. I am guessing none of the trucks around here still have them, but I will go looking.
Saturday morning (or maybe it was Sunday), I greased up the ends of the axles, inserted my special tool (a fine threaded long carriage bolt), and slid the axles into place. There was a frustrating moment when I could not get the first one to seat, but the shop manual told me to bang on it, so I found a rubber mallet and knocked it into place. The other side did not want to align at first, but as I rotated it around, it found it's home with no help from the mallet. I used rtv silicone gasket maker for the hubs, stole a lock washer from grandpa, and all of a sudden, my truck was back together. I used my fathers 5 gallon pail gear oil pump to fill up the rear end, and I also replaced the oil in the transmission.
Brake fluid was next on the list, and I was feeling pretty good about myself. Started pumping up pressure on the master cylinder, and if I let it off just so, the air bubbles would back pressure out. I worked it for a few minutes, then crawled under to check on the system. I could have cried, both wheel cylinders were leaking like crazy. I am sure there was cursing. I crawled under in the dirt to try to understand, they were leaking at the back of the cylinders, so I cranked down harder on the bolt. Apparently there is a small part of my brain that works on mechanical problems while my conscious is acting the fool. It came and tapped me on the shoulder and said "see that shiny round thing on the brake line side? You probably need one on the other" Sure enough, I went over to the trash, pulled out the old wheel cylinder, and there was a copper compression washer still stuck to the back. I pried it off with a screwdriver. The problem is, I had tossed the other cylinder a week before, and it was in the trash trailer at someone else's house. I grabbed some rubber gloves, and jumped in the Jeep. The plan was to stop at a couple mechanicky peoples shops to see if they had one laying around, and if not, dig through the trash trailer. Luckily, my second stop at my Uncle/Cousin's place turned up a washer. I cleaned them both up, installed them in their correct locations, no more leaks. The funny thing is, I would never had known to even think about it, except I had to do brake lines on the Jeep when we put the lift kit on.
I put a new thermostat on the truck, mostly as an excuse to make sure the water was flowing properly, who knew how old and corroded the old one was. As I was finishing it up, my other cousin showed up with some tire tools. Two of my rims were leaking air at the beads, and he had worked at a big rig tire shop in college, so he was going to teach me tires. To date, this was the least fun thing I have done on this truck. What a torturous hell it is to bust down big tires by hand. We pried and banged and sweated and swore, and about died in the heat, and that was just on the easy one. He went to get a grinder to clean up the rusty rims while I attempted the hard one by myself. I did it to build character, but I am all full of character now. I will pay a shop to do future tires. Horrible.https://68.media.tumblr.com/396a94b29c207955f82a50905adf2311/tumblr_oshqrkD37I1tf758jo1_1280.jpg
While he ground the second rim, I went and got the special tool for getting gear oil in the new hubs, I believe it is referenced as a JD644. Also handy for putting the newly inflated tire back on the truck.https://68.media.tumblr.com/569a4c15171e9381bd758108a95248d0/tumblr_oshqtaYrwJ1tf758jo1_1280.jpg
While the first tire seated itself without too much work, the second was not having it, not even with gobs of tire soap. So my cousin goes over to his truck, and pulls out something that looks like it is off the set of a Mad Max movie. It is an air tank with a rebar handle welded to it, and a 2" pipe coming off one end, that flares out to a wide narrow tip. There is a valve halfway down the pipe. Basically, you pressurize the air tank, stick the flared end between the tire and rim, and pull the lever. BAM tire soap everywhere, but the rubber seated to the rim. Pretty damn cool if you ask me.https://68.media.tumblr.com/19b172b9aca123aa99cab03c739a4dbd/tumblr_oshqufiONI1tf758jo1_1280.jpg
We were both dying by this point, because sledgehammers are not fun in hot humid weather, but we powered on. I crawled under to bleed the rear brakes. Hard to tell if I was doing it correctly, because I have never done it before, but I got it so that no air was coming out. I think. Snapped this photo right before moving to the front brakes:https://68.media.tumblr.com/26e6c7ed3a2c754f21b15b0099cecacc/tumblr_oshqw1txNC1tf758jo1_1280.jpg
As I crawled under to find the front bleeders, a micro burst hit full on with shear winds, hail, and just buckets of rain. It was a good thing we were there, because we kept the pop up shade from going through the Dually window by about 6 inches and 10 seconds. If you have never tried to take down a pop up shade in a hurricane, I very much recommend the experience. It builds character. My cousin bailed after that, and I spent an hour after walking around in the pounding rain picking up wrenches that had blown away, and trying to clean up the mess. My tool boxes all had an inch of water in them, and everything has a fine patina of rust now. W really needed the rain though, so I am not complaining too much.
I worked a half day on Monday the third. The plan was to finish bleeding the brakes after work, but I could not make it through a full day, and it looked like another storm was building. I did a few more little items on the truck. Tried cinching up the loose exhaust pipe (and noticed the crack in the manifold). Put the patch back on the fuel tank that had been previously duct taped, put the spare in it's rack, used the plywood shop floor to cover the hole in the bed, put the license plate on, cleaned the air filter, then, I was out of excuses. I got in the truck, fired it up, put her in reverse, stalled out because that was 4th. Started it again found reverse, and backed up under power. What a rush that was after all the work have been doing. I over-road my genetic instinct to drive to town without insurance, and spent the next hour on the phone with the insurance company and the dmv. Good timing, because the monsoon hit, and I am sure the wipers on the truck don't work. After the storm passed, and my paperwork was in order, I hit the road. The brakes are on a 5 pump pressure build right now, but the truck is pretty low geared, so I was not too worried about it. I inched down the hill, put on the blinker that works, and hit the open road with my dogs at my side, and the wind blowing through my hair. Completely made all the work worth it. Sorry for teh bad videos, it is hard to drive that truck and film with the phone:https://twoheelers.tumblr.com/post/162574855614https://twoheelers.tumblr.com/post/162574953433
I drove over to my master mechanic buddies house, the one who helped me with the bearings. The ear to ear grin and double thumbs up as he saw me pulling up the driveway was pretty contagious. Almost forgot to pump the brakes. We celebrated with a toast, and I stole some new mirrors from his inventory, and then headed to my cousin's place. We were able to sort of bleed the power booster, but the front brake bleeders were snapped off, and rusted into place. Hopefully I can just buy new bleeders to replace the old ones. We will see, but it was time for a sunset cruise with my girlfriend. She has a bunch of gorgeous videos and photos, but I only have access to this one for now:https://68.media.tumblr.com/551d095d36d2b8e09af52caa3308b645/tumblr_osjqbmbCM61tf758jo1_1280.jpg
Tuesday was parade day. I drove the truck around town all morning, just to make sure I had a handle on it and there would be no surprises. I even tested the 2 speed rear end out on the highway. There are some creaks and groans, and the power steering pump will not hold fluid. Only one front blinker works, but it was so fun to drive around. I lined up in the parade behind the other old cars, and away we went. It is nerve wracking watching kids dart around for candy when you are in a large truck with sketchy brakes, but it all ended well. In the last photo, you can see my grandfather looking on as I drove past their parade watching spot. Brought it all full circle.https://68.media.tumblr.com/6e6aa467f21edcebe71740562ac6ff23/tumblr_osmhp3wHdH1tf758jo1_1280.jpghttps://68.media.tumblr.com/06a1260ce6ec1a8c88a0c356950b89a3/tumblr_osmhmeULpC1tf758jo1_1280.jpg
There is still obviously a ton of work to do on this truck, 2 tons actually, but it felt good to hit my deadline and drive the truck in the parade. Now I have a self imposed deadline to have it all wrapped up for next years parade. Thanks to all who helped get it this far, and I will try to continue to post weekly updates. Not sure what I am goign to tackle after I line the brakes up. Little systems like the power booster and power steering? Wiring? Take the bed off and paint the frame? We will see. I know the motor needs to come apart, but I want to drive it around a bit before I do that. At the least the valves need to be adjusted and I need a new exhaust manifold and intake manifold gasket. It is probably goign to be a lot more than that, but it is all building character.