Hello everyone, i'm back. At least for now. First I would like to apologize for (yet again) taking so long to update my project journal. It has been a crazy last few months between working multiple odd jobs for friends and family members, preparing for college, and working on my truck in my spare time. I have, however made some substantial progress since my last post.
The first thing I did was manage to track down another Borg Warner R-10 overdrive, also in New Jersey. This one, like the last one, is a passenger car transmission, supposedly from a 55-57. I took it apart just to make sure that the inside looked decent, and it did. It also had the governor and the bracket for the lockout cable, two items I did not even realize were missing on the first one. I got a color coded wiring harness complete with relay and kickdown switch for it from a fellow stovebolter by doing a partial trade with the good parts from the first overdrive, and I bought a generic pull cable from Autozone for the lockout. Being a passenger car 3-speed, the lower 2 mounting holes were not threaded, so I put grade 8 thru-bolts with nuts and lock washers in them. I replaced the driveshaft yoke seal, but I need to find the seals for the solenoid shaft and lockout lever.
The other thing I did was to bite the bullet and buy another cab. This one is a cardinal red C-60 cab from nebraska, and is in much better shape. It does have a couple of rust issues, the most major being the top inside edge of the windshield opening. The passenger side rocker will also need replaced, but that's not too hard to do and I already have a pair of OEM rocker panels that I got from a friend of mine.
I have been thinking about different ways to patch the roof rust, my main options as I see it being to remove the rusted areas and patching in the conventional method, or removing/replacing the entire inner roof panel. The white cab, for some inexplicable reason, had an absolutely perfect inner roof panel, so I will be using that to patch the red one no matter what I do. At first I thought replacing the entire inner roof panel would be the easier route, plus it would have the added benefit of allowing me to deal with any issues inside the roof before they become major. With this in mind, I purchased a spotweld cutter, and removed the outer roof skin from the white cab, both for the practice, and to facilitate removing the inner roof panel. The construction of the cab was more complex than I had anticipated, plus the inner roof panel flares out at the front corners where it joins with the inner a pillars, making the panel 2-3" wider then the opening. So, I am now reconsidering the conventional method.
In preparation for leaving for college, I disposed of as much extra bulk as I could to free up space in my grandpa's shop, and (after cutting off anything I thought might be useful) took the remains of the two old cabs to the metal recycler's. I also cut the old frame right behind the transmission crossmember, and threw the rear half away. I plan to make an engine run stand out of the front part sometime in the future.
Unfortunatly, This will probably be my last post for a while, as I am now at college in McPherson, KS, and am about to experience a new definition of the word "busy." I was not able to bring my truck with me, but hopefully I will be next year.
After a much-too-long absence, I am back to working on the truck in full force, and back on the 'Bolt
I'm still at college in McPherson KS studying auto restoration, but this year I was able to buy a trailer and haul the '63 out here with me, were I can work on the truck under the watchful eye of my professors, and have access to a lot of high-dollar tools that I wouldn't normally. The trip out went fairly smoothly, except for one incident about four hours from home, somewhere in the Shenandoah mountains, when the tow vehicle (a 1997 Chevy C2500 that I bought about a year ago as a daily) started overheating... badly. By the time I got to a place where I could pull over safely, the temperature gauge (which tops out at 230) was pegged, even though the A/C was off and the heater was going full blast. A large pool of coolant quickly appeared in front of the driver's side tire and there was some steam rolling out from somewhere near where the upper radiator hose attached to the radiator. Thankfully, my family was travelling with me in a second vehicle, which we used to scout around, and we managed to find a shop less than a mile away who was able to look at the truck right then. I topped off the coolant bottle and limped the truck to the shop, hoping that it was just a blown radiator hose. Nope... the radiator was cracked. The good news was, while it was expensive, they had us back on the road 4 hours later, and we were still able to make it to our intended destination that night. I think the problem may have been that the radiator cap was have been installed incorrectly, and wasn't allowing coolant to expand into the overflow bottle (unfortunately that idea didn't occur to me until after I had already removed the cap once to check the coolant level, so I have no way of knowing for sure). It was doing fine until we made a short restroom stop, where I shut the truck down for about 10 minutes (with hindsight, I probably should have left it running so coolant would circulate, but who knows). It was an uphill start out of the rest stop, merging into 75 mph traffic, followed by several straight miles of uphill pulling, and I think the combined effect of these extra stresses on the engine was enough to heat the coolant to the point were, possibly not being able to escape to the overflow bottle, it burst the radiator. With the new radiator, I was able to pull the load up hills in high gear with the A/C on without the needle budging off of normal operating temperature. So, now my daily has a new radiator and thermostat, and fresh coolant... not an altogether bad thing. I'm just glad I didn't blow a head gasket, or worse.
Anyway, now for what I've accomplished on the old truck. Last spring, I took a class in sheetmetal forming and welding, which I attempted to put into practice back home over the summer on one of the bedsides. I figured this would be an easy place to start, since it's flat, and, if I screwed it up too bad, replacements aren't that hard to come by. The welding went well. It didn't warp the metal beyond what would have been pretty easy to fix, except that I had a temporary lapse of memory, and thought that welds expanded when they cooled rather than shrunk. Acting on this, I tried to fix what little warp there was by heat-shrinking around the perimeter of the patch . Of course, this only made it worse, and I spent many hours over the course of the rest of the summer trying to get it back to were it was before I made my mistake. Now that I am out here, the body work has been put temporarily on the back burner. I still think I can salvage the bedside, although it will take a lot of work (some might say more work than it's worth, and they might very well be right), but I' learning by doing it, so I'll keep plugging along. I've set up shop in the "sheds," a storage unit rental establishment next door to the college, were with most of the auto students here have some kind of project they're working on. It's not much, but it has a roof, a concrete floor and a power outlet.
The reason I have made the bodywork a secondary priority is that two of the classes I am taking this semester are engine rebuilding and and drivetrain restoration, so I'm thinking it will work out well to go through these areas of the truck concurrently with these classes. As a matter of fact, the drivetrain professor is letting me rebuild my transmission as one of my in-class projects. Originally, I had decided to just put the engine and transmission back in the truck pretty much as they were, but I have since decided against that for several reasons. First, it doesn't seem right to do that considering the amount of work I'm doing to the rest of the truck. I also didn't/don't really know for sure exactly what kind of shape the mechanical components are in, and it will be a good learning experience to put everything I'm learning into practice on an actual vehicle.
I'll start with the transmission. I've actually been out here for about 5 weeks now, and have gotten a fair amount of work done. I had good intentions of resuscitating this project journal closer to the beginning of the semester, but I was just plain too busy. Anyhow, we tore the transmission down completely (the class has been divided into four groups of three which work on their class projects as a team), and found that, while it is in decent shape, it has its fair share of issues. For starters, one of the teeth on first gear was chipped, which did a little bit of damage to the cluster gear and reverse idler gear. First gear will definitely have to be replaced, but we think the other two will be alright. I have the original non-overdrive transmission out here with me, so I thought about robbing the gears out of that one, but wouldn't you know it has the exact same problem! The overdrive unit is in good shape, thankfully, although the governor is inoperative at the moment. Apparently, it is supposed to close the electrical contacts at approximately 500 RPM, so we put it in a lathe and ran it above and below that speed to test its operation. We weren't ever able to get continuity between the case and the electrical contact, despite cleaning both thoroughly with a wire wheel and cleaning up the internal points lightly with emery cloth. There is quite a bit of rust and crud inside the governor, so I'm thinking the weights are just seized. As of the last class on Wednesday, I am working on disassembling the governor so I can clean up the insides. The only other issue with the overdrive part of the transmission is that the metal worm gear which the speedometer gear and the governor run on has been absolutely shredded. It looks like the governor was locked up at one point and chewed up the threads, so I'll be looking for a new one of those, as well as a new governor drive gear. The speedometer gear in the overdrive transmission has 24 teeth, while the one that is original to the truck has 22, so I'm wondering if I'll be able to get a worm gear that is compatible with my original speedometer gear so that the gauge reads accurately. There are some other differences between the two transmissions besides the speedometer gear and the bottom mounting holes not being threaded. The shifter shafts are different lengths and have the shift arms clocked at different positions, so I figured I'd just use the side cover off the original transmission. Unfortunately, the detents which hold the transmission in gear are pretty worn on that side cover. The ones on the passenger car transmissions's side cover are in better shape, so I'm planning on putting the original shifter shafts into the new side cover. Interestingly, the shifter shaft seals on my original transmission are o-rings that fit into a groove around the shaft, while the ones on the OD trans are rubber seals pressed into the cover, so I guess I'll have a double seal on my shifter shafts, which won't hurt.
I'm also working on the engine, although not as a class project, as they don't want me holding up the class (it's divided into groups just like my drivetrain class) if it has to be sent to a machine shop or something, which I can understand. The engines we are rebuilding in that class (mostly Chevy small-block V8s) get rebuilt every year, and so it's a more controlled experience. The professor is very willing, however, to give me advice and assistance with my personal projects, and I can bring the engine, or pieces of it, into the shop for a day or two if I need to. I got the engine pretty well stripped down (removed the alternator, distributor, manifolds, wiring, etc.) and then did a leak-down test on it with a tester the school let me borrow. It was actually surprisingly decent- none of the cylinders registered outside the green band on the gauge (I think the worst was 43%). The rings were leaking on all but one of the cylinders, as were 3 of the valves. Money is a little tight, so I'm hoping I can get away with rebuilding just the head and re-sealing the whole thing. When I did the leak-down test, I pulled the valve cover off for the first time in the four years I've owned the truck. Yuck! There was enough black sludge built up under there that you had to dig to find the tops of the head bolts. Other than this though, and one extremely loose rocker arm, nothing seemed amiss. After I got done with the test, I pulled the head off, same story there. The bores are all clean and there is no scoring or pitting in any of them, although there is a noticeable amount of ring ridge. The pistons also appear to be in good shape.
My goal is to have a driveable chassis by the end of the semester. To do this, I've got to get the engine and transmission re-installed, replace the engine bay wiring and radiator, fabricate an exhaust, and track down a driveshaft and core support. It probably also wouldn't hurt to at least pull the cover off the differential and inspect it. My original one-piece driveshaft got mangled while a U-joint was being pressed in. I'm thinking of going with a two-piece unit, since the frame I'm using was set up that way when I got it, and it eliminates the chance of it bottoming out on the frame crossmember that it passes through. My original radiator core support was badly rusted, so even though I could probably salvage it if I had to, I've decided I need to pick my battles, and just get a replacement. I don't think they're too hard to find. My radiator is shot (Hmm, that seems to be a recurring theme with my vehicles ). The solder joints on the steel braces along the edges have all broken, leaving the braces just sort of "floating" between the tanks, and 90% of the fins have become separated from the tubes. I thought about getting it re-cored, since it is the original Harrison unit, but it seems that, if I could even find someone to do it, it would be considerably more expensive than buying a new unit. I did some research on them between classes this morning, and both Classic Parts and LMC have authentic-looking replacements available for about $350. I'd be curious to know some of your opinions on these, if any of you have used either of them and were pleased with them, and if there's any difference between the two companies. I want to keep things looking at least somewhat factory under the hood, and the engine is staying completely stock, so I really don't want to do an aluminum radiator. I had heard somewhere that somebody made an aluminum radiator that looked like the stock one when painted, as it had all the ridges and whatnot stamped into it, and I'd be fine with that if they're not too expensive, but I haven't been able to find these online anywhere. All this being said, when rubber hits the road the biggest concern is the cost. I want to do this truck right, but I can't throw money around too lightly.
Anyway, it's great to be back. I should be able to post fairly frequently from now on, although some of them may be on the shorter side depending on how busy I am with schoolwork and how much I get done on the truck.
I have plenty of pictures, so rather than post them here, I'll (hopefully) create a link to a Google Photos album. Here goes:
I recently watched some episodes of " Barn Find Hunter" with Tom Cotter and a 1962 Ford Country Sedan which they restored and donated to McPherson College. ( Episode #63 )
Anyways, kind of interesting at least for me, that the show highlighted where you are going to college. Tom toured the "sheds" which you mentioned above, so I was really hoping you were interviewed as part of the show. I just watched it again looking for you or your project and too bad you are not mentioned!
Just missed your 15 seconds of fame???
Keep up the good work, Steve
1946 Chev 1/2 ton - 6V/+ground/Bias-ply original - shake/Rattle and Roll! 1940 Chev 1/2 ton Franken/Restomod
Thanks Hambone, you guys are the greatest resource I have.
Steve, I'm afraid I did miss my moment in the spotlight . That segment was filmed last spring before I had my truck out here, dang it. I even missed the handing-off ceremony because of a prior commitment. I did have my left arm make it into a Hemmings Classic Car article about the college last spring, though . In the picture below I'm the one in the green coat in the background.
I worked on the governor yesterday, got the guts removed from the case and threw them in an ultrasonic cleaner. That didn't do much, so they're now soaking in a can of solvent until tomorrow. There was a shaft seal in the bottom of the governor that we decided to replace, so we pulled the dimensions off of it so we could look it up in an old Fedral-Mogul seal catalog that the professor produced. (we figured trying to look it up by application wouldn't work too well). It came up as a 474279N, but the local O'Reilly's wasn't able to find any cross-reference for it. I'll probably go back in tonight or tomorrow with the dimensions and see if they can look it up by size (shoulda done that in the first place).
I'm also working on the solenoid. The number four terminal had been broken off at some point and then welded on slightly crooked, but I was able to bend it back where it needed to be. I'm also working on redoing the insulation around the hole in the case for the same terminal, which had dried out and fallen off. As per my instructors advice, I'm going to get three fiber washers and stack them up with the middle one sanded down a little so that it fits in the hole, and keep the whole thing together with a grommet I pirated from the upholstery department.
I'm also including a picture of my mangled speedometer worm gear, in case anyone's interested.
I had heard somewhere that somebody made an aluminum radiator that looked like the stock one when painted, as it had all the ridges and whatnot stamped into it, and I'd be fine with that if they're not too expensive, but I haven't been able to find these online anywhere. All this being said, when rubber hits the road the biggest concern is the cost. I want to do this truck right, but I can't throw money around too lightly.
I bought one of the aluminum radiators from a company called KKS Motor Sports through Amazon a year and a half ago. I paid $175 for it. I have been very happy with it so far. Here's a couple of before and after shots of it. The only thing missing on it is the Harrison name stamped into the radiator. I can live without that.
Have you figured out how to connect the Tach to your straight 6 yet?
Cedric, I have my old radiator from my 66 in my garage. Did not use it due to laziness in that I had an extra and I mocked up the engine to run on stand with the extra radiator. Did not leak when I took it out of the truck. Its yours if you want it. I am happy to get it to F-burg if you have a courier to pick it up there. Been waiting for the right time to clear it out of the garage. no charge. Cant beat the price.
Doug, thank you so much, that would be great! I'll send you a PM so we can work out the details.
Dave, thanks for the info, that's exactly what I was thinking of. My radiator is a little different from yours it looks like, Chevy must've changed the design when they switched from the 235 to the 230. My upper tank is straight across the top, and the connection for the upper radiator hose is off to one side because there's a bracket dead center which holds the top of the radiator in place (unfortunately I don't have a picture). Mine also does not have mounting brackets on the sides, instead it is held in place by three brackets (two on the bottom, one on the top) which support the radiator with rubber pads, so there are no screws or bolts holding the radiator itself to the truck. I looked at KKS's website, and from what I can tell, they don't seem to have one that matches mine exactly. I'm sure I could make the older style one work, though, by dispensing with my mounting brackets and using the brackets on that radiator to bolt it to the core support, assuming the width is the same, or close to it. Unfortunately, I left what remained of my original core support back in Virginia, so I can't pull measurements off of it, but I could probably get somebody back home to do it. If I remember right, there were some shields on mine which helped deflect the air coming through the core support into the radiator, which I think could be easily replaced by the brackets welded on the sides of KKS's radiator. I might even be able to use the same holes. If, for some reason, Hambone's radiator doesn't work out, I 'd say that's definitely my next best option. More affordable than the exact reproductions and looks better than the normal aluminum ones, but I still get the advantages of having a three-row aluminum unit.
I haven't figured out for sure how to make that tach work yet. To be honest, I haven't given it hardly any thought since I got a hold of the cluster. I am pretty sure somebody told me, though, that there was a capacitor, or resistor, or something, that could be removed or replaced so that the tach would register a revolution every 6 impulses instead of every 8, but I just haven't looked into exactly what or where that is yet.
I pulled the governor out of the solvent yesterday, boy did that make a difference! A whole bunch of old, gummy grease came out of it, and now I can make the weights flip out by spinning it with my fingers like a top. Now, I just have to figure out what kind of lubricant to put back in the governor, and track down that darn seal! I took the dimensions of the seal, plus another half-dozen alternate part numbers I was able to track down, in to O'Reilly's, and they still weren't able to find anything on it at all . I will say it is a weird seal, as there is an unusually large difference between the inner and outer diameters (0.375"/0.837").
I also finished the little repair on the solenoid case. Could't find any fiber washers at the local ACE hardware with a small enough inner diameter, so I settled for rubber instead. Basically, I made sandwich out of three of them all held together by the upholstery grommet. The center one was trimmed down so that its outer diameter was the same as the diameter of the hole in the case, and all three were lightly belt-sanded before installation to thin them up just enough for the grommet to hold all three. I think it turned out pretty well, and there is no continuity between the case and the grommet, so it seems to be doing its job. If I tried, I could probably push the whole thing out from the inside, but I don't think that'll be a problem once it's installed and has the terminal screw holding it down.
Looks like a good job of fabricating with available materials.
There was a major change from the 60-62 series and the 63-66 series trucks. I had a 63 at one time. That radiator is completely different, just as you described. I was just presenting my latest purchase as an example of the aluminum radiators available.
Sounds like you have a good plan and timeline established. I'm looking forward to seeing it run. :-)