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Positive thinking ...
We are still asking:
What did you
get done on
your Bolt today
????


The question, initially posted May 23, 2005, was:
"Whatcha do on your Bolt
this weekend?"

After 51,906,997 views, 7378 replies over 185 pages, this thread in General Truck Talk is a happening! And it's not just weekends anymore.


Now with pictures
and No BOTS.


So ...


What did you get done on your Bolt today????


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Automotive De-evolution
#1434389 Wed Dec 22 2021 04:20 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,950
J
JW51 Online OP
'Bolter
I'll try to give just enough context without turning this into a political discussion. Been thinking lately about the ever-increasing level of complexity in modern vehicles, what that means to folks who want/need to service their own stuff, and how dependent we are on sourcing the gadgetry to make all this work from overseas. See what the supposed "chip shortage" did to the auto industry as a recent example, but just one of many possible scenarios.

As such, been thinking about having some sort of rig in the family fleet that would NOT be so dependent on computer components. It might not be our daily now, but something that could be rushed into that level of service if things got really weird. We have several kids. Perhaps an early suburban of some sort. But not so early to be completely devoid of creature comforts. Its hot where I live and I like AC. A functional stereo system is handy.

The easy answer here is a 73-87 GM of some sort. However, those have become really popular and nice examples are getting pricey.

The "OBS" 88-98 trucks/ burbs seem to be WAY more affordable right now. And in some cases, in really good condition despite their age. That got me to thinking about what would be possible in terms of going backward in technology using one of those rigs as a platform. Carbureted engine...no fancy computer controlled ignition or transmission, etc. Focus on serviceability and universal parts that could be found anywhere.

I can get my head around what the physical swap would entail, and the wiring to make the basic components function: Starter circuits/ ignition, etc. What I am less familiar with, is some of the secondary systems and what it would take to make those work. Climate controls, various other dash and gauge controls. Not sure which of those things have tentacles that interact with the ECM if a guy was abandoning it.

Disclaimers:
* Not really interested in debating whether this is GOOD idea. Or whether my paranoia about the direction of vehicle technology is justified.
* Not really interested in debating the emissions legality of this in my state or yours, or federally. This is just a thought experiment...and I'm exploring what's mechanically and electrically possible. I have no plans to act on this without first understanding the legal issues.
* If this isn't the right forum for this topic. Feel free to move it.

Re: Automotive De-evolution
JW51 #1434403 Wed Dec 22 2021 05:14 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,250
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
The only scenarios I can imagine that would involve going to a non-computerized daily driver would probably fit into two general categories- - - -manmade or natural disasters. An EMP event that disables computers over a widespread area would be an example of the first one, and a natural catastrophe such as the Yellowstone caldera blowing its top and triggering a modern ice age might fit the second category. Either way, it's doubtful that enough of the world as we know it would survive to have to worry about whether or not an auto air conditioner or a gas gauge would work!
Jerry


"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

WAG MORE- - - - - -BARK LESS!
Re: Automotive De-evolution
JW51 #1434409 Wed Dec 22 2021 06:02 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,347
C
Carburetion specialist
JW - when I started having failures of efi and ei 30 years ago, I did what you are considering.

My second shop truck is not currently a daily driver but could be if I were to clean the tank and rebuild the carbs. It ran unmolested for 19 years with the dual quads before I took it into a specialty shop to have a factory air conditioning system I found in a junkyard installed. (Yes, it DOES get HOT in Missouri, and I also like air conditioning). Well, adding A/C to a 50 year old vehicle, and marrying the old hardware to use modern freon took longer than expected (about a year and a half).

In short, pickup has approximately 435 HP, drives like a dream (4 speed, manual choke) and unloaded gets 22 MPG at 70 MPH. Pulling a 16 foot trailer with (2) 400 series John Deere lawn & garden tractors it got 17 MPG, but I slowed down to 60 MPH.

The only electronics are points and condenser, and I have sufficient of these in new old stock condition to last through my son's lifetime.

Tires MAY turn out to be the Achilles heel. Just had to replace the tires on my number 1 shop truck, and 14's no longer exist. Had to spring for some aftermarket 16 inch wheels. The older truck has 15's, and have not checked on those yet.

But to maybe help with your thought process, in general, it is not legal to place technology (engine, transmission, anything having to do with smog emisssions) that is OLDER than the vehicle onto vehicles newer than 1967. So you cannot legally install a 1973 engine into a 1985 vehicle, or even a 1974 vehicle.

As to parts, we daily get requests for idle stop solenoids, etc. for 1978~1982 vehicles. Apparently, these simply do not exist.

I believe I can keep this vehicle (with the refugee carburetors from the dinosaur museum.............see the other thread about efi) going for the rest of my life, and my son can keep it going through his lifetime as well.

Jon.


Good carburetion is fuelish hot air
The most expensive carburetor is the wrong one you attempt to modify
If you truly believe "one size fits all" try walking a mile in your spouse's shoes!
[image]http://www.thecarburetorshop.com/Avatar.jpg[/image]
Re: Automotive De-evolution
JW51 #1434419 Wed Dec 22 2021 07:12 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,950
J
JW51 Online OP
'Bolter
I’m not averse to tech. I think LS swaps are really cool and I’d love to do one of those one day. As a toy.

But if our 2018 Honda Odyssey has a problem, there’s almost nothing I can do. Brakes, fluids, maybe an 02 sensor. That’s literally about the extent. Would be nice to have a backup rig that I could wrench on if times get tough. Not really preparing for the level of disaster Jerry is referencing (EMP, major volcano). I’m more thinking along the lines of economic crisis/ social unrest.

Staying in the 73-87 range is probably the simplest solution to go low tech. Heck, even the 88-98 stuff has pretty rudimentary computerization compared to vehicles of the last 5-10 years. Still a fair amount of work a guy could do himself with those systems and parts still as common as dirt.

Re: Automotive De-evolution
JW51 #1434427 Wed Dec 22 2021 08:23 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 162
A
'Bolter
I like the idea you're on to, for novelty though. I've been thinking the Task Force series is as good a candidate to try it on as any - probably because that's what I have. Adding some aftermarket creature comforts aren't really hard - 12v dc components aren't rocket science. Heated seats, power windows, power locks, A/C, stereos have all been around so long... Hot wire, ground wire, switch. I think staying in the pre-plastics, pre-emissions and pre-fuel injection would result in the best plat form. I like the cable actuators vs vacuum controls in the climate system.

So speaking specifically to HVAC, I'd like want amounts to a deluxe heater. A cable controlled damper to direct flow over or around the heater core. An addition of an evaporator upstream so that I can run A/C to dehumidify before it passes the heater core to warm it (fogged windshield in the winter). Cable to direct fresh or recirculation and cable to control vent selection. Blower resistor - equals pretty bullet proof HVAC with no computers or vacuum operation.

Adding the other items are again pretty simple. The stereo head unit goes a long way to modernize an otherwise rudimentary vehicle.

Things you miss out on:
ABS
Air bags
A computer controlled engine that can adjust valve timing, ignition timing and A/F ratio is hard to beat regarding performance and drivability.

Re: Automotive De-evolution
JW51 #1434428 Wed Dec 22 2021 08:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,760
J
'Bolter
Rather than a Task Force truck (which suffered the same front axle/steering/suspension problems as the AD trucks), I'd suggest a pickup from around 1965 or so...up to around 1968. You can find many of those with factory air which can be adapted to work with modern "freon" and there is literally a world of difference in the front end...from a handling perspective as well as from a safety perspective. And by 1965 Detroit had mastered door hinges, locks (some call them latches), etc. Some of the Task Force trucks have doors that rattle like maracas on steroids.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Automotive De-evolution
JW51 #1434432 Wed Dec 22 2021 09:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,066
B
Curmudgeon
The annual state inspection is the enforcer. Each state has it own rules. In my state (NC):
The electric/emissions system has to be at the same level or better of the year the vehicle was manufactured.
If equipped with OBD1, OBD2,...etc., it has to work (provide information) up to a certain age of the vehicle.
If the CEL (Check Engine Light) is on, it requires maintenance be performed up to a certain $ amount and must be fixed before the next annual inspection.
After 20 years, a yearly emission test is not required regardless of CEL, but safety checks are still required.
After 30 years, no annual inspection is required.
Regardless of age, all of the emission related parts have to be in place. They are visually checked by the inspector.

Yes there is the occasionally 1990's Honda Accord bug sprayer (oil burner that never dies) still on the road.


"Adding CFM to a truck will only help at engine speeds you don't want to use."
"I found there was nothing to gain beyond 400 CFM."
Re: Automotive De-evolution
Jon G #1434443 Wed Dec 22 2021 10:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 162
A
'Bolter
Quote
Rather than a Task Force truck (which suffered the same front axle/steering/suspension problems as the AD trucks), I'd suggest a pickup from around 1965 or so...up to around 1968. You can find many of those with factory air which can be adapted to work with modern "freon" and there is literally a world of difference in the front end...from a handling perspective as well as from a safety perspective. And by 1965 Detroit had mastered door hinges, locks (some call them latches), etc. Some of the Task Force trucks have doors that rattle like maracas on steroids.
Good points!

Last edited by asilverblazer; Wed Dec 22 2021 10:03 PM.
Re: Automotive De-evolution
JW51 #1434451 Wed Dec 22 2021 10:44 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,950
J
JW51 Online OP
'Bolter
Making something old feel newer (ex. sixties truck)would be an option. But you’re paying for a collectible vehicle upfront, and then really depending on the aftermarket for all the stuff.

The advantage of making something “new” into something more mechanically “old” is that all the stuff we are accustomed to (better suspension, seats, climate control, sound deadening) is already there. And there’s nothing very collectible (at least not yet) about 88-98 GM trucks so you aren’t paying a premium price there.

MO has vehicle inspections, but in my experience it’s way more focused on critical safety/ suspension/ steering components and not so much emissions. All these LS swapped cars/trucks from the 80s are passing inspection and getting plates. I doubt a one of them has a catalytic converter.

Re: Automotive De-evolution
carbking #1434457 Wed Dec 22 2021 10:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,950
J
JW51 Online OP
'Bolter
Originally Posted by carbking
JW - when I started having failures of efi and ei 30 years ago, I did what you are considering.

My second shop truck is not currently a daily driver but could be if I were to clean the tank and rebuild the carbs. It ran unmolested for 19 years with the dual quads before I took it into a specialty shop to have a factory air conditioning system I found in a junkyard installed. (Yes, it DOES get HOT in Missouri, and I also like air conditioning). Well, adding A/C to a 50 year old vehicle, and marrying the old hardware to use modern freon took longer than expected (about a year and a half).

In short, pickup has approximately 435 HP, drives like a dream (4 speed, manual choke) and unloaded gets 22 MPG at 70 MPH. Pulling a 16 foot trailer with (2) 400 series John Deere lawn & garden tractors it got 17 MPG, but I slowed down to 60 MPH.

The only electronics are points and condenser, and I have sufficient of these in new old stock condition to last through my son's lifetime.

Tires MAY turn out to be the Achilles heel. Just had to replace the tires on my number 1 shop truck, and 14's no longer exist. Had to spring for some aftermarket 16 inch wheels. The older truck has 15's, and have not checked on those yet.

But to maybe help with your thought process, in general, it is not legal to place technology (engine, transmission, anything having to do with smog emisssions) that is OLDER than the vehicle onto vehicles newer than 1967. So you cannot legally install a 1973 engine into a 1985 vehicle, or even a 1974 vehicle.

As to parts, we daily get requests for idle stop solenoids, etc. for 1978~1982 vehicles. Apparently, these simply do not exist.

I believe I can keep this vehicle (with the refugee carburetors from the dinosaur museum.............see the other thread about efi) going for the rest of my life, and my son can keep it going through his lifetime as well.

Jon.

I’ve always been really curious about your dual quad gas-sipping big block.

You think you could have accomplished the same thing with a single carb? Or is the dual carb part of the magic there.

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