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#1493774 Fri Mar 24 2023 10:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2023
Posts: 5
Sekter1 Offline OP
Hi everyone.
I've been poking around here for info because honestly, there is the most info I can find on these medium duty trucks right here on this site smile
I purchased a VFD truck from an auction in Goldthwaite, TX with the only info being the description: " It starts but need a carburator, fuel pump, and fuel line."
1977 GMC C65 w/ the gas 366, New Process trans, Eaton 19000# rear, Chelsea PTO (not hooked up, I think it was a dump truck in a previous life).

I was able to get it running on ether before the auction, so I figured, why not...

After I won the auction, I installed a new mechanical fuel pump and pickup line, and hooked it up to a fuel jug that was just hanging from the front bumper with a ratchet strap.
She ran ok, with a huge crack in the exhaust manifold, not too shabby for an old 366, which I found out was a replacement Goodwrench motor installed, indicated by the inscription scrawled in pencil on the roof behind the driver side sun visor:
new motor
I don't now much of the history on this other than it was probably a support truck for another pumper. The Shive VFD is still around today, and I'd love to drive it up there one day.

I was able to drive around in a circle in a field next to the auction yard, but no brakes...
Topped up the cooling system, transmission, rear end, installed new plugs, wires, distributor cap, rotor, battery, aftermarket temp gauge, and drove it back to the ranch a few miles down the road with no brakes, at midnight, with some flashing towing lights slapped onto it, boy what a ride...
A sherrif even passed me very slowly and just let me go on my merry way, doing about 45 mph on a 70mph hwy!
And there she sat for a few weekends.
First thing's first, fuel system. Kept the mechanical pump, because it worked good and was new. I had to run new lines to the existing passenger stepside tank. No problems there. Added a ball valve because I've heard if you don't put a cut-off in-line, fuel can flood the crankcase. Not sure if there's any truth to it, but a good safety cut-off (more so if you run diesel, runaways are NOT fun!) and just a common practice that I implement on most farm/ranch trucks, ATVs, generators, etc. so that I can run the fuel out of the engine and allow it to sit for 3-4 months without worry.
Also installed an Edelbrock carb, even though the Holley seemed OK. Just wanted it on there, so I did it.

Suprisingly all of the lights worked, and the two speed rear end just needed a ground wire hooked up. Even had good clean fluid in the actuator on the rear axle.
Can of BG109 EPR additive and then an oil change. Again, surprisingly no major leaks, just a single drop. Something I can live with.
Now the brakes, the hydrovac, I'm doing my best to repair it.
Front wheel cylinders were RUINED, all 4 of em. Totally crusted and rusted, full of gunk and rancid fluid. (Found mud dauber nests EVERYWHERE in this thing)
Replaced those, got new rubber brake lines, even ran some new copper line, and a new master cylinder.
I tried to hookup manual brakes straight from the master cylinder, but even the hulk couldn't stop this truck with manual brakes, and that's with no water in the tanks.
So I've pulled to tandem hydrovac booster and taken it home to dismantle and hopefully refurbish.
I'm scared the rear brakes are gonna be in the same condition >:(

And that's where I'm currently at. The motor needs a water pump because it's weeping slowly at the moment, but I'm sure the 104^F heat this summer won't let that slide for very long.
And speaking of water pumps, I've removed the old Kohler and B&S that were connected to Red Lion cast iron pumps and I've got some Banjo water pumps with the Honda engine as modern replacements.
That will be a whole other task to plumb those in for suction and pressure.

We plan to use the truck for controlled burns, as we've got a huge trash pit with about 200 pallets we need to burn, with about 25 huge piles of cedar on the property that needs "disposal"...

I'll try to keep posted on progress, but I'm usually in the shop or out at the ranch!

I just couldn't resist when I saw that the Stovebolt VFD was a section all it's own smile

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PXL_20230318_174041520.jpg (304.57 KB, 70 downloads)
PXL_20221211_215026147.jpg (392.18 KB, 70 downloads)
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PXL_20221211_215026147.jpg (392.18 KB, 70 downloads)
Last edited by Peggy M; Fri Mar 24 2023 11:44 PM.

Dave? Dave's not here man...
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,631
Authorized Pest
What a great looking truck. Neat story so far. Anxious to hear our regular crew of *fire folks* chime in.

We also couldn't *resist* a Stovebolt VFD!! Our old 1965 GMC Tanker.

Peggy M
“After all, tomorrow is another day!”—Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
Share knowledge and communicate it effectively. ~ Elihu
Joined: Mar 2023
Posts: 5
Sekter1 Offline OP
Well, it's been 5 months already! I've made some progress on the truck.

This past weekend was 107 degrees F out at the ranch. So I'm glad it was also the first successful fill of the tanks on this truck.

1000 gallons of water REALLY makes the truck squat down. I'm scared the tires are gonna blow... eeeek

I've replaced pretty much every single piece of the brake system. Master cylinder, hydrovac unit, lines, fittings, cylinders, shoes.


The brakes do seem to work okay, just not super stiff on the pedal.

I've got three Honda/Banjo pumps. Two bolted onto the back of the truck, and one portable to fill from the pond. Built up a sprayer bar with a nozzle on each side from PVC that runs off of the 2" pump, and a 1" pump runs a regular garden hose.

I'm still tinkering and working on it when I can on the weekends.

Here's some pics, and links to videos on YouTube

Video 1 []
Video 2 []

Attached Images
PXL_20230812_215213966.jpg (271.51 KB, 18 downloads)
PXL_20230813_202833556.jpg (511.87 KB, 18 downloads)
PXL_20230813_205325686.jpg (561.23 KB, 18 downloads)
Last edited by Peggy M; Wed Aug 16 2023 09:22 PM.

Dave? Dave's not here man...
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,631
Authorized Pest
Wow Sekter, the video really reminds me of our days on the farm ... even the sounds of the small pump from the pond and then starting up the tanker pump. (We had a Darley on ours.) Yes, 1,000 gallons of water is a lot. If you get the spray rig set up, it's really a lot of fun.

HERE IS a link to Mike "Mike B" Boteler's 1957 Chevrolet 10500 Fire Engine. The image is from the Westminster Fire Truck Muster. We saw some of the other images and they are so cool. "Cool" explains a lot since it really does bring the area temp down. May help with your 100+ degrees out there.

Keep us posted as you progress. Want to see some splash! grin

Peggy M
“After all, tomorrow is another day!”—Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
Share knowledge and communicate it effectively. ~ Elihu

Moderated by  69Cuda 

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