Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Where things are at September 2016

Hey dudes.
Been plugging away at a couple of things.  Now that the truck is on the road I guess the urgency that comes with wanting to be driving it has waned a little. But having said that, there are still about six billion things that I need to get done on the truck.
Believe it or not, I am STILL mucking around with the bed wood. STILL haven't decided completely what to do, although for the time being I am just going to put some 16mm black melamine in there. At least it will have a solid base, and will give me time to save up some money as the Jarrah and stainless steel bed strips combine to make a significant dint in about 1000 dollars, and I REALLY want to get a new cam put in the engine before that.

My brother has agreed to oversee me fitting up a new cam, and that's fortunate for me. Works both ways; he gets some cash for his consultation and I get to learn something about fitting cams in engine and so on.

Probably sticking with a stock 327 cam from Crane rather than buy original as I have heard the aftermarket cams are properly machined whereas the stock originals were probably a bit inconsistent. Who can say? I don't even know if it's the cam that is causing the poor performance, but the truck will barely hit 90 kms downhill!

We just don't know enough about the engine. And that is a tad worrying as once we start pulling stuff apart, who know what we might find. My brother suggested we might as well do the whole fricken engine, which includes rings and bearings and pistons etc.  He said it's only money, and he has a point there.

Managed to get the engine to run at least.
You may recall last month the truck wouldn't start. Had spark, though a dull yellow colour and not a nice shiny blue spark, but the plugs were oiled up fairly badly and changed them. Discovered the fuel filter was looking a bit milky, so changed that and when I tried starting it again a massive amount of what looked like rust particles or some shit filled my new filter. So, I changed it yet again and gave up trying to start it. Drained the tank, soaked the tank in about 24 litres of white vinegar, drained it, flushed with bicarb soda and hot water, flushed a couple times more and it came up okay. Still not that great in there, so if it does it again, probably a new tank on the shopping list.

I think the crap petrol could have come from the station I was at the day before, as I shouldn't have picked up so much gunk at one time unless the fuel I put in it was rubbish.  I also bought a new fuel pump for it, as it was probably full of crud too, and stuffed. A new Carter pump set me back about fifty bucks. Shop said I could bring the old one back and they would check it, but haven't bothered. Time I pack it, ship it, I am out another twenty bucks already.

Anyway, runs okay again for now. Have only driven it for about ten kilometres in the past month and pretty cheesed off about it as the fuel scenario took quite a while and, of course, messing around with the bed on the only day a week I get off.

I should have the melamine in by this weekend. I realise that stuff aint gonna cop too many wet days as it's mainly for indoor shelving and stuff, but if it gets me through till the new year, then I will be happy with that. Besides, I want to bolt in some sort of metal box in there for when we go away, and the only way I can think of doing that is actually bolting it to the wooden floor. Not sure that I would be keen on doing that with a beautiful new stained bed.

Painted the inner well of the bed with Rust Guard hammered gunmetal paint. Came up pretty reasonably. (I could have done better, but after four weekends of Saturdays rubbing and sanding and so on, I got sick of it) It will pass with a five out of ten I think, and that is alright for now.

Next Sunday we are heading to Kembla Grange for their 7th motorfest at the car museum there. I should enter ol Dorothy, as she is a bit of a relic, but I think they cater more for vintage and original stuff, not bitsa's like this old thing.

Which is kinda like what the guy at Bunnings was asking me last week when he saw it there. Like, what is it, he says.
It's a Ford, I reply, but she has taken a liking to her Chevy engine. She thinks it's hers now. I told him I wouldn't dare take it away from her.  Oh yeah, she also thinks she is a Jag as well, and a Pontiac, and she has some  VT Commodore in there,  He walked away completely bamboozled. Can't say I blame him. I haven't exactly figured out what Dorothy is yet.

Projects coming up? Next month I plan on putting some PingJing (like Dynamat only about half the price and thicker) in the cabin and getting a quote to do the headlining. After that? Just some solid driving for a while until I can get some time off late December and head up to my brothers to do the engine. Stick around for that!
Catch yers.

Friday, 16 September 2016

You're never too old to rock and roll if you're too young to die! Great Jethro Tull T-Shirt!

Looks like I have just found my Christmas present! A great T shirt for the Tull fan. And who isn't a Jethro Tull fan? So many brilliant moments, so many great albums. Stand up, Benefit, Aqualung, Thick as a Brick, Too Old to Rock and Roll, Songs From the Wood, Heavy Horses, Stormwatch. Heck! I even like Under Wraps and Dot Com, so I MUST be a huge fan!
Saw them in Sydney at the Capitol a few years ago now. I think their second last outing to Australia. Perhaps it was their last? Can't recall, but I think they did an Opera House gig from memory which I didn't go to. Of course they were brilliant! Get it here! I know I will be.
Wonder if they come in XXXL for us old buggers with expanding stomach muscles?

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Engine running like a bag of you know what

Yeah. Tried to get the old tart started today for my weekend trip and the old bitch wouldn't fire up. Rather, it did and then it stalled and then refused to fire up again. Seems like it is starving for petrol?
Took a little clip.
Noticed also, that the fuel filter wasn't filling itself all the way as well. What does this mean? Pump not working? This is a new pump which I fitted only a year ago. Carter brand from eBay. I wonder whether it has failed? Have a listen. This thing sounds awful!


The fact that I can smell petrol is indicative of (quite possibly) the actual cause of the problem. It may not be the pump at all , but could possibly be a split in the line somewhere allowing air into the line, and that would cause big issues as well. I have often caught a whiff of fuel and my wife is forever telling me she can smell petrol. Hard as I may, I haven't found anything out of the ordinary, excepting on the very top of the tank, I am wondering whether the line from the sender has come loose or cracked. I noticed a few weeks ago when I was under the truck that it had a black smear running down the outside of the petrol tank and this seems like it might be the black off a rubber fuel line giving up. 

Looks like next weekend's job, hey?

Well, this is what came out of the tank after I put a brand new filter on it. Orange particles, which could be rust (I don't know what else it could be unless it has somehow picked up the dust from all the sanding I have been doing and deposited it in the tank) 
This could definitely be causing the poor running if it got through to the carbi, and, I dunno, maybe it affected the pump? Hoping the new pump will arrive before the weekend, so I can check it and see. 

I was hoping the new pump was gonna arrive today, but no show. That means I am out again this weekend. unless Repco have something on their shelves.

Came to the inevitable conclusion that I would have to drain the tank after seeing so much crud come through the filter. Removing the tank from the truck is not that hard. This is the second or third time I have had the tank out, so I am an old hack at it. 8 x 9/16" and I think 6 1/2" bolts under the tank and you are done.
First I disconnected the fuel tank wires, earths etc, removed the sender. 
I went and bought a siphon hose. Something called an anti static jiggle siphon with a marble in the end. Worked fine. You stick the marble end in the fuel and give it a jiggle and off she goes.

Okay, so I went shopping for a few bottles of white vinegar to clean the rust from my tank. 12 bottles of the stuff should do it. That is 24 litres (I ended up only using about half)
Tank is out. Didn't look real bad, I don't think. Which makes me wonder whether I received some bad fuel from the petrol station. I did fill up that morning, and I did take it to a place I usually don't go to. It is possible I received bad fuel which as subsequently managed to clog my pump. (I don't have a filter before the pump, I have it before the carbi, but now I think I should have it before the pump)

New Carter fuel pump turned up the other day. I just have to wait until the weekend to fit it. Busy going to my grand nephew's Christening on Sunday (which I am delighted to attend) Ahem.
So that leaves Saturday to get this thing back on the road.
I have ordered through the rubber connection a new rubber for the filler neck. Twenty bucks, which is very cheap. And that includes delivery. The old original rubber hose was pretty shoddy, but I don't think it was letting air in. But just to be safe, I ordered a nice new one. 

And here's another thing:
the hard line that connects to the fuel pump has a very ordinary bend in the pipe, and I am guessing that this cannot be a good thing, so I am gonna chase up some steel line and make up something new to suit.
Check out this bend!

My wife found a fantastic pipe place in Unanderra. $70 and they made up a nice new piece in stainless. A bit pricey, but it is streets ahead of the old junk.

How can a bit of grit in the fuel cause all this to suddenly be acquired?
Facet electric pump I will use if I get another mechanical fail.
The Rubber Connection supplied me with this rubber neck hose. Bit of an improvement there, too!

A quick squirt of paint on the filler neck.

So tonight I drained the vinegar, added some bicarb and enjoyed the fizz show.  Rinsed it out a couple of times and then poured some metho in there to absorb the water. should be right for the morning now.
Last night I worked until 1.30 am. Weather was quite reasonable and I was determined to get the tank in as I knew I had a fair bit on over the weekend and really wanted to make a head start on things.
I did it this way:
Put the tank holding supports temporarily in. Held on by a couple of bolts in the step thing. (I forget what you call it). I fed the front edge of the tank in first, wiggled it around and slotted it in and then tightened the support flexi bar up a little just to hold it in place while I worked the rear in. Sounds easy but it took me two hours in the dark on cold concrete. But we got there.
I wasn't sure whether to fit the rubber neck fitting first and then put the tank up or get at it once the tank is in. I did the latter, and it was quite tricky to get your hands up in there, but there really is no option when fitting the steel neck to the rubber. You have to tighten it up from underneath.

Anyway, got there.
Next day I double checked everything and then time to fit the pump.
These Chevy engines have a little rod inside the engine block that connects with the cam. They slide up and down and the bar is meant to rest on the lip of the fuel pump. The trick is to keep the bar out of the way long enough to get the fuel pump in.
Well, it's a lot harder than it seems. I tried a bit of grease to slow the descent of the rod down, but didn't help much. Then, a brainwave struck!
I pulled an old hose clamp apart and bent it to the shape I needed. It was strong enough to hold the rod up and thin enough to enable me to get the pump on.
Anyway, to conclude, all done! Dorothy's up and running once more. Question mark on the placement of the sender in the tank as it is very fussy as to where it goes an I think it may be fouling the pickup pipe in the tank. Time will tell.

Well, finally managed to find ten minutes out of life to take the truck for a spin and made an interesting discovery. The fuel odour which I was never able to successfully locate has been located, and it was from where I suspected it was coming from. Well, it really HAD to be coming from there as I have changed everything else. 
Check out the seepage. No wonder my wife was complaining about the pong.
The sender in the tank was the culprit. Filled the tank up. Went for a run. Smelt petrol really badly once again and this time I checked the sender and found the reason. At first I though it was seeping through the cork gasket between the sender and the adapter, so I took it out, had a look to see if it was pinched or damaged and reinstalled it, tightened it up and went for another drive. Turned out to be the adapter leaking between the tank the the adapter. I probably should have fitted a cork gasket between the two in the first place, but there was no gasket there, so made up one and stinky petrol odour is no more! 
I had planned to take the old tart for a decent trip to Towradgi as there was an American Car Show happening on Sunday, but the weather was bloody crap, so we stayed home, fitted up blinds to our windows instead. I guess I will have to  find an extra ten minutes spare sometime next week.  Anyway, truck is running as good as it was before the fuel issue, which is to say, not terribly well, but it is running.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Super Rod DVD! A great new Bi Monthly production. Produced locally! Get behind it!

This is an exciting production from the guy/s that make 
It's called Super Rod DVD and the first limited edition of this DVD is soon to be released.
I'm  hoping this really gets off the ground in a big way, and good luck to those people who have / are putting it together. Probably no chance we will see Dorothy in the series any time soon. But check it out!


Sunday, 14 August 2016

midfifty extended spring hangers sit too high

Midfifty's extended spring hangers sit a tad high for the bed. Now, this is probably my fault as I think I must have removed spacers in the frame at one time or another and never put them back. I am assuming the frame did have spacers from the factory, otherwise these hangers are about half an inch too high. Perhaps even more than that.
You might not be able to tell that well in the first photo, but they do sit above the corresponding support frame. Seriously enough for me to insert spacers.
midfifty extended spring hanger
 It is no big deal, but this is what I am going to have to do to ensure it doesn't rub.

midfifty extended spring hanger

No, I don't have dandruff! This is all the dust from me sanding back the sides of the bed (sea earlier posts) Sometimes I actually DO do things! 

This is the extended y spring shackle mated with Midfifty's Spring shackle rear replacement
I probably didn't need to purchase these as my original cast iron shackles were pretty good. However, I ordered the whole shooting match. They are nowhere near as strong as the original items, and the spring hanger itself is a very thin looking piece of kit. I can't imagine that it will last even half as long as the original, but that is okay, because if it lasts half as long I will be hitting my mid eighties and won't give a bugger anyway, heheh. Thing is, they worked together nicely, they look great and they probably have improved my ride a touch, although in reality, I barely drove it beforehand, so I cannot give a proper report on whether it makes handling any better or worse. The truck is still pretty bumpy. But that just adds to the fun.

The other thing that is a bit of a worry is that big cavity area which is gonna trap dirt and mud over the years with nowhere to exit. I suppose in reality, not much dirt and mud is gonna creep in there, but maybe I should be drilling a drain hole to let water and dust through? (We are talking about the cavity where the bolt feeds off from the shackle into the mount. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

What they should do to make the Olympic Games fair

All this talk about drug cheats and stuff makes me think the answer must lie somewhere between  the"banning the games" and "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality.
In all honesty, I don't really "get" the Olympic games. I thought it was for amateurs, but that seems to have been blown by the wayside. Someone told me he thinks they even have golf in the Olympics now. Synchronized swimming was one thing (totally absurd) but a gold medal for playing golf?
Last night I watched ms Williams from the USA demolish an opponent in tennis; an Olympic games match! Tennis!
Look, I think it has all gone out of hand. And to be frank, it's a little boring.
What I think should be done is to level the playing field; give everyone magic mushrooms and watch them compete. Everyone would be so stoned that they could barely walk, let along throw a javelin, shot a put, hurtle a hurdle. Imagine the sound of broken ankles at hockey matches full of stoned players. Swimmers would not only swim out of their lane, but would probably go endlessly around in circles. How much fun would that be to watch!
Stoned Judo practitioners grabbing in all sorts of places that would otherwise be taboo.

Synchronised swimming would actually be something you could enjoy watching.

Archery could get interesting, and I wouldn't want to be a judge at the Javelin throwing arena.
Me? I just wanna watch some  beach volleyball: stoned or sober, I don't care.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

How Cool Are These? US Postal Service Pickup Truck Stamps!

Okay, well, first up, how darn cool are these stamps? Better that licking the face of some stuck up bit of Commonwealth Royalty or licking the arse of a tired old platypus!  These trucks (sadly no mid fifties f100 in sight) look bloody fantastic! Wonder if the Australian Post Office does a similar thing with the last of our locally produced Ford Falcon. Seems the right thing to do.
I dig 'em! Wonder if they will send me a set?

Go here to order 'em!