Sunday, August 1, 2010

Good news/Bad news

Well- it's been WAY TOO LONG since I played with the truck, but my Dad was in town yesterday/today for David's theatrical debut (Rec Center children's show), so we put the carb back on the truck and gave it a shot.

First issue-When we played with it yesterday, it acted like it might start/run, but Dad thought it was out of time some, so I picked up a distributor wrench and a battery charger (we'd run the battery down trying to start it when we were still pouring gas into the carb).

Started today with a fresh charge on the battery, and Dad playing with the timing while I tried to start it. The pickup was still flooding bad- so Dad and I pulled the top off the carb, adjusted the float a couple of times to get it to function right, and viola! The old motor kicked off and ran on her own. If the old oil gauge is right, the oil pressure seems pretty good at idle, but doesn't much change as you rev it up.

That's the good news...

Here's the bad:
The engine's got a knock on the bottom. Sounds like toward the front of the motor- Dad thinks (and I agree) that it's got a rod out- probably a bearing. So, we do get to pull the engine and tear it down for some machine work and a rebuild. I knew this was likely, but was hopeful...

As bad engine news goes, though, it could be worse. It's not locked up, it does run/idle, etc., so it's probably a "minor" rebuild. Of course, if you're going to tear it down, it doesn't make much sense not to do it all!

My Father-in-Law will be here later this week, and I'll probably have him listen to it too. He has mentioned before that he's got another Chevy 6 cylinder in his shop that's already rebuilt- with split exhaust manifolds. That might be the way to go. IF we rebuild this one, I'll likely do that to it anyway.

So, that's the update. While I'm figuring out what to do with the engine, I might start going through the brake system- since it's pretty clear that I'll have to do that eventually, anyway.

I won't be driving it before school starts- but it did run on it's own!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Catching up!

It's been a couple of days, so I should do a little catching up...

Cleaning out the Cab
Since I was in a bit of a holding pattern on Tuesday waiting for the carb kit, I decided to clean out the inside of the cab. With a little help from the 7 year old, I pulled the seat out, and we, literally, washed the inside of the cab out. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that there was at least a 1/2 inch of dirt/dust/crud in all over the floor board of the cab.

The good news is that it's clean now, but the bad news is that it's rusted much worse than I thought. I found rust in every place that is predicted on all the websites/documents about these trucks. Apparently, someone had tried to patch the rust in the floor board with a quick patch of fiber-glass didn't work! So, there is cutting and welding in my future.

Carburetor Kit
Kit came in Wednesday. I talked some to both "Dads"- and figured that I could do it but it might go better with a little help. I called a friend (Thanks, Gale!), with some experience in both having worked with these old trucks, and with rebuilding (tractors- but hey, I'll take it). H came over this morning and we went through the kit.

It seemed to go well, but after re-install, the truck still wouldn't start on it's own, and I eventually took it off and took it to the mechanic who does all our work on our "real" cars. He looked it over- thought we'd done a good job, but the needle valve wasn't closing. We thought we had that fixed, but when I got it home, same problem.

I tore it back down- with the air horn removed the float/needle valve work perfectly, but as soon as I put it back together, no go... So, there is something that's keeping the float from shutting off the needle valve. I suspect it is the float hanging up on the "modern"- meaning sort of "universal"- air horn gasket. At any rate, I'm on the right track now. I just don't think I'll have time to play with it before I leave for nationals.

Best moment of the day- when I finally figured out how carb actually works! I don't think I'm far from getting it right.

In the meantime, on the advice of my Dad, I pulled the spark plugs and made sure there was no raw gas in the cylinders, and replaced the spark plugs while I was at it.

I'll be taking a break while I go to nationals next week, but still hope to have the engine running "on it's own" by the end of the month.

The Book
The book that is supposed to be the best "beginners" book for re-building finally showed up today. How to Restore Your Chevrolet Pickup- and I'm glad it did! I'm already learning a lot!

That's all for now.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fuel, Air, and Fire

Still trying to get the old girl to run on her own- i.e.- without pouring gas into the carb! I ordered the fuel pump yesterday, picked it up and put it in this morning, and the good news is that the new pump works, the bad news is that the carburetor is not working- maybe at all.

I hooked all the lines back up, reconnected the battery, and we tried to fire it up- which resulted in gas shooting out of the carburetor. So, after a conversation with both my Dad and my Father-in-Law, I've ordered a carburetor kit that will be here tomorrow morning. Here's hoping for some good internet available instructions on that!

All for now...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

So, we discovered yesterday that the fuel pump has to be replaced before the truck will run past the gasoline you can pour in the carburetor. I've started looking for a replacement, but no one carries it. It looks like I'll have to order it online, which will be fine, but is scary to me a little.

I'll try to get that done today, but the "making it run" is on hold until the thing comes in...

Until then, I guess we'll do a little "clean-out" of the inside and the bed, and maybe I'll start looking for some body panels that will have to be replaced.

The summer goal, I've decided, really is to get it mobile on it's own!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Getting it to Run...

A couple of weeks ago, my Father-In-Law, Ed was coming through town, and stopped by to say "hi", and to see if he could make the Chevy run.

Given that he's a truck driver, a body repair whiz, and has more mechanical ability in his little finger than I do in my entire body, I followed his lead. After a little trouble shooting, we added a new condenser and a set of points, poured a little gas in the carbeurator, and she fired right off!

Our son, David was in "tall cotton"- he's very excited about the pickup.

At any rate, we let it set while we were gone to California, but yesterday, I went and got a piece of gas line (to replace the rotted one that was there) a battery, and a new fuel filter. I also had to replace a couple of missing hood hinge bolts.

I had time to get the hinge bolts, gas line and filter in yesterday, and figured we'd put the battery in and see what happens today. That's done, but I'm sitting here waiting for Debbie and David to get back- I promised David I wouldn't try to start it without him.

In the meantime, I found the cast numbers on the head and the block today, and can confirm for sure that it is (or was before overhaul), a 235. I don't know if it's the one that came in the pickup or not, but it's definitely the right kind of engine!

It's here that I will throw out this bit of information. Our Dads (mine and Debbie's) are at least as excited about this thing as we are. The reason I'm waiting on Debbie and David is that Ed's in town again- he comes to Garden a lot since we brought this thing home...

My Dad called once today, and then I called him about 4 times- just trying to chase down the engine size, and he had advice about a fuel additive to put in when I put the gas in.

They've both got ideas about what to do to it as I put it back together- they are diametrically opposed to each other's- but they've got ideas. My Dad is looking for parts trucks. Debbie's Dad calls two or three times a week to talk about the truck. In short- we're getting a lot of Dad time from this thing, and that's a good thing!

I'm secretly hoping Ed will come by when he's done with whatever he's unloading- I wouldn't mind having him here when we start it!

Update- 5pm

No go. Looks like it needs a fuel pump. No big surprise, but I was hopeful...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

#3: The Door Saga

If you look at the picture in this photo (on the trailer), and at the one from the last post where the truck is sitting in the field, you might notice something is different. the original picture, the pickup had a red door on the passenger side. In this picture, from the day we loaded it up to bring it home, the red door is gone, and there is a matching blue door. This is a good thing, right?

Not so much...

Debbie's grandfather had changed the doors out at some point because he was using the pickup I bought, and it needed a passenger door. The original door had messed up hinges, a broken latch, a broken window, and the interior metal cover was gone.

When Dave and I picked up the truck, the other pickup (a 1963 that also sold at the auction) was gone, and the blue door was back on the truck I bought- with all the problems that I mention above.

Since we're part of the Ritter family- we had access to the auction information. That coupled with an odd phone call from the other buyer wanting to buy my pickup the day before we went to get it let me to the conclusion that he'd traded out the doors.

So, on Wednesday morning, I called the Wallace County Sheriff and told him my story. Short version- he called the Sheriff in the county where the other pickup had landed, that Sheriff when out to check, and sure enough there was the other door on the other pickup.

With a little help from the Sheriff, the other buyer agreed to bring me the door back later that weekend- which would have been May 22 or 23. The Sheriff later told me that it was not the first time that something like this had happened with this fellow, and that if I didn't get the door back in a timely manner to let him know.

Saturday afternoon I called. He was going to bring it on Monday.

As we were headed out of town for a week in San Diego, I called Tuesday morning, and he was in Garden with the "doors". Turns out he'd actually crushed the door I wanted with his loader when he loaded his pickup (I verified this with the Sheriff later). He found two other red passenger doors, and gave me a choice.

I picked the better of the two, and now am back in business with the door.

Only problem, I still get to replace the window. That's better than the legal goo I'd have had to go through otherwise, and so I'll take it.

Excepting the window glass, the "new door has all the parts that are missing from the other one.

I'll try to add a pic of the new door tomorrow, and I'll add posts about getting the old girl to run...

#2: Bringing It Home

May 18, 2010

The week before, Debbie's brother-in-law, Dave D. called and said he'd be in town for some meetings, and would have his big pickup. If I wanted, we could find a trailer and go get the truck.

On Tuesday, May 18, I left school as soon as I could escape, rented a trailer, and Dave and I headed for what he referred to as an "adventure". Dave and I have had a few "adventures..." Sometimes they work out OK!

The first picture is the way we left the truck after the auction. I'd pulled the wheels off (with the help of Debbie's Dad and Uncle), and we left it on blocks so that I could get the tires re-mounted or replaced. I also was short one wheel/tire that was "donated" to a family gooseneck trailer before the auction.

Dave and I had a bit of trouble getting the front end jacked up, but we got all the tires on it, and still had all our hands and fingers intact, so that had to be good! We used a come-a-long to pull it up onto the trailer, and, in less than two hours, she was loaded and headed home.

With a little help from Debbie, we pushed, and ultimately pulled with my little Sonoma, the truck into the backyard about midnight!