Day 7

Posted: June 23, 2010 in Logs
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Today I fixed rigged the passenger side wiper arm and then put both arms/wipers back on the truck.  I was missing that tiny tab at the end of the arm so I cobbled one from a piece of tin.  I’m not “thrilled” with it, but it appears to work and I don’t think it’s going to fly off of the truck anytime soon.

After that, I removed the bad headlight dimmer switch and headed back to Advance Auto to pick up a replacement – only about $8.50.  I was going to wait until tomorrow to put it in, but I had to close the garage anyway so I went ahead and put it in.  It works and even the dash high beam light came on.

I think this about does it for the inspection – I mean, as far as I can tell.  If they don’t count off for rust, I’m practically set.  Hopefully I can get it by there tomorrow and see what horrors await.


Day 6

Posted: June 22, 2010 in Logs
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(Sorry, no pics today, but if we keep waiting on me to get the pics out of the camera I’ll get too far behind)

I removed the steering wheel (okay, I’ll post pics later).  I tried to do it without a steering wheel puller.  I tried this for an hour, maybe an hour and a half.  I was using a bearing puller – which was close, but no cigar.  I ended up going to Autozone and using their tool-loan program, loaned myself a steering wheel puller and had it off in about 5 minutes.

The goal, of course, was to get to the signal switch and see what was wrong with it.  What a bunch of built in obsolescence.  A piece of plastic that pushes against several different copper springs.  I toyed with it a bit until nothing worked and then toyed more until it was all working.  Hooray – now I have signals that all work.

Next was to replace the steering wheel – no problem.  The horn doesn’t work right.  The previous owner added a button on the dash, and I’ll leave it like that for now.

Finally, I found some wiper blades that fit.  I tried a couple of auto places and returned to Advance Auto because they said the other night that if I bring in my wiper arm, they might have a fit, and they did.   I bought two wipers and I have to rebuild one of the arms because the metal clip broke (the previous owner used miracle putty I think to fix it).  As soon as I get that, I’ll have both wipers.  Next will be the headlight dimmer replacement and I’m going to try for an inspection by Thursday or Friday.

(wish me luck)

Day 5

Posted: June 18, 2010 in Logs
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Today I pulled the wiper arms off to replace the blades.  The blades just unsnap and slide out.  I looked them up on the Napa site and it showed two of them for about $3.50.  Napa isn’t as close as Advance Auto, so I went there instead.  They didn’t have anything like the blade.  They said they might have the whole wiper if I had brought it, which I didn’t.  I don’t “hate” the wipers that I have, but one is held together with something like putty and neither one comes apart despite putting a wrench on there to attempt to loosen the bolt.  I’ll try again tomorrow.  I don’t want to put a lot into it yet because I just need to pass inspection so I can drive it.

I bought a “new” tire today.  It’s new to me.  I bought it used for $76, which is much better than the $150 (and even $200 at another place) the local Firestone wants to charge me.  It looks great and they mounted it and balanced it.

While we had the wheel off, we checked out the front brakes a little closer and honestly, they don’t look horrible so I’ll send them to inspection like that and see what they have to say about it.  I mean, the truck seems to stop just fine and there aren’t any grinding noises or leaks.

Here are pics of the brakes:

Those aren’t “deep grooves”, just a little rust.

We also took a closer look at the left signal light and it’s not as simple as I originally thought.  While I was tinkering with the bulb, my son jiggled the turn signal lever and it came on, so it’s more of a loose connection.  Guess I’ll be pulling the steering wheel after all.  That’s not a bad thing since I can go ahead and look into fixing the horn right.

Day 4

Posted: June 16, 2010 in Logs
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[Disclaimer – I should explain that when I say “day”, it’s not really a day.  I mean, I won’t say “Day 428 – Did Nothing” or similar that might bore you to tears.  Instead, a “day” is any day I do work, and it’s not always 8 or 12 hours, it’s just however long it took.  So “Day 4” means the fourth day I actually did anything.  Heck, I might have gone fishing for a couple of days in between…]

Today I replaced the turn signal lever.  The previous owner had it, luckily, but I had to install it.  I was almost sure I’d have to pull the steering wheel to get to it and I honestly was about to do that when I noticed that they were smart enough to put a hole in the steering wheel for the express purpose of tightening the screw. 

I looked aorund for info on removing a horn button and of course I always read things like “Just pull on it with all your might” or “Pry it off with a screwdriver – it just comes right off”.  I need to be careful what I read on “The Internets”.  It turns out that my particular steering wheel doesn’t just “pull off” (with all my might), but actually has two screws in the back.  Once I removed those the button came right off and I could get to the hole for the screw.  The screw that was with the lever was already stripped out, so I found a similar sheet metal screw and used that.   It worked perfectly and I was happy to see that the signals worked except for the left front which is a bulb issue.

Here is the steering wheel with the horn button removed:

Here is the access hole for the turn signal lever screw:

Here is the “expanded” view of the steering wheel with the horn button so you can see the attachment screws:

And here is the completed task:

The horn is currently controlled with a dash button installed by one of the previous owners.  I will move this functionality to the steering wheel at some point, but first-things-first.

Day 3

Posted: June 15, 2010 in Logs
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Not a lot happened today on the mechanical side.  I went to DMV for the title and registration work and then we took a quick spin around the block just to see how it drives.  The truck feels okay.  Now I need to get cracking on the inspection requirements.  I was glad to feel that the brakes worked well, so that’s promising.  We’ve decided that we only need one tire at this point, so I’ll see about that on Friday.  We’ll worry about “pretty” tires later.

I added some new pages to the blog.  I really like WordPress.

Brake Info

Posted: June 15, 2010 in Information
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Here is a video series I just found on the rear brakes.  I’m pretty sure this is what I’m going to need to do.

Day 2

Posted: June 15, 2010 in Logs
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Today we removed the seat which was not mounted.  Prior to this, the truck had some old Cadillac bucket seats in it.  There were still mounting brackets half attached to the floor, so we removed those and then gave the entire floor a good vacuuming.

Before shots of the seat and mirror:

Here are after photos under the seat:

and a better view of the gas tank:

(that’s not a hole in it, just some black “goo” of some kind)

After this, I had to extend the floor seat belts approximately 8 inches by using some quite heavy steel chains.

We were then able to install the seat properly.

Once the seat was installed, I attached some old speakers that we had on hand to the not-so-stock CD player installed by the previous owner.  It works!

We also installed a new driver side mirror courtesy of an old Dodge Dakota that’s on it’s last leg.

Here are a couple of shots of the driver side of the truck and you can see the mirror:

Here is a closeup of the model plate:

Wheel info

Posted: June 15, 2010 in Documentation
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Front Wheel Info:

  • Tire = 9.50 R 16.5 LT  (LT means “Light Truck”)
  • Lug Nuts = 7/8
  • Brakes=Disc

Rear Wheel Info:

  • Tire = 33 x 12.50 R 16.5 LT
  • Lug Nuts = 13/16
  • Brakes=Drum

Day 1

Posted: June 13, 2010 in Logs
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Today I checked the oil, power steering, and radiator fluid.

I also checked all of the main electrical systems.

I removed the back wheel to check the brakes, but I don’t know (yet) how to remove the brake drum.

It’s probably rusted on, but it doesn’t look like any other brake drum I’ve worked with before.

Here are photos of the drum:


Posted: June 13, 2010 in Logs
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I just bought a 1965 Chevy C20 which I’ll be restoring and blogging about.

Here are the original Craigslist photos: