Old Cars/Trucks Restoration and Modding

greenpondmike

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I found part of my problem now. I think I'm going to have to pull out the sending unit and maybe the whole tank and clean it out. It seems to be picking up trash and not releasing it till I pull off the fuel line to release the pressure and maybe it will run a while without doing it again, but maybe not. It could be potentially dangerous if the engine cut off at certain times and places. It just cuts off like I flipped a switch and no amount of turning the engine over is going to crank it till I pull the hose off and put it back on. Will deal with this tomorrow or Monday since I'll be off (I think) if weather permits. My job may call me in though since they had to recently fire 3 people. I'm so frustrated with this truck that I'd almost be willing to trade it for a good running pinto. I can't do that though because I'm trapped in that I told my brother in law that this truck was his after I kicked the bucket.
 
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greenpondmike

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Looks like I need to be satisfied with what I have till I can fix it or do better. I'm sure that chevy and all the rest of them can build a sure enough ride if the epa would stay out of it and quit mandating emissions and mpg.

With the technology they have today they could build them stronger, faster, safer, longer lasting and cheaper if big brother would keep his nose out of it. That is why I like older vehicles. Although the newer technology wasn't there neither was big brother and most of them would make it past 125,000 with halfway decent maintenance and maybe with only a water pump, starter, alternator, fuel pump, battery, tires and timing chain/gear going bad. Maybe the interior would have some places that are bad and maybe even the paint. Up north rust would claim the bodies before the drivetrain gave up.

The stuff that has happened to mine is minor compaired to what went wrong with your silverado. I looked up the 2014 silverado and that is the year they peaked on looks. It seems like as they got newer they got uglier, but the 2014 was beautiful. I believe you bykfixer, but just looking at that truck without knowing what you said I would be inclined (again) to think that surely that good looking truck wouldn't give too many problems. I guess I haven't learned my lesson yet- that the secret to a drama free life is an ugly truck and a ugly woman.

Oh, I just had a thought.....if chevy trucks are getting uglier could they are getting better?
 
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greenpondmike

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Man, if I had those kinds of troubles that your work truck gave you I wouldn't know what to do. First off someone would have to give me the truck and even then the insurance would be so high I couldn't keep insurance on it. I couldn't afford to fix it out of warranty either. I guess all I could use it for would be a lawn ornament and that also wouldn't work because folks would think I came into some money. The last time that happened we had several folks sneak into our yard just to see what we had and what wasn't tied down. One fellow even sent his little daughter to do the spying- that is low. I wonder what has become of the full grown version of that girl. Is she a hardened criminal no thanks to her dad?
 
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greenpondmike

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My sister's husband used to have a 71 or 72 impala back in the late 70s. He caved in to the gas crisis probably like I would have and started getting those economy cars. He started with the vw rabbit which I liked and learned how to drive on and then he went to american- bypassing the quality japanese stuff. He said when it was all said and done (I'm paraphrasing) he would have been better off financially if he had kept the impala. I mean, time he paid for the smaller cars and did the upkeep on them that good gas mileage cost him more in the long run.
 

greenpondmike

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I have a bunch of brother in laws. One owns a 03 or 04 silverado 2500 3/4 ton. He's had it a while and he has a lead foot. Only trouble it's ever given was the electric fuel pump and that was just a bad brand that couldn't handle the ethanol fuel. I've driven and liked it also. It has the engine that is close to 327 cubic inches, but I can't recall the liters. I'm not into that metric bull. I like the way those engines sound with dual exhaust and they have the power.

Anyway, he isn't much on taking care of his stuff and he hardly ever changes oil. He has a lot of miles on it and heavy use. The rear main seal finally went bad and he had to park it till he has time to fix it. Before he parked it he was going to work and someone was tailgating him. He gave it the gas to kinda get out of the tailgater's way and his truck sprayed oil on that tailgater's windshield and they turned on their wipers and they only smeared it and made it worse. Brother in law didn't mean for that to happen, but I bet that tailgater will think twice about tailgating another white silverado.

Maybe even now you can still get a quality truck if you buy a 3/4 or one ton truck. Gone are the days when you could buy a 1/2 ton regular truck and have most of your truck needs met. Seems like those 1/2 ton trucks are just for moms to go to their childeren's soccer practice in style. They look tough and so does the driver- just don't use them for a real truck. After all I've heard that is my humble opinion.
 
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greenpondmike

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Working out there at those abandoned mines I've seen a bunch of trucks and suvs abused. Not on the section I guarded, but there was a big area surrounding my area. It was a running joke that a vehicle would only last Mikey (not me) a week or two before he would tear one up out there somehow.
The chevy tracker he drove out there held up to him and he sold it running (barely- with no brakes). The early 2000's chevy 1/2 ton 2wd with that 327 in it lasted a while (a month or two). He slightly sunk it and bent the step up rails the first night. The last night I saw him drive it he busted out my driver side window doing doughnuts when I was near the entrance to the property. He picked up the cashier lady from the store and did some more riding. When he went to take his passengers home a cop seen he didn't have a tag and got after him. Mikey floored it and hit the rough rutted pipeline road near his home a few miles away and hid in the woods till the cops gave up. I think he bent the frame because I never seen him drive it again. That was enough to bend any frame.

There was a fellow that had the 4wd version of that truck and he floored it just about everywhere he went. He messed up his steering knuckle and had to camouflage it and leave it behind till later. He was way back in there where those hunting clubs were. Someone found it and busted out the windows and stole some stuff. I could have had title in hand for $50, but I only had twenty I think. Mikey got a trailer and snagged it and was looking for a good cab for it.

Someone had one of those ugly curvey s10's from the 90s and he kept it floored down in the bottoms and it never blew, but the rev limiter was always kicking in. I thought it was a v6, but it could have been a four cyl.

Mikey got ahold of a late 80s ford 2wd pickup with a small v8 in it and gave it the usual Mikey treatment plus constantly redlining it down in the bottoms and it never blew.

3 v6 toyota pickups held up well engine wise. Jeep cherokees were the preferred vehicles out there along with razors and atv's.

My friend Carol had a 2wd dodge pickup from the mid 90s that held up to her busting the swamp at a high rate of speed to get away from someone pursuing her. Her tailgate came off and was dragging from one side behind her. She got a 4wd newer Ford and the bolts kept backing out where the trans bolted to the transfer case- all aluminum.

Scott got a late 80s- early 90s full sized 4wd chevy suv and he mounted big wide wheels and tires on it. It had great traction, but kept tearing up the gears in the differential. I think he finally put new hd stuff in there and it held up. The 350 finally got a rod knocking from overrevving it while stuck at an extreme angle- probably couldn't pick up the oil in the pan.

A friend had a late 90s Ford 4wd. Man, that truck looked, ran and sounded good. He got it too deep in the water and ruint the motor. I guess the creek was up and he didn't realize it.

To sum it up, most pre 2004 stuff seemed to hold up well out there under extreme substained abuse unless they were wrecked, flipped or submerged.
 
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LeanBurn

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I have an 03 2500 Gmc Sierra 4x4 extended cab 6 pass, 6.0L Vortec with the 4L80E transmission. It has a Blackbear tune with an MIT and Flo-pro exhaust. It will bark the tires as it hits second. It has A/C, ABS and a CD player. No nannies, no nonsense truck and it runs great.
 

greenpondmike

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Sounds like a good one LeanBurn. That one ought to last a good while. Trucks like that lasted close to 300,000 or over if properly mantained and not abused. The guy that messed up his steering knuckle would go 50 where I would only go 5-15mph. I would open it up to 15 but slow down for the ruts and rocks. I've always been reserved with any abuse I did and then I'd feel guilty and give my vehicles some special maintenance.
 
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greenpondmike

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Bodywise, it seems to me that the 64-66 chevy trucks had the best bodies with their only weakness being the arms (on each side) that extends from the axle housing to the frame. These can break and one did on my 64.

On the gmc equivalent of these- they had leaf springs that didn't need that like the coil springs on the chevy. The gmc's were ungly though with those double headlights. This all is the same on up to 1972. The 67-72 chevies were tough, but not as good as the 64-66. The body rusted out worse on the 67-72 ones and the cab was also more cramped and narrow and had less leg room IMHO. Some of the 64-66 trucks had a rear stabilizer bar that mounted onto the axle housing and then to the body. Some didn't and you could really tell the difference when loaded or when taking a sharp curve too fast unloaded. I think it came standard on the 67-72 ones. In 73 they all got leaf springs with shocks that mounted at the top in opposing directions.
 
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greenpondmike

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I had 2 trucks going when I was taking a heavy equipment class. They had an abundance of churt rock, so I loaded the lwb 65 chevy with the stabilizer bar by hand with a shovel. It was loaded good, but was very stabile going home. Before that they loaded my 77 f100 swb with a loader. A rock slightly dented the top of my bed. Others couldn't tell it, but I could. That truck was swaying real bad going home and I had to keep the speed down to try to keep it stabilized. My chevy had coil springs with the stabilizer bar and my Ford had leaf springs with no stabilizer bar.

It surprised me that the swb Ford with the leaf springs preformed so badly in comparison. My 69 lwb Ford with leaf springs did way better loaded down with scrap iron.

My ol 71 dodge swb with leaf springs did terrible loaded down. Had to keep it around 30 on the highway or else I felt like I would lose control. It was loaded down with 4520 pounds plus 3 full grown men in the cab. It was a half ton doing the work of a one ton. We had heavy auto parts on it and whole engines. The back bumper wasn't far from the ground. It handled lesser loads well. It and my 67 dodge army truck seemed to handle a ton of coal well. The coal must have been more centralized and spread out better than those engines and auto parts and it was only me in the cab.
 
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greenpondmike

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The chevy I drive at present will haul a stabile load. I feel like I'm wasting it as a truck mainly using it for transportation. It has a 4:10 or 4:11 limited slip rear end and all I've mainly hauled with it was a couple loads of firewood. One time I had it loaded down good though. Unloaded it can climb a rough rutted steep dirt hill at 5mph without bogging down- that was mainly the extent of my own abuse on it at that abandoned mine sight I used to guard.

My 69 Ford was the one that got worked the most. It could pull a tandom trailer with 2 or 3 stacked cars on it to the shredder. It only had a 300 six cyl running on only 5 cylinders. I made money with that truck and for a while hauling scrap, being a mechanic for another scrap hauler and having a lawn service was all I did for a living. That other scrap hauler most of the time made $100+ a day with some days he got over $300. He had a 1979 gmc sierra half ton with special springs, a turbo 400 trans and a 350 4 barrel engine. That truck would scat, but on his biggest load he had so much on his trailer that even when floored that truck was doing less than 35mph. I found out that any vehicle can pull way better than they could stop.

My Fords, whether all drum or disk in the front and drum in the back seemed to stop better than any chevy of similar configuration. All my Fords seemed to also have a better heater.
 
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greenpondmike

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As far as grease fittings go- an old chevy got some sure enough grease fittings. Even the upper and lower control arm bushings have grease fittings. Fords don't have as many because there isn't as much moving parts on a twin "I" beam suspension. You can ruin things quick with that cheap brown grease. It lubricates, but it also hardens up and prevents you from greasing your vehicle at a later time. I have one upper ball joint at this time that won't except any grease. The boot on it is also busted and although the ball joint is still tight- I will need to be replacing it in the near future. That red grease has never failed me, but I like the EP moly fortified black grease better. For all the blondes out there like myself "EP" stands for extreme pressure.
 
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greenpondmike

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If my memory is right it seems like the manual steering box on the 64-66 chevies had a place to either put grease in it or maybe add some gear oil. My 71 doesn't and it feels like it needs it.
 

greenpondmike

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One more thing before I go to bed. Y'all remember how I said I had to pull the gas line off to make it run again? Since it is at the sending unit someone above put a thought in my head when the engine died again last night. I let it rest a minute and the shook the truck a little. I did it from inside the cab, so I didn't really rock it as good as I could have. It made the gas swish around a little. I turned the key and it was running again. Wow, that's way easier. Goodnight....
 

greenpondmike

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Ok, I figure I'd update you all. First though, for the most part it looks like this has become "Mike's blog" instead of a thread. Please come on in and post like it was when I started the thread and don't be concerned with whether or not you have a brand that gave me trouble or not.

Some folks seem to have more trouble with a certain brand and good service out of other brands. I've owned some good Fords and some not so good chevies, but for some folks it's the other way around and I don't understand that.

I've also seen chevy fans hate on the quadrajet carb when I think it is the best thing that was out there before fuel injection. They're misunderstood big time. They have to be calibrated for the engine they go on (metering rods and jets) and some will run out of fuel under heavy throttle (even the elderbrock version will) and that can be modified.

The leaking at the bottom plugs can be fixed and the bog can be gotten out by having the carb tightened down proper on a good gasket and having a good accelerator pump on it. The accelerator pump is on top of the carb and if I remember right can be bought individually or in a kit and it can be replaced without taking the whole carb apart (only on the quadrajet and if memory serves me right). The accelerator pump is a plastic piston with rubber around its biggest part that goes up and down in a small cylinder. When the carb changes upward stages it needs an extra squirt of fuel to enrich the mixture in between the stages so the engine won't bog down or hesitate.

The accelerator pump supplies that. The two best carbs out there are GM's rochester quadrajet 4 barrel and Ford's motorcraft 2100 series. If they are in good shape they will properly supply a vehicle with fuel on extreme take offs and at extreme angles and are the best thing out there to put on a off road vehicle. Holly has one also for that application (I can't remember the name though), but it isn't quite as good as the other two.
Those two carbs will give you good service and gas mileage if properly tuned.

One of my brother in laws likes chevies but hates quadrajets. I heard him say a couple of weeks ago that the best thing you could do with a quadrajet is wrap a dollar around one before you chunk it so you will be chunking something away that has value. I'm sure some of you may have similar opinions, but I think it is worth reconsidering and taking another look at.
 
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greenpondmike

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Ok, now my truck update. It was rust in the rusted fuel line that was making it quit running. I blew air through it both ways and a lot came out, but at first a big ol chunk came out that my brother in law thought was a rock. It wouldn't pass through and was blocking the gas from also flowing. I don't see how any got through.

The inside of the tank looked good and so did the sending unit and the fuel strainer sock on it was in good condition. We ran fuel injection hose from the tank to under the truck and had to modify a gromlet. One more steel line to bypass and maybe I can wait a year or so.

New 3 flue pure aluminum radiator installed and new water pump. Mechanical fan was replaced by two electric fans that come on when the ignition is turned on and it has a 30 amp fuse put in on the positive side. I want to later on run a relay or two and have the fans run off a heavier guage short wire straight from the battery with the other wire it is now connected to just being the feed wire for the relays. Maybe I will have a 50 amp flip switch inside to have more control over when the fans kick on especially in the winter.
Performance seems to be the same, but the faster drive it the better it cools and the better gas mileage it gets- 50mph vs 70mph. It also cools fine in traffic and at idle. No need to run the heater fan in the summer anymore.

Throttle response seems a little better and the motor seems to not be as loaded down as it was. Had to put another pully on the water pump because mine was warped. My brother in law had a smaller one off of a 350 and it fit. I had to put on my new reserve fan belt to make it tighter and I have a third to a quarter of an inch adjustment left to go. I might have to step down to the next size in belts.

Will try to kind of rebuild the distributor next Monday, but maybe that can wait because I need to get my taxes done. May 17th is the deadline in my area and the woman that does them is only taking people by appointments now. Usually if you get there by 7am you might be able to get out of there by 4 or 5pm- she's good and popular.
 
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greenpondmike

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Anyone else restoring/modding their vehicle. I was thinking...I don't know what's up with American vehicles beyond the 90s, but in the 70s-90s grease fittings became rare on front ends. One of the best mods you could do as far as aftermarket stuff goes is when your front end suspension and steering parts get some wear on them is to replace them with aftermarket ones that have grease fittings.
 

bykfixer

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In speaking with some fellows at my work who come in from out of town, they say in their state there are no annual safety inspections for automobiles required. Man, a state where nearly anything that's level is man made, skinny, curvey roads with drops of thousands of feet and you have a bunch of cars and trucks running around with "sealed" suspension parts and no safety inspection required? What could possibly go wrong with that?

As much of a pain as it is to have an annual safety inspection done I gladly submit to that rule. For $20 a year I get the peace of mind of knowing the condition of my vehicle's brakes, and suspension. It's certainly a drag when the guy says "that'll be $3 million billion dollars for new ball joints"…… all because the industry chose to go with sealed joints.

When I started the Lexus project I looked up issues with that car and the number one issue was busted ball joints. Oh there were other issues like electric door locks not working or climate control doors not moving but those are creature comforts. A car that costed $49 thousand dollars in 2004 should NOT have ball joints that fail. That is just plain stupid.

I see these $100 thousand dollar pickup trucks all over the place and shake my head. Sure it's got ability to watch a streaming movie and leather upholstry, but the suspension is going to crumble. I suppose they can watch Austin Powers on the 12" screen while waiting on the tow truck because a ball joint failed.
 
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