Sunday, January 31, 2016

2016 Wish List

With 49 days to go until spring, I figured it would be a good idea to set some project goals for this year. First thing is replacing the original rear end, for a couple reasons: Right now our top speed is 50, and that's really pushing it. I want to make the truck a little more highway friendly. Having 5 lugs all the way around is another desire (these trucks originally came with six lug wheels), so I can snag the other two rally wheels that my friend Steve has for me. The first two are on the front now, with the disc brake kit. When the rear end is taken care of, I'll just need to order the rally center caps to have the exact wheel setup I've wanted for a while now. I'd also like to lower the stance of the truck slightly (two inches or so), and thinking rear end replacement is the perfect opportunity to do it.

Of course, as happens with all amateur projects, I'm still learning as we go. Turns out that if I want to replace the rear, I'll also need a new drive shaft and transmission, and we'll have to do a new shifting setup as well. Thankfully my friend and main mechanical man Alex has a compatible GM rear end available, and we should be able to find the right transmission with a trip or two to the salvage yard. What I'm not sure of yet is whether we can find an existing open drive shaft that will work or have to have one made, and whether helping Alex do the work will actually save me money or cost me more.

Alex in the driver's seat as we prepared the for the first drive last spring

Other plans this year include the battery being relocated to the firewall from under the cab for easier access, and some interior work. Right now the floor and inside firewall are completely bare, which can make for some extra-warm rides on a hot summer day. Gotta get that thing covered up.

Thanks for stopping by! Please see the right column here for more info on the story behind this dream ride.

See y'all down the road!


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Officially Down for the Winter

With single digit low temperatures in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday night, I figured I better finally get out there and pull the battery today, which now sits on my work bench in the basement. Fired 'er up one more time first, and let it run for a few minutes while I walked to the shed to get the ratchet set so I could remove the cables. No problem disconnecting but had a hard time actually pulling the battery out, because it's below the floor on the passenger side of the cab and there was not enough room to get my hands around it. Had to lift it out with a strap. Alex and I had been talking about moving the battery to the firewall to make it easier to access and hold down, and trying to remove it today affirmed the idea, so that's where it will be when we go down the road in the spring. Which, by the way, arrives in only 78 days... ;-)