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A Clean House and the Winter To-Do List.

18 Dec

Tis’ the season to git shit done! Bout mid fall I got a grinding/rubbing noise as I was getting on the highway. It went away before the next exit so I just kept going but it came back the next time I took her out which was right about the time I woulda packed the ol’ girl away for the winter anyways. Noticed a drag in the driver side front wheel that might be the issue. Disc brake conversion is sitting in the basement so no real worries there. Tho I did notice the guy I bought the kit off of failed to mention he’d tacked the studs on, otherwise they spin freely…worst case, I have the Bendix drums on my stock axle. Might also be the transmission but I have a Saginaw 4spd to cure that …SO… my winter to-do list is as follows –

Brakes – Front discs, rear drums, dual MC, new lines.
Transmission – Swap the original 3spd for a rebuilt Saginaw with a Patrick’s torque tube adapter.
Transmission – attempt to rig up the column shifter as a 4OTT with reverse on a cable.
Heat – Install restored fresh air heater.
Lube – Oil/filter and chassis.
Paint? – Perhaps a rattle can prime and satin job this spring.


17 Apr

I’m finally catching up on the blog this week, so this update will be several events wrapped into one post. Enjoy!


1. Harrison Fresh Air Heater Restoration

The heater is complete and it looks absolutely AMAZING but the inner cowl where it attaches is pretty badly rusted through so I’m a bit nervous about removing the delete plate, which is the only solid part holding the top and bottom halves of the cowl together. As a result, this probably won’t get installed until the cab gets repaired.

– with a good coat of spray paint and almost zero rust.







– Emblems cleaned and repainted where needed, case and core blasted cleaned and painted, motor gasket modified and installed and (just for fun) blower wheel powder coated.
(Not pictured – new defroster cable and knob and a restored temp knob and rod were purchased for the Ranco valve.)



















2. Stripping the Wheels and Powder Coating








Not feelin’ the color so we’re gonna switch it up to more of a teal … specifically, Sterling Teal Micro Pearl (2nd from the left in the photo below).




3. Still Working on the Horn

I got the horn working a while back but on the first drive with everything live, it grounded somewhere and wouldn’t stop honking.

I dug in and found that the contact brush was slipping off the contact ring, into the column and touching the mast spring which was closing the circuit. This was a direct result of the not so perfect quality of the repop steering wheels I mentioned having issues with in a post several months ago. This time it’s the contact brush sleeve. Plain and simple, it’s too damn short (by about 1/4″) and allows the end of the contact to pop out of position which either honks the horn constantly or ends up ripping the end of the brush off, jamming it in the column while you’re trying to pull off the road.

The solution, use an original or NOS sleeve which is about 1/4″ longer. Not so simple. The hole in the wheel is not the right size to fit them so you need to bore it out to 3/8″. With the right bit and a good friend to hold the wheel in place you can widen it with a power drill. It wouldn’t fit on our drill press due to the circumference of the wheel.

Once the sleeve is pressed in with the contact in place and the wheel on the mast you’ll notice that the end of the brush is adequately supported. As a precaution, also made a sleeve out of PVC that fits over the mast spring and protrudes just enough above the contact ring on the mast bearing to prevent the contact from slipping into the column.



4. Speedometer Woes

Rebuilding the speedometer was one of the first tasks I took on in the restoration once the ol’ girl was running. Almost immediately after the needle began bouncing again. At first it was infrequent, only happening at higher speeds but it eventually got worse. To the point that at speed it would sweep almost the whole gauge. So, while the wheels were off for powder and the truck on stands, I figured I’d take a look at the driven gear for the speedometer located at the transmission. Not sure if it was the culprit but the shaft on the driven gear was obviously a bit bent as it had a bit of an orbit when the gear end was spun. My assumption is that this was causing the cable to bind and release which caused the needle to bounce.

In the photo below, the driven gear on top is from the 3spd transmission on my truck and the one on bottom is from a 3spd out of a ’48 3100 that I had on a shelf. There is a difference in driven gear tooth count and width and they are not compatible with each other’s drive gears.


I ended up purchasing a correct driven gear replacement from a fellow Bolter online. Hopefully this (along with a speedometer correction adapter to compensate for my tire size) cures the issue.



5. Roll Reduction

Found an original restored Chevrolet Advanced Design Suburban sway bar on ebay. Totally at random. I searched my usual terms for all truck parts correct for Bessie and this thing came up at an amazingly low price with 30 seconds left. I bid and won.








What has ten thousand five hundred and sixty feet and two toes?

28 Jul

My weekend!



Installed the new stainless fuel sending unit and changed the oil the weekend before and added a bottle of lead additive and 4oz Marvel Mystery Oil to a +/- half full tank with the intention of heading over to the gas station to fill up. Life happened and I never made it.

Fast forward to Thursday… I took the truck to meet a friend for lunch headed back home after to get the gas card and died once on the way home and again on the way to the station. Couldn’t get it to fire up after the second time so the girlfriend and I made use of the new tailgate chains while waiting in the heat for a tow.

Friday… Got it idling well, so I decide to head over to the station and fill up. Dead again in the same spot about a mile from my house.

Saturday morning… Got a 5gal can and drove to the gas station in my other car. While we were at it, we also replaced a hacked off carburetor stud and installed the proper carburetor insulator/spacer and re-tuned the carb. Runs great now and the fuel gauge works!

Unrelated automotive art and design…

13 Jun

While moving stuff around to refinish the floors in a few rooms I unintentionally dug up some old Sakhnoffsky prints (c.1957) I picked up a while back.

Still need to have them framed but I figured I’d snap some photos and do some research on them.

These are three separate “dye-transfer color reproductions” created for the Pedwin shoe company that were available by writing to various magazines that ran their ads.

(Better photos to come)

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Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky was born in 1901 and passed away in 1964.  He was a Russian-American industrial designer and was known principally for his streamline style automotive designs.

About the prints I own…

The Pedwin Sports Car Design Promotion: “Mr. Dream Car”

The man who invented dream cars is back with a complete new line of sleek imaginary sports cars. This month, American magazine readers will see once more a style of drawing that to many of them – especially those who were reading men’s magazines before World War II – is as familiar as the pin-up girls of Petty or Vargas. The sleek, imaginative dream cars of Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky, which graced the pages of Esquire for years, are to appear in a series of monthly magazine ads.”

“The series will include 12 Sakhnoffsky designed sports cars and will run one each month in the pages of several national magazines as part of an advertising campaign for Pedwin Shoes. Reason for the sports car theme, says the shoe concern, is the “increasing interest nationally in sports cars by the young men of America.” Admirers of the Sakhnoffsky drawings will be able to obtain dye-transfer color reproductions by writing for them.

More info here –

Also, inspired by my research, I picked up an Oct. 1957 copy of Speed Age magazine featuring the same artwork.



4 Oct

Took her for a spin over the weekend!!! Oil is now getting to the top end and the filter! It was as I suspected, the distributor tail was not turning the oil pump gear.
Unfortunately, she’s now pissing oil from a brass fitting at the oil distributor. Luckily, I can get replacement parts for most of the oiling system parts with a quick trip to any common plumbing supply store/dept.

Pardon the craptastic cell phone pics it was dark.

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Fresh paint!

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