Long overdue updates…

19 Feb

If anyone is actually following this blog, my apologies for slacking off in 2014. I blame work and wedding planning for my absence. Good news is, while posting was at a minimum/nonexistent, activities and picture taking was not! I will be updating the blog with plenty of pictures and more specific project posts asap.

Until then, here’s an update based on my last post in Dec of 2013.

Brakes – Front discs, rear drums, dual MC, new lines.
DONE. What a pain in the ass. If you’re debating it, just buy a kit that includes 100% of everything and save yourself the hassle. All the details down to finding the right banjo bolts for the front lines were a complete and major Charlie Foxtrot. I jacked up the bleeder threads on one of the calipers, spent a bunch of time messing around with cheap defective residual valves (finally sprung for the Wilwood valves), and the CPP/POL Corvette type MC that I powder coated did not fit with the Saginaw 4spd transmission…the lines ran right into the shifter levers and linkage. I must have spent a solid month looking into several other MCs including a Dodge D/W100 series truck MC which is the correct bore and has a plastic removable (relocatable) reservoir on a very narrow aluminum body. Would have worked perfectly but I wanted it to look somewhat original and the plastic bits just wouldn’t cut it. Eventually I settled on an early ’60s Mustang dual reservoir MC. Cast iron painted black and mounted perfectly on the CPP/POL bracket. It’s still close but it fits with 90∘ bends immediately off the fluid outputs. Overall, other than a little flexing in the MC bracket I’m pretty happy with the manual disc setup. I’ll get to the details in another post but everything works well and the truck stops as it should.

Transmission – Swap the original 3spd for a rebuilt Saginaw with a Patrick’s torque tube adapter.
DONE. The four speed Saginaw with the Patrick’s torque tube adapter kicks ass. I hate to lose the charm of the column shift but drivability is greatly improved. However, as much as I’d love to rig up the 4spd on the column and add a 3.55 rear gear set…I just cant. After driving two hours out to my wife’s family farm on a highway with a 70mph limit I now know I need an overdrive transmission and I already have a rebuilt T5 with a manual speedometer cable out of an S10 that is slated for the task sitting in my basement. That said, I’ll be on the Sag for another year or two.
Also, turns out that grinding noise I was experiencing back in late 2013 was a U joint coming apart in the ball housing. Fixed it when I swapped in the Saginaw.

Transmission – attempt to rig up the column shifter as a 4OTT with reverse on a cable.
ABANDONED…but not forgotten. This would be so cool if someone could figure out how to do it and maybe even add a two speed axle or some sort of OD.

Heat – Install restored fresh air heater.
POSTPONED. I’m lazy and also ran into some front suspension/alignment issues at the end of the 2014 season so the truck has been off the road since mid fall. More about that in another post.

Lube – Oil/filter and chassis.
DONE. Usual maintenance. No real story to tell.

Paint? – Perhaps a rattle can prime and satin job this spring.
Uh, no.. WTF was I thinking when I posted that. I’m rollin’ full ’54 car caps on wide whites with all the chrome I can pile on. She stays as is until I can get the body taken care of and afford a decent paint job.

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That’s about it for 2014. Now with spring around the corner, the wedding in the past and finally getting settled back in with my new position/location at work, I should be ready to get back to ol’ Bessie once the weather warms up a bit.

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Oh yeah. I also bought a ’54 261 from the legendary Paul Kruse of Poverty Flats. …what a road trip that was!

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