Hmm, I just realized I never mentioned what happened with my steering caster upgrade. Short answer: nothing. The guy I brought it to had it for about three hours while I hung out in a Starbucks across the street. When I walked back over, it was parked on the side and he sheepishly told me he couldn’t budge either ball joint stud no matter how hard he tried. To his credit, he backed off, afraid he’d break something, and didn’t charge me anything for his time. Looking over both knuckles I didn’t see much evidence of an attempt, but whatever.
He recommended bringing it to the local 4×4 shop to see if I could have someone there work it over for me. This thought made me nervous for several reasons; I get the sense most of these shops are staffed by 22-year-old vape bros catering to guys who want to bolt aftermarket crap onto their shiny new Jeeps.
At the Scout meetup later that week I got to talking with one of the guys who knows a local mechanic who used to work on Internationals, and he suggested I get in touch. This week I’m going to follow up with a phone call, looking ahead to an appointment in the spring. Because while he’s working on this stuff, I’ll have him go over the whole front end and check it for wear.
My intention this afternoon was to take 20 minutes to replace the ancient 1970’s era speaker under Peer Pressure’s dash with a new one. A few weeks ago I some cursory research on the interwebs and someone claimed the stock speaker was 4×10″, so I ordered an inexpensive replacement online. Today I pulled the old one out, and it turns out I was wrong (a quick trip into the garage to look over the two spare dashboards I have would have confirmed this): it’s 4×8″, a very unconventional size for a speaker. RetroSound has replacements for $100+, which is more than I care to spend, or there are some cheaper alternatives which are intriguing (and, strangely, listed as OEM replacements for Case/IH equipment). For now, I’ll return the new one this week and come up with another plan.
And, just to prove I am not a complete philistine, I pulled the fiberglas inserts down out of the garage attic and stuffed them into the Scout this afternoon.
In preparation for the meetup this weekend I figured I’d better get off my ass and fix the issues I had with the first batch of stickers I produced. The new ones now say Old Line State Binders on the face of the hub where the Lock and Free lettering is embossed. I increased the size of the map in the background and added a slight rule around the hub to set it off the background. And, now the stickers are the right size: 3″ in diameter.
These look cleaner. The printing went better (it didn’t plug up the blacks like the small version) and the relationship to the flag is OK…but now I’m thinking the hub needs to go back to the original ratio, because the flag is too big.
It’s a miracle I can get myself dressed in the morning.
I’ve been organizing a fall IH meetup for the last month or so (I got nominated at Nationals, as I organized the last meetup in 2014) and it’s looking good. So far I’ve got 10 confirmed attendees and 6 Scouts coming to a lunchtime/parking lot gathering, which is about all we can do in late November. Previous meetups have been work days, but it’s just too cold to work outside, and nobody has a big enough space to gather in at this point.
If you’d like to stop by, here are the rough details:
November 17 @ 11:30-?
Famous Dave’s Barbecue
6201 Columbia Crossing Cir, Columbia, MD 21045
Steering on Peer Pressure has gotten…sporty since I put the new tires on. What was once a pretty stable platform has gotten wandery and looser, which makes me nervous when driving at speed. I bought a caster correction kit from Super Scouts a month ago or so, and realized pretty quickly that the installation is more than I’m prepared to take on. So I called the alignment shop I’d used before Nationals and asked if they could install it for me, which they agreed to. So I’ve got an appointment for Saturday morning, and hopefully I’ll see a difference when it’s complete.
Meanwhile I got my rebate card from General Tire in the mail, and the clown who has been hounding me to buy my tires for $100 lower than the asking price got back in touch with me this week. Fuck it. I want them out of my garage. With that cash (providing the guy actually shows up) I can order an aluminum radiator and new hoses, and set that aside as a fall project, if it doesn’t get too cold too quickly.
Finally, I pulled the shitty switch out of the fiberglas panel in back of the TravelTop. I don’t remember having this switch in Peer Pressure, which was a stock 1978 model, so it’s a new thing to me. As I was attempting to unscrew the live lead from the dome light, it was sparking (!!!) so I know I wasn’t seeing things last week. I marked the position of the switches and pulled it out, wrapping the live lead with some electrical tape.
Examining it closer, it’s a miracle it didn’t burn the truck down earlier. It’s just the barest of mechanical parts with a flimsy plastic switch in the middle, and it appears to be missing a pin or other conductive metal object that was spring-loaded, providing resistance when toggled. I can’t find any mention of it on any of the IH parts sites and there’s no serial number printed on it anywhere. It’s clearly a factory part, as there’s a mount built into the fiberglas panel, but I don’t see any sign of it on the electrical diagrams in the manual (there’s just a straight run from the passenger’s taillight up the rear pillar to the dome light).
More sleuthing to follow.
Following up on my last post, I was all set to order a threaded rod from Fastenal ($19.50 for a 2′ rod, before shipping!!!) but today’s errands took us past the local Ace Hardware and I stopped in to see what they had. They aren’t technically local so it’s not a quick trip, but their fastener section is twice the size of either offering at the nearby Lowe’s or Home Depot (their Grade 8 section is comprehensive and where I’ve sourced 9/10 of my fasteners). I found a 2′ rod for a grand total of $2.79 and practically ran out of the store with it.
At home I heated it up the same way as the others and within 10 minutes had it bent on both sides. After a test fitting for length I took it back off, chopped about 5″ off with the angle grinder, cleaned up the threads, and had it mounted in place. I also remembered I had a steel plate that came inside the toolbox I bought from Bennett, and I added a hole in the center. Within 10 minutes I had the whole thing mounted and the tire up off the bed of the truck. Success! Just in time to take it all back out so that I can put the hardtop on. Oh, and I’ll have to paint the plate with some POR-15 too…
Somebody stuffed a note under my wiper blade at soccer practice last week that said “I like your truck. Would you be interested in selling?”
One day in 2000 when I was at work, one of the local news teams came to my leafy, paved street (the only one in our neighborhood), blocked off traffic, and shot a promo in front of my house. The blurry shape in the upper left corner is Chewbacca, who had her 15 seconds of fame throughout Baltimore. Parked in front of her is my neighbor Bertha’s 1973 Dodge Dart. Mixed among the crowd are my neighbors and some paid stand-ins. This blurry 251x189px video is a video capture I took of a VHS recording from TV; the VHS tape is long gone and I doubt I’d ever be able to find a copy online anywhere.
Also, I haven’t forgotten about this. It’s just that they came out a LOT smaller than I thought they would. I’m going to get a new set ordered in the spring, and then I will send them along to you, friends.
When the leaves fall and the first real frost of the season hits, I start thinking about putting the hardtop on. There’s nothing more frustrating than installing (or removing) a hardtop when it’s 30° outside; banging knuckles on cold metal is a bummer.
I’ve got the process down to a science now, and yesterday it took me about an hour to remove the soft top, fold it up, drop the hardtop down onto the rails, align the gaskets (don’t forget the windshield gasket!), drive it out of the garage, and get the bolts in place. I finger-tighten the four windshield bolts first, and then start with the two siderail bolts directly behind the doors, working my way backwards. It’s always much easier to push/pull the top in the middle to align the holes than it is at the ends. What would have been finished in an hour took an extra 15 minutes because I had to open the tailgate up to re-align the hatch mechanism–something I’ve also got down to a science, as it happens at least twice a year.
She’s been running really well this year, and apart from some basic carb adjustments, I don’t have any complaints at all. I backed her into the garage, set up the trickle charger, and let her sleep until next week with her winter coat.