Weekly Roundup, 4.28

Having solved the starting issue last weekend, I figured I’d better move on to the brake system and start sorting that out. I pulled the wheels off and put the truck on jackstands to get things ready for new tires as well as expose the drums for an overhaul. This truck runs 11″ drums with 1.75″ shoes, which appears to be a somewhat unorthodox combination. I tore the driver’s side wheel down on Tuesday night and cleaned up the backing plate, then attempted to disconnect the brake line with a cheap set of flare wrenches from Hobo Freight; this just stripped the extensively rusty brake line fitting so I cut it off with a hacksaw.

Everything inside this drum was rusty as hell; the self-adjuster was fused into one lump of metal, and the shoes were paper-thin. The new brake cylinder went in easily and the front shoe connected up with the parking brake lever, but I was stopped short at the hold down pins, which were 0.5″ too long. Looking around online it appears that 2.25″ shoes are much more common, so I had to order a new set for the ones I’ve got. And now that I’m looking at the photo, it’s clear to me I put the adjusting screw in backwards, so I’ll have to get in there one more time to fix that.

Another, more alarming discovery, is that 16″ diameter wheels 8″ wide with a 4.5 bolt pattern and 3″ backspacing are pretty rare on the ground; apparently I’ve got three of something that don’t come around often. I put the word about my wheel issue out on BinderPlanet and someone sent me a link to a listing in a Marketplace group I wasn’t already a member of with what look like the wheels I need in Idaho; I’m in contact with the seller and we’ll see how much it will cost to ship.

I had a spare fuel pump in the Scout emergency kit that I put on the Travelall Wednesday night. The old pump had an integrated fuel filter with fittings that hung off the side, while the new one has two long cylinders which hang down off the housing—and which bump directly up into one of the body mounts. After mounting it, I noticed the pump isn’t fit snugly to the engine block. It would be very easy to have SendCutSend make me a metal shim, so I’m not worried yet.

Thursday night I ran out and drained the oil from the engine to get it ready for some Rotella 10-W40 diesel oil (it’s formulated in a way that makes it better for old flat-tappet engines than modern oils) but quickly realized I’d bought the wrong oil filter: the one on the truck has a much thicker nut than the filter was willing to accept, so I had to order the correct one: a WIX 51261. Also interesting was the size of the drain plug: a fat 1 1/8″ nut instead of a 9/16″ like I’m used to. (I’ve begun a list of odd sizes and parts and tools that I’ll have to pack in the emergency kit for this rig.) Luckily I saw no metal shavings on the plug at all. While draining the pan, I collected a container of oil halfway through the pour for a trip to Blackstone Labs, where they do a full chemical analysis of the oil to see what shape the engine is in. With this I can get a sense of how much wear is actually on the rig and if they see any issues with bad bearings or other hints as to its health.

On Saturday I had some time before rainstorms to dig into a box of parts to continue on the brake job: A new set of holddown pins arrived, and while they were still a little too long they worked for what I needed. I spent a bunch of time trying to figure out what Carlson meant for me to do with their version of an adjusting lever, said fuck it, and hooked it up the way it came to me. With the driver’s side done, I moved over to the passenger side and knocked that one out in a quarter of the time it took for the first one. Returning to the fuel pump, I took the unit I had off, shimmed it with three gaskets, scavenged an outgoing metal fuel line from a spare on the shelf, and put it back on. The fuel line now snakes up next to the dipstick tube (which is on the passenger front of this engine, not the driver’s middle) where I can attach a fuel line and run it up the passenger’s side to the carb and not over hill and dale the way it was. I put the new fuel filter on and filled the engine up with Rotella.

So next up is to get the fuel system plumbed and tested from the boat tank, and from there I’ve got to see what shape the actual gas tank is in. I have the new master and clutch slave cylinders in hand, and all the mounting bolts on the truck are soaking in PBblaster. They’ll get replaced next, and then I can push fluid through the lines to see if they’re worth saving or need to be completely replaced.

I’ve got to get Peer Pressure in to a mechanic to look over the power steering pump, but I don’t want to do that without having several of the specialty fittings I need for the Hydroboost setup in hand. I dug out the seller’s information from my archives and ordered a new set; their prices have gone up since 2010 when I got the last pair, but having them is cheap insurance if my mechanic needs to tear the whole unit apart. With those in hand, I’ll get her in for a checkup ASAP.

Posted on   |    |  Posted in Hydroboost, Travelall

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