Weekly Roundup, 5.19

Last Sunday afternoon I started flushing dirt and crud out of the gas tank. I had to blow mud dauber nests out of the fuel feed line which sent them backwards into the tank, and I used the remainder of the old shitty gas to start flushing the dirt out. Using some coffee filters, I strained all of the large particulates out and ran about five gallons worth of liquid through, but it’s still coming out dirty. I haven’t seen any paint flakes or rust in this tank at all, which is a minor miracle; I’m going to run the borescope up into the drain hole and take a look around this weekend.

While I was waiting on the gas to slowly strain through the filter I figured I’d get after some of the dents on the passenger side fender, which I’d pulled off to access the tank. I used a regular hammer on the small dents and a rubber mallet to pop out some of the larger deformities, then sanded the bad spots down and skimmed them with some Bondo. It’s got a second coat on now and it’ll take a couple more rounds before I like it, but it’s a lot better than it was. The driver’s side dents are worse, and that’s going to take some more finessing.

I got a package from all the way out in Idaho on Monday: a 16″ 5 on 4.5 steel wheel similar to other three that came with the truck. When I first pulled it out of the box and measured the backspacing, I was crushed because I thought it was a half an inch too deep for the truck, but I re-measured it after dinner and found I’d made a mistake. I wire-wheeled all the rust off the outside and around the mounting surfaces and got it ready for a date with the NTB in town. With the tire mounted and on the truck, there’s only about 1″ of space between the back of the tire and the inside of the wheel well, so I’m clearly going to have to do something about this before any long road trips. The studs aren’t long enough to accept a wheel spacer, so I guess I’ve got to find another 16″ wheel somewhere.

Meanwhile, I continued tinkering with the linkage to the master cylinder and figured out how to get the clutch pedal disconnected; I left the brake pedal hooked up because I saw that the two rods merely plugged into the back of the box like brake cylinders. With a few careful taps of the deadblow hammer the old rusty unit came off, and I pulled all the old fittings and swapped them to the new unit. Wednesday evening I cleaned the rods up with sandpaper, pressed them into the back of the cylinder unit, and spent about an hour upside down with my head on the floor of the cab threading both rods back into place. Both pedals now provide some level of resistance instead of just flopping to the floor; now I’ve got to buy brake lines, a bending and a flare tool to start rebuilding the runs to the wheels.

On Wednesday I got an email from Blackstone about my oil analysis; the basic gist is that it looks OK apart from a slightly elevated lead level, which could indicate bearing wear, but everything else looked pretty good. My old oil showed highly elevated numbers for things like detergents and anti-wear additives; clearly someone used the high-mileage stuff for the last oil change. My notes in color below:

IHPartsAmerica ran a story on their social media about getting loads of new parts in and running a sale, so I inquired about some larger stuff I need for the truck. They might have a Travelall bench seat, some fenders, and a non oil-bath air cleaner in stock; I’m waiting on pricing.

I got a firm bite on the Scout II windshield I posted on Marketplace, and finally organized the sale Thursday. As we were arranging payment and drop off, he asked if I had any Scout II lift gates or hinges. It just so happened I’d dragged a lift gate from the Flintstone Scout home, so I shot some pictures and we settled on a price. It’s not a ton of money because that Scout was crispy and the lift gate was not spared, but I did get a good T-handle off of it. It probably paid for half the parts I pulled that day, which is pretty cool. And dropoff was only a mile from the house, which was that much cooler.

Finally, I ordered a length of galvanized brake line, the fittings, a flange tool, and a cheap bender from Amazon to start fabricating clean lines to the clutch slave and the rear drums. With those installed I can fill the system with clean fluid and bleed everything out, and after that, move her under her own power sometime this summer. I do know I’m going to need to buy a creeper from Hobo Freight, because I have a lot of under-body work ahead of me between the brake, fuel, and electrical runs.

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