September is here, and Finn is back in school, and the mornings aren’t quite as warm as they were a few weeks ago. I’m looking at the fall as a time to wrap up some of my current projects and the winter for tackling some new ones where I don’t need to be outside. To recap, here’s where we currently stand on the Travelall:
The cowl area is complete; now the windshield needs to go back in and I have to put the hood back on in order to close the truck up for the winter. I’d like to install new weatherstripping around the doors as well, but I’m going to work with what I’ve got.
I took some time to troubleshoot the starting issue—she was starting normally for a long while and decided to stop the week I worked on the cowl. On Sunday I ran through all of the basics—tested for spark, filled the carb bowl, and made sure the choke was working correctly—and finally got her to light off but not stay running. I knew the fuel lines were all clean; they’re brand new all the way back to the tank. So I replaced the fuel filter I’d placed between the pump and the carb, which was full of black sediment, and lit her off again. She caught and suddenly ran more smoothly; fuel was spurting happily into the filter where I hadn’t seen anything before. I’d hooked a couple of 4″ PVC pipes to the tailpipe pointed out behind the garage so I let her run for five or ten minutes to get warm and see how the engine responded. I topped off the radiator and waited until the top rad hose felt hot; I don’t have a working temp gauge in the truck so I don’t know if the thermostat opened. I’ll put a laser sensor on it next time I run it and see where the filler neck reads. I didn’t have time to test the clutch or brakes, though—and I already see one leak at the junction above the rear axle.
With winter approaching, I’ve got three projects in mind, two of which I should be able to tackle indoors and out of the elements:
- The top is still a patchwork of primed spots; I’d like to get one full coat of primer on the whole thing and, ideally, spray the whole top out with IH red. With the weather getting colder this may be tricky, but if I’ve still got the canopy over it I won’t have to worry about dew or leaves falling into new paint.
- I’ve got two full bench seats waiting for new material. This will start with burlap over the springs, several layers of strong foam, and new upholstery. I’ve got an IH friend who specializes in period-correct patterns and materials, and he’s teed up to produce some vinyl coverings for me. My brother-in-law has hog ring pliers and all the rings I need to complete this project, which is fantastic.
- Thinking ahead to lockable storage in the truck, I surveyed the rear bed to see if I could sink a steel lockbox into the floor in the center or on either side of the rear axle. Unfortunately, because the frame was an offshoot of a pickup truck design, it wasn’t engineered for space efficiency. The frame and axle take up a huge amount of space toward the front of the truck, and the beefy hitch mount running up the middle prevents me from dropping a deep well at the back. It’s not out of the question; there’s space above the hitch bar where I could drop a 30″w x 15″l x 5″d metal box in the middle of the floor, and I may well do this. It’s just not very deep—unless I build it with a hump in the middle. More planning will be required.There’s a guy on YouTube who has the same model Travelall who replaced the factory tube cage holding the rear bench with a lockbox, taking advantage of ~2376 cubic inches of space. I’ve already started sketching out some plans for a similar box made out of 1″ square tube and a bunch of the 16 gauge sheet I’ve got sitting in the garage. My plan is similar to his in that I’m planning on two top-mounted doors accessible from either side, using piano hinges and flush-mounted truckbox handles. The axle hump takes up a fair bit of the space inside, but having someplace to lock tools and parts is key. I’ll probably buy another 40MM ammo can and use that for additional storage in the rear section.