Weekly Update, 5.21

Here’s the update from this past week, mainly focusing on dashboard removal, with a detour to the blasting cabinet on a rainy Saturday to pretty up a set of valve covers. I’m about 3/4 of the way done getting this thing out of the truck. I had to disconnect the mechanical linkages to the heat/defrost controls, which was easy with the radio missing, and then I had to trace the two knobs in the center of the dashboard down. The smaller knob was pretty simple, just a cable running to a mechanical choke on the carburetor. And now that I’m thinking more clearly, I’ll bet that when I run the truck up again next time and open the choke up, the truck will run a lot smoother than it has the last couple of times. I’m betting I left it closed up, making the mixture richer and idle rougher, thus fouling the plugs. You can tell I’m spoiled by the fancy electric choke on the Thermoquad in the Scout.

The second knob has been a mystery for as long as I’ve owned the truck. Even when pulling on it with the strength of a gorilla, it never moved. I traced the cable through the engine bay and down the passenger rail to a greasy lump hanging off the side of the transmission: the NX98 Power Take Off unit listed at the bottom of the lineset ticket (for which I can find no online documentation). After attempting to get the knob out of the dashboard I realized the only way to remove it is to cut the knob off the cable. I thought about it for a couple of hours and then used the death wheel to cut the cable in the engine bay. I cleaned the grease off the PTO to reveal shiny red paint, and moved the linkage back and forth—it works! I’m going to leave it on and mess with it later.

The dash is free and clear on the passenger side but there are still a couple of things holding on behind the gauge panel, so I have to keep plugging away at the last couple of linkages. I disconnected the plugs on the engine side of the firewall but next I’ve got to gingerly push the connectors through to the passenger side, which I think will free up the dashboard even more. I suspect there are a couple of connections on the steering column and I have to get an impact driver on the high-beam switch mounted on the floor. The new harness is sitting on the bench seat ready to go in, and from all that I can tell, the connectors match up perfectly.


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