Apologies for the long post, but itís been really busy around our place for the last several weeks and Iíve been neglecting web updates.
For the first time in nearly 50 years of doing hard lines, I had to completely redesign the fuel pump to carb layout I had just fabricated. I simply could not get the setup to stop leaking. Gasoline kept dripping off the bottom of the pump, and I could not determine where it was coming from. Checking the bottom of each line with a piece of paper towel - none had any gas on it, but gas kept dripping off the bottom of the pump. I redid every tubing flare, and replaced every brass fitting, and the pump continued to drip. So I pulled the new pump and replaced it as well. I thought maybe I cracked the outlet housing. The new pump leaked exactly as the other one did!
So I threw in the towel, pulled everything off and made a much more simplified arrangement mounting the regulator at the top of the vertical line coming off the pump. I also added an inconspicuous bracket to the cylinder head, eliminating any vibration at the pressure regulator.
Everything works perfectly now, although I still have no idea why it leaked in the first place.
Around the same time I decided to finally make an effort to install the Edelbrock carb isolator plate Iíve had hanging on the garage wall for a couple of years. One feature of the AFB/Edelbrock carb Iíve never been thrilled about is the hot-engine-soak flooding. Iím running a 180 degree thermostat and when the engine is turned off on a hot day the intake manifold can soak up to 215-220 (or higher). This boils the gas in the carb and makes hot restarting difficult. So I finally installed the isolator, itís the orange spacer under the carb shown below:
Since the addition the engine has soaked up to 205-210 several times and fires right up. What a nice improvement!
It was a pretty simple swap, requiring longer studs and fabrication of a longer connection from the cruise control cable to the throttle arm (which has been completed since the photos were taken). The hard line from the fuel pressure regulator to the carb was also replaced with a taller version. The choke, smog and power brake vacuum hoses, and throttle linkage required no modifications.
I recently lost my Moon Equipped decal on the back window. It was added to somewhat conceal the camera mount on the back window. I was washing the truck the other night and when I started rinsing off the back window, I realized the top half of the Moon eyes were gone!?. Within minutes the rest had blown off as well. I found this surprising as I had identical decals on the front fenders for a couple of years and they held up great to repeated washings. Perhaps they just donít stick to glass as well as they do to paint, or the window was contaminated when they were applied.
On another beautiful morning I decided to add the chrome locking bead to the rear window. I made the mistake of using Windex as lubricant, and the ammonia attacked the chrome finish. A clear film over the chrome wrinkled and pealed ruining the effect. Hereís what it looked like from a few feet away. Note the blotch at the left side:
So it was ripped out and the black bead reinstalled. It took over an hour to install the chrome piece as it is almost as hard as wood and very difficult to curve around the corners. The black rubber bead by comparison pops in taking less than 5 minutes.
I immediately ordered another chrome bead and used mild diluted dish soap for lubricant. It still took over an hour to install, but this time came out nice.
Hereís a front shot of the truck, and 3 pics of the back. Of note is the recently installed 1958 Impala door mirrors. When they were mounted, I made my first attempt at blending in the paint repairs with a Blitz Black rattle can. The paint didnít blend well at all and can be seen around the mirror areas.
The rear window trim is a rather small thing, but I do like the extra detail to go along with the windshield trim and the rest of the shiny parts. It was a very harsh time of day to be taking car pictures, but hereís what turned out:
The white stripe at the bottom of the tailgate is just a sun reflection.
I recommend not using the aftermarket bead lock installation tool. It runs the black bead lock into the groove in nothing flat without problems. But the chrome bead lock version is so stiff, Iím reasonably certain the tool is part of what damaged the chrome surface causing the wrinkling. In addition, it just didnít help insert the lock into the seal cavity.
What worked better was pushing either half of the lock into the groove, and then lifting the opposite flap over the bead with a hook tool. This went much faster and had very little of the lock popping out after insertion. When going around corners, I tucked into the inside of the corner first, and then worked the outside flap of the window seal over the lock bead.
Hereís a tiny little video clip of us leaving our daughterís place recently. She captured the moment on her cell phone, so the video quality is rather poor but the audio is halfway decent. Listening to this I realized the electric fan was coming on too soon, so itís been adjusted to come on a 180 and go off around 170.
Weíve been having a ton of fun since the new motor went in. The idle really sounds tough, and the Pete Jackson noisy gear drive really screams now. Iím not sure why itís so much louder than before. The only two changes I made was to really close up the camshaft end gap and provide more clearance between the power gear axle and the engine block.
I donít really know what the clearances were in the old engine, but when first installed in the new engine the camshaft thrust bumper was nearly 1/8Ē from the back of the timing cover. It was supposed to be between .005 and .010, so I set it at .010. Perhaps this is causing the timing cover to act more like a diaphragm speaker.
Again I didnít check how they fit in the old engine, but when the idler gears were installed in the new engine, there was zero clearance between the front cover and the idler gear axle on the front, and zero on the back against the block. The gap called for was between .015 and .065. I kept it tight at about .015-.020. It wasnít real easy to measure as the block is not flat in that area. In any event, whatever I did turned it into a real screamer. Iíve been driving behind a Pete Jackson noisy drive since about 1984, and people stopped turning heads many years ago. But now, we have guys, girls, and old ladies turning to look at the truck. Between the cam/exhaust and the gear drive it really commands attention.
A recent trip to the store turned up a 64-66 4x4 short bed. I normally carry my big camera with me, but left it at home. So for the first time ever, I snapped a few shots with my cell phone. I think they came out pretty decent considering it was bright daylight and I couldnít see what I was doing on the phone. The blazing sunlight just bleached out the view screen. And being an old Jarhead I replaced the Moon decal with a gold foil USMC sticker instead. Theyíre actually a very thin metal, are impervious to just about anything. Everything except the white is a highly reflective hologram effect:
With my wife retiring soon sheíll be driving the truck more than she has in recent years, and the door mirrors werenít working for her. So they have been relocated closer to the vent window(s). This required masking off the entire truck and repainting the area from the body break below the glass, to the body line below the door handles. This time I used my trusty Sata Jet 90. The finish and color match arenít 100 percent perfect, but they came out much nicer than last time. Good enough to make me happy. I like the new position of the mirrors better as well. Now theyíre in line with the spotlights, and provide a much better view to the rear:
Now I get to figure out why my high beam indicator light quit working! Itís always something!