Goodbye to an old friend

Ivan Seeking

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JB Weld prevents the fuel line from dripping gasoline onto the exhaust manifold, which has a metal bandaid attached with pipe tape that seals a crack. The carburator has been leaking gas through the throttle shaft seal for years. Number eight cylinder is passing oil; the valves are clacking on number seven. The brake booster is covered with rust and the master cyclinder leaks brake fluid. The heater fan runs ever so slowly, but not as slowly as the windshield wipers which can barely complete a stroke. Belts, hoses, and plug wires are cracked and rotting. Insulation from the main wiring harness turns to dust if I grab it. The brake lights no longer work and can't be repaired without replacing the wiring harness.

The doors are sticky and difficult to open at times [have to watch for the wasp nests in the door jams, in the warm weather]. The windows can barely be opened without stripping the gears in the door. A small tornado put a tree branch through the top of the canopy which now sports a rather large hole. The wood slats comprising the floor of the bed look like driftwood found at the beach. The mufflers have had holes in them for years. She has three fuel tanks that can hold a total of 50 gallons, but the three-way selector valve is plugged. The engine thermostat went bad about ten years ago so it was removed...never did replace it. Walmart value seat covers are the only thing hiding the discolored foam that pushes up through the tears in the vinyl seats. Surpringly little rust is found on the body... except for the spot that hit the tree when I slid down the hill sideways. And of course, as happens every spring, grass is sprouting on the rear bumper.

My Harvest Gold, 3/4 ton Chevy truck with a 396 cu. inch engine, is 41 years old, and I think it is time to let her go. :cry: We bought it twenty years ago for $2500 and used it to move to Oregon. Since then it has been used to do everything from pulling tree stumps and grading the driveway, to making our biannual runs to the dump, to offering a last-ditch mode of transport to town when the snow runs deep. I bought it instead of renting a one-way U-Haul, which was going to cost about $2500 dollars. I'd say I got my money's worth!

She was sweet in her day. It came with a heavy-duty tow package - an oversized radiator, aux oil cooler, RV cams, air suspension - and that roaring monster of an engine that as far as I could tell got ten miles to the gallon whether going downhill empty, or up the gravevine out of Los Angeles while stacked 14 feet high and towing a fully loaded trailer. The heavy-duty air suspension has never needed air to be added.

Almost died in that truck three times.

The pulley on the power-steering pump has been wobbling since the day I bought it. Always meant to do something about that..
 
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wolram

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Keep her for a flower bed or veg growing.
 

Evo

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RIP old truck.

Are you having a full funeral service?
 
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We need pics!
 

turbo

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You're a year late, Ivan! Last spring that old beast could have brought good money at the salvage yard. Scrap iron was at record highs a year ago. Now, it's so bad that you have to pay to have junkers hauled away.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Are you having a full funeral service?
Heh, I'm not sure what will happen. The engine is apparently infinitely rebuildable and has caught the eye of the racing crowd before. I am told it is very desirable, so I would expect that as a best case the engine will find a new life in some hot rod. As for the body, there is no hope. It would be foolish to put another dime into it.
 
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Your truck looks like it should be in a movie where a volcano is erupting in the state of washington with pearce brozman as a siesmologist.
 
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Awww its a lovely truck, and served you proudly. And to be reborn as a race car! How perfect is that?
 

turbo

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Heh, I'm not sure what will happen. The engine is apparently infinitely rebuildable and has caught the eye of the racing crowd before. I am told it is very desirable, so I would expect that as a best case the engine will find a new life in some hot rod. As for the body, there is no hope. It would be foolish to put another dime into it.
The 396 is a pretty hot mill. If it is the same configuration that was in my uncle's 4-spd Chevel, it can be dropped into a lightweight modified-class dragster with impressive results. If not, a little head-work and steeper cams would probably perk it right up with little other modification. My dopey cousin wrecked that car before it ever had a chance to get old. About 10 years later, he wrecked a new Dodge "Little Red Express" pickup, and he let the insurance company total it out and ended up still owing money on the loan. My Duster-racing buddy (National NHRA champion in his class) would have paid him big bucks for the W2 heads off that engine, but the truck was gone before he got the chance.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Btw, if anyone is interested, I have a really great truck for sale.
 
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NO MOSS??? what?
 

turbo

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I can't pay much, and you'll have to deliver. Maine is lovely in the summer...
 

Tsu

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NO MOSS??? what?
Oh, no. There's PLENTY of moss and algae - along with some grass and weeds growing on the bumpers and on the (rotting wooden) truck bed. Hey. She's GREAT!! She a rust test in progress!! :biggrin:
 

Ivan Seeking

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Tsu, when we bought that, Bob W. and I were standing there looking at the engine when I noticed the power steering pulley wobbling. I mentioned to Bob that I had better do something about that. Bob looked at me and something like "Don't worry about it, It will probably run that way for another twenty years". Little did I know that we would prove him right!
 

Ivan Seeking

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We bought the truck from Tsu's dad. I called him recently and told him that I don't like the truck and I would like to return it.
 
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Oh, no. There's PLENTY of moss and algae - along with some grass and weeds growing on the bumpers and on the (rotting wooden) truck bed. Hey. She's GREAT!! She a rust test in progress!! :biggrin:
My aunt at the home place on NE Morning Street in Corvallis has a very similar truck, in a similar state.
 
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I have an old 1972 International Harvester pickup. (binder) Every thing still works. It has been used for just about anything and everything imaginable.

The doors open just fine but they are really loud when closed unless I remember to close them gently. I parked it beside a Lexus at the Home Depot last week. When I got out I slung the door shut. It was so loud it set off the alarm in the Lexus.
 

Ivan Seeking

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The 396 is a pretty hot mill. If it is the same configuration that was in my uncle's 4-spd Chevel, it can be dropped into a lightweight modified-class dragster with impressive results. If not, a little head-work and steeper cams would probably perk it right up with little other modification. My dopey cousin wrecked that car before it ever had a chance to get old. About 10 years later, he wrecked a new Dodge "Little Red Express" pickup, and he let the insurance company total it out and ended up still owing money on the loan. My Duster-racing buddy (National NHRA champion in his class) would have paid him big bucks for the W2 heads off that engine, but the truck was gone before he got the chance.
I always wanted to go through that engine, but I never got back into engines for fun. Having the property takes so much time and money that, until recent years, I couldn't really justify such an expensive hobby. But, still, it makes my mouth water a bit just thinking about doing a precision rework on that engine; put in some hotter cams. In fact, it would be fun to go all out - machine the heads, oversized valves, turbo, high rise, all high-precision machining, etc - but I just don't have the facilities for that kind of work. Years ago I did and never imagined that the day would come when I wouldn't. :frown:

Then again, maybe I've turned enough wrenches in my life. There is nothing worse than racking the knuckles at 30 degrees F. I swear that's got to be as bad as childbirth.

Just thinking back a bit.... I rebuilt my first engine for pay at age 12. I dont' remember the actual mnfctr, but it sold as a Sears SST minibike; I think it was 90cc. I remember that it used a rotating plate with a slot as an intake valve [on a two-stroke!], which seems funny now because I've never seen anything like it since!
 
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turbo

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I've never had the facilities for machining, etc, so I would have had to pay to have that done. I've done a lot of less-demanding stuff on Harleys though. It's pretty easy to change out cams, lifters, push-rods, etc, and carb-rebuilts/mods are a snap. There is a lot of aftermarket stuff available to do-it-yourselfers. For a time after his first marriage my buddy Steve was living alone in a house-trailer. I dropped in to see him from time to time, and he was always building his "next" 340 engine for his Duster. He'd be working at the kitchen table. After having someone grind off most of the piston skirts, he'd be using my heavy-duty rotary tool to smooth the edges and once that was done, he would use a digital scale to make sure they all weighed the same. He'd grind the flashing off the rods and smooth them all over, and again, he'd balance them for total weight and end-to-end using a second digital scale. When he was satisfied with that, he'd take them to a local metal-shop to get them shot-peened to re-harden the surfaces and prevent cracks. It was surprising how much precision work he could pull off in his kitchen.
 

Ivan Seeking

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I've never had the facilities for machining, etc, so I would have had to pay to have that done. I've done a lot of less-demanding stuff on Harleys though. It's pretty easy to change out cams, lifters, push-rods, etc, and carb-rebuilts/mods are a snap. There is a lot of aftermarket stuff available to do-it-yourselfers. For a time after his first marriage my buddy Steve was living alone in a house-trailer. I dropped in to see him from time to time, and he was always building his "next" 340 engine for his Duster. He'd be working at the kitchen table. After having someone grind off most of the piston skirts, he'd be using my heavy-duty rotary tool to smooth the edges and once that was done, he would use a digital scale to make sure they all weighed the same. He'd grind the flashing off the rods and smooth them all over, and again, he'd balance them for total weight and end-to-end using a second digital scale. When he was satisfied with that, he'd take them to a local metal-shop to get them shot-peened to re-harden the surfaces and prevent cracks. It was surprising how much precision work he could pull off in his kitchen.
On the kitchen table... :rofl::rofl::rofl: I'll have Tsu get back to you on that one!

When I converted the barn to an office, I left a section that I always wanted to convert for auto work. As those things tend to go, never did it. We don't a have a regular garage. For some reason, when they built what would be a nice three-car garage here, they instead built covered parking stalls with a shop between them. It is essentially a garage with interior walls, but no exterior walls. :yuck: I do remember doing things like porting motorcyles by hand using a drill, but for serious work you really need good facilities - at least enough to drop and disassemble an engine, with heat.

Btw, in another life I was a certified diesel mechanic. CAT 3208 and Detroit 6V/8V92. I even still have my 3208 injection pump timing tool! However, I'm not sure when exactly I think I might need it again. :biggrin:
 
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turbo

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On the kitchen table... :rofl::rofl::rofl: I'll have Tsu get back to you on that one!
My garage was not heated, nor did I have a large work-bench down there (it was in the cellar), but luckily, my wife humored me. I'd put a clean piece of poly over the kitchen table lay down some newspapers and start tearing down a carburetor. I can't tell you how many times I had an old S&S Super E racing carb torn apart on that table. I never abused the privilege and left tools or unfinished projects in the kitchen or left a mess. It doesn't take that long to re-build/rejet a carb anyway. the Super E is basically a big-throated butterfly with a couple of jets and an accelerator pump, and though they work beautifully wide-open, it's hard to get smooth operation at low loads due to the slow air velocity over the main-jet venturi. It took a lot of tweaking to get that right. The kitchen "workshop" was warm and dry, and immaculately clean, with great lighting, and a stereo. Ideal!
 

Ivan Seeking

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I have what I consider to be an ideal workspace for my professional work - 400 sq ft [finished less one wall left for the expansion], heated, Direct TV, two phone lines and DSL, 100 amps [in a pinch] at 240, water with a 1" feed, lots of good light, lots of outlets, lots of horizontal surfaces, a comfortable chair and seating for six to eight, a reasonably good stock of components and testing equipment, and most important of all, a Bunn Coffee maker - but I can't do auto work in here, and no way do I work without heat anymore. I don't want to play with engines THAT badly!!! I am getting far too wimpy for that in my old age. :biggrin:

On the practical side of things, in Oregon especially, you really need heat to prevent moisture damage. It is a fact that you can't even light paper with a match around here [for half of the year] if it has been laying outside.
 
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Ivan Seeking

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Sold today. The engine will be used for racing. :smile:

I virtually gave it away because it was the right guy.
 

RonL

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JB Weld prevents the fuel line from dripping gasoline onto the exhaust manifold, which has a metal bandaid attached with pipe tape that seals a crack. The carburator has been leaking gas through the throttle shaft seal for years. Number eight cylinder is passing oil; the valves are clacking on number seven. The brake booster is covered with rust and the master cyclinder leaks brake fluid. The heater fan runs ever so slowly, but not as slowly as the windshield wipers which can barely complete a stroke. Belts, hoses, and plug wires are cracked and rotting. Insulation from the main wiring harness turns to dust if I grab it. The brake lights no longer work and can't be repaired without replacing the wiring harness.

The doors are sticky and difficult to open at times [have to watch for the wasp nests in the door jams, in the warm weather]. The windows can barely be opened without stripping the gears in the door. A small tornado put a tree branch through the top of the canopy which now sports a rather large hole. The wood slats comprising the floor of the bed look like driftwood found at the beach. The mufflers have had holes in them for years. She has three fuel tanks that can hold a total of 50 gallons, but the three-way selector valve is plugged. The engine thermostat went bad about ten years ago so it was removed...never did replace it. Walmart value seat covers are the only thing hiding the discolored foam that pushes up through the tears in the vinyl seats. Surpringly little rust is found on the body... except for the spot that hit the tree when I slid down the hill sideways. And of course, as happens every spring, grass is sprouting on the rear bumper.

My Harvest Gold, 3/4 ton Chevy truck with a 396 cu. inch engine, is 41 years old, and I think it is time to let her go. :cry: We bought it twenty years ago for $2500 and used it to move to Oregon. Since then it has been used to do everything from pulling tree stumps and grading the driveway, to making our biannual runs to the dump, to offering a last-ditch mode of transport to town when the snow runs deep. I bought it instead of renting a one-way U-Haul, which was going to cost about $2500 dollars. I'd say I got my money's worth!

She was sweet in her day. It came with a heavy-duty tow package - an oversized radiator, aux oil cooler, RV cams, air suspension - and that roaring monster of an engine that as far as I could tell got ten miles to the gallon whether going downhill empty, or up the gravevine out of Los Angeles while stacked 14 feet high and towing a fully loaded trailer. The heavy-duty air suspension has never needed air to be added.

Almost died in that truck three times.

The pulley on the power-steering pump has been wobbling since the day I bought it. Always meant to do something about that..
What a shame, when a vehicle is disposed of just as it reaches It's "broken in stage":biggrin:
 

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