23 December 2011

hurtlocker truck - modem buster

The past couple days have been crazy.
Ken's getting deployed next week,
so the idea is to get as far as possible before he ships out.
Unfortunately his time is taken up by other things like family and work,
but last night we thrashed hard for a couple hours and got to this point.

1955 chevrolet pickup truck
1985 corvette running gear
Hurtlocker Truck

Yeah from where you're sitting it probably looks the same as the other pics I've forced on ya guys,
but here's some behind the scenes action.


Yeah I know I can't hold you're attention for 25 minutes,
but this is an extra long post!
Open another page and just play this while you're checking other stuff out!

Grateful Dead - 08may1977
Scarlet (begonia's) - Fire (on the mountain)

In the old tape days,
I'd listen to the first 30 seconds over and over.
What am I saying, still do!


When I left the engine was getting cleaned up.

1985 corvette L98 350

It was in amazingly clean condition for being 25 years old.
Maybe it was a replacement engine?
The donor 1985 corvette had 67K miles on it,
and had body damage from a fire.
I did a plastigage on the easy to reach forward crankshaft bearing,
and it was really tight at about .003-4,
so I decided to not take off the rear windage tray and check the others.
One of the rods was checked at .003+ so I didn't do any others.
I can't believe it was barely worn in.

The perfect candidate for a rattle can rebuild.

Here's the "liar's club" session of the day.

a. stool?
b. metal detector?
c. freeze plug installer?

My Uncle Steve has all those specialized mechanic tools you see in the pics,
so he dropped this kit off along with the pulley puller.
So strange using the right tools for the job!

brass freeze plugs

Early on Ken had popped out the freeze plugs,
and flushed the engine out.
We had taken an old freeze plug to the auto parts store (o'reilly's)
and  he had asked for a couple of them.
The counter guy held it up and asked "what is it?"
It was kinda funny.

freeze plug install tool

So if you guessed C you were correct.

nice brass freeze plugs

Way better than using an old wood dowel.

Ken had gone billet crazy and gotten a bunch of new trick pieces for the engine.
This was a big learning curve for me.
I thought this stuff was supposed to be easy bolt-on chit.

silicon oil pan gasket
aluminum timing chain cover

After replacing the timing chain,
(original wasn't too bad but had a plastic gear)
the new aluminum timing chain cover popped on easily.
We found a cool one piece oil pan gasket,
and it was a little tricky to fit into the tight groove of the cover.
A little stretching and it popped in ok.
I thought the oil pan would go on easy at this point.
Melling 55s1 oil pump screen

Oh yeah I forgot to mention the old corvette oil pan.
My uncle noted it must have been a high capacity oil pan,
and it had a longer oil pump screen or pickup tube,
so the new oil pan wouldn't fit.
(The correct one is Melling 55s1)
I used a 5/8 wrench to help tap onto the pump.
aluminum oil pan

The next small problem was the oil pan.
If you look at the new seal,
the corners are rounded out.
The oil pan has a sharp edge on it,
probably needed for the original 4-piece gasket.
There was huge gap that bolt compression wouldn't fix.
modified aluminum oil pan

If you look closely the corners are filed down.
Still a tight fit but won't smash up the seal now.

So now we're ready to put this damn thing on.
The only thing I'd have liked is some baffle in the oil pan.
bottom's up
aluminum oil pan installed

This is probably why I'm not as excited about the mechanical stuff as I used to be.
It takes such a long time to do stuff that's doesn't seem like it should take as long!
chevy 350

I ended up resorting to my helper,
old grand dad.
old grand dad whiskey stash

No it wasn't to get wasted, just smooth things out.
I only needed enough to not be able to drive home.
Nothing like being held hostage at the shop with alcohol breath!
Good stuff, tastes like apple juice!

new floor reinforcement

The next day the main goal was to fix that part of the floor I had cut out,
and then paint the bottom of the body so it wouldn't have to be removed later on.
quick fix

There were a handful of little fixes to do.
hoist it up,

That chain hoist has proved invaluable.
The paint is a linear polyurethane boat paint,
super strong stuff.
There's a flattening agent in it and I rolled/brushed it on.
It actually looks good!


With the cab strung up to dry,
now it was time to get the tranny and engine in the frame.
custom transmission stand

I figured this would be an easy gasket and filter swap right!
700r4 transmission

All I had to do was pop the old filter out and throw on the gasket.
I've worked on aod's and th350's and they were easy enough.
Well I don't know if this is normal but the little oil ring got stuck in that hole.

700r4 filter and old oil seal

I had to pop out the old one,
it has a steel inner structure so it doesn't just slide out.
On top of that,
I had to file down the lip cause it wouldn't fit all the way into the hole!
What next!
engine/tranny in!

Things went smoothly for a while.
Engine and transmission slid right in.
aluminum driveline

Thankfully the driveshaft also fit.
I gotta say it looks trick.

It was getting late,
so I thought,
"let's do some easy stuff like put on the water pump"...
stock aluminum water pump

Ken had cleaned it up earlier,
and it had some life left in it.
Of course it didn't fit.
modified aluminum water pump

As a result of that aluminum timing chain cover,
those little bolts that hold on that plate made a big gap!
Fortunately had a stash of little SS button heads.
stock aluminum water pump
aluminum timing chain cover

By 8pm Ken got off his leash and came down to join the fray.
We busted ass and got the front suspension installed.
This was a big deal for us.
He had spent hours cleaning it,
replacing bushings and ball joints.
Hurtlocker Truck
1955 chevy truck frame
1985 corvette running gear

This was the first time it had been on wheels for months.
Time for a little celebration.
old grand dad
coke chaser
$11 of goodness

The whiskey shot and coke chaser meant Ken was stuck at the shop for another hour.
Good trick huh!
He also found out how the Grateful Dead 1978 power set comes into play!
(no that's not the correct steering column angle!)

It also motivated us to get the body and some other parts on,
and see what the real ride height was going to be.


I was happy with how that rolled paint had turned out.
The flatness really hides any screwups.
No he doesn't get the steering wheel!
street truck

I've got to say this truck is gonna be a bad ass driver.
Ken's really spared no expense in getting some trick parts for it.
I can't personally afford the "billet collection",
so it's been fun figuring it all out for him.
Hurtlocker Truck
Hurt Locker Truck

Before Ken's mini cooper turned into a pumpkin,
we threw the fenders and bumper on.
Right now the big 22" DONK wheels are out back,
and the 17" wheels are in front.
At least it's big and littles!
Let's hope he gets some good rims when he gets back!
1955 chevy pickup

After Ken left I had my own little sober up celebration,
burning all the boxes!
bon fire

Thanks for tunin in!

Good times...


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