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SkinnyG SuperDork
4/26/14 9:41 a.m.

The beast came home today.

Still chasing a transmission oil leak, but the only seal I haven't replaced yet is the modulator o-ring, so that's next. And a hot start issue, which may be because I am running 20° base timing. Got the remote Ford solenoid, heat shield, and rebuilt the starter with a stronger solenoid.

SkinnyG SuperDork
4/28/14 8:08 p.m.

I drove it around all weekend. It's.... um.... different.

Put it this way - there have been some technological advancements since 1977. I'm not quite used to the stall converter, and a non-lockup TH350 at that. It's got that pinky-finger steering goodness so screaming 70's. But I'm digging it. Now to update My Garage....

4/29/14 6:52 p.m.

You nailed this one

High five

Dusterbd13 UltraDork
4/29/14 7:40 p.m.

I was wrong earlier. You nailed the ride height.

Looks really good.

SkinnyG SuperDork
4/29/14 8:05 p.m.

I could do "ABBA" or "Boney M" stickers, but then I'd just get beat up in parking lots.

SkinnyG Dork
5/1/14 10:07 p.m.

Good news!

Finished the first tank of gas - 13mpg (Imperial).

That's just over half the 25mpg (Imp) The Hideous Hardbody is averaging.

I'm trying to "yay" this one.

ssswitch Reader
5/1/14 11:12 p.m.

Lookin' great! Keep us updated on how all the bodywork is holding up as you use it for truck stuff.

Surprised how good that ride height looks.

tuna55 PowerDork
5/1/14 11:28 p.m.
SkinnyG wrote: Good news! Finished the first tank of gas - 13mpg (Imperial). That's just over half the 25mpg (Imp) The Hideous Hardbody is averaging. I'm trying to "yay" this one.

What kind of driving? My ol' 84 th350 with a lockup and a qjet got 19 highway and something like 15 in town.

SkinnyG Dork
5/1/14 11:50 p.m.

Generally gentle driving, with only a few exciting romps of full throttle.

Mixed highway and city.

2500 stall non-lockup TH350, 3.07 gears (yeah, sucky, I know), Q-Jet, rowdy camshaft (230@050, 108LSA), 10.9:1 compression.

I will be running TBI/Megasquirt over the summer and see how that goes.

Failing that, next summer swap Vortec heads and a milder cam and put the stock converter back in.

In the mean time, it sounds wicked.

SkinnyG SuperDork
5/9/14 10:36 p.m.

Installed a "free" MSD unit I had from a parts/donor car for a different project.

No noticeable difference in performance. Hoping for some "Sport Compact" fuel economy. Starting to just accept that the fuel consumption of the truck is what it is. Until the cam rounds the lobes off, it's going to be what it's going to be. I am becoming ok with that. That's the original blue on the firewall.

SkinnyG SuperDork
5/12/14 9:04 p.m.

Hot No-Start Issues

When I first got the engine running, the headers and 35 year old wiring made the starter refuse to acknowledge me once everything was hot. I had added a Ford-style solenoid to give full battery voltage to the Chevy solenoid. The Chevy still runs factory battery cable from the battery to the starter solenoid, I'm just bypassing tons of voltage drops through the key switch. It cranks AWESOME now. Yay Ford.


Ford-style starter solenoid to the rescue

ut it still wouldn't crank when hot. At least it would now "click." The solenoid upgrade alone wasn't enough.

I rebuilt the existing starter with new brushes, bushings, and a larger and longer solenoid (from a big-block Pontiac starter I had). I also fabricated a sheet metal heat shield to keep heat off the starter. Now it may or (usually) may not crank slowly when hot.

Way smaller, and way better, too!

I ordered a gear-reduction starter for a '98 C1500 5.7L. Bolts right in, but it needed some trimming of the Torque Converter splash shield to fit. As of this writing I have not used a heat shield on it. We'll see how it goes. Cranks really nice now. Seems to, hot, as well. We'll see. And fixed a cooked wire, too:

Gee, headers cook ~everything~

tuna55 PowerDork
5/13/14 7:52 a.m.

A simple heat shield will fix that problem, they are standard fare for a small block with headers. Been there.

SkinnyG Dork
5/13/14 10:01 a.m.

You will notice the heat shield on the far side of the larger starter pictured above. No improvement.

Could just have been that the starter I had was worse than I thought, and that the rebuild didn't help....

tuna55 PowerDork
5/13/14 10:13 a.m.
SkinnyG wrote: You will notice the heat shield on the far side of the larger starter pictured above. No improvement. Could just have been that the starter I had was worse than I thought, and that the rebuild didn't help....

Bigger! I can hardly see that tiny thing.

SkinnyG SuperDork
5/13/14 6:28 p.m.

This is the header side of that shield:

tuna55 PowerDork
5/13/14 9:28 p.m.

Self made? Is that galvanized? SS would be best.

SkinnyG Dork
5/13/14 9:50 p.m.

Did not have stainless. Had lots of galvanized. Self-made, yes. Because why not? Skill Development, my good man, skill development. Or cheapness.

In other news, I had an on-going issue with leaks from the TH350.

So far I have replaced:

Tail shaft seal.

O-ring for driveshaft yolk (inside the tailhousing).

Dipstick tube O-ring (actually used two - one to seal where the tube flange meets the case as well as proper one below).

Kickdown Cable O-ring.

Vacuum Modulator O-ring (actually stacked three O-rings in there. Seems to work).

Torque Converter seal (hey, I was in there anyway).

Pan gasket (including straightening of the pan flange).

Speedo bullet O-ring and inner seal (actually machined it deeper so I could install two speedo drive seals).

Shifter shaft seal (first replacement leaked, so I bottomed it in its bore and installed a second one over top).

Backyard butchery? Maybe - no leaks so far.....

SkinnyG SuperDork
5/17/14 4:48 p.m.

Changed the cab mounts today. This went really, really, really well. No cussing, no broken bolts, no stripped captive nuts, no drilling holes in the floor, no driving to the hardware store with a cab only 75% bolted down. Good times.

Old and Busted

New Hotness.

Here are the lengths of the 1/2" UNC bolts you need, should the expected happen:

Mine didn't break!

As for cab alignment, boy these are generous fitment quality trucks.

In other news, the new gear-reduction starter has not let me down yet, even without a heat shield. I am pleased.

Billy_Bottle_Caps Dork
5/17/14 6:22 p.m.

In reply to SkinnyG:

great build thing looks awesome

SkinnyG SuperDork
5/19/14 7:13 p.m.

Made a flip-up license plate for the hidden-hitch in the back. Piano hinge riveted to the plate, with sticky-side magnet to keep it from flapping in the breeze. Picture previously posted:

Cheap license plate light, since the sport bumper I picked up did not have one:

SkinnyG SuperDork
5/19/14 10:15 p.m.

Hidden hitch receiver pics:

SkinnyG SuperDork
6/11/14 10:23 p.m.

Over the past week I fabricated some valve cover hold-downs.


I could buy these for about $60. Or I could spend four hours of my time and make them for $5.


Today I cast my own TBI adapter. I plan on converting the Crusty Chevy to Fuel Injection this summer. I can buy an ~adequate~ adapter for about $50, or I can make one out of the old pistons out of the engine, for free. Machining is next.




Dusterbd13 Dork
6/12/14 5:50 a.m.

How do you like the poly body mounts? Im thinking of going with them on my 64, but im concerned about nvh.

SkinnyG Dork
6/12/14 7:43 a.m.

The suspension mounts were fine.

The motor and transmission mounts added noticeably more engine vibration.

The cab mounts are ~different~. There is a cyclic vibration now that wasn't there before. You feel the engine a lot more now (especially with the cam). It feels tight (like a Tiger), but I'm not convinced this was a good move. I'm going to see if I get used to it. If not - I'll go back to rubber.

For a soft, comfy cruiser, I'd recommend rubber.

pres589 UltraDork
6/12/14 8:31 a.m.

Maybe rubber mounts for the engine and trans, leave the cab alone?

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