Back at it. Finally! (12-5-15)

on Tuesday, 15 December 2015. Posted in Build Days

After a 6-month hiatus from my “mistress” due to a long hospital stay and 4 major surgeries, I am back at it. FINALLY! I put my foot down, so to speak, and proclaimed, “I am working on my truck today!” I hopped in the trusty Volvo and headed north thru wind, sleet and snow.. Ok, really just traffic on the 210 freeway, but still..

Once I arrived at the shop I unloaded my standing chair, grabbed an assortment of tools, and a box of parts from LMC Truck (www.lmctruck.com) that have been sadly, patiently waiting to be installed. With a plan in hand I worked my way into the back lot and pulled the cover off of the old girl. She is not happy with me AT ALL. Riddled with cob webs and dust, showing clear signs of neglect.

I opened the hood and brushed the dirt and grim away from the core support to add in a few corner braces and the upper radiator supports for the sexy, all aluminum Silla Radiator. Using my standing chair, I get the best view and angle working into the engine bay. And it is so easy to raise and lower that even if you grab the wrong tool and need to get back down, it is quick and your back up. I also temporarily mounted the hood latch assembly. Just the grill and bumper and the front clip is all together. Soon..

Next, I tackle the steering intermediate shaft and rag joint (the bits to connect the steering column with the steering gearbox) so that the monster can finally steer on its own. The shaft and universal joint slip right onto the steering column, but the rag joint doesn’t want to play nice with the splined shaft on the steering box. Apparently, the 3/4-ton box is slightly different than the 1/2-ton version. Luckily, I have the rag joint that I pulled off the box in the beginning. Upon inspection the splined shaft on the gear box is slightly larger, so I clean up and reinstall the original rag joint. And it actually mates perfect with the new steering shaft mounts. Perfecto!

I turn the steering wheel for the first time ever and watch the wheels move side to side. Even with the old, giant truck steering wheel it takes a few too many turns to make it all the way back and forth. I might just have to go with that fancy CPP short ratio unit. Or, at least I will try and convince everyone else that I NEED it. Hahaha!

On to the next! Now, I get to wrestle with the big bench seat and get the brand new slider tracks and mounts on. This should be interesting. I get all the hardware and tools together and actually get down on the concrete for this one. Don’t worry I put my cushion under me. I can get much better leverage on the behemoth seat from here. After some arguments and monkey-doing-a-math-problem stares at how this is supposed to all fit together, they are in. The seat is finally at its correct height and solidly mounted.

With the seat and steering column now all in, I just HAVE to give a fit check sitting in the driver’s seat. No mouthed engine noises or burn out screeches this time, though. And it looks like this is going to work well. I have a little bit of fine tuning to get the steering wheel the right distance from my chest to be comfortable for driving and also be able to pass my chair frame by when loading and unloading, but it is really close now.

Feeling accomplished I decided to call it a day and throw the cover back on for the night. I will be back soon.

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