1994 C1500 Fleet Truck

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Erik the Awful

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I was looking forward to a day of relaxation after the race this weekend, and instead my son came over and we worked on his truck. We got the thermostat seal replaced, and that seems to have stopped the coolant leak. The radiator cap looks gunked up pretty bad, so I'm putting that on order along with a cap, rotor, and plug wires. I'm also ordering a handful of cylinder head valves for my $150 350 I'm rebuilding.

After the thermostat seal we tore down the steering column and replaced the useless key cylinder, the turn signal switch, combo switch, and the wiper switch - all new electrics in the column. That was a major pain in the rump, aggravated by the fact his steering column sleeve is broken into three pieces. The shift indicator spring is busted, but replacing it doesn't help if the column cover itself slips around. Ugh. We're not taking the column that far apart.

I dumped some BG Fuel Injection cleaner in the tank and sprayed more PB Blaster down the throttle body. It's idling pretty smooth now, but still doesn't want to get out of its own way. It's also still pinging with heavy throttle application. I'm hoping that with some more driving it clears up and runs good.

He's aiming to get a tribal tag on it to save money, but to do so he has to drive it two hours away and present it in person. I still need to print off the auction results and repair receipts in case he gets pulled over.

I also need to either rob the bumper off WCJr (which isn't pretty) or finish sledgehammering his old bumper. Not sure which is easier.
 

Erik the Awful

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He made a 130 mile round trip today with the truck to get the tag. It struggled to go uphill, struggled to get over 60 mph, and struggled to shift gears, but it made it. He forgot the title at my house, but the tribe got the paperwork started and he had a receipt to show the cop at the gas station who asked where his tag is. He's going back tomorrow to get the actual tag.

While he was on the road the RockAuto order came in. He got here about 7 pm as the storms were brewing and we threw the cap and rotor on it. Something fell off the rotor when we pulled it off, but it was getting dark so I didn't see what it was - I think it was the rotor button. As we were finishing the cap and rotor the lightning started getting close. The plug #7 terminal dumped a bunch of rust, and several plug wire boots were rotted away. We started throwing the wires as fast as we could, and got it done. He fired it up and it's running considerably better, and just in time. He drove off and now the tornado sirens are blaring. It looks like the worst part is going to go a couple miles south, so that's good. Springtime in Oklahoma.
 

Erik the Awful

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So... he went back for the tag today, and showed up at the office a couple minutes before closing. They turned him away. He's upset, but I told him, "You showed up at closing time on Friday? You should know better." Now he has to make yet another 130 mile round trip on Monday.

The truck hesitated on some shifts, so we checked the fluid level and it was low. I added a quart and hopefully it's shifting better. The transmission dipstick tube is loose, but I can't find the bracket to hold it down. Weird. The VSS seal is new, and I can see a little seepage from the tailshaft seal. We're already discussing what it's going to take to rebuild the 4L60E transmission. Not really wanting to go there.

He noticed that it tries to die when he cranks the steering wheel, so I took a glance at the idle air control valve. The connector had a broken clip, and was sitting janky. I pulled it off, looked, and realized it had been crammed in 90 degrees off. Plugging it back in correctly helps, but the engine's still struggling a bit. The knocking has subsided, and with several hundred miles of driving I'm pretty sure the combustion chambers are cleaning up. Next time he brings it by we're going to use the timing light to examine the injector pattern. If that's good we're going to readjust the timing since it's no longer pinging.

I do have a couple of TBI units laying around, but they're sketchy. Then again, I'm pretty sure the TBIs were all sketchy from the factory anyways.

He said some guy in a Charger tried to bait him into a race, and he just laughed because it's so dog-slow.
 

Erik the Awful

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Last time Cole had the fleet truck over, I looked, and it didn't look like the driver's side injector was spraying. WCJr originally had a TBI, and I'd bought a spare TBI from Pull-A-Part and did all the "mods" on it, including new big block injectors, but after all my dorking around with the TBIs, I didn't have a good fuel pressure regulator. I ordered a new fuel pressure regulator and injector top from RockAuto ($44, ugh) so I could swap my spare TBI right onto his truck.

Tuesday I got an email from RockAuto saying it had been delivered. I checked DHL, which directed me to the Post Office. They said it had been delivered, but no box. I submitted a mis-delivery over the phone because the Post Office's website sucks and doesn't work. They admitted fault and delivered the package today.

I got the TBI ready and Cole drove over to get some of his stuff. While he was packing stuff and carrying it out I swapped out the TBI - only to realize the '94 uses the round-plug TPS and my spare '89 TBI uses the flat-plug TPS. No problem, I'll just swap the TPS! Doh! They don't swap.

I ended up reusing his TBI, but swapping the injector pod. Then we discovered one of the flat plastic o-rings on the fuel inlets was missing. We jetted over to O'Reillys where everybody behind the counter swore up and down we didn't know what we were talking about and that we should just use o-rings. We finally got a TBI rebuild kit and pointed out the flat plastic o-rings, to which the manager said, "Huh, it looks like you're right." I paid $33 for a stinking o-ring. And a base gasket, because we realized his was missing a 1" section.

We got the TBI together and back on the motor. It ran better, but still with a lack of power and occasional backfire. I looked at the injector pods, and sure enough, the driver's injector still didn't look like it was spraying. I hooked my finger into the injector pod just to be sure, and no fuel.

WTF? That's a new injector pod and new injector connectors. I had Cole turn the key on while I probed the injector leads with my test light. No power to the driver's injector while the passenger's was just fine.

I cut back the injector connector wire, and the copper all looked clean and fresh. At the end there was no connectivity, but further back into the wire it was good. I nipped off the end of the wire and put a new connector on it. He fired the truck up and it sounded like a real V8 and not a sick puppy.

He took it for a test drive and scared himself - plenty of power and weak brakes. It's still not 100% right, but it's more drivable than it was.
 

Erik the Awful

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Well, I don't know if there's going to be too many updates on this thread, as it's his daily driver and it's running well enough. There's still some work to be done on the driver's door, and I'd really like to install the starter kill switch on it. He's discovered that the gas mileage just isn't as good as he was getting with the Crown Vic.
 

Erik the Awful

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Last month a friend passed away, and since WCJr's down for the transmission, we borrowed my son's truck. He's thankful to be driving my wife's Chrysler 300 with A/C, and since I telework my wife's been driving my Mustang. The upshot is that we were able to help the family clean out the house.

Since I have my son's truck, I've been working on it to try and get it more serviceable. I hit up Pull-A-Part last Saturday and got a heavy-duty receiver for Roscoe, but I also noticed a decent-ish rear bumper and receiver for the fleet truck. I attacked them with my Pull-A-Part toolbox, but it was hot and I was getting dehydrated, so I left it. Sunday I went back armed with some water and heavier tools. I failed. The bolts were stuck bad and I stripped the head of my cheapo "Pittsburgh" ratchet with a 18" cheater pipe.

When I got home I ordered a Makita XWT15 cordless 1/2" drive impact wrench. Yesterday I went back and got the bumper and receiver. The impact made it easy. The bumper was $40 and the receiver was $35. I bought all the hardware I could from Tractor Supply's "Grade 8 by the pound" shelf, and when they ran out I hit up the Ace Hardware a mile from my house. That was another $35.

The downside is that the passenger-side mount for the bumper was broken free, and my Miller 211 is over at my buddy's house for roll cage welding duty. I dragged my Lincoln stick welder out of the corner and threw a bunch of 6011 rod into the bumper.

Did I mention it was 100°F today? I was self-imposing fifteen minute work-rest cycles. Fifteen minutes on, fifteen minutes in the A/C with iced tea.

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Bam! He now has a complete truck! I still need to figure out where the A/C's leaking, but the truck's thirty years old, so my answer is "everywhere". I need to pull all the A/C lines apart and replace the seals. I did jumper the A/C compressor the other day and it turns nicely and pumps freon like it should, so if we replace the seals, filter/drier, and orifice tube it should cool nicely. He's gonna have to put a hand in that work.

I also need to get a license plate lamp. I'll get that this evening and install it tomorrow before the temperature heats up.
 

Erik the Awful

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I forgot to update. I put a can and a half of freon into the A/C system, and it all leaked out of the compressor. I told him that he's going to have to buy the compressor and that it's $250. We'll see if that happens. In the meantime, his passenger window crank stripped out, so he's been driving with only the driver's side window rolling down. Ugh. I discovered the manual window regulator and handle are dirt cheap from RockAuto. I have those on hand now for the next time he brings it over.
 
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