'88 RCLB C3500 "Roscoe P. Coltrane"

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Erik the Awful

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A couple weeks ago I mentioned in Way Cool Jr.'s build thread that a co-worker offered me a free truck. Today I went and picked it up. I looked it over, and it was every bit as bad as advertised. The back glass was out and the interior was fulled with "night soil a la rodentia". No engine, no transmission, flat tires, minor body damage, missing rear bumper, rat-chewed wiring, and a bed full of trash.

"Are you sure you want this?"

"Yup. I'll either get it running or take it across the scales."

The rearend was locked up, but as soon as we started pushing it onto the trailer the wheels turned. That's a good sign. We had to load it as far back on my trailer as we dared because the tongue weight was too much for WCJr - I think a previous owner pulled a leaf from each rear spring, and the tongue was about 4" off the ground.

I towed it home slow and easy. Fortunately, two Mustangs were racing on SH177, and the cop had them pulled over instead of nabbing me with my overloaded truck. The JB5 brakes really aren't up to stopping that much of a load, and I did a lot of "thinking ahead". It was only a 14 mile drive, but I'm glad it wasn't any longer. WCJr ran great, even with the O2 sensor out, and the engine never went above 185°F. The junkyard 4L60 shifted better than it ever does unloaded, go figure.

Enough banter, what y'all really want is the gory pictures of mouse excrement and body damage. Here ya go.

Way Cool Jr., loaded for bear.
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This is the good side.
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This is the only view that doesn't look bad.
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Gonna need a Pull-A-Part fender.
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This isn't even the bad part.
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Erik the Awful

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This is the bad part.
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Just when I got rid of all my scrap metal, I get another load. If only I had a good use for barbed wire and rusted all-thread.
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Even the glovebox was packed full.
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If you're queasy, click away to another thread now.
.
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Seriously.
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.

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Fortunately it was cold and breezy out and the poo didn't stink. Even the stuff that had rotted away only smelled like dirt.
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Erik the Awful

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My trash bin was empty when I started. I literally used a shovel the first five minutes just to get down to the floorboards. Then my dinky shop-vac got a serious workout for the next two hours. I emptied it three times.
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There's still a lot of cleaning to be done, but it's much nicer than it was. This is about the state that Way Cool Jr was in when I got it, but with dog hair instead of rat turds.
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The dash is going to need to come out. I can already see that the heater/AC box is split, and there's still a significant amount of rodent nest tucked away up there. Wiring is hanging down under the dash, and I figure I'm going to have to try and scrounge the best wiring harnesses at Pull-A-Part.

Both seatbelts are gnawed through. The carpet and seat are trash. All the plastic bits are going to need a good scrubbing and refurbishing with vinyl paint. On the positive side, the plastics in the interior are in better shape than WCJr's were when I started on it.

I'm supposed to get the title next week, and I'm only going to work on cleaning the truck until then. I still need to get the Cadillac frame out of the shop so I can roll Roscoe in, but I'm going to toss the cloth interior bits out of the truck before I go any futher.

I thought about naming the truck "Boss Hogg", but it's not a dually. I also considered "Enos", but I figure that would be a 3/4 ton. "Roscoe" it is.
 

Erik the Awful

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My goal for Roscoe is a long-distance tow pig, and Way Cool Jr will become more of a race truck. To that end, I'm seriously considering swapping WCJr's sweet 350 into Roscoe, and then building something truly nasty for WCJr. This last weekend I chatted with @97Centurion about his 6L80 swap, and as much as I might cringe at a $1000 transmission controller, that looks like the best route for hauling on the highway.

I still haven't got the hood open, but the rat turds were the highest priority. I'm hoping it's a hydroboost, but I'm a little short on C2500/3500 knowledge - was that standard on 3500s? The truck originally had a 454, but when it conked out, the previous owner sold the motor. It currently has dual 2" exhaust, straight-piped with glasspacks. That garbage is going straight into the scrap metal bin, although I might keep the glasspacks for my engine run stand.

My goal for tomorrow is to get the seat and carpet out and check the floor pans. There's a strong chance the floor pans are still good, and if so, it's game on. Rotted floor pans means it will get parted out. If it checks out good, I'll move the Cadillac frame out of the shop and work on moving the truck in. After the truck is in the shop, I'll tackle the wiring repair, and once that's done I'll get the rear window glued back in and start prettying up the interior. Once all the cheap stuff is done I'll tackle the expensive stuff.

I'm already working on a shopping list for Pull-A-Part, and at some point I'm probably going to order all new light lenses from RockAuto. I'm surprised at how much nicer good lenses make these trucks look. The part I'm not looking forward to is spending $600 on tires, but that's also why I wanted a SRW instead of a dually. The only thing that could make this truck better would have been a service bed.
 

Drunkcanuk

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Oh my!!! That's a big mountain to climb, but keeping up on your "jr" thread, you have the patience knowledge and skills. I am so glad I live in a rat free province, I'd puke even walking up to that mess!!! Thanks for rescuing a 400 from the crusher.....for now.lol Good luck
 
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