'88 RCLB C3500 "Roscoe P. Coltrane"

Erik the Awful

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I put Roscoe up on jackstands today so I can take the wheels to Tom's Tire and get some maypops put on it. I don't want to invest in good tires until it runs, but I also want tires that will hold air for more than five minutes. It was a real struggle to get the lugnuts off and then get the front wheels broke free of the rotors. I had to break out the slide hammer on one.

Hmm... I wonder if that carrier bearing is any good? Fortunately I snatched one up when RockAuto put them on closeout. It took me about twenty minutes to pound the old bearing off with my mini-sledge, and I only hit my thumb about four times. I won't actually install the new bearing until I get the transmission mounted up and see if the front half of the driveshaft needs shortened for the 4L80E.

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Something funny's going on with the transmission yoke. It's a small-spline unit, but supposedly this truck had a 454. I have a spare TH400 yoke, and it slides nicely into the 4L80, but it's definitely larger than the truck's yoke. The only thing I don't like is that the ears on it are narrower.

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Any which way, the existing yoke is too pitted to use, even on a 700R4.

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My coworker who gave me the truck made a big joke out of the dual exhaust with glasspacks on it and how I was getting a real steal of a deal because the exhaust was "worth so much". I chopped the exhaust apart and loaded it into WCJr with a bunch of scrap metal. One of the glasspacks had rusted through and was dumping rust flakes everywhere. The other glasspack was packed full of acorns and nesting material. It was only a 2" exhaust anyways. The 2.5" exhaust on WCJr will probably get swapped over and finished out to the rear bumper with an additional muffler at the back to tone it down further.
 

Erik the Awful

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New shoes. I went to Tom's Tires today and bought a set of used tires. LT225/75-16 all around. Four different brands, all with 115/112 load rating, $180 installed plus $3 for disposing of another tire. I tipped the guys an extra $17 to make it an even $200. I don't mind tipping the used tire guys - they work hard in all weather. One guy replaced three of the tires while the other guy spent a solid ten minutes just trying to bust the bead off the one tire that still held air. I told him it was all the cow manure that had it glued on so well.

Now I need to:
1) clear out the bed and clean off the roof
2) cut the rust out of the rear window channel
3) wire-wheel the driver's striker to check for cracks
4) trim the torch cuts in the frame into straight lines to I can make patch panels
5) buy some 3/16" plate to weld into the frame

My goal is to get the welding done Saturday and some time next week get the glass guy to reinstall the rear window. That load of scrap metal I took the other day? $10 total - not even enough to pay for gas.

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Erik the Awful

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The tailgate was a whim purchase Saturday. I went to get measurements for where the engine mounts bolt to the crossmember and I spotted it laying in the back of a truck. There's a single dent in the top right, and the latch handle is missing. It's far better than the tailgate on Roscoe. I haven't confessed to my wife that I spent $50 on it yet.

Yesterday I got the frame patches mocked up and some holes drilled, but I need to verify before welding them in place. I suddenly realized that although I have a spare set of motor mounts, I don't have any spare clamshells. Doh!

So I went back to Pull-A-Part today. It seems to go like that - I won't go for three months, and then I go three times in a week. On Saturday I spotted a very nice, gray leather second row bench seat in a Tahoe. Yoink! I got them in addition to the clamshells.

As I type this I realize I should probably have nabbed the matching seat belts. I guess I'll have to go back later this week. There's also a very nice engine block I have my eye on...

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Erik the Awful

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After work this afternoon I got some more progress made. I dropped the block from my $150 350 into the engine bay and checked the mounts. It seemed to line up decently, but my spare mounts are pretty sloppy, so I really want to buy some new mounts before I fully weld the patches in place.

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The paint was dry on the passenger striker, so I put it back in place. The door works great.

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I welded in the driver's side patch, and by "welded" I mean that I had a bird fly overhead and he pooped where I wanted the metal. As I was grinding and patching the pinholes I ran out of gas. I'm broke and solid busy the next few days, so it will be a while before I make any more progress on that.

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Once I figured out that I was done welding, I installed the rear bumper that's been laying on my shop floor for a couple months. The black bumper matches the rest of the truck nicely, and I'm thinking that maybe I should have named the truck "The Man in Black", but I'm sticking with "Roscoe".

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I busted out one of Way Cool Jr's taillights pulling and pushing the truck into place the other day. I should get the $16 TYC replacement in the next couple days. The step pad got lost somewhere on the road a month or so ago.

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Since I don't have new motor mounts, and I'm out of welding gas, any progress in the next few days will likely be trimming the back window patch to fit.
 

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Once I figured out that I was done welding, I installed the rear bumper that's been laying on my shop floor for a couple months. The black bumper matches the rest of the truck nicely, and I'm thinking that maybe I should have named the truck "The Man in Black", but I'm sticking with "Roscoe".
The full name only needs to add an "a"... "Roscoe P. Coaltrain"
 
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