mn_ski Daily Driver - Keep it on the Road

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mn_ski

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Super Stoked, I finally got my Arteb headlights installed!! I bought these in October of 2022 from @1998_K1500_Sub . He was an excellent seller and I highly recommend buying these lights from him if you are in the market. I also installed a set of TYC front marker lights just to help cleanup the front of the truck. The lights are not adjusted yet but I can already tell they are going to make a huge difference. Then again, what wouldn't be an improvement over the 25 yo clouded out lenses that I took off? Any way, so happy to be 4HI and with new jewelry out front!

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mn_ski

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Time for a little maintenance over the past weekend. For a few weeks now I have been having a squeak coming from the front of the motor. Noise increases with RPM of motor. Was getting to the point of starting to sound like metal grinding. The sounds changed with ambient temps going up or down ( cold in MN here!). I went ahead and grabbed a new water pump, fel-pro gaskets, and bolts. Water pump job took a little longer than expected for two reasons.

First, I tried to get fancy and actually use the drain on the radiator. I wasted probably 2-3 hours trying to get good access to that by removing stuff I didn't end up needing to remove. I eventually gave up and just drained the coolant with a bucket under the lower radiator hose and the water pump neck.

Second, the water pump had a bit of interference with my Holly metal timing chain cover. Before I installed the Holly cover last year I had heard of a few people running into this issue. I also read of other people not having an issue with the cover. I now know that the issue seems to be with the water pumps. My original pump fit just fine with the Holly cover, but this pump did not fit. I ended up taking off more material than the picture shows. I got it to fit and seal though!

I am glad I have the pump done. It significantly reduced the amount of squeak and eliminated the metal grinding sound. I still have a small squeak coming from the front so an idler pulley or tensioner maybe next. All in all the truck is running really well.

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454cid

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Time for a little maintenance over the past weekend. For a few weeks now I have been having a squeak coming from the front of the motor. Noise increases with RPM of motor. Was getting to the point of starting to sound like metal grinding. The sounds changed with ambient temps going up or down ( cold in MN here!). I went ahead and grabbed a new water pump, fel-pro gaskets, and bolts. Water pump job took a little longer than expected for two reasons.

First, I tried to get fancy and actually use the drain on the radiator. I wasted probably 2-3 hours trying to get good access to that by removing stuff I didn't end up needing to remove. I eventually gave up and just drained the coolant with a bucket under the lower radiator hose and the water pump neck.

Second, the water pump had a bit of interference with my Holly metal timing chain cover. Before I installed the Holly cover last year I had heard of a few people running into this issue. I also read of other people not having an issue with the cover. I now know that the issue seems to be with the water pumps. My original pump fit just fine with the Holly cover, but this pump did not fit. I ended up taking off more material than the picture shows. I got it to fit and seal though!

I am glad I have the pump done. It significantly reduced the amount of squeak and eliminated the metal grinding sound. I still have a small squeak coming from the front so an idler pulley or tensioner maybe next. All in all the truck is running really well.

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I think the last three pumps I've changed have been in the winter, too. One was inside a heated shop, so no big deal, but the other two were outside. The first, I'd only work on it for about a 1/2 hour at a time. The cold makes it so much more challenging.
 

mn_ski

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Outside would have been brutal for sure! Temps here last weekend were around 0F with wind chills around -20F. Although I certainly have done work before at those temps, I am not sure I would have attempted the change in those conditions this time. I would have waited for warmer weather or catastrophic failure of the pump, lol! I don't have a large garage ( 23W x 27D) but it is heated and insulated. So for that I am very fortunate!
 

mn_ski

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It has been a wild start to the year. Lots to catch up on with the truck. About the time of my last post I received a letter in the mail. I had been accepted by the state of MN to sit for my Professional Engineers Exam (PE). The letter went on to explain that the test that I was planning to take in October had been moved to April of this year! Holy bejesus, I need to STUDY, like NOW!! So basically I disengaged from the internet for 3 months. I studied nightly and on weekends until the test was over. I did pass, but I also had a lot to catch up on after the test because I put everything on hold.

One of the first things to tackle was the tailgate. Some time ago the handle basically seized up and the tailgate wouldn't latch shut anymore. So for a few months we drove with a ratchet strap inside the bed holding the tailgate up by the latch. Previous owner had diamond plated over the tailgate which is the main reason I didn't fix the handle sooner.

Rivets out:
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Diamond plate off:
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New handle on:
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Old one all rusted up:
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While I was at it, I threw on some new cables because the one had a nic and it was starting to rust:
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mn_ski

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So the other week we had a family trip planned with the truck. St. Paul, MN to Milwaukee, WI and back. Roughly 800 miles for the weekend. Two days before we are set to go I get a call from the wife. "Hey, so I heard this pop when I turned the wheel and now as I drive the steering seems to be getting harder to use." Fortunately it was close to home so she made it back and parked it in the driveway.

When I got home I inspected the truck and found a huge puddle under the truck and fluid sprayed all over the underside. My thought was high pressure power steering hose. I checked the reservoir and it was totally empty. I called my neighbor to see if I could get into his shop before our trip but he was booked. I got an appointment for the day after we came home. We packed the car and headed out on the our trip.

We got home about 2 AM from our trip. I headed outside to get the truck ready to bring to the shop. As a storm was approaching I quickly took off the serpentine belt and fired up the truck. It is two miles to the shop. The wife lead in the car with her lights on and I followed sans power steering and headlights. Fortunately we live enough out of the city that there was no one else around.

I got the truck to the shop just as the storm let loose. Later that day the shop called and said all the seals had blown out of the steering gear box. When I got the call from the mechanic he had already checked to see what OEM parts were available. No Delco parts where available. I need to call back and ask as I don't know what I ended up with. After a few days, a steering gear box, pitman arm, and alignment the truck was back on the road. Over all the steering is very tight and responsive.

The only thing I have noticed is that there is more weight to the steering to turn left than to turn right. Is that normal with replacing a steering box?
 

mn_ski

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I spent some time over the weekend and a bit last night to get my exhaust loosened up and ready for removal. I have a code for catalyst bank 2 below efficiency and I am going to replace the y pipe and cat assembly. I started with the three bolts just downstream of the catalytic converters. Just a breaker bar was able to get those nuts free. I then moved to the exhaust manifold flange nuts. I admit, I was a bit nervous about snapping a stud, but with some heat I was able to get all 6 nuts loose with my pneumatic 1/2" drive impact. God bless states like Oregon (where this truck is from) that don't have to salt in the winter. Even 26yo trucks can still be worked on without dealing with rust issues!!
 
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