Monday, June 03, 2013

How I Rebuilt My Classic Truck

The truck with a new engine installed, and ready to travel another 300,000 miles.

The truck with engine removed, and ready for a new one.

It had been almost a decade since I last drove the old beast of a truck.

I purchased it years ago, and drove it until one day the engine created a large knocking noise and puffed lots of smelly white smoke from the exhaust.  It was always a fun truck even though it didn't have power steering, or electric windows, or even seat belts.  Old cars and trucks from another era are enjoyable not only to drive, but to work on too.  I moved to Britain for a number of years, and I never had the time to rebuild my old truck.  It waited a long time for me at my parents home in the mountains.

The simplicity of the mechanical systems, inexpense of replacement parts, and familiarity gained through repairing the old beast make for a great project to undertake.  It is not too difficult to achieve success in repair when there are so few parts to diagnose.  Over time diagnosing mechanical failure becomes much easier because I have seen it before.

As a work truck it was sensible to keep it, and not scrap it.  I removed the old engine, dropped it off at the machinist, and he rebuilt for me.  I then re-installed it, along with a new transmission and other miscellaneous parts.  I now have a classic truck with a new engine, and it sounds great.  There are many more discreet steps not recalled here, and it wasn't always easy.  I am happy with it now though, and hope it runs forever.

I would certainly recommend rebuilding a classic automobile to anyone.  Choose the model wisely, and seek an on-line community for assistance.  There are many like-minded individuals that are happy to share their knowledge in a forum.