Monday, July 02, 2007

AWOL Chuck

I've been missing for awhile, things just got completely out of hand. Four 10 hour days in mid 90's heat with unusual humidity (most of you'd think it was dry) as a work week, followed by unexplained email problems, sleep, and travel and you'd think I'd have an excuse. Last weekend I went to the Portland OR area to visit my son and deal with DPO's Platform and Resolutions Committee. That meeting went pretty well and we got something accomplished.

Throw into the mix pulling and replacing the engine and 4 speed manual tranny in a 1974 K5 Blazer and life gets pretty interesting. Making it truly interesting is that the tranny and transfer case are the old iron ones from the mid-late 60's. In 1974 GM/Chevrolet decided that options were expensive, this truck could only be had with an automatic transmission and full-time 4 wheel drive. I like neither in a mountain crawling truck which is one duty and the other is use as a tow vehicle for car trailer and race car. The ability to down shift and use the engine as a brake is of considerable importance in mountainous terrain whether on the highway or on forest service roads/off road. This is the third engine since I've owned the truck and the 3rd tranny, one was broken when a good part of a mountain fell in front of the truck on a highway - at 60mph. That particular incident also required an entire frame, fender, hood, and bell housing. I took the time and energy to rebuild that wreck because other than a top that removes from windshield to tailgate it also was one of the few vehicles that could take what happened and let the occupants survive.

The massive drive train parts require one of two approaches, lift the body off and set the entire drive train or remove engine, then tranny with the grill area removed and install in reverse order. Mounting an engine onto a manual transmission involves some challenges, at 350 pounds hanging from a chain on an engine hoist it is rather obnoxious to steer around from underneath a vehicle and a precise fit is required.

Sunday evening I got the thing put together minus hood, started and a 20 minute run in on the cam at 2000 rpm (mostly driving). All systems performed as they should, though the clutch needs some adjustment and the timing needs a little tweaking, so I am pleased with it and happy to have it out of my hair.

Maybe I can do a little blogging now...


KISS said...

Yup done some of that too, different breeds, I'm not a Cheby fan lol. Love the Japanese aluminum trannys. I also learned the extra time to take hood off is smart thing to do, if only the radiator core support would get out of the way.Heh!

Chuck Butcher said...

I have a lot of Chevys, 1950 COE dump bed, 1962 Chevy II, 1974 K5 Blazer, 1978 K20 utility bed, 36 foot Pace Arrow (Chevy chassis/drive train), 2004 Chevy SSR. I've dealt with a Mitsbishi alum tranny in a Ford Ranger - junk. The only Jap ever, I'd rather beat myself in the head than work on Jap stuff - or German.

Steve Culley said...

While you bending nails and fixing a truck we fixed a nation. Immigration bill went down hard. No comprehensive amnesty. Fast track authority expired. America might be on a come back.