49 GMC Progress Report

Discussion in '1947-1954' started by e015475, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. e015475

    e015475 Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    Thanks Nate!
     
  2. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    Location:
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    Didn't make December, but finally took my first drive in January, but it wasn't without it's issues.

    [​IMG]

    Stuff I did five years ago when I started this project came back to bite me.

    The wiring harness I bought for the engine was wired incorrectly and the VATS wasn't turned off in the computer.

    The injectors had been sitting for over five years and were used when I got them. Ran pretty rough so I took them down to have them calibrated and cleaned. Much smoother.

    Header flange was so leaky, I thought I had a bad bearing or a collapsed lifter. New header gasket and everything is fine with my junkyard motor.

    The factory shifter I'd modified to use in my truck sucked - it was so vague I couldn't tell what gear I was in. Installed a Pro5.0 shifter and it is heaps better
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    Progressed from driving it up and down the street to going to the gas station for $10 of gas. Wasn't very impressed with the ride quality, but then I realized I'd left the airbags fully inflated and was riding on the suspension bump stops, so I'll have see how it behaves in subsequent trips with pressure adjusted for correct ride height.

    My power steering is giving me fits. It is really noisy and wants to suck air into the fluid after it has been bled. Need this fixed before I can continue the shake-down runs and get a few miles on this thing
     
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  3. RidesWithYah

    RidesWithYah Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
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    Location:
    Lexington KY
    FANTASTIC!! Thanks for sharing your progress - very inspiring!
     
  4. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    Location:
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    Power steering fixed by changing to the LS truck pump setup. The old pump came with the motor out of the junkyard and it must have been bad. New bracket, pulley, pump, hose adapters, belt and just for good measure, new Delco fluid.
    [​IMG]

    This fixed the problem and I was able to take a ten mile drive. The hydroboost brakes are going to take a little getting used to, and the five speed is a blast to drive. Had its first bath afterwards.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Elvin

    Elvin Member

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    Sep 24, 2014
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    Location:
    Sonoma Co, Calif
    Your truck looks great! I have been following this from the beginning. I am curious as to how the Jag front end worked as I am doing a similar install on my 55.1. I am getting ready to finalize all of the mounts that are based on your design and wondered if you had any things you would do differently. Did you encounter any alignment problems? Did it ride and steer as you were expecting?
    Thanks,Dave.
     
  6. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    Location:
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    "I am curious as to how the Jag front end worked "

    Well, the jury is still out on the Jag front end. I own a 85 Jaguar XJ6 with the same front end, and it is one of the smoothest suspensions ever. My hope is to get the truck to the same point as the Jag for ride quality

    The truck is roadworthy, but so far I've not sealed up the cab so its pretty distracting to drive- the doors rattle a bit. Castor at a little less than 5 degrees is perfect. Has a little tendency to follow expansion joints in the road, but I put very little toe-in so a little more should straighten that out. Power steering ease and turning radius are both excellent

    My truck has an airbag suspension with a 7" bag up front and doesn't ride as smooth as my Jag. I used KYB gas-adjust shocks and they might be a little stiff for the truck (the truck weighs about 900# less than my Jag) I've got about four different shocks laying around including originals, some Monroes and others I'm going to try.

    If I can't tune this suspension with airbags to my liking I'll probably modify my spring pans to make them ride height adjustable with factory coil springs and shocks
     
  7. e015475

    e015475 Member

    Joined:
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    200
    Location:
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    Out of the shop into the garage. Driving it a few times a week now.
    [​IMG]
    Made a AC vent to go in the radio speaker hole
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    Put a 'dummy' radio together to fill the hole in the dash. This is just for decoration as I'll likely run the sound system off of a phone. Going to try to run my speedo GPS antenna inside of the radio shell and see if it will acquire signal ok
    [​IMG]
    The dash trim and glovebox mostly installed.
    [​IMG]
    Couldn't get the front windshield trim to fit properly so I took it to a pro. He said the reproduction trim isn't quite correct and won't fit correctly into the rubber seal. He ground the glass a little, trimmed the spline on the stainless a little, relieved the center chrome strip and caulked the gap. Best $100 I've spent in a long time. I had this in and out a couple of times before I called the pro.
    [​IMG]

    Still fighting a mysterious squeak in my power steering but tired of fighting with it. Going to run it to failure and see what goes toes-up.

    Trying to understand why my gas gauge isn't working. Sofseal door seals are here and need to go in. Had a speedometer for about a mile till the Speedbox GPS speedo drive blew a fuse. I have a feeling this truck will never really be finished, but it is fun to play with

    Driving this truck takes some getting used to. I try to be really careful about my blind spot but my old neck does not swivel to look near as well as it used to. Some folks will follow me in my blind-spot for quite a ways, looking at the truck, presumably. A lady in an Explorer followed me for a couple miles the other day hanging about 5-10' back from my left rear fender. She finally zoomed around me with someone in her passenger seat taking cellphone pictures. Feel like I'm in a fish bowl sometimes (or I look like someone in a wanted poster in the post office). Some guy at a stop light said "I'll bet that's great for picking up women" and I told him 'I wouldn't know, my wife won't let me.' It is a great conversation starter, sometimes awkward ones, but you can count on a couple comments every time it goes on the road.
     
  8. 52wasp

    52wasp Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    619
    Location:
    Wilton, New Hampshire
    I'm somewhere around 9 months from getting back to my truck project... Seeing your truck looking as nice as it does makes me look forward to working on mine!
    So, as far as Hydroboost goes... are the brakes touchy as in "these things will lock up all 4 wheels"?
     
  9. e015475

    e015475 Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    I've never tried to lock the wheels, but the brakes seem to work very well and it tracks straight under braking. The hydroboost actuates a Corvette master cylinder and there's Girling disc brakes all around.

    Mine has an adjustable proportioning valve installed. One of these days I'll find a deserted parking lot and set it up so the front locks up before the rears.

    Unlike a diaphram booster, the hydroboost only lets the pedal go down a little and you have to modulate the brakes with foot pressure. Pushing harder and the pedal doesn't move but braking power increases quickly. It was a little strange at first but I'm used to it now.

    If you're going to run a hydroboost, here's a couple of things I learned..........

    - Make sure your brake pedal has the correct 'leverage ratio' for hydroboost. A stock pedal's leverage ratio will make the brakes very twitchy.

    - Shorten the arc portion of your brake pedal. I shortened mine so that when the pedal hits the floor the piston in the master cylinder is at its max travel. This put my size 13s in a much better angle to modulate the pedal.

    - Hydroboost is a PITA to bleed and get working properly. Use vacuum to sweep the air out of the power steering fluid.
     

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