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Howdy Folks -
Well the good news is the new AoK dual carb intakes for the 23 1/2" USA small block flathead Mopars started going out the door last week. As well the AoK triples for the 25 1/2" Canadian Big block flathead Mopars that have been sold out for over a year are also available and shipping.
More details and what the look like on this blog entry.
The good and bad news.. Good: If your on the list for either a dual intake or a triple your covered. Your intake and if you want linkage, we will be able to supply them at the price point discussed. Bad: well Maybe Bad: If you haven't ordered an AoK dual intake there are 7 left not spoken for and there are 2 AoK triples for the big blocks not spoken for.
After that, there will be no more at this price point that is for sure and whether we have any more made with depend on customer demand.
As well we are now out of Carter Ball and Ball cores to build, so if you need George to build you up carbs, as of right now you will need to supply cores.
Final piece of news is that if you order intakes, when paid for they can be shipped in less than a week. If you need linkage as well its up to 3 weeks lead time right now to ship and if you need carbs and haven't already ordered intakes and specified carbs, even with cores the lead time right now is at least 3 months and may be longer..
The super thing is George who just turned 85 is still doing them and is the best there is at doing them. The unfortunate part is George is slowing down and no one anticipated the new AoK intakes taking so long and the overwhelming demand for them and carbs when they were ready.
Now that they are coming out of the machine shop all completed, the shear number is overwhelming so it will take some time ..
George also has 4 Performance engine jobs promised and as of today will not be accepting any further engine rebuilds until further notice. On r6, r7 r10 Mopar overdrives, we will have to see what George has time for, and what his Sons and I can help out with on that front to be able to give anyone a leadtime.
As I and many call him, the Flathead Mopar Living Legend is still going strong, but his ability to work on customer projects outside of the family, will now be very much slowed down.
I am sure that is not a major surprise to anyone .
A few months ago I was summoned off my 1947 Plymouth sanding project and into the front drive. My awesome husband found and obtained an early Birthday gift for me! As I brushed off and mosied out if the garage I saw a beauty on a trailer; a COMPLETE 1940 Plymouth Sedan!!!!!! 4-doors, suicide doors, engine, tranny, interior, chrome, housings, bumpers. The car was a single owner and garage stored. Would have been all cherry but 20 or so years ago the garage was broken into and the car was vandalized. All the glass broken and some spray paint on the fender. After that the weather got into things so all the fabric is deteriorated. We have started the resoration with clean up. All forward from here! I will post more pictures.
If an engine has run for many an rpm, it will change the insides, most notably the top of the cylinders, for a ring of 'carbon' will build up. This ring reduces the length of the piston's travel. To compensate for that loss several things must happen, the rods must torque a bit, or the bearings must give a bit, or the crankshaft or the piston or some of all of these must compensate for a shorter available stroke.
Eventually, especially when the engine must pull a heavy load, or climb a long hill, or is suddenly called upon to run at significantly higher rpms, or is run hot or on less oil something will give.
Thus the reason to pull the head on an unfamiliar engine and check if there is a ring and remove whatever is there for with that removed, the engine now is able to run it's rpms with full freedom. By assuring that the piston has full range of motion the engine's life is extended.
In like manner the valves, cleaned and seated provides the air flow required thus a cooler temperature and thus less fatigue. Now these improvements do not a new engine make, but they may provide the amount of extended time one needs until a complete build is required or desired.
I find the basics of the mechanical arena as interesting as the infinite details, important as they may be and by knowing and improving the basics I can enjoy this hobby without spending lots of money.
Now if I can refrain from burning down the shop, I may be able to play a bit longer.
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I've been asked a lot of things by a lot of different people in my life. Giving advice, lending a hand, being politely asked to leave..., they are all generally of a similar class of requests such that not many are ever a surprise anymore. That was true most of my life until as of late. Now I'm getting surprised all the time. Here's some examples.
Looking for any and every excuse to drive my truck, I took my kids to a birthday/costume party. In a few minutes parents were asking for kids to pose in and on the truck. Why not?
A couple weeks later, again looking for an excuse to drive it, we used it to go to the local Chili Cook-off. It was pretty easy to just put the old slow cooker in the back and drive over. I stopped to drop off my entry and then went and parked. Within 30 minutes the organizers were looking for the owner of "that old black truck". They wanted to park it in the middle of the event for ambiance. Well, ambiance and picture poising. So many people wanted to crawl in and out of it, my view was obscured more than once.
The wife bought a new mattress and box spring from Sears but refused to pay the $80 delivery charge. She was going to bring it home on the top of the Ford Escape. I mentioned that I had a truck which she had not considered. Not sure why she didn't - too "special?". We laughed.
So we drove down to the outlet, tied the new items up and headed home. Near home I was trying to make a lane change but was blocked by some lady in a car. She kept matching my speed! I finally just decided to turn right. She ducked in behind us and followed. I remarked to the wife that if she pulled along side that the truck was $17,5k firm. We laughed and turned left. The lady followed.
A couple of stop signs later, the car behind us pulled up and waved for my wife's attention. Seems she was getting married Saturday and wanted to be taken to the church and reception in my truck. My dirty, old, smells like gas, farm truck. If you would have seen her smile, heard her excitement, you wouldn't have said no either.
What to charge her got me thinking about one of 48Dodger's blog posts. The question was about being able to put a proper the price on our parts or services. I was struggling with that and it took me a while to come up with a clear answer for myself.
In the end I didn't charge her a penny. Couldn't really. There was no price on a blushing bride, clearly happy about going to her wedding in an old farm truck. There was no payment large enough for the looks on people's faces, the thumbs up, as we passed them on the way to the church. You certainly could never have found enough of any payment of any kind for the entire church gathering's collective look as we drove off with the newlyweds in the front cab.
I got paid with this story. With smiles. Good feelings all around. I'm lucky enough to be in a position to make some people happy.
Whether you know it or not Tim, you do the same thing for a lot of people here. Did for me.
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In 1936 Eugen Herrigel wrote a 20 page essay about his experience using Daishadokyo to learn archery (under the direction of a master), or more specific, kyūdō (Japanese bow). He later put those writings into a book called "Zen in the Art of Archery". It was published in Germany in 1948 and in the U.S. in 1953. He was interested in how the skills used for sports could be improved by using Zen (meditation), repetitive motion, and less concessions thought. Don't think; let the subconscious do the work. He felt progressive learning was to be practiced until the skill needed was effortless. The title of his book has been used, in variation, extensively. Most famously for the book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"
"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" was written by Robert Maynard Pirsig in 1974. A great book about individuals who looked at life form opposite ends of the spectrum, with the main character attempting to find the middle. They rode for a time across the country, from Minnesota to Northern California. "Sutherland" would represent the romantic character of the story (Zen). He believes all will be alright in the modern world without his help. His is the new motorcycle that needs no care, no maintenance. And if it does, others with the technology will fix it. He lives for the moment. "The Narrator" is the character who rides the old bike, maintains it, knows when something isn't right with it, and fixes it (Mr. Maintenance).
Left Brain vs. Right Brain, the Artist vs. the Engineer.....
This is where I find myself in the world of my “old truck”. My truck hasn’t died; it will live longer than I will be remembered. But its built from parts across several generations. The term I hear most is Vintage Mod. It looks like it was just pulled out of the barn and put on the street, but really, the original steel is hiding the present day technology. I can feel the conflict in my heart. I love to meditate on the history of my 1950 truck and where its been, what its seen, and where it may end up…..but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna drive 25 miles per hour all the way to town! The first book had put Zen into the art of learning Archery, the second put Zen against the world of mechanized technology. I want to be the guy who enjoys both worlds. Zen can mean to “live in the now” and preventive maintenance could mean the opposite, to think ahead and plan for the best or worst outcome. It’s during the PM work on my truck that I lose my Zen. There is no romance and no apparent reward when it’s done. It’s work, nothing more. Sometimes I drive it with my senses tuned only to the bad sounds and not the good. There is no perfection, and there is no definable “quality” is there? So I ignore the romance of the “old truck” and get the work done.
… when its sitting perfectly still…..not making a sound….Zen finds its way back to my heart. Not touching a door, a handle or a steering wheel….I stare. My thoughts run deep into how I feel about something that could take me far away, and maybe even bring me back. I wonder if I will ever be able to feel that way when I’m actually driving the thing. Maybe not. Maybe it’s not supposed to be that way for me. I demand performance from my ride, not beauty. But man, is she a beauty. I could never say that too much. I wonder about the guy who first bought her. My truck was saved from the crusher, only 7 vehicles away. They had stopped crushing that weekend, and I bought two trucks that day. Two 1950 trucks, side by side. They were owned by the same guy, who put them directly in line, ready to be crushed. When I was driving on the highway, one truck on the trailer, I had Zen. When I drove the highway again with the other truck, I had Zen. Those two trucks made one good truck. A fast truck, a truck that needs lots of stuff other than Zen.
Herrigel and Pirsig are good guys. They both studied philosophy and took the time to write books I enjoy. I read what they are saying, but question if I understand it. I strive to understand myself, but not too much…..I don’t want to miss the things that matter. The stuff that has nothing to do with me. The stuff I keep around the place to remind me “cool” was happening long before I was even thought of. Stuff like my truck. She’s been here awhile, she is here right now, and will be here when I’m gone. I want to find the patience, to give my truck the care it needs and the love it deserves. That part, I do understand.
I have created an art to impatience. I need to change that, I want to slow down and let "it" in.
I’m working on it…..I’m driving my old truck and working on my Zen.
As an owner of a B1 truck with an original 4 speed crash box (aka non syncro tranny with compound low) one story you hear is you can shift without using the clutch. Having learned to double clutch to avoid the "grind them till you find them" syndrome of shifting I have to say I was always intrigued by the myth of clutchless shifting. For our owners who always lived in the world of fully synchronized transmissions, double clutching is the technique used to shift a transmissions with "straight cut gears' or no synchronizers. Internally the transmission is pretty simple and very reliable in service.
To double clutch you use the clutch normally to get rolling and when you are ready to to shift your depress and release the clutch once to take it out one gear and a second time to go into another the next gear. The process basically slows down the shift so the gear speeds match and allow them to slide into the next gear. Downshifting is similar except you have to remember to bring up the engine revs as you go into the lower gear.
But what about clutchless shifts? Well, as professional OTR drivers know it is not a myth but a useful technique to drive your truck with less wear and tear on the clutch. Success is all about getting the engine speed right and feeling the gears as you slide them in the gearbox. Again use the clutch normally to get rolling. As you near the shift point lift off the gas slightly and slide the shifter into the gate for the next gear. As the speeds match the shift will smoothly drop into the next gear with no grinding and no clutch needed! Don't be frustrated if the first few times you miss and grind the gears. With a little practice you will be able to tell with engine speed and feeling it in the shift lever when it is time to shift. Downshifting is also possible but requires a little more finesse with engine speed and shift lever. Remember since your are going down in gears you need to raise engine rpm to match the the gear when you downshift. So instead of a slight lift off on the throttle you need to give it a little bump up. Again with the gear speed and engine speed match you can fell it in the gearshift lever as it will easily slide into gear without a grind.
And what about the compound low (AKA, granny gear)? It's function is to help you get moving when you have a big load on board. A while back I had half a yard of sand loaded in the bed. When I started to pull out of the loading area in first it was immediately evident I would have to slip the clutch quite a bit to get rolling. Dropping into compound low we just pulled out like a normal start, just slower. Once we got past the the initial start up resistance from a dead stop it was easy to drive.
Have any of you mastered the art of clutchless shifts?
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A little history, I purchased the truck, a B1C, in early 1999 from the son of the original buyer. The truck had spent it's entire life working on a farm in the Dunbar, Nebraska area. It even came with a copy of the January, 1949 Certificate of Title! I had the truck shipped out to California and the seller had been honest about the condition so I knew I had some work ahead to get it road worthy. Carb rebuild, brake overhaul, radiator flush, tires and tune up and I was back on the road. About two weeks after putting it back into service I was coming back from a dump run and suddenly had no power to the rear axle. Tow truck home and dropped the pumpkin to get out the piece of broken axle in the third member. Probably from metal fatigue from all those years of hard work on the farm!
I drove the truck as is for about six years. It did have some bigger issues I knew I would need to address in the not to distant future. Had a crack in the water jacket but stop leak seemed to keep it under control. Smoked badly and needed an overhaul. And I was having to replace the head gasket about once a year. Around 2005 I acquired a B1D parts truck, no engine but full drive line and running gear. After investing this model a bit more I decided to "upgrade" to a 1 ton, with the optional dual 20" rear wheels and a rebuild 230. This model is listed in the factory brochure as a D-116 Code 75
Like all projects life sometimes gets in the way and it is still not finished. Good news is I have all the parts, either acquired or fabricated. Now I just need to get it finished and back on the road! I be posting updates as I reach a new milestones but for a starter I will post a some pics to get your interest. More to come in the months ahead!