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Jeff Balazs

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Everything posted by Jeff Balazs

  1. Fluid Drive Stalling

    I found that a lot depends on how well the carb is set up. I have a FD 3/4 ton truck similar to Merles. When I first put it on the road it felt like it was going to stall when using the fluid drive feature so I just drove it like a regular stick. Also it didn't really feel right under acceleration. A few months in and I decided to go through the Carter carb again and while I was at it I replaced the step up jet. Bingo! apparently the step up circuit was the culprit all along. After this carb rebuild the truck ran much better and using the fluid drive was no longer an issue. BTW the carb I was using was a complete NOS model that had never been fitted to anything. I have no idea why changing the jet made such a difference but it did. Just something to chew on..... Jeff
  2. 1953 Dodge 'coupe' truck project

    Davin; That is a shame. I know this project means a lot to you. Hopefully when you start up again things will go smoother. Jeff
  3. 1952 Dodge B3B

    Based on what you have found so far I think it is a good idea to drop the pan. Be prepared for a gooey mess and perhaps some tougher deposits. While you have the pan off you ought to clean the valve galleries as best you can. Anything there would just wind up in the oil pan. Jeff
  4. Setting timing

    Standard type timing lights work just fine with the 6 volt Pertronix module installed. I have heard all the rubbish about Pertronix modules failing..........and I believe most of the failures happen because of errors in the installation process. I absolutely love the way mine works and feel it is one of the best upgrades an owner can make. And I unlike most of you drive my 52 Dodge truck every day. Fires right up hot or cold without any fuss. A good vacuum gauge is one of the best devices there is to get the most out of this type of engine. I have one permanently installed in my truck and pay as much attention to it as all the other gauges combined. If you have this sort of set up you will always be able to tell when something begins to go awry. Jeff
  5. Thermostat housing

    My 52 has the same housing as yours. The other configuration was for slightly earlier engines. More important than the housing itself is the condition of the cooling system. If yours has set for a long time be prepared for several rounds of flush outs. There are lots of threads here on that topic. And hopefully your WDT (water distribution tube) that is inserted in the block directly behind the water pump is in decent shape. Jeff
  6. Whose Truck Got A Workout?

  7. Engine Annual Physical Check Up Results

    A couple of things to chew on. 1)Paper elements tend to be somewhat restrictive compared to the old oil bath. I wonder if you ran the vacuum test without the air filter if it might not read slightly higher? 2) What happens if you do a slight adjustment to the timing? You could try this and see if it makes a difference. Lots of old time tuners used this method to get older engines to run at their best. 3) I found on my truck that a treatment with MMNO improved the reading. I added a pint to the crankcase and ran it this way for about 100 miles then changed the oil. I know it is speculation but I think It must have cleaned up the rings a bit as vacuum reading increased about an inch or so with no other adjustments.
  8. Strange Brake Issue

    Didn't you say at the very beginning of this thread that you had already replaced the hoses, wheel cylinders, brake linings and bled the brakes? Seems to me this should have surfaced then.....
  9. Who Is Actually Driving Their Vintage Mopars?

    I used to think that way.......now it is just matter of fact. These are great old vehicles and can be used just like something much newer if they are put together properly. Honestly you don't be afraid to use them regularly.......it is not like they rely on a bunch of iffy electronics to stay on the road. Jeff
  10. Strange Brake Issue

    Could they make the same quality parts as were made here years ago? I kinda doubt it. You have to know right from wrong and they seem to have a genuine problem with that concept. My take on this is that we are ultimately at fault. "We" lifted them up out of the stone age. "We" encourage and reward profiteering on our side of the planet. And "we" continue to accept things as they are these days. Until there are some fundamental changes in "our" collective behavior we are going to have to live with this. Wanna start a war? How about a boycott on all chinese imports? I am game if you are. And Todd your comparison of Japanese products to this crap isn't really valid IMO. I have a 40+ year old Kenwood stereo and a Yamaha graphic equalizer that is almost that old and they are still see daily use and are working fine. Try that with anything similar that is made in China....... Jeff
  11. Strange Brake Issue

    Ralph; It is totally frustrating. But it is part of a problem that is becoming more and more common. It has to do with a general lack of quality in many replacement parts that are now being made overseas. I know you think you did the correct thing by replacing this M/C with a new one. And that certainly would have been a likely fix for the issue 30 years ago. Back then the replacements were being made here by reputable companies. But these days a name on a box doesn't begin to insure true OEM quality. Really the next one you put in may fix the problem....or just as likely not. I myself have no confidence in these sorts of replacement parts these days. Particularly anything from China. When I began building my truck I started to go down this path on the braking system. But the more I thought about it.... stuff like what you are going through now scared me off. Instead I decided to completely update the braking system on my truck. Since I planned all along to use it as my daily driver this more than justified the $1500 I put into the 4 wheel disc upgrade I did. Ten thousand miles later I am totally convinced this was the best money I spent on my truck. I am not saying you need to do everything I did but at least consider a more easily maintained solution for the braking system. One more thing I think bears mentioning is that the brake pedal linkage adjustment on these trucks can contribute to this problem. Because of the way this linkage works if it isn't adjusted very carefully you can have issues with the M/C bypassing with either an OEM M/C or a more modern type replacement like the Cherokee M/C. This is generally not a issue with most M/C's that are firewall mounted but it certainly is with the under floor mounted ones like is on our trucks. Jeff
  12. Cleaning the old farm dust

    An old fashioned steam cleaning machine would be my tool of choice. When I was a kid working in an old garage I was taught how to use one of these things properly. The steam and some laundry detergent just melted the crud away. I got really good with it and the results were often astonishing. Much better than a pressure washer! Jeff
  13. Strange Brake Issue

    Ralph; Sure sounds like a defective M/C. You might want to look into doing a conversion to a dual chamber M/C. Lots of us with trucks have Cherokee M/Cs and it is a pretty easy job. Hth, Jeff
  14. What is this?

    Hard to say Paul. I don't own the books so no photos to look at. I do know that most of them were built here in California.....I think at a shop in the San Fernando valley. I do know these vehicles served as the impetus for the VW powered dune buggy craze of the 60's. Mr. Gardner put a ton of money into his expeditions and the resulting books are quite an interesting read. The planning and logistics required was amazing. He had a whole team of supply guys whose function was to set up fuel depots and bring food and water into areas that were previously only used by burros and horses.
  15. What is this?

    Got any more pictures? You might just of stumbled upon a bit of forgotten history there. The author Earle Stanley Gardner of Perry Mason fame was an avid desert explorer. He mounted some truly amazing expeditions into Baja in the 40's, 50's and early 60's. Roads did not exist where he wanted to go and so he funded the development of several types of off road vehicles. Everything from 2 and 3 wheelers to VW powered buggies. The well known Tote-Goat as an example was an early pet project of his. I am not 100% certain this was one of the VW based variants he had produced over the years but it sort of looks like it could be. Heck there may even be pictures of this "thing " in one of the several books he wrote about exploring Baja. If it is one then surely it would be worth serious coin to real off roaders who know about this chapter of early vehicle development. Jeff
  16. Who Is Actually Driving Their Vintage Mopars?

    Oh yeah.......I remember seeing an episode with Candace Bergen when she was in her teens and boy was that funny .....and did she turn red! Gotta love Groucho
  17. Who Is Actually Driving Their Vintage Mopars?

    Thanks Lloyd! They are just good old work trucks....at least mine is. I made a few upgrades to handle modern driving conditions but it is basically stock. With a carefully thought out build or restoration I see no reason why more of these can't be used all the time.
  18. Who Is Actually Driving Their Vintage Mopars?

    I drive my 52 3/4 ton Dodge truck every day. It is the only vehicle I own. I knew when I started on it it was going to be my daily driver so I built it accordingly. I have put over 10,000 miles on it so far....and so far so good. Here it is in front of my shop this morning. We are finally getting a bit of rain. Jeff
  19. "On the Road Again" with Phoenix

    That takes me back to the 70's Paul. There used to be rigs like that all over the place. I close my eyes and I am transported back to Big Sur and Jalama and the good old days. Yeah man that works.....if only the traffic was like it was in those days. Jeff
  20. "On the Road Again" with Phoenix

    Thanks Tom for laughing at my comment. I couldn't resist. I almost suggested one of these but then I remembered the fall. The fellow in the shop next to mine fabs all sorts of cool accessories for Off roaders. He has a real nice set up for his truck. But you know none of this modern techy looking stuff would go well with the style and the gist of these trucks. What next right? How goofy would some carbon fiber hood components look? These days the significance of all this stuff is overblown and just becomes a distraction from the real experience. Now a nice vintage teardrop.....that wouldn't be bad. Or you could go with some wood and canvas and even be more appropriate. The old movie "the Rounders" features a 1952 B-3-C with a wood box on the side of the bed that functions as a kitchen,etc... There is even a scene were Henry Fonda is making breakfast at it. If it were me I think I like that best. Just feels right. Low tech...and .nothing more than what is really required. It is exactly what these trucks were all about in the first place. Jeff
  21. "On the Road Again" with Phoenix

    Those are cool.........but as I recall Paul has already fallen off a ladder. Jeff
  22. 1952 Dodge B3B

    Believe me I understand you. I literally worked on mine every day just so I could keep the momentum going. It is the best thing ever when you get it going down the road. Hardly a day goes by when I don't get at least a big thumbs up from someone. These trucks simply put are the just the best option out there for a rewarding project. They got it all going on.
  23. "On the Road Again" with Phoenix

    Yep and If you are using this like a daily driver then you ought to have a standard type policy at the very least. Because mine is above 4000# and I use it for work I have commercial plates. Minimum coverage on Commercial vehicles here in California has much higher limits than a standard policy and that is just fine with me. Still only costs me about $750 a year. Safe not sorry.
  24. "On the Road Again" with Phoenix

    I am happy to hear this. My Dad and I came very close to being killed years ago. The plywood roof of a homemade camper lifted off on the 5 Fwy and bounced feet in front of the sports car we were in. Good thing our car was only about 40" high as the bouncing sheet of plywood just cleared our roof when we went under it. Car behind us was not so lucky and there were severe injuries. It wasnt til the paramedics arrived that we realized how shook up we were. And of course the guy in the piece of crap camper kept going probably oblivious to how he had affected others. This sort of stuff happens all the time but hopefully none of us are involved. Paul I have thought about this camper/trailer thing quite a bit the last few years. I think either a pop up tent trailer or a teardrop make the most sense for trucks like ours. My opinion for what it is worth. Jeff
  25. 1952 Dodge B3B

    Mine was asleep for a long time too. I had old primer no cool paint like you have. So I ended up doing a frame off and had a pro spray all the body in pieces after I took it down to bare metal. Went through most everything but did not rebuild the engine. I did pull the head...the oil pan and the valve covers though because I did not want any nasty surprises. The engine had been rebuilt and when a friend and I inspected it it seemed like there was not too many miles on the rebuild. But the cooling system itself was a real mess with one of the worst water distribution tubes anyone here has ever seen and tons of rust particles in the water jackets. Cleaning it up was a very long and drawn out process in itself. To make a long story short it ended up taking me about 3 1/2 years to get it back on the road. There is often a lot more work to getting one of these back on the road than we think when we start. I and many others here could go on and on with our own experiences. Instead I will just tell you that whatever you end up doing you will be happy with it when it is all done. They are fine trucks and very unique in the best way. And you will know that you have a bunch of "buddies" here that enjoy the journey and can answer just about any question you can think of. Jeff