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Jeff Balazs

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Everything posted by Jeff Balazs

  1. Jocko; When the Felpro gasket on my truck let go I can assure you that I had white smoke in the exhaust and coolant in my oil. I was fortunate that it happened as I was leaving my house one morning. I just pulled it into the garage and drained everything immediately. I never bothered with trying to trace the path the coolant took to get into the oil. Instead I focused on the cause of the failure and a plan on preventing it from happening again. Because this truck is my primary transportation I keep a fairly comprehensive collection of spares. Including a complete new set of engine gaskets by Best. After removing the head I took it and the gasket to some mechanic and machinist buddies of mine where they showed me where and why it had failed. The consensus conclusion was an inferior gasket. I was back on the road later that day and have not had any further problems with it. That was a couple of years ago. Btw I took the precaution of running fresh oil in it for around an hour. Then I did another full oil change to be certain that there was no more coolant in the oil. Because of the design of this engine there are a few spots on the head gasket that have a very narrow sealing surface. My guess is that these areas are where 95% of all the L6 head gasket failures occur. Hth, Jeff
  2. Jocko; I am going to say here what you probably already know. Got to be real careful with parts selection and fit for these old engines. There is a lot of rubbish out there and while a lot of it looks correct it just doesn't hold up. For head gaskets you really want Best brand. And you should probably plan on applying copper coat spray on treatment as well. I started off with a gasket set made by Felpro....a well known brand .....but their head gasket did not hold up. And believe me it was properly torqued down and re torqued a few times after a few heat cycles. When I pulled the head I a a few of my buddies who are full time mechanics look things over and their conclusion was the install was fine but the product was not. They run into this kind of problem all the time with inferior spares etc. The point I am trying to make is that it is not uncommon to find out the hard way that some of the stuff you end up using can be a real problem. Unlike most of the fellas on this site I use my truck daily and it is my primary transportation. My approach to keeping my truck on the road has been to use the very best quality stuff I can lay my hands on. When I had problems with the Felpro head gasket a couple of the guys on this site suggested the Best gasket as a better solution. It has performed perfectly now for several thousand miles. When I finally get around to rebuilding my engine another Best brand gasket will be part of it. I had to find this out the hard way but that is just part of putting one of these great old trucks into use again. We are all going to make some mistakes on stuff like this and that is part of the whole experience. Jeff
  3. What brand head gasket did you use? They are in this particular case not all created equally. "Best" is only one I will ever use on one of these engines. Had issues with Felpro....... Jeff
  4. Great story Tim! You know the thing is he beat you far and square. He probably just psyched you and your engine out. That happens some times when you least expect it. Makes things interesting for those of us that are big John Henry fans. You know what the best part is? That old flat 6 is probably still runnin Jeff
  5. Don't know about the regulator thing or polarity of the generator. I run a single wire 6V alternator . 4 years of daily use and it has been totally carefree. If it was me I would be looking hard for either a loose wiring connection or a bad switch. What I do know is when it is a 6 volt system everything must be in very good shape or there will be problems. One of the main reasons that 6V was abandoned in favor of 12V was the frequency of electrical issues. The fact that the gauge jumps around when you tap it might be an indicator of some sort of failure there....... Jeff
  6. Mark; Could be something moisture related. Maybe a bit of water got somewhere it shouldn't? It is a bear to get the leaks at the windshield stopped. I had a problem with these leaks getting to my headlight switch this winter. Went out early one rainy morning and about half the lights were not working. Gauges read funny as well. I ended up pulling the headlight switch and it was wet and was beginning to show signs of corroding. I took it apart and gave everything a good cleaning and low and behold all the problems were fixed. 15 minute job. Your problem might be something similar. . Jeff
  7. Thanks T 120. It has worked just fine. I do think the addition of the pressure regulator is a must when using a pump like the one I am using. I have never had a situation when I could not get it to start. And it does get very hot here. These new fuel formulas are a problem for a lot of older vehicles. I have a buddy who is a true master mechanic. He see's it with all of his customers who have older vehicles. And especially with the ones that do not get driven on a daily basis. This week it was a very nice 240Z that sits for a week or two at a time. Then it is about impossible to get it started without wearing the battery down. The fuel just evaporates out of the carbs in that amount of time. That didn't used to happen. And it even happens with newer vehicles. Let um set and find out. To help prevent some of this I keep my fuel well dosed with MMO. This seems to work and is cheap insurance. Jeff
  8. I ditched the mechanical pump and run a big 6V Carter electric full time. I like it and it has worked flawlessly for over 4 years in my daily driver 52 B-3-C. When I was building my truck I read a posting here about a member who had a recently rebuilt engine suffer diluted oil seizure because his mechanical pump had a partial failure into the crankcase while on a trip. That episode while extreme really resonated with my way of thinking about these old cars and trucks. After all I was building this truck to be as rock solid reliable as I could. I wanted to eliminate any chance of this happening with my build. The electric pump was mounted very near the tank with a large inline fuel filter just ahead of it. Lack of pre-filtration is the number one cause of failure for this type of pump. I blanked off the original pump mount. I also installed a Holley fuel pressure regulator and another sealed canister filter just ahead of the carb. This set up while not original...... has worked out great. If you are someone who wants to really use your vintage vehicle without constant worry I think this is the way to go. Jeff
  9. Good deal Tom; I will be interested to hear if putting this one on makes much of a difference in how your FD equipped truck runs. Jeff
  10. Really nice job on all this. I have Hemi-envy. 🤩 Have fun with it! Jeff
  11. Tim; I got to let you off the hook with that one........was thinking something a little more foo-foo. 😀 Jeff
  12. Don't be surprised if he shows up with one of those tea cup size dogs .......in a shoulder bag!!!!!! After all that is a very slippery slope he is on. 🤣
  13. Dude that is kinda .............. refined isn't it? And I thought i was being tricky with my heads up display speedo. Honestly I get tired of folks giving me the thumbs up all the time. It has actually gotten old. Still looking for a cloaking device..... Jeff
  14. Well...well...well. 😀 Whats next? Daily driver status? Tim you crack me up. Regards, Jeff
  15. Hello and welcome. These do come up on Ebay from time to time. I actually got an NOS one there for a very decent price. It had never even been bolted down. When you find one you will need the rebuild kit with the dashpot plunger from Mikes Carbs. Best of luck. Jeff
  16. I am going on 4 years of daily use of my 52 B-3-C. I did a 4 wheel disc system on it because I was concerned about the ability to stop quickly and safely in heavy traffic here in SoCal. This is certainly one of the best decisions I made during my build. I used Rusty Hope up front and a 2002 Grand Cherokee 3.55 rear axle with 12" discs in the rear. Also used a matching M/C and a proportioning valve with all new 3/16" lines. This set up has performed absolutely flawlessly day in and day out. Best feature is the extremely effective "panic" braking without ever locking any of the wheels up. Try this with drums.... Driving a vintage truck in the kind of traffic we have here all of the time would not be much fun if it won't stop like a modern vehicle. Jeff
  17. IMO these engines were built in a time and in such a way that build up or deposits of carbon, varnish etc are going to happen. Particularly around the valves. It is kind of the Achilles heel of these old engines. To my way of thinking the best way to keep this in check is to run a good detergent oil and use something like MMO in the fuel. MMO definitely has some ability to dissolve varnish etc. I know that there are many who will disagree about using a detergent oil....but I say they are worried about things which are not really likely to happen. I think it is actually critical to maintain a clean supply of oil and fuel to the valves on these engines. Running a modern detergent oil is the best way to insure this is the case. Beyond that you can help things a bit by using a fuel additive designed to keep things clean. This is my take on this based on my experience driving one of these trucks every day for about 4 years. Jeff
  18. I agree in principal with Mr Coatney. Had it happen on an old car I bought years ago. But it could be ignition based too. Lets start a guess tally. Hope Don is correct 'cause that is an easy fix. But I gotta go with an ignition fault. Failing condenser...bad coil or perhaps a worn out or dirty ignition switch. Had that last one more than once since I was old enough to work on cars trucks and boats. Works after it has had a chance to cool down. Jeff
  19. That 1/32" is probably all it takes to turn one of these engines into a roaring beast........😂 There has to be times when we all dream of just a few more ponies. I have a few steep hills on my commute where I thin even one more would help Jeff
  20. I put about 4oz of MMO in my gas tank every other time I fill up. It really helps with the fuels we have these days. We have a winter fuel formula here in SoCal that makes for harder starting if I forget to dose it with MMO. My daily driver has a 230 that I revived rather than doing a full rebuild. I change the oil about every 2000 miles and use MMO in the fuel. Over 20k miles and it does not smoke or let me down ever. Jeff
  21. I have a housing similar to the one in your righthand picture and believe me it will work just fine. I simply went to Pep boys and got a pre-formed hose with a 45 degree bend in it and cut it down to fit. Works perfect. Jeff
  22. Glenn; You are welcome. Like I said it all works just fine. I insulated the living daylights out of my cab. As much for sound as heat. I can't run my heater more than about 10 minutes before it gets too toasty in the cab. Of course that is here is SoCal and anything below 60 degrees feels cold to us. 😀 I really added the heater to gain the defroster. It can get very foggy here ........ Saturday afternoon visibility was down to less than 100" where I live.....and it was raining. Jeff
  23. Glenn; I had the same concern you had about the flow when I set mine up. Not sure I ever found anything on it. I just went ahead and used the fitting on top of my water pump to tie the other end of the system in. The real world answer is it works just fine. Used it this morning in defroster mode. While it doesn't get too warm the first few minute it does do it's job. Takes between 5 and 10 minutes to start putting out some noticeable heat. After that I usually have to turn off the fan. Also I don't think you will see much heat when that cable operated valve is closed. At least I don't. Hth; Jeff
  24. Glenn; I have that manual valve on mine to be able to isolate the heating system. Got to have a fitting there anyway...so why not a valve? It gets real hot here so no need for a heater except a couple of months this winter. Not needed that past 3 winters..... Jeff
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