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Jeff Balazs

Daily driver.........first impressions.

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Now that my truck is back on the road I thought I would start a discussion of what it takes to make one of these into a reliable daily driver for today's roads and traffic. Hopefully others considering this will benefit from this.

 

To start off I would like to thank all of you who have been so generous with your time and advice during my build process. It was a long haul and I couldn't (and wouldn't) have done it without you. This forum is by far the most valuable tool anyone could have when attempting this. :)

 

I definitely did some things correctly. As an example the electrical system I put in this truck has worked flawlessly. I really like the 6 volt alternator and upgraded lighting. And so far I only have good things to say about the Pertronix ignition module.

The disc brakes are great too. No complaints there. Also all the work I did to insulate and soundproof the cab has already shown itself to be totally worthwhile. I can't imagine skrimping on this feature......as it is just so nice to have a quiet cab.

 

It has been a real scorcher here this summer. and it has put the cooling system to test. I am not 100% satisfied with it. It has been running on the warm side. So I flushed the system out again yesterday.....put a new water pump on and drilled a 1/8" hole in my 180 thermostat.We will see how that works. If I can't get it to run in my comfort zone this way then I will look at getting a new HD radiator.

It is hot here and I don't want to have to constantly worry about this overheating.

 

I am taking it into a old school suspension shop tomorrow. The steering feels a little light to me at speed. Could be alignment? not sure....it doesn't pull but it does feel light. Not at all what I was expecting.

 

Probably the biggest issue I have with it so far has to do with the transmission ratios. I have the 4 speed fluid drive option which kind of limits what can be done. And I would like to retain the FD. Even with the 3.55 rear I have these ratios other than 4th just are not really where the should be for optimum driving.. 1st is so low it is all but useless. Not sure what to do about it? but I sure would like something better. I will say that it is driveable the way it is just not optimum. I can't imagine using one of these with a 4.10 or lower rear though. OMG.

 

Jeff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I don't know if a transmission swap is in your though process but I sure like my T-5.

Don;

I have thought about it.....but I am fairly certain I would have to lose the fluid drive and get a standard bell housing. Then there is the possible issue with the OD ratio of the T5 being a bit too high for the rear axle I already have in it. Just not convinced that it is worth my time and money to do this as it might not be quite right either. ???

 

probably your caster is close to zero....you want to get a bit of positive so it will not want to road walk and feel squirrely at speed...

Tim;

You could be right....hopefully I will find out tomorrow.

 

Jeff

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I have a 3.55/1 differential in my car but I also have 255 cubes to work with. I understand the fluid drive issue. If I had fluid drive I would do what ever is required to keep it. I don't recall anyone I have talked to that has installed a T-5 behind fluid drive.

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My '52 1/2 ton has a 3.0 rear end and a 251 Chrysler engine with a 4 speed.  I never use 1st unless there's a stump to be pulled. I've never had a problem starting out on a steep hill in second gear.  I can cruise on the freeway at 65 all day.

post-32-0-32112200-1443478632_thumb.jpg

 

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My rear end gears are very close to Reg's , I have a 2.94 from a Dakota and I like it real well . My engine is a 218 and fairly fresh . Three speed trans . 28 inch diameter tires . 

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Well flush etc.....seemed to help some with the temp thing. Another thing that would help is if it would drop below a 1000 degrees. :eek: Really sick of this weather this summer. Pretty much made my mind up to move to southern Coastal Oregon within the next 2 years.

 

Reg; I can take off in 2nd even on a hill. No problem. Just runs out of acceleration fairly quickly and wants to go into 3rd. I guess I would have to say it is not quite an optimum gear ratio. I have not had it on the freeway yet but it feels like it will go 65 ok. Again it is all functional just doesn't feel optimum. Maybe I am looking for more than is practical from the stock set up? I feel like there has to be a way to get what I want out of it........but maybe it isn't worth the money it may cost to save and further modify the stock drivetrain? I suppose time will tell.

 

Jeff

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First go back to the correct 160 degree stat.  With the 180 your giving up 20 degrees of cooling headroom.  If you have the standard 4 speed, first is a compound low really only designed to get the truck moving when it is loaded up with a heavy load. (I filled my with a yard of sand and it became really obvious the purpose of compound low)  For day driving start in second. (That's why second is so low)

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I've had my 52 dodge with the 4 speed  for 40 years . I like it as is... and the truck works and runs well.

2nd, 3rd and 4th gears are all you need for 99.5% of the time.

As Tim says you probably need to tilt the axle back a degree or two..top of the king pins to the rear of the truck with 2" wide required tapered shims.

1-1/2 to 3 degrees is probably what you will need to get some straight ahead stability.

I'd check the camber and Toe-in too of course.

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I have a PCV system installed on this truck to help prevent the build up of sludge and keep the oil and internals cleaner. That is why I have a 180 thermostat installed. If the cooling system is working properly I feel like it should be able to maintain a relatively steady temp reading. I have had problems with scale and rust still working loose from the inside of the block. Got some more out of the system on Sunday. This time it seemed to come mostly from the radiator itself.

It ran pretty close to steady 190 yesterday on the uphill drive home. It has never gotten to the boiling point but was running up around 200 in this heat with the stock fan and a auxilliary electric fan going. The radiator I have has beeen recored with a modern 2 row core. It may not be adequate for the way I would like this truck to run in our climate and stop and go driving conditions. If it proves necessary I will upgrade to a desert cooler type radiator. They work well in this climate and provide a safeguard against overheating over a stock system.

 

No doubt I will get more used to the gearing as time goes on. There is an issue of keeping up with the flow of traffic here that did not exist when these trucks were built. I am sure it would be just fine in a rural setting but I am not so sure it will ever be quite comfortable with all the rush going on here. I do know that making any realistic mods to this arrangement is going to be a challenge. At the moment at least it just feels like a different gear spread would work better.

 

Jeff

Edited by Jeff Balazs

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Jeff do you have a laser thermometer? Check when the truck is at 200 with one and see what your actual head temperature is, and check in a few different spots. I've been fighting the same battle with heat this year, but almost every weekend I was out in the truck was a scorcher, so it was bound to be hotter...but checking with mine found that my gauge was out by about 10 degrees or more, so when I'm creeping over 200 on my gauge, I'm really not. I'm trying a 180 with 3 holes in it, and it's only there to try and slow down the coolant while creeping in parades or rod runs....but it really hasn't improved anything for me, so I would turf it if it wasn't for the mess and drain again.

As for trans, I think your somewhat stuck unless you went to major changes, but even with a new bell housing, isn't the crank a different length, or some issue different that might also affect a T5 swap?

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I do have an infrared. But it is hard to use when out driving on the road. :D And it is the loaded condition on inclines I am concerned with. It was definitely better yesterday after the work I did on Sunday. On my drives to the shop from home it never heats up.........but it is all downhill. 

 

I came to that conclusion on the transmission a while back. And I may just have to learn to live with it. I just can't help thinking there may be a better alternative out there.......somewhere.

 

Jeff

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Ok so alignment and steering are good now. I had replaced the ball joints on the tie rod and they had worked a tiny bit loose in the sockets. That and a 1/4" adjustment to the toe in was all that was required to bring it back up to spec. Camber and castor were fine. It feels good and solid now.

One thing on my list taken care of. Yeah!

 

Next item is much more trivial. I need to find some sort of buzzer to remind me when the turn signal is on. I seem to only remember to shut them off about half the time.

It is a little thing but it needs some attention. :lol:

 

Jeff

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I had a beeper connected to mine. It was quite annoying but I never forgot to turn them off. I finally got too annoyed and disconnected it. I'm in a better habit of turning them off now but considering putting in an indicator light in the upper left side of the windshield header. Just haven't got a round tuit yet.

Merle

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Next item is much more trivial. I need to find some sort of buzzer to remind me when the turn signal is on.

 

(Quoted.)

 

12v. audible turn signal indicators seem to readily available but 6 v. not so much but a quick search came up with this expensive option.

I'd spend some time looking  for audible or a light as ED suggested. Your choice, but I do understand the need! ;)

 

Chevrolet of the 40,s website showed a 6 v. flasher with an audible signal built in but not real cheap.

 

Tried to attach page but did not work. :huh:

 

Just one option.

 

DJ

 

 

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A couple of times I forgot to turn my turn signal off but when winter came my arm got cold and I remembered. :P

Don.......you crack me up.

Hardly anyone here would know what a hand signal was......let alone respond in the desired manner. :eek: 

I am just trying to get all this right and maybe a light up high on the dash would work as well as a buzzer? (good idea Merle) And I am sure over time shutting it off will become more of a automatic reaction. I did much better today.

 

Another stinkin' hot day here. And I got caught by most of the lights coming home. I think a Desert Cooler radiator is in my future. I really don't like to see the sort of temperature fluctuation I have been getting in the afternoons. It seems to me if the radiator is sized correctly it should run all day at a very steady temp once it has warmed up. It has not actually overheated but I am sure it would have been close if I had not turned on my electric fan. These systems are sort of weird. They take quite a while to come up to operating temp.......and then easily go past it when put under a bit of a load. My commute is less than 5 miles.

 

Jeff

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105 in the cab with the windows and vents all open. :mad: And thats with a very light paint color and a ton of insulation. I can just imagine what it would be like in one of the more typical dark colors. Running temp reached 200....maybe 205. I have been looking at a extreme duty 4 row conventional construction unit by US Radiator. So far this is the only aftermarket radiator that looks like an exact fit for my truck. Ain't cheap but if it will handle this heat it may make sense.

 

Jeff

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In the mid west in early July during wheat harvest the temps in those fields was high. We would remove the hoods which was a huge help, so you might fix the gull wings so you can secure them partially open for the trip home. JAT.

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Paul;

I would really like to get this taken care of with a proper fix if I can. It just seems to me that a more effecient radiator should take care of it. I don't know if anyone has tried one of these radiators ....... but I have run them in other vehicles and they have always worked well.

 

Jeff

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We hauled 200 bushels, 12,000 #s, from those HOT wheat fields all day for six to seven days with no heating problems. Seems LA should be an easier environment. But I have no answer. However our trucks had the original patina! Lol.

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We hauled 200 bushels, 12,000 #s, from those HOT wheat fields all day for six to seven days with no heating problems. Seems LA should be an easier environment. But I have no answer. However our trucks had the original patina! Lol.

Yes.....but when you did that those trucks were much nearer to new. :P

One way or another I will get this sorted out. I got a feeling this is going to be another warm winter. There are a couple of things that I have done that has probably added a bit to the heat I am seeing. I covered the interior of the hood assembly with hush mat ultra......which quieted things down but probably holds a bit of heat in over bare metal. I like the quiet ride so I guess I will have to spend some more to solve the heat issue.

 

Jeff

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Put in a nice scoup in the middle, then in the winter you could open the cowl vent for heat, it's called double dipping or multitasking. LOL.

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