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bkahler

51 B3B build thread - after all these years

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I think maybe it’s time I started a build thread for my 51 B3B.  I’ve actually been a member of this forum (or it’s earlier derivatives) since the late 90s.  I bought the truck in Hailey Idaho in 1996 and trailered it home to Lincoln Nebraska. Over the next couple of years I proceeded to dismantle the truck and started the rebuild process.  By early 2000 I had a rolling chassis with engine and cab installed and all sheet metal painted ready for installation.  It was at this point things sort of ground to a halt.  I proceeded to change jobs (working overseas or a number of years) and then moved, with the truck still in pieces, from Lincoln to Dallas, then from Dallas to Little Rock Arkansas and finally to Richmond Kentucky.  During the years from 2001 till now I’ve really not had the opportunity to work on the truck with the exception of a few sort periods of time.  There were multiple times over the years I considered selling but just couldn’t bring myself to do sot.

 

In 1999 the engine was rebuilt by a respected dirt track engine builder.  It has been bored 0.060” over (with 3 cylinders requiring sleeves) and has a new 230 cam.  Around the same timeframe I had the transmission rebuilt by a local shop along with the differential pumpkin.  The frame was sandblasted and painted as was just about every component I touched.  I built my own sandblast cabinet and small wall mounted paint booth, both of which have also made every move with the truck.

 

I spent 2008 in Pasadena (on short term work assignment) and while there I fabricated a complete wiring harness using wire and connectors from YnZ while using  modified diagrams that someone on this forum had posted.  Also during that period I rebuilt two carburetors for use on the Offenhauser  dual intake manifold that I’m installing.  Over the intervening years I would watch for parts on ebay and elsewhere.  I managed to come up with a NOS steering wheel, NOS floor mat, NOS fuel gauge, NOS temp gauge, NOS coolant heater valve, NOS rear bumper, NOS amp gauge, and NOS speedometer cable.  I might have a few others but can’t think of them off the top of my head.  Oh yeah, I think I have a NOS front bumper as well.

 

So as it sits today the truck is a finished rolling chassis with cab and engine installed.  All of the sheet metal has been leaning against the wall for years and is covered in dust and grime.  The rolling chassis desperately needs to be hosed down and scrubbed clean.  There are five new (in 2000) radial tires that probably have a grand total of 500 feet on them but will need to be replaced if/when the truck is ever ready to finally hit the road.  When I bought the truck in 1996 I was able to drive it up onto the trailer in Hailey and drove it off the trailer in Lincoln.  Since then the truck has traveled 2,711 miles and none of it under its own power!

 

I still don’t have a much free time to work on the truck but I’m going to at least make the effort to tinker with it from time to time.  The first step is to gather up all of the parts boxes and sort through them to see if I have the parts I’m supposed to have.  I think that will be a good winter task. The pictures are from 2009 after it arrived from Arkansas getting ready to be pushed in to my new shop.

 

You can bet I will be having lots of questions as time goes on.

 

Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it 😁

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I like it!  Keep us up-dated with your progress.

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11 hours ago, Dodgeb4ya said:

Nice original  harness work!

Thanks!

 

While in Pasadena I had all of my weekends and evenings free so I decided to raid the local junkyards for parts and take care of a few tasks on my truck that I could do while in a small apartment.  I was pretty please with how the harness came out.  It still needs all of the connectors installed but I figured that would best be done after the harness is fitted in the truck.

 

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Among the many things left to do on the truck is cleaning up the driveshaft and replacing the u-joints.  According to the factory parts catalog both u-joints are supposed to be the same.  From the two pictures below they sure look different to me.  

 

One of the things I still have to work out is my truck originally came with the column shift setup.  Some PO replaced that transmission with a 4-speed crashbox.  I'm replacing that box with a 4-speed syncro box.  I'm fairly certain the 4-speed syncro box was available as an option but what I don't know is if the u-joint would be the same.  I have about 30 boxes to go through to find the transmission yoke so it may be a day or two before I figure this out!

 

Brad

 

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Them driveshaft serrated cups look like the expensive Cleveland type U-joint that requires locking tabs on the lock strap bolt heads...the yoke U-joint looks like the less expensive spring clip type, my guess that yoke came with the transmission and slipped right onto the original axle...here's further u-joint discussion :cool:

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Thanks for the driveshaft link.  You're right, they certainly look like Cleveland u-joints.  I'll have to give Mopar Mall a try.

 

Thanks.

 

 

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I pulled the NOS steering wheel out of the box this afternoon.  When I bought it back in 2008 I only took a brief look at it before putting it back in the box.  The wheel itself is spotless.  The gunk on it appears to be cosmoline.  I'm not sure whether it leaked onto the bakelite over time or was smeared on at time of application.  

 

Any suggestions on how to remove the cosmoline without damaging the bakelite?

 

Thanks,

 

Brad

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20 hours ago, 48Dodger said:

I like how the truck is coming together!

 

Is that a round metal table??😎

 

48D

Thanks!

 

I've put off working on it for way to many years.  

 

Yes, that is a round metal table.  I'm not sure where Dean found it but it's a nice table.  My guess is it started out life as a welding table.

 

 

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Used mineral spirits yesterday on the steering wheel and it cleaned up nicely.  I did find a hairline crack at the base of one of the spokes.  I guess after some 69 odd years it was bound to happen.

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On 10/18/2019 at 7:31 PM, JBNeal said:

Them driveshaft serrated cups look like the expensive Cleveland type U-joint that requires locking tabs on the lock strap bolt heads...the yoke U-joint looks like the less expensive spring clip type, my guess that yoke came with the transmission and slipped right onto the original axle...here's further u-joint discussion :cool:

 

Twenty year old memories are starting to come back to me as I sift through the pieces and parts that I have laying around.  I found a bag labeled U-joint, transmission end.  In the bag were the straps used by the Cleveland style of U-joints. This fact reminded me that when I obtained the replacement 4-speed syncro box from Larry I swapped the slip joint end of the drive shaft with him.  I don't remember the exact reason why we made the swap but we did.  

 

That swap also explains why the slip yoke I have now doesn't slide easily onto the splined end of the driveshaft.  It's possible the yoke bolt pattern was different between the 4-speed crash box (my old box) and the 4-speed syncro box that I was buying.

 

I guess I need to spend some time with the driveshaft and the yoke end to see if I can get them to mate properly.  If not I guess it's off to the driveshaft service shop.

 

Brad

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I did a little cleaning on the driveshaft and yoke splines and was able to get the two to slide together smoothly.   In the picture the yoke is fully seated on the driveshaft.  As you can see the exposed splines are filled with dried dirt and grease which to me would indicate the original yoke never went down any farther than the yoke I have now. 

 

So my question is,  does this combination look right?  In other words, should the yoke be longer for more spline engagement?

 

Assuming the answer to the above question is my yoke is ok then I’m in need of items 1 and 2 as shown in the attached picture.  1 = cap and 2 = seal.

 

Any suggestions on where to find the cap and seal?  According to the parts book all of the driveshafts used the same cap and seal.

 

Thanks,

 

Brad

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My memory is a little fuzzy but I believe the seal is similar material as the battery washer felt, its ID is undersized to the valleys of the driveshaft grooves so that the grooves wear the teeth pattern into the washer...the cap is a simple flanged retaining ring with 4 ears that are bent over the lip on the yoke.  I had one of those on the '49 1-ton and vaguely recall soaking that seal for weeks in parts cleaner before it became flexible again, dried it out between shop towels and 30# weight for a few days, then soaking it in engine oil before re-installing...the seal you can fabricate; the cap ya might could rig up something or might be a classified ad item :cool:

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the yoke will slip around (back and forth) on the splines as the suspension moved up and down.  Likely you'd see an area where you'd want to be centered.  Too far onto the shaft and it'll grab the spline areas that aren't full spline.

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34 minutes ago, JBNeal said:

My memory is a little fuzzy but I believe the seal is similar material as the battery washer felt, its ID is undersized to the valleys of the driveshaft grooves so that the grooves wear the teeth pattern into the washer...the cap is a simple flanged retaining ring with 4 ears that are bent over the lip on the yoke.  I had one of those on the '49 1-ton and vaguely recall soaking that seal for weeks in parts cleaner before it became flexible again, dried it out between shop towels and 30# weight for a few days, then soaking it in engine oil before re-installing...the seal you can fabricate; the cap ya might could rig up something or might be a classified ad item :cool:

 

The felt seal on my Triumph was about 1/8" thick, nice and stiff and was fitted as you describe.  The felt would be the easy item to come up with, the cap is a different matter.  I don't know of any junk yards around me that cater to the old pickups so posting a classified is probably my best bet.

 

9 minutes ago, ggdad1951 said:

the yoke will slip around (back and forth) on the splines as the suspension moved up and down.  Likely you'd see an area where you'd want to be centered.  Too far onto the shaft and it'll grab the spline areas that aren't full spline.

 

That makes me wonder if the splined section of the Cleveland style of yoke wasn't longer than the Spicer version.  Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the yoke that was on the truck so I have nothing to compare to.  

 

What I will likely have to do is wait until I get the parking brake installed so I can do a temporary install of the driveshaft to see where things end up.

 

 

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It's been 5+ years since the last time my B3 saw daylight.  Yesterday after work I pulled it out of the garage so I can wash it down to get rid of 20 years of grime from being in storage all that time.  This also gives me a chance to clean out the garage to make it easier to actually work on it.  For the last 5 years the garage has a accumulated way to much junk.  That will soon be remedied!

 

Brad

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I managed to wash the 20+ years of accumulated grime off the body and frame this weekend.  It became very evident that the body needs attention with regards to the paint.  It didn't shine like I was expecting/hoping it would.  I'll have to buy some rubbing compound and see if that won't restore the paint.  

 

Also the engine appears to be seized 😟.  The rebuild was completed in December of 99 so it's sat for 20 years.  The builder told me he over lubed it knowing that I wouldn't be starting it for a couple of years.  Unfortunately that couple of years went on for way to many years.  I'm going to pull the oil pan this week to see what is showing underneath and I'll also pull the plugs and take a peak using a bore scope.  Once those inspections are complete I'll proceed accordingly.  

 

I was hoping the engine would be ok but realistically I knew the odds of it being frozen were on the high side.  

 

Brad

 

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Hopefully it'll take minimal work to free up. I'd spray some good penetrating oil like PB Blaster in the bores and on the valve stems and let her set a day or two then proceed slowly. But like you said you'll know more when you scope the bores, check the oil pan and pull the valve covers.

Edited by Silverdome

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1 hour ago, Silverdome said:

Hopefully it'll take minimal work to free up. I'd spray some good penetrating oil like PB Blaster in the bores and on the valve stems and let her set a day or two then proceed slowly. But like you said you'll know more when you scope the bores, check the oil pan and pull the valve covers.

 

I have a can of Marvel Mystery oil I am planning on using although I'm going to hold off until I can visually inspect first.  No sense having the oil hide anything like surface rust, etc.

 

I hadn't though of pulling the valve cover gaskets but I guess it makes sense to do so.  Good idea.

 

Thanks!

 

Brad

 

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Well, time and shop condensation has certainly taken it's toll on what used to fresh and new.  As I start laying out my plan of attack, freeing the engine is near the top of the list because I don't want to assembly anything around it until I know what I'm faced with.  Time permitting I'll pull the plugs and pan tomorrow night.  

 

I screwed up and ordered a 1-5/8" deep socket to fit on the crank nut and then realized after it got here that it appears the nut is actually 1-11/16".  Can someone confirm this before I order another socket?

 

Bonus points to the first person to spot the problem with the front end...... :)

 

Brad

 

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