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bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
9/30/19 4:13 p.m.

I did a little poking around, and tinkering on the truck over the weekend.

I confirmed that I do have a brake fluid leak, coming from the flared fitting on the hard line, to the right rear, at the T on the axle.  I did that, I'm the one that put the new hose in.  I don't think I got it cross threaded, but I'm not sure the hard line was lined up as well as it should be.  I picked up some flare nut/line wrenches, shameful I didn't already have any.  I did my darndest to keep the line straight, and snugged it down with at least 30 Lee-Lbs, that's one good grunt. wink

When I briefly glanced at it on my way out the door this morning, the blue shop towel I'd crammed in there as a "leak indicator," still appeared dry.  Keep your fingers crossed.

In plausibly related news, I have occasionally been locking up the right rear tire, during abrupt braking.  Gradual braking to a stop, no issue, but if I have to stop a little quicker, about 1/3 of the time the right rear will lock up.  Related to the that line leaking I assume?  If it's air I thought it'd just feel spongy though, not lock the wheel up.  The ABS doesn't work, the light is constantly illuminated on the dash.

I got under the truck, with a flash light, looking things over.  Something's leaking in the power steering pump-ish area, likely power steering lines or reservoir.  Not of major concern at the moment.

Wanting to address the Blimpiesque (Popeye reference anyone?) steering response, and sloppiness, I got under the truck, grabbed hold of the tie rod, and drag link with both hands.  Granted I'm no Popeye myself, I'm merely Lee,  I'm pretty great don't get me wrong, but I couldn't get anything to budge.  The TREs all seem tight.  My next guess is the rag joints in the steering column.  There are 2 rag joints, one at the box, and one at the firewall.  There's a company called Borgeson, that makes a replacement steering shaft that replaces the lower rag joint with a universal joint.  The aftermarket shaft seems to be a popular upgrade for these trucks, I've already got one in my Amazon shopping cart.

It seems that the steering box could physically be flexing, or have even cracked the frame.  Apparently that's a thing, and there was an OE steering box brace added at some point during the manufacture of these trucks, to alleviate that problem.  My truck being as old as it is, of course doesn't have the steering box brace.  I'm going to have to get Jewels in the cab, turning the steering wheel while I'm under it looking things over.

I confirmed the radio does work, at least FM.  It's just, there's only 1 speaker, it's in the passenger door, and it's so quiet you can't hear it when the truck is running.

The nickel-and-diming has commenced!  I've recently ordered:

White LED reverse lights✔
Oil pressure sending unit✔
ABS sensor✔
Brake bleeder screws✔
1/2" D ring tie down anchors✔
Chilton manual✔
Acorn lug nuts✔

This is going to be several nickels and dimes, I have a set of tires with my name on them, and an alignment scheduled for Friday afternoon. surprise

TurnerX19 Dork
9/30/19 10:41 p.m.

Your brake locking issue is probably contaminated lining material, either brake fluid or axle oil. Just a little bit of either will do that, a lot won't. The line leak at the T junction is absolutely not the cause.

Georges1991 New Reader
10/1/19 2:47 a.m.

Yes echoing what he said, usually the leaking fluid(s) get on the lining and cause lock up. Usually.


Nice progress! I have the upgraded shaft, and it is a massive improvement in design over stock. Make sure to paint it, they rust quick!

My drag link is meh, the boots on the end are leaking grease everywhere so I have that replacement to put on. Since I'm doing front brakes I'm just gonna bite the bullet and redo everything while it's all apart. Dont want to do this again.


Georges1991 New Reader
10/1/19 2:51 a.m.

Oh thanks for the reminder. I need lug nuts because some he man did a great job ruining at least one per wheel. Why people feel the need to run an impact down on wheels, usually with the wrong socket, I'll never know.


Proably the same fella that torqued the oil pan plug down so hard it was completely round. What a mess THAT was

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
10/1/19 11:44 a.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 & Georges1991 :

Thanks, I didn't think the leak was the cause of locking up, but it was a peculiar coincidence that the side locking up was also the side that was leaking.  Good news, I'm tentatively calling the leak fixed.  36+ hours and the blue shop towel was as dry as when I crammed it under the brake line.

I know Brian put new brake shoes on it, and at least a wheel cylinder in one side, I think the side that's locking up.  He said he didn't have the drums turned though, there's a chunk or two broken off of the edge of both drums, might be time for new ones.  


bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
10/4/19 5:19 p.m.

Took the truck in for an alignment this afternoon...

It's easier to see the slop in tie rod ends, when the truck is up on a bridge jack on the alignment rack.  The alignment tech, John, appreciated the truck, I won't go so far as to say he liked it, but he understood its lot in life, and wasn't trying to get me to fix everything wrong with it.  John just wanted me to fix what needed fixed so he could do a good job with the alignment, and there's no point in doing the alignment until I get a few things seen to.

So add to the ever growing list of things Bender needs:

- Drag link
- Left TRE (I'll do both)
- Left upper, and right lower king pins (John called them ball joints, and was surprised when I knew they were king pins)
- Right wheel bearing

While the truck was on the lift, we also found:

- Front drive shaft U-joints
- Front and rear transfer case output seals
- There's an oil leak somewhere
- Confirmed the power steering leak
- transmission mount(s)
- Maybe a rear pinion seal

I'll do both front wheel bearings, Brian did the rears at some point during his ownership, since I'll have the hubs off for wheel bearings I'll throw some new rotors on the hubs.  King pins should be easier with the hubs off too right, bench pressing the weight of the bare knuckles should be a little lighter.

Jewels took the news better than I expected.


In other news, the new brake bleeders are the wrong ones, at least for the front.  I never could get them to seal, I got one in so tight, I couldn't get it out without, a pair of vice grips, a propane torch, and ample profanity.  Comparing the new one to the old one, the originals are a lot pointier.  The part number I bought is allegedly the correct one.  I've got a potential Superfund site of Dot 3 in my driveway.

Georges1991 New Reader
10/5/19 2:41 a.m.

Well good to have some company in the front end rebuild hell that I'm in lol.


Actually it's not that awful, just looking at it all at once can be overwhelming. I know my bank card is getting warm from all the rock auto purchases!

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
10/5/19 9:59 a.m.
Georges1991 said:

Well good to have some company in the front end rebuild hell that I'm in lol.


Actually it's not that awful, just looking at it all at once can be overwhelming. I know my bank card is getting warm from all the rock auto purchases!

I showed this to Jewels and told her I was in good company.

Her response, "what does his significant other think?"  laugh

Georges1991 New Reader
10/5/19 12:52 p.m.

In reply to bigdaddylee82 :

She works days, I work afternoons.


Federal Express delivers at noon. You do the math laugh

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
10/5/19 7:24 p.m.
Georges1991 said:

In reply to bigdaddylee82 :

She works days, I work afternoons.


Federal Express delivers at noon. You do the math laugh

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
10/5/19 8:26 p.m.

Some progress, today.

I had even greater plans, but someone didn't follow through on their end and I still don't have new tires.  More on that later.

Bender now has 32 wheel studs with with lug nuts on them!  I had to chase threads on 5 of the studs, I could only get 6 lug nuts on both rear wheels, and 7 on the front left.

Irwin 1/2-20 die cleaned things up nicely.  One stud on the right rear, was so boogered up on the end, that I couldn't start the dye straight, no matter how I held my mouth, or which side I stuck my tongue out on.  I got the angle grinder out, and took ~1/2" off the end, removing the worse of what was left of the "threads."  That worked great.


That allowed me to mount up the new-to-me AE Bajas I picked up last week, for a smoking deal, $150 for the set!  If you'll notice, all of the wheel studs, have shiny new acorn lug nuts on them. 

My original concern was finding wheels that would fit over the giant hubs.  The fella I bought these from was about an hour north of me, but was kind enough to measure the center bores for me.  When I mounted them up, the front wheels, fit over the hubs with room to spare, but they just barely clear the calipers.  The calipers are so close, that the stick on balancing weights had to be peeled off, for the wheels to spin.  Hopefully Discount Tire can balance them good enough with clip-on weights.


Speaking of Discount Tire...

Discount Tire is new to AR, I think we've got 4 locations in the state now.  The one local to me, just opened in the last month. 

I had a culled down a list of acceptable tires to the point that, price was going to be the deciding factor.  One of my choices happens to be on "roll back" at Walmart, I used this price to attempt to get a few place to price match.  Discount Tire was willing to play ball, and even beat Wally World by $7/tire.  I then took Discount's out-the-door price to my go-to local tire shop, where, I was told, "How much?" and "Dang, that's what we pay for them."  Local tire shop guy, said he'd talk to the boss, and see what he'd do.  Boss, wasn't willing to play, I was told, "If I was you, I'd go buy them at Discount." surprise

I called Discount back, to give the go-ahead, to get the tires ordered.  I told the dude on the phone what the local shop told me, he laughed, and knocked another $15 off the total just because.  laugh

So I show up today (Saturday) to get the tires, I ordered on the previous Monday, mounted and balanced.

I wait patiently, I'm the only one waiting apparently, every bay has a car in it, but no one else is waiting.  Fifteen minutes or so goes by, and the guy that greeted me and took my keys, comes back and asks, "who did you talk to?"  "when was that?"  (That's never a good sign.)  I tell him what I think the guys name started with, the Discount fella, asks, if it's so-and-so, that jogs my memory, and I confirm.  Discount fella, then says, "well, this is embarrassing, your tires, and info are all in our system, but no one ever ordered them."  frown

Turns out I was speaking with one of the managers the whole time.  He offered some tires they had in stock, for the same price, I could have gotten a smoking deal on some new BFG A/Ts, if this were a daily driver, I would have jumped at the opportunity.  I even offered to go down a size, just to get tires today, but they didn't have anything I wanted, that was E rated, in stock.

Discount dude says, "well, the tires, are in Memphis, we should be able to have them here Monday, how about if I knock another $85 off, could you come back Monday?" surprise

Uhh, yeah I'd be okay with that.

Bummed that I didn't get tires today, but I'm getting a heck of a deal when they finally show up.


I left Discount Tire, and headed across town to the Home Depot.  I've got some gift cards that need spent, and HD sells truck boxes.  They've got some Buyers Products, under bed tool boxes for cheap on their website.  I needed a few other things, so I thought, I'd just order a pair of boxes for under Bender's flat bed while I was there.  Turns out the one I want is so cheap, because it's being phased out, won't be carried by HD anymore, and there's only 1 left in all of HD's great empire...  I want a matching pair.   Bummer.

So no tires, and no toolboxes today. sad

Silver lining, these bald tires that came on the new wheels, are actually round, and don't have any separated plies, or broken belts.  It's amazing how much nicer the truck rides with round tires!  wink

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
10/11/19 3:07 p.m.

Discount Tire finally came through.

The tires were supposed to be in Monday, technically they were, but came in so late in the day I had given up on them.  I actually called at 5:40-ish to check, they close at 6:00.  After confirming the tires "had just arrived" when I called on Monday, the new plan was to get tires mounted and balanced after work on Tuesday.  Then... late Tuesday morning I get a call, "uhh, apparently FedEx only delivered 3 of your tires, we're not sure when the 4th will be in."  indecision  Bender is a 4 wheeler not a 3 wheeler.

I had prior obligations Wednesday, so they got a whole extra day to hunt down a 4th tire.

Good news, by Thursday, 8 days after I originally ordered them, Bender's new shoes were actually in.

Hover truck!


Everyone at Discount was courteous and apologetic.  When I showed up the place was dead, they guided me into a bay, and instead of just one tech working on the truck, 4 techs each grabbed a tire, and went to work, like a NASCAR pit crew.

The techs did as instructed, I told them not to use stick on weights, due to the caliper interference, and I asked for 55 PSI up front and 45 PSI in the back.  I'll do a chalk line test and adjust if needed.

285/75R16 General Grabber X3 yes

Now I'm going to have to dig around and see if I've got any chrome/aluminum polish that isn't petrified, and get one of those foam balls on a stick for the drill.


Cooter UltraDork
10/11/19 4:23 p.m.

Those tires make a huge difference in the looks of the truck.

dropstep UltraDork
10/11/19 5:42 p.m.

Looks like a proper farm truck with those tires. Most of the farmers trucks we service always have fantastic tires even if the bed is rusted and falling off

maschinenbau SuperDork
10/11/19 5:53 p.m.

I'm still lusting after your truck, even more so now with those tires. If you ever sell...I'm first in line.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
10/11/19 6:06 p.m.

I always wanted to do is set of those Wheels in Black and then polish the barrels of the holes. with chrome lug nuts and center caps. I think it would look trick as hell.

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
10/12/19 9:02 a.m.

Thanks folks!

I agree, the truck has a whole new personality.  Rides a lot better now too.  Plus this will force me to get the front end work done sooner, I don't want the new tires wearing funky.


In reply to dropstep :

I claim I'm frugal, Jewels often claims I'm a tight ass, but there are 2 things I absolutely will not cheap out on, tires and toilet paper.

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
12/1/19 6:29 p.m.

Bender hasn't done much, I've collected parts, hope to get some work done over Christmas.

It's licensed, insured, and I've got a title, so I've got that going for me.

I did do a little Black Friday shopping for him, that I thought might be update worthy.


I've been shopping for a used 10K+ Warn, Ramsey, or even Smittybilt, but everything I've found has either been junk or priced as if it were new, so when Harbor Freight had their 12K winch on sale, I decided to take advantage of it.  I wheel with a couple of folks with Badland winches, and they've been pleased, hopefully I will be too.

Now to figure out how I'm going to mount it.  I really don't want a giant "Ranch Hand" style bumper.  If I can make it work, I'll probably stick the winch between the frame rails behind the bumper, and cut a hole in the stock bumper for the fairlead.

Similar to this kick ass Ramcharger I found on the interwebs.

I'm open to ideas.

Georges1991 New Reader
12/2/19 1:59 a.m.

Oh that looks trick! I vote yes

Cooter UltraDork
12/2/19 1:14 p.m.

Behind the bumper looks great, mounts pretty easily, and doesn't hurt your approach angles, but if you wheel hard and often, it will be difficult to reach your free spool lever and makes it nearly impossible to respool your cable neatly.      I prefer the setup on a mild rig that isn't used hard often, but if you do much technical work, it can make you hate life.

As I mention on a different DTM (Dodge Truck Motorsports) thread, there isn't any support for the ends of the bumper.   Consider adding brackets going back the the frame rails from the bumper ends or reinforce the bumper so the ends don't bend back into your grille and/or fender.

bigdaddylee82 UltraDork
4/20/20 3:53 p.m.

Things are happening!

I've got a fairly massive collection of new parts that I intend to be installing in the coming days.  This thing has been shamefully neglected, I had to charge the battery and killed 3 wasps building nests under the hood.  Time to put this thing to work!

First oil change since I've owned it.  I don't anticipate driving this thing enough to justify a more frequent oil change than annul, so Rotella T6 and a good Mobil 1 filter, should do.


Feel free to chime in and tell me why I'm using the wrong oil, shouldn't be using synthetic, and how I'm wasting money on Mobil filters. cheeky


I bought a new oil drain pan shortly after I brought Bender home, I knew I needed something that would handle 3 gallons of oil, and none of my previous pans could accommodate that capacity.  So I used my new pan, well, while it will handle the capacity, there was a fatal flaw... It couldn't handle the velocity of the oil coming out of the Cummins' drain plug.  Yes I had the vent open, I even unscrewed the drain on the side of the catch pan when it started over flowing, to no avail. blush

Good Lord what a mess!  Thankfully I had cardboard down, but that only caught about 2/3 of the over flow.  There's currently about 1/4 bag of Oil-Dri under Bender as I type this.  I think I'm just short of having to call the EPA to declare my driveway a Superfund site.  I'll be drilling some holes in my new oil drain pan before I use it again.

Lee UberDork
3/18/21 9:32 a.m.

I've done a bunch of stuff, actually took a 4 month break mid project, and don't really remember where I left off... I've collected stacks of parts and have a lot more to do. 

I haven't done much to document it though.  I do have some photos, if I can remember what I took photos of I'll try to remedy that and get this back up to date.

I thought this was worth sharing though.  This got shared to 1st Gen Cummins Facebook group.  Once I got over the shock of seeing MY truck for sale, in Oregon no less, I decided it must be a joke.  Then I kind of felt attacked, making fun of Bender, how dare they!  A real roller coaster of emotions. laugh


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