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Kramer Dork
6/23/18 5:53 p.m.

If you're removing both exhaust manifolds, temporarily swap sides, upside down.  Then you only have one hole to plug.  Soak with Simple Green, wash and paint.  

Why not use the TBI heads?  That will help fix the oil leaks (sort of) and fix your bracket hole issue.  You'll need new exhaust manifolds, though.  

ShawneeCreek Reader
6/23/18 8:00 p.m.

That's an interesting idea about remounting and swapping the manifolds.

I'm pretty sure using the TBI heads would also mean using the intake manifold as well as the exhaust manifolds. Ultimately, I have to draw the line somewhere. I decided to draw mine at keeping the original block, heads, intake, exhaust, and engine internals. I may replace them later when I've got some more money available. A better camshaft would probably be nice too. But later.

brad131a4 Reader
6/23/18 8:53 p.m.

Purple power and a good brush will clean the oil off really nicely. I'd just stuff some rags in the exhaust ports and once you've cleaned it with purple power just rinse off with a hose. Then if you have a compressor and a little air wand blow out any moisture left in the ports.

ShawneeCreek Reader
7/10/18 6:32 p.m.

More wiring progress. It is completely un-loomed to make tracing wiring easier. I'll replace it after I'm done.

And this is about where I am now. Pages of wiring diagrams, a label maker, and wiring everywhere. It's a big elephant to eat. But I'll feel better when I'm done and everything is identified and labeled. It will make it a lot easier to install.

I also took some time to disassemble, clean, and rebuild the throttle body with fresh gaskets.

It's now in the growing stash of good, clean parts to bolt onto the engine. Speaking of, I need to finish up those block off plates and get the motor and engine bay clean.

Until next time.


ShawneeCreek Reader
7/21/18 11:52 a.m.

Last update for a while. My goal up until recently was to have the truck ready to go by October to tow the race van to the $2018 Challenge. I realized last week that scope creep had reared its head and my to do list for the truck was huge. I wrote it all out to confirm my thoughts:

Yep, that looks like a paint job away from a full frame-off restoration. There is no way I'm getting that done in time and still have a life outside the garage. Let alone actually enjoy the work. This is my hobby. I want it to be fun. I also want to take my time and do things right the first time. So I'm going to step away from this for awhile. I'll borrow or rent a truck for the Challenge trip.

Now that doesn't mean that the work will come to a complete stop. I've still got the wiring harness spread out all over the floor in the basement and a few parts left to clean and paint. And I'm still really committed to this truck and making it realiable and even better than it came off of the assembly line down the road in Flint, Michigan.

Before I stepped back though, I needed to make the truck more stable for storage. I finished the block off plates and covered any other openings in the engine bay. Then I packed up all of the loose parts and put them in the bed.

Now I can focus on getting the van ready for the Challenge which includes a really elaborate paint job. And you know what? I'm really excited to dig into that and get it done!


8/28/18 9:31 p.m.

Hey Howdy Y'all,

Nice looking truck Sean. I was just surfing the Ole Interweb looking for some hints on parts I'll need to refurb the driveline in my 76 Chevy C20 Camper Special, and darn if I didn't stumble onto your build thread. I didn't miss a step in joining your forum. I've had mine about 10 years now, and although the old girl was rust free when I bought her out in Phoenix AZ, she was definitely sun baked. The decade spent cruising around here in Northern KY has started taking it's toll. I just finished putting a GM 350 crate motor in, and having the TH350 tranny rebuilt and now I'm ready to tackle the rest of the driveline. Any advice you guys can offer will be greatly appreciated, and I'll definitely keep my eye on this thread.


AngryCorvair MegaDork
8/29/18 7:52 a.m.

welcome, Ron.  Dang, that's one bright truck!  i've lived in the Detroit area for 25 years now, so I get pretty jealous when I see cab corners and rocker panels and bed sides.  we don't have those things here.

ShawneeCreek Reader
8/29/18 10:22 a.m.

Agreed. That's a very bright yellow.

I don't have much to give in the way of driveline advise. All I've done to  mine at this point is tear things apart and clean them. Still working on that reassembly part. The best thing you can do is start a build thread of your own and ask some questions there. Everyone here is very helpful.

trikepapa New Reader
8/29/18 10:51 a.m.

In reply to ShawneeCreek :

10-4 on the build thread Sean, an yes, I do like them bright.

ShawneeCreek Reader
5/24/19 3:47 p.m.

No real progress on the truck. It's still sitting with the engine in pieces in the garage. But I learned a little more about the other part of this build thread: the camper.

I knew it was made in the mid-70's because of the American Bicentennial art on back and that it was made by the Sycamore company of Goshen, Indiana based on the badges on the outside. I tried searching for information online, but kept getting results for trees, not campers.

Two weekends ago Mrs. ShawneeCreek and I spectated at the final event of this year's One Lap of America in South Bend. Afterwards we went to the RV and Manufactured Housing Hall of Fame over in Elkhart. It was pretty cool and definitely worth the couple of hours to walk through if you have the time.

Now, northern Indiana is like the Detroit of the RV industry and this is where they keep their history. The museum has an archive room upstairs with magazines, articles, and sales brochures dating back to the 1940's. And it's open to the public. And lucky me, they had a single hanging file with two sales brochures from Sycamore Mobile Homes of Goshen, Indiana.

Turns out it was a short lived company, only about 5 years of production in the 70's. So much for "A Name to be Remembered". But they both had details on my camper. Turns out it is the 11 foot (!) Cardinal model.

It's not even their largest slide in pickup camper. That would be the 12 foot Swan. I can't even imagine dealing with something that big.

I found it so cool to be able to look all of this over and that somebody had bothered to save these brochures for 40 years. Advertising has simultaneously changed completely and stayed exactly the same.

Until next time.


Woody MegaDork
5/24/19 4:15 p.m.

That’s very cool. I love finding old stuff like that!

ShawneeCreek Reader
5/24/19 4:30 p.m.

In reply to Woody :

Agreed. And a few more, just because.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
5/24/19 5:31 p.m.

Very cool.  

That 12 footer looks like you would need lead weights added to the front bumper to keep the front tires on the ground.  I find the interesting (and sort of scary) that the rear-most portion of the overhang is storage.  I imagine really heavy propane tanks being kept there for additional rearward weight.  Furthermore, imagine a bike rack fashioned to the rear bumper and carrying a pair of '60's American Steel Schwinn bikes back there or a '70 dirt bike.  

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