Pure RPG

Games, cars, life.

Air Bags

One of the nice things the truck came with is a pair of load leveler air bags.  I’ve hauled a couple yards of gravel in the rig, and the first loads I totally forgot about the air bags and wallowed all over the place on the way home.  The third trip, I got a yard and a half, pumped up the tires to max load pressure and inflated the air bags.  Here’s a pic of the truck, with the bed filled up with rock, sittin pretty.  The big 400 had no problem movin this down the road either.

Full load of rock with air bags up.

Back to truck fixin

It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything, I had to take a little break on projects around here and head over to Nevada to put some equipment into a datacenter.  Anyway, soon as I got back, I got on the truck project.

First up was a trip to the tool store, where I picked up a handy new item for the shop, a sandblasting cabinet.  I have to say after playing with it a bit, it’s one of the most useful toys tools I’ve bought.  You can pretty much make anything look new.

Half sandblasted fan

Half sandblasted fan


Power Steering pump with cleaned up brackets

Power Steering pump with cleaned up brackets

First thing the truck needed was a new power steering pump.  The steering was working, but at low RPM’s like in parking lots it got a little tough to move the wheel.  Power steering pumps are pretty cheap for this year of truck, so I sprung for the one with the new reservoir.  While I was at it, I took apart all the brackets and mounting hardware, and ran it through my new sandblaster.  The problem was, now one side of the engine was all shiny looking and the other was looking pretty, well, old.  I had already decided to replace all the belts, and the alternator had a little fray on the primary cable so I decided to take that all apart as well.

Cleaned up and assembled.

Cleaned up and assembled.

While I was waiting for the multiple coats of paint to dry, I decided to do a tune up, so I ran down and got some plugs.  The cap and rotor looked almost new, and this year of truck had electronic ignition and no points.  I picked up a new air filter at the same time.  While pulling the plug wires off the plugs, a few of them were rusted to the plugs because the previous owner didn’t use dielectric grease, so I wound up destroying a few of the wires.  Ultimately, I’ll buy a custom set of red wires for it, and cut them all to length so they look better in the looms, but for now I just grabbed some cheap silver ones to get running again.

New wires, painted coil

New wires, painted coil




The plugs all looked great when I pulled them out.  Normal wear and tear, slightly larger gap than spec.  I replaced em with platinums.  I found the coil was kind of flopping around on its mount, so I took that apart too and sandblasted it and painted it up, then secured it better to the intake manifold.



Before. Because I keep forgetting.

Alternator and Bracket

Alternator and Bracket


Master Cylinder and Booster


Left Side with heater hoses.


Custom radiator with transmission cooler.


Edelbrock Carb


Top Right CID 400


Top left during power steering project.


Top right during Power steering project.

One thing I haven’t been doing a very good job of, is taking before pics.  I keep getting in a fixit mode, then making a change, then when I’m ready to blog about it, I realize I took no pics of what it looked like before I fixed it up.  So, here’s a few shots of a very dirty engine, before and during the power steering project that I’ll put up in a bit.