Author Topic: First Project without Guidance  (Read 148 times)

Offline LRobinson

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First Project without Guidance
« on: April 06, 2021, 08:19:21 PM »
   Ok, so a bit of a story about this truck and my trouble with it. It's a bit of a long post but I feel it will help with people understanding my problem. It started when I came back from my time in the Air Force. I was attending college and found myself in need of a truck. My family and I have a history of limited resources so I was limited on budget. Eventually  I found a 81 c10. Its the usual farm truck story. Got used hard and the son was getting rid of it. To the trucks credit it did run (somehow). With it being about the only thing in my budget and knowing it would be a big project I became the new owner for about $200 under asking price. The main reason I went for it was that my stepdad is very knowledgeable and was willing to guide me through it. It was a bonding chance, his last big rebuild project and my first. I wanted to take him for it's first ride and see time roll back for a moment. Hindsight sucks at times. It took 40 bucks of gas to drive it less than 100 miles to my place. I'm a total noob when it comes to using a manual so my friend drove it while I followed behind in my car. Had an issue midway where the battery was garbage. Luckily Walmart was nearby. We were less than 3 miles from the house, it was the middle of the night, and it was foggy out. My friend in my new truck ended up striking a loose black cow that was in the road. Wasn't a direct hit but the impact spun it into the rear quarter panel and dented it. Sadly it killed the cow but the truck was just dented. We managed to get it off the road and finish the trip that ended up taking too dang long. It was an omen of things to come.
   Over the following months we began the process of fixing it. Here's some specs about it. It's an 81 c10 short bed fleet side. It has the 250 straight six with the integrated head, and a 3 speed trans with a floor shift mod. We decided to keep this setup as it is uncommon and cheapest option. Would have been easier to just do a swap and be done with it. While i was in college my stepdad did the teardown. Unfortunately he didn't really document or keep track of much info about the engine. He did find bits that were just safety wired on. Sent the block to a machine shop where it became the worse engine they have ever had in about 40 years. The max they could bore it out was 60. There was a cylinder that was 53 over that. So they had to sleeve it to do a stock to 40 bore. The cylinder head had more cracks than a dropped egg. Thinking it was the cheapest and easiest option I managed to source a new integrated head for about 300 bucks. Under my stepdads guidance things were progressing well. I bought a carb rebuild kit but to my utter frustration couldn't figure out how to get it apart. It's a Rochester varajet 2. Ended up admitting defeat and sent it to get rebuilt. The shop that rebuilt it confirmed that that carb is a real pain in the (southern hemisphere). Eventually we got the engine mostly together and back in the truck. This is where the project stalled.
  The smog emission system was/is beyond me and my stepdad. To this day I have been unable to find any information on how to set it up. I took it to a garage where they claimed they could do it but it just ended up sitting in their lot. For more than a year. Granted the shop was going through a tough spell and a project like that was probably out of their capability. Eventually the truck came back to the house and i lost the financial capability to continue the work. I also lost my guide. After years of fighting as an Army Ranger in Vietnam. Years in the California desert racing dirt bikes. A career as a aeronautical engineer. Having survived cologne cancer. Broken his neck enough times that his neck was fused. He was about the toughest and smartest SOB you could ever meet. Pneumonia ended up being the final straw. Even worse was it happened shortly before Christmas when due to lack of employment and financial desperation I had enlisted in the Army and was away on training. That was 2019 going into 2020.
   Now to the present (sorry for the long story). I finally after years of struggle find myself in steady employment with financial resources. I am determined to finish what we started and get this truck back on the road. I am going to make that straight six run again. But..... I don't know how. I don't know what parts are required or what can be bypassed. This is just outside my realm of knowledge. I continue to be unable to find any information to help me. Every shop I have called either wont do it or will but at a price I can't afford. So I have come here to this site hoping to find someone who is willing to help me do this. That engine is the only engine I will ever be able to claim that I have worked on with my stepdad. So somehow, some way I will hear that engine roar again. I just need help to do it. I'm looking for good pictures, diagrams, or anything that can tell me what I need and where it goes. I can provide pictures of what I have and will answer what questions I can. Any help is appreciated, thank you for your time.



Offline JohnnyPopper

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Re: First Project without Guidance
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2021, 08:49:56 PM »
What was your stepdad's name? Sorry for your loss, sounds like a man I would have gotten along with...

I'm here for you. Start with smog; do you still live in Cali? If not, does your state require inspection?

So the engine has never been started since the rebuild?

How much of it do you have reassembled?

Pics of engine compartment will be of great value.

1957 Apache 3100 235 Inline 6, 3 on the tree
1973 C-20, 3+3 454 4BBL TH400  Water Injection
1978 K-10, 350 4BBL TH350 NP203 M.M. Part time Kit/Hubs
1980 C-10 under construction

Offline Mike81K10

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Re: First Project without Guidance
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2021, 09:10:24 PM »
Welcome from AL! Your story was interesting and as JP said, condolences on your father. There are many on this forum with a wealth of knowledge.

Offline LRobinson

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Re: First Project without Guidance
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2021, 10:16:13 PM »
I'm here in North Carolina. The truck is old enough that it's exempt from having to pass emissions.

Offline JohnnyPopper

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Re: First Project without Guidance
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2021, 01:26:32 PM »
Cool, wish that were the case in Cali

get pics posted and we can guide you on emisions.

What about the other questions?
1957 Apache 3100 235 Inline 6, 3 on the tree
1973 C-20, 3+3 454 4BBL TH400  Water Injection
1978 K-10, 350 4BBL TH350 NP203 M.M. Part time Kit/Hubs
1980 C-10 under construction

Offline LRobinson

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Re: First Project without Guidance
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2021, 09:11:18 PM »
Been buisy but I plan to post some pictures tomorrow, and have a list of the random parts I have by Monday.

Offline bd

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Re: First Project without Guidance
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2021, 10:19:21 AM »
There is a wealth of information in the Technical Forum (Read Only).  To help get you started, peruse the 1981 Service Manual; it takes a few moments to download depending on your Internet speed.  Wiring diagrams are toward the back of the manual.
Rich
It's difficult to know just how much you don't know until you know it.
In other words... if people learn by making mistakes, by now I should know just about everything!!!
87 R10 Silverado Fleetside 355 MPFI 700R4 3.42 Locker (aka Rusty, aka Mater)

Offline LRobinson

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Re: First Project without Guidance
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2021, 12:21:09 PM »
here is what it looks like right now