Why does that sound like a children’s book? I imagine LeVar Burton reading me this story on Reading Rainbow. WOW! That dated me and showed how very American I am, all in one short statement. So be it. Both are true.
Anyhow. Hmm. Do I present the shoes? Or tell the story of “why” first?
You all know I got “new” tires for Hyde some time ago. I have been holding off installation for one reason or another. Well, sometimes life gives you a little push, and you are forced to do something about it.
Yep. Good ol’ Mother Nature told me it was time to put on Hyde’s new shoes. Off to Craig’s we go! Craig is my specialty mechanic and I take the things I cannot do at home, to him. He love/hates me for it. Okay, usually the things I bring to him are things that not even he likes to do. But he is a good mechanic, and a damn good guy! So, Hyde is my truck; how do I get four 37″ tires to Craig?
The Camry of course! “The Little Big Jeep Parts Hauler” is hard at work again!
HAHAHAHA! That picture always makes me laugh! The other tire was sitting in the back seat. Do not fret. I have retired the “Little Big Jeep Parts Hauler” and sold it to the teenager. Is it a reprieve, or an expedition of its death sentence? We will find out, in due time.
I drove the Camry to Craig’s but had to make a stop at the parts store, which is on the way. Good thing I did too, because I met Brad. He and Rat Rod Addiction have given me some very good ideas, both for Hyde and the FrankenJeep.
I dropped off the tires and told Craig I would be back with the others, the ones that had the rims on them. He agreed, and I lost track of time, getting to his shop just moments after he shut down. Oh well. I got the tires dropped off and called the shop explaining the situation. When I came back out to pay, he figured it would be just a few hours. Um yeah. NO SIMPLE TASK LEFT UNCOMPLICATED!!
Craig has a mechanic’s shop. In that shop he has a tire machine and a balancer too. One would suspect that removing 31″ tires from a 16.5″ rim and mounting 37″ tires onto said rim would be an easy enough task. As it turns out, I gave Craig my bad juju, and he had a hell of a time mounting these tires. So much that I paid him a bit extra and bought the shop lunch. I felt really bad for the guy. Nonetheless, greatness will prevail and Craig did, indeed get all four tires mounted on those rims! It only took about 10 hours or so to get it done. But was it ever worth it!
I know. Fenders. Where are they Mac? That is a bit of a sore subject. Do not get me wrong, I am still getting them, as well as my originals too; but I was to get them on my way home this last time, and the Louisiana weather screwed me out of that.
Normally, I take a 1 hour chopper ride inland and then I spend the next 26 hours in the car driving home. I usually stop and see Cherokee Jim before I head home, but instead of leaving on Thursday, we left on Saturday. This meant he was not on his normal schedule. That meant I was unable to get in touch with him. Because of that, I could not get my fenders. Stupid Louisiana weather.
Anyhow, I should be getting them this next time home. I know – how many times has that already been said?
At the very least, I should be able to get my stockers back on, and look like a complete truck again.
How do they fit? I mean, you went through all of this trouble. How does this chapter end?
Well, I drove it to the wrecking yard the next day. 25 miles, with half of that on the freeway. Prior to the new shoes, my speedometer tracked off, I knew that it needed larger tires in order to track correctly. I was right. 37″ tires seems to be what that speedo was calibrated for. I checked it against the GPS and up to about 60 mph (97 kph) it was nearly dead-nuts on. At about 60, it started to lag against what I was actually driving.
Oh, I passed someone on the freeway! Did you tell them it was a senior citizen’s livery cab? Hey, I will take any victory, no matter how small or under what circumstances.
The truck drove very well, all the way to Mesa, where I was getting a new lower intake manifold for another vehicle. (You gearheads out there should be able to read between those lines!)
I was hoping that new tires was going to help with some of my issues – I know I have 3.56 gears on it, and I was hoping that maybe some of my chug-a-lug problems were gear related, that maybe I was running the wrong tire size. It turned out to be the case. For a little while. In the end, big tires did not fix my problem, because my problem is not gears. It goes back to a tired engine.
Why don’t you just fix the damn thing and be done with it? OR, why not just rebuild the SBC 400 and install it?
Both are valid points. Number one: if I rebuild the AMC 360, at the end of the day, I am still stuck with an AMC 360. We have had this conversation before. Number two: if I rebuild the SBC 400, yes I have Chevy now and can get parts for it, but I am using money and energy where it need not be. I should be expending all that on a diesel. I will just keep this alive, ensuring I do not injure the body, and continue on working toward that diesel truck so I can body swap and call it a day. Agree or disagree, it is what I have left – I believe my clutch is slipping, and my brakes went out on me as I pulled into my driveway today… Hyde is in need of some serious work.
I do not fret. Even though it is very apparent that there is still much to do on this truck, I have made some new contacts; and I believe that with them, I am making way to a better ride. It is just something that will take time.
Hang in there, just because I do not have this truck up and dieseled right now, does not mean it won’t happen. I still have the FrankenJeep build going on; that is sharing time and money, but is making good progress. Mad Mac’s will have something to show for at the end of all of this. Don’t you worry about that!
But Thank You For Playing “HOW TO FIX MY TRUCK”
That is right ladies and gentlemen, I was having some electrical gremlins that were keeping the truck from being roadworthy.
We troubleshot. We tested. We fixed and tweaked. We horse traded and swapped (no horses were actually traded during any transactions of Jeep parts)…
In the end, it was a matter of replacing the carburetor, the coil and the ignition control module, getting rid of that Motorcraft stuff and replacing it with an Edelbrock 650, an MSD Blaster 2 and a 6al. I realize that most of that might have been jibberish to some of you, but think of it like this – I replaced the bad stuff with much better stuff, and now so far, the truck has been running better and is much happier. I still need to mess with the timing some, but it is definitely getting closer to trustworthy. I will take it out of the immediate ten mile radius of my house, and may even venture to seek freeway speeds. Oh my!
Now, you may be wondering what the next step is. Well, now that I have a working truck, I can get that Chevy small block 400 and rebuild it to put into the truck. But, you just spent all that time on the 360, why would you replace it now?
The answer is simple – It is an AMC 360! If you have read my FrankenJeep musings, you will remember that conversation at the parts store. The one where Tommy Partslinger looked at me blankly when I asked about AMC engine parts?
Yeah, that sort of thing does not happen as often when you ask for Chevy parts. Those RockAuto.com commercials crack me up because I deal with that pain often; unfortunately, they are unable to help me out too.
Do not fret; I am still on the hunt for “that” truck. It is just not as easy to find a ’94-02 one ton diesel Ram that is 4×4, manual, and a single cab/long bed. That is not to say they do not exist, I just did not think it was going to be this difficult to find one.
Now we can get the bead bags and have Craig install my 37” tires! I have been talking with Cherokee Jim, and I hope to have my fenders soon. If I do get my fenders, that means I can start body work on the bed. WHAT!?!? Yep, that is right. I am going to start body work on the bed as soon as my fenders are installed.
What could you possibly do to an M101-A1 trailer bed to make it any more badass than it already is?!?
I am glad you asked. I am going to widen the rear fenders six inches. You heard me! Who could not make use out of another six inches?
Cherokee Jim did such a great job on my fenders, that it makes my rear end seem a bit anemic. So, we are going to remedy that with SIZE! I am going to add six inches to the rear fenders so that they match the fronts. I will only be adding size to the actual fender, they will then be faired into the respective end corners. I will have the fender well come out six, and then taper forwards to the cab, and aft towards the tailgate, this will give me triangle steps that I can utilize in order to help get things situated in the bed. I am also going to side mount a 37” tire on the driver’s side, and install a small crane that will assist with that.
We think we might have found a way to deal with my crappy electricity issue – 6ga wire is cheaper than I thought it was, because 98’ (yes, one tick means FEET) goes for $35 on the eBay! I thought for sure I was going to be at least $120 into a fifty foot extension cord. Now I get twice the length for nearly a third of the cost!
I will be grabbing that and the other pieces required to make myself a 50’ 6ga extension cord. This way, the welder does not know it is as far from the j-box as it really is; it will think it is plugged right into the wall.