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Retro Culture => Retro Movies => Topic started by: RobertB on January 26, 2016, 08:25:34 AM



Title: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on January 26, 2016, 08:25:34 AM
     The other night the SyFy Channel was showing 1986's Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home.  It is the story of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, et al saving a couple of 20th century whales to bring them back to the 23rd century.  At various times during the movie, Kirk, Spock, and heroine Gillian ride around in a baby blue, 1976 Chevrolet pick-up truck... a plain, beat-up truck.
     I made the connection!  My father is driving a beat-up 1979 Chevy pick-up -- virtually the same style as that in STIV!  His is darker blue and doesn't have the fan belt squeal of the truck in the movie.  Otherwise, his would be a good stand-in for that movie truck.
     Maybe what I'm trying to do is justify the expenditure of $960 last week on my father's truck.  The brakes were pretty bad.  Soft, mushy brake pedal and the rears would lock up under normal pressure.  I brought the truck to Pep Boys, and they gave it their diagnosis.  Master cylinder was flaky, both rear wheel cylinders to the rear drum brakes were leaking, brake shoes were worn down to the rivets, and the wheel drums themselves were scored.  Fortunately, the front disc brakes were good.  I was expecting a $200 brake job.  Nope.  We're talking about a 1979 Chevy pick-up but not an ordinary one.  This truck had an extra heavy-duty, leaf spring rear suspension and extra heavy-duty rear drum brakes.  This meant finding a master cylinder for the extra heavy-duty brakes and dealing with huge rear drums which had the wheel bearing built into them and not into the axle.  The special master cylinder was not in stock.  The huge rear drums were too big to fit the brake lathe at Pep Boys and had to be farmed out to a machine shop.  (Fortunately, the drums did not need to be replaced.  If they were to be changed, it would be impossible to find such drums.)  All this took extra time and extra cost.  The master cylinder was finally cross-referenced to a 1982 Chevy truck and shipped in.  The drums were finally turned at the machine shop.  The brake shoes, springs, wheel cylinders, and bearings were installed (removal and replacement of those bearings in the drum was especially troublesome, due to the snap rings breaking).
     With all that work done to the brakes, now you can confidently stop the beast.  With all that work done, now the truck can be used a bit longer.  However, it still needs $1,200+ in suspension work.  At least, it has a strong, 350 cu. in. (5.7L) V8 with 4-barrel carburetor and 155 horsepower.

          It needs to be baby blue like the movie truck,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on April 02, 2016, 04:30:49 AM
     Back in February, I bought some new aftermarket seat belts for the pick-up.  They didn't fit!  My father came up with a different solution; he bought some good, used belts from a junkyard, cleaned them up, and installed them.

          Now with working 3-point seatbelts,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on August 12, 2016, 08:39:11 AM
...it still needs $1,200+ in suspension work.
     For about $980 I had the all the upper A-arm bushings, left lower ball joint, and sway bar bushings replaced, and a sway bar bracket straightened, all fittings lubed, and power brake booster check valve replaced.  The steering is still too light, due to a problem with the steering gearbox; a replacement plus installation would have an estimated cost of $425 to $475.  That will have to wait for another day.
     Is the truck ready for the freeway!  Not yet.  The truck came with rotting, almost obsolete 9.50 x 16.5 tires.  Replacing them with radial tires in a more common size would require 16-inch. 8-lug rims, not 16.5-inch, 8-lug rims.  So, I have a choice - get the harder-to-find, more expensive, original size tires or get more common wheels from a junkyard in order to buy more common, less expensive tires.

          In California for awhile,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on August 15, 2016, 08:54:24 AM
...I have a choice - get the harder-to-find, more expensive, original size tires or get more common wheels from a junkyard in order to buy more common, less expensive tires.
     I did some checking.  Only one radial tire is made in the 9.50 x 16.5 size - the Firestone Transforce HT.  Internet price is $160, and it weighs in at 40 pounds.  There are many choices for the equivalent 245R75 x 16 size tire.  Not the cheapest but certainly one of the lightest is from Hankook.  It comes in at 32 pounds.  Though its load rating is not E (which the Firestone has), that significantly lighter weight makes for less unsprung weight for the truck to lug around.  Less unsprung weight makes for better handling, braking, and acceleration.

          Back from filming an event for 8 hours almost non-stop,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on August 17, 2016, 10:04:37 AM
     O.K., that's it.  No more spending on the Chevy truck for awhile.  Other than ordering the original ashtray/cigarette lighter compartment from eBay (the one in the truck had pieces missing and wires hanging loose), I spent money and bought a Spectre reusable air filter to replace the old, paper filter.  The Spectre engine air filter was a K & N look-alike at less than half the cost of the name brand.  Yes!  More airflow to the 4-barrel carburetor...

          How custom,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on December 03, 2016, 10:10:33 AM
...I have a choice - get the harder-to-find, more expensive, original size tires or get more common wheels from a junkyard in order to buy more common, less expensive tires.
    I went to Kennedy Auto Dismantlers on Wednesday and picked up four, used, white-painted, 16-inch steel wheels that they had scrounged from the autoyard.  Price - $80.
     Besides the dirt, there was some rust on the rims.  The outer face of the wheels needs repainting.  My decision - keep the paint white as were the wheels on the Chevy truck in Star Trek IV or paint them a more trendy silver.  Well, the wheel style is not the same as what was on STIV, and so, keeping them white-painted is less necessary.  Also the original hubcaps will not fit the replacement wheels; I'll have to buy hub center caps (chrome or black) and chrome-plated lug nuts (maybe acorn style?).  Four wheels times eight lugs = 32 lug nuts (but the lug nuts are only sold in packages of 5, which means I will some left over).  Also I'll have to buy four metal valve stems.
     The weather is getting colder, and painting the wheels outdoors will be problematic.  I must pry off the old wheel weights and rubber valve stems, wash/degrease the wheels, sand/wirebrush the rust, scuff up the rest of the old paint with sandpaper, wipe down the wheels, apply self-etching primer, and apply the finish coats of paint and clear gloss.  Yeah, painting in cold weather is no good.  Perhaps we'll have a spell of California warmth in the next weeks.
     The replacement wheels are have plenty of width to accommodate wider tires.  I've nixed the idea of buying a set of new 245/75-16 tires and will go with the set of 265/70-16 (about 3/4 inch wider in tread than 245/75's) take-offs that my brother gave to my father some time ago.  The nearly-new tires were stored indoors, and so, they have not deteriorated from tire rot.  However, there are only 2 of them, and I'll have to buy another 2 new or used.  I'm leaning toward new tires.  Discount Tire Center (not in my parents' town but in my town) is advertising a no-name, new tire of that size for $93 each.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on December 06, 2016, 10:00:51 AM
     For $240, today the Chevy got a new dual-exhaust system, complete with standard mufflers, H-pipe crossover, and chrome tips.  (A bit of bling on the old truck!)  Everything is so nice and shiny and new!
     It took the shop 3 hours to cut away the old, single-exhaust, damaged-muffler system and put in the new one.  The mufflers are aluminized, but the rest of the pipes are straight steel.  It would take a lot of exhaust paint and crawling on my back to paint that steel (do I want the look of rusty pipes?).  I'm away from the parents' home for a couple of weeks, but if the weather is warmer, perhaps I can paint the pipes one section at a time every time I get to their house.
     I had to be very specific with the shop.  A few days ago when I was getting his estimate, the owner would try to lead me to more expensive mufflers and outrageously sized pipes.  Then when I brought the truck in to confirm their estimate, the owner backed down somewhat but suggested a Flowmaster pair of mufflers.  Sounded good until I went to the Flowmaster Muffler website and discovered he was trying to steer me into the wrong set of mufflers that wouldn't have matched the truck (he didn't have the correct model of Flowmasters in stock).  So, that's when I returned and just asked for the standard, 2-year guaranteed mufflers, no Flowmasters.  It's a good thing I watched the installation for the 3 hours the truck was on the rack.  The owner (who did all the primary work himself) would ask my opinion on what angle behind the rear tire the exhaust pipes would be bent, how far the chrome tips would stick out, and how level would the pipes were when viewing the rear of the truck.  More importantly, I had to remind him to put in that H-pipe, which he had forgotten.
     Even with the bit of hassle the owner had given me, he installed the system excellently.  He checked and rechecked his measurements, his pipe cuts, and his welds.  After he had finished, then one of his workers went back and rechecked everything with a few touch-up welds as the truck's engine was running.  Now that is being very thorough!
     The truck was much quieter now that it didn't have to breathe through a damaged, restrictive, single muffler.  As I drove it through downtown, I couldn't test out the new system.  Finally, I got to the outskirts of town and stepped on the gas.  Whoa!  Instead of noisily crawling up to highway speed, the truck now smoothly accelerated briskly to speed.  Still not sports car acceleration but it really showed its new energy from about 15 mph to 55.  I didn't try flooring it; perhaps I should have, because then the 4-barrel carb would have really opened up (2 barrels for normal cruising and acceleration, the extra 2 barrels for power acceleration).  Of course, with the iffy tires on the truck right now, I think it's a good thing I didn't floor it.  In fact, with the iffy tires, I shouldn't be running the truck at 55 at all.  :)
     With the new dual exhaust, the truck now has an extra 40 horsepower!

          A significant increase in power,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on February 05, 2017, 08:58:36 AM
...will go with the set of 265/70-16 (about 3/4 inch wider in tread than 245/75's) take-offs that my brother gave to my father some time ago.  The nearly-new tires were stored indoors, and so, they have not deteriorated from tire rot.  However, there are only 2 of them, and I'll have to buy another 2 new or used.  I'm leaning toward new tires.
     I had accumulated plenty of points with my Sears/K-Mart rewards card, and so, I ordered two Sears Guardsman 265/70-16LT tires.  Total price with my points applied - about $12!  I picked them up the other day and confirmed that they were white-lettered (sporty!).  I then put them into storage along with the other two tires that were already there.

          Still waiting for warmer weather so I can paint the wheels,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on April 28, 2017, 11:11:54 AM
Quote
I had accumulated plenty of points with my Sears/K-Mart rewards card, and so, I ordered two Sears Guardsman 265/70-16LT tires.  Total price with my points applied - about $12!
    A couple of months ago, I had accumulated more points and ordered another Sears Guardsman tire.  Total was about $8!  Now all it needs is one more Sears tire, but right now I only have 38 cents in points.
Quote
Still not sports car acceleration but it really showed its new energy from about 15 mph to 55.
    I was troubled by the truck not idling very smoothly.  A few weeks ago, my father brought it in for a recent smog check where they found ignition problems and fuel delivery problems.  He bought parts I requested in order to cure the problem.  I haven't gotten around to putting in the new distributor cap, rotor, and coil, because they are buried deep in the back of the engine compartment.  And the in-line fuel filter is a bear to replace.  I did the relatively easy fix for now... replace the spark plug cables.  One at a time, I removed each old one and replaced each with a new one.  The old cables looked as if they had been there forever.  When I got to the cylinder 7 cable, I found that the boot around that plug had been wrapped with electrical tape!  I asked my father about that crummy fix.  He said that the smog guys had done it to make it pass smog!  Well, that wasn't right.
     With the new cables in, the idle was smoother, but still I wanted more.  I had seen the Youtube video from ChrisFixIt on the best cylinder cleaners.  After he tested several, the best one for removing carbon deposits on the valves and upper parts of the cylinders was SeaFoam Spray.  I decided to use it on the Chevy (before trying it out on my Ranchero.  See the 72 Ford Ranchero thread).  I followed the instructions exactly, wondering whether it was too harsh for the engine (as reported in some car forums).  I sprayed it in, which took 5 or more minutes.  Then I let the SeaFoam "cook" for 15 minutes with the engine off.  I restarted the truck and drove the truck up to 55 mph for a few miles (though it said in the instructions to drive aggressively.  In an old truck?  With its still iffy tires?  Nah!)
     The results -- the idle is now silky smooth!!!  The 0 to 15 mph range is no longer as rough, and acceleration is smooth throughout the truck's acceleration range!  I was very impressed.
     I drove the truck again today.  The engine is still smooth.  It's hard to believe that I'm running on an old engine from 1979.  Now what is the mileage on that motor?!  :)

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          June 10-11 Pacific Commodore Expo NW -
          http://www.portcommodore.com/pacommex
          July 29-30 Commodore Vegas Expo v13 -
          http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex

P.S. More troubling is the puddle of oil I found under the rear axle of the truck.  It had been sitting for several days since my father last used it.  I looked at the center of the rear axle.  Oil was splashed over the axle bottom.  I will take it to Valley Differentials, hopefully tomorrow.  (They were the ones who rebuilt the Ford Crown Vic's rear end.)  If it's a bell housing cover leak, that is relatively easy to replace the gasket.  If it's a leak at the front pinion gear seal, that is more involved and more expensive.


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on May 16, 2017, 09:14:31 AM
More troubling is the puddle of oil I found under the rear axle of the truck.  It had been sitting for several days since my father last used it.  I looked at the center of the rear axle.  Oil was splashed over the axle bottom.  I will take it to Valley Differentials...
     I brought it to Valley Differentials, and Miles, the shop owner/mechanic, verified that the oil was coming from the front seal of the diff.  I also asked for a complete fluid change.  After finishing work on a early 60's Rambler station wagon (!), he got to the truck.  As he worked on the front and rear of the diff, I noticed how meticulous he was.  He really knew his stuff!  He drained the fluid, and with the front and back of the differential open, he even sprayed the interior with carburetor spray in order to clean out any remaining old gunk and varnish.  My mechanics in Visalia who do an ordinary diff fluid change don't do that.  If it weren't for two phone calls and a visit from another customer who wanted to gab, he would have been finished earlier, but at just over an hour he was finished.  Total cost - about $180.

          A reasonable price in my opinion,
          Robert Bernardo
          June 10-11 Pacific Commodore Expo NW -
          http://www.portcommodore.com/pacommex
          July 29-30 Commodore Vegas Expo v13 -
          http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on August 17, 2017, 11:48:24 AM
The steering is still too light, due to a problem with the steering gearbox; a replacement plus installation would have an estimated cost of $425 to $475.
     I took the truck to Hewitt Alignment today, and they removed the old steering gearbox, flushed the steering system, installed a rebuilt gearbox (adequate but not perfect... the other rebuilts they tested were no good), aligned the front wheels, and lubed all the fittings.  Total cost - $451.  Now the truck has steering feel!

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

P.S. I got an estimate on installing a modern CD/radio in the truck from Autosound Warehouse.  New Pioneer 6900 with two 6 x 9 speaker boxes (for placement in the rear corners of the cab... I don't want to cut into the doors), and a couple of 6 x 9 speakers - estimated $400. (Ouch!)  Right now it's cheaper to get some new taillight lenses and a emergency brake pedal pad from LMCTruck.com  :)


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on February 09, 2018, 11:12:29 AM
Now all it needs is one more Sears tire...
    With points and Sears "Freecash", I bought the last Sears tire for about $54.  The only problem is that they won't ship it to the Sears in my parents' town.  I have to go about an hour west to the Sears in Antioch in order to pick it up.
     I should get those wheels finished and the new tires installed now that the weather here in the Central Valley is spring-like (76 degrees F. during the day).
     FWIW, a few weeks ago one of the old, crumbling radials on the truck self-destructed at low-speed while my father was turning into a driveway.  The worn spare tire was no better, and now when stepping on the brakes hard, the truck pulls to one side.

          Finally,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan

P.S. Several weeks ago my father had a backyard mechanic friend troubleshoot the engine's propensity to stall.  New, mechanical fuel pump installed; that helped for awhile.  With more troubleshooting, it was discovered that there was a severe vacuum leak at the base of the carburetor.  With a new gasket/spacer, the leak was cured.


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on September 14, 2018, 02:32:15 AM
     The old Chevy has not been used since last September.  However, I have plans to get it going again!  A few weeks ago I installed new rear brake light lenses, the chromy ones instead of the standard ones!  Picture a beat-up truck with new shiny parts on the rear!  ;)  In a few days, I'll finally install two 16-inch wheels with new tires.  These are the wheels that I bought from the junkyard some time ago.  When in Stockton, I would spend time getting them ready - first a wash, then a sanding, then a wash again, then Rustoleum primer paint, then clear-coat paint.  This process was slow, because I was in Stockton only a few days at a time, and I could not follow up right away.
     But now the wheels are ready!  I'll be in Stockton soon, get the wheels out, get the new Sears tires which had been in storage, bring the wheels and tires to the nearby tire shop for mounting and balancing, bring them back to the truck, jack up the truck, and place them on the truck with new, chrome wheel nuts from Pep Boys.  The wheels are silver, and with the new wheel nuts, they should be quite noticeable on the old truck!  Old truck... newish parts hanging off of it!

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan

P.S. The day after the wheel/tires are installed, I plan to take the truck to the local muffler shop and have some damage to the right rear tailpipe repaired.  Then if there is time, it's off to the welding shop to have a support bracket rewelded to the truck bed and to patch a hole in the truck bed.


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on October 03, 2018, 11:30:59 AM
I'll be in Stockton soon, get the wheels out, get the new Sears tires which had been in storage, bring the wheels and tires to the nearby tire shop for mounting and balancing, bring them back to the truck, jack up the truck, and place them on the truck with new, chrome wheel nuts from Pep Boys.
    Well, a change in plans.  The nearby tire shop mounted the wheel/tires, but they couldn't balance them, due to not having the correct center fitting for my type of wheel.  So, I had to go to Hewitt Alignment a few blocks away, and they balanced them.
     The tire/wheel combo weighed 65 pounds and hoisting each onto the truck was not easy.  Also my aftermarket hydraulic jack did not lift the truck high enough (I needed 1/2 an inch more!), so I had to buy another jack which lifted higher.
     After much time, they were installed.  And the chrome lug nuts did not come from Pep Boys (they didn't have 9/16 x 18 RH ones).  I had to order those from SummitRacing.com

Quote
The day after the wheel/tires are installed, I plan to take the truck to the local muffler shop and have some damage to the right rear tailpipe repaired.  Then if there is time, it's off to the welding shop to have a support bracket rewelded to the truck bed and to patch a hole in the truck bed.
    Nope, I couldn't do that.  When I tried to start the truck, the starter rattled... a tell-tale sign that the battery was dead.  I hooked up some jumper cables to it and tried again.  No start.  I surmised that the gas tank was empty (fuel gauge does not work).  In all these months, the little gas that was in the truck may have evaporated.  Off to Auto Zone to buy a gas can.  Off to the gas station to fill up the little can.  Then back to the truck.  Repeat and repeat.  Finally, after 4 gallons in the tank, the truck still wouldn't start (jumper cables still attached).  O.K., open the hood, remove the air cleaner cover, pour a tiny bit of gas down the carburetor throat, and then try to start.  Success!  The truck first hiccuped a bit through the carb throat, but then it caught.  Yeah!  I warmed it up for about 10 minutes and removed the jumper cables.
     But because of the questionable battery, I dared not shut off the engine.  I drove the truck to the nearby gas station, put a few more gallons of gas in the tank (engine running), and then drove the truck a couple of miles.  The next day I tried to restart the truck.  No go.  Ack!  That battery!  I hooked up the battery charger to it and slow-charged it for 12 hours.  Then I brought it to O'Reilly's for a load test.  Yeah, it was no good.
     Having a conventional battery in a truck that sits for weeks or months (without trickle-charging) kills such a battery.  I'll have to take the next step up and get a more expensive AGM battery (which can withstand long periods of storage).  Since I'm leaving for Oregon tomorrow (in the Crown Vic), I plan to buy it there -- no sales tax!  I just have to decide whether to buy from O'Reilly's (which has a gift card incentive), Auto Zone, or Sears (the highly-rated Advanced Gold AGM which is the most expensive of the three, but with customer points given).

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on December 12, 2018, 01:02:22 PM
     Update on the Chevy pick-up.  An O'Reilly's AGM battery was installed, and all is well in starting the engine now.  I installed another new tire/repainted wheel combo on the right front but haven't had time to install another combo on the left front.  (Too much traveling with too little time to work on the truck.)  Perhaps I can install that combo before I leave for Oregon tomorrow.  Upon the installation of that fourth tire/wheel, I'll have one more, the last one being the spare tire.  Since I only received 4 used wheels originally, I need a wheel to match those.  The junkyard probably wouldn't have a matching one, but I have found new ones being sold through SummitRacing.com.  After the 15th, I'll order that.  When it arrives, I'll install the last, new tire that I have in storage.
     After inspecting the truck bed, I see that it needs more than a small weld on the bed floor.  There is a gaping hole in the front panel of the bed.  That would have to be replaced with a new one that bolts on, but that would require the entire bed to be removed!

         Back from the East Coast of the USA,
         Robert Bernardo
         Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
         Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on January 18, 2019, 04:56:51 AM
     All wheels/tires have been replaced on the truck, and that includes the spare.  However, it still does a front "shimmy" when I brake.  I took it to Hewitt Alignment for an inspection, and they say that the front brakes will have to be redone.  At the end of the month, I plan to take the truck into Pep Boys for that.
     Moisture has gotten into the gas tank.  How do I know?  Well, when I was running the truck low on fuel, that bad gas was being scraped off the bottom of the tank and made for rough idling and a smelly exhaust.  Fresh gasoline would just sit on top of the bad gas (water being heavier than gasoline).  I haven't decided whether I should try and keep running the truck over time, hoping the bad gas is all used up, or whether I should have the gas tank dropped and the bad gas drained out.  The truck will definitely need a new gas cap to prevent moisture from getting in.
     From LMCTruck.com, I order a couple of wheel caps, an owner's manual, a fender brace, and a glovebox screw.  $65!  That should arrive next week.  From Autozone, I ordered a pair of Gabriel Ultra rear shock absorbers, and those should come in on Saturday.

          Little by little,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on February 07, 2019, 01:01:44 AM
From LMCTruck.com, I order a couple of wheel caps, an owner's manual, a fender brace, and a glovebox screw.  $65!  That should arrive next week.  From Autozone, I ordered a pair of Gabriel Ultra rear shock absorbers...
     Wheel caps and rear shock absorbers installed.  The caps were relatively easy, but installation of the shock absorbers was out of my league... too many rust-frozen nuts and bolts on the old mounts of the old shocks.  I brought it to the nearby tire shop where they doused the nuts/bolts with rust penetrant and got an impact wrench on them.  With the new rear shocks on, the truck doesn't have the forward-and-backward pitching anymore.  I'm so encouraged by the improved ride (and seemingly improved braking) that I will gather more points at Autozone so I can get a $20 discount for a pair of front shock absorbers.

          Little by little,
          Robert Bernardo
          April 27-28 Commodore Los Angeles Super Show - http://www.portcommodore.com/class
          June 8-9 Pacific Commodore Expo NW - http://www.portcommodore.com/pacommex


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on February 07, 2019, 07:10:07 AM
I'm so encouraged by the improved ride (and seemingly improved braking) that I will gather more points at Autozone so I can get a $20 discount for a pair of front shock absorbers.
     I couldn't wait to gather points, so I went to Amazon.com, found the same shock absorbers (for a slightly cheaper price than the Autozone discounted ones), and ordered the shocks.  They should arrive by the 15th, and then I'll have them installed.

          Little by little,
          Robert Bernardo
          April 27-28 Commodore Los Angeles Super Show - http://www.portcommodore.com/class
          June 8-9 Pacific Commodore Expo NW - http://www.portcommodore.com/pacommex


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on February 26, 2019, 09:38:42 AM
     Until the broken fuel sending unit or gauge is replaced, it is a guesstimate of how much gas there is really in the truck.  Well, I always try to have $20 of gas in the tank.  The other weekend on a trip to the local dump, the truck ran out of gas!  How can that be?  Ah, somebody must have siphoned out the gas in the middle of the night.  :(  So, my brother rescued me with a can of gas, and as soon as I got back, I put in another $10 worth.  I also put a locking gas cap on the filler pipe.  Thinking all was well, I parked the car and went back to Visalia.
     I returned to Stockton a few days ago and thought that I should run the truck and put in another $10.  Now the truck won't start!  It cranks, but it seems that no gas is getting to the carburetor.  The only reason I can think of is that when the truck ran dry, it sucked up all the crud at the bottom of the gas tank, and the crud clogged the fuel filter.  (Sigh)
     The weather is turning rainy now, and I can't work on the truck out in the open in the rain.  I'm leaving Stockton, and replacing the gas filter will have to wait until I return.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          April 27-28 Commodore Los Angeles Super Show - http://www.portcommodore.com/class
          June 8-9 Pacific Commodore Expo NW - http://www.portcommodore.com/pacommex


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on May 26, 2019, 09:48:40 PM
I took it to Hewitt Alignment for an inspection, and they say that the front brakes will have to be redone.  At the end of the month, I plan to take the truck into Pep Boys for that.
     The brakes will have to wait.  I just spent several hundred dollars getting the truck to pass the smog check!  A month ago I brought it in, and it failed.  Hydrocarbons and nitrous oxides were too high, and the evaporative emissions system was leaking.  Advice from the smog test shop - replace the 40-year old rubber hoses on the evap. system and get a tune-up.  O.K., I removed the old spark plugs, and whoever put them in before me didn't do a good job.  The old plugs had a gap ranging from .035 to .043, with most of them around .035.  Factory spec should be .045.  I changed the spark plugs for Autolite Platinums, making sure they were at .045.  Then I brought the truck to Stockton AutoCare where they replaced the evap. emission hose at the gas tank and installed a new distributor cap, distributor rotor, and coil for me (I couldn't do that last part, because Chevy 350 V-8's have their distributor way in the back of the block.  A big pain, literally, to change!).  With the new parts, I brought the truck back to the test station, and it passed the test with flying colors!
     Whew!  Stockton AutoCare thought that catalytic converters would have to be installed to lower the emissions (the truck did not originally have them).  That would have been an extra $500!

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          June 8-9 Pacific Commodore Expo NW - http://www.portcommodore.com/pacommex
          August 10-11 Commodore Vegas Expo v15 - http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on October 04, 2019, 08:32:52 AM
I took it to Hewitt Alignment for an inspection, and they say that the front brakes will have to be redone.  At the end of the month, I plan to take the truck into Pep Boys for that.
     Well, it took longer than the end of the month, but I finally had the front brakes rebuilt!  Back in 2015, I had the rear brakes done at Pep Boys and I thought they could repair the truck again.  Wrong!  When I brought the truck in and had it inspected, the service manager started making excuses, like parts were not in their catalog, they'd have to tie up a bay waiting days for parts, the parts they would get were not assured to fit and would have to be returned, thus using up more time.  In other words, he refused to work on the truck!
     So, I went to Stockton Autocare.  They had the truck ready in one day!!!  Both front calipers replaced (the original left one was frozen), new pads installed, rotors reground, and the left front brake hose replaced (the original was plugged).  Two hours of labor at $85 per hour.  $208 in parts.  What was difficult about that, Pep Boys?!
     Power brake booster still needs to be replaced; the original has power braking on the first brake press but loses power with an immediate, consecutive brake press.  (Vacuum has to build up.)  With flood insurance to pay in November and property tax to pay in December, I've delayed the $300 fix for that until January.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

P.S. When the 1990 Crown Vic had its fuel pump fail just outside of Stockton, I had it towed into Pep Boys,  Again the service manager starting making excuses, saying that his store was just a training facility, that the mechanics wouldn't be able to diagnose, etc..  That did it.  I told him that I'm never coming to Pep Boys again, brought my car to Stockton Autocare, and had the fuel pump repaired in a day.


Title: Re: The Chevy pick-up in Star Trek IV
Post by: RobertB on November 14, 2019, 12:23:21 AM
     Just received a new dash panel to go around the instrumentation on the Chevy truck.  The old panel was cracked and dull.  The new one is wood-grain!  Hey, it was the same expensive price as the a replacement black one, and I thought a little more bling would be appropriate to the dull truck interior.  The new one gives a more upscale impression.
     The clear plastic that covers the instruments is still dull, but a new, more transparent plastic will be ordered in a few days.  (Right now, with the dull one, you can't even read the speedometer at night with the lights on.)

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          June 8-9 Pacific Commodore Expo NW - http://www.portcommodore.com/pacommex
          August 10-11 Commodore Vegas Expo v15 - http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex