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Old 02-29-2012, 01:44 AM   #1
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1979 Truck that has been sitting 20 years!

My Grandfather had bought this truck brand new in 1979, and through the course of the years has changed owners in my family. As of twenty years ago the truck suddenly quit running and has been sitting ever since. I recently aquired the truck and am very interested in getting it back on the road as this truck really has no body damage. I put a battery in it and, it would not turn over. I assumed then that either something was froze up or the motor may be shot. I removed the spark plugs and, shot some free all down inside as I was told that maybe there might be some corrosion in there that is making everything stick. The next day I pulled the fan and, was able to get a socket on the drive pulley. After a little bit of coaxing back and forth I was able to free the motor, and now it seems to turn just fine. I think the initial problem with this truck is that the igniter went out and they didnt have the money to fix it, so it sat all those years. The question I have is since that truck has sat so long what are some of the other things I should check as far as mechanical stuff before I try putting her back on the road. Granted its been sitting a long time. I think I will be able to get the motor running shortly. The addition of the Weber carb should make that truck sing, but who knows I am a newbie at this stuff and am learning as I go. More questions to follow.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:44 AM   #2
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Drain, flush clean fuel tank & gas lines, gasis probably turned to varnish.
Check/change all fluids.
Congrats on the truck..
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:55 AM   #3
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Dropzone, thanks for listing a few good things I can check. This truck had no gas in the tank, but I had thought of dropping the tank, is there something I can put in the tank myself to clean all the bad stuff out, or do I have to take it to some one that has the chemicals to clean it out?
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:22 AM   #4
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Im with dropzone. I would change all the fluids before i even moved the truck. Definitely change the oil before you start or attempt to start it. How many miles are on the truck just out of curiosity? Has it been sitting outside or inside. Id say your probably gonna need some tires, brakes, and new wheel bearings too
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:33 AM   #5
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Although this truck sat for twenty years, it was fortunate enough that it only has sat outside for 6 months of that time. So literally not much rust on the truck at all. The truck has 140,000 miles on it. Ok I will look at the wheel bearings, thats a good idea. The only problem I see is that the door handles seem to be sticking, so I am going to have to open up the door and free that stuff up I guess. I had assumed the truck had a few problems when I got it. When I opened the hood, I noticed the igniter was gone, and also the EGR valve had been removed, I dont think I even need the EGR valve if I am putting the Weber carb on it, although I am not sure about that. As far as the igniter went I looked them up and seen how expensive they are and that probably explains why the truck did not get fixed a long time ago. I found a fix for that on another web forum that takes a GM coil and a ignition module from a chevy and I can bypass the igniter set up. I have not hooked that up, so hoping that works.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustydriver007 View Post
As far as the igniter went I looked them up and seen how expensive they are and that probably explains why the truck did not get fixed a long time ago. I found a fix for that on another web forum that takes a GM coil and a ignition module from a chevy and I can bypass the igniter set up. I have not hooked that up, so hoping that works.
Could you share that link concerning the bypass. TIA
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:22 AM   #7
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Lucky son of a gun haha. Id like to find an old one thats been sittin inside 20 years. Its gonna have a few issues but itll be worth fixing them i think
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:20 AM   #8
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Here is the link to the bypass page I found, lots of good information.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:25 AM   #9
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Didn't post the link the first time, here it is. http://bbs.zuwharrie.com/content?topic=85514.0
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dustydriver007 View Post
Dropzone, thanks for listing a few good things I can check. This truck had no gas in the tank, but I had thought of dropping the tank, is there something I can put in the tank myself to clean all the bad stuff out, or do I have to take it to some one that has the chemicals to clean it out?
i honestly don't know of something to use. Just know that it is recommended. Maybe use a small amount of gas or something else that will evaporate to slosh around inside the tank.
found this link:
http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/clea...nk-117561.html
has some other links in it and some suggestions

as the very least I would remove the float and pick up and inspect the tank with a flashlight (in a well ventilated area) to check for rust. There should be a small strainer looking filter at the end of the pick up that degrades sometimes and could cause issues later on:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:52 AM   #11
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I did a little bit of google searching and found several good sites for cleaning my gas tank. I admit there are a lot of good suggestions out there including the ones on the page that dropzone posted. I think this one is probably the cheapest and easiest I found on another forum and I thought I would post it. Although originally posted for cleaning a bike tank, I think it would clean any gas tank the same way.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Forget about the expensive POR15 or Cream kits that run about $50. I learned this while dealing with old hondas that had rusty tanks. One of the cheapest and best things to clean anything with rust on it is this:

Go to K-MART and buy two bottles of "The works" toilet bowl cleaner. $1.50 a bottle so thats a whopping $3.

Take your tank off your bike. Drain out your gas, pour both bottles of the toilet bowl cleaner in your tank. Every 5 minutes pick up your tank and slosh it around. After 30 minutes, pour that stuff out. Wash the inside out with dish soap and water. Rinse out multiple times with hot water. Get a blow dryer and dry out your tank good, then fog it with WD-40 to keep it from flash rusting. Fill to the top with gas.

I have seen tanks from the 70's so rusty on the inside all you see is orange when you look in. After 30 minutes of the works cleaner it looks like bare metal brand new inside. This stuff also works for anything rusty, pour it in a pan and put your rusty part in.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:36 PM   #12
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Fisrt bath in 20 years

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Old 02-29-2012, 12:42 PM   #13
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One thing I did notice about my truck after I started looking at it was that, the last family member had hooked up a rudimentary heater inside because odviously the heater had quit working. What possible things could this be. I heard it could be a relay, but I am new to this stuff. I am learning to be mechanically inclined because I want to see this truck hit the road again!
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustydriver007 View Post
My Grandfather had bought this truck brand new in 1979, and through the course of the years has changed owners in my family. As of twenty years ago the truck suddenly quit running and has been sitting ever since. I recently aquired the truck and am very interested in getting it back on the road as this truck really has no body damage. I put a battery in it and, it would not turn over. I assumed then that either something was froze up or the motor may be shot. I removed the spark plugs and, shot some free all down inside as I was told that maybe there might be some corrosion in there that is making everything stick. The next day I pulled the fan and, was able to get a socket on the drive pulley. After a little bit of coaxing back and forth I was able to free the motor, and now it seems to turn just fine. I think the initial problem with this truck is that the igniter went out and they didnt have the money to fix it, so it sat all those years. The question I have is since that truck has sat so long what are some of the other things I should check as far as mechanical stuff before I try putting her back on the road. Granted its been sitting a long time. I think I will be able to get the motor running shortly. The addition of the Weber carb should make that truck sing, but who knows I am a newbie at this stuff and am learning as I go. More questions to follow.
First, congrats on the acquisition. You're not too far from me.

It's also probable that the carb is plugged up from the old fuel varnishing. You should expect that most of your oil seals will start leaking as they will likely have dried up after 20 years. Whatever you do, take your time and make sure you have a clear understanding of what you are doing before proceeding. It's easy to catastrophically break something while coaxing these old things back to life if you aren't careful.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:25 PM   #15
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First, congrats on the acquisition. You're not too far from me.

It's also probable that the carb is plugged up from the old fuel varnishing. You should expect that most of your oil seals will start leaking as they will likely have dried up after 20 years. Whatever you do, take your time and make sure you have a clear understanding of what you are doing before proceeding. It's easy to catastrophically break something while coaxing these old things back to life if you aren't careful.
Grotto,
Thanks for the advice, I can see how one could get over excited about a project and not take the right precautions. It is almost like getting buck fever in hunting season. I do want to make sure things are sound before getting too far along. Luckily I guess my unemployment sort of slows me down a little, sort of a double edged sword. Plenty of time and not plenty of money. Working construction is a pain in the rear in the winter time and with this crappy economy.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:15 PM   #16
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Good looking truck! My '81 sat in a garage for 13 years before I started working on it. I was the same way you were, wanting to get it on the road ASAP, but I decided to go through just about every nut and bolt and have just about replaced all the mechanical parts on the truck just so I know it's going to be safe and reliable to drive.

I'm with all the others above...change all the fluids, check the front, rear, and parking brakes, and do a through inspection of the truck inside, out, and underneath. If you haven't already get yourself a manual or download the Factory Service Manual (there's a post about on the forum, just do a search). If something doesn't look right, this site has a ton of information and troubleshooting wisdom. And if all else fails, replace any parts that you question. Even a $100 part is cheaper than trying to fix a wrecked truck.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:10 PM   #17
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WOW! That's clean. Congrats man. I love my 79'!
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:03 PM   #18
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you probably done fixed it but for the door handles, cuz mine did the same, soak them with wd40 and continully work them and they will bcome lose again. it took a couple days(afternoons mainly) to get it to work freely. just soak it with wd40 and use the end of a zip tie to pull it down until it comes down on its on
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:19 PM   #19
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Inspect and/or change the vacuum hoses, radiator hoses, brake lines, etc. due to likely dry rot.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:30 AM   #20
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thanks for posting that ignitor replacement, hadn't heard of that one before, good money saver
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:30 AM
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