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Old 01-31-2019, 02:57 PM   #26
sick472
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

If your doors are not sagging and you determine the problem is at the latch betweeen the door jam and door...the post mounted in the cab can be adjusted. It sounds like the weather stripping is keeping the door from "stopping" long enough for the mechanisms to catch or the mechanism has slowed down. I would try some lube in the parts in the door first to speed the "cacth" back up.

If the door, when fully closed, is below flush with the cab...try shifting the post outward just a little. This procedure can be a trial and error exersise. I use masking or elec tape put on the cab's door jamb to show where the post was so that I have reference when moving it or incase it has to go back where it originated.
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:53 PM   #27
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

I messed with the door a little bit yesterday morning. There is a tiny bit of play in the door hinges - maybe 1/8" or so. Maybe that's enough to throw it off?

The latch mechanism on the driver door has a ton of play in it compared to the passenger side. I'm guessing that is another reason that it will not latch properly. Also, the interior door handle has a lot of play and sloppiness in it... almost to the point of feeling like it's going to fall out. Since both of those feel pretty worn out, I went ahead and order a new latch assembly with the rods so I can replace all of that. Hopefully that will cure it. I'll look into tightening up the door hinges as well. Is that an adjustment, or something that has to be replaced?
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:03 PM   #28
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Also got my water pump replaced on Saturday. Everything started out great. Got the belt off, fan off, old water pump off - no issues. Sized up both pumps to each other and noticed the new one had a port in the top of it - I'm guessing for a heater hose. Well, mine is hooked into the manifold, and this new pump didn't have a plug for it. So, make a trip to the parts store to see if they have one that will fit. Turns out, I had ordered a different water pump. Luckily they had the one I needed in stock, swap them out and saved me $5.00 for the different one!

Got the new pump home, and it bolted right up. I hooked everything back up and added new coolant. I jacked up the front end to help get all of the air bubbles out, along with squeezing the radiator hoses several times. Squeeze a hose, add coolant, squeeze a hose, add coolant, squeeze the other hose, add coolant, ... you know the drill. Fired the truck up for a few minutes to let the truck work any more air bubbles out, but not long enough to get up to temp (that's for today). I checked the coolant again after the pressure released and it was still topped off.

I'm going to try and shuffle vehicles around this evening so I can hopefully drive it around tonight, top it off with gas, and - *cross my fingers* - drive it to work tomorrow.
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:38 PM   #29
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Well... I guess my fingers weren't crossed long enough, or I basically forgot to cross my toes too.

I took the truck out last night with my son. Got him all set up with his car seat. Ready of the maiden voyage of his truck!! He was SUPER EXCITED about going for a ride in it! He was laughing and giggling and telling me which direction I needed to go. You could just hear it in his voice! It was awesome!!

We leave the house, go fill up with gas, then off to run a couple of errands. First stop was the recycle bin that our town has stationed around for people to drop off cardboard, platic, aluminum. We get there and I leave the truck running while I unload our cardboard. At this point, the truck is probably up to temp, but my temp gauge is not reading (mentioned in a previous post). I have a new sensor, just need to get it installed. Anyway, I'm seeing white smoke coming out of the exhaust. My initial thought is steam, as the outside temp was about 41F degrees. So, I don't think much about it. We leave the recycle stop and go to our next stop, then head home. Probably a total of 4 or 5 miles, but in traffic. The truck was running for probably 30-45 minutes. This is where I realize I have issues...

I back into the driveway, get out to open the garage door, and notice I'm still leaking some coolant. Also, notice I still have white smoke coming from the exhaust. Both sides.

I back the truck into the garage and get out while it's still running. Sniff the exhaust and get a slight coolant smell (I think), plus the typical gas/exhaust smell. I shut the truck off, and I have steam coming from under the hood. Open the hood up - coolant is all over the front of the radiator. I finally find a leak at the top of the radiator and hear a hissing sound. I can't fully get to it, because it's up under the mount and the makeshift top cover that's made out of diamond plate.

So, now I have 2 more problems, one potentially serious - 1) leaking radiator that will have to be patched or replaced. And 2) a motor that is bad or cracked, or bad head gaskets.

I checked the oil this morning before I left for work and it isn't milky looking. Still looks pretty good. It does have a slight "gassy" smell to it, but not a coolant smell. How can I tell if I have bad gaskets?

This truck may be the death of me once I break the news to my wife...
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:51 PM   #30
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

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Well... I guess my fingers weren't crossed long enough, or I basically forgot to cross my toes too.

I took the truck out last night with my son. Got him all set up with his car seat. Ready of the maiden voyage of his truck!! He was SUPER EXCITED about going for a ride in it! He was laughing and giggling and telling me which direction I needed to go. You could just hear it in his voice! It was awesome!!

We leave the house, go fill up with gas, then off to run a couple of errands. First stop was the recycle bin that our town has stationed around for people to drop off cardboard, platic, aluminum. We get there and I leave the truck running while I unload our cardboard. At this point, the truck is probably up to temp, but my temp gauge is not reading (mentioned in a previous post). I have a new sensor, just need to get it installed. Anyway, I'm seeing white smoke coming out of the exhaust. My initial thought is steam, as the outside temp was about 41F degrees. So, I don't think much about it. We leave the recycle stop and go to our next stop, then head home. Probably a total of 4 or 5 miles, but in traffic. The truck was running for probably 30-45 minutes. This is where I realize I have issues...

I back into the driveway, get out to open the garage door, and notice I'm still leaking some coolant. Also, notice I still have white smoke coming from the exhaust. Both sides.

I back the truck into the garage and get out while it's still running. Sniff the exhaust and get a slight coolant smell (I think), plus the typical gas/exhaust smell. I shut the truck off, and I have steam coming from under the hood. Open the hood up - coolant is all over the front of the radiator. I finally find a leak at the top of the radiator and hear a hissing sound. I can't fully get to it, because it's up under the mount and the makeshift top cover that's made out of diamond plate.

So, now I have 2 more problems, one potentially serious - 1) leaking radiator that will have to be patched or replaced. And 2) a motor that is bad or cracked, or bad head gaskets.

I checked the oil this morning before I left for work and it isn't milky looking. Still looks pretty good. It does have a slight "gassy" smell to it, but not a coolant smell. How can I tell if I have bad gaskets?

This truck may be the death of me once I break the news to my wife...
If the coolant was in both pipes I have good news for you,it probably was being inhaled by the carb via the breather. I’ve seen that happen before when a rad went kaputs.

Last edited by trac209; 02-05-2019 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:52 AM   #31
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

I wouldn’t get worried about the exhaust yet, you live somewhere humid and the temp was low enough that it could just be condensation.
Get your temp gauge working, get an IR temp gun to verify it. Might be time to get or rent a coolant system pressure tester.
All those cooling system parts are old, and they will end up failing on you. I’m betting that after you fix the radiator, the heater core will let go.
Not being a dick, just speaking from experience. I like my old cars to be as dependable as my new ones, that means a lot of wrenching time initially. Eventually you get over that hump and you have a nice driver.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:18 PM   #32
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Hopefully you guys are right. I have a buddy that's going to come over and help me do a compression test. Not sure when he'll have time, hopefully soon. He's got a few projects going on as well. As far as being humid, I'd think that after running/driving for 30-40 minutes, that the condensation would burn off and the "steam" would disappear.

Time is my biggest setback. My son will be 3 in April, and we have a 7 week old daughter now. So, by the time I get home, Mama is ready to hand over the kids and take a break... which is perfectly fine with me. She needs the break. The downside of that is, my time to spend on the truck(s) gets shoved to the back burner.

I know how it goes with fixing one thing, then another - Our '73 F100, I replaced the water pump on it, then figured out the heater core was leaking. So, it's unhooked for now until I it can be replaced.

I do have a temperature gun, not exactly sure if it's IR, but I have used it around the house to check the a/c temps at the vents and that sort of thing. Can I just use that and point it at each plug area, or different points around the engine to see what the temperature is?
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:02 PM   #33
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

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Hopefully you guys are right. I have a buddy that's going to come over and help me do a compression test. Not sure when he'll have time, hopefully soon. He's got a few projects going on as well. As far as being humid, I'd think that after running/driving for 30-40 minutes, that the condensation would burn off and the "steam" would disappear.

Time is my biggest setback. My son will be 3 in April, and we have a 7 week old daughter now. So, by the time I get home, Mama is ready to hand over the kids and take a break... which is perfectly fine with me. She needs the break. The downside of that is, my time to spend on the truck(s) gets shoved to the back burner.

I know how it goes with fixing one thing, then another - Our '73 F100, I replaced the water pump on it, then figured out the heater core was leaking. So, it's unhooked for now until I it can be replaced.

I do have a temperature gun, not exactly sure if it's IR, but I have used it around the house to check the a/c temps at the vents and that sort of thing. Can I just use that and point it at each plug area, or different points around the engine to see what the temperature is?
An ir temp gun isnít going to tell you anything head gasket wise, what you can do is check plugs. If one is abnormal to the rest that will be a better indicator. Do and oil change and look to see how much oil comes out and itís condition. As well as check the coolant for oil and or signs compression gasses are entering the system. Another thing you have to address is the radiator first as without a working cooling system the rest is a moot point. Blowing both head gaskets at the same time is pretty rare unless you drove it until it literally boiled out.
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Old 02-06-2019, 04:29 PM   #34
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

That is the temp gun you want. It's a nice way to equate an actual temperature with what the gauge is telling you. I'm not a fan of H or C. I like numbers. Just point it at the water crossover/thermostat area and you will have a close-enough temp reading.

I get you on the time thing. My kids are 6 & 10. I'm just at the point of being able to get things accomplished in small time chunks in these past 2 years. Prior to that, not so much. And we both work full time, so that adds to it. Just chip away at it when you can, and know that it will take a while.

And normally I'd say that you should be warmed up and running with no condensation by the 30-40 minute point, but I hate to get too worked up over something that may or may not be occurring. You could just have a crappy thermostat that is partly jammed open and the engine isn't warming up completely.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:49 PM   #35
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Received my door latch and a couple other door parts yesterday and today. Hoping I can get some time this weekend to put them in. Then I should be able to lock my doors, and have the driver's side shut correctly.

As far as the compression test, it may be a couple of weeks. My buddy that said he'd help is tied up until after the weekend of the 16th. The big Daryl Starbird car show is that weekend and he's trying to finish up a truck for it. I might have to see if I can find somebody else to help me do it. Either that, or try some of the other tests beforehand.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:54 PM   #36
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Welcome to the world of fixing while keeping it driving

2 kids & a wife = no time for truck. Best thing is old trucks don't take a whole lot to keep them running.

Congrats and good luck.
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:52 AM   #37
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Thanks for all of the confidence boosters! It definitely helps to keep me from getting too depressed about not being able to drive it immediately.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:43 PM   #38
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Well... Good news is in the air!!!

Motor is A-OK! Had another friend come over this weekend to take a look at the truck. Head gaskets seem to be fine. We ran the truck for about 20 minutes or so, and the exhaust cleared up. There was some moisture that was coming out of the exhaust, but to the touch, it was just condensation with no smell to it!! Took it for a quick spin down the street and back. Ran just fine!

Now, I did have to jump start it. Seems that the move from Texas to Oklahoma drained the battery.

Also, going to pull the radiator out of it to take care of the leak. My friend that came over has another one that was out of a 70's Camaro that we're going to size up and see if it will fit. If it does, he said I could have it. If it won't fit, then I have a shop right down the street from work that I'll take it to get it fixed. While I'm doing that, I'm going to put in a new thermostat, and a new temp sensor. The current one is not reading and I'm not sure if it's the sensor, or the gauges. I'd like to hook up the factory oil pressure and temp gauges, but not sure how to do that. Not even sure why they were swapped for aftermarket in the first place. Is there an easy way to tell if the factory gauges will still work? If they don't, can I put an aftermarket gauge in the same location?

After that, I'm going to redo the fuel line. Here's a picture of what I'm messing with (left side of picture). For some reason, this truck has 2 fuel pumps - 1 under the cab on the passenger side, and 1 on the passenger fender well (barely visible in the picture). Whoever did this just made a fireball waiting to happen. There are about 6 different connections between the frame and the carburetor. My thoughts are to remove the fuel pump in the engine compartment, and run new fuel lines up to the carb. I just need to figure out how to snake the line up from the front/left side of the motor so that I can stay away from the headers. I'm going to change out the filter for a better one at the same time.

I'm also debating on pulling the Holley carb off of our 73 F100 and putting it on this truck. It's a new Holley 600cfm that's attached to a Edlebrock Performer, so fitment shouldn't be a problem. The choke is not working on this Edlebrock carb, and I know my new Holley carb is set up and ready to go. I'm going to change out the intake and the filter at the same time with something else, as well as re-run some vacuum lines. My PCV valve is hooked up to the carb directly... think I'm going to run it into the breather instead. It seamed to be pulling a LOT of vacuum the way it's currently hooked up. Plus, there is some blow by that was coming out of the PCV connection.

Thoughts on any of that?

Still haven't had the chance to finish my doors - I have all the parts, just not enough time.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:20 PM   #39
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Got my passenger side door buttoned up this weekend. New lock and had to order a new pawl for it.

Pulled my radiator and brought it to work. Going to try and match it up to another one tomorrow (hopefully) to see if I can just swap them out. Otherwise, I'll get mine fixed.

And, just ordered a few parts from Advanced Auto - new mechanical gauges, new plugs, new plug wires, thermostat gasket, new air cleaner housing/filter, and a cheap seat cover to cover up the red seat. I'll pick those up on the way home.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:51 AM   #40
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Replaced the radiator last night with the free one from a buddy. It was about 2"-3" inches smaller (width wise), but the height was right and it fits. Got all the lines hooked up and they lined up good. Also put the new thermostat in.

Next will be to hook up the new gauges for temperature and oil pressure.
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Old 02-22-2019, 02:34 PM   #41
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Started in on the new temperature and oil pressure gauge pod yesterday. Removed (mostly) the old one that wasn't working - Got the temp gauge out, still need to remove the old oil pressure gauge. I ran the line for the new temp gauge.

My 1st question is - I see there are several areas that a temp gauge can be hooked up. The old one was in passenger side of the motor. Is that correct? I also have a port that I can use on top of the manifold next to the thermostat. Does it make a difference where the temp gauge is hooked up?

2nd question - how hard is it to replace the factory gauges with an aftermarket gauge in the same location? I haven't pulled the gauge cluster off to take a look. But, I'm wondering if I can use the gauges in this 3 pod unit I bought, and mount them in the factory locations? I don't really like the look of the pods hanging under the dash. These that I bought are temporary until I can figure out a permanent solution with the dash cluster.
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Old 02-25-2019, 12:10 PM   #42
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Well, no answers - so, I installed the gauge pod under my dash for now. I got everything hooked up and the gauges are reading, so that's good. I have oil pressure, and the truck got up to 190f before I realized I had left the cap off of the radiator and it started spewing coolant out all over the floor, and my extension cord with the work light plugged into it!

That caused a whole other panic mode, 'cause it tripped one of the outlets and I thought I had blown the whole circuit in the garage. Once I figured out one of the little used outlets on the far wall of my garage had a reset button (after about 20 minutes), everything was good and I was relieved. I'm hoping to get the truck out this evening and drive it around some.

I'm still curious about the gauge question... and yes, I've done a search on here, but get confused as to what I'm looking at. I'm still new to restoring/working on these old trucks.
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:08 PM   #43
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Drove the truck around town last night! Oil pressure seemed to be ok - it varied between 40-45 at start up, then after driving around a bit and getting warmed up, it dropped to down about 25. Is that normal for it to change that much?

My temps stayed steady at 180-190 the whole time. The weird thing - when I got home and started backing into the garage (driveway slopes up to the house), my temps jumped up to 210-215. I think, right before I shut it off, it was getting close to 220. Anyone have an idea why it would do that? Air pocket in the system? When I filled up the coolant, I had the truck jacked up in the front as high as I could get it.
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Old 02-28-2019, 12:06 PM   #44
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Any ideas on where to re-run my fuel line? I'm going to get away from the fender mounted fuel pump (already have one under the cab) and run the line up the front of the motor to stay away from the headers. I'm going to replace the fuel filter to a different style as well.

But, just glancing at the motor, I'm not sure how to run the line up from the frame without interfering with the pulleys/belt, or getting too close to the headers.
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:04 PM   #45
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

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Drove the truck around town last night! Oil pressure seemed to be ok - it varied between 40-45 at start up, then after driving around a bit and getting warmed up, it dropped to down about 25. Is that normal for it to change that much?

My temps stayed steady at 180-190 the whole time. The weird thing - when I got home and started backing into the garage (driveway slopes up to the house), my temps jumped up to 210-215. I think, right before I shut it off, it was getting close to 220. Anyone have an idea why it would do that? Air pocket in the system? When I filled up the coolant, I had the truck jacked up in the front as high as I could get it.
Oil pressure is fine,as for it warming up to 210 I wouldnít worry unless itís doing that in traffic.
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:48 AM   #46
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Oil pressure is fine,as for it warming up to 210 I wouldnít worry unless itís doing that in traffic.
Thanks for replying and answering my question! I'm going to keep an eye on it and see if it fluctuates or jumps again. Might be a few days before I get around to driving it again. Got cold here in OK.

Anyone have any ideas as far as my other questions go?
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:41 PM   #47
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I bought it on Jan 19, 2019 from a gentleman south of Tyler, TX. It was a 5 hr drive down there. Hauled it back on a U-Haul trailer and it took about 6-6.5 hrs on the way back. I left my house at 7:00am and crawled into bed at about 1:00am. It’s a running /driving truck. The owner I bought it from had purchased it from another older gentleman that had retired. During that time it was used as a daily driver, about 40-50 miles per day. The original 350 motor was swapped out for a SBC from a 1988 Suburban. The transmission is a 700r with overdrive.

I looked the truck over, we took it for a test drive, and everything checked out ok. It’s missing one of the bed side trim pieces and has a couple of small rust spots in the rockers. He included replacements for those. The front passenger fender has a spot right behind the bumper that is slightly bent with some rust, like it was bumped at some point. The bumper was replaced, but the fender was left as it was. He gave me a replacement fender to swap it out, or use for patch parts.

Now, I went into this knowing that there were things to fix, obviously. First things were all cosmetic – wheels & tires, seat, steering wheel, rocker panels, fender, trim pieces. Now that I’ve had it almost a week, there’s a lot more to go through and fix. So, here’s my initial list of things to fix:

1) Water pump
2) Temperature sensor/sending unit
3) Transmission leak – maybe rear seal.
4) Transmission shifting – Hard to shift into Reverse/Park. Neutral, Drive, L1, L2 are fine.
5) Door locks – working with LockDoc about that now.
6) Wheels & Tires
7) Seat – Eventually recover, probably get a temporary cover for the time being.
8) Rocker panels
9) Front fender
10) Grill insert – ok for now, but could use a replacement
11) Figure out all of the wiring under the dash – someone added gauges, switches, choke knob, light knob, and some sort of push button for something. Probably pull all of that out.
12) Stereo – has aftermarket with blue tooth and added speakers. May pull all of that out and find a OEM style replacement at some point (not high on the list).
13) Lower the ride height - Suspension drop of some sort. Never tried it before, so huge learning curve here.
14) Speedometer doesn't work - Probably due to transmission swap to a 700r, but no idea.

**EDIT** - adding things to my list.
Itís a small world, I believe you bought this truck about 3 miles from my home. I have seen it for years and Iím glad to see itís got a new home!
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:03 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by 1971gophercatcher View Post
Itís a small world, I believe you bought this truck about 3 miles from my home. I have seen it for years and Iím glad to see itís got a new home!
Ha! That is a small world. I drove through Bullard on the way to his house. Actually stopped at the Exxon station on the way back home for snacks.

The guy has a machine shop/race shop behind his house. I'm not sure if he's sold them yet, but had 2 more '72's for sale as well. I tried to make a deal on getting 2 of them, and he gave me a good price, but I just don't have the room, or time, for another one.

He builds LS engines for people in his shop and is in the process of getting back into drag racing. Seemed like a good 'ol boy. We BS'd more than anything while I was there - which was way longer than I had planned on being there.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:16 PM   #49
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Still trying to figure out my coolant situation. After my last cruise around town doing errands, the truck lost about 3/4 gallon of coolant. Filled it back up and drove it again - not as long as an interval, but a couple stops in town. Checked the coolant the next day, and it's down again. I can't tell how much, but I can barely see it when I look down into the radiator... maybe 6 inches down or so. And, I'm still getting white smoke and some condensation out of the exhaust.

So, I pulled the driver side plugs yesterday, and they are all good. Plugs 1, 2, and 4 (from front to back) looked as they should - plug 3 was a little darker than the others, but not coated in oil or anything. I should've taken pictures, but didn't.

I bought a coolant overflow reservoir to mount and run a hose to, just need to find the time to get that done. Once I'll do that, I'll top off the radiator again, add some coolant to the reservoir tank, then drive it around again and see what happens to my coolant level. IF I still lose coolant that way, I'm guessing it will be going to the shop for a rebuild or swap. I don't know where else to look/what to look for if that doesn't solve my problem.

I don't get any exhaust bubbles in the radiator and my oil is still looking ok. I do have blowby that is starting to show and make it's way out of the PCV valve and the oil breather cap. So, I know a rebuild is going to be due at some point.

Any thoughts?
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:03 AM   #50
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Re: EagleChief's 1971 Build Thread

Installed the overflow tank temporarily and filled the radiator (almost) back up. It isn't quite full, so I'll add some water to it just so I can drive it around for a little bit to get the temperature up. Then, hopefully, I'll see some coolant in the reservoir and that should tell me I'm ok - for now.

If I'm still losing coolant, where do I go from there? Compression test? Rebuild? LS Swap? Crate motor swap?

I bought some new fuel line also and an inline fuel filter to replace the cheap thing that is currently in line. I'm going to try and bypass the fuel pump that is mounted to the fender and hope that the one under the cab will be sufficient. That way, I can have one solid run from the frame, up to the carb.
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