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Old 01-20-2017, 11:26 PM   #51
vintovka
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Well the brakes wern't fixed by the new (and probably unnecessary) replacement power brake unit. The leak was due to the crappy chrome timing cover provided from GM performance parts ( they will hear about it soon). Now no leak.
The front brakes needed complete replacement with new calipers and ceramic pads. The poor thing sat for years and the caliper pistons were stuck.

Shop is still struggling with the new Edelbrock 4 barrel from Summit that makes engine run rough.
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Old 01-26-2017, 12:30 AM   #52
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Didn't get to pick it up last friday but Progress was made. My brand new Edelbrock 1406 Carb (from Summit) not only refused to be adjusted it caused a backfire so severe it blew the seals out of the new Edelbrock manifold and caused a big oil leak. No, it was not an ignition problem. The shop guys busted their butts, pulled and reinstalled the manifold and got a another new 1406 carb and put it in. This time it adjusted fine. Summit agreed to take it back, sent a call tag and did say they would consider some of the extra labor it cost me. Will report on that later. No sooner than it was running right the Alternator took a dump. Sheesh. Seems like all the replacement parts tody suffer from poor workmanship and qa/qc regardless of how much you pay. Defective parts have been a trend of late for us so heads up. Will be buying local from now on so returning defective S__T is quick and easy Maybe home soon.
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:55 AM   #53
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Moderator please move this entire thread to build area were it belongs-- THANKS!!

Update:
Truck is finally home. Had it towed as still incomplete and not registered. Boxes of parts piled high awaiting installation. First step is to rip out the old cab shackle mounts i incorrectly installed back before the turn of the century. CAb was 3/4" too low on Pass side and 1" out of square. Was in a hurry and working in a sloped pasture laden with cow pies did not help. Going with a direct cab to frame mount with solid 3 point seat belt anchor points.
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Old 02-09-2017, 01:22 AM   #54
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Well been busy. I replaced the jerry rigged cab shackles (see pic) Raised and leveled the cab using 3 4"x4" squares of 1" thick synthetic decking between frame and cab. Used a 3/8" grade 8 thru bolt and 2" washers to spread force on cab floor. The material will never rot, rust, swell or wear down at the heel. I also squared the cab to the frame to 1/4" front to back and side to side. It was off 1 1/2". Added all new lights. Halogen headlights, amber turn and park lights, LED taillights. I like the back up lights. Added some seriously loud horns under the grill. Tomorrow work on inside begins with new instrument and gauges. Again this is NOT a show truck and am pushing 70.
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Old 02-09-2017, 01:24 AM   #55
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Oops you'll need to stand on your head to see the last two. Sorry (unless a mod can fix)
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:28 PM   #56
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

A bit more
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:03 PM   #57
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Well work has gone sloooow. Its been as low as 28F in an unheated garage and tough for these old hands. So far Grab Handles, bullet fog lights, electric wipers in, Horns, some gauges, a giant heater and now a defroster. Had to add a 2" aluminum billet type air filter riser to clear distributor. Told plastic ones may melt. The after market heater required new holes in the firewall. FWIW Finding firewall heater hose grommets not easy around here so used valve cover inlet grommets with the baffle cut off. I found my fancy aftermarket defroster kit Would NOT WORK. The defroster vent interferes with the wiper arms . Used original vents. 2" hose an 1.5" abs/pvc fittings and zip ties as shown. Not pretty but very military utilitarian looking and works. Heater fan will blow you out of cab on high. Need to put instruments in add turn indicators. May either hire someone to paint emblem on or buy a decal.
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:06 PM   #58
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Sorry some pics ar upside down. Not sure why.
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:26 PM   #59
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Quote:
Originally Posted by vintovka View Post
You are right about rain and salt. Built a special garage with full 10' doors to accommodate it. We are on the beach about 40 miles North of Brookings. IT rains harder here than during the Monsoons in N. Thailand. The latter helped kill my CO. His name along with 8 others will be painted on the truck along with the old army air corp winged star on the doors. Plan to have it in the Brookings Memorial day parade next year Google "wild bill coltman - F111" if interested. He went down in late 72 and remains found in 2005(?)

Nice Truck Beginnings :
I had to Increase Springs in My Door so the Cab Lights on Roof
will Clear .

I don't know why the Gus say -Must Remove Chassis and all that .
I have Original Brakes and they Stop very Well .
Yes I have to get on them , but what the Hey it's an Old Truck .
It's Not like I'm Going fore the Best 70 Mph to Zero of 142ft
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:28 PM   #60
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

PS: what did You do these Rain Wipers are - Cheap One 's
There must be something Better .. 12 Volts
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:16 PM   #61
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

I used the common 12 volt conversion from one of the big vendors. Cost about $150 with all the discounts and still needs work. They don't tell you that you need to drill the old rubber grommets out completely to install. I do not like the way it sounds and the fit of the motor to the wiper arms seems sloppy. May add extra washers or double up on the spring retainers (have an extra). BTW the one that came with broke immediately.
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:11 PM   #62
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Quote:
Originally Posted by vintovka View Post
I used the common 12 volt conversion from one of the big vendors. Cost about $150 with all the discounts and still needs work. They don't tell you that you need to drill the old rubber grommets out completely to install. I do not like the way it sounds and the fit of the motor to the wiper arms seems sloppy. May add extra washers or double up on the spring retainers (have an extra). BTW the one that came with broke immediately.
I Traded an Ingersoll Garden Tractor , Mower Deck - HD with Timkin Bearings 54"

Wheel Weights -Coated Kind

Extra Set of Rear Tires which are getting hard to Find or find them
at 800 miles away . ( Big and Heavy )

Set of Chains . .

That Said : Even Thou these Tractor are Workers _ I did work the Tractor
7 yrs. I Plowed all My Area's Driveways & Library - entire Parking Lot .

During Massive Storms : I was Out an about in 5 Degree weather ..
in 1 yr. I did -- 144 Driveways I actually wore out a Snowblower that is
10 Ga. HD Snowblower - made to last 18 yrs.
( Wore It the F&^($% OUT ) $$$ . Tractor Paid for itself and another Newer Blower all the way from NJ .
I Than used that Snow Caster - 2 yrs. doing about 70 driveways a yr.
PLUS My Driveway during all of this . . During all the Turns Down ,
* Layoff's .*
Cut-backs , Stock Market Crashes , Economy Tanked ** ..

I reconditioned Tractor 5 yrs. ago 365 Hrs on Motor , so I got a Pretty Penny for it ! ( 2003 )

Tractor cost New about $9995.00 - $11000.00
NEW . This Tractor I traded was Far from New - and - Worked Harder
then Anyone has worked one of these Tractors .

ps: USAF 42 Yrs. ago ..had a 49 Chevy Couple back then
Ps: I Guess You could say it's taking Me a Long time to get a Truck .

Last edited by Port&PolishMan; 04-02-2017 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:09 PM   #63
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Been really busy. Tearing out bed and redoing the cab interior. Just installed a new headliner. On the 54 new flexible windshield and cab windlace rubber is extremly important in installing headliner. My windshield and cab windlace in brand new. Was able to install the headliner under both but it was a pain. The windlace rubber flexibilty is way more important and i would think it easier to install headline first. Not mentioned anywhere is the trick i found by accident. Use the metal center headliner bow as a guide to trim the cardboard edges to correct side to side length. Yes, you do need to trim it and its a hairy scary one try deal. Even more important is to wait till AFTER the headliner is completely installed to cut the holes for the Passenger side visor. Go slow. Use the supplied pattern to find the approximate hole locations with a small sharp awl and the visor bracket to get correct locations.. Another one shot deal with disaster a half mm away at all times. Lastly the rear headliner section usually needs to be trimmed to fit as well. Ignore what the experts say. Take the excess off the front edge and not the rear with the screw cutouts. IMHO the repop liners are all poorly made and shipped. My first one broke in half after a week of gentile flexing. Being tightly rolled saves shipping but renders the product very difficult to work with. Even side panels require careful trimming. FWIW i rethraded the new door cranks and handles. The asian threads and phillis head screws are garbage. 1/4x28 TPI allens work great and won't slip.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:24 PM   #64
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Finally got courage up to rip out the bed. I still remember installing it back in 1995 and the "marine grade plywood" touted to last forever was long rotted away. I had sealed it, painted it and did it all so it lasted maybe 15 years before giving up. New bed will be Choicedek synthetic with all stainless runners, angle covers and all stainless hardware. This one better last as its the last one i will install. What a mess. Had to grind most of the rusted bolts and tear out the runners with a crowbar.
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:13 PM   #65
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Headliner turned out great..
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:19 PM   #66
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Thanks Mongo. Was worth the second try and all the swearing, sweating, pain and all that goes with it. One bad move and it would have been ruined Twice. This is not a easy job. This is Last time for me. Hands, neck and eyes are shot. I need someone to rebuild me.
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Old 06-11-2017, 12:46 AM   #67
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

The link to this thread has been shared with some of those who may have seen this truck back when and hopefully some of the families whose loss is being remember by our humble efforts. That said we are merging all of the threads into this one. Hopefully the mods will move every thing to a build thread.


The last permanently installed sound system in this 54 was an aftermarket tube radio. Had a portable 4 track in it briefly until it was stolen 1n 1970. Yep someone actually stole a 4 track back then. Today we installed a new am fm, sd, usb you name it radio. The technological advances in 47 years is amazing to this old man. More amazing is that i just discovered that SD technology has apparently rendered Cassettes, CDs and about every previous recording mediums obsolescent. With a 32 GB SD you can record up to 4000 songs. I have 3910 to go. It went into the glove box as shown leaving room for a phone to charge. Only down side is remote will not work with glovebox door closed. Originally Posted by mr48chev View Post
Once you have it set up it shouldn't be much of a hassle as most of us set the volume where we want it and if you have a long play list on the SD card you are good for days.

4000 songs x 3 minutes each is 12,000 minutes or 200 hours single play. Would be nice to adjust volume and song selection with remote (or change inputs) think its an Ir remote so just leave box open. Don't miss the 4 track altho still have the craftsman tool sets the idiots left behind when i came out of house to see what the noise was about.

I put some 200 watt multi-range marine grade speakers behind seat. Sounds OK but who can hear anymore?

I might use the bluetooth from the future dash tablet for a remote as well.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:56 PM   #68
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Been down for months but got two brand new rebuilt eyeballs and picking up speed. Pushing 70 (not MPH) not easy. Added ooga horn , flux capacitor (fuse/relay panel) dash switch array, synthetic bed and all stainless hardware. Power running boards hung, Lots of wiring and tens of other things. Posting pics as i can. The boards make everything easier and they arnt even wired up yet.
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Last edited by vintovka; 08-25-2017 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:57 PM   #69
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

How did you get that to hang on the ceiling like that?
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:00 PM   #70
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Sorry even trying to post them in evey way possible (for me) they still come out upside down. If anyone can help please do so.

Last edited by vintovka; 08-24-2017 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:05 PM   #71
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Fixed it by rotating 360 and re saving weird, Sideview with power retractable running board hung on fabbed swinging bar. Rear mount thru adjustable bracket. no more climbing. and can reach bed area easy. May add cover for bar to conceal mechanism. Remind me of wings on F-111 its dedicated to. Will have both automatic and on demand deployment.
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Old 08-25-2017, 05:39 PM   #72
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

"Flux capacitor" actually a 10 fuse block/6 relay set up to service all the powered options. Goes with an 8 switch panel shown. The brace is mounted to the dash connecting rods with quick release nuts for easy servicing. The original 84 GMC fuseblock is ok but confusting and limited. Again wish this could be moved to the "build" area.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:19 PM   #73
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Power Running Boards and electronics.
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Old 10-19-2017, 10:11 AM   #74
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

Mine is 95% complete. After 58 years of bearing California plates and registration i finally got mine registered in Oregon. My automotive ties with that god forsaken state are finally completely severed. Poor thing was built in LA (Nov 1953) and spent at least half of its military career there. All have to do now is formally and legally report that its no longer in the state. Failure to do so allows the CA DMV Gestapo to put a lien on you for failure to renew registration there. (yes, they happily do that now so heads up). The whole deal (with USAF Veterans Plates) was under $200 for 2 years. FWIW New higher CA fees, Fuel taxes and other new laws kick in 10 days from now.
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Old 10-19-2017, 11:38 AM   #75
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Re: 50 years ago I was given this USAF 54 3100

o u t s t a n d i n g


really nice follow through. nothing like setting a goal and meeting it. I really like everything, from the color to the details in the interior. super super great
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