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Old 09-03-2019, 03:14 PM   #1
cariboumarkt
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Green Machine

This thread is going to document the work we are doing on a 1969 Chevy K20.

A little backstory...

My father-in-law purchased this truck second hand while living in Wyoming in around 1976. According to him, the 3/4 ton truck had been ordered with many factory HD parts as it was being used as a work truck in the area oil fields. My wife has many fond memories of riding in this truck with her dad on trips to the lumbar yard, fishing hole or other dad/daughter outings.

In 2000, my father-in-law decided to sell this truck. She and I had moved east to Maine for my job and saw little hope of transporting the "Green Machine" that far, even though it was offered to us. It was an easy pragmatic decision but a tough emotional one as the truck was sold to a Montana farmer.

Fast forward 10 years and we've moved (again for my job) back home, to the inland NW, Spokane, Washington. After 10 years away, one of the first things we did was visit family, and within hours of arriving at my wife's childhood home, she and her dad were reminiscing about the Green Machine! I attempted to track down the farmer who purchased it in 2000, but he had sold it on to another and calls to available numbers went un-returned. Strike-out.

The reminiscing continued off and on for a few more years with a few lame attempts to reach the owner when, almost 8 years later, he returned my call! (he was probably sick of me pestering him and decided put an end to it!) Unfortunately, he had sold it on as well to "a guy somewhere north" and couldn't remember the name or number. i.e., "leave me alone!"

Skunked again, I started looking for substitutes. Doppelgangers of the Green Machine that may work as a suitable stand-in. All were roundly rejected until, one morning in the fall of 2018. My brilliant wife had an idea: "have you actually checked CraigsList in Great Falls to see if it's on there?" LOL, no! No way that could ever happen. One-in-a-million! Don't be sill... Holly $h1t! There it is!

Yup, there it was, THE truck. THE Green Machine! She knew immediately "I can see where I used to pick the paint off the glovebox when I was a kid!" We poured over the photos, enlisting her dad to confirm. We were 99% sure it was THE truck.

The CL add had been up for 28 days. My heart sank when I saw this as most "old" adds are just zombies, ghosts of opportunities missed. I made the call...

"Hello?"

"Yes, hello, I'm calling about a CraigsList add? The one about the Chevy truck?"

"Yes, it's still available."

Unbelievable. He confirmed several details provided by my father-in-law, even mentioning a specific drivetrain whine my wife often imitates. We worked out a plan to get the rig to my father-in-laws house for storage and get the guy paid. It all went off without a hitch!

This thread will document our progress (or lack thereof) on the Green Machine! Wish us luck!
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Last edited by cariboumarkt; 09-04-2019 at 10:31 AM. Reason: edit photos
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:24 PM   #2
fishnixon
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Re: Green Machine

Thatís a great story! Thanks for sharing it! Good luck with the transformation...I am sure more memories will come about when you get into the different phases...donít forget to share those too, if you want. Thatís what is so great about these vehicles...family, memories and fun!
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:52 PM   #3
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Re: Green Machine

That is too cool! Makes it much easier to spend time and money on these trucks when your wife is already on board. Looking forward to watching this one!
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:25 PM   #4
cariboumarkt
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Re: Green Machine

So we finally took a long weekend this summer to head over to Montana to pick up the truck. It was running and driving and all the fluid levels were topped off. We put a couple dozen miles on it just getting used to how it drove and making sure everything worked okay before trying to tackle the 400-mile one way trip home. The Green Machine ran like a champ for the first 90 miles or so but, as we ascended Rogers Pass (elevation 5610) it developed the hiccups. It would run at idle but seemingly run out of gas as soon as you tried to make him move. I made it three quarters of the way up and finally threw in the towel. We pulled out a tow strap and made it to the top. We decided just to keep towing it to the town of Lincoln approximately 20 miles away. Once in town, I found I could drive (slooowly) and managed to limp to the only shop in town, Lincoln Auto Tech. I was thinking fuel pump, but the LAT guy helped troubleshoot the problem to a filter in the Quadrajet inlet. We added a clear inline filter, bought the shop some beer (and ice cream) and were again on our way.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:36 PM   #5
67C10GS
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Re: Green Machine

i cant wait to see this ones progress. this is gonna be good.
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:44 AM   #6
cariboumarkt
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Re: Green Machine

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Originally Posted by 67C10GS View Post
i cant wait to see this ones progress. this is gonna be good.
I hope you are right!
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:12 AM   #7
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Re: Green Machine

So, our first order of business was to keep this truck from becoming a bonfire. Seriously, there was soooooo much fuel leaking, squirting, pouring out of this truck on day one any backfire would've likely resulted in a mushroom cloud! Don't tell my mother-in-law, but our first stop outta their driveway was at a hardware store to buy a fire extinguisher.

A new filler cap stopped gas from pouring out the filler neck, that helped, but the carb, a Q-Jet, was the bigger issue. The bowl leaked, fuel would pour out the throttle shaft on shutdown and puddle in the manifold, a rebuild was clearly in order.

I procured a rebuild kit and got to work. I soaked the whole thing in the parts washer for three days before spending almost three hours with various wire brushes and other implements just trying to get the crud off!
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:52 AM   #8
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Re: Green Machine

The first surprise upon disassembly was with the primary metering rods. One looked OK but the second was cocked at an odd angle. It turns out whoever put it together last let the rod slip out of the jet and bent it into the bottom of the bowl! Several trips to different shops later I had a replacement set.

Several more hours with the brushes in the parts washer produced a passably clean carb, but I knew I could do better: time to break out the big guns!

the 10L ultrasonic tank! I got this thing to clean vinyl records, believe it or not. It's a heated unit and I used plain ol' tap water and some water based degreaser as a surfactant.

I heated it up to 50 C, ran each major piece of the carb through a 15 minute ultrasonic cycle and, even though id spent hours on these pieces in the scrub tank, here's the results... not to bad!
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:16 AM   #9
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Re: Green Machine

Now, with the carb clean and all the parts present, it was finally time to rebuild the Q-Jet! Starting at the bottom, I used some 0.015" teflon to bush the throttle shafts.

The idea is, take up the slack in the stepped area of the throttle plate so the throttle shafts ride on this teflon in the still round part of the plate hole rather than in the egg shaped part of the hole worn out over the years.

A few new screws to hold the throttle butterflies in and the base was ready!

This process was really quite easy and makes more sense to my feeble mind than boring out the base and bushing with metallic bushings. The parts were ~$20 delivered from McMaster/Carr and I still have enough teflon left to do a couple dozen more Q-Jets, lol!
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:28 AM   #10
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Re: Green Machine

Moving on to the center section of the carb, I plugged the old bowl casting areas with JB weld and set that aside to cure.

I then started looking at the top plate, and found a fatal issue... a warp of ~1/16"! It looks like this carb is a bit of a Frankenstein's monster, with some sort of replacement bowl/center section. The number stamped on the carb on this piece indicated a replacement part (according to our local, awesome, carb shop, Nowlan's Carburetor, in Hillyard).

Try as I might, I couldn't get the warped top of the carb to mate with the middle/bowl section. even using a special "thick" gasket you could still see light between the pieces. No wonder it leaked!

Not wanting to delay the project for another 2 weeks I grabbed a musty Edelbrock 1406 I'd purchased at auction last year, ordered an adapter and a rebuild kit and put the Q-Jet aside.
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:45 AM   #11
cariboumarkt
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Re: Green Machine

Meanwhile, it was time to "doo" away with the nasty home carpet kit and all the mouse poo and parts it was harboring. I grabbed an N95 mask to ward off the Hantaviruses and pulled the seat.

the carpet, padding, etc. went straight into the firepit. I then scraped, swept and ultimately vacuumed at least 3 pounds of... I don't wanna talk about it!

It was so disgusting I didn't even want to take my phone out for a photo, but, trust me. It was bad. Even after removing all I could, the floor still smelled like mouse pee... time for a scrub!

A hot water hose, bucket of soapy water and a tube of elbow grease later and the Green Machine is looking (and smelling) much better.

My advice for you if you'd like to wash out the cab in your truck is:

1) Wear rubber boots, my socks are still wet.
2) Find a level spot, I had to keep pushing out puddles.
3) Take the seat belts out. They were a pain to clean around.
4) Take your time and use plenty of low pressure water. (just be sure to keep it out of the fusebox!)
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Old 09-17-2019, 01:31 PM   #12
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Re: Green Machine

Congrats on this awesome find!!!

Not knocking ANY of your efforts, BUT there are folks that specialize in Quadrajet Restoration and sell parts for them. Cliffshighperformance.com sells a lot of parts and pieces for these carb's. He sells a throttle shaft bushing kit that comes with it's own self aligning drill bit. I can testify that it does work, I have re-done 4 carb base plates!!!

His book is also very helpful!!! he sells all kinds of parts you cannot even find...
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Old 09-17-2019, 01:38 PM   #13
cariboumarkt
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Re: Green Machine

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Originally Posted by 68Gold/white View Post
Congrats on this awesome find!!!

Not knocking ANY of your efforts, BUT there are folks that specialize in Quadrajet Restoration and sell parts for them. Cliffshighperformance.com sells a lot of parts and pieces for these carb's. He sells a throttle shaft bushing kit that comes with it's own self aligning drill bit. I can testify that it does work, I have re-done 4 carb base plates!!!

His book is also very helpful!!! he sells all kinds of parts you cannot even find...
Thanks 68Gold/ white, I'm not ditching the Q-Jet, just putting it on the back burner for the time being. I spent too many hours scrubbing the crud off the thing to give up now!
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