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Old 09-17-2011, 10:28 PM   #1
Chad215
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Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

I've been lurking here for a while, just like a lot of you guys. I've seen lots of great work by some obviously very talented people and have been nothing buy impressed by everyone's work. I've been thinking about bringing this girl home for a while, but didn't really get the motivation till I found this site-

The story-
Around '92-'93 I bought my first truck. My dad matched what little money I saved from an after school job, and we found this 64. The PO had already swapped in a 350 with TH350 trans, 12 bolt posi rear, holly 750 DP, and a couple of other nifty aftermarket goodies.
This truck was FAST! It was really nice for a 16 year old that didn't know anything abut vehicle maintenance. I drove it everyday for a few years. It would break down, I would leave it on the side of the road till I could find or afford parts, work on it on the side of the road, and get it going again. The rear end was never really on right and I threw the driveshaft out of that truck more times than I could count. I got to the point where I just kept 3-4 u joints with me all the time. You would have thought I was working with nascar- I could run down the road, pick up my driveshaft, and have it back in the truck , installed, and back on the road in 15 minutes!
I eventually threw a rod, and the truck went into hibernation. It got brought back to my parents house, and there it sat. I went off to the army, and didn't think too much about it.

Over the years, my dad ended up with a 305 out of an 85 Blazer and swapped out the 350. He planned on doing a complete restore and bought plenty of parts and made a decent amount of progress. But just like everyone else, life got in the way, and time issues and injuries didn't allow him the opportunity to work on it as much as he wanted. The truck eventually sat in the back yard under a tarp only to be started once a month or so, just to keep it running. Space was beginning to be an issue, and he decided to just sell it.
I thought i would just take some pictures and put it on craigslist for him. Figured it would be a quick sale at a good price, and that would be the end of it. But....I just couldn't let it go. A month later, I was over there with a buddy and a trailer, loaded it up, and brought it home.

The wife isn't thrilled, but when are they ever really happy about you bringing home a 3000 lb rust bucket to the suburbs? The plan is to just get it reliable and running right away. Enough to go on a short drive on a nice day. Then, as time and money allows, start working on it piece by piece, and getting up to the standards I think it should be at.

I'm giving myself 6 months to get it road ready. Then I'll start the body work, interior, etc... I think I just want it to look fairly stock on the outside, with a little monster under the hood.

...and here's the pics, with more to follow soon.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:37 PM   #2
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

more pics
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:42 PM   #3
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

And a couple more..

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Old 09-17-2011, 10:45 PM   #4
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

As you can see, I don't have much room. I would love to have a dedicated shop space, but for now, I'll have to do with a crowded garage. I'm also hoping this will give someone else some inspiration to start on theirs. I was very hesitant to start this with the tight quarters I have, but we'll see how it goes.

Man...I just love these short bed step sides
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:43 AM   #5
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

The truck had sat in my dad's backyard for almost 20 years. He occasionaly started it just to keep things moving, but it wasn't running really well. The rear main seal started leaking, so he just let the fluid level drop till it stopped.

I went over there a few weeks ago and replaced the seal and filled the fluid in preperation for moving it.

Well, I got it home, got it off the trailer, and decided I would just idle around the block and listen- just to get an idea of what I was dealing with.

She started up, although she wasn't happy about it, and I tried take her out. Made it about 6 houses down, and she gave up. I ended up pushing her back home.
Replaced the plugs, and she runs like a champ!
Well...she runs until you do something silly like try to put it her gear, then she gets unhappy again, but it's a start.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:32 AM   #6
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

Allright-
Guess this will be the first of many questions I ask here-

Is there any reason I can't add a brake booster to my stock MC? I've searched here and seen a lot of people have swapped to disc and changed the MC, but I just can't afford, nor do I have the space to do this right now, although it is in my plans later.

I will never claim to be a master mechanic, but I know enough to be dangerous. Would I have to get a different MC or is this as simple as just adding it in? I'd like to avoid buying parts and just experimenting if I can avoid it. It seems like I read something about a rod not being long enough or something like that. Any advice or tips for a newbie?

Sorry for the dumb questions, and yes I did search, but I just haven't seen this done or explained without changing the MC.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:22 AM   #7
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

got a little more done last night- pulled the fuel tank.
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Felt pretty smart about this, used a parts magnet as a light hook. Well, felt pretty smart till I hit the cord and had a big magnet hit me on the head.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:42 AM   #8
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

Hang in there.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:43 AM   #9
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

Thanks, I'm not going anywhere. Part of the deal to bring the truck home was that I had to finish some honey do's around the house before I ever turn a wrench on the truck. I've been limited so far to giving it a few hours here and there on week nights so far.
Don't know if you guys care, but here's whats holding me up at the moment
When we moved in to our house, all we had was a small 10x10 pad out of the back door- The woman wanted a patio, so I built her this- I tried to make it look like it was part of the original house, not an add-on
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Then she wanted a hot tub, so I've started this-
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It has been so hot in Houston this summer, I just haven't been able to get outside and work for very long, so I still haven't been able to finish. 100* this weekend as well, so still didn't get a lot done.-
Got the stereo, lights, speakers, and part of the celing installed
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Had a little help
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What I did do this weekend was try to check out the fuel tank some more and clean it out. Got the sending unit out, and it's toast. No float and my meter doesn't show any change when I sweep the arm.
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Surely with all you guys swapping tanks, someone has a working unit that they would part with. If you have one to sell, or already have a thread that I missed in the parts section selling one, let me know. Thanks in advance-


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Old 09-30-2011, 09:27 AM   #10
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

One last try before I order one new one from a vendor-

Does anyone have a working sending unit that they would sell and ship to 77429?
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:59 AM   #11
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

Its best to order new, but I would caution you on that tank.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:14 PM   #12
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

Thanks Clyde. I'll go ahead and order a new one. I was leaning that way anyway. I guess just trying to build a relationship with people on the board more than anything for when I need bigger things later...

What cautions about the tank? I've taken it out and done a gravel wash to the inside, gotten out lots of rust, and can't find any leaks. Besides the obvious concern about having gallons of highly combustable liquid inches from my body inside a closed enviroment with little more than some wire, foam, and vinyl to protect me, what else should I be worried about?
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:04 AM   #13
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

I can check and see if i sill have the one that came out of my truck.
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:40 AM   #14
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

Hi Chad215, I have a tank and sending unit that works.. If you are really wanting orginal parts. I got a fuel cell off ebay and mounted under the bed.. Feels a lot safter. when I looked in the tank didn't see any rust.. never the less I would get one of thoes kits from Eastwood and seal the inside of the tank if I was going to keep it in the cab just to be on the safe side. if you are coming my way you can pick it up. can not be shipped because it has had fuel in it.
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:58 AM   #15
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

I have never seen a brake booster on a master cylinder like yours. I think you will need a master cylinder and booster combination that will fit your truck. There are several years that should work. Get to know your local junk yard and see what he's got. There will almost surely be a used unit you can swap in on the cheap.. Believe me i under stand cheap.. LOL Localy I have a couple of privately owned yards that will let me prowl all I want. the privatley owned yards al least in my area have the older vehicles and are more willing to let you prowl and look. I've been going to yards for over 40 years and have learned a lot from the wrecked cars as to how things go together and how they work. An afternoon in the yard is still a learning experience for me.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:19 PM   #16
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

Thanks for the replies guys. It looks like I'm going to go ahead and just buy new. I didn't really think about the possiblity of rust inside the sending unit tube that I would never be able to get out.

I keep hearing that a lot of these aftermarket parts are hit or miss, so I figured if I got an original I would be fine, but it looks like it will be more trouble than it is worth to go that route, especially since new ones are not that expensive. On the plus side, got my tank clean, sealed, and back in. I'm running on a fuel can right now, trying to tune the carb, but ran into small setback.

My rad hose had a nick in it, and apparently all it needed was to warm up for it to split. So that was a nice mess...

My transmission doesn't want to go into gear very easily...I shift, about 5-10 seconds, then it goes into gear. Fluid seems a little low, but I haven't had a chance to get it warm to really check the level.

I wish I could find some differnt yards out here besides the pick-your-parts out here. Man, if I had a late model front wheel drive, I would be in heaven there. Anything other than that gets hit pretty quick and hard out in those yards, mainly by guys reselling the parts. It's like a cartoon where a truck gets sat down, you see a swarm of dust and hammers, and all you see after is frame and sheet metal.
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Old 10-12-2011, 01:24 PM   #17
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

Well, I've been working on trying to get the motor to run right. Seems like I have some cylinders that aren't firing. It started with one, then has progressed to 3. Had decent compression, had spark in the line, but seemed like I wasn't getting enough fuel. I think I found the problem when I removed the primary bowl from the holley carb
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Good grief. Still haven't been able to spend more than an hour or so on it here and there, but I'm trying.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:22 PM   #18
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

Yikes! That's nasty. Looks like peanut butter
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:22 PM   #19
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

Been away for a while- life gets in the way sometimes...

got a noob question (man I feel dumb for having to ask this stuff)- see pics
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so...I'm trying to remove the fender, and right behind this area

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I've removed all the bolts, but I can't get the fender to come off. I've found one weld and cut that, but can't really see what else is holding this on. Is the seam welded? I'm assuming that seam may just be rusted, but I don't want to just start tugging on it and bend my fender.

Any suggestions from you guys that have done this a few times? Thanks in advance for anyone willing to give me some advice.
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:42 PM   #20
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

never mind I found the problem- someone had brazed them together-Name:  truck 020.jpg
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It is becoming more apparent by the amount of filler and dents that this truck had the front end smashed at some point.

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I was happy to see that this wasn't completely rusted away-
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:24 PM   #21
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

Wow
Heck of a story.
Welcome back, both to the board and back from the Military !! My wife and I are still Active Duty Army.

When I was in Louisiana and had a small garage, I spent $200 at Lowes for one of those tin tool sheds. It was well worth it to get all my lawn equipment and some storage boxes out of the garage so I could do an engine swap in my Tempest.
There are other guys here doing drive way and shade tree restos, but having a shop or somesuch is invaluable!

Good luck, keep posting here. We like seeing people make progress, asking questions and adding back to the population of these rigs!
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:31 PM   #22
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

Hey, nice project. Keep plugging along... I know what you mean about life getting in the way... I've got two projects that have been in the works for over 4 years and keep stalling...

I've told myself that I will not sell them and start over... these two are here to stay for the long haul...

Keep the pics coming



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Old 01-02-2012, 10:37 AM   #23
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

thanks for the replies. I have one of those cheapo sheds in the back right now. It does help a lot to get that stuff out of the way.

I've gotten a little momentum these last few days. In between work, a new years party, a hangover, a funeral, and my wife I managed to get a little bit done.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:43 AM   #24
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

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as she sits as of last night-

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Old 01-02-2012, 10:58 AM   #25
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Re: Houston 64 GMC (Big Blue)

Don't know if anyone else had trouble getting the hood springs off- I did. This truck sat covered, but with the hood raised and no tension on the springs. I don't know if that contributed to my difficulty or not.
Since I like my fingers, and I'm sure others do as well, thought I might share how I got mine off.
I put a block of wood behind the hinges, and loosened the front bolt and removed the back bolt of the hinge. Obviously, once that back bolt is out, the hinge will pop backwards pretty hard.
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I still couldn't get the springs off easily so I got creative.

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this allowed me to control the spring, and was actually very easy.

Just a little FYI for anyone else that doesn't want to get pinched.
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