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Old 02-01-2014, 09:23 PM   #1
mickeykreg
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Catboat 7 Hauler

Catboat 7 hauler doing what it's meant to do.


Here's catboat 7 loaded for a 12 day trip on the Green River.


Catboat is a river slang name for a cataraft. 7 because I picked this particular one up in 2007. Here are a couple action shots.


my friend Hugh messing it up in the Grand Canyon


I originally wanted a 67-72, but the opportunity presented itself on this so I had to take it. The SRW one ton kinda helped kicked me over the edge on handing the guy his $700 without dickering. I've always had a real soft spot for the look of squares, so I've got no regrets..so far. Sure the new one's are quieter and more comfy, but they haven't got near the style of an old truck humming down the highway.

I bought it in April of 2009 and have slowly been trying to work the bugs out of it and get it cleaned up. It's always run really good, but when I got it everything that could leak, leaked...bad, and I mean everything! I got it from the original owners kid after his dad died. Kid took it to his shop, pulled the 454 out of it and hurried this 350 into so he could sell it asap. As it turns out I ended up with a '79 350 4B main with 194 heads on it. The original owner lived down by Vegas so it's a rare rust free square. Over that first summer those leaks made a real mess out of the undercarriage. I think I'm finally making enough progress on it now to actually have something to say here, hence the long delay on a proper introduction, for which I apologize. Many thanks to everyone here for helping me out on a million things so far. Here's how it looked when I rolled it home.













My goals are to give it a lower stance...maybe a 2/4 drop or so. I think a lower stance rolling down the road with my rafting stuff loaded up would look rad. Prolly replace the TH400 with a 700r4 or a 4L80E to make those long interstate hauls not so bad. Don't wanna make it too nice cause having a nice one will drive my OCD nuts! I kinda dig the beater paint, but wanna keep the rust away by keeping it inside during the salty winters. Most of all I want it to be dependable because of signs like this that seem to come along about when something starts acting weird.



I believe these old trucks can be just as dependable as the new ones as long as a guy knows what he's got. I think it's too expensive to pay to have work done and I like the feeling of doing it myself. If something does go wrong on the side of the road I feel like I have a better grip on how to fix it if I'm familiar with it.

That's it for now. It'll take me a while to find all the photos and such from the past few years, but I'll work on this.
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Last edited by mickeykreg; 02-02-2014 at 11:53 AM. Reason: caps in title
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:10 PM   #2
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

Thanks for sharing. I dig your truck. I like trucks doing what trucks do. It looks like a nice truck too. Look forward to seeing more adventures with your truck also.
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:03 AM   #3
mickeykreg
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Re: Catboat 7 Hauler

Engine Bay 1.0


Everything was kind of a haggard mess when I got it. I'll start with the various ways I've cleaned up the engine bay. Everything was leaking so bad I thought I'd start at the top and work back beginning with the valve cover gaskets. Over time I changed valve covers, and intake. Not to mention hydro-boost hoses, master cyl. lid seal, power steering gear box, rebuilt power steering pump, and changed the water pump, which reminds me of a story if you don't mind.

I was working alot and didn't have time to work on the truck, but months earlier I promised my kid in Montana I'd come pick him up for a float trip. So like an idiot I took it to a shop and told em to change the oil pan and timing cover gaskets, and not touch anything else. I left it and went to work for the next 9 days. I got done with work and picked up my truck thinking the problem was nailed.
I really needed to get rolling out to Montana to pick up my kid so we could float the Yellowstone. (that story is here)
http://www.fre****er.net/2012/07/yellowstone-river.html

After loading boating and camping gear I cleaned up and rolled out of Utah about 10pm with my usual supply of tools and spare parts behind the seat. After a few hours I stopped in Idaho to take a break and walk around. Coming back to the truck I saw a puddle of oil on the ground. The leak had gotten worse, $600 worth of shop time hadn't fixed anything! Man was I pissed at myself. Anyway, I drove and obsessed over what was going on. I'd stop every few hours to top off the oil and study the situation. By now the front of the engine was cleaned off enough to start seeing where the leak was coming from. It appeared the oil was being slung up into the fan by the harmonic balancer, but the crank seal had been changed by the shop using a new speedi-sleeve on the harmonic balancer so this made no sense...unless the front of the timing cover was bent by some idiot trying to pound the seal into it.
I picked up Cody in Miles City and we made it to the river launch point over in Paradise Valley for 4 days of fishing and floating and camping. I thought for sure I'd screwed the engine the whole time we were on the river, but thought if I'd keep the oil level up and keep my foot out of it, things would be fine for a bit longer. Cody and I decided to get off the river a day early and try our luck working on it at his grandpas house up in Two-Dot, Montana. We had a shuttle driver bring the truck around to Otter Creek just out of Big Timber where we ended the trip.

Leaving Otter Creek


After de-rigging Catboat 7 the first thing I did was go to the Carquest store in Big Timber and get a timing cover gasket and crank seal. I asked if he had any ideas on where I could get a timing cover. He said "why... I think that old guy across the street has a bunch of ol' chevy stuff laying around behind his shop". I couldn't believe my luck! I went across and the guy said I could take a whole box of timing covers if I wanted. I said one would do, and offered to at least buy him a cold one, but he wouldn't have it. I went back to Carquest and got a can of the Great Stuff gasket maker, more oil, and coolant. Cody and I pointed the old GMC into the central Montana wind and crossed our fingers hoping that we could squeeze another 100 miles out of it. Codys grandpa, Layne, and I were good hunting friends from when I lived up north. He and I had lived through old chev truck adventures before so he had no problem letting me make a big mess of his driveway, albeit a Montana driveway made of dirt. He held a light and kept us supplied with cold beers. It was good to see him, so we didn't get much work done. Too bad cancer took him down last year...hell of a guy!
I got the front of the motor removed and dropped the oil pan. I could see that at least the shop used a Perma-Dry oil pan gasket. I got the timing cover off and sure enough, it was warped around the crank seal where someone had been pounding on it. I'm not saying it was the shop, but I could venture a guess. It was late and I was working by myself, but I was super relieved to have discovered the problem. Whenever something was running good Layne used to say "runs like a new one" and smile. I got everything put back together by about 2 am, and fired it up and thought of Layne. I turned on the hose and scrubbed my filthy self, then crawled in the sack for about a nano-second of star gazing before going to sleep. The next day I said adios, and rolled out of Two Dot. After about an hour I stopped at a stop sign south of White Sulpher Springs and got out for a look....dry. I was relieved to say the least. I drove another 8 hours back to Utah stopping occasionally and the leak was gone. The next day I took everything apart again to fix it up with some nice shiny valve covers and an Edelbrock Performer I had laying around. After all that it sure is a nice feeling to park someplace for an hour, or all day and come outside to see not even a speck of oil, or anything else on the ground, and to know that I fixed it! Since then I've heard folks say that old chevys just leak...it's just the way they are. Well I say, it doesn't have to be so!

Version 2.0




Last summer coming back through eastern Oregon it was as hot as it gets. Well over a 100 degrees. My fiance was a good sport without A/C, but I get the sense that those days are numbered. When I got the truck I got all the A/C stuff that was removed when he pulled the 454, which was sitting on the shelf. So this winter I've been poking around with getting it rigged back up the way it's supposed to be. Seems that the R12 comes up for sale once in a while, and if it worked in 1980 it should work again, but time will tell this spring when I get more serious about it.

Still needa paint some brackets, but this is close to Version 3.0




Engine bay to do list:
-sand blast exhaust manifolds
-get A/C going
-get correct fan shroud
-maybe in the distant future find the BBC thats supposed to fill that space...dirty larrys 8.1 swap is cool too.

I'll post some interior next, although not as adventurous...
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'75 K20 - froze to death in eastern montana
'88 K5 - long gone
'73 K20 - high school truck

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=614828
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:23 AM   #4
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:51 AM   #5
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

The interior was originally red, or more correctly, carmine, and it was hammered by the sun. I wish I would've taken more pics, but oh well.



The arm rests on the door panels, along where they attached next to the glass was disintegrated to the point that i could crumble it with my fingers into powder. The headliner was falling down so it needed to go also. I also wanted to make sure there was no rust in the floor pan, so I gutted the whole thing. The only thing I kept was the seat, which I don't think is original anyway. I did find a cool build sheet under the springs that I got all excited about, but on piecing it back together I could see just enough of the VIN to tell that it wasn't my truck.



Since I needed an interior the first one I found was tan, but soon decided that this wasn't going to work either because I dorked it up too much and made it look like crap because I did it all in a hurry. In the process I did find a tach cluster out of a '78 that was cool.





I've always loved the colors from the '70's trucks so I started keeping my eyes peeled for blue. I found most of it out of a mariner blue '79 C10 in the junkyard that was super nice so i snagged it. Also got a correct font tach cluster out of an '80. I don't know what's going on with the original steering wheel, but it seems like it oozes some goo out of it or something. I tried scrubbing it with a green scrubby, but it didn't work so I grabbed another one for $7 out of a '90 GMC that had a wrap on it to protect it from the sun. Instead of trying to find a new headliner I just sticker bombed the roof. It reminds me of the inside of an old ski bus I used to ride.











I'm pretty happy with it so far. Most of these interior pieces are super fragile, but I dig the character of them. My girl loves the accent on the door panels, and says the seat is comfortable. It's nice to have your girl ride around with you so I guess your doing ok if your chick digs it too! Reminds me of that Alan jackson song, "she likes it too".

Other odds and ends I've done:
-door striker bolts with bushings made a huge difference!
-replaced bent window regulator to make action smooth.

Interior to do list:
-Dynamat under the carpet
-Delco radio 3.5mm aux port modification
-door and window seals
-figure out the under dash leak when it rains
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'80 SRW C35 - 350/400/4:11/2.5-3/DD
'77 Cheyenne K5 - 350/465/205/3:73/35's/DD
'75 K20 - froze to death in eastern montana
'88 K5 - long gone
'73 K20 - high school truck

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=614828
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:31 PM   #6
mickeykreg
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

Here's what happened one day that I decided to get crazy and give my grill a face lift.

The old:



I needed to blast the bits of bugs out of the little crevices so a few quarters at the self serve car wash did pretty good. To remove the oil based road residue I spraying it with brake clean iirc, or something that didn't leave a residue then let it dry in the sun for a while. Next thing was find a comfy spot to spend several hours with masking tape and a razor blade to mask off all the little chrome strips and other trim.







I taped off everything and sprayed the flat black first. Some kind of Rustoleum product. I used no primer cause the old plastic seemed like it had some texture to it...prob from the sun. After the black dried I cut out the GMC letters and sprayed them with the same 1620 Duplicolor Orange I used on the new engine in my 77 K5. Here's what I ended up with.







It's been two summer road trip seasons and somewhere around 5000 miles and so far so good.
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'80 SRW C35 - 350/400/4:11/2.5-3/DD
'77 Cheyenne K5 - 350/465/205/3:73/35's/DD
'75 K20 - froze to death in eastern montana
'88 K5 - long gone
'73 K20 - high school truck

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Old 02-02-2014, 08:36 PM   #7
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

Cool truck and nice work.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:45 PM   #8
mickeykreg
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

Thanks guys...

Anyone got a guess on what I ended up with for a drop? I'm thinking about 3", but forgot to measure first. So far I dig it. I cut one coil out of a set of C10 springs so I think it dropped more than it would've if I cut the 1 ton springs.

Before:


After:


Also, I hope someone can tell me what you think of this negative camber? Once I get done playing with the stance I have all new Moog stuff to rebuild the control arms. I'm hoping that shims and the offset UCA shaft kit from Moog will correct for the camber, or is my problem in a spring thats too short now?



Once I get the front figured out I guess I'll mess around with the back more. So far i've removed the overload and two leafs and used a drop shackle. Planning on adding a set of air bags to replace load capacity.
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'80 SRW C35 - 350/400/4:11/2.5-3/DD
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'75 K20 - froze to death in eastern montana
'88 K5 - long gone
'73 K20 - high school truck

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Old 02-03-2014, 09:01 AM   #9
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

Great truck. I'll be following along for future progress.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:27 AM   #10
mickeykreg
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane M View Post
Great truck. I'll be following along for future progress.
Thanks Zane...lemme know if you need any help wrenching. I'm off work until spring.
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'80 SRW C35 - 350/400/4:11/2.5-3/DD
'77 Cheyenne K5 - 350/465/205/3:73/35's/DD
'75 K20 - froze to death in eastern montana
'88 K5 - long gone
'73 K20 - high school truck

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Old 02-03-2014, 01:58 PM   #11
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

That camber should correct in alignment. Look in the yards, you'll see BIG THICK spacers on the UCA mount bolts from the factory. Snag some, they help. I like the new stance!
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:56 PM   #12
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

That grille looks good.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:32 AM   #13
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

I like it! Keep up the good work! Wish i had more time to work on my own truck... Looks like you're really enjoying it and making it do what it was meant to do!
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:42 AM   #14
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

Did some more messing around with the stance. I had about 3.5" in front by cutting one coil out of C10 coil springs. I decided this was too much for my purposes cause the bump stops were hitting bottom on big bumps. I originally didn't want to cut my original springs, but I did. As it turns out it gave me a perfect 2.5" drop by cutting one coil. This lifted the front back up an inch making it sit level with the 3" in the back and fixing the bump stop bottoming problem in front. I actually like the level look better than a bit of rake anyway.

So as close as i can tell what I've got here is 2.5/3



While I was messing around I did the round eye swap too.



...and swapped the GMC narrow band I got out of the junkyard for $5.50.



Now the job I've been dreading all winter. Gotta change ball joints, control arm bushings, sway bar bushings, and tie rod ends before I take it for an alignment.
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'80 SRW C35 - 350/400/4:11/2.5-3/DD
'77 Cheyenne K5 - 350/465/205/3:73/35's/DD
'75 K20 - froze to death in eastern montana
'88 K5 - long gone
'73 K20 - high school truck

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=614828
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Old 03-23-2014, 12:18 PM   #15
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

The stance is great! Diggin the round-eye and tail-gate changes too.
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Old 04-05-2014, 06:53 PM   #16
mickeykreg
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

Just shy of $300 at rockauto got me most of what I needed to rebuild the front end. Upper/Lower control arm shafts w/bushings, upper/lower ball joints, inner/outer tie rod ends, and sway bar bushings. Hopefully later I can do the pitman and the idler without messing up the new alignment.



I found out that screw in steel bushings weren't available for lower control arm shafts so I got the "shaft kit" from Moog. Apparently they figure the shaft wears out too. Anyway, replacing the bushings was pretty easy thanks to a 1" drive socket set I grabbed off the local classifieds.



Just gotta get it over for an alignment now. I'd be glad to hear any recommends from any of you Salt Lake locals on an alignment shop. I tried the DIY alignment, but the toe setting is making my eyes go googly. I think I got it close enough to get it across town, but it's still not the way it should be. Pretty sure I got the camber pretty close too.

Alignment, a windshield, and the annual inspection and I should be good for a summer of driving. To make myself feel better about cutting my original C30 coils I scored another set out of a truck just like mine for $22. I was kind of amused at the difference in beef factor between the C10 and C30 springs.



Also found the correct fan shroud out of the same junkyard truck. I've been looking for that thing for years, but whenever i find one it's busted up. Only thing is that this was originally a 454 truck so with a 350 in it now I think I need to run a fan spacer to get the fan centered in the shroud opening. What do you guys think; is it ok to run a spacer with a clutch fan? Is there enough of a gap here to cause a cooling problem?

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'80 SRW C35 - 350/400/4:11/2.5-3/DD
'77 Cheyenne K5 - 350/465/205/3:73/35's/DD
'75 K20 - froze to death in eastern montana
'88 K5 - long gone
'73 K20 - high school truck

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=614828
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:03 PM   #17
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Re: catboat 7 hauler

Engine masters on YouTube did a video about different fans and their effect on HP gains/losses. They describe how to place the fan in the shroud properly.

https://youtu.be/ZXdLgaFXZzs
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