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Old 11-07-2012, 02:45 PM   #1
cortcomp
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'66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

I just got home (NEohio) from Fresno CA with the latest addition to my garage. I'm a big pontiac guy, so i haven't been in a lot of the chevy websites, but this looks to be my new home on the 'net for this project. Glad to have an old truck in the stable for fun out with my beagles, and for something different to drive.

The truck is solid and straight, but of course, nothing is perfect and if it was, it'd be kind of sad because there'd be nothing left to do! Truck rolled over 100,000 on the way home (4.5 days, 12 hours a day driving) at 70mph. Engine bay is old and dirty and leaky, and interior works but blah. It is nicely optioned (AC, Spotlight, 327, has 3 gas tanks with in cab switch, aftermarket but neat and period correct, deluxe gauges) Here are my plans:



Interior:

Paint everything
new steering wheel
Restore gauge cluster (add vacuum and tach)
Add parking brake light mod i found here over tandm lock light
Add classic looking radio
Fix and adjust cluch pedal so not 1 mile in the air
recover seat
restore and replace kickpanel air vents
remove carpet/replace with rubber style mat
probably put some kind of sound barrier down
Figure out why there are like 10 screws around my small back window, remove and fill those holes before painting



Drivetrain/underhood:

Yank and clean and detail the engine as in my other projects (pics attachd) I love a colorful, stockish looking engine bay.

Put compressor and new A/C hoses/drier on to fix A/C (Everything else there)

Swap 3 speed for my spare NP440 trans (i adapted one NP440 to my 71 pontiac/462ci/433 hp,500tq and love it). The ones i have are the chevy bolt pattern ones, and this should be an easier swap than my pontiac because this is a truck bell. (no bearing retainer turn down) and the shifter should line up better in the truck. I know the shifters are hard to find, but standard muncie levers and a hurts shifter with a little work on the mounting plate bolts right up to this tranny. Running a competition plus in my 71, shifts great with this tranny. Love the internal reverse light switch also. I will likely adapt the correct hurst shifter for this truck with heims linkage like i did in the 71 (pic attached). Was easy enough, durable, and NO SLOP. And again, should be easier with this setup, because it looks like the shifter is away from the tailshaft more in the truck install than right up against it like in the A-body.

Have carb pro-rebuilt (4GC) and new fuel pump and all lines and tank selector valve

Install sending units in the two saddle tanks and find a place for a vintage looking switch so when i switch tanks i can see what i have on each tank.

Tanks are plastic (econo-tank, RV place from waco seems to have made them) and look i good condition

Power steering slave system leaks like a siv. Will put new quick ratio box conversion in, using the plates the gentleman here sells. I see i'll need a pitman arm too, not sure if i need other parts like drag link or whatnot because i already have power steering?

replace old booster, and new dual master for safety


Exterior

Blast the bumpers and grille and paint white. Likely repaint all white exterior white again, bright and shiny, and paint bumpers and grille white instead of cheesy aluminum spray paint.
Put new darker colored wood bed in.
Lower slightly for style
New 15" radials, maybe even stick with the mini-white stripe, but a lot wider to fill up the wheel wells more
New drums, shoes, hardware ALL THE WAY AROUND! This thing barely stops. I have 2 other 4-wheel drum cars and they stop GREAT. I know drums can work, they're likely just sadly neglected.


Thank you all for having this site ready for those of us just coming into these trucks! My father in law has a very nice 57 chevy truck, but it's already completed so i haven't had to scrounge around the web for ideas and help for these trucks. I like the style, and i'm excited to get on this driving project after the last couple major projects i was working on.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:48 PM   #2
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Here are some other projects i knocked out, and the NP440 linkage for the '71 (thinking regular muncie linkage might have worked there, the universal non-hurst linkage was garbage). I hope to have the underhood of this truck looking as good as these.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:08 PM   #3
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Welcome aboard.
This is a great place and a wealth of info.You picked yourself one nice looking truck.
Going to keep an eye on this build. Oh, and your off to a great start great pics.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:44 PM   #4
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Thanks! I'm still learning about this truck...no crossmember? what? This should be a JOY to work under vs my 71! I've been scrounging info all i can, but i'm thinking the same competition plus shifter + homemade mount if need be + homemade linkage if need be +np440 would be THE ticket. I think i'll convert the dist to pertronix so looks stock, and have it recurved to come in faster, and top out at maybe 30 mech. Get the carb redone and maybe i can get like 17-20mpg cruising without the secondaries! I'm a q-jet guy, but i don't think the 4GC is a bad carb, should work well for this truck.

It's hard deciding where to start, my mind ends up in 500 places. I think the gauges first, interior, etc. Then yank engine to seal up and detail, do engine bay, new clutch, then new tranny behind. Then i can work on exterior. Should take ALLLLL winter, which is kind of what i think i really wanted anyway.

not before these two get a ride or two though, they've been itching for some outside time.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:02 AM   #5
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Looks like you have a pretty good list. Lists are good. I on the other hand had a list at one time, added to the list, wadded list up and tossed it. New list added more. Attached old list to new list. Decided to just go without a list and, well, ah, you've seen the thread. But, I love it!
Great little truck there.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:19 AM   #6
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Very Nice Truck, Long run home, had to be a blast, what a way to get to know the new ride... Subscribed...
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:36 AM   #7
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Welcome to the forum

That's a nice looking truck you have for your project. That is quite the journey for your first trip in a new purchase. Sounds like it went well without issues?

You obviously have some automotive experience, as I see some nice work on your Pontiacs. It sounds like you have a well thought out plan.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:04 PM   #8
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Thank you all for the welcome! I did see there was a homemade crossmember under there, that needs to come out as there is vibration at highway speeds and i suspect the crossmember is keeping the driveline from being at it's natural angle.

Did the out of state inspection today so i can finish titlework, and selling off the tool box and black plates. Starting to order interior stuff today. Thankfully, i'm discovering that most of the factory wiring was bypassed or spliced into, not cut off. Original radio plugs,speaker plugs, etc still there taped up. no real cutting of the dash (just some elongation of the two radio knob holes. It's time to really just gut the inside, and start on it i think. Have to find that correct color red to do the interior. (was also thinking just grey and black, not sure yet.)

Carb leaks SO BAD that the truck looses prime after idling. At idle, the pump can't keep the carb full, and it stumbles on take off and can stall, and then you have to manually fill the carb (on the side of the road. just did it :-/ ) anyway, i may do the interior and underhood stuff all at once, there's enough under there that i just want done.

Also, assuming this had an air pump, as there are crimped off tubes coming out of the manifolds that are just leaking exahust air, not crimped tight enough. Have to find some plugs for that.

Will post more pics as i go along!
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:47 PM   #9
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

I think i'm going to go forward restoring the interior as red and white (white roof, red behind seat and lower areas, red dash, white dash insets, white door panels, red doors, red and white seat cover, red visors)

Also, while doing that, i'll use the dash gauge decals on the stock gauges, the pontiac vacuum gauge, and use an aftermarket tach. I'll get a classic looking repop modern radio and stereo speaker that fits in the stock location. Rubber floor mat and take this time to put sound insulation down on the floor and up to the fuel tank and behind, and inside the doors.


Outside, the first thing i want to tackle is the 3 gas tank kit. It's a kit of plastic tanks made in the 70's with a 3 way valve on the floor by the drivers door. Each tank holds 20 gallons, so that's 52 gallons if the stock tank is 12. What's nice about the kit is that:

a) plastic doesn't rust. these are dirty but nice
b) plastic not as squeaky or annoying as rubber tank noises if moving or rubbing
c) no cutting the bed sides for filler doors!!

The only downside is that the two tanks have no sending units...now anyway! Once side has had some crude repairs to the filler neck. I'll likely cut it off where the split ends, and join it with rubber like the stock fuel filler neck. Both are very dirty, but i'm sure some steam washing will clean them up, new rubber insulation on the top and bottom where straps are holding it.

I found an exact replacement brass valve (old one is stiff and gross, and looks like it leaked a lot.)

got two adjustable generic 0-30ohm fuel sending units, and mounting kits.

I'll put one in each tank, then all three tanks to a 3 way on-on-on sptt toggle switch (grainger had one) and make another metal plate next to the fuel tank switch and paint and label it. Then you should be able to switch fuel supplies, and separately switch to that tanks fuel level for the stock gauge on the dash, and also randomly just to check levels. If i do it right, switch will move from left, to center, to right to check tanks, as you're sitting in the cab, so that you can throw it and know what tank you're checking while sitting there.

Also checked the rear (non-posi 3.73) so plans for OD are a go; not to numerically low for it (hate to lug the motor.)

Found a brochure set for the company that made my tanks on ebay for cheap, great condition! Got them and scanned the sides that applied to this truck.

Also, truck has one of those trailer brakes setup, has an actual brake line running into it and when you hit the brakes, the lever on it moves down. Looks vintage and "correct accessory for the time" as well. Have to figure out how to wire it up.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:48 PM   #10
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Last pic of tank split.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:41 PM   #11
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Just hit me...if i can carry 50 gallons and get close to 20mpg not laying into it....that's 1000 gallons between fillups! (fillups that cost $200 :-/ )
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:52 AM   #12
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

*1000 miles between fillups, LOL!
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:17 PM   #13
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Yesterday and today i cleaned the saddle tanks (they came out nice sp i didn't go any further) and installed the ford 6 hole to standard 5 hole sending unit flanges to the top of the tank. The insides of the tank were amazing! looked brand new! They're about 1/4" plastic of some sort, and seem pretty durable when working with them.

The adapter didn't come with nuts, so i went to lowe's and got some stainless screws (#10 if i recall?) and matching nylocks. If you do something like this, be sure to line up the sending unit where you want the float to travel, so it doesn't hit the pickup or something! I didn't on the first one and had to modify the sending unit flange a little to correct it.

It was hard at first getting the nuts on, 1 5/8" isn't a large hole to work through. Then i figured out to bend a wrench, and put some duct tape on the back of the box side and just set the nuts in. This took about 4 hours total (trimming and setting up the adjustable sending units, trip to lowers,etc.) but the second tank was like 20-25 minutes after learning on the first.

The sending units are 0-30 ohm (99% sure that's what's on the truck stock) and now i just need to reinforce the necks and fix that crack with 2.5" ID filler neck hose. Which NO ONE has around. I could use vinyl, but i wanted something stronger, so i'll have to order that.

I put all new rubber fuel line in. Right now it's just stock tank metal pickup tube to the new marine 3 tank valve (which fit perfectly as replacement for the one with the econo-tank kit) and from there to metal fuel line, then there to pump and pump hardline to carb.

The small piece from the metal line to the carb was VERY deteriorated and fell apart in my hands. It's amazing we made it from California (~2500 miles) with that line. No wonder it was losing prime. New fuel pump went in from napa (one line in, one line out model, no evap or return.)


So, once the hose comes in for the filler necks, i can get new gas caps and put these back up, then run the new rubber lines. Of course, being plastic tanks, the units will need a ground wire. Also, the 3 input toggle switch (STTT) came in from grainger, very heavy duty. Have to make it a mounting plate to match the fuel switching valve and label it to look as correct as i can, and wire it up. A lot of this interior is coming out shortly anyway, so i can better mount the valve so it doesn't bind, and make a permanent weatherproof connection for the switch. Might even decide to put it on the dash, if i can find somewhere not bad or terrible looking. I'm finding more and more botched and bad accessory wiring, so far most of it has just been cut and remove. I will try repairing the harness back to stock (just got repair manual too) and then add wiring for the accessories (pretty much just AC, that progressive trailer brake system, and the trailer plug mounted in the aftermarket bumper)

Finally settled on grey and black interior, as red and white would just seem to be too flashy for a truck, for me.

Also, found the tread COMING OFF the front tire, so need to get tires. I'd like some wider ones though, that fill the wheel wells a bit, and that fit stock rims (not really looking to upgrade to 5 bolt or disc in the near future.) and maybe lower the truck about 2"...i'll do all shortly when i upgrade the power steering, redo the engine bay, and put the new tranny in, remove their ghetto crossmember, and make sure all the pinion angles in the 2 piece driveshafts are good to go.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:20 PM   #14
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

More pics.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:35 PM   #15
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Very nice ride. An ambitious list there as well. I like it. I'll be watching this one for ideas as I start the wifes '64 LWB BBW project in the near future. Keep the pics coming. You're doing great so far.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:42 PM   #16
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Thanks! I'm almost excited to do a lot of this stuff, because it's a lot of tinkering in each step, vs what's ahead (yank motor, install tranny, make more shift rods, patch hole in floor if it doesn't line up) etc.

I'm liking items like "cut holes in plastic" and "put stickers on gauges" for the moment
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:50 PM   #17
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

You have a great truck. I'll keep checking as I want to see what you do with the NP 440/MY06. I have the same trans in mine.

I purchased mine nearly complete, from EBAY. I was missing two rods that fell off the pallet during shipping, lost for good. I would like to see how you make the rods as my home made rods have not held up well.

Also, have you ever used an internal hydraulic slave cylinder on this trans?

Good Luck!!
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:05 PM   #18
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

You can use any hydraulic bearing you use with a muncie, etc. I tried the RAM one but i always had trouble with leaking and over extending, even though i measured 800 times, and it had the snap ring on it to prevent over extension. It was a very hard pedal too, and i picked the bore master cylinder that ram recommended. Maybe my pedal ratio was off? I'd rather use a slave cylinder against a fork setup, but i used my first NP440 in a pontiac (turned down the bearing retainer) so there is no BOP hydraulic factory setup to borrow parts from. The stock linkage ended up being the ticket.

You can see the original linkage i did for my 71 on this trans above. It looks like it will move my shifter forward and to the passenger side some vs the current rigged 3 spd setup. I will likely go the same route.

I basically used muncie shift ears on the tranny, and hurst mount plate (wallowed out one of the holes to line up on the NP440) and a competition plus shifter for the car. It shouldn't be near the bench seat, so you could use that handle, or another one if you wanted to swap them. I will likely use the A-body gm competition plus again and maybe a truck shifter handle if it is too low.

For the linkage, it's bent weird to clear the crossmember, and the speedo cable, and it's hard to tell, but it has to come out and forward to clear the wide body of the tranny, not just forward to the ears. It could likely be straighter under the truck without the tighter tunnel that my pontiac has.

I used B7 alloy fine thread rod from grainger because it's stronger than normal all thread, and it's fine thread and almost all heim joints are fine thread. Summit had cheap joints. You just have to use small headed bolts on the shifter ears because, with the width of the heims joints and the bolt heads, they could touch. Locktite on all the nuts. You bend the rod as needed on the bench with a jack handle, and screw nuts on it, then cut it, and screw the nuts off of the cut to keep the threads clean.

You could just make rods with just about anything if you want the stock style non-heim linkage, but i had poor luck with that. While this is very bulky looking, there is ZERO play, should last forever, very sturdy and ZERO shifter slop.

On the shifter end, you could use probably plain rod ends instead of heim joints, as they really don't need to swivel. The linkage is so stiff, i'd still use heim joints on the shift ear ends, as when they move and the geometry changes, the swiveling of the ball in the joint keeps it from binding as the original alignment is slightly different. The heim joints just act as really nice error corrector in the linkage, as you're moving in 3 dimensions with this linkage and the shifter mounted to the tailshaft.

Near as i can tell, the original truck shifter was like 4 inches from the tailshaft, and you shifted with straight rods, they wouldn't have a binding issue without swivel joints because they're only moving in 2 dimensions.

The integrated reverse switch is nice, as the column doesn't move when you shift anymore (on my 71 the column moves because of backdrive linkage, from the factory, but i was missing the reverse switch and wiring on the column, so when i re-wired the car, the reverse switch in the tranny came in handy) Summit has the weatherpak connectors used on the reverse light switch so you can wire right into it with no splices.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:35 PM   #19
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

I used some regular hardware store all thread for the last rods. I 'll get the B7 rod from Grainger or McMaster for the next set. I found these pics online for the rod arrangements. I think the owner was working to put the NP440/MY06 into an early 1960's Vette.

I have a Wilwood master cylinder and both a pull and push type slave cylinders. I have a mid plate mount with a clutch cylinder hole but would have to fabricate a mount for the pull slave cylinder.

If you are in need of racing grade parts and don't mind that the shiny new is worn off, you might browse here for some goodies. These are race items, not restoration parts. I have purchased several items, very good people to work with. ( http://www.mrracingequipment.com/ )

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Old 11-20-2012, 09:41 PM   #20
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Thank you for the link and that linkage looks very clean. I Like how close he has it to the tailshaft too. Looks like he modified it from universal kit linkage or something?
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:00 PM   #21
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Still waiting on parts, found i have RPO Z62 which i'm reading as custom comfort equipment (padded seat, etc). And original paint code is 544, which appears to be the red that is on it, although there's lots of evidence it's been re-sprayed.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:05 PM   #22
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Went out to put parts in the garage as they came in this week and saw that the front left tire was literally falling apart as it sat in the garage! Went and got some 235/75s (which should fix my spedo that was off about 5mph at 70.) and wider and look a bit better on the truck and took the wheels to have them mounted. Stuck with the 1" white walls on the truck, i kind of like them.

Finished reinforcing the necks of the filler tanks with some REALLY heavy duty fuel filler hose (after fixing that crack by resizing the metal insert smaller, clamping the plastic around it to suck it close, heating it generously all around, sealing with 2 coats of epoxy over night). Reinforced the plastic barbed fittings in the tank with epoxy, made a harness and put the tanks in. Wired the senders up, connected the last of the fuel lines and we're good to go! Put 5 gallons in one tank, full in the in cab tank, and 10 gallons in the other, then used the toggle switch i put by the fuel tank selector valve to check and they're all pretty close to right on! I didn't make a plate let, i'd like to have one that's red and looks close to the one the valve is using, so it looks like they match at a glance. The way it works now is great, you reach down and toggle far left is left tank, toggle middle is in cab center tank, toggle far right is right side tank. Don't really need a plate to figure it out, but when i put the new floor in it should look good next to the other plate.

Put 2 new mirrors on, the new license plates finally, the clutch pedal bumper and adjusted the height, the new tires on and took it for a test drive, all looking good so far! going to drive it tomorrow, then it's time to yank the interior and all the previous owners wiring, and go to town restoring the inside of the truck.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:54 PM   #23
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Nice truck you have there. I was wondering if that tank manufacturerer is still in business, or if I could buy tanks like that from somewhere. I had some steel tanks similar to those, but they rusted away and I had to scrap them. I really like that idea of putting the tanks in that spot, allows for a spare tire at the back also. I may have to get a custom set built.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:01 AM   #24
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

They honestly fit like they're factory there, and like you said still room for a spare tire. From everything i've found, these guys have long been out of business. They had a court case in the supreme court over FET taxes, that i had a lawyer friend pull the brief on and was some interesting reading (if you're into tax liability). Maybe pushing that put them under? I do wish someone else made something like this, i'd think you'd sell a ton. This kit in the 60's retailed for like $70...that's like $150-200 today...what a deal that'd be! The best parts of these tanks, i think, is a) they're poly so no rust, and they seem double walled, so i'm betting if you smash them they collapse, not split at the seam (can't find a seam.) and b) no cutting of the sides of the bed for a filler neck access panel. If you didn't know to look for the fillers in the wheel well, you'd never see them. Waiting on some new gas caps now (3 matching) since both of these are dried up and beat. If you find someone else making something like this, throw it out there! This was an RV place, so maybe someplace like that?
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:56 PM   #25
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Re: '66 Longbed 327 w/AC project

Spent the weekend taking apart the dash on the truck, removing all the previous owner's wiring, checking the harness and refurbing the dash, adding the vacuum gauge and tach, face decals, etc. I used a new bezel, but noticed on re-assembly that the tabs and line up posts/studs on it were slightly out of place. Also, had to work the edge of the factory bezel on the grinder to remove about 1/16th on one corner, and drill the post line up holes on the dash bezel one size bigger. Going to take it back apart just to put a new glass bezel in (thought mine was fine, but looks dingy against everything else being fresh.) And put the one green turn signal filter in that i found on the bench when done....how did that escape!!

However, found most of the harness untouched! just taped up or not used, and tons of "new" wiring used! Good news in all! Found the wiring schematic for the KH brake controller, and installed the brake light switch and bracket for the parking brake light. Need to run new harness (4 wires + one blue brake controller) to the back and clean up the wiring there, and wire in the 7 blade trailer plug that's built into the aftermarket bumper. Then the brake controller should work, all the rear lights, trailer plug. Then wire in that parking brake warning light, and aftermarket radio, and wiring inside should be done! OH! and find where power goes to the AC.

Thanks to this board, was able to convert tand'm lock light to parking brake light and convert pontiac vacuum gauge to the GM one and get the whole dash done in one weekend, including paint drying time!

Now i'm going to rehab parts of the interior (the kick panel vents for one), the AC vents, dash doors, etc. and then yank the rest of the interior.

Here is a pic of the small pile of parts, and the finished for now dash cluster. Most of the parts i'm just setting aside, until after the interior is painted (a medium gray with black panels, seats, etc)

I have 3 layers of sound/heat insulation to put in and all new weatherstripping to put in too, so except for no headliner, it should be a lot more quiet ride. Of course to do THAT, i need to swap the tranny, to see for sure where the shifter is coming up, so it'll be off to the tranny rebuilders this week to get it ready.

After interior is all done, time to yank the motor and start gluing gaskets on, blasting, and painting pieces and parts to get it looking good.
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