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Old 05-19-2022, 06:12 PM   #1
cwcarpenter98
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Penny

A couple months ago, I got the opportunity to take a look at an 81 C10. A deal was arranged, but I had to focus on finishing college before I could do anything with it.

It's a Custom Deluxe, 305, 2 barrel, and probably a TH350 trans, but I haven't looked underneath to confirm that one. It has factory A/C and my favorite wheel base, a long bed.

The story goes that Dr. Pennington's father purchased the truck used around 1986 and rarely drove it due to health complications. When he passed around 1990, the truck was used around the farm by Dr. Pennington, his brother, and his son. His son also took the truck to UGA during college. After college, it returned to the farm and was parked in the early 2000s, but Dr. Pennington doesn't remember exactly why.

It was sitting for so long that some rodents decided to make the engine their new home. They chewed through most of the wiring harness, vacuum hoses, and at least 3 of the 8 spark plug wires. They also left a huge mess of sticks, twigs, acorns, walnuts, leaves, grass, and poop, lots of poop.
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 05-19-2022, 06:35 PM   #2
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Re: Penny

Rust wise, not the worst, but definitely not rust free. Needs rockers and probably the edge of the floor pans. Also needs some help at the bottom of the fenders. The cab corners look to be pretty decent though. Of course, the interior is rough from sitting in the Georgia sun for many, many years, but that's all fixable stuff.

There's a possibility that the truck only has less than 60k original miles, but we aren't completely sure about that. It is mostly original though, and I believe it still wears the paint job from GM.

The first day I looked at it, I put a wrench on the crank pulley to check if the engine was stuck. It wasn't stuck solid, but would only go a small distance before not wanting to turn anymore. At that time, I didn't have the time to tinker with it more. This morning, I went back to the truck armed with some tools and a fully charged battery. The Pennington's haven't found the key yet, but the ignition switch must have been left in the accessory position because it can still turn the engine over without the key. Or maybe the key broke off inside? I'm not sure yet on that one. Anyways, I used one of those ignition bypass buttons so I could be under the hood to start the truck. On the first attempt at hitting the button, the engine turned over quite nicely. No funky sounds, but it wasn't firing off. I then tried the ignition switch and found that it still worked. That was quite surprising because of how many wires have been chewed through. We poured some gas down the carb and tried again, but the engine just wasn't lighting off. After some investigation, I discovered that the power wire to the dizzy has 12 volts, but the 3 wires going from the cap to the base of the dizzy have been eaten. No spark for me. At that point, I was ready for lunch and out of luck, so I called it quits for today and will try again another time.

So, what are my plans for Penny? Well, I've got to start the rust repair on Frankentruck soon, but I'd like to still have a truck to take to cruise ins and shows. Penny fits the bill perfectly for that because of the A/C.

This build will be a slow one for me and definitely on a budget. My plan is to get the engine running, fix whatever is broken mechanically, get the A/C working, and then enjoy it for a while. I might throw some lowering parts at it as well, but I haven't made that decision yet. Definitely keeping the original steelies and hubcaps.
At the least, I'll hang on to it until Frankentruck's rust repair is finished, but maybe by then I'll decide to keep it around and fix all of the rust issues. Either way, it should be fun!
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 05-20-2022, 02:05 PM   #3
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Re: Penny

Good grab. It looks complete. You'll have fun cleaning it up. Hopefully it will run well for you. 305s get a lot of bad press, but I think that people don't understand what they were designed for and expect too much. They're meant to be a torque engine that allows you to get up to speed and then get decent mileage. If you try to push them past that, they don't do much. I'm surprised it has a two barrel, I didn't know about that configuration. I see that it's an LG9 and I couldn't find any specs on that, barely shows up on the internet. But still should run all right. When I bought mine, I drove it home 175 miles and it did just fine at freeway speed but didn't seem to have much extra. Then when I pulled the carburetor, I found that the secondaries were jammed closed. No wonder there wasn't any extra, haha. If you have a 2 barrel, you've only got primaries, so to speak, but they should be larger than the primaries on my 4 barrel, so it should run around just fine.
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Old 05-24-2022, 11:25 PM   #4
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Re: Penny

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Originally Posted by LT7A View Post
Good grab. It looks complete. You'll have fun cleaning it up. Hopefully it will run well for you. 305s get a lot of bad press, but I think that people don't understand what they were designed for and expect too much. They're meant to be a torque engine that allows you to get up to speed and then get decent mileage. If you try to push them past that, they don't do much. I'm surprised it has a two barrel, I didn't know about that configuration. I see that it's an LG9 and I couldn't find any specs on that, barely shows up on the internet. But still should run all right. When I bought mine, I drove it home 175 miles and it did just fine at freeway speed but didn't seem to have much extra. Then when I pulled the carburetor, I found that the secondaries were jammed closed. No wonder there wasn't any extra, haha. If you have a 2 barrel, you've only got primaries, so to speak, but they should be larger than the primaries on my 4 barrel, so it should run around just fine.
I'm looking forward to bringing it back to life. It deserves a second chance.
I'm also not looking to push a ton of horsepower through it, so a nice, smooth cruiser is what I'm looking for.
That's funny on your 4 barrel acting like a 2 barrel You needed those secondaries to really open up all those horse torques
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 05-25-2022, 01:09 PM   #5
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Re: Penny

Yeah, I bought it to be a parts truck. But halfway home, I realized it ran and drove too nice to pull apart. After the next gas stop, as I was pulling on to the freeway, I pushed the pedal to the floor and nothing really happened, haha. I thought, well I guess that's all there is.I ended up being really glad that there was a problem with the carburetor so that I had to pull it off. I can't quite understand what got into the carburetor to jam the secondaries so bad, but they wouldn't budge. Several soakings and cleanings later, and they should be available next time I need them. It will be cool to see your truck get cleaned up. I'm a big fan of the "fix what's already there" doctrine. I'll be interested to find out what transmission and diff ratio you have. Mine was originally a 700R4 that got swapped out for a turbo 350. Turns out that the TH350 and the 3.08 gears are just about right for cruising on the highway and losing stop light starts to corollas in the city, haha.
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Old 05-25-2022, 02:45 PM   #6
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Re: Penny

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Originally Posted by LT7A View Post
Yeah, I bought it to be a parts truck. But halfway home, I realized it ran and drove too nice to pull apart. After the next gas stop, as I was pulling on to the freeway, I pushed the pedal to the floor and nothing really happened, haha. I thought, well I guess that's all there is.I ended up being really glad that there was a problem with the carburetor so that I had to pull it off. I can't quite understand what got into the carburetor to jam the secondaries so bad, but they wouldn't budge. Several soakings and cleanings later, and they should be available next time I need them. It will be cool to see your truck get cleaned up. I'm a big fan of the "fix what's already there" doctrine. I'll be interested to find out what transmission and diff ratio you have. Mine was originally a 700R4 that got swapped out for a turbo 350. Turns out that the TH350 and the 3.08 gears are just about right for cruising on the highway and losing stop light starts to corollas in the city, haha.
My guess is a turbo 350 and either 2.73s or 3.08s, but I won't be able to find out for a bit. The truck is still over 2 hours from home and I haven't gotten a plan together yet to go get it with a trailer.
This one is definitely the "fix what's already there" plan because I'm trying to do this as economically as possibly but still end up with a reliable driver that looks decent rolling down the road. Maybe I'll get it home in the next couple of weeks, maybe it'll be towards the end of July. Either way, it's on the list of things to do
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 06-04-2022, 03:52 PM   #7
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Re: Penny

Fun looking project Christian!
I wish I lived closer to you! I would love to come over and help get that thing running. O well lol.
Looking forward to seeing updates on this one.
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Old 06-05-2022, 02:20 PM   #8
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Re: Penny

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Fun looking project Christian!
I wish I lived closer to you! I would love to come over and help get that thing running. O well lol.
Looking forward to seeing updates on this one.
Thanks! You're just a hop and skip away, head on over
Progress will be real slow on this one. I'm still at least a month out on being able to bring it home so I can actually work on it.
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 06-30-2022, 10:39 PM   #9
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Re: Penny

I had to return the trailer I borrowed to move all my stuff home. Since I had to make the trip down with the trailer anyways, I figured I would stop by the truck as well. I took the wheels off so that I can get some tires on it that will actually hold air and get the truck on a trailer at some future date. Probably won't be until August before I can get back down there with a trailer.

*Edit to add picture*

I'm thinking about repainting the wheels. Not sure if I should powder coat or rattle can, but either way, I want it to be in the stock or at least close to stock color. All 4 hubcaps are still in pretty good shape, so they're definitely going back on.
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson

Last edited by cwcarpenter98; 07-01-2022 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 07-03-2022, 05:46 AM   #10
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Re: Penny

My opinion, is at this stage of the game, I would use paint. Frost White is the color of your cab roof. If you're going to paint the wheels, and say the bumper, it would make sense to get that color or something close to it. It's a bright white, but not an antiseptic white that looks almost blue. So if you get a chip of it, you could probably find a rattle can that was close enough for those parts. Or go to an automotive paint supplier and get Frost White mixed up. I hope you're able to snag the truck soon so you can get some drive time in while it's still summer.

Last edited by LT7A; 07-03-2022 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 07-03-2022, 03:29 PM   #11
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Re: Penny

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My opinion, is at this stage of the game, I would use paint. Frost White is the color of your cab roof. If you're going to paint the wheels, and say the bumper, it would make sense to get that color or something close to it. It's a bright white, but not an antiseptic white that looks almost blue. So if you get a chip of it, you could probably find a rattle can that was close enough for those parts. Or go to an automotive paint supplier and get Frost White mixed up. I hope you're able to snag the truck soon so you can get some drive time in while it's still summer.
Thanks for the info on the color. My plan would be to match the wheels to the top as I'm assuming that's what GM did as well.

I won't be able to get the truck back on the road this summer. Crunch time is coming up soon for my 3rd CPA exam, so I am not planning on bringing it home until some time during the week after my exam. That does give me time to get the old tires off, freshen up the wheels, and get some good tires on them before I go back to get the truck. Then I have to do all the wiring stuff and fix the brakes that I'm assuming will be bad after sitting for so long.

Down here about an hour north of Atlanta, I can drive my old stuff pretty much year round, unless the weather is really, really bad. I don't have a garage to park either truck in at the moment, so no reason to winterize the trucks and not drive them
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 07-16-2022, 11:52 AM   #12
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Re: Penny

Got the old tires off yesterday and gave the wheels a wash this morning. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to replace 2 wheels. One has rusted out at the valve stem enough to where the valve stem won't seal. The other has some heavy pitting around the valve stem and on the lip, so it won't look the best either.

I'm thinking either find a pair of 15x8 steelies and do fat tires in the back, skinny up front, or find 4 15x8 slot mags. Not sure exactly which way to go because I like the look of both. It will probably depend on which I find first
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 07-17-2022, 10:17 AM   #13
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Re: Penny

Slot mags would look great if you lowered it. But if you’re keeping her stock height maybe the steelies?
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Old 07-17-2022, 04:28 PM   #14
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Re: Penny

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Slot mags would look great if you lowered it. But if you’re keeping her stock height maybe the steelies?
I do plan on lowering it, so definitely thinking about the slots. I wanted to put a set on my 63 a couple years ago, but I could never find a set I could afford at the time. Then I found the steelies and hubcaps for it, so that's the direction I took. I've got the farm truck look for the 63 and don't plan on lowering it ever. I'm kinda leaning towards going for more of a hot rod or street truck look with the 81. It has the sport style mirrors on it, so kinda makes sense to lower it and rock a set of slots. If I go with the slots, I won't be getting rid of the original hubcaps in case I decide to change back at some point.
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 07-23-2022, 11:13 PM   #15
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Re: Penny

Slot mags acquired! Thanks to SouthernParts for parting with them
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 07-23-2022, 11:15 PM   #16
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Re: Penny

Nice score

Those will look good.
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Old 07-24-2022, 06:47 PM   #17
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Re: Penny

Can’t wait to see ‘em installed!
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Old 07-24-2022, 11:17 PM   #18
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Re: Penny

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Nice score

Those will look good.
I agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corts60 View Post
Can’t wait to see ‘em installed!
Same here!

I'm going to put a little shine juice on them before I figure out some tires. I've still got a couple weeks before I can go pick the truck up. Also need to buy some shank lug nuts. All part of the fun!
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 07-26-2022, 03:19 PM   #19
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Re: Penny

Cool, good grab!
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Old 08-01-2022, 10:07 PM   #20
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Re: Penny

Started sanding on the slots to polish them up for a truck that doesn't run yet. Makes sense if you don't think about it.

Top wheel has been hit with 600 grit wet sand. These wheels still have the tooling marks when they were machined way back when. Never been sanded on until now. Should turn out pretty decent, I suppose
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 08-01-2022, 10:18 PM   #21
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Re: Penny

Those rims remind me of some aluminum stuff that I kept clean years ago.

I used Never-Dull
It worked great

I dont know how it works Now
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Old 08-10-2022, 10:30 PM   #22
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Re: Penny

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Originally Posted by Getter-Done View Post
Those rims remind me of some aluminum stuff that I kept clean years ago.

I used Never-Dull
It worked great

I dont know how it works Now
Thanks for the suggestion, I might have to try it if the polish I picked up before I started sanding on the wheels doesn't work out.

‐----‐--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Finally got all 4 wheels wet sanded to 2000 grit. Going to see if I can get the tires on my 6 lug rallys swapped over to the slots in the morning. If not, I guess I'll have to buy new tires for a truck that doesn't run. Oof

But dang, these wheels look so much better. Going to do the final polish on Friday and hopefully getting the truck home on Saturday

Yes, I need to clean up the back sides, but I can do that one at a time once I get the truck home
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 08-11-2022, 06:02 AM   #23
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Re: Penny

Great job
Those are looking good.

Lemon juice or vinegar diluted with water also works cleaning old aluminum.
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Old 08-12-2022, 11:50 PM   #24
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Re: Penny

Thanks, Dwayne, I'll probably try that on the back of the wheels. They're still dirty.

I almost sold the 6 lug rallys and tires awhile back. I'm glad I didn't because I was able to have the tires swapped to the slots.

Dad and I had to install a trailer brake controller on his truck this afternoon. Picked up the trailer and noticed that the trailer brakes didn't seem to be working right. It had been awhile since they had been adjusted, so that got tightened up. The non brake axle had zero preload on the bearings, so both sides got tightened up just a wee bit. Last was to re-weld part of the spare tire carrier so it wouldn't flop around as much. Should be ready to head out in the morning!

Because of the trailer maintenance, I wasn't able to clean up the wheels and tires and finish the polish on the wheels. Maybe that'll happen some time this week. Maybe not. We shall see. I don't have any deadlines set for this project
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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Old 08-13-2022, 08:28 PM   #25
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Re: Penny

A successful trip has occurred

Drove down to Milledgeville this morning with an empty trailer and a set of slot mags.
The wheels fit and look great on the truck. Definitely a good choice. We got the truck on the trailer but had to pause and catch a calf that had escaped the fence. All good with the calf, so got back to strapping the truck down. I missed the dealership sticker on the tailgate until today.
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Christian Carpenter

1963 C10 - Frankentruck 283, Muncie 3 speed with overdrive
Overdrive wiring here
1963-ish truck bed trailer - Half-Wit

1981 C10 - Penny 305, th350 --> Soon to be 350, Saginaw 4 speed

1995 Dodge Dakota Sport

"I'll put it simple: if you're going hard enough left, you'll find yourself turning right." - Doc Hudson
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