It has been a fun end to the fall with a big trip for Swede. He HIT THE ROAD and returned to the farm for a visit. This is the first time in decades he has driven that road.
Returning to the farm was a truly remarkable experience on many different levels. Likely the most remarkable thing was to witness the grandma looking longingly over the truck. It had been a few decades since the truck has the truck was in the driveway and a little over a decade since her husband had died. Seeing it, seeing her looking at it and watching the reaction was priceless.
In order to get to the farm meant I spent the week of Thanksgiving tying up loose ends. Namely, I had to get brake lights. Turns out those are pretty important.
The brake lights were quite a puzzle to figure out. First off, the aftermarket Braden bumper meant all stock options were out the window. Second, the bumper doesn’t offer a great backing plate to install new lights on. It has a gap of 3 inches from the rear of the backing plate to the where the lights should sit. Finally, the holes for the lights were different sizes and there was no access really to fit them in.
How did I make this work? I was on plane flying back from one of my various automotive events when it finally hit me. Glue, bolts, nuts and round LED lights.
Essentially, I took a long bolt, glued it to the back of the LED light with two-part epoxy and glued nuts at different intervals. Then, I retracted this bolt into the hole on the backing plate and put a nut on the protruding bolt. Basically, it went light, bolt, nut and then another nut. The first nut dictated how far the light stuck out and I had to test fit this a few times to get the length just right.
Next, I re-wired the lights from the back of the bed to the cabin. Changing out the old wiring wasn’t such a big deal until I found the frame was full of dirt and I had to clean out all the dirt to get the wire out. Well, dirt out and a few big pulls to get the wire freed. Then, I re-ran new wire to the dash.
Now, you will notice I said brake lights and not turn signals. Well… the turn signals still don’t work at this writing. Turns out there is an odd-ball turn signal switch causing the issue. It sits on top of the steering wheel shaft and not behind the steering wheel as is common. Nope, from 1960-1962 Chevy decided to install a switch on top of the steering wheel column at the base of the column. I’ve tested all the wiring and I’m certain the switch has gone bad. However, it has been back ordered for a few months. What to do? I just point where I plan to turn… through the back window, because, well, the side windows don’t open. It mostly works.
With the turn signal switch on eternal back order it seems, I spliced the wiring to the brake light switch and hooked up directly to the brake lights. I can now drive it around town safely, albeit without turn signals.
Equipped with brake lights, it was time to hit the road and I spent the entire day driving around. Bringing a truck like this back to life is just incredible and that day will be a good memory of mine for years. Unfortunately, it ended with a tow back home and an overheated engine. I also have a metal clanking sound, whining sound when I turn and a slew of other problems.
But MAN it was a good day. More to come.