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1949 mack truck lfsw restoration

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a small step for man. ......

Good morning my fellow members of the Mack trucks family. I hope this finds you well and may even give you a wee laugh at my adventures. As you all know, I've been having fun with my old Mack for a little while now and that one job always leads to another. Since we last spoke I've been having problems getting her to idle or run for any length of time. I was getting fuel upto the injectors but it would only run for maybe 30 seconds then die. Which after at least 30 years of sitting still is quite good going. But I am a very impatient person and I knew I wouldn't be able to settle until she was running better. So after much head scratching, swearing and getting pi##ed off with the big hunk of junk I decided to go back to basics. First of all I looked at the air side of things. All checked out ok so I moved onto compression, with my not so great experience with huge diesel engines I just made sure that the engine turned over and that the valves were properly adjusted. Lastly was the fuel. I was not so sure about the quality of the diesel and how long it had been sitting in the tanks so I decided to drain, clean and renew the fuel system. Looking at the tanks I thought it best to remove the variable and just run the fuel from clean containers. This done I stripped the rear most fuel filter. What an amazing bit of kit considering that it was built in the 1940's. The sludge that came out of the bowl was quite disgusting and the wire gauze was a bit dirty so a thought clean and put back together. Next was front filter which I was struggling to get a replacement for but in the end I just matched a regular filter to the size of the old one and popped it in. So I tried again to fire it up but the problem was still the same. It wouldn't idle or run for any length of time. By this point the steam was coming out of my ears. Thinking the worst I called it a day and packed in for the night. I managed to get a cheeky wee half day on Friday and when I got home the sun was out and my better half was having way to much fun with the pressure washer to do anything so I rolled up my sleeves and started again. I was convinced that the problem must be coming from the fuel side of things and I remembered that when I first got her home and tried to get fuel up that the valves on top of the fuel pump were stuck so I pulled the fuel pump off. After a little stripping I traced the fault to the main value in the pump. It was stuck solid so a bit of wd40 and a bit of work the value popped out. Who ever thought to put the pump so tight to the chassis rails should be sacked ! All things moving as they should I put it back together and bled the system. This time on startup the motor sounded sweet but the fuel was squirting out the pipe from the pump to the filter. I replaced the leaking pipe and standard the motor. It ran as sweet as a nut and even revved up and returned to idle. I am a very happy boy! !!!! Now onto the drive train. ......Wish me luck. Until next time my Mack loving friends. Stephen

stephenellis

stephenellis

 

Engine cut out problems......

Good day fellow Mack fans. I have come across a small problem with my end672 diesel. She starts ok but will only run for a short period then cut out, I think I may start with the basics and drain the entire fuel system and start again. I am sure that after many years of sitting around that water and stuff has made its way into the fuel system. Hopefully I'll be able to eliminate that variable before I start throwing money at it. I have bled the system and unblocked all the valves and pipes as I went until I got fuel into the injectors and replaced the leaking injector pipes but I am convinced that there is something there that I've missed. The main tank is almost full of red diesel so instead of draining what I'm sure is a lot of fuel I am looking to bypass that and run the fuel from a clean tank with fresh fuel and go through the process of bleeding and cleaning again. I would love to hear from anyone who can give me some hints and tips and common faults with my end672 diesel engine. Reading the owners manual it keeps going on about draining the system and filling with new fuel. I am also going to take a look at the air chambers and injectors to ensure that they are squeaky clean before I jump in and spend a fortune. I am very impulsive and find myself jumping from job to job but I am learning to take my time as it's not a race. This blog stuff feels like therapy or something but I love it. May have to wait until the weekend to get on with it as work is very busy just now. It sucks that I have to earn money, a small lottery win would be nice or a rich sponsor so I can spend more time at home to play. Anyway I am off to work but just thought I would keep you up to speed. Speak to you later buddies. Stephen.

stephenellis

stephenellis

 

time well spent

l feel like I have been neglecting you all but life is rather hectic just now. As for the truck there has been quite a few bits done by myself and my girlfriend. The winch has been stripped down and freed off, one of the fuel tanks has been removed as someone who shall remain nameless sanded a hole through it and got my drive covered in red diesel, the cab has been dismantled and it only leaves the floor and bulkhead, due to corrosion the injector pipes have been removed and sent away to be renewed, the mack museum have been fantastic and sent me tons of information to help me understand about the truck, the valve covers have been removed and replaced and we had the motor running for a while until one of the injector pipes fractured. I think that's about it until I get the pipes back and fire up the motor again. Until next time my friends.

stephenellis

stephenellis

 

day. ...God knows

good evening my friend. Just a quick update on the lfsw progress. Got it home and with a little bit of drama and I managed to get it running! first time in years. took the truck cab off. I am waiting on new injection pipes as the original ones were corroded through to fire her up again. Have had to put it on the back burner as I have a new job. its a tough life when you can't work on your own truck for working for others.

stephenellis

stephenellis

 

Day seven? oh god knows

Another productive day.... Once we got the engine a bit cleaner it was time to see what I have gotten myself into. Trying to turn the engine over by hand sucked so the starter came out without much problems (it is bloody heavy tho) as I had popped my 12v booster pack on it in the hope that it would turn over but no luck. Once on the deck and cleaned, Alex loves to pick and scrape off old paint and rust to find whats underneath we discovered that the starter was 24v so I doubled up my jumper packs and it fired into life with a little spark. I took an old tooth brush and some WD40 and got the cog looking good and returning freely. As I was fitting it back in Alex was happy going through all the parts that had fallen off and giving them a quick clean. With the starter back in and the engine turning by hand I popped the Frankenstein jumpers back on and nothing much happened but a small fire and a bit of clunking so out it came again. I retested it but I had a look at the wiring diagrams and found it was a + earth. The things we are learning is amazing. So tomorrow I think we will pop the starter again and give it a try. I have been lucky enough to get a few 12v batteries so I will Macguyver them into the hole where the battery box was and try again. Alex was in the cab between checking all the parts for details so she cleaned, lubricated and freed off the gear levers. We were not sure what they all did but with help from Lucas and Vlad and the reconditioned glove box lid we figured the function of them and we are now getting our head round all the bits in the cab. If anyone had the picture of what the dash on a 1949 LFSW looked like that would be great. The big red box was next on the hit list. It seems to be a massive battery pack but it is not connected to anything so it was removed from my chassis. Think I will be making a few trips to the dump. Got lots to do over the next few days so stay tuned ..... coming up next time.... will the starter turn the motor? will the batteries fit? will the wiring burst into flames? .......

stephenellis

stephenellis

 

Day five

Day five............and six! It's been an eventful couple of days. Day five started with a phone call to say the crane was coming off the back of the truck, with the help of a Manitou. It started with burning off the bolts that held the crane onto the chassis and giving the crane a wee tug but the tow hitch was fouling it. A 70mm socket and a sledgehammer for a bit of gentle persuasion soon took care of that! The crane was removed and placed out of the way of estate traffic. The next job was to figure out how we were going to get it home. We managed to get help from a friend with a tractor, and burnt a hole through the front cross member of the winch to take a bolt for the towbar. Day six started at early o'clock, down to the estate to hook up with the tractor and start our epic journey home! It was a rather bumpy ride with no seat, floor or driver's door. Making it out over the first cattle grid was trouble free even though the tyres were all flat-spotted, this caused the roof to separate from the A pillars and showering me with rust from ad-hoc sunroof! Half a mile further on the vibrations were shaking my fillings loose and also ejecting the passenger door almost hitting the escort vehicle. From there it was plain sailing until a tight right turn into a small village took us wide and scared the life out of a old woman standing at a bus stop, who couldn't quite work out why I was on the wrong side of the vehicle and saying good morning through the door that wasn't there. Turning heads all the way home and narrowly missing a passing bus we managed to get it to the house where we backed it into the drive and straight through the neighbour's hedge! The typical Scottish weather meant the first job was to throw a tarpaulin over all the holes in the cab and cover over the missing bonnet. We didn't do much else other than try to figure out what all the levers did and evicting a mummified rat from the bunk! No rent paid, no digs! Between the beautiful Scottish rain showers we swept up some of the broken glass and rust to protect our dog Morgan. I went underneath to see if I could tell if the engine was seized or not but after removing the inspection covers on the bell housing, getting a face full of water and rust, I found no way of turning the flywheel. Moving to the propshaft, which was spinning freely, my girlfriend was inside wiggling the levers to try and engage the gearbox to the flywheel. As the rain came down yet again, we managed to figure out that one lever engaged the box and using a crowbar in the universal joint we managed to turn the motor quarter of an inch, moving the crankshaft pulley and dislodging yet more rust! Tune in for the next gripping installment of man vs truck where at this point the truck is well in the lead!

stephenellis

stephenellis

 

Day four

Day four has been great. It started with the two front tires being inflated and holding air which after 30+ years being flat was a surprise. We had a huge list of jobs to do and we got them all done in great time. The prop shaft came off with no problem. All the nuts and bolts were nice and free. May have something to do with the hydraulic crane leaking oil all over them. As I have never worked on anything this size or age before I was not sure if I was going to need big tools but so far I have managed with 1/2 inch and 3/8 inch sockets and a rather large hammer. With the air in the front tires the ground clearance was greatly improved. My 3 ton jack slid in no problem and raised the nearside front (drivers side but here in the UK that is the nearside) and without even adjusting the brakes the wheel spun free. So that's all the wheels turning freely. The tree stump was next on the list so it was out with the chainsaw. We cut it flush with the ground so the truck will roll over the top of it. And we dug out some more roots to clear the front axle. Almost ready to bring home with all the small jobs done and the loose panels removed. The bonnet came off in a few pieces and has been kept so we can fabricate a copy. While we had the bonnet off we took the chance to get the engine cleared of leaves and years of rust, moss and birds nests. The motor looks quite daunting but I am sure it will spring into life with a little TLC. Tune in next time for the gripping installment of the return of the Mack. Same Mack time, Same Mack channel.

stephenellis

stephenellis

 

Day three

Day three of the recovery: It was a fairly early start for day three. The mission for this visit was to remove tree and clear underneath. The tree put up a brave fight and was much taller than we thought but armed with only a bushman saw and a length of rope (needed to make sure the tree didn't fall through a building) we set about it. I decided to take the top off first so started just above the radiator cap and took out the thinner of the two trunks first. With this coming down with no deaths or damage to property the second and much thicker trunk was exposed. All went well with this apart from blocking an access road with the fallen tree so we cut it into smaller lengths and cleared the road. Once the top was removed (all those hours watching the discovery channel paid off) I went to the trunk that was below and growing through the bumper. Cutting through was a bit tough but the use of a ten ton jack helped with the last bit. Next on the to-do list was trying to get the rear axles in the air and clear under the wheels. The first wheel in the air was the passenger rear most wheel. I decided to give the brake actuators a bit of a bang with my little hammer on the off chance that it may budge. To my surprise it looked like it moved a little. Then came the larger hammer and a bit of brute force. After a lot of sweating and a few choice words I thought I would stand on top of the wheels so I could get a bloody good swing and to our surprise the wheels budged. I felt like I was on the log roll and we got it going a little bit, then a lot and finally doing a full 360 with movement in the prop shaft. With this we were spurred on to try and see if it was a fluke or if the other rear wheels could be freed. Considering this truck was last moved in the early 80's I was not holding my breath. But the luck of the gods was with us and we managed to get two more sets of wheels moving with the exception of the drivers rear most wheels not budging. I think this may have been caused by a newer looking brake actuator and a lack of access to swing my hammer. But we decided to call it a day and head home. Knowing that the back end is pretty much rolling and we could recover it with a spec lift truck or a home made A frame we are quite happy. Looking forward to day four...... will keep you posted. Stephen Ellis. P.S thanks to Vlad and Lucas for all their information.

stephenellis

stephenellis

 

Day two

Day two and it's time to dig ! After being parked up for more than 30 years (estimated by staff on the estate) we knew it was going to be a challenge to free the truck from it's resting place. With a car full of picks, shovels, hammers, saws and other assorted bits of kit we headed down for day two and starting to remove some of the things that had been placed on, under and inside the truck. There was a 1 foot mound of dirt that had built up along the length of it and we got the use of a mini digger to start us off. Once the digger had ran the length of the truck (almost tipping over a few times) and moved most of the muffin top that had built up we were able to get in with the shovels. We were digging for quite some time when we found what must have been the original road that the truck was parked on. As I cleared the sides my partner was on the inside throwing out all sorts of rubbish including a BMX. She was clearing under the bunk and came across some documents including the operators report of motor vehicle accident and the operating instructions from the Detroit Diesel Engine Division which had to be tied to the motor. With the inside starting to look like a truck even if you could see daylight through almost every panel and floor. We discovered the 3 pedals, two sticks and many other bits and bobs of which I have no clue what they are but I'm sure in time all will become clear. The underside was quite a task but hitting concrete spurred me on to get as much cleared as I could before my back gave out. I started at the left front tire and worked my way back. Putting a 3 ton jack under the bottom arm I tried to lift it but the tree growing through the front bumper had other ideas. Next time I must remember to take my chainsaw. Giving up on that we worked along the side and exposed the tires (front two are flat) and the bed it sits on. On the rear is a small crane which over the years has dumped lots of fluid down through the truck and working from the front there was lots of oily sticky mud to clear. The blacksmith on site said he will take the crane off if he gets a chance before we next go down. Looking at the drive train it all seems to be there even tho it is rather rusty and by the looks of things seized. I may have had a moan about the oil but it has kept the chassis in good condition. My next trip down will hopefully be in my restored ex MOD land rover with my nice new 10 ton bottle jack, a couple of axle stands and a big hammer to see if we can get the rear wheels rolling. Wish us luck. Will keep you up to date on our progress. Stephen Ellis, Scotland.

stephenellis

stephenellis

 

Recovering Mack LSFW....Day 1

Day one of my newest project and possibly the least eco friendly one of them all! To get this truck out and back to my house I'm going to have to cut down a couple of trees, remove the garden from the chassis and generally clear out 35 years of undergrowth and assorted rubbish! After clearing a tree, a welder, an enormous battery charger and the controls for the crane from the back the chassis is in remarkably decent condition. Maybe the flora and fauna over it protected it slightly! We managed to clear off most of it, dig out the back wheels and start digging out the front. The rear wheels are surprisingly whole, considering it hasn't moved for ever. I think we even dug out wood from the Ark! The front wheels haven't fared quite so well, Scottish weather doesn't do much for preserving rubber. All in all our archaeological expedition to remove some of the earth from round the wheels was a success. Looking forward to day 2 and shovelling more earth!!

stephenellis

stephenellis

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