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New to Us: 74 Chevy C65 Log Truck


glitchwrks
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I'll try and take some pictures later today :)

We finally found a truck my grandfather was happy with, it's a 74 C65 gasser with a log rack on the back. If the build decal in the glovebox is right, it's a 427, if not it's a 366 -- I don't know enough about the big block Chevys to tell them apart from looking. It's been redone recent-ish, very solid frame, suspension, and driveline. This one came factory equipped with air brakes and is under CDL at 25K.

We bought it in Farmville, VA and drove it around 85 miles back to Buena Vista, VA. No major issues, but even empty it's a pig on gas. It'll be going to southern West Virginia this coming weekend, but I've got a few repairs to make before then. I pulled the dash apart yesterday looking at a number of issues: speedometer, tach, fuel, and temperature were all out, as were instrument lights. Headlights apparently out, too! Fixed the temperature gauge, there was a short somewhere in the chassis harness so I disconnected the factory wire and ran a new one. It looks like part of the chassis harness had a meltdown at some point. Took the lightswitch apart and cleaned it up, now I have dash lights but still no headlights, though the switch is good. I will probably disconnect the original wiring at the firewall terminal block and relay both the headlights and additional marker lights required (no side position lamps installed).

I think the fuel gauge issue is a dead gauge, it's pegged out even with the sender wire disconnected. I checked for shorts to ground on the sender wire, it's fine. Tach isn't hooked up at all, someone swapped in a HEI distributor and didn't reconnect the tach, I don't know why since there appears to be a tach terminal. I have heard that a busted tach can fry GM HEI systems so I'll probably leave that alone.

The speedometer is kind of an issue, the cable is fine but the previous owner had never connected it. There was a large hex tube extension on the back of the transmission tailshaft housing where it looks like the speedo cable would screw in. It was totally full of mud, looks like a wasp built a nest in it. Problem is, the mud nest continues down into the housing on the transmission! I don't know if there's a speedo gear down in there at all, but I don't think I want to go poking mud into an otherwise fine transmission and wreck it. Any thoughts on getting it cleaned out?

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I worked for a ranch years ago that had a bunch of those 2 1/2 ton chevys and I loved the one with the 366. It had more power than the other bigger engines and did a dang good job of hauling 2200gal of water 2x a day to the cattle. 

The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by the people who vote for a living.

The government can only "give" someone what they first take from another.

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12 hours ago, glitchwrks said:

Problem is, the mud nest continues down into the housing on the transmission! I don't know if there's a speedo gear down in there at all, but I don't think I want to go poking mud into an otherwise fine transmission and wreck it. Any thoughts on getting it cleaned out?

Being the lazy shade tree mechanic I am, I think I'd start with a eye dropper or turkey baster and a good shop vac positioned up close.  Squirt a little water on the mud and vacuum it away as it softens up.  Just a thought... 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well we decided to punt on the speedometer cable, I screwed the hex tube back on and screwed the cable onto that, so nothing else will get in there. We're going to pull the tailshaft housing off when we get a chance. It could probably use a tailshaft seal anyway, it's seeping a bit of gear oil.

Drove it around 150 miles to Flat Top, WV, down I-64 most of the way. We cut over to US 19 at Beckley mostly to avoid tolls. According to Amy I got it up to 60 MPH going downhill while I was still on the throttle :) Most of the way we were doing 50-55 MPH. Got around 5-6 MPG which is about what I was expecting out of a big block engine. Dropped two cans of Sea Foam in the tank before we left Buena Vista, which seemed to improve running. Of course, that may have also just been shaking all the crud out from sitting for a year, and of course fresh gas.

I'll be digging into the headlight issue over Thanksgiving. I forgot to check the dimmer switch on the floor so I'm wondering if it's just as crusty as the dash switch was, and is stuck in some in-between where it won't power either beam of the lights.

There's a small fuel leak somewhere, you can smell it when you're idling. Haven't determined if it's in the rubber line(s) to the fuel tank(s) or if it's a carb leak. I suspect the carb could use a cleanout and reseal anyway. I was expecting more power out of a 366 or 427. It didn't seem to have the power that my '69 F600's FT 391 had, or even the power of the FT 330-HD we had in a '71 F600 dump. It did come up Sandstone Mountain in 4-HI though.

Edited by glitchwrks
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yes check the dimmer sw. had several throw me that curve ball:P as for the power good luck we have a 74 gmc 6500 w/ a 366  in a fire truck tender with a 1800 gallon tank i've  been thru the carb and distributer trying to find its problem but it all checks out.........it almost can pull a 6% grade at 20 mph loaded as long as its a short grade!:D

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK, so we got everything squared away for the inspection! Headlight issue was the dimmer switch :) Found out that the top-of-cab clearance lights were wired into a toggle switch, which was disconnected, so we ran a wire out to the terminal block and hooked them into the running lights. Added 2" round ICC grommet mount lights in the square tube that makes up the log standards -- we didn't have a magnetic drill so we punched them out with the cutting torch. Grommet hides all sins! Those got tied into the running light circuit as well, all soldered + taped on the connections.

Fixed the heater motor wiring, ended up putting a 30 Amp fuse to a relay at the heater motor to keep the load down on the cab wiring harness, since it looks like it had issues in the past.

Haven't messed with the transmission tailshaft or tach yet. Fuel gauge issue does appear to be the sender, waiting on better weather to drop the tanks. We'll probably do a single sender, eliminate the tank select valve, and put a crossover line between the tanks. There's already a port in the bottom of each tank for the crossover.

Passed WV state inspection, and I don't think Grandpa even knew the mechanic :P He's hauled a few loads on it, loves the 427 compared to the SBC 350 that was in his old C60. Says he won't own anything that doesn't have airbrakes now! He had an issue where the start position on the key wasn't making contact, so they had to give the truck a little push with a loader at the mill. Fired right off, and I haven't heard anything else about it since. I'm sure it will be waiting for me over Christmas break.

Finally found a hood hinge/spring assembly for the driver's side. I don't know what happened to the old one, but most of it is sheared off.

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On ‎11‎/‎16‎/‎2016 at 8:55 AM, glitchwrks said:

Drove it around 150 miles to Flat Top, WV, down I-64 most of the way. We cut over to US 19 at Beckley mostly to avoid tolls.

We bought our MB in Bluefield VA just down 77 from Flat Top. 

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If you are looking for a parts truck I know where one is that runs and has a flat bed dump on it. Send me a PM if you are interested.

Money, sex, and fire; everybody thinks everyone else is getting more than they are!

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  • 3 weeks later...

PM sent on the parts truck!

That's a slick looking C60 -- looks like it's air brakes too, eh? I like those Dayton wheels with the chrome caps.

Starting problem turned out to be a broken wire to the starter solenoid, just the low-current wire that drives the solenoid coil. They were supposed to install the hood hinge/spring assembly this week, I guess we'll find out Monday when we head in for Christmas! I will try to get some pictures this time :)

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On 11/7/2016 at 8:56 PM, grayhair said:

Being the lazy shade tree mechanic I am, I think I'd start with a eye dropper or turkey baster and a good shop vac positioned up close.  Squirt a little water on the mud and vacuum it away as it softens up.  Just a thought... 

unscrew the thing    clean it out with a welding rod and screw it back in

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