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seattle smitty

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About seattle smitty

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    Old, simple cars.

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  1. Any of you real gear-heads ever have and work on one of these? Pretty neat little cars IF, repeat, IF you fix the mechanical quirks that took these cars off the roads, and they seem to be all fixable for any rodder or restorer with some ability. I'm currently about to rebuild the K182 5-speed manual trans (the one with the 2/4WD transfer case) which got itself stuck in Reverse. If there are other owners, I've learned some things about Colt Vistas and am interested to hear anyone elses' tips, and the only decent Colt Vista websites are long-gone, so . . . .
  2. Darn, forgot to report what I found with rust scraping and mainly closer inspection. Again, this is an '81 720 with factory "moon roof," I guess it is. Anyway, it does have drains, four of them, one in each corner of the gutter, at the bottom. Factory welded-in sections of thinwall steel tubing, I'd guesstimate about 3/8" I.D., so about 9 or 10mm. I stuck a piece of vaccuum hose in the end of each one and blew into it to see that each drain was unobstructed. I never seem to have a helper handy, or I would've asked him/her to put an ear next to the bottom of each roof pillar to see if and where the air came out to locate the end of the drains. I don't know how I missed seeing them before, because I expected the factory would surely have made this provision (for something like an unanticipated rain shower when the moonroof was open). Probably bad light, old age (me), and not standing on something (I'm about 5' 9" nowdays) to get me high enough to get a good look down into the gutter. Once I'd got high enough, the drains were not at all hard to find. Anyway, that's all I know about this for now.
  3. I don't come here a lot, but whenever I do, I have a question, have no luck at all with the Search function, and worry that I'm annoying y'all with an old worn-out topic. So here's another. Heading home this afternoon, I passed a yard sale, stopped, backed up, parked. Some gal, with the usual gal-stuff, but she did have a nice set of four little-used Goodyear P225/60R-16 (I didn't catch the rating) for $80. I told her I'd think about it, but they looked good enough that I figured if I waited somebody else would grab 'em, so I took a chance and they came home with me . . . "the chance" being that I might not use them and will have the hassle of selling them. What I want to know is if this is a usable size tire for a basically stock 1981 720 pickup? And if so, what donor cars (if any) will have cheap steel rims with the right bolt pattern AND the appropriate offset to keep these tires from rubbing anywhere? I tend NOT to like the idea of a big diameter rim plus short sidewall tire (50 or 60 series) combination on a truck, which is just what this combination would be, but as I say, I took a chance, and maybe some of you guys will tell me you've tried it and it works fine.
  4. Thanks for the replies, but I'm still hoping someone will know about the corner drains (four?) for the gutter. are there actual rubber tubes going down inside the pillars, how long, how routed??
  5. . . . but that got me no hits in the Search function here. So what's the correct name for the openable and even removable glass panel in the top of the cab of my '81 720 King Cab?? This vehicle is a non-running and somewhat rusty old beater which I am slowly restoring to functionality. Previous owner had removed the (whatever-it-is), maybe it was leaking, and I want to put it back after clean-up and repair. I pulled away the molded rubber seal from the periphery of the glass, leaving remnants of a thin rubbery substance behind on the glass. What I want to know is the nature of this little bit of sealant so I can reproduce it, which the factory evidently thought was needed to seal the molded rubber gasket to the glass. Is it some kind of goop, maybe silicone seal, that's squirted from a tube or caulking gun into the cavity in the molded gasket? Or some sort of thinwall molded sub-seal? I had to scrape it off the glass, but couldn't tell for sure the nature of the stuff. So far all I've done is clean up the glass, and clean the molded gasket with Bleche-Wite, wonderful stuff for cleaning white or blackwall tires, oxy/acetylene hoses, anything rubber. Next Q, after I wire-wheel and otherwise scour out the rain gutter stamped into the top of the cab, over which the (whatever-it-is) is fitted, I expect to find one or more drain-holes connecting to rubber or plastic tubing running down inside the windshield pillers . . . is that right? One corner of this gutter has the bottom of it rusted through, which I can repair, and I suspect it had a drain-hole/hose-nipple. Who can tell me about all this? I don't expect ever to pop open the (whatever-it-is), much less ever remove it again, and am considering using silicone sealant between the molded gasket and the top of the cab, to ensure permanent water-tightness. I just trailered this poor old derelict to a place that's a lot more convenient for working on it semi-regularly, so I expect to be harassing y'all with more odd questions.
  6. I recently went through this. I had made a wedge copying a design from a big book that came out in the mid-'70s at the height of 240/260z-car and 510 racing (some of you have this book, with a color photo of a Brock Racing Enterprises 510 on a track somewhere). I found the wedge and discovered it was too thick to work on my Z-22. After some sawing and sanding, it turned out a little too thin because it never quite was stopped by the tensioner. But it worked fine, which indicates that the tensioner need not be rammed all the way in. Or maybe it just means that the old chain was stretched a little. Anyhow, when I first made the tool, I drilled a small hole in the top and put a lanyard (piece of braided cord) through it so I could always retrieve the tool.
  7. Taxes, fees, tags, and plates just under $200 for a $200 vehicle??!! When I got my most recent beater for $250, I think all of that was about $90, IIRC . . . . Well, I guess I'll find out next week, including about the gift aspect. Thanks!
  8. I'm getting another temporary vehicle (very slowly working on a '81 720, which will probably be a keeper). This one is a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan, in fairly good shape. It would be a keeper if it wasn't so new, with efi and a computer, highly over-complicated, which I detest. But maybe it will hold up long enough for me to get the 720 going. The current owners are giving me the car (in trade for my having done a bunch of welding and re-wiring on their horse trailer. In trying to keep the cost of the title transfer down, how should they fill out the bill of sale? If they write zero dollars (gift), how does the DMV calculate the value of the car? Naturally I want to get it for "low-book," which is about $250, not letting the license agency see the car, but showing them a bill of sale with such expressions as "non-running," "old tires," "engine-check light flashing," "A/C non-working," and any other creative stuff I can think of. Does anyone have advice on doing this? I'm in King County, and will have to get emissions-checked (another reason to have old cars). Anybody done this recently? Last time i did, years ago, it cost $16 per sniff, and if you didn't pass on the second try, IIRC, you had to have a licensed shop work on it, another PITA.
  9. As a brute force method of getting the sleeve off, maybe unharmed, I'd run a drillbit through that big hole. That old sensor is no-good anyway, right? Then stick something like a line-up punch through the holes to rack on the sleeve, which you might hit with some heat, first. This oughta be easier on the sleeve than a Vise-Grip.
  10. Wayno, I experienced what you described with a '79 Econoline 150 "Trailer Special" van, 351, C-6, and a 9" with Traction Lock. Great for pulling a boat out of the water, but it wanted to swap ends on snow. But I attributed that to all the weight of a cast iron V-8 and dual batteries in the front, and not much load in back. My interest in limited slip for the 720 comes from years ago when I did some welding for a little logging crew out in the woods (different vehicle), and had to be towed up the "road" and into camp with a dozer. But I suppose that stuff is long behind me. So I'll settle for putting a loop for a come-along under my new bumper, when I get to that point. Thanks, fellas.
  11. Couldn't determine this with a search. Was/is there a limited-slip option that could be applied to my early ('81) 720? Also, in reading the '81 owners manual, I see that besides the standard pickup, the long box, and the King Cab (mine), there were one or two "Heavy-Duty" versions in that year. Was that a matter only of springs and shocks, or was there more to it? I'm going over to work on my truck today and will look for model designation letters/numbers. This poor little neglected machine is eventually going to be my shop truck, with flatbed and side-boxes. And semi-massive-looking homemade bumpers, lah di dah!! A comment on converting to a DGEV Weber: I'd be curious to see how Redline, or whomever makes it, did their adapter plate. I made mine, and found it to be a bit of a chore. FWIW, I have the primary side pointed left (driver side) and secondary to the right. I had to make it with two separate plates, one screwed to the 720 intake manifold, one screwed to the underside of the carb, the both screwed together around their edges. Doing this while providing clearance for the various DGEV throttle shaft gizmos that hang down below the carburetor's base was a little tricky. I could have done the adapter with a single plate had I welded some material to the manifold, maybe, but it came out okay. Funny, the last time I adapted one of these Webers, it was to an '86 Dodge Colt Vista, and it seems like it was a lot simpler operation, with only a single adapter plate needed. Dang, I gotta get this vehicle fixed and in-service, it or my Vista. Right now I'm making do, barely, with a '90 Geo Metro. Purchased cheap but what a heap! Hardly any traction, Chinese wiring, too new, and thus too complicated with a bleeping computer running everything via the too-small-guage wiring system, . . . If I had it to do over again, I'd get a Yugo, as the superior machine!!! (EDIT) -- Oops, don't know right from left. Carb is set with choke, and primary side, to the, uh, let's see, the right side, passenger side (U.S.) . . . .
  12. (Found nothing in searching this, but could have missed it) Have any of the admins considered making a sticky topic for guys to recommend good machine shops, alignment shops, body/paint shops, transmission shops, etc., etc. in their areas? My machinist has moved away, and when I get to building a new engine for my 720 pickup, or getting the front end aligned, this sort of info would be helpful. Maybe some have found shops that are particularly knowledgeable on old Datsun/Nissans. What I personally would look for is shops in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area, but members from anywhere could offer info for any area, of course. No doubt there are such recommendations being offered all the time in the various threads, but having them readily accessible in one place could be very useful. The only problem with this is that many of us do so much of our own mechanical/welding/machining work that when non-DIY'ers ask us for a good repair shop, we're at a loss to answer. But still, most of us don't bore our own blocks, do four-wheel alignments, and similarly specialized work, and thus may have good specialists we can refer to.
  13. A few weeks ago I posted some comments to a member's thread in which he expressed dismay at the ugly welds he found on the chassis of his 720 pickup. He said he felt inclined to grind out and re-do the welds before painting the chassis. Some good opinions pro and mostly con followed. The O.P. and one other member currently fixing up their 720s, each describing himself as unskilled at welding, mused about getting a pal or relative with welding skills to come over and re-do the globby factory welds, one of them indicating he might buy a welding machine for this and other tasks. I have been welding for over forty years, professionally but usually as an adjunct to general mechanical work. My part-time retirement work mostly involves welding repairs for heavy equipment operators, with some fabrication of specialty buckets and such. I am in no way sniffy about amateur welders, some of whom do outstanding work. But I've seen a lot of the other kind, often when called to fix the messes they left, either from their inability to make a good weld or from their lack of metallurgical knowledge or of avoiding creating stress-risers. There is a relatively modern problem arising from the availability of small wire-feed welding machines. A lot of guys, who would have passed on doing their own welding in the days where an amateur only had stick welding and gas welding options, look at wire-feed machines and think, "All you have to do is set a couple of dials and just pull the trigger, . . . easy!!" The point I want to make here is that wire-feed welding is the easiest way to make a good-looking bad weld. Repeat, a good-looking bad weld. With some time spent looking at YouTube welding videos and practicing on scrap, the owner of a wire-feed machine can lay down what to any non-welder looks like a nice bead. But it is VERY easy with wirefeeding to have a bead with poor or no penetration, that has failed to tie in with one or both sides of the joint. In welding school, a professional will show you exactly this situation. He will bend-test and otherwise put your nice looking welding efforts under stress, and you will be surprised and chagrined to find that your pretty work was no good. But amateur welders who are buddy-taught or YouTube taught generally miss out on this, as well as all the knowledge of metals and design that come with formal weld training. One detail, for what it's worth, is that no-gas wirefeed generally is more likely to get penetration than the otherwise-more-desirable gas-shielded wirefeed process in the hands of a poorly-trained welder. One of the things you learn in school is what to watch for as you make the bead, so that you pretty well know as you do it whether you're making a good bead or not. So, bottom line, before you ask for help from an amateur who thinks he "knows how" is to find out how he learned to weld, learned about different metals and what they require, and so on. Don't be fooled by a bead that superficially appears better than the lumpy welds you might see under your car. Those lumpy welds probably held, while your buddy's smoother welds might not. And if you want to buy a welder and do it yourself, take a night class at the local trade school and have a pro look over your shoulder.
  14. I feel your pain, Kaw. There is no excuse for that level of welding in a professional setting, whether they were applied manually or by robotics. It says something when you see some of the flawless beads on Japanese motorcycle frames, WHERE THEY SHOW, and then you look at the bird-poop welds under a chassis where a customer will never see them. If you didn't read that link I posted, you might take a look just to see the opinion of an expert who has seen corporate attitudes about fixing bad welds that could prove be dangerous to customers, including some that already have. Unlike the big corporations, where the bosses are rarely held personally liable, the owner of your little local welding shop knows very well that the lawyers will take him for everything he owns, even after his insurance coverage is used up, if someone is or can claim to have been hurt by something to do with the welder's work. Welding can have consequences. www.weldingweb.com has a couple of long-running threads devoted to the failures of amateur "welders;" take a look at this one on homemade (and a few commercial) trailers, and you'll start thinking you shouldn't be on the roads in anything smaller than a Humvee: https://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?372021-Trailer-fail-pics Here, this one is probably better. Stoffregen, you'll like the roll cage at the bottom of page 1 of this thread: https://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?139711-Welding-Fail!-post-pics-here
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