Project Car SOTU 2016: HoonTruck

A victory, for me, in the garage can be something that others might consider trivial, small, or perhaps even meaningless. To get two victories in one day… well that’s just something that doesn’t really happen. Yet it did happen recently when I was out in the garage. Face cozied up close to 5.8-liters of Blue Oval goodness in the form of my old FE lump. The task at hand on this day was to clean up the engine bay a bit and then eyeball the suddenly more sloppy steering column.
Two jobs that would be easy for the average wrench. On this day for me, they would prove nearly as simple as one might expect, which is part of the victory at play.

The first task was the one I figured would be the easiest. I ordered a set of billet plug wire looms from Summit Racing. My engine bay was a sloppy place, and the most simple way to start the clean up process was to get my messy wires in check. I said I thought this would be the easiest task, and it should’ve been. I’m good at making things more complicated than they need to be.

Before shot of the driver’s side wires

I installed the wire looms under the head cover bolts. Then I tried to install the plug wires while the looms were bolted in place. I lost three screws, an hour of time, and nearly my sanity. Then I had the bright idea of installing the plug wires with the loom not bolted into place.
The driver’s side wires took about 1/5 the time of the passenger side, and I could move on to the more important matter of my steering column.
I was starting to see the gap between my steering wheel and the column neck getting farther apart. My turn signal was no longer canceling, and I was getting worried that shit was about to go from “eh, this is still fine” to “oh my god, I’m going to die”. I was worried this was going to be over my head, but I just took a glance down and could see that the rag joint and the column were barely bolted down on the spline where they should be.
I don’t know if there was actually enough room for it to come all the way off, but I wasn’t going to find out. Borrowing a neighbor to act as an opposing force, I had the rag joint pushed back down on the spline where it needed to be. A few bolts tightened and double-checked later and everything seemed back in the spots where it was all supposed to be.
I’ve driven the truck a number of times since and the steering wheel hasn’t budged an inch from its position in the photo above.
Now it’s time to move on to other things for this truck. I don’t have photos or video yet, but there’s a new sound system that’s been installed. Some of you will like it, while I fear a number of you will hate it. It’s a modern head unit and it definitely looks out of place. The dash was already cut, so I don’t feel too bad about this move. It all sounds excellent and I truly love having music back inside the cabin of this truck. So stay tuned for more info on the gear I’ve got packed inside.
I need to replace the valve seals, as the truck is nearly in Spy Hunter mode out on the road. If you’re behind me, I apologize for the blueish white mist through which you’re now driving. That should be an adventure of a job for me, as it means diving into parts of the engine I’ve yet to explore on my own machine. I might just team up with Tim for this one, and yes that means there might just be more Hooniverse Garage in your future (Spoiler alert?).
After that, I’d like to look at the other bits and pieces that need looking after on a vehicle from 1965. The rear suspension likely needs attention as does the rear end itself. I’d like to explore the idea of putting power steering on the truck, and I’m brainstorming dumb things to do to the engine. I can tell you that I’m chatting with Magnaflow about some exhaust work, and we might swap on some headers from Hedman.
There’s a whole lot left to do on the truck, but she’s in more than good enough shape to have my cruising around town as often as I can. I try to drive the truck at least once or twice per week (sometimes more depending on which press cars I’ve got running through my driveway).
This truck has been a blast so far, and I smile every time I turn over that 352.

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  1. mad_science Avatar

    Proud of the proper old-car-driving guy you’ve become.