I get gored by my own truck, and other dumb stunts…

Posted: April 5, 2013 in Diamond T truck, Hot Rod, travel
Tags: , , , , , ,

DSC04422 (1024x768)Yesterday, I was walking along, minding my own damn business, carrying a 5 gallon can of gas to the shop to dump in the Diamond T, when, out of no where…

WHAMMO! I walked smack into the (very pointy) end of the steerhorns on the GMC dually. I should have known this was a bad omen, but I kept right on, bruised pectorals or not.  Almost dropped the gas can, but happily, didn’t hurt the horns one bit.

DSC04425 (1024x768)The resultant bruise is not as spectacular as the impact would have lead one to imagine, but it’s still sore.

I should have just stopped right there, bad omen and all, but NOOOO, I continued on, maybe partially stunned by the impact.

I dumped the gas in the truck, about 3 gallons, and proceeded to fill the cooling system with antifreeze.  These LS engines are notoriously hard to fill, they air-lock, and that’s what happened.  I ended up working on it almost all day, after much hassle and frustration, and got it warmed up.

The engine ran OK at first, but then seemed to “stumble” and finally died.  This went on for quite a while.  It would start, run until it got warm, then quit.  I got it started again, and it ran OK, so I headed down the street.  Got a mile, to the church parking lot on the corner where I turned around, and it died, right in the road, taking up both lanes.

Happily, a manure hauling tanker truck driver stopped and helped me push it back into the parking lot.  He had to, as he couldn’t get around me.

It started right up, and I headed home.  Made it, although it was miss-firing and stumbling.

When I turned in the drive, it seemed to run OK, and I decided to try it again.

Same thing.  Ran rough, finally stalled, and restarted after a few minutes.

Very frustrated, and feeling sort of down about all the hard work and the disappointing, and very difficult to diagnose and fix, problem, I posted my problem on an LS engine performance site, and emailed the guy who had re-programmed the computer for the truck.

Lots of good advice. I went out to the shop this morning to try my newly found knowledge and diagnostic skills, all to no avail.  It wouldn’t start AT ALL today.  Fire, and die.  Fire, and die.  I ended up going up to the Prairieville Garage (the same place I had the Millusion towed when it made a horrible clanking noise that turned out to be loose lug nuts), where they very graciously lent me a fuel line pressure tester.

Instead of 60 lbs of fuel pressure, I had 5.  This is not good.  It did however, run perfectly when I put some gas in the testers canister, pressurized it to the magic 60 lbs, and hit the key.  Bingo.  Problem solved.

So, I jumped in, confident I’d identified the problem as the replacement fuel pump in the tank from AutoZone.  The floor of the box was pulled, the tank dropped, the pump removed and replaced, after some modification, by an extra one I had saved from the wagon.

I buttoned it all back up, hit the key, and…

THE SAME THING!!!  No fuel pressure.  Plus, this one howled, as if there were no gas in the tank (this is a glaring hint, if you haven’t figured it out already, where this story is heading).

I dropped the tank again, pulled the pump, thinking maybe I had it too high on the bracket to reach the (known low) level of gas in the tank.  The pickup sock was dry.

Shining a light in the tank immediately revealed the TRUE problem.

There’s only about half an inch of fuel on the bottom of the tank.


Evidently, 4 gallons of gas in the bottom of a 30+ gallon tank isn’t enough, no matter WHAT fuel pump is in the tank.

DSC04417 (1024x768)Now, I’ve modified the tanks bracket and wiring so the original, undoubtedly good, pump I’d bought will no longer fit, and the pump I have in it has a pick-up sock that doesn’t lay against the bottom of the tank at all.  Maybe not a real problem, as the other one didn’t either, evidently, but I do feel pretty dumb about the whole thing.  The  AutoZone replacement on the right, the GM one, on the ’93 van bracket, with the sock pointing up, on the left.

On the plus side, I did figure out how to modify the gas filler so it doesn’t drizzle fuel back out when filling up, and the rubber line on the fuel pump itself was punky, so that’s replace too.  Maybe prevent a problem down the road, far from home.

So, that’s it.  Two days, I’m still not ready to drive it, and my chest hurts.  I guess it wasn’t a total wash, because it was nice to be outside the first really nice days we’ve had, but I do smell kinda like gas…

  1. scotty gosson says:

    Glad you survived the running of the bulls, Brian! The gas tank story is just typical, isn’t it? Live and learn…


  2. Denny & Dollie says:

    Two years ago July 1st around 9AM—yes I remember this date well! I was attempting to move about a 30′ tree branch which was leaning against the tree it had fallen from in a storm. The skinny end was buried in this fine Florida sand. My plan was to get my trusty Dodge quad cab and a pull strap to drag the branch down and to my newly made pile of other tree branches. But seeing the branch stuck in the sand several inches I figured I had to first get it up out of the sand. I grabbed it  and lifted it up. No problem. This caused the fat top end to slide off the tree trunk it was harmlessly leaning on. In a split second the branch it the ground, the small end hit my right eye and my world changed forever. I didn’t fall but it got very dark and painful. Long story shorter. It knocked my eye lens into my eyeball. 7 1/2 hour surgery to remove that and install another lens. Later still another lens and a partial cornea. Still, I have 20-10 vision in one eye and only like 20-200 in the right eye. I can see the “E” and sometimes the LN or whatever happens to be next.

    Just be very careful around that steer horn. It can and will jump out and attack. It was preprogrammed in the bull and he’s watching you! As quickly as you hurt your booby you can loose an eye. We can live without boobies but one eye is hell! Actually I’m thankful I still have one good eye to still see boobs. But that’s another short story!

    Denny & Dollie Sharp—-Model T

  3. flynbrian48 says:

    Denny, As I first read your comment, I was laughing to myself, thinking that the story would end with the branch falling on your new pickup, which is what happened to me with my new Dodge Ram while trimming a big limb off a walnut in our yard. Then, I read further and began to wince. Wow. A moments carelessness and things come crashing down. In the case of my new Dodge, I had to scramble up an extention ladder with a running chainsaw, watching the inexorable crash of the (big) limb onto the side of my brand new Dodge Ram, and then hear Kim say, “I told you not to park the truck there.” Your tale is much worse, but it could have even worse than it ended up. It did cross my mind that it was a good thing the tip of that horn wasn’t a few inches higher, or I really would have put my eye out. We have to be carefull out there…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s