The reassembly of the truck has finally begun with Steve piecing together the front end. Work has also started on the enamel ‘Tour With Texaco’ lettering on the trunk.
Beginning The Reassembly
To achieve the best possible finish on the chassis, Steve decided to get it painted in a commercial bake oven. He transported the chassis and two rotisseries separately to Mike at South City Auto Painters in Manukau City.
The chassis was sprayed ‘Jet Black’ in two pack Valspar 500.
The kingpins were both sent out for rebuilding at Metal Repair Services and were machine ground back to the original specifications.
The stubs and the refurbished kingpins were then taken to Marlin Tooling in East Tamaki where Mark fitted new bushes and machined them to suit the finished kingpins.
As mentioned in an earlier post, Steve has acid stripped and painted various suspension parts using the Valspar 500 paint system. All the reusable hardware has been CAD plated.
The front shock absorber and attached link shown above is yet to be reconditioned. When Steve dismantled the front end, he discovered damage in the shock mounts that connect to the end of the shock absorber link.
After years of use and abuse, the holes in the shock mounts had become elongated. Steve welded up the holes and Mark at Marlin Tooling machined new tapers in them. Steve then blasted and painted the mounts in readiness for the reassembly.
Our thanks to everyone mentioned above for their workmanship and contribution to the project.
The Front End
To begin the reassembly, Steve fitted the new bushes that we purchased from Tom Warren to the newly painted springs and shackles.
The chassis was then turned over for the axle to be offered up to the springs. I would just like to note that lifting truck axles together is a great exercise in marital bonding!
Steve taped up the side of the springs on each side to protect the paint, and then fitted the new u-bolts.
He bolted on the backing plates, complete with rebuilt brake cylinders and brake shoes.
The image above shows a safety wire or lock wire threaded through the four shoulder bolts which are fastened directly into the stub axle. This wire system was a safety feature to prevent the bolts from loosening or falling out due to vibration. The remaining four bolts are tightened with nuts and lock washers.
Steve replaced some of the wheel bearings and packed them all with Premium Heavy Duty wheel bearing grease.
The 6 spoke wheel centres were fitted to each side of the front axle. Before positioning and securing the spoke centres to the rims, Steve had to find some suitable tyres so he reached out to Garry Carter.
Garry’s company, Carter’s Tyre Services, has a reputation second to none in the New Zealand tyre industry and has been operating for more than 30 years.
When Steve was trying to find some appropriate rims for the project, the Carter’s Tyres team at the East Tamaki branch couldn’t have been more accommodating and helpful. They stripped old tyres off a number of rims so that Steve could clean up and inspect them to find ones suitable to use.
After selecting the best pair of rims available, Steve blasted, tidied up and painted them in red oxide etch primer. The rims were returned to Carter’s Tyres and fitted with two new 825/20 tyres along with new rim protectors and tubes. We are very appreciative and thankful for the excellent service and support that Garry and the team at Carter’s Tyre Services have provided.
With the pair of front tyres fitted to the rims, Steve was able to fully assemble the wheels and secure them with the original rim lugs.
This style of wheel is commonly referred to as a Dayton but Diamond T appear to have used cast spoke wheels manufactured by Clark Equipment Company.
Prior to removing the rotisserie and lowering the wheels onto the ground, Steve took the following short video. Note the accompanying soundtrack is a plane that flew overhead at the exact time that the video was taken!
Tour With Texaco
The majority of the original enamel letters were still attached to the trunk lid when we bought the Texaco tank truck.
Mitch helped us once again by creating the artwork and providing Hi-Tech Metal with a suitable file for the letters to be reproduced.
Hi-Tech Metal laser cut the ‘Tour With Texaco’ lettering using 2mm EG steel.
The shape of the brackets used on the trunk lettering differs to the brackets that fix the large TEXACO letters to each side of the tank.
The large letter brackets were shaped in a folded u-channel style for strength.
When these replacement brackets were formed, they were folded in lengths in a press brake.
The trunk letter brackets however are z shaped and not as strong. We can see on some of the brackets that they have moved outwards or closed together more from impact and damage.
The same process couldn’t be followed to produce lengths of the trunk brackets as a press brake wouldn’t achieve a tight enough bend if the steel was folded.
So Mark at Marlin Tooling milled five short lengths out of solid mild steel bar to replicate the z shaped brackets.
To make the single bracket shown in the image above, Steve first welded all five bars together in a row on one end. He then marked, clamped and cut rows of the single width of these brackets (five cut at one time).
Steve marked and centre punched each hole to note its position. He then drilled, deburred and tapped the thread on each single bracket.
The next step will be to identify the position where each bracket sits on the recreated lettering. The placement of these brackets will be critical to line up the original holes in the trunk lid.
A Minor Setback
We finished on such a high note the other weekend with Steve progressing so well on the reassembly of the front end.
The excitement was short-lived however when just over a week ago Steve went to run up some stairs and injured his right Achilles tendon.
He is now in a heavy cast and has to be non weight-bearing for a number of weeks, so he is pretty much immobile. With so much to do on the project, it goes without saying that Steve is deeply disappointed and frustrated.
I have quickly realised, however, that if Steve can’t get to the truck parts to work on them, he will find a way to get the truck parts to come to him!