|My truck arrives from Wisconsin.
|Today, I changed the coolant, tightened the loose alternator belts, and replaced the badly rusted metal battery box with the polyethylene battery box upgrade kit. It’s an easy upgrade to perform, requiring you to simply attach some hardware to the box, remove the old box latches form the truck, and drill two holes in the battery box runners. The plastic box has different latches than the metal one, and they look like they’ll be much less susceptible to becoming jammed by rust. I found that the shield that bolts to the back of the box keeps the box from sliding in, so I had to remove it. I’ll either cut it down a bit on a band saw, or I’ll replace it with a piece of angle stock to act as a box stiffener. I started up the engine and found that I wasn’t building any air pressure. After a bunch of head-scratching and investigation, I finally figured out that fiddling with the pneumatic clutch control valve on the wrecker body while the engine was off had made its exhaust valve stick open, so the air from the compressor was just blowing out the valve’s exhaust. Once I figured that out, I just pulled the valve lever up to the “disengage” position until the air pressure built enough to force the exhaust valve back closed when I moved the lever back to “engage”. Maybe the valve could stand some cleaning and a seal replacement, but for now I’ll just remember to leave it alone when there’s no air pressure. The oil pressure is too high, and there’s a lot of oil leaking out the right side of the engine. Those are the next things to fix. There’s also an air leak in the transmission area. I played with the crane for a bit, and it seems to work just fine, although the gear shift linkages are a bit finicky. They might need a bit of adjustment. The truck came with group 34 commercial batteries. Since I live in a warm climate, I think they should work just fine, and they cost less than half the price of the proper 6TL batteries. I built some wooden spacers to keep them from moving around in the battery box, and later I’ll modify the spacers to secure the batteries with hold-downs.
|Well, as if a wrecker wasn’t enough, I just bought an M861 Gama Goat on Ebay, and it’ll arrive later this week. This time, I’m planning to try unloading it from the semitrailer with my wrecker, one end at a time. Ironically, I also bought a replacement for my M109A3 shop van, and it’ll also arrive this week! It will come on a trailer with ramps, so I should be able to drive it off the trailer. This weekend, I worked on the wrecker to get it ready for its job later this week. I cleaned the oil pressure regulator and made a new gasket for it, which fixed the oil leak, but didn’t fix the high oil pressure at cold idle. I changed the crankcase oil and filters, added another 5 gallons of hydraulic fluid, made a repair attempt (that didn’t work too well) on the exhaust pipe, and did some other minor things. I decided to leave the air leak alone, because I might not be able to get it back together again without ordering parts. The truck is running well enough to drive it around the yard, and the crane seems to work just fine (although I haven’t tested it with a load yet). The crane controls seem less finicky now that I’ve gotten a better feel for them.