Granddads Truck

Lizzy and I have been working on granddads C10.


It is very fun to climb around on.

We have accomplished quite a bit since August.

we have the new 350, manifold, clutch and transmission all back in the truck.


New head lamps and LED parking lights.

I have given the wiring a bit of attention. All bulbs but the headlights are being converted to LED arrays.

Removed the bed to rehab the rear end.


There she sits.





New coil springs, shocks, fluids, stainless brake lines and POR-15 rust coating.

I also moved a frame cross member and installed a 31 gallon Blazer fuel tank and plumbed in a fuel line.


Rough fit, the tank actually ended up 3″ further aft.

The interior has been worked on, cleaned up.

New seat belts, new seat cover, all new gauges in a new dash insert, horn  circuit rebuilt.

Here are some teaser before pictures.

Whats Left?

The front disk brake conversion and brake bleeding needs to be done. After that we put the bed back on and plumb the fuel fill hose.  The truck then drives to a local shop for a new exhaust system and windshield install.  After that we find a body shop and spend some money.


Pulling of teeth.


I have been  spending some quality togetherness time with the C10.


I endeavored to pull the motor, and to make it easier I have pushed her up closer to the garage and put up the awning we use at the beach to keep the sun off the work area.  A good setup if I say so myself, coupled with a nice fan it is almost comfortable even in the peak of the afternoon heat.


I had to disconnect everything from the engine and transmission. The drive shaft, all wiring, fuel, exhaust, gauges.   It all adds up to a lot of bolts and small parts in plastic bags.  PB Blaster is your friend, along with a pneumatic ratchet and impact gun.


Disconnecting the drive shaft

I did document a lot of what we had with photos, this should really help when hooking up the wire harness.


We had purchased a lift on Craigslist and put it to work after we had pulled the fan and radiator to protect them from a swinging motor.


Then came the lifting.


We took our time pulling it out, no one wants to be rash when swinging 500 lbs around.

After we got the old engine out I pulled the transmission an bell housing off.


Followed by the clutch basket, pressure plate and clutch.  I then cleaned up the flywheel and measured it for run out.


Run out was less than 2 thousandths if an inch, good.

After finding the flywheel to be in good shape I took it to a machine shop to be resurfaced.

Now we move to the new 350 we purchased to replace the 283 we pulled.

The first part has been added to it,  an Edelbrock 7101 intake manifold. A part the Larry had purchased, I think he was planning to upgrade and it never happened.


The 7101 now waits for the 1406 4 barrel carb.

I hope to get the Harmonic balancer and carb on the engine this week.  I hope to get the flywheel back from the Machine shop and install the new clutch and put the transmission back on.  Hopefully next weekend we can drop the new engine into the truck.


No Engine!

Oh, and we replaced that broken garage door.


This post was sponsored by a 3 year old girl with access to a camera, eating seafood Louisiana style.


Here are some clearer photos.




And Now for something completely Different…..

Since we have this blog just sitting here and a big project ongoing I thought why not.  The boat is still going to happen but is on hold at the moment due to the entire work a lot thing.    I will be back at it hopefully sooner than my countdown timer over in the margins would suggest.


Last year Lori’s dad Larry passed on.   For the past month we have been busy working on his truck.  It is a 1962 Chevrolet C10 Custom with a 283 and 3 on the tree.

It had been sitting under his carport since sometime in the early 90’s.  We went and picked it up and brought it home.


The first order of business was attempting to install the new windshield with the gasket and glass Larry had already purchased.  Turns out that rubber shrinks over time and the gasket would not go around the glass, it was just to small.   We had to order a new gasket and hope to get the glass in soon.

After the glass attempt I removed the carb and rebuilt it,  once reinstall and hooked to a temporary gas tank the truck would still not fire.

I then replaced the distributor and coil with a new HEI unit from summit racing. At this point she fired right up.


Stock 283 with Rochester 2 barrel carb and new HEI distributor.

I could not get the engine to idle at lower rpm.  My guess was timing as I had only eyeballed the distributor when I installed it. I bought a timing gun and rotation tool to get it sorted.

Once the rotation tool arrived and I could move the crank I discovered the timing chain is pretty much toast. I was getting 4.5 to 5 degrees of slop between the crank and the distributor.  No point in timing it before replacing the chain.  Also I had found that it is now blowing oil out both ends of the crank seals.  The motor needs to be pulled and rebuilt.    So taking from my experience rebuilding the A4 for the Bell we did the wise thing, we ordered a new GM factory 350 motor.   Crazy thing is it will probably cost us less in the long run than rebuilding the 283.  Plans are to keep the 283 and I will probably rebuild it myself sometime after I retire.

So now we have an engine hoist, engine stand and bunches of parts waiting on the engine to be delivered this afternoon.  Looking forward to seeing the new plant.

Other things we are going to work on with the truck, well, everything.   Mechanically it will all be upgraded or replaced.   Electrically it is in decent shape.  We will be adding reverse lights an seat belts.

After the wrench turning is done we send it to the body shop.  Any suggestions on a local shop?

Swab those Decks!

Life as a way of getting ahead of us and sometimes we forget why we enjoyed doing things.  Case in point is SV Lori Bell.

On our last trip out we noted a nice thick layer of scum growing on the decks and gunnels.   Deep inside I knew we had to go out and give her a scrubbing and I need to get her A4 back in running condition.  Making the time is an entirely different animal.

Last weekend we took a day and went out and enjoyed the beach and the boat.


Sitting at our favorite spot at high tide we watched this fellow para surfing.  Interesting to not the can sail himself into the wind much like a sailboat.  We witnessed him getting about 30 to 34 degrees to windward and moving fast.  Looks very fun and left us curious if it was physically more intense than standard surfing.

We all love the beach,  even if it is only about 70 with 20+ knots of wind and the water is cold.




Here I am doing my swab thing.  I have a better brush someplace in the vast area that is the Q berth but went with the one readily at hand.

Lizzy found a trove of toys from the last few trips out.  Kept her well occupied below with the help of mom.

Our activity of throwing berries and dead crabs overboard and washing the boat brought us attention from the local Pelicans.   We were all pretty stoked to see them, as one thing we miss about sailing is interaction with the wildlife.  Even if it is just birds.

I like this photo.

Lizzy thinks I need to stow some lines and clean up the dead crabs.


Well that is the trip.   She looks better and the topside is again in order stem to stern.  We will need to start working below next trip.  Maybe in two or three visits new projects beside the motor and we be on the list.

One discussion we had was marina location.  We love our slip and that our marina is a walk to the beach. The problem is that at 5′ we can not get out except a high tide.  There are cheaper and more easily accessed slips in the area, but none with the a location location location.

Temptation is to put a wing keel on Lori Bell or replace her with something with a dagger board as to enable us to keep the slip.   It would be worth is in a lot of ways.


Lori Bell is still afloat. As are plans and dreams.

Irma has long since gone.    The Bell came thru with not even a scratch so I call that another win.


Marina Notes

During the hurricane someone broke into the ships store and stole some merchandise and the boaters lounge and stole some beer.    Just goes to show that people stink.

In unrelated news I have not heard from our diver since Irma,  strange he has been cleaning our boats since we had the Knot A Clew.   Looks like this week I will be looking into a new diver.

I plan on moving the boat to a non tidal restricted marina this year.  I want to start day sailing again and since we are now paying $9 a foot the $30 for the ability to use it on a whim seems worth it.     Now that we have 3 dogs overnights are pretty much out of the question for some time in the future so restricted sailing times is no longer really an option.




Irma Prep


Stripped down and ready as can be.

I spent Friday afternoon prepping the Lori Bell for the latest storm.

  • Cleaned out the bilge, ensuring the auto pump was working well.
  • Checked the batteries are fully charged
  • Stored the solar panel below.
  • Stored the tiller cover below.
  • Removed the grill.
  • Removed the Bimini and frame.
  • Installed longer 8′ fender boards
  • Installed double dock lines.

With the help of the marina staff we placed our spare fortress anchor in the mangroves to port of the boat and set up a bridle on the road to keep the boat from pounding into the dock during and winds from the west.  You can see the anchor line in the above photo.

It looks like we will miss the bad bits of the storm but at this point only time will tell.  Here is to hoping..





Negligence in Updating

Ok, so I need to update the blog.

We actually have been out to the boat a few times since the last posting here.  I reinstalled the Starboard aft cleat with G10 backer and now it is probably the strongest part of the boat.

Also managed to pull the head off the motor.




Headless A4

There is still a blockage,  I will need to reinstall the head and pull the side plate from the motor.  My thought input fitting is somehow fouled or hose is blocked.  It is all very strange as the passages in the block are some of the largest in the motor.

Aunt Catfish

Ever once in a long while you find a dining experience that makes you very happy.   Maybe it was because we had been cooking on the boat for a day or so and were hungry but this place is great.   It always has a long wait but you can call ahead.  Now we have a place to eat near the boat with an outstanding Sunday brunch.


We have been spending a lot of our time at the boat actually on the beach,  2 blocks away, quiet and so nice.


Air Conditioning and Shore Power

Working to set up the portable unit that came with the boat.   I drug out our shore power cord and attempted to hook onto shore power since 2015 and for the first time in our current marina.    Turns out our finger has only one 30amp plug and one 50amp.  The 30amp is hooked to the neighbors boat so I needed to order a 50amp adapter to hook up.    It will be good to have AC inside the boat to cool things off and work on the motor.

Battery Concerns

Last visit out our batteries were floating at 12.2volt.  This is low as they usually sit at 12.6 or and I suspect we are finally loosing our batteries to age.  As these are the ones that came with the boat and were old when we got it I am not to concerned.  Batteries only last 5 years so Walmart or Batteries Plus replacements may be just around the corner.

Future Plans

Once I get the AC running the engine is first order, followed by the bow roller and anchor setup.    Once the ground tackle is sorted we plan on going sailing.

Down the list is

  • new lifelines (rope)
  • fix stanchion on port side
  • fix broken weld on bow pulpit
  • possible manual anchor windlass
  • go up the mast and replace the blown off VHF whip.
  • manual foot pump in head to wash hands
  • new fabric bimini top




Last weekend, cooling it..

WP_20170325_17_49_24_ProLast weekend out at the boat started like many now do.  We drove out to the park and played with Elizabeth and the pups for a few hours.

We spent the night aboard and awoke to a light breakfast and a beautiful morning.


Fixing leaks

The first task for the day was fixing a leak that have always been there but on the back burner and one of the cleats that is loose and suffered a bit of hurricane damage.

First was to replace some bolts on the loose base the stern rail.  Involved the joy of climbing down into the sail locker with an angle grinder to cut off the bolt.


A tight fit getting in but surprisingly roomy once below.

I did not really consider the heat grinding two stainless bolts off would generate. I did have safety glasses and a cotton shirt but bits of metal went flying everyplace.


Here be bolts.

On piece  of metal bounced off the bulkhead onto my arm, burning through my shirt and leaving a blister.  Fun.


My old Bellsouth work shirt, crispy.

Once done I was able to move the stern rail out of the way and check things out.



You can not tell in the above photo but there were actually two extra holes in the deck under the base, with no bolts, that allowed excess water ingress.

I also removed the port aft cleat and made up a backing plate of G10 as it has become loose over time.

With everything removed I then filled all the holes with Marine Epoxy and since we had to wait for it to set up (six hours) will have to finish this project on the next visit.


We also took the opportunity to fill a large number of small holes that had been drilled in the companionway hatch over the years..

Engine Woes!

As I had finished working in the cockpit and needed to work on the motor below we suited up Lizzy in her vest and let her roam about topside.


“This is cool dad”


She was loving it.



And we were visited by pelicans.



Soooo cute.

As the ladies enjoyed the open air I pulled replaced the cooling pump on the heat exchanger and discovered that the water jacket on out rebuild A4 has basically collapsed.    I will have to remove the head and clean everything out to get her running again.  Financially, not a big deal, time wise, costly.

I discuss it in the following thread with some experts on the matter.

Moyer Marine Thread about our bad cooling.


This weekend is the Lipton Cup Regatta sponsored by the New Smyrna Yacht Club.

We are not members but it looks fun.

Lipton Cup Regatta

Our goal for next year would be to enter the regatta and sail the route.  Finishing.

This will require a some trips out to train on the course,  but it would be a good annual activity to do as a family.



Parks, pup, toddlers and a Tillerpilot

Saturday  found us traveling to the Ponce Inlet park enjoying a nice afternoon.  On the way Elizabeth dozed off in her car seat so we pulled into a beach access point that gave us a good view.   As we watched a wedding party was rapping up a photo shoot and leaving.

Lizzy started to come to so we proceeded on to the park and as we were enjoying the amusements we saw the same wedding party park near our car and walked past us on their way to a local restaurant.  We told them congratulations and they said it was a double wedding, mother and daughter were both brides.   Sorry no photos.

After the park we checked in at Boondocks, Saturday night so we waited the required hour in the lounge watching reruns on tv as the dogs stayed on the boat.

Sunday  morning I had jiffy pop for breakfast because, well just because we could.  No worries we augmented Elizabeths diet with proper food.

Tiller Pilot

I really need to replace the cooling pump and change the oil on the motor but instead opted to wire up the tiller pilot.   Sure this makes no sense but for the fact I really wanted to install the pilot.

So down into the port side sail locker I went, first removing the old tiller pilots power plug and installing a the new.

I ran the wire and as I did took the opportunity to dress up the wire runs in the locker as well as rebed the loose stern pulpit base.  It turned out I could only remove one of  three bolt on the pulpit base due to corrosion.  After much sparing of penetrating lube I was still unable to remove the bolts.  We will have to bring the grinder on the next visit and cut the bolts off.

As I worked Lizzy was enjoying climbing up the companionway and checking on my progress.

Lori did get Elizabeth in her vest and she sat in the cockpit watching me work.  This included picking up random tools that I would silently pray she would not decide to pitch over the side.

As it is the only thing that fell off the boat this weekend was Abby the dog, she swam to shore and then promptly enjoyed a cold bath on the dock giving be Lori.

Back to the subject of the tiller pilot, sort of,  as I pulled the wire into the Navigation station I had to take apart drawer and access hatches we seldom access.   Under the quarter berth is the fresh water filter that had a hose part from the fitting.  I took the hose and trimmed it back a bit and on examination of the found it had literally rotted in half, causing the hose to come loose.  I replaced it and we now have pressurized water again. Win, we can wash our hands in the head.

So I wired the pilot up and it works,  now we have to do a sea trial and get it linked into the chart plotter.

Also this weekend I replaced the compass cover and installed some line holders in the cockpit.


Line holder and compass cover. The good thing is the shock cord on the line holder is replaceable.

We actually got a lot of things sorted this weekend and had a good time.

Hopefully I will get around to fixing the motor and sorting out the anchor next trip out.

New Year and a Old Boat.

Happy New Year!

We spent our holiday weekend on the coast.

Arriving late Friday night we got up early on New Years Eve and decided to take a little trip.


Checking out the neighborhood after our first overnight at the marina.

We had planned to stay the weekend at Marine Land, taking the Bell up it ICW but discovered the A4 was not cooling properly.   We opted to drive north in the car instead

First thing we did when we arrived in St Augustine is locate a good childrens park for Elizabeth.


7 foot ladder, no problem for Lizzy, scared the crap out of mom and dad.


7 foot slide, No problem.


Daddy for scale.


We love playgrounds but miss our puppies that can not go in.

After the playground the sun was going down so we headed over to down town St Augustine to see the lights.

We found a good parking place and walked around the old town.   Eating at the Florida Cracker we enjoyed the mad crowds.

We had called to get a slip in the Municipal Marina but it has been booked full for this weekend for a few months now.


City of lights. Pretty nice.

Elizabeth wanted to do the driving but we thought better of it.

After eating and walking around we returned to the boat at 10:30pm,  just in time to avoid the drunks out for new years and enjoy the sound of the breakers on the beach.  We never realized they could be heard from the boat.


Lori Bell at night.



In the morning after breakfast we reinstalled all the electronics I had pulled off the boat due to Matthew.   This also included permanently mounting the Epirb..



After spending the morning working on odds and ends on the boat we took Elizabeth to the local park.  It turned out she was exhausted from the day before and fell asleep before we got there,  we let her sleep and took the time to explore the area and check into alternative marina locations.   Lizzy slept for two hours and in that time we determined that our current marina best fits our needs,  others were too far inland, too run down or both.

Following good dinner at Boondocks we left the dogs on the boat and took Lizzy for a walk on the beach.  Wow,  so nice and very dark without that much of a moon.   Such a nice night.


Monday morning we troubleshot the cooling issues,  I think figured out the issue.    I believe the movement had bounced the electric coolant pump loose and it caused it to form a kink in the coolant line on the feed side of the pump.    This resulted in the pump ceasing to work and no antifreeze to flow thru the motor.

I ordered a new pump, hope that fixes the situation.

We also started the installation of the chart plotter, this involved drilling two holes in the boat.


Tiller pin


Another hole in the seat of the cockpit.


I then went to work cleaning sawdust off the starboard side of the boat.  This was caused by her rubbing up on the side of the piles during the storm.   I decided to measure some of the damage and get a feel to the extent of the storm surge from Matthew.


Sawdust from The piles, ground off by the rubber and stainless rail on the boat.

The rub rails on our boat are 36″ above the waterline.


You can see the discolored area on the left of this pile.


5′ 6″ above normal high water is what I measured at the top of the pile rub.

The measurement of 5’6″ above high means the the water was 2 feet over the top of the deck of the pier and only 2 feet from making our boat go over the top of the piling with the rub rail.  I would expect the boat would have been holed if this had happened.

Lessons learned is my fender boards were much too short.   Next time I will buy longer boards,  our 4 foot boards are fine for normal weather but can not cope with the range of motion involved with this type of storm.

We got lucky.



Just chilling in my fresh diaper.

The Ultra Firm 3″ foam we put into the new to us cushions is great to sleep on.   No more camping mattress and odd lumpy cushions.   I think we will be adding the same to the V-berth soon.