September 9th, 2009
Well its always something, isn't it? While getting the new F-250 ready to roll I changed the transmission oil, the rear end oil, the PCV valve, the air filter, replaced the plugs, wires and then got to the distributor. The cap was one with bolts that held it down. Well it had been so long since the cap had been replaced that the bolts sheared right off, even after liberal application of PB Blaster beforehand. I tried drilling out the holes to no avail, so unfortunately, a new distributor was in order.
I first tried the cheap distributor route (you'd think I would know better by now) and of course after fiddling around for several days the truck still didn't start. Today a new Motorcraft distributor arrived; I managed to get it into the same location as the original distributor was, an viola! it fired right up. All that remains is to set the timing.
The truck is actually looking pretty good after getting cleaned up. I had the rims sand blasted and powder coated by a company called Insane Powder Coating out of Creston, IL. Lonie runs a small shop with a 6' x 3' oven but they did a wonderful job with the rims, and I had them mount new Cooper Discoverer ATR tires that I had purchased at Fleet Farm right away while they were at it. They did all four wheels, including mounting and balancing, for $240, which I think was a pretty good deal and makes a world of difference on the truck. I mention them not only for their nice work, but because I'll likely use them for certain parts on Cornelia too.
I also managed to find some decent hubcaps on eBay and I'll post a photo of "Woody" when everything is wrapped up. I still have to flush the radiator and change the fuel filter too... Oh yeah, there's still that garage to get to before I can get to work on Cornelia!
On a quick side note, we've received some great emails through this site already, which has been a very pleasant and rewarding surprise. It has been very nice getting to know Barry and today I received a note from a gentleman in my own hometown of Madison who would like to get together and share knowledge on restoring Internationals. I'm all for it, and welcome anyone else who is interested as well!
August 28th, 2009
This week we were on the hunt for a low-budget truck to haul parts for Cornelia. To sum up the search: One can only speculate what people have all done with an old truck...
Praise be to the Internet. John spotted a 5-spd manual (not easy to find) 1996 red Ford F-250 XL pickup. This one looked solid in the photos. Up close it proved covered in mud inside and out, minor surface rust & dents. Solid frame. No frills. The 4.9 L inline 6 also seemed in good nick (as they say on Wheeler Dealers), and the odo read 130,000. The seller was an, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" sort. John isn't happy unless he has something to tinker with, so on the whole the package felt just about right.
After the usual price wrangling, we brought the truck home and began to hose it down. Bit by bit the truck took on a nice red glow. Seemed grateful, almost.
While waxing we uncovered something unexpected. On the tailgate we noticed the ghost outline of 4" lettering. At just the right angle we could make out the words, "Ahern Fire Protection." We found a matching "131" on the front as well. Never owned a fire truck before. Now that's smokin'!
Thinking on a good name...
August 22nd, 2009
Today I took a little time out (I'm actually supposed to be working on the garage, but couldn't help myself) and worked on Cornelia a bit. I removed the original rubber floor mat and seat frame along with the rubber surrounding the pedals. Then I sprayed things down with a little WD-40 for protection and wiped up the excess.
I am very happy with the condition of the floor. I was worried that there might be some condensation and rust underneath the rubber floor mat, but there was very little. The transmission plate looks great, as does the seat frame.
I took a few photos of the interior and seat frame and added them to the gallery.
Just a quick note on the site - up to this point, you will notice that some of the information on the engine, axle and transmission is primarily advertising in nature. I hope there's some fun or possibly useful information in there, but I realize it's mostly advertising mumbo-jumbo. Not to worry! As we move forward with the restoration, I plan to add technical details to these sections as I get to them :-) That way, both you and I have something to look forward to.
Well, I'd better get out to that garage now, or I won't be able to work on Cornelia this winter...
August 22nd, 2009
Today I added significantly to the Silver Diamond page, and added new pages for transmissions and the rear end. The new pages are all accessible from the Truck Facts page.
August 20th, 2009
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the help I get - not just from friends, but from family too - especially Susan's father Norm. He has a ton of experience and is relentless when it somes to searching for parts. He has also been kind enough to lend us some of his tools for the restoration.
We're all in this for the long haul, and I'm glad to have Norm's help.
August 20th, 2009
Well, we have a completed web site - for now. A web site is never really complete, after all :-) You'll find sections on the various technical aspects of the R-Series pickups, old advertisments, International Harvester-related links, company history and a nice photo gallery.
If you find any spelling errors or bad links I don't want to hear about them. Just kidding - please let me know and I'll gladly fix 'em.
August 18th, 2009
Yesterday I spent most of the day cleaning 30 years of dust, seeds, mouse droppings, and manure off of the truck with the hose and a scrub brush, then removed the carpeting and seats and vacuumed the interior with the wet/dry vac. When I removed the carpeting I was pleased to see the original rubber floor mats still in almost perfect condition inside the vehicle.
On a whim, I grabbed a flashlight and checked on top of the glove compartment. Sure enough, there it was - the line setting ticket for the truck, which explains exactly which options were installed on the vehicle and what dealership it went to originally (Eckland & Haarsted in Ellsworth, WI, which is just outside of Minneapolis). This is a rare and lucky find, and also further validates the low use and miles of the truck.
I took a bunch of photos of the truck before rolling it into the garage for the gallery, and you can also view a PDF of the line setting ticket by clicking on the link below:
1954_r112_line_set_ticket.pdf (151 k)