Nicholas Fluhart

September 15, 2013

Loadstar Supplemental

Filed under: Project: Loadstar,Trucks & Equipment — Nicholas Fluhart @ 8:07 pm
Icy Loadstar

Icy Loadstar

Just when I thought I was about finished with this project, an unexpected issue has surfaced and needs attention. This one is rather serious, but this whole thing has to be a labor of love…it has to be.

After I finished the lighting, rebuilt the carburetor, and cleaned up the interior, I took it out for a good road test. The truck performed great, considering it’s age, wear, and tear, and the fact that the engine could use an overhaul. The brakes worked good, all the lights worked good, and the transmission and two speed rear end shifted properly. The engine even ran surprisingly strong. For the first time in probably 20 years the truck seemed road-worthy, at least to the extent of my plans for occasional, limited use.

However, about 10 miles into my country drive I noticed it had become hard to downshift for a curve. I pulled over into a friend’s driveway. The transmission began rattling loudly and I could barely keep it in gear. I shut it down and crawled under the truck for a look. It appeared that the seal on the PTO plunger had failed. This caused the transmission to loose about a quart of fluid. I wouldn’t have thought that loosing one quart would put the nail in the coffin of a manual gear box that holds 6 quarts, but that may be the case. Of course, with a transmission this old, it could have been on the brink and this may have been just enough to finish it off. Whatever the case, I filled it back up with fluid, and the rattling stopped…good news. Tried to drive it…bad news. Second gear is a grind, and it never recovered 3rd gear at all which makes the truck almost impossible to drive.  Even with the 2-speed rear, the jump from 2nd to 4rth is too difficult, especially when loaded. I limped it home.

So now it sets and will remain so until I have time to pull the transmission and open it up to see what’s going on. If there is no major hard parts damage, I can get an overhaul kit (synchronizers, bearings, seals) and rebuild it for about $150 and a ton of time. Alternatively, I can replace the transmission if I can find another one for a decent price. So we’ll see.

In the mean time, here are a couple shots of the truck at this point. I was saving the overall photog until I finished it completely, but who knows when that will be.

Right Side
Left Side
Loadstar Interior

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