account of internet posts during the mission

Oct 24, 2006 - 01:29 AM

Ok here is day one.. made it from Dallas to just west of Memphis. About 150 miles into this, noticed quite a bit of oil all over the transfer case. Not sure where it is from, still plenty in the transmission and transfer, although I think the level is lower in the transfer. The pattern looks like the front axle driveshaft was slinging it, but that should not be since the front is disengaged. There is very little oil on the rear of the transmission, the oil seems to have been slung or sprayed from down lower. I will investigate this in the morning.The truck does have a small engine oil leak and the underside is generally oily from that but this looks new. Maybe it's the constant 50MPH showing me a bad seal.

As for the pyrometer and turning up the fuel 1/6 turn, the temperature actually seems to have decreased slightly 800 vs 900 with an uphill load, and I have not had to shift out of 5th gear on hills, so the power has increased. I can tell it accelerates a bit better. I used to just keep it floored all the time and hope for 55 but now it will head straight for 60+, so I have to watch the speed. Maybe it was set very lean? I heard that lean ratios will also cause high temperatures. I might go another 1/6 turn and see.

The CB - VIC4 interface is working well and it is alot of fun but I have to re-do the microphone signal cables due to occasional RF feedback (squealing). The cables I used are cut from "audio-video" type cables do not appear to be well shielded. So much for $3.00 cable. If I can find an electronics store on the way I might redo it.

I passed by Turner's Surplus on I-30. Here are some pictures.

Howard's (Now Buddy's) in Greenville, only about 250 miles away from Memphis. No images due to rain.

Oct 24, 2006 - 09:08 PM

I didn't do so well today, due to other people's idiocy. tried to buy some software for my GPS and it was wrong, didn't work on the GPS, didn't work on the PC, and 3 hours of time was wasted. Thank you Bass Pro Shops in Memphis for your ignorance!

I did not plan to make other stops except at 'junk shops' along the road. I could change my route.

Now, I will be sticking to major highways like I-40. I have always suspected my truck has some kind of slight imbalance to it. To the engine's power balance between all the cylinders, not something mechancially unbalanced. Turning up the fuel to the second flat got me where I want to be, and still under 900 degrees on the post turbo exhaust. However, the imbalance became very much more pronounced, to the point of feeling the vibrations in the steering column etc, under certain conditions. I do not know what it could be, was not really annoying before. I will put the fuel back like it orignally was tomorrow morning and stick to major roads, contrary to popular belief I do not like being on deserted back roads at night with a vibrating deuce. Could it be a dead miss? No, I have already checked for that in the past using the line wrench on the injector line nut procedure.It is definitely a power issue with a cylinder though. I believe that I can dedeuce which one now however as with the fuel up a bit, the tone may give it away at idle.

The oil leak is coming from the engine. It leaks a little at the front at the head gasket area and drains down the side and sprays rearward. no big deal, I checked the level and it was OK. It does not take alot of oil to make a mess. And to think some people pay to be misted with hot oils.

Oct 25, 2006 - 09:19 AM

Is the hose from the water pump to the water manifold a 2" size? I think I will pick up some length from an auto parts store, see some seepage. I think it is like a gates 20611.

If Greenville has an internet, I'll signal when I reach that objective.

Oct 25, 2006 - 07:02 PM

done! OK the vibration I was speaking of seems now in the light of day to be only the late night heebie-jeebies caused by hilly terrain, a deserted unlit narrow road full of twists and spooky places, and my imagination. Maybe I kept hearing the 'deliverance' banjo tune and thinking about a breakdown. "You shore got a pretty truck, boy.. you'uns aint from around here are yeh? hee heeee!!"

Present location is Hopkinsville, about an hour from Greenville KY.

Oct 25, 2006 - 10:26 PM

Today I took a side trip to Grinders, TN. The home town of Minnie Pearl. From I-40, I took HWY 50 southeast, and then north 1/4 mile to the city square. It's an olde-tyme city square for sure, with a huge bronze statue of Minnie right there. I didn't take the time to explore, since the 18 miles of highway from I-40 to Grinders took almost 40 minutes.

The reason this might be of interest to MV'ers, especially M35 and other large vehicle owners, is the very steep grades on HWY 50. Not to be satisfied with this, take HWY 100 from town and then HWY 48 back northeast to I-40. Throw 6000LBS of top-heavy load in the bed of your truck and this route is sure to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, with its snaking banked hairpin turns going up and down thrilling steep grades, engine braking was a must and I spent most of this in 3rd. There is literally nothing to the right, no guard rail, just a steep drop into the woods! Oncoming traffic has a rock face for their passenger's entertainment. The lanes were very narrow and the few bridges way too narrow for two trucks to pass. Maybe this is business as usual for some, but we have nothing like it in Texas. I wish I had been rolling video for this ride, it was very much like an amusement park thrill ride but for keeps and my knuckles were white. And I thought it would be easy when the clerk at the store said "It's all downhill".

Oct 27, 2006 - 02:03 AM

Thank you guys for all your support here. This is the most fun I have had since 1986. Shirley's and Commo Central both seem like good ideas.

I stopped by Howard's and talked with Buddy. The report is that nearly all the military vehicles are gone to scrap. What is left is junk and piece parts. There are some conex's full of parts, and a few hulks, but due to pouring rain, I didn't go too far. I only investigated back about 100 yards on the east side of the road. Also the rain, no pictures.. As a reward for getting wet and muddy, I found 4 LS-454 speakers (VRC-12) and 4 of the short 2'? VHF antennas, two of which fit a sugar scoop, hummer mount, or equivalent, and two of which are the kind with the ceramic insulator. Also some kind of fuel-fired personnel heater, maybe 8" diameterand 18" long, with sort of a 1" diameter tube running halfway down its length, and a box full of electrical stuff on top. There looks like an exhaust pipe on the bottom, not sure. I has a motor inside and says it draws 8 amps while running and is 20,000 BTU. Buddy has alot of hummer seat cushions, offered them to me for $5 each in quantity but I was low on cash after buying the electronic stuff. Someone should go by there and make some deals on what's left, I can't really describe it all, not sure what most of it is for. There was a load of what looked like 28V 400A power supplies on a trailer, supposedly someone is coming to get them.

It rained all day. After leaving Buddy's, I went north on 189 to Uncle Lee's hardware. nice big store with sporting goods too. looks like wal-mart has not got him yet!

Drove on out intending to make Charleston for Clark's, but the rain slowed travel. It got dark, and with the poring rain I had to take it slow and easy. The deuce windshield wipers are terrible. I used rain-x and it helped alot. Had to stop every 100 miles or so and put more on.

There is some kind of predator that is not afraid to fly at night in the cold rain. whatever it is, looked like a huge bat or something. It smaked into the passenger side window and busted the wiper balde off the arm. It's a good thing it was the passenger side or I would have been skee-rewed! there's no place to pull off on the what it is I believe the blue ridge parkway which goes up to Lexington.

After making it through Lexington, stopped at the "95 truck stop" in Winchester for dinner at 11PM. To my surprise the wiper blade was lying on the hood of the deuce. The little clip that holds it on the arm was busted off. How a wiper blade can be smashed off by a dragon in the middle of a storm and not fall off the vibrating hood of a deuce for 50 miles or more is beyond me.

The 95 truck stop in Winchester is a classic piece of olde-tyme America. You can smoke in the diner, there are truckers and rednecks and former military guys and some bikers (maybe from the concrete? plant across the street) and the food is great, surly/sweet waitesses, home style cookin', real tough lookin guys talking about Jesus at the next table, a great atmosphere. Maybe this is part of the America I am looking for. I don't want to inject politics or religion, I am just glad I happened to stop there.

Deuce ran good all day, post turbo pyro held at 900 for quite a few of the interstate hills. Would not go higher. I think I will leave things as they are unless anyone objects. Hope the rain is gone in the morning.

Oct 27, 2006 - 09:58 PM

The locals have tonight told me it was a "hoot owl", but I am not sure. According to them the big birds are afraid of nothing, and that one was just unlucky. I was only a little more lucky than the alleged dragon, as the next morning (today) about 30 miles out of Winchester in the pouring rain the other blade decided to fall off. There was no choice but to keep going but at a slower pace, and finally got to Clark's this afternoon. rain-x is your friend.

At Clark's, I met the owners, both father and son run the place. They let me take picures in the warehouse and workshop, but it was too wet for my camera outdoors. The people that work there are some of the most decent people you would ever want to meet.

I bought 8 new wiper blades, an improved type over the old kind I had. The new ones have a box-like structure holding the attachment tab in place, versus the old kind just having a thin tab of metal sticking out of the spine of the blade. I also picked up new style wiper arms, which have adjustable length and a little more tension than the old ones. The performance difference was very noticeable. They also have the new all-metal wiper motors, for those of us with the somewhat crummy plastic ones.

Clark's also advised me about the aforementioned power imbalance, told me to check valve clearance as it is a common problem and causes the sort-of half-miss that the truck has been blessed with for so long. I bought a couple of rocker arm gaskets so I can do the job later. The cover is leaking oil anyway. I don't have the tools or book on me and not sure I want to take anything apart 900 miles from the home 20.

I was shown the old and new style head gaskets, and took pictures. So often these have been discussed but I don't recall pictures to make it clear. The new ones have no burnout slots and also have integrated rings. Clark includes these in every gasket set, and that is why it cost quite a bit more. also the new windshiedls, they are very well made. I have 90 pictures, and until I get home I can't put these on the server but should be able to attach a few small ones here.

It's still raining! Tomorrow I head for Bjorn's.

Bjorn - Yow, a guest house? you really know how to treat a guy. A nice turnaround point and a good climb to 3000 FT! I'd do the same for any SS member, the bunker of doom has HVAC and plumbing, as well as a choice of firearms for guests. Maybe you might take a trip south some time.

Lastly, the stack of crates in a picture below has a part number, but Clark's can't identify these flywheels. The number supposedly is for 5-ton, but it's not the same part. Anyone know what they are for?

Well it has been a long day following a very short night's worth of sleep last night so I need to retire.

Oct 28, 2006 - 03:38 PM

Hey I'm at Cranetruck's place. Opie is here as well. We just finished looking at the crane truck, the 8x8, and Opie's M109, which is real nice and clean inside. well the coffee is brewing and have to go,

We got some pics, maybe not all the trucks in one pic but all of us with the trucks. I'm on Bjorn's computer, maybe he can post some. Traded a few parts and pieces etc, and I got to see how the engine brake works first-hand, it's really cool! Fun? you betcha this is alot of fun!

Clarks's I didn't see any humvees, but there could have been a few stashed somewhere. I'm going to plan the route back, let me print the info, and see what I can come up with,

Oct 28, 2006 - 06:58 PM

I would like tovisit Sam Weiners in N Ohio, but seeing it took me about all week to get here, I better head south in the morning. I could always visit another time, and if you are ever in Texas please look me up! After this trip, I think a yearly MV road trip should become an instituion.

I probably won't be able to visit SECO, as much as I would like to, it is in the opposite direction. Commo Central in Virginia Beach near the Virginia coast (757-373-6161) would have been possible, had I been a little earlier, not delayed by the rain so much. Maybe I can visit that another time. I'll call them certainly, and see what they got.

Oct 29, 2006 - 07:38 AM

It looks like it's south on 77 to 85, on into the flying J in Commerce at exit 147 according to the truck stop giude. I will be trying to get there maybe 9 or 10 PM! I would welcome late-nite greazy sleazy truckstop burgers with y'all! I got Clinto and alphadeltaromeo's 's cell numbers so when I get close i'll call y'all. I better get oin the road now though.

Oct 29, 2006 - 09:01 PM

Looking at the receipts I can find at the moment, I think I have done about 1480 miles so far.

After a thoroughly fine day and night at Bjorn's I've gone to Commerce, GA to the Flying J truck stop he reccommended. It's a few tens of miles north of Atlanta proper. I'll camp here tonight. The internet is $5, camping is free of course. Electrical outlets are something I generally have a fondness for, and also among the things that can't always be counted on. I realize now I should have set up a separate battery powered lighting system in the shelter for my convenience, and also rigged an inverter for shaving. It will be easy to implement this later, just a couple of diodes to charge the batteries already in there during the time the truck is running, and some LEDs for lights, so they'll last a long time. Ok well I draw the line at a sink and toilet..

Bjorn gave me (among some other cool stuff) some real nice teflon covered 100% shielded wire, I am going to redo the VIC-4 connections to the CB as long as I have some down time. I have all the tools and even the oscilloscope (it is assigned to the truck). There is an occasional squeal that I described before, it has returned, so I suspect the shielding on the cables I used is poor. It's a toss-up: is the fun of annoying the truckers with a squealing CB cancelled out be the embarasment of having a sqealer? One helpful soul suggested that I throw the CB out the window. Another graciously offered to stop and pick it up, so there would be no littering what with me throwing a piece of garbage out the window. Truckers are truly the knights of the road!

Ok Bjorn, I forgot to give you the CDROM but I'll mail it next week.

It was a real thrill checking out Peter's M109, it's a real gem! I orignally wanted an M109, but I'm past the point of no return mow. I still can't get Bjorn's XM- 8x8 out of my head, it's really unique. Later that nite, I got to stay in Bjorn's guest house, it's was just perfect. Man, the wind really was howling last night. I stepped out a few times to have a smoke, and you can hear it rushing through the trees. That was a novel experience for me since we seldom have that strong a wind in Texas unless it's either a tornado or Laura Miller or John Wiley Price have opened their traps. Bjorn cooked up a fine breakfast and we looked over some maps. Then as much as I hated to depart the beautiful countryside and good company, it was time to go.

South on I-77 was a good route, both scenic and mostly downhill, then 85 through the Carolinas towards Atlanta GA. Some breathtakingly beautiful countryside, and the truck gobbled up the roads easily. On 85, it's hill and dale, with the speed alternating between 40 and 60, and the pyro swinging 850-600 respectively in response to the loading. I shifted to 4th at 42MPH and managed to catch it right at 40, and just hold that on the toughest hills. (not to be confused with the really tough hills near the Meadows of Dan)

I pulled in to the Flying J at about 6:30 PM, so that is 6 hours from Bjorn's. Not bad! Clint was good enough to meet up with me there, and showed me his M35 w/w. It's a real nice machine, sounds good and has a dump bed modification.

Tomorow, I'll head out to Shirley's and spend some time at his establishment. Weather's fine, I'll take some pictures. Then off to see Andy (alphadeltaromeo) later that day, he's been kind enough to invite me. I have to say this is the most hospitable and friendly bunch.

Oct 30, 2006 - 05:47 AM

It's 0530, so I can see the sun coming up through the flying J diner window. It was cold last night, and I figured out that I can't deploy my army cot inside the truck unless I eject a couple of antenna masts and a ladder, which would disappear quickly at the truck stop. I'll have to work this out when it's time to do the storage shelving inside the box, additional storage up high for those things.

Well, out to have a smoke and then tighten the alternator belts on the truck, and head to Shirley's. The electric fuel pump by the way, used to just 'stop' when the power was shut off. Now it spins down, kind of like how you hear a starter do sometimes. This can be heard; I suppose it's either nice and loosened up or nice and fixing to break. It is pumping, still got power and pressure. Oh well at least it is not likely to totally kill the truck if it goes.

Oct 31, 2006 - 12:14 AM

After that fine breakfast, out to the truck and to discover that there was but one alternator belt remaining, and it looked pretty chewed up. OK, no problem, that's why I had the spares from TNJ Murray. Except the darn things are too small, there was no way to get them on, unless there's some special tool or what. I tightened the old one as best I could and got directions to the nearest auto parts house some 13 miles away. There, I found one that fit after trying several, and also ripping a huge hole in my trousers due to contortional gyrations I normally do not perform. Only one was available, and it got me through to this point. I did stop at another parts store and get two more of the same number just in case. Not sure what to do with the TNJ murray ones.. !?!?!?!?!!!!! It was frustrating, but I think it might be my truck, not his belts.

Heading towards Mr. Shirleys, I discovered the directions were off a little, and I found the establishment on HWY 41, north of Barnesville. See what mapquest will do to you?

156 pictures were taken, and he has alot of real nice trucks and items. Let me say that there's one deuce with cargo cover and m105 trailer that is apparently excellent!

I'm at ADR's (Andy's) and fixing to turn in. Very kind of him and his wife to let me stay the night, and it's west from Atlanta, so on the way to Dallas. I hope we can do some playing or fixing, whatever the case may be with the truck tomorow.

Oct 31, 2006 - 07:06 PM

Today started out good. I have to say that Andy and his family are real fine peope. Around there, they make their own bread, and everything's good and healthy.

Went to change the belts, no problem, got them on, but then when tightening the tension bolt, the little ear on the alternator broke. I heard a 'tink'. So this was really fouled up, no way to proceed with a loose aternator.

Luckily, Andy is expert at fabricating things and we (mostly he) made up a temporary camp and we used it to secure the alternator with the belts tensioned, it is ingenious. I doubt there's an aternator between here and Dallas, so i'm going to go on in, driving during daylight and checking it from time to time. I'm monitoring the votage with a digital meter, if it starts to slip the voltage will decrease and I can stop and check things. So far here at the Flying J in McCalla Alabama it is just as we set it. I owe a big debt to Andy for putting me up and helping me with this. It could have broken somewhere desolate.

On the way here I stopped at Mike's Army Navy Surplus in Talladega (a few miles south of I-20) Guess which of the two inert training aids I purchased.. I also found a geocache right there, by mistake whie taking pictures of something. You can guess.

Oct 31, 2006 - 09:56 PM

Well there's always more to the story.. BTW Andy's wife sent me off with a loaf of that good home made bread, and I'm having some now in the hotel room. I can't tell yall how super-good it is, nothing like it I've ever had before. I think my carb allowance is blown for the next couple days! If there's a toaster in the lobby for continental breakfast I know what I will be doing!

I left the Flying J to find a hotel because there are alot of creepy crawlers there, and I don't mean just the ones that celebrate halloween. Some bling-encrusted jackass came up to me while I was sitting there inside using the internet for the previous post and started that "do you mind if I ask you a question?" stuff. Then he asked me where I got my laptop, then started looking at the screen and getting way too close so I told him "this is none of your business." and he got mad and started acting out so I called out "security!" and he departed with some muttering. I don't know if the guy was on dope or what or a con artist, but he was definitely not handing out tracts. In the lot, figures could be seen going from one truck to another. I did not feel like it was a safe place to stay overnight. What is it they say about the most perfect battle plan and first contact with the enemy? So the tactical withdrawl to the hotel.

I did forget to mention the sherriff incident. It was not anything bad. I could not hear him over the cackling of the engine and rattling of the sheetmetal so I got out and was teling him about my road trip and that's when he made the stolen deuce remark. I agree with clinto, why the heck would anyone steal a deuce? can't hide it, can't run from the police in it, can't trade it for drugs..

These things are all just part of the entire experience and what make each person's experiences unique.

In the last post I showed some 28VDC diesel APUs. These were used for starting tanks. It now comes to mind hundreds of mies from Shirley's, that 180 amps is not trivial and an inverter could be used to make 120V at maybe 5KW.

so tomorrow, it's west on I 20 to finish out alabama and on through Mississippi and Louisiana.

Nov 03, 2006 - 09:21 AM

Before arriving at Askew's trailer camp, I stopped at Dave's military store in Pearl MS. Civil war, WWII, and other re-enactors take heed. Dave also introduced me by phone to Steve Cunningham at Fred S. Treecorps where they refurbish MV's. I could not visit however since it was raining and they were flooded out due to runoff from a housing development. They plan to move soon to a better location. Steve told me about a Robert McCarthy -RAM's military surplus in Dallas. I have never found them here, but i guess I better look again.

At Askew's, I had a nice microwaved chicken pot pie and a generous chunk of Andy's wife Carrie's bread. The bread was the better of the two.. Well, the GRM-23 shelter is an electronics repair shop so I got out the tools and replaced the cheap cables for the CB radio interface with the good cable Bjorn gave me. The squeal is still there, so the RF is pinpointed to be entering in the cab area rather than in the back with the CB radio. I may open the crew boxes and bypass the audio I/O there, and also in the VIC amplifier. The reason for the problem is that the VIC-x was meant to be used with VRC-12 radios which are FM. FM cannot be detected by rectification like AM which is what the CB uses. Looking at the schematics, there are no RF bypass or filtering devices designed in. The AM signal is getting into the cabling and being rectified in the amplifier, causing the feedback.

Stopped in Vicksburg MS and took the tour of the siege battlefield. It's a driving tour, slow as you like, on a winding paved road (one bridge had a 13' clearance) through the trenches and emplacements. About 5 miles and the deuce had no problems fitting along the trail. There are many monuments and busts and plaques and alot of cannon.

I got home last night late. I thought I posted some more pics but guess I fell asleep at the computer. the alternator bracket is still perfectly in order. Thanks to Bjorn and Andy and everyone else for the great support during this trip.

These road trips that people take, they serve to show the value of steelsoldiers members bring to the table -especially when something does go wrong. Perhaps many people don't go on road trips due to worries that things like this can happen even when the traveler is as prepared as possible. Others may have painstakingly restored machines and not want to subject them to that much travel. Still, it would be good to encourage more members to take road trips of some kind. The Aberdeen rally is one example, but there it's more like a convoy in certain ways.

If we would take the attitude of being prepared, it should be safe to travel. I wonder if the major and minor spares needed along with all the tools would not fit in a 3x3x6 tool chest in the bed of a deuce (a smaller chest for the correspondingly smaller spares in smaller vehicles)

So, what should be taken along?

in tank fuel pump
injection pump or parts
wire, large and small
inner tube and flap
lamps, instrument, turn signal, headlamp
24V to 120V inverter
electrical tools including solering iron
mechanical tools
fan belts (make sure they fit haha!)
spare batteries
and what else?

is there an official thread on road trip preparedness?

Nov 03, 2006 - 01:04 PM

I did it:
steer axle 6680 LB
drive axle: 12520 LB
gross weight: 19200 LB

- miles traveled: 2317. I have to say this is a good proof of how reliable these trucks are, if well maintained. Had I just changed the belts before, there would have been no issues. I don't count the wiper blade since that was caused by an accident. -the OTHER wiper blade, however, it is not explainable.

Nov 03, 2006 - 09:27 PM

All the pictures from the trip are now posted online on the Bunker of DOOM website:

There are over 500 images, and the data set is about 1GB. If you click on a small image to see the large size one, or on anything else for that matter and it does not work, please let me know. The 'large' images are about 1-2 megs and very good resolution. Apologies to modem users, but that is why the 'thumbnail' images are 300 pixels wide, so you can see what you want to take a closer look at before doing so.

The front radials, what the truckers call "steer tires", have about 3000 miles on them and show no appreciable wear. I just went out and measured, and have 1/2" tread in the middlegroove, and 7/16" on the outside grooves. These are designed for and run with inner tubes, and are for the semi-tractor front axle application so they are rated for more than 2X the weight than I have on them. Before I put these on, I was chewing up military type NDT front tires. I run 80-90 pounds pressure in them, and the steering on the highways and especially in rain is much better. Each of these tires is rated for well over the entire weight present on the front axle of the truck. If you can 'suffer' with the non-military appearance and do most of your driving on road, these will serve wonderfully.

There's the whole story here as well as about the 11.00x20 rears:

About the antenna mounts: There is no military precedent I am aware of, it is not regulation. The sugar scoops do fit perfectly for welding up in that position.