The time has come

Well,  the time has come to say goodbye to the old deuce!  We had some fun with it,  but it is just a waste of money keeping it around paying taxes,  tag and insurance – to drive it every once in awhile. I replaced the battery last week and tightened the compressor belt, aired up the tires,  hooked up the m105a2 and drove it over to Auto Exteriors to turn over to Russ. They are going to clean it up, touch it up and then we are going to put it up for sale. 

That last drive was a lot of fun and I’m going to miss driving it, but it’s time to let somebody else enjoy it and move on to another military vehicle they might get a little more use  and is a little smaller and easier to work on. 

Short road trip yesterday

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I started thinking the other day about how long it had been since I had driven the deuce. The last time was a month ago! The Denton rally. So yesterday I needed to haul off trash and cardboard. Nice, sunny day out, so off came the top and loaded up my cardboard boxes and three bags of trash. Off to the convenience center. It is only a 6 mile drive, but was enough to get the motor up to temp and top the batteries off.  The older guy manning the convenience center talked about some memories of driving a deuce in the Guard for about 10 minutes while I unloaded the truck. I stopped by the store to pick up a Gatorade, and back to the house. Everybody lives seeing and hearing a deuce!

Added a REAL 7 blade RV receptacle

Yesterday, I decided to ditch the 12 pin military to 7 blade RV adapter cord. I bought a receptacle with a 3′ cord attached at Northern Tool. Of course, there is always a problem! Come to find out, the wiring for these plugs is NOT standardized. There are AT LEAST 2 common, different ways to wire them. I chose this one:

I stripped all but about 9″ of insulation from the cable and installed the receptacle in the hitch using 4 screws and nuts. I used zip ties to secure the cable to the hitch frame.

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I ran the red and green wire along the wiring harness and taped them together so that it appears as one harness. I used 12-10awg splices to connect the red wire to #22-461 and the green to #21 after I stripped the factory tape off of the harness to where it met the larger harness. On the right side, I ran the brown wire along the factory harness and spliced it to #21-461. I then wrapped the wires together with electrical tape. I used a butt connector to connect the blue wire to the wire coming from the brake controller.

This is where I messed up. I DIDN’T connect the ground wire to the frame! I also didn’t connect the +12v AUX power or backup light wire – I don’t know why! I bundled them up and zip tied them to the harness,

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After I secured everything and tested function with the multimeter, I drove to where my trailer is parked and hooked up the trailer connector cable. It looks a lot better, and is much easier to hook up now without the adapter and extra 2 pin brake cable.

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Now is where the problem starts. I function tested the trailer. Left and right turn signals work. Left running light works – right doesn’t. Both rear side running lights work. The right running light works if you take the bulb out and insert it in backwards! If you turn on the running lights and 4 way flashers, the left works, the right running light is on all the time and you can barely see the flash.

I did some research online and found out that a bad ground can cause all kinds of weird problems – then I decided I screwed up by not connecting theĀ  ground wire! I have been relying on the hitch to ball connection for ground, and it had been working fairly well.

My next step will be to connect the ground and function test again.

Got the caster adjusted today

I drove the truck over to Russ’s shop today so that we could do some work on the front spring perches. It ended up taking us a little over 2 hrs to do the job.

We started out by figuring out HOW to jack the truck up, since the axle had to be at full droop to get the bottom u-bolt plate off. Thank God we had the pneumatic jack and plenty of cribbing! We finally got the passenger side jacked up and supported with cribbing and a heavy duty jack stand under the front frame rail.

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The u bolt nuts were holding tight until Russ got the oxy-acetelyne torch out and heated them up real good. A little coaxing with the 3/4″ impact and off they came! We had to remove the lower shock nut to get the bottom plate down far enough to lower the axle and remove the spring perch. Once removed, I started off grinding with the bench grinder – too slow! Russ grabbed the side grinder and in about 5 minutes she was done!

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Not beautiful, but it now has NO wedge to it. Ended up removing about 1/4″ from the leading edge to make the wedge flat.

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Putting the perches back in was a little more difficult than removing them. The axle was out of alignment, so the pins didn’t want to line up with the spring perch. We ended up using a porta power along with raising and lowering the jack and a little coaxing with a BFH. Got them lined up and the u bolts tightened back up – back down on the ground.

Up with the driver’s side and repeat! This side didn’t need heat to get the nuts off.

2015-03-15 16.59.46We got her back on the ground and removed all of the cribbing (easier said than done!). Time for a test drive. Before we left the parking lot, I saw that the steering wheel returned to center a LOT easier. We took off down a back road and crossed a railroad – she didn’t jump all around! I took her down a highway at 50mph – took my hands off the wheel and she tracked straight! This thing is almost a joy to drive now! There is some tire bounce at around 45 and 52 ish mph because the tires aren’t balanced. I think I want to try switching the driver front tire for another one because it seems to be the worst.

One the way home, I got her up to 57mph and the same was true – the bouncing smoothed out around 50 and 57mph. Overall, I am VERY satisfied with this modification! Well worth the 2 ish hours of work it took to do it. We didn’t get around to changing out the axle boot today – maybe the next time I’m off.

Finished up accessories

Today was a nice 70deg day, so I was actually ably to get out a work all day!

I started out by finishing up the trailer brakes. I ran a 10awg wire from the rear of the truck to the blue wire from the brake controller following the wiring harness. Once up front, I soldered the wires together and shrink tubed them. I zip tied the new wire to the wiring harness. This sounds like a nice quick job, but I had the wonderful experience of working in 2″ of sandy mud the whole time! Everything around the shop was mud, so I just had to grin and bare it – and a lot of cussing! Once at the back of the truck, I added a 10awg, 2 pin quick connector by soldering a shrink tubing.

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I hooked up to the car hauler and ran a brake power wire to the wiring box on the trailer. I hooked up the main brake cable to the truck using my adapter. I ran the brake power wire along the main cable and zip tied them together. I soldered the 2 pin quick connector to the end of the power wire and hooked them together. At first I thought the brakes weren’t working, so I pulled the trailer down the yard and pressed the manual brake button – the brakes locked up! I was actually surprised that this worked the first time!

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The quick connects didn’t come with weather covers, so I made my own with shrink tubing – slide it down on the connector, add heat, press the ends together and snip to length!

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Next, I moved on to installing the windshield washer. The bottle was covered with the overspray from a fire dept respray, so I had to use some paint thinner and a Scotch Brite pad to get as much of that off as possible. Then I mounted the bottle on the steering column. I ran the hose through the firewall beside the steering column.

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I located the pump right under the lower left instrument panel Dzus fastener and drilled a 1/4″ hole and mounted it. I still have to go buy a spray nozzle and some more tubing before I can finish the install.

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Lastly, I got under the truck and drilled out 2 more 1/2″ mounting holes for the trailer hitch and installed some spacers and bolts. I never really felt comfortable with the way the hitch was mounted before. Now it is EXTRA secure! While I was under there, I checked the spring mounting bolts for tightness and found 2 that were slightly loose and tightened them up.

Even though the trailer brakes are working now, I think later on I am going to install an actual 7 blade trailer plug in the hitch (it has a cutout and holes for one) that incorporates everything. That way I won’t need the adapter that plugs into the military trailer plug receptacle and the separate brake plug.

 

2 more accessories done

Today was nice and warm, so I got an early start outside. I had to go buy some 12awg stranded wire and a 12v accessory outlet. I also wanted some plastic wiring loom, but couldn’t find the size I needed.

I started out working on the trailer brake controller. It was a little confusing at first. Adding the 24v relay to switch the brake signal to 12v before entering the controllerĀ (24v to the brake controller would fry it) took 3 pages copied from Steel Soldiers, the brake controller wiring diagram, and a wiring schematic to get it done – oh, and 2 beers! I ended up mounting the relay right beside the hole going into the engine compartment at the driver side cowl vent – there was already a screw hole there that I used. I tapped into the #22 brake signal wire behind the light switch plug with a clip on wire tap. I ran the 12awg wire for brake controller power and a 14awg wire for the 12v signal over to the fuse block I installed the other day. I taped them together to make a wiring harness and installed a crimp terminal to tie them together – zip tied it to another harness. The brake controller ground was installed on the engine compartment side of the relay screw I installed earlier and held on with a nut. I haven’t run the brake signal wire to the rear of the truck yet.

Oh yeah, I mounted the brake controller bracket here so that I could see it easily between the spokes of the wheel and reach down to hit the manual brake button if needed.

I hooked up my multimeter to the blue controller output wire and a ground . Turned on the power switch and pushed the brake pedal – the solenoid clicked and voltage showed on the multimeter – FIRST TIME SUCCESS!

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Next I moved on to the accessory plugs (dual – figured I might need to charge my phone AND run a GPS at the same time!). I mounted it under the dash to the right of the instrument panel for easy access, while still being out of the way of the driver. It just so happens, that when I started to run the power wire, there was a hole already in the firewall almost right behind it! Also, it was a straight shot to the fuse block (I used about 12″ of wire connected to the pigtail). I installed the ground under the mounting screw. Plugged in a 15A fuse and POWER to the plugs!

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Tomorrow is wintery weather again, so no work will get done running the wire to the back of the truck. Wednesday is supposed to be 70deg, so maybe then!