Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pictures of the work to come

Had 17 out for some pictures today, as requested by the new insurance carrier. Here's all four sides. I made these thumbnails, and all those to follow, small, because this post has a lot of pictures. Click any of them for a larger version.

As long as I had her out, I did a walk around to once again get my head around the work to be done.

Mechanically, these are the issues I know of that one can't easily take pictures of:
  • There is a minor but audible air leak while the brake pedal is pressed. - had this one explained in the comments.
  • Major crack in plumbing from tank to pump, tank cannot carry water.
  • Pump will not engage, prior owner indicated a (minor?) actuator problem.
  • Engine surges up and down for about 15 seconds after a cold start. - also had this one explained in the comments.
  • Primary air system leaks, takes about two minutes to build pressure to release the brakes.
  • One of the air horns is not operating, the other is not tuned correctly. - turns out both work, but both are out of tune.
  • Left windshield wiper operates only one direction. If you put it back and turn it on again, you get one swipe.
  • The compression/retard brake pedal has no effect, and does not act to slow the pumper.
  • Rotating red light on the roof sometimes stalls and will not rotate. Being replaced anyway, so no big deal.
  • Officer's side spotlight power is tied to the same source as the high beam wig-wag flasher. Wig wags off = no officer's spotlight.
And then here are the visual items requiring attention of various priorities:

Capped outlet for Stang water cannon visible over the crow's nest. Just under that, a capped outlet into the hose bed, and right there in the forefront, a capped outlet at the rear step. The left side rear outlet is still in service, though.

Not sure why someone put amber DOT clearance lights back here, as they should be red. The directional alternating flashers used to be here, but Tacoma removed them and installed newer style 360 strobe lights (amber on the right, red on the left) around 1985 or so. The flat bracket just above the clearance light is a TFD custom job, installed to hold those new strobes. Unsurprisingly, the strobes are now also gone, skyped by a previous owner to use somewhere else.

Argh. Tire chain damage. This body/paint area is the worst of the entire pumper.

Rust on the tow hooks. Not hard to fix. There's incidental rust elsewhere, of course.

The Krang. A nice ALF Owners Network member sent me a clearance light to replace the one I sheared off. From the sounds of things that I've heard while figuring out how to fix this, it probably won't be too hard to handle. Also obvious here is the scratches and rust on the fender kick plate, and the naked pedestal waiting for a Federal Q2B to once again be installed.

A pathetic amount of booster hose, and an equally pathetic booster hose nozzle. The more I am around 17, the more I think she must have been relegated to mostly grass fire duty before her final retirement.

Hose bed needs a new oak tray. I forgot again to test to see if the electric hose reel rewind is operative.

Dashboard is a bit rusty, along with gunk from previous sundry things glued/taped to the dash, and the defrost air vent directional vane insert is missing from the officer's side.

Other side of the dash. Ladder rack down indicator light is missing. More rust. And one of the dash-mount gauges has a broken housing (but still functions).

Fuel gauge occasionally opts to tell me there is fuel, but usually doesn't. At best, with a full tank, it once told me I had a quarter tank.

I don't know what used to be in this blank hole. The little black box on the lower left is a momentary siren controller, connected to a wimpy electronic speaker mounted behind the left jumpseat. My guess is that it was intended to be used for parade sound effects. It makes four authentic sounds depending on the button pushed, but you have to hold the button down to keep it going. It's main use now is startling the yeebers out of a passenger in the left jumpseat. It will go away at whatever point I obtain and reinstall that Q2B.

I don't need to describe what here is non-stock. Several of these toggle switches now go nowhere or do nothing. The console light in top center comes on when it feels like it.

AO's spotlight does not work at all, and would be hard (impossible) to fully manipulate with that major piece of the controller handle missing.

This is not a maintenance issue, but a neat tie to 17's Tacoma past that I only noticed for the first time today. This is (or rather, was) the phone number to the Poison Information line at the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma. The age of this label is given away in that the first two digits are letters instead of numbers (BR2-1281 = 272-1281). This label is affixed to the inside center of the cab roof.

Hah! The hydraulic ladder rack works perfectly. Just need some ladders so it doesn't look naked.

All rear tail light, back-up light, and brake light lenses are cracked like this, though thankfully all are still intact with no gaping holes.

Missing a few widgets here on the pump panel.

So...... that's what I'm up against. It's so, so worth it, though.

Thanks for coming along on the ride. Don't forget to read the previous post below, still seeking your thoughts and opinions on the painting project.


  1. -Brake Pedal air leak: rebuild kit from Bendix for less than $10 should fix you right up.

    -Engine surges: VERY typical of a 2-cycle Detroit with a mechanical governor. Every one of them does it. You can't change it. Leave it be.

    -Windshield Wiper- Is it powered by a separate motor from the other one, or one motor with linkage? If it is linkage, sounds like linkage broke.

    -Compression Retarder: Based on my own experiences driving trucks equipped with these, they are just about useless when they DO work, therefore, not working is no loss. I would place that on the "low priority list.

    -Rust on anything chrome: if the chrome itself is in good shape with no flaking, try scrubbing the rust with a green kitchen scrubby or a red scotchlite auto-body pad with a little bit of WD-40. This is usually enough to knock the rust off, it won't be perfect, but it will look MUCH better.

  2. Very helpful comments, Randy.

    I am so glad I am attacking this in the Internet age, because there is so much I don't know, and I can't imagine trying to get through it without access to help from all over.

    I never knew about the mechanical governor issue, but it makes obvious sense now that you mention it. I don't remember these pumpers doing this when I was a kid. Is it worse with equipment age, or is my memory faulty?

    The one-way wiper, by the way, is pneumatic, not electric. I doubt it will be a big deal to fix/replace whatever is or is not appropriately moving air at the base of the wiper arm.

    I think I'll ignore the retard brake entirely until there is nothing else to do.

    Thanks again!

  3. Frank, the 6-71 Detroit on my truck (1971 900 Series) surges when cold. Once warmed up it stops completely. If it bothers you apply just slight pressure to the accelerator after start-up. An extra 25 rpms is often enough to stop the surge and smooth things out. In 1-3 minutes, depending upon how cold it is, it should be gone. I don't ever remember my truck doing this when new--but it was inside a heated fire hall. It's still inside my garage--but it's unheated.

    I've replaced my treadle (foot) valve a couple of times due to leaky seals. They seem to last anywhere from forever to a year or two (confirmed by several career truckers I've talked to). One bit of rust/dirt/crud is enough to cause them to leak.

    The dashboard air deflector should be an easy thing to find--the 900-1000 Series trucks are old enough now that many are being parted out.

    Same for the Federal Q. They pop up on ebay from time to time.

    Chrome polish might take off a lot of the rust. It won't be perfect (once rust starts it won't stop) but it ought to be better--certainly nice enough for parade duty.

    Those rear tail light lenses are probaby Signal-Stat Acrystat lenses, 4" in diameter. They fit the Signal-Stat model 16 & model 17 lights. They show up on ebay, too.

    Same for the Unity spotlight/floodlight with the missing handle. You might find the whole thing or just the handle.

    Good luck,

  4. I'm thinking that after the rust is removed and polished down, a coat of clear acrylic from a rattle can might protect it fairly well.

    Thanks again, Randy.