The Dark Months have been up and down here in Middle Tennessee. Ice storms followed by temps in the 60’s are probably why I’ve contracted 2 head colds already this winter. But, I’m not complaining. I’ll gladly tolerate some harsh weather if it calms down every few days. That’s much better than the extended periods of doom and gloom we’ve had in the past.
Today was January 26, and by all accounts right smack dab in the heart of the Dark Months. The good news is that and we were blessed with sunshine all day long and temps in the upper 40s. To make things even better, our local H-D dealership (Bumpus Harley-Davidson of Murfreesboro) held an indoor mini tattoo convention, so I drove Otis down to check out the festivities. I saw some fantastic artwork and got to combine three of my favorite things in the process, Old Trucks, Harley’s and Ink. I snapped the pic above of Otis in the parking lot.
I even got back early enough to get the Sporty out for a bit before nightfall. Put about 30 miles on it before returning to the house. Frankly, the cold was pretty painful! But, it was a blast and I’m happy to say, the Eagle is still Screamin’!
Last week I walked past the Stepside in the garage and noticed a small puddle of antifreeze underneath it. After investigation, I discovered the water pump was leaking. So, Saturday morning I swapped it out and took a few pix along the way. Kinda boring but I thought I would share anyway.
Here’s the culprit.
I hate draining antifreeze from a vehicle… it’s such a mess. But you gotta do what you gotta do.
Old pump off…
And a brand-spanking-new one!
It looks better… doesn’t it.
And finally, everything back together.
The trend these days is definitely to go bigger in the engine department of old-school vehicles. Try to find a 67-68 Camaro with a six in it these days. They barely exist, despite the fact that Chevrolet sold a ton of them. It’s the same with the 60-66 C10 pickups. If it had a six in it originally… chances are it probably doesn’t now. All of this finds me once again, where I typically am, on the side of the minority. When I started my search for a truck, one of the things I wanted specifically was an in-line 230. Why you may ask? Well… look at this thing. I can actually crawl under the hood with it. And there’s nothing to it, which means anything that might go wrong can be fairly easily addressed. No, I won’t be racing the guy next to me in the Chevelle Super Sport to the next red light, but I wouldn’t be doing that even if Otis were equipped with a Big Block. Maybe I’m getting old but I’m perfectly content to tool around the city with my simple little in-line 230 pulling me right along at a decent clip.
For December 2nd, today was a pretty awesome day. It was overcast, but temps reached the lower 70s and there was no precipitation. It was my kind of winter day… for sure. A perfect day to hang out in the garage/driveway, crank the Titans game up on the radio and get a few things done to Otis. (My ’66 C10 Stepside.)
First up was replacing the broken drivers-side mirror. In this picture it looks like the new mirror is smaller, but that’s not the case. It was an easy, exact replacement.
Next, I re-installed the fender badges I painted last week. This was no easy task… There’s not a lot of room on the inside of these fenders so it took longer than I anticipated. Mission accomplished though.
These tailgate chain covers will eliminate the slapping noise, and save my paint around the tailgate. I opted for the clear ones as opposed to the black ones.
Next, I installed the decal set I got from LMC Truck for the tailgate letters. They were pretty easy to install and anybody with a somewhat steady hand could apply them easily. They aren’t paint but they look great. Hopefully they will last. Here’s a time-lapse video of my installation.
And… here’s a tail-end shot at the end of the day. I’m diggin’ it!
Some cool stuff for the stepside arrived yesterday. I’ll reveal most of it later this week but here’s a look at the repro owners manual I got. How cool is this thing!
So… today I got the glove compartment I ordered from LMC installed. Oddly enough, it’s made out of fiberboard. I thought this was just a “cheapo” fix but apparently, this is how they really were back in the day. At least that is what I was told by the old guy at the local mom & pop hardware store. At any rate, I got it installed and all I can say is: Finally… somewhere to put my gloves!
Before I sign off… here’s a pic I took today of my two favorite toys. The sun was shining and since the Dark Months* are upon us, I thought I better take advantage of the photo op while I could!
* NOTE: For the uneducated… The Dark Months are what I call the period in Middle Tennessee from November 1 to March 1 — when the days are short, the air is cold, precipitation transforms into solids and good riding days are few-and-far between. They SUCK!