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Thread: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    Well, I have good news and bad news. Let's start with the good!

    The driver's side rear wheel cylinder replacement went well. Quick out and back in, only had to remove one upper spring to maneuver the cylinder out.

    The passenger side is the one I started the afternoon with, and oh man it did not go well. There were signs of rounding off on the brake line already. I went to the store and got the recommended "line wrench" once I saw that. It didn't help, due to it already starting to round I couldn't get a solid setting on the nut and I just rounded the heck out of it. Half a can of WD40 did nothing, I even pre soaked before work to let it sit all day. I've heard afterwards that a torch helps free freezed ones but its too late for me.

    I'll be cutting the line, I looked into fabricating my own and honestly it looked miserable and thank goodness I found pre-bent lines, I think specifically for my application. So I plan on cutting out the old line, and putting in these new ones for the rear axle. Local parts stores have the replacement hose, I'm going to hold off on that unless I see evidence of leaking or I can't get air out of the lines even after these new cylinders and lines.

    I bought a vacuum brake bleeding system because I like to be self-sufficient. I guess it has other applications as well like testing engine vacuum and I guess somehow for filling in windshield cracks with windshield glue.

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    Finally "finished" the brake job from hell.

    Some bullet points:
    • The pre-bent brake lines technically bent around the shocks nicely but other than that they didn't really line up at all, I had to straighten them out a lot to be able to meet together at the end of the new rear brake hose. As a result, the brake hose is no longer nicely mounted to the axle with a bolt but instead zip tied. I was able to reuse the other two metal clamps, one that was off of a diff bolt and the other screwed into axle.
    • The self-bleed kit I bought is a complete piece of crap that both didn't form a good seal on the bleeder screw and when I used my own hose the hand pump failed.
    • When I got some help from a friend to pump the pedal while I bled the brakes, I got 3 out of 4 to bleed but couldn't get the fourth. I couldn't figure out what was going on until I disconnected the line from it and saw that it did have fluid going to it, then I pressed on the brake myself really hard and heard a noise out the rear passenger drum brake, the wheel cylinder had failed and was leaking bad. One new wheel cylinder (and yet another drum brake reassembly to get to it) and I could finally bleed the whole system.
    • I think I did the drum shoes replacement job about 3-4 times each by the time I finally got through this job.


    And then to top it all off, when I went to test out on the driveway and in the cul de sac, the brakes did feel much better, but I was absolutely squirtin motor oil and the check engine light was on. Determined that the injectors (I call them squirters) were more dripping than squirting, fuel connections looked good, then saw that the pump was leaking on the out end, so probably not enough pressure to drive the squirters. However once I tightened that up and it should have had good pressure, the squirters were still barely keeping the engine alive. The check engine light remained on so I'm assuming it went into the fabled "limp home mode." I was able to get it up the driveway (barely) and I disconnected the battery to reset the ECU overnight. I'll fire it up over my lunch break and see how it goes.
    For the oil leak, I have a new valve cover gasket but I'm going to wait to do those until I get my new intake manifold in (this year? who knows).
    In the meantime I don't think they have lock washers so I'm going to hit the ol Ace Hardware and get those on there, and torque them to the huge value of 4 ft lbs

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    I've had a similar experience with those little hand vacuum pumps. Maybe someone makes a decent one, but I broke down and bought a Motive Products power bleeder. Makes bleeding and full flushes go much easier.

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    Man, what a nightmare those brakes have turned out to be. Hope you get to move onto more rewarding work soon.

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    Thanks Shane. Like Jim said though, I now have intimate knowledge of what makes the rear and pretty good of what makes the front able to brake and how to service it myself.

    It actually was rewarding in the end; when I finally saw fluid coming through the bleeder screws I felt like a pioneer striking oil

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    Update on the engine issues I had after the brake job:

    I did some Googling and Fun With Multimeters and determined that the TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) was defective. Although that is almost exactly what the code was saying, I was very skeptical that it was the pretty much month-old TPS on the new TBI setup and not shoddy wiring or something I did. So I spent a few days diagnosing to be dang sure before sending my findings via email to Howell Engine Products, as this should be covered in their warranty. When they didn't get back to me within 2 days (they still haven't) I just ordered a new one, slapped it on (super easy) and voila, the engine is roaring again!

    So now I need to make a phone call and hope they will reimburse me for the TPS. Unfortunately it sounds like the kind of thing that would be smart to keep in an emergency kit, along with a spare fuel pump. They are way overpriced for what seems like a simple potentiometer in my opinion, 60 bucks.

    The oil dripping seems to be the valve covers, every time I go and tighten those fasteners up it either completely goes away or is drastically reduced. I have new gaskets and gasket-maker for them but I just can't bring myself to do that job with a potential intake manifold replacement in the near future, so I guess retightening periodically will be my go-to. I will try to get some lock washers, I applied some blue loctite on a few trouble fasteners but I think they get so covered in oil that it will make that useless.

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    TyTheJeepGuy previously posted:
    "I applied some blue loctite on a few trouble fasteners but I think they get so covered in oil that it will make that useless."

    Consider spraying some brake clean (or similar) into the holes for those troublesome fasteners - to clean residual oil out of before using a cleaned bolt with loctite.

    Star washer vs. split lock washer - your decision - though either plus loctite a consideration.

    If still issues - pull the cover, clean surfaces, and RTV it on (controversial but, imo, a reliable solution)

    You're getting there!

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    FINOCJ (August 10th, 2021),TyTheJeepGuy (August 10th, 2021)

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    Jim previously posted:
    "Consider spraying some brake clean (or similar) into the holes for those troublesome fasteners - to clean residual oil out of before using a cleaned bolt with loctite.

    Star washer vs. split lock washer - your decision - though either plus loctite a consideration.

    If still issues - pull the cover, clean surfaces, and RTV it on (controversial but, imo, a reliable solution)

    You're getting there!"

    I don't see a huge problem with staking a screw if needed. We used epoxy or RTV to stake screws on hardware we built at my last job. Just a dab on one side of a fastener to the body, and you could remove it later if you needed to. In the meantime, the screw wasn't going anywhere and you would have evidence if a customer decided to try to remove it!

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    Thanks for the suggestions. I have seen a lot of people suggest just full application-specific gasket maker for intake manifold ends for the AMC V8, instead of the supplied cork pieces that go on the front and back. So I can definitely see how straight valve-cover approved gasket maker could be applied here. Will try lock nuts first and maybe if my brother is bored enough when he visits this weekend we'll pull them off and do a better job on them.

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    TyTheJeepGuy previously posted:
    "The oil dripping seems to be the valve covers, every time I go and tighten those fasteners up it either completely goes away or is drastically reduced. I have new gaskets and gasket-maker for them but I just can't bring myself to do that job with a potential intake manifold replacement in the near future, so I guess retightening periodically will be my go-to. I will try to get some lock washers, I applied some blue loctite on a few trouble fasteners but I think they get so covered in oil that it will make that useless."

    I am with Jim...I run a tap down all these blind holes with brake cleaner and then blow out with air (cover anything important that might be exposed - like the valve train - and wear safety glasses). This works better when its on the bench rather than in the vehicle, but do what you got to do - holding a rag around the air nozzle and over the hole is how I would do it. Also, be careful not to overtighten the valve covers screws - one you warp the flange, it'll never stop leaking and they are hard to get ever get flat again....its common on an old engine that some previous owner has already dimpled them and thus they are leaking. On old iron blocks, I would strongly suggest use of cork gasket with a bit of gasket dressing or permatex #2....depending on how the heads were cast, some are reasonably flat on top, but old sbc's have a thin rounded top to the head, and a thin flexible cork gasket worked the best from my limited experience. I also like to use an 'extender' or force distributor that goes under the bolt head and on top of the valve cover the distributes the clamping force along a greater length of the cover flange - sort of like a long skinny washer....helps reduce the tendency of dimpling the cover flange right around the hole. I prefer to use use an external star lock washer instead of a split washer - not really sure why - but I think i like that you don't need much torque or compression for them to work, and that helps reduce the chance of over tightening.

    oh - and when it finally stops leaking oil, you are probably a few quarts low and need to fill it
    ___________
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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    I had my brother out for a weekend and took a few days off. We had the goal of taking the Honcho Magnum to a monster truck show, and we technically pulled it off, although it was a pretty stressful experience.

    First we got the brake job from hell finally wrapped up, we found that an old trailer brake had a brake line routed right off the master cylinder and into the cab to some lever. I don't need a trailer brake so we disconnected that and got the brakes to firm up a lot better, and it feels great on the road now.

    While on our way to the monster truck show, right as I pulled onto I25, the check engine light came on and it wanted to stall at idle and just generally ran crappy, which I guess is the "limp home mode." Well we had pit passes and I wanted driver signatures so we limped to the show! Afterwards we saw that once again the code was 22 for low voltage reported from the TPS (on a brand new TPS). We took a large wire and made dang sure the ECM harness was grounded by taking it from the battery negative terminal to the harness ground.

    On the way home the check engine light would be intermittent and when it was off it ran great. I called Howell once they were back in business hours, he wasn't interested in troubleshooting just said screw it we'll send you out another ECM. Took about a week to get here, and it ran great in the garage, and kept running well around the neighborhood. Tonight if I have time I'll take it for a cruise to the home improvement store to pick up some mulch.

    I can't talk about a monster truck show without some obligatory photos, maybe it will inspire some of the club's rigs

    Video:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/EJUCTVbwAyXVXzVS8

    Here is a truck installing a new transmission 30 minutes before showtime (he made it for the show, by the way). Also, the transmission used by a few of the trucks present, including this one, is a GM turbo 400, just like in the Honcho Magnum, except probably way upgraded:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ypSAGw5t9dAxVmBJ9

    In the photo, you can see a ridiculously trussed custom axle, nitrogen shocks (no coils), some kind of gas progressive bump stops. Its resting on the bumps here, my brother and I assumed he had yet to charge the nitrogen in the shocks to adjust ride height. Just some things to consider for the J10 build one day
         

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    I guess the upshot is at least it runs with a bad ecm enough to get you off of the trail, but still seems like you haven't had a great experience so far with that kit.

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    Yeah, it looks like they're using old GM ECMs and I guess mine's number was up

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    The new ECM appears to be doing well. I drove the truck up to Shane's place in Nederland over the weekend and it performed very well. Special project tonight, its time for the Honcho to grow up

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    It was fun to finally see it in person. I think you are going to have fun with that rig for a long time to come.

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    The U bolts for the axle-leaf mount were acting as if they were a suspension component on a 44 year old vehicle and fighting me up every thread. With my mom visiting in two days I made the heartbreaking decision to stop before I was too deep into it and had the garage taken up for the entirety of family visiting. I just put the OG shock back in and the tire back on. Nice to be able to fall back to a working vehicle though instead of be stuck with a big brick.I'm installing a 3" lift kit from rough country. Nothing crazy but its a project truck, I think it will do just fine.

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    Shane brought his German Jeep down the canyon to my place to help me with the lift yesterday. On Saturday I had only gotten a rear shock and leaf out and a new one half in place. Was hoping to replace old hardware but Ace didn't have the same bolts in stock, I did however get new nuts and they went on the old bolts perfectly compared to the old ones fighting me every thread. It was very slow going work, very tuff nuts to get out.

    Shortly before Shane arrived I took an angle grinder to the other set of rear u-bolts to avoid another 4 insane nuts to back off. I only got one side cut off, the other side I backed off so I at least reduced the job by 50% with the angle grinder. On the other side I was pretty close to the gas tank so I didn't want to do that. Shane helped me get the final ones off and the leaf out.

    Putting in the 52 lb new leafs was a chore, it looks like the axle is maybe an inch or so further back now with the new leafs; we had to disconnect the E-brake to get the axle located on the leafs. Once they were in we had a chore of getting the u-bolts to fit into the top bracket. From the factory they were a bit too wide. Shane and I sat around a while poking around my garage trying to find some way to bend them narrower. Shane had a great idea, we stuck the u-bolts in my Wrangler's front bumper and bent them using that. Then we got the axle bolted up to both leafs. We were exhausted and Shane had put in a really long wrenching day so we called it there, tonight I will be throwing the shocks in and while the rear is up with tires off I'm going to put the gas tank armor back on.

    Question for the forum:
    We noticed there is one pair of U bolts that are a much different size than the other 3 pairs. I think this was probably a mistake on the part of Rough Country but will call in to confirm. Knowing that it took about 2 days of wrenching and 2 people to get the rear done, I'm concerned about getting the front done by this Saturday morning for the trail cleanup run. So my question is, I know it will look ridiculous but how frowned upon is it to drive and wheel it with the rear lifted 3"?

    P.S. I don't have any photos really but I think Shane might. Thanks for the help Shane!

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    TyTheJeepGuy previously posted:
    "Question for the forum:
    We noticed there is one pair of U bolts that are a much different size than the other 3 pairs."

    On my jeep, the front axle has two different sizes of U-bolts. IIRC, the inner U-bolts are larger and the outer's are smaller.

    I don't know if your vehicle is the same.
         

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    Thanks Jim! That's really helpful. I'll get out there and measure once I get off work.

    It makes sense if the bolts have to wrap the diff housing like in your photo.

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    Default Re: 1977 J10 Honcho "Magnum"



    We didn't have access to a vice and needed to bend these u-bolts, I thought we are about to call it a day since we're stuck so why not take a quick walk around our trucks and see what we would do if we were stuck on the trail and had to bend these. We lucked out, these points on the bumper and a hi-lift handle did the trick.



    Just needs a shock now.


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