This 1929 Fire Truck Is Coming Back To Life. I am making progress on the repairs needed for this Virginia City Fire Truck. The Volunteer Fire Department in Virginia City,Nevada is looking forward to its return so that they can use it in parades and events. It had the rear seals leaking and a fuel issue to name just a few areas needing attention. I have removed the rear wheels and axle as you can see in the photos. In 29, the axles where held in by a bearing plate. The wheels were metal and the drum is tappered to keep it secured to the axle. I found debris in the rear end housing as you can see in the photo caused from lack of use and it has signs of some rust meaning water had entered into the rear end somehow. I am now waiting for parts before I can begin to re assemble it.
I removed the Carburetor and found that the needle and seat, which allows fuel to flow in and then stopped by the float reaching its level, shutting off the fuel flow, was stuck open causing it to flood and gush gasoline everywhere. A new kit has arrived and I am working on the rebuilt of the carburetor. More to follow.
Well here it is a few weeks later and the fire truck is coming along. I would have had her further along if I hadn’t run into a few problems. When removing the drums, two of the wheel studs were damaged and the hunt was on to locate knew ones. You would think that it would be as easy as calling your vintage auto parts supplier. In this case, no so. It seems that the rear end in this truck is not as common and the smaller versions. I ordered parts that appreared to be the correct ones for this application and was assurred by the supplier that they would be correct. Upon arriving that was far from the case. So I called them up to see if maybe they might stock the exact seals and studs I was in the market for. A disappointing blow to find out NO. I began surfing the net for any company that just might know where I might find parts for a 10 lug rear end. I struck out, but was able to locate someone back east who knew exactly the rear end I was working on and to hear him say good luck with trying to find the seals. so I asked him what about installing a new version seal? I struck gold. He enlightened me on how the original seal was installed and that I could remove the old seal carefully and then call around to see if there might be a seal of that size. I hit gold again. Napa had the seal I was looking for, I cleaned up the old seal housing, installed the new seal into it and it was good to go. Whew, I thought forsure I was out of luck on this one.
Still grinning from finding the seal, I know needed to locate 2 wheel studs. This one was harder than the seals. I called several compainies who speciallize in wheel studs and no one could come even close to the size I needed. One perticular part of the stud was the problem. Not being happy with the word no, I began hitting the net again in hopes of finding something close. I finally found a site where you could put in all the specs and it would search all manufactures. To my surprise, there was a match. The studs that fit a 1968-1971 Oldsmobile or Pontiac was a perfect fit. Wow, I had a sigh of releaf. I was on a role. My friend Joe from Virginia City came down to lend a helping hand and to gain knowledge of just how this truck was put together. Joe was amazed to the mechanics of this 1929 Chevy Truck and dove in getting just as greasy as I did. It is always nice sometimes to have a second pair of hands and great company as well.
In the photos you will see where I am reinstalling the axle and I have a photo the old seal and the new one installed. You will also see that the axle seal is greased by a zerk fitting installed in the rear end housing on the outside and you see where I tested to make sure it was working. Then I tapped in the axle, installed the drum and now ready for the tire and wheel to be installed.
We did manage to get the truck running to make sure that the engine was still in good shape and it was. The next step is to get a few things buttoned up and test driving it. More to follow.