From an angry bellow to a gentle roar — quieting the beast we call “Old Blue”

Posted: October 16, 2015 in Cars

Old Blue started to develop a bit of a cough somewhere in her exhaust system, so I took her to the local muffler shop. After throwing her up on the lift, I was informed that there was a hole in one of my aspirator tubes, way up where it was almost impossible to reach, on the rear of the engine. They told me there was nothing they could do, because “you can’t find replacement aspirator tubes anymore,” and sent me on my way.

I didn’t like that answer, so I bought some liquid weld, taped a small piece of cardboard to an old broomstick, and reached up there with a wad of liquid weld and just painted it over the hole while laying on my back under the truck. That silenced the problem a little, but not all the way. While I was underneath, I also noticed a ring of rust where the muffler meets the exhaust pipe. So, I took her to a different muffler shop, who happily replaced the muffler. Now, I don’t have an exhaust that sounds like a Harley Davidson firing up.

The engine does, however, have a little bit of a growl, and maybe some lifter tick. It sounds cool, but drowns out the radio and makes conversation difficult while on the highway. To try and remedy this, I went and got some oil treatment, as well as a gas treatment, both of which claimed to help reduce engine noise. It helped a little, but there was still some unwanted noise. Upon checking the oil level, I was a little low, so I added a couple of quarts of high quality motor oil. The increased volume of oil and additional oil pressure quieted the engine yet a little more. My next step will be to buy hood insulation, which should muffle the engine noise a few decibels. If my truck ever had hood insulation, it’s long gone now, as no trace of it remains.

Other recent upgrades include:

  • A 6-foot tonneau cover that my dad was no longer using. But…I have an eight-foot bed. To solve this I also bought:
  • A 20-inch truck bed toolbox. This still left a gap of about 4 inches, so I took a 4 X8, coated it with DuraLiner spray, and wedged it in the gap left between the truck box and tonneau cover. After a hard rain, it appeared to keep the water out (with a few leaks) so this weekend I’ll probably bolt it in and seal it with some clear caulk

The only problem with this entire project was that the truck bed is no longer square after years of carrying around a bed camper. This required me to put wood shims in to make the rails of the cover sit square, so the tonneau would snap shut and cover the bed properly width-wise. The shims left a slight gap between the liner and bed rails, so I covered it with some thick non-skid tape to seal the gap. It matched the liner and bed rails pretty well.

The next step I want to take is to buy weatherstripping seals for the tailgate, which will make it even more dust proof and waterproof. I’m also looking into getting new door seals so the wind doesn’t whistle through the cab so loudly when I’m on the freeway. I tried greasing the door latches to make them shut tighter, which helped a little, but didn’t eliminate all of the door rattle and wind noise I get at high speeds. Lastly I found some self-adhesive weather strippping that I used to cover the little gap in my rear window where the two doors meet. It is missing the latch that holds the two parts of the door together, as well as whatever rubber weather stripping it originally came with. After making this change, the heater gets the cab warm pretty quick, with no loss of heath due to the crack anymore.

IMG_0159

Visible in the picture are the new truck box, tonneau cover and tape seals on the bed rails. The rear window seals were not yet installed.

 

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