Looks Good From The Road

Back when I used to ride my bicycle on a daily basis, I frequently passed by this gem.   I don’t think it moved in more than six years, so I screwed up my courage and made an inquiry.

It didn’t run, (the motor was stuck), no brakes, one tilt cylinder was gutted, bucket hinges were ‘lacking’, the steering was iffy, and the right front tire had popped a bead.

What’s not to like about that?

“The deal was made in Denmark, on a dark and stormy day; then I set off for the NAPA, to get some ether spray…”

And then I realized that I had never seen a Detroit Diesel, nor had I any idea how they worked.

This could get messy.

A friend was kind enough to send me an official 3-71 manual.  By that time, the snow had melted, and the wasps had a chance to set up shop in the cab.

With the airbox covers removed, a can of PB, and a prybar on the flywheel, the motor came unglued.

In the event it started, I didn’t want to run over a goat, or the barn, or myself.

John Parks at General Gear was good enough to forward the control schematics by email.

The shutoff cables were checked and oiled, the filter pedestals were pulled, cleaned and new elements installed.  The fuel tank was full of who knows what, so I ran the suction and return lines to a 5 gallon fuel can.

It fired on ether, but didn’t run, which was probably for the best, as at the time I knew nothing about the finer points of setting the rack, and the runaway scenario.

All three injectors had stuck in the down position.  On disassembly, they were clearly water damaged, with scored plungers.  I lost one of the backfire checkvalves on reassembly…


Or more like Vroo.  The injector feed lines were pitted through from rust, and diesel was running into the crankcase.

Ready for a cruise downtown.  “You, ah, mind if I smoke?”

The throttle linkage was worn enough that full pedal would barely raise the engine speed enough to engage the transmission.  But that was good enough to maneuver around for loading and unloading the Landoll.

What the…, the 8 track is broken?  I’ve been had!