a few years have past since the last post on my truck & loads has happened, i can't say it's all been good but it has been interesting.
i have been the sole owner since 2007 so i'll start from there.
the first show i drove myself to was a small railway event at Toddington in the october of 07. Even though it was dark at the time, the choice was either suck it up, grow a set, get in & drive or go home a chicken. needless to say i sucked it up & the rest as they say is history.
2008 saw a new 'mechanic' ( man friend) on the scene who had never heard of the hobby or even knew shows etc existed. he had a real big shock in store but kind of embraced it. i drove down to horndean for our first show of the season & all was going well untill we were 3 miles from home on the way back. cough, cough, splutter, bluuurrrrgghh. we slowed to a complete standstill on the ebly bypass between stroud & stonehouse. there was nothing we could do on the side of the road so had to get a tow back to the barn.
after getting a work party together it turns out the manifold was blowing & also fuel starvation. it took almost 2 hours to get the downpipe off as one of the bolts had rusted on it was almost at the point where we got the grinder out to cut off. i think it started to panic at this point and on hearing the generator start up decided it was going to crack. so , manifold was sent to be skimmed & came back spanking. in the mean time the fuel filter was cleaned, the pipes blown out, the fuel tank taken off ( thats another whole lot of story), cleaned out & put back.
put it all back together & voila, started first time & kept on running, she sounded fab. drove her to Beltring & she flew like the wind, well a small gust at least.
so 2008 went without any more hitches.
2009 ---- ooh dear---- did a few local shows before the big one at Beltring. went up in convoy but the guys we went with decided to go early so we came back on our own. just got past clackett lane & she started kangaroo jumping, very odd experience in a GMC, coughing etc. i managed to get her off the motorway & thankfully there was a layby just off the slip road. a short while later it was pretty obvious the fuel pump was leaking real bad. unfortunately for them but thankfully for me some other friends with a reo & a 6 wheel dodge had broken down & had to replace some belt or other at clacket lane so they were actually behind us. a few phone calls later to Rex & we got straight barred by the Reo to reading. it was dark by the time we got there & fair play to everyone they put a new fuel pump on by torch light. we started on the way home again only to break down at the end of rex's lane. it was decided that we limp back to rex's & everyone else was going to drive home. it's a good job the people in this hobby are so like family as i don't know what we would've done with out so many people to help us out.
as daylight came around we had a carb re build done as fuel still wasn't getting through properly. agaon we almost got as far as the end of the lane when she stopped again. turns out the small rubber fuel pipe had deteriorated & collapsed in on itself. i bought a metal one & had it fitted. woo hoo, she went like a dream & drove home like she'd never drove before. it felt fantastic.
the rest of the season is history as they say & went without a hitch.
2010---for some reason she started over revving, horrifically, sometimes to the point where i couldn't get her in gear. it was a tad annoying but she was tuned down which helped loads. it just meant that as i came up to a junction or slowed to a stop i had to pull the choke on a bit to up the revs so the engine didn't cut out.
i decided that it had also got to the point where the brakes needed doing. so all wheels came off & all seals re done.
engine not running right again so took off carb & ran it up to rex to have a 2nd carb rebuild done, engine ran better but still not ideal. while a very nice chap came down & checked that i'd put the carb back on properly, he discovered a puncture on the drivers side, middle axle inside tyre. this was the night before driving to beltring so had to urgently find somewhere to get a new tube fitted. thankfully i managed to find a tyre place i could just drive in & they did it there & then, well eventually when they managed to split the rim they did it there & then.
got to beltring ( yep, this show again) and had a few of the guys round to have a muck about to try & find out why the revs were going up so much & the engine was playing up.. a few pipes off here & a few little experiments there & turns out the hydro vac needs the seals & diaphram replacing as it's pulling in air.
on the drive home she started kangarooing again so pulled off the motorway ( i'll soon be an expert on places to park off the m25). turns out she was 'hunting'. my chaperone for the journey, alex chubb, cupped his hands over the carb, i revved it a few times, he took his hands off. we did this a couple of times & hay presto back to normal. thankfully the rest of the journey was uneventful.
now to this year, no 'mechanic' in tow so this is the first solo year. it was real daunting but exciting at the same time.
i noticed i had a bit of leaking fluids on the middle axle drivers side ( same as the puncture) & also the front passenger side too. i presumed it was the brakes so i got the spare parts & e mailed the red ball chaps from the 514th to see if they could help me sort them out as part of the display at beltring ( there it is again) i took my truck round on wednesday morning for 9 am, that was a real killer after a good session the night before. a quick inspection & the front was fine, no leaky cylinders which was fab. the news wasn't so good for the back though. it turned out to be leaky hub seals. the guys were excellant & just rolled their sleeves up & took it all apart. a quick walk up to see rex & the new seals were purchased. in no time at all the whole thing was back together again.
now then, the journey home. this was going great guns till we got to bracknell. it was getting a bit troubelsome to get into gear but thinking it was just because it was hot i didn't take much notice.
carried on driving & still nothing else seemed to be untoward. untill coming down blunsdon hill on the A419 by swindon. the most horrific crashing, grinding & knocking noise burst through the eardrums, i managed to pull her into a small layby outside a cottages driveway. once i'd stopped i couldn't get it back into gear, as soon as i lifted my foot from the clutch the noise started again. i figured the best thing to do would be to turn it off.
many phone calls later & an almost dead phone the decision was made to leave the GMC on the side of the road & sort it out on the monday. it's at times like this that you realise how friends can make such a difference.
i managed to get permission to leave her on site at a steam show i'd be attending the following 2 weekends time. at least i knew there would be many people who could have a good look & let me know what was wrong. turns out it was the thrust bearing first & foremost. i did think it was the gear box as i couldn't get it in gear but after being leaft for a couple of weeks the gears worked fine. i was able to drive her home albeit in 4th gear, but she did get home under her own stream. i have lost 5th gear so have sourced a replacement gear box, found out about a thrust bearing & will have her back up & running in no time.
even after all this i do love my truck, my truck is for life & not just for christmas.
i am learning about it all the time & maybe by the time i'm 70 i'll be an expert, in the meantime though i'm thankfull that there are so many people who are only to willing to help.
ok, so now you're all up to date i'll keep you posted on future events.
cheers for listening