Rear Drawer

It has take me a while to finish this project, mainly because I wasn’t sure exactly were I wanted to go with it. After searching for available options (outback draws, truckvault, etc) I decided to DIY this project, sort of. I found a company called Joey Bed in Oregon that sells sliding bed and drawer systems, mainly for trucks and RVs. The also do custom applications as well. I decided to do a two level setup. Originally they were both connected, but I decided there would be times I didn’t need the top drawer and could use the space (especially when taking the dogs with us). I cut the stacked drawers apart and welded tabs to each half for later reattachment. I also put a top/floor between the two halves. I mounted the bottom drawer to the floor of the truck using 1/4 thick mounting tabs under the floor deck similar to the Milford Cargo barrier mounting tabs. The bigest problem here was the fuel tank is very close. If I were to do it again I think I would have removed the tank and placed larger mounting tabs. I don’t think I will be able to reach the draw max open rating of 500lbs before the truck floor fails.


VSS Buffer

The Vehicle speed sensor adapter I had finally broke (shaft sheared off) and I figured it was time to revisit my attempt at using the stock VSS in the speedo cluster. I didn’t want to try the home built buffer again, so I started searching the web. I found that there is an actual GM part that is reported to be on many of the F body cars and Cadillacs with 5.0, 5.7 and some 6cyl with TBI. The part number is 25071437 and is called the “4 out buffer”. I found mine on ’87-’88 Pontiac Trans Ams. It takes in the 4kppm signal the VSS generates and splits it into a 4k signals and two 2k. The two 4k is for the electronic speedometer and the 2k goes to the ECM and cruise control computer. The biggest problem was finding one of these at the wrecking yards.

VSS buffer pinout
VSS buffer diagram

More description and pictures can be found at GMThunder (bottom of page) Also, read the rest of the GMThunder web site for great info on EFI conversions and tuning.

To wire it up, I connected the pink/black wire on the VSSB to the pink/black wire going to the ECM (hot in start and run). I connected the black/white wire to the black/white going to the ECM (ground). The purple wire connects to the green/black wire at the Toyota “Emission Computer” connector. The brown wire connects to the brown wire going to the ECM VSS signal.

I still haven’t gotten it to work properly yet. I get the signal from the VSS, just no outputs from the buffer. Will have to check my wiring.


Timesert drain/fill plug repair

It doesn’t take much to strip out the fill plug on the later split case. There are actual only a few threads on the upper portion of the whole to hold the plug. After much searching, I found my solution. The timesert is much like the helicoil or other thread repair products, except that it is a solid insert. While the fill plug, although a little tricky, can be done with the transfer-case installed. The drain plug will require disassemble of the case.

First is to drill out the old plug hole, then counter bore for the rim of the timesert.

Next you need to tap for the insert. If doing the fill plug with case installed I recommend using some petroleum jelly on the tap to capture as much of the shavings as possible, then thoroughly rinse and drain with brake cleaner.

Then you install the insert onto the installation tool. The last few internal threads of the insert are not tapped. Once you tighten the insert all the way, the last threads are cut and the insert is anchored (although I still applied some thread locker to the insert before installing).

There you have it, a strong steel thread for a good tight drain plug, don’t forget the new drain plug gasket/washer.

This is something I will be doing on any transfer-case rebuild in the future. If you would like this done on you disassembled case but don’t want to spend the $300 for the kit let me know. I will do this repair for about $30, but the T-case half needs to be sent to me. Contact me, or check out the page in my store, if interested.

Here is a picture of what is in the kit.

More pictures HERE


De smog – eliminating the A.I.R. pump

This was a relatively simple little water pump “idler” to make. That is the only function of the smog pump on a desmoged engine. It is possible to use two belts on an engine equipped with a mean green alternator, but I don’t remember what belts and don’t have a mean green. Any way, I had some spare flat stock and a chunk of solid round stock sitting around. After some quick measurement of the smog pump, I drew up a little “plan” for the idler bracket. It took a little while at the junk yard to find an idler pulley that was even close. I think the idler from a 3FE would be perfect, but I couldn’t find one that was cheap.

Here is the finished product.

Idler pulley out of an ’86 Nissan 300 ZX. I think the same/similar pulley is used on Toyota pickups with A/C (I think at Schuck’s it is Factory Air #45902). It fits perfectly in place of the smog pump and uses the original belt and all the mounting hardware. Adjusts just like the smog pump did.

I used the solid round stock for the pulley stand off, drilled and tapped for the pulley mounting bolt. The round stock was also used for the adjuster tightening bolt and the bottom of the bracker. Again drilled and tapped as needed.

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Here was the original plan. I deviated a little in the final version. A larger diameter pulley would be ideal and I had to adjust the angle of the top of the bracket to take up the slack from using a smaller pulley.

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Man-a-Fre header install

I recently installed a set of headers from Man-A-Fre. They are nicely finished. I also chose to use their y-pipe so I didn’t have to get it to a shop to finish the project. I also installed the their fluid heat riser, even though the climate here is mostly mild.

header01.JPG (151228 bytes) Fluid heat riser on bottom of intake manifold

header03.JPG (139796 bytes) Fitted on the bench

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My only criticism was the incorrect bolts to connect to the y-pipe. I had to go get some sorter, larger diameter bolts to finish the project.