If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

Trucklopnik Chronicles - Part the Second

So by now, Oppo is aware that I have a 2005 Chevy Duramax 4x4 with extra comedy stickers. I paid way below going rate, so I knew there was going to be some things that I needed to do on it.

So I’ve been running around buying insane amounts of fluids for various systems. 3 gallons of 15W-40 Mobil Delvac, 3 gallons of Dexcool concentrate, and 2 gallons of ATF. The ATF was especially annoying since Mitchell International (the guys who supply the data to places like NAPA, Advance, etc) says that Dexron VI is OK to put in my truck.


Turns out, Mitchell is wrong. Allison knows it, the Internet knows it, even GM knows it! If you must use Dexron, your proper option is Dexron III with H Specification. Allison says forget that and to use their own TES-295 Severe Duty and Extended Drain Interval ATF. I went to every major parts store chain in the area (O’Reilly, Advance, Autozone, and NAPA) and no one carries it. Even the local Camping World (which services motor coaches, one of the primary users of Allison automatics) didn’t have it.

I finally found the fluid at the Hino dealer. Yes, an actual medium duty truck dealer. The spin on filter was $10.

So Sunday morning meant getting up and going to work on the coolant. Old Dexcool came out, water went in, churn it around, drain it, and go to ready it for filling with new coolant.

Except the O ring on the drain plug is swollen and would not go in.

Off to Advance. First store (my store) doesn’t have it, so I go to the next one, where they claim to have it. But someone had removed the correct part and put a bogus one in the box and taped it up. This took about 5 minutes to explain that the part they wanted to sell me did not even look like the part that came off the truck. The third store had it, so I was able to finish that.


In other news, while I was waiting for the fluid to drain, I polished the headlights. It’s worked well enough, so we’ll see how long it lasts.

I’ve also changed out the brake controller, and went to plug in the trailer and make sure everything works. The controller kept saying the circuit was open. After checking my install, and looking at the trailer wiring. I finally looked at the plug on a whim.


Yeah, that’s missing the electric brake pin. $78 to the GM parts man. Back at the ranch, we also find the previous two owners managed to back the bracket into something bending it. A few sledge blows later, all is well in crazy town.


So here’s the updated list:

  • Replace the replacement resistor pack
    It’s not the resistor pack, it’s the relay. I cannot be bothered to get another one just yet.
  • Change the trailer brake controller (should be here Thursday)
  • Replace the instrument cluster (It’s on order at Advance)
  • Re-finish the headlights
  • Find screws for the tail light housings and replace the backup lamp
    (otherwise, new tail light housings)
  • Extract the sheared screw out of the shift lever (Oh yes)
  • Replace screw in shift lever
  • Change the oil and filter
    (Takes 2.5 gallons of oil)
  • Run some diesel kleen/ B20 through the fuel system (and find out if I need to get some Viton O-rings)
  • Change fuel filter
  • Change the coolant (maybe)
  • Change the brake fluid (Smells bad)
  • Change the power steering fluid
  • Take the truck up to RamblinRover and fab/weld a patch for the pickup box floor
  • Possibly do a service on the Allison 1000
  • Maybe do a fluid change on the transfer case
  • See how the differentials are doing
  • Check the brakes
  • Replace the trailer 7 blade electrical connector

tl;dr - I’ve bought a project truck, yeah.

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