PnP News Flash - January 2021

January 2021

The Presidents Corner

A great big Howdy to all my fellow truck and panel lovers!

Being that this is my initial article, I thought I might give you some background on me.

I was born in Austin, TX way back in 1964. I am older than Scout, my trusty white steed that has a new GM ZZ6 crate motor, Phoenix 700R4, Edelbrock AVS2, new body mounts, new brake system, relocated fuel tank, new exhaust with cut-outs, Ididit steering column, new Digital/Analog dash, CON2R custom steering wheel, new ‘old look’ stereo, new seat, and tires that are nearing their maximum baldness since we got the beast back on the road with more power.

My dad was finishing up law school at UT Austin when I was born and we moved to Big Spring, TX. About 18 months later he died of a heart attack. My mom went to a great deal of trouble to be sure I had plenty of adult male role models throughout my life. She hired coaches, had friends take me hunting and fishing, and also introduced me to the old man on the block that was a retired engineer and who always had an auto project going. Thus, my love for old cars! I married my High School sweetheart, Lucy, and we have two adult (off the payroll) daughters (Katie and Caroline). I have been in commercial real estate for more than 30 years….can’t believe it!

Club activities have been pretty light as you are all aware and that takes me to AutoRama. It was brought to my attention that there was some concern over the event due to the dreaded “Corona Virus”. With the concern, I sent a blast email to the membership as I felt it was a decision the entire club needed to be involved in. Out of all the membership I received only 18 responses. Of those 15 indicated that we should not present at the show, and further that they would not attend or be able to volunteer. NO FINAL DECISION HAS BEEN MADE AS OF THIS WRITING. With that said, a decision will be made quickly, so if you want to throw in your two cents, get off your tailpipe and shoot me a response SOON!

This is my first time to be the “Big Cheese” for the club, so please make suggestions, call me with any cheers, and ring up Chuck Shook (VP) for any jeers! We made donations of close to $1500 dollars this year and decided to keep a reserve in place of $5,000. Equal donations went to the following three charities described following my article.

Dues: Please see all the information on paying dues at the end of this News Flash. Please follow the instructions and get your funds in so you can learn as much as I have from all the members in the club.

What a blessing to be part of a great organization. Thank you from the bottom of my motor! I have learned so much from so many people in the club and feel pretty confident working through issues as we go along.

1. Friends of the Family, we support them yearly with toys and a cash donation sent from our account. We did give them cash/Grocery debit cards earlier because they were short of funds this year.

2. V.ORG, Jimmy Valvano, known for basketball player, coach of NC State, NCAA champs, and announcer that died of cancer. All the donation goes directly to cancer research because all administration costs are covered by an Endowment fund.

3. This is the Homeless Veterans Service and Veterans Resource Center. Located very close by the big Veterans Hospital South of downtown Dallas. Serves Dallas and Tarrant Counties. They provide many needed services.


PnP Breakfast at …… oops it didn’t happen

Our regular 2nd Saturday breakfast on January 9th didn’t happen because of the virus. So, I had to fry up my own eggs at home. Bummer! Oh and DO NOT cook an egg in the microwave without punching a hole in the top. Trust me! I sure hope this pandemic ends soon.

A Continuing Truck Story by Mick Dixon

Our 2010 PnP President, Bill Stockstill passed away in November 2018 and like with all of us, our trucks will continue a story. What most of you did not know about Bill is he drove his Custom 1953 pickup daily, everywhere. It was truly his daily driver. His wife Dorothy was with him often. Dorothy has continued driving the 53 occasionally since his passing.

Lately the battery has been discharging, the door poppers weren’t working so the doors would not open and some weird things were happening with the lights. Dorothy had bought 2 new batteries in 2 years and Optima batteries are not cheap. Dorothy contacted me with questions, and I told her to bring the truck to my garage expecting to find something simple like a bad battery, alternator or a short draining the battery. Well now the story begins. One of my favorite sayings is “It’s always something”, meaning nothing is simple regarding hot rods. Dorothy arrives at my shop and visits with me a minute. I said “well get out and I’ll get it in the shop”. She hands me her purse through the window and then her shoes, says don’t let me fall and crawls out the window!!.... She’s 82!! ….I went uh-oh I may have signed up for more than I expected! First is charging the Optima battery, which is under the bed, high and upside down in a lowered truck. Neat install but not easy to work with. My smart charger told me the battery was bad. It took me more than 2 hours to get the sucker out! Dorothy took the battery back where she had bought it and they gave her a new one. Tom Doty came over and we installed the new battery. That took a couple of more hours to fit it back in the custom bracket. It took both of us and a jack to wedge it back in there. Next we moved to the doors that wouldn’t open. Both fancy interior aluminum handles had striped on the steel splines of the regulator so I used some old OEM style handles so we could open the doors manually. The outer handles were smoothed, and the driver side actuator would click but no noise from the passenger side. The driver door wouldn’t swing open because the bear claw stud had backed out far enough to hook on the door. After Tom and I figured that out it took a long hour of turning it 1/16 turn at a time because that was all we could grab to get it tight enough to swing open!

I had the alternator checked, it’s OK. Next, we disconnect the negative terminal on the battery and put a Voltmeter in series between the battery and the cable. We are looking for a short that is draining the system. Notice the picture above of the Fuse/Relay panel. Neat installation as it is hinged to the bottom edge of the dash and by turning a fastener allows the panel to swing down for a better access. With some help from Tom Doty and John Fawley, we start pulling fuses and relays to isolate which circuit the short is in. Guess what, it is not in a fused circuit. This means the short is in a hard-wired circuit or not a dead short at all. It could possibly be the remote entry, dome light, alarms, maybe sound equipment. This type of short circuit can be much harder to find, especially if you don’t do this all the time. Some of these devices pull milliamps of current all the time. We did a test on each circuit, fused and unfused with our amp meter on milliamps and recorded each. We had a total draw of about 200 milliamps. That is why they sell Battery Tenders for hot rods not driven often. Dorothy’s batteries probably discharged too many times and killed the batteries. Here is what all was found and addressed.

Several wires disconnected from fuse block (horn, Hazard lights, Engine Cooling fan, and fuel pump).

Cooling Fan was running with ignition on. How was it connected? Found it was direct wired to an ignition hot wire and not the fan circuit with the fan relay. Not a good idea.

Engine running. What was powering the fuel pump with the wire disconnected? Found another unmarked wire wired into another free circuit. OK but a wild goose chase for us.

No blinkers, but when we pushed the brake pedal we had rear brake lights, the front parking lights lit and the dash turn indicator lights lit. What’s up with that? Very weird. After many hours chasing wires it lead us to the Hazard switch, which is contained in the turn indicator switch. This meant removing the Steering wheel and possibly opening the column to get at the turn signal switch.

I removed the steering wheel and found immediately that the horn power wire was broken and fixed that. I could see into the column enough to see where the hazard light connection/switch was. A combination of a probe and a big yank on the Hazard button freed it up and the weird light problem disappeared. All that weird stuff runs through the turn signal switch. By this time, I’ve had the truck in my shop for a couple of weeks and spent time on it every day. We fixed up the battery tender that was in the bed and made it so it was simple for Dorothy to plug into the wall and keep the battery charged.

Can you imagine what a repair or custom shop would cost for the countless man hours we spent to trouble shoot and fix these problems!

The 53 is back home at Dorothy Stockstill’s and she no longer must crawl through the windows.

This is a beautiful Pro built truck full of custom details, but hard to keep up.

I’ve told my Debbie to sell all of our hot rods when I pass on because Hot Rods don’t age well and won’t be in better shape than when I leave.

At the IAS MotorSports shop – “It’s Always Something”

Hello from North West Wisconsin

I have been a PNP member since the last century. I retired and moved back to my Wisconsin birthplace in 2013. I maintain my membership in Pickups and Panels of North Texas referring to my location as PNP North of Texas. I miss you folks as you really are members of the best club around.

When I joined, I had a black 72 Chevy short step side, I then built and drove an orange 55 Chevy short step side. After selling those, I bought a baby blue 72 Chevy two wheel drive Blazer that I had built into a red and cream beauty. It’s now in California. Along the way I also acquired, Dirty in Dallas’ (semi famous local pin striper) 55 Chevy milk truck. It is in Michigan. But as time passes and I got older I sold them all and went modern with a factory built 2006 silver Chevy SSR. Still sporty, fast and unique and still not welcomed around most Corvette fans, but a lot of fun to drive especially with the top down. I am 73 and this is my first convertible ( I never removed the top on the Blazer).

This story has several purposes.....first I wanted to say hello to some of the best friends I have ever had. Then I wanted to contribute to the News Flash by proving Fawley will print please tell us one of your stories. Lastly, I want to give you my update. Several weeks ago, on one of our local freeways (yes there are roads under the snow we plow) someone way ahead of me hit the brakes for some unknown reason creating a chain of events that resulted in my SSR rear ending a Dodge minivan. I was the last vehicle in the chain and gratefully no one was injured. Now the struggle has started, as this vehicle is rare, GM only produced about 25K vehicles in four model years so finding parts at a realistic price is a real challenge. I’ve got a good body shop that is owned by classic vehicle owners. We will spend the winter getting ready for top down 2021.

Again, Hello from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

Pete Frayer

PnP Tid Bit’s

What is it? Guess correctly and win a free vacation in Hawaii or a cup of coffee,

whichever comes first.

Dale finished polishing wheels, add tires, on the 70 Sean’s 64, new speaker insert

Is it a Pontel, Pocamino, GTel, Goatel, Goatmino, LeManino,…?? Qualify for PnP?

*I warned you, send me pictures OR, I’m going to share a picture of one of my toolbox’s, drawer by drawer until I break you down. Drawer 4 of 21, the Drill drawer. Save yourself from this misery, send me a picture of your truck project. Or else! jf

Some Technical Stuff P&G Valve Gapper - Maybe of interest to some of you

This is a P&G Valve Gapper and is used to set engine valves very accurately on an idling engine. It is an antique but could be used today on mechanical valve lifter engines. As you are aware, most engines today use hydraulic valve lifters.

Back in the late 1950’s through the 1970’s all engines seeking to make 400 plus horsepower would have high lift cams using mechanical lifters. The hydraulic lifter technology of today was not yet available. Normally we would wear out a set of feeler gauges in a month or season by the constant pounding of the feeler gauge between the hard valve stem tip and rocker arm tip, while adjusting valves, sometimes between each quarter mile run. You can lose 10 – 25+ horsepower with the valves just being a few thousands off specification. Couple thousands on the valves is about 7 degrees at the crank. Really good tuners would advance or retard valve timing on purpose based on the track conditions.

This dial indicator gapper replaces the feeler gauge and does not wear out because it rides on the valve spring retainer and between the bottom curve of the rocker, so it never really hits hard. You adjust the valve to rocker to 0, set the dial to 0, then back-off the adjusting nut to achieve correct valve lash/tolerance. Quick, easy, accurate every time, Oh and expensive. The tool cost around $100+ back in 1964. Much $ for non-sponsored racing team, but necessary for a high revving 327 CI, ported, polished, all out race engine in a 57. The Gasser was fast!

KEY FOB - Pronounced with an “O” or as “AH”

I had to look it up and was surprised. In the UK it is pronounced as with an “O” and In the US, we say it with a “ah”. In Texas we can say it anyway we want.

What is a key FOB anyway? I do not mean F. O. B. used in shipping.

The early description is from low German dialect for the word Fuppe, meaning “pocket”, watch fobs were around as early as 1888. That little pocket in our blue jeans must be the place. I have put all kinds of interesting things in that little pocket but never a watch. Some more current thinking believes the term stands for “frequency operated button”, but that ignores heavy use of the word before the remote keyless entry system.

Keyless remotes contain a short-range radio transmitter, and must be within a certain range, usually 5–20 meters to function. Note: Leaving the device in the car, or even within the proximity communication range, may be detrimental to the battery charge over some time. The electronics become more active and use more battery current when close to the auto.

FOB’s………wait! One of these is not a FOB

Electronic Proximity keys quote “The doors won’t lock if the remote is left inside the car”, statement isn’t always correct. I can testify to a $300 charge to open my car when the dummy (me) left the FOB inside the car. Don’t lose your cars Key FOB - FAHB or FOHB, it’s expensive to replace.

Dues are Due for 2021 Reminder

It is time to renew your 2021 memberships - the annual dues are $30. Dues payment can be made in the following ways:

  • Check – made out to Pickups-n-Panels and mailed to my home address, which is 4119 Cobblers Lane, Dallas TX 75287.

  • Credit Card/PayPal – log into PayPal and enter your respective info for credit card payment. Click on “SEND” payment using the email address as the recipient of the payment. PnP will come back as the confirmation in your email. Kirk will transfer the accumulated PayPal account funds into the Pickups-n-Panels bank account.

Thank you for your continued support. If you have any questions, please contact, Rick Davis, Membership Coordinator, 972-814-5325

PnP Officers: President: John McDaniel Vice Pres: Chuck Shook Treasurer: Kirk Wilson PnP Staff Membership, Badges: Rick Davis Calendar, Activities: Tom Doty, Jim Barr News Flash Editor: John Fawley Annual Fund-Raising Show: Ben Leal AutoRama Show: J D Martin, Rick Davis


Stuff you should read and do:

Are you using our good Sponsors for services? They often provide us discounts. Check our web site for current sponsors. Also good discounts at:

O’Reilly Auto Parts – PnP # 382249 English Color & Supply – PnP # 76845

Future, See the PnP calendar. Click on Calendar, then the date

Call or send me any PnP news updates, TidBits, we all like the sharing of your experience.


John Fawley

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