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Old Today, 03:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: SC
Posts: 1
Vehicle: 1990 D21
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Default New to me 1990 Hardbody

Hey everyone,
I picked up a 1990 base model hardbody with 96k on the clock last week and this place has been a great source of information. It seems like the only thing that can kill these old trucks in the the timing chain tensioners going out and the chain jumping. The truck has about 1-2 seconds of rattle with a cold (~30-40 degrees out) cold start so not too terrible.

For a 30 year old truck it runs and drives pretty dang good, but I am having a couple of issues.

1. The radio won't stay on unless you hold the volume knob in (easy fix)

2. There is a squeaking sound coming from (i think) the front passenger side wheel (brake wear indicator maybe?)

3. Some times at cruising speed usually in 4th or 5th gear, if you get into the gas the truck will sputter and buck a bit. letting off the gas and easing back on seems to stop this, or downshifting. This is an intermittent problem and given that it's been 10-15 years since I drove a stick i chalked it up to operator error at first (being in to high of a gear for the speed I'm at) but I'm starting to think its a mechanical issue.

This weekend I'm planning on pulling the front wheels off and checking/doing the brakes on it to see if that helps with whatever that squeak is, and i'll get around to putting a cheap radio in it soon.

My main questions are:
How big of a deal is the 1-2 seconds of timing chain rattle on start up? Should I be putting in a new chain soon or just keep an eye on it for now?

Any clues as to what is causing the occasional hesitation/stutter/bucking during acceleration?

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