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Projects Help and Ideas for my 59 IH Pickup

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by LowLyfe, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. LowLyfe
    Joined: Jul 28, 2014
    Posts: 9

    LowLyfe

    Hey all, I was given a 59' International Harvester B120 Pickup recently and I'm itching to start working on it but Ive never owned nor worked on anything even close to being this old so I need some pointers.
    First off my plans are to drop the suspension by atleast 6", maybe more if I can do it without a lot of modification or money, Put some new tires on it, Straighten the body, fix the brakes, rewire all of the lights as the harness was chewed up, clean up the interior a bit and possibly a motor/tranny swap.
    The truck runs and drives right now but its very sluggish, the whole truck needs a lot of love really. It's been sitting in a field for most of its life but Im determined to turn this truck into something that people could appreciate.

    Any info on the suspension drop would be huge! Anyway, here are some pics of the truck in all of it's glory
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
  2. 35desoto
    Joined: Oct 6, 2009
    Posts: 762

    35desoto
    Member

    The engines in those old Inta's were built tough - they powered lots of agricultural stuff and the 1/2 ton pickup was the smallest vehicle they had them in. The engines were almost indestructible but were truck/commercial engines and were built accordingly. Not a revving engine but great luggers and don't even ask over good fuel consumption. I see yours has the 6 lug wheels so that will make it a 3/4 ton one. I think the body styling is neat esp the grilles and slanted headlights. To drop the suspension you need to apply old style tricks like flipping the rear springs under the diff and removing/dearching the front springs to lower it. In Australia they make a conversion kit to swap SBC into the engine bay mating up to the 3 or 4 speed gearbox and the 1/2 ton ones had a 3.7:1 diff ratio which helps on the open road. The world is your oyster if you think out side the square on this one and yes its not a F##D or a C##V
     
  3. Easy solution is Jaguar IFS swap for the front, and flip the rear on top of the leafs rear.

    You will not get a full 6 inch drop using the stock front solid axle without being a dropped axle. Not sure if your axle can be dropped, should be able to, contact Sid's or oneof the others that drops axles. I still think it is less trouble and better end result with Jag swap though.
     
    luckystiff likes this.
  4. Easiest engine solution would probably be a engine/tranny swap. I don't think that rear end would be geared for decent highway cruising speeds. What state are those plates from? My old eyes can't read them.
     

  5. I have always wanted to build one of these. Here is a pic if found not to long ago...not mine. 10355414_762523293790416_7716814834402240599_o.jpg
     
  6. LowLyfe
    Joined: Jul 28, 2014
    Posts: 9

    LowLyfe

    WOW! That truck is killer. I could only hope for this to look like something even close to that in the future.

    Im from Montana, and that is what the license plate says.
    Thanks for the leads guys. Ill look into the jag swap, just not sure how easy it will be to source the parts without paying out alot of $$$
     
  7. luckystiff
    Joined: Mar 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,465

    luckystiff
    Member

    shoot me pm with your zip code and i'll locate jag stuff for you. i've had half a dozen folks here say "hard to find in my area/i've looked all over" and i found multiple donors within 30 minutes...
     
  8. Ulu
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 1,767

    Ulu
    Member
    from CenCal

    This brings back memories. I used to have a '61 almost identical to this, with the 304 V8 and 4 speed. That was a great running truck & I only paid $600 for it..

    Unfortunately the lower body was like Swiss cheese from 10 years in the Rocky Mountains.

    I traded it in on a brand new Subaru in '81.

    I don't know what ever happened to it, but there was a little pic of the Liberty Bell etched into the windshield & it had a $4 takeout radio from a 70's mopar under the dash. The front doors were reinforced with hand formed aluminum plates where the mirror screws had ripped through the sheetmetal below the windwings.

    It had a light camper shell, & I made some special hinges from tube steel, so I could flip the whole thing open sideways.

    I still have a few old parts from it & when I see them I often wonder what became of that old truck.
     
  9. The frontend already look custom on these. Just ad some nerf bars or a clean bumper. I would lose the diamond plate in the rear maybe shorten the bed to the back of the rear fenders and ad taillight frenched into the fenders and a clean bumper or nerfs. Hey I am a hot rod guy, it is just an opinion. What ever you do have fun and good luck with the project!
     
  10. Must have picked it up near Cut Bank area. I have a friend up there with a 53 chevy truck that needs work done. If you drive around the Great Falls area, you can spot a couple of Jags sitting in weeds.
     
  11. LowLyfe
    Joined: Jul 28, 2014
    Posts: 9

    LowLyfe

    I'm certainly interested in the 56 Chevy. I'm not totally partial to this IH but it was given to me and I have taken a liking to it. Could you get pictures of it? I'd love to see it. Im in Helena, where are you from?
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  12. LowLyfe
    Joined: Jul 28, 2014
    Posts: 9

    LowLyfe

    luckystiff, my zip is 59601, Id appreciate it if you could source the parts for me. Incase I go that route.

    CTLFord, thanks for the ideas. I had thought about chopping the bed to shorten it and getting rid of the rear bumper for a nice chrome one.

    Oldbrokencars, This truck did come from the cutbank area, just outside of browning.
     
  13. Not to crap on luckystiff's offer for help, but just look on craigslist or similar for a complete donor Jag. You can find the whole car for cheap, usually with a bad engine and/or rusted body. Part it out for some recoup of your money and the net cost is very low. Or check junkyards, a jag sedan is not hard to find. You want one with the round headlights, not the later versions. Sedans 1986 and earlier, and the coupes up to (I think) 1992. Coupes do not have round headlights, but they have same suspension you want. Complete front crossmember assy unbolts from the car, all except the upper shock mounts.
     
  14. luckystiff
    Joined: Mar 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,465

    luckystiff
    Member

    38chevy454,
    sedan through 86 is correct and technically xjs coupe through 94 but 93-94 have a different rack thats harder to find if you should need so i guess really looking through 92 is the best bet. and yeah c'list is the easy source but you'd be amazed how many people say they can't find one in their area and then i spend a few minutes on search tempest searching c'list and find multiple donors with no problem. and yeah if you have space to part one out you can comeout golden. lots a smaller parts sell for good money. if you sell the gas cap for less than $50 it's considered cheap for one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  15. luckystiff
    Joined: Mar 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,465

    luckystiff
    Member

  16. ChefMike
    Joined: Dec 16, 2011
    Posts: 647

    ChefMike
    Member

    Please tell me you will be getting rid of the pink ! Its a great project truck enjoy it looks great except for the pink
     
  17. LowLyfe
    Joined: Jul 28, 2014
    Posts: 9

    LowLyfe

    Thanks fellas. This is great information to start with. Hell, I might end up doing a full air ride and 4link setup on whatever I end up with. Slammed projects are in my blood, this is my latest project...
    Full painted frame, hand made 4link suspension, full air ride setup, body dropped even with frame, billet 20" wheels, lots more little stuff.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ChefMike, My brother hates the pink too haha.
     
  18. chriseakin
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 369

    chriseakin
    Member

    I have a '57 IH which is similar - same front fenders but single headlights with a rectangular signal light above instead of dual headlights. I will be watching for ideas to use on mine, which needs frame repairs due to cracks as well as some rust repairs on the body. Motor is the original six and purrs like a kitty so I hope to keep it for a while.
     
  19. LowLyfe
    Joined: Jul 28, 2014
    Posts: 9

    LowLyfe

    Cool man, when the project starts ill make sure to post it but it may be a little while before we get to it. We have 2 other projects about 75 percent done that need to get finished first but we shall see what happens.
     
  20. LowLyfe
    Joined: Jul 28, 2014
    Posts: 9

    LowLyfe

    MTABike, if you see this would you pm me about your 56'.
     

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