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My Mack - Your Thoughts?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Low-Blow, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Low-Blow
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 231


    I have been a little hesitant to post this because I didn't know how it would be received. But it seems that there have been some discussions on here about these old trucks, so I decided to proceed.

    I bought this 1952 Mack A54 a few months ago. It was sitting in a pasture and was likely destined for the scrap yard. I watched it on Craigslist for a few months, but it never sold. I had contacted the guy at one point just to ask a few questions. At the time, I didn't have the money to pay what he was asking. After hid ad expired, I waited about a month and then contacted him again to see if he sold it. He told me that it was still available and that he really needed to move it. I went and looked at it, we negotiated a price and I bought it from him.

    The story that I got is that it was used by an electrical contractor out of Dallas to install traffic poles many years ago. The pressure digger on the back was pretty well rusted and coming apart. The flathead 6 that was powering it had been rained in and was stuck. This is how the truck looked when I bought it.

    Attached Files:

  2. roughneck424
    Joined: Jan 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,084


    I think you have your work cut out for you! But is has character. I seen guys do some early 1915+/- Macks that are now in one of the local oil musuems
  3. Low-Blow
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 231


    The next step was figuring out how I was going to get it home. The tires were definitely not fit for pulling the truck down the road. I was going to scrap the entire bed anyway, so I was given the ok to start working on it there in the pasture. This was until I could get enough weight and height off of it to get a roll back in there. I finally got to the point where I could get it moved. For the next month or so, I spent my extra time cutting and hauling scrap from the truck. I hauled the last 1250 lbs of scrap on Saturday. Here is what the truck looks like now.

    Attached Files:

  4. Low-Blow
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 231


    I pulled the front fender off to get better access to the engine. It has a Thermodyne EN-510, Inline 6 cylinder gas engine w/ a duplex transmission. I pulled the dipstick and the oil looks clean. Is is not over-full and does not show any signs of having had water in it. Sunday morning early, I pulled the spark plugs and sprayed PB Blaster in the cylinders. I then started scraping all the years of oil, grease and road grime from the frame rails. That brings me to where I'm at now. Here are some pictures of the engine.

    Attached Files:

  5. Low-Blow
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 231


    I am currently out of town, but my next step is to see if the engine will bar over. I have a very good feeling that it is not stuck. Hopefully, it will not take much to get her started. Once I get her fired up, I will be able to move her in and out of my shop. This will allow me a little more flexibility as far as working.

    What are your thoughts on how this thing should go? I have a 10 year old son that has shown some interest in it. He is already asking me if he can drive it to school when he gets older!! I am a novice at this value the opinion of those involved with this forum. I look forward to your input.

  6. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,587

    from Denmark

    Thats one cool piece of truck!! Wish it was mine!

    What engine? Trans? What are you plans?

    We defenetly needs more pictures! :)
  7. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,587

    from Denmark

    To fast for me, you posted 2, In the time it took me to speal mine. :)

    Regarting how it's gonna go, it's a truck. It's gonna be ol' reliable, and a little slow. But it's gonna run fine.
    Air Brakes? Hydravac?

    Make a plan of attack; engine, trans, brakes and body work! Thats how I'm doing mine! I'm Working on a 55 Bedford A5 6ton truck. I'm halfway through the body work. I wish I had started with the motor, so i could move it around. It lost my job, and had to move my truck home to my own shop. It looks Big In my shop :)
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  8. go-twichy
    Joined: Jul 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,650


    reminds me of the movie "duel"
  9. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,051


    Very cool truck-at one time there was a famous Mack Truck Museum in Henniker, NH-ton's of old Macks largely parked in a field. But the gentleman died and it all was dispersed by the family-including a garage full of wonderful things I was in only once.

    Good luck with yours, I guess the mods will determine if it's HAMBable, but I'd guess probably not.
  10. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 33,857


    Neat truck, I grew up in a trucking family and am currently helping run a terminal. Would make a cool hauler!@
  11. "T'RANTULA"
    Joined: Aug 6, 2011
    Posts: 662

    from Ohio

    I love old mack trucks, my dad was a diesel mechanic for almost 30 years. Cant wait to see more!
  12. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,236


    :D Sweettttttttttttttt.The old Macks are pretty cool.Had a friend years ago.Drove semis for about 50 years before he retired.Started in 1920.His first Mack was a chain drive.He said "Now THAT was an adventure".
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
  13. PackardWood
    Joined: Aug 13, 2012
    Posts: 485

    from JoCo, NC

    If it were mine I would weld up a big ass pickup style bed for it, but built to the right proportions to match the truck. A pickup style, not a roof height dump style, maybe evne a step-side, more welding for that one tho. Also I would go with Supper Singles on the back, depends on the budget and intended use.
  14. Dog Dish Deluxe
    Joined: Dec 23, 2011
    Posts: 778

    Dog Dish Deluxe
    from MO.

    I think its cool as hell
  15. Woob
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 353

    from Falcon, CO

    Once you fire it up for the first time and it pops a little smoke out the tailpipe (or carb), I bet that'll be all the motivation you & your son will need! Ideas will come faster that you can make them materialize.

    I might suggest squirting a little lubrication in the spark plug holes before turning it over - even by hand - if it's been sitting for a time.
  16. 283john
    Joined: Nov 17, 2008
    Posts: 814


    x2 on the fab'd pickup bed.
  17. I'd put a Canned Ham style trailer on instead of a pick up bed.,
  18. Neat old truck. Love the "Mack" cast into the rear housing. Never seen that before, but can't say I've ever really looked over one of these trucks closely.
  19. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,496


    That is a unique truck, rarer than the B models for sure,body looks decent...You can expect about 6mpg at best downhill. I had a '65 B42 single axle dump with 33,000 actual miles and that truck could not fetch $5000.00. running. Not trying to rain on your parade,,,if this is your passion you go for it! Parts take a lot of searching for the gas engines...The BIGMACKTRUCK forum is where you will find any answers,,,lots of guys with big toys there. Good luck and have fun.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  20. willymakeit
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,326


    I have a cab that match's yours. Bought in a salvage yard complete and almost rust free. Complete with air acuate wipers ect. The grille was missing but did get the shroud.
    I put a 37 Ford p/u hood on it to check the body moulding lines and they were close. Not building a RR.
    Bought it cheap, now to make something out of it. Thanks for posting.
  21. O/P stated trans is a Du-plex, that means 5 in the main and 2 in the auxilliary trans. I used to drive a 5X3 and a 5X4 on and around the the farm. Tri-Plex and Quadra-Plex.

    Yes, you must progressively shift both transmissions and they have NO synchros either. Many old timers had their forearms broken while shifting both sticks and having their arm through the spokes of the steering wheel.

    There are some crazy you-tube videos on shifting 5X4 trannys in Screaming 2 stroke detroit deisels, you have to watch if you dig this thread.

    Just a suggestion, have your son practice shifting a regular car trans with NO clutch up and down through the gears before even attempting driving this rig.
  22. ScottV
    Joined: Jul 18, 2009
    Posts: 819


    I am a "truck" guy, that's how I support my family. I love Macks because that is what my grandfather drove when I was a kid. You have to ask yourself if you want a resto or a rod style driver ??? If the latter I would recommend a later model diesel swap with overdrive automatic for reliability, drivability and fuel mileage that won't bankrupt you !!!!

    there is one here locally fully restored as a promo vehicle for there disposal company,really nice and always draws a crowed when its at the local cruise ins.

    i spoke to the owner of the one local to me and im assuming its similar to yours as its also a twin stick,he told me its a total blast to drive but takes alot of practise and patience to master and your 100% undivided attention,was also saying most of his drivers at his company wont or cant drive it either,being used to air splitter.

    check out youtube for some killer videos of guys jamming gears.

    if it was my rig i would see if i could modernize the drive train,steering and brakes.might be cheaper then trying to restore what you have.

    there is a cab over i have seen that the owner put on a 70's motor home frame and fabbed up a flat stake bed for it.
    it has a 454 and an auto with "modern" 4 wheel drum brakes and a vacuum booster and steering box/drag link steering.
    guy said he drilled out some rivets and actually "slipped" the frame into it self to get the right wheel base and welded it back up.
    he also said it drove and stopped really well in modern tarfic,and also hauled with it as well (he owns a decorative wrought iron business)
    he had less then 8,000 grand invested total in the thing,witch is good as the "big boy toys" have a some what limited market when it comes to resale.
    i think its cool as shit and cant wait to see more progress.
  24. Well it would make a pretty cool ramp truck if you had a dragster to drive up on it. :D
  25. Model T1
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 3,309

    Model T1

    As another old trucker, love it. Lots of work and not your everyday driver.
  26. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    Before trying to start it loosen all drain plugs a couple of turns, any water sitting on the bottom will run out through the threads. Truck has air brakes with the old style bolt together chambers,the diaphrams for those are tough to find. A lot of those old chambers had mounts as part of their housing ,hard to replace with new style without some fab work. Did not see the air compressor in the pictures though. I use to collect BIG trucks a few years ago. Top speedon that truck any where between 50-65 MPH depending on gearing. Have fun !!!
  27. junkman-d
    Joined: Sep 14, 2008
    Posts: 4


    Ive got a 38 mack gonna make a tow trk chop top later running gear.
  28. I could be wrong I think that was an auto car. I haven't seen it in awhile Good movie :)

    My opinion
    Big garage Super tow vehicle car hauler or just restore.
    Great truck I love B macks. Have a friend with a couple of them restored and with late model running gear.
  29. rbonazzoli
    Joined: Feb 16, 2012
    Posts: 141

    from Dallas, TX

    I love those old Macks. Back in the 80's I got to drive an early 60's B81 with the 5 and 4 transmission. I wondered why there was a shift indicator on the tach. Now I know, no synchros. If this one were mine I would make a flat bed or ramp truck for hauling old cars home.
  30. flatcrazy
    Joined: Apr 12, 2007
    Posts: 78


    I grew up with a 1950 Mack LJ in the family and never did get it out of my blood. Looks like a great project. Have fun with her

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