The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by MP&C, Oct 2, 2008.
WOW! So rare to see a '52 with tandems. Study it hard, maybe double overdrive? Hey Gearvenders....
Too bad it doesn't have the old fire truck dual ingnition!
That's a TRUCK! Very cool, those big trucks seem to be hard to find. Keep posting updates as you work on it.
Man, you soo need to keep the tandems. A single axel takes away from its history.
Great truck. I'm gonna keep watching this build.
Cool find, and already on its way to be coming a hot rod. Once the chrome air cleaner goes on, its going to be a rod.
Boy, this has been a long time on the back burner, but finally got the distributor and oil pump squared away. (too much time working on everyone else's stuff!) In addition to a 12V conversion, I swapped out the old truck distributor (along with the governor lines) with a remanufactured '64 PU 292 distributor. Also, the factory tang drive oil pump was swapped out with a late 50's 312 rebuilt pump (hex drive), both from NAPA. Now for my predicament, the Lincoln block must have a taller deck height than the Ford cousin. The 292/312 oil pump shaft had an overall length of 8.06, much too short for what I needed. The next length Ford has in the .250 hex shaft is for the FE, a 8.50 length. Comparisons of the old vs the new showed I needed a length of 9.25 overall. My first thought was to find some Chrome Moly or 1144 Stress proof in a .25 hex that I could just cut to length and install, no fuss no muss. CM is no longer made in that small a hex, and the 1144 was about $300 for a single piece. Much too rich for my blood. A buddy of mine has a nice machine shop set up at home, and we finally decided to use some A2 tool steel in .438 round, and he machined a 1" long hex on each end of a 9.25 piece and flame hardened the ends. Got it installed today and took the beast out once again to blow the dust off.
Note the scaffolding set up, just right for an F7.....
glad to see you are still at it. That truck looks great....with the tandems..and nice body cond.
satin black w/some 10ft chrome stacks, no mufflers looks great in my mind. awsome truck though
Woe what a great looking truck. I am definately a fan of leaving the tandems on it. Man this really is a cool truck
Check with a truck wrecking yard -- might find another "intermediate"a gearbox to slip into drivetrain for a double overdrive.
Agree with the chrome stacks -- and flamethrowers
uh, does it have power steering? Those suckers aren't much fun without it
Running out of room in the floor now, two shifters and the parking brake....
Lincoln Y blocks were used up to around 64 in large trucks so you might not needed to use Ford parts and found parts that bolted in without modifications
Finally got the truck running decent, after installing the new distributor and 12V conversion. They worked well, but the old water pump recently gave up the ghost. Not wanting to ship off my water pump and risk losing it (big truck stuff hard to come by....and different than a car), I started looking online for rebuild kits. Good luck there. Wound up getting a rebuild kit for a 3020 John deere, shaft and bearing size identical other than the shaft sits about 1/8 more toward the front. Easy enough, pressed all the new parts in and let the shaft protrude through the pulley a bit farther with no issue.... Also had the radiator re-cored while it was out. The upper tank had begun to leak, so it was a good time to do it. Here's the truck just before we rode down to the local Arby's meet on Wednesday night:
Good to drive somewhere and back without incident. Now to get all the lighting changed over to 12v, right now I only have brake lights so it's been daytime running only
good job love the dual axles that big beast is cool
Beautiful truck. I wouldn't have the heart to take any out of that frame... but taking about 2 feet from the middle and keeping the tandems would look sweet too.
Great truck as-is. Love it.
have you been on FTE site? (ford truck enthusiasts) those guys would love that monster!
Love the lettering on the valve cover, too cool.
Sometimes the stars line up, or something like that. The progress on my shop truck has been at a standstill for quite a while, main reason being I needed to eliminate the tandems to put a ramp bed on the truck. I was so bummed at not finding my parts I needed (without breaking the bank), I even had put it up for sale. Here's the latest....
A local Bus dealer/mechanic shop knew I was looking for some replacements for the 8.50:1 tandem Rockwells. He said I probably lost about half the engine HP just getting all that Rockwell iron to rotate. I got a phone call from him this weekend, he is scrapping a low mileage Handicap ramp access school bus that had been in an accident a few years back. He said to come look at it. I forgot the camera (I'll get the pics up soon...) but it has air-ride suspension front and back both, air brakes, and I can finally get rid of the dry rotted recap tires! He's going to pull the body sometime this week where I can take home a bare chassis for whatever I'll need. Then return the chassis and Rockwells so he'll still have plenty of weight to turn in for scrap....
The plans are to use dump valves front and back to squat it down for easier loading of cars.
I love them big ole trucks!!!!
That truck is losing it's history. But as they say....it's yours.
Awesome truck, I hate to see the tandems go, but function comes first. It's cool that you're driving it.
I'll agree with you 100%. I was looking for a COE when I bought this truck and jumped on this one because it is rust free. And as much as I hate to lose the tandems, they don't work with a ramp bed without extending the bed another 3 or 4 feet. The 8.50:1 gear ratio isn't too highway friendly, and I don't see me spending the money to change out ring gears etc on 2 housings when the complete air ride setup, axles, tires, everything, is free. The true history of the truck, the part that made it a fire truck, was gone before I got it. And to top it off, it is likely the only 1952 F7 in the country with tandems, as the tandem conversion was typically reserved for the F8. But at the end of the day, I'm looking for an old Effie that will haul a car down the street. Still would prefer a COE, and still wouldn't mind seeing someone that would like to step up to the plate and preserve this truck's history. But sorry to say it won't be me. It would make a nice trade for a COE...
I completly understand the need for the mods....and any reservations I would have....well they would go out the window the first time I drove it with the new stuff.
Could you not shorten the bed just a hair(thick ones), and just run the rear axle as an idler and drive from the new ratio friendly drive axle? Lots of work just to preserve the duals, but what Else would we do with all pur screw time and money...
Ditto on that! Tandems on Fords in the
late-'40's and early-'50's weren't that
common to begin with, and generally
the relatively small number of Fords
that did get them, tended to be bought
almost exclusively for use as dump trucks
or logging or oil-field trucks, etc. Because
of this, they usually ended up getting
worked and beaten to death in fairly short
order, making your truck, as a survivor,
very rare and unique. I'm sure the only
reason yours has survived at all, especially
with it's body, drive train and its tandems
intact, is because it was owned by a fire
department since new. I realize that for
something as comparatively "light-duty"
as a car hauler, you don't need the tandems,
but that truck, still being so intact and original
- and in that kind of shape, is so unique and
so perfect, you really should try to keep them.
As to the a 8.50 ratio in the rearends, - I'm
not sure who manufactured them, (probably
Rockwell, or perhaps Spicer or Dana) but you
can probably find differentials and gear-sets
with more appropriate ratios from another,
newer truck that will swap in. I'm wondering
about the brakes too. Are they true air-brakes,
or the more common on Fords of the day,
"air over hydraulic" type? If they're true
air-brakes, you might want to consider
keeping them too and just upgrading the
original drums to bigger and more modern
'S-cam' air brakes off of a newer truck - or
even going to "air-operated-caliper" disk
brakes that are becoming more common
now on some late model medium duty trucks.
ans school busses. Air-brakes will take some
getting used to if you've never driven a
vehicle with them before, but it's a pretty
quick learning curve and once get used to
them, I guarantee you'll love them and
never ever want to go back to driving a
truck with hydraulics. Also, pulling into
the pits at a race track - or showing up
at a car show or rod run etc. or wherever
and coming to stop with a hiss of escaping
air will be a definite and very cool
What a neat shop truck. Im glad that or could supply it for you.
Here's some pictures of the donor vehicle:
In addition to the leveling switches that will come with it, it also has air tanks and a saddle fuel tank that will be saved for the F7.
Time for another update, I stopped by to look at the bus frame yesterday as I had heard the body had been removed. Unfortunately, when it went to salvage last month, the axles that had been pulled out for towing were laying in the floor of the body. Now's where you need a good backup plan. And he just so happened to pick up more parts from another wrecked bus. This one was a Freightliner, only a couple years old, and I think I'm making out much better with this deal. Air bags are good, brake shoes still look new....crisis averted. I was off from work today so I decided to pick up some parts. Here's today's load, the rear clip and some loaner wheels to roll it around the yard...
And as the parking brakes remain locked until air is applied, here is the temporary fix to get it moved off the trailer...
Tractor also came in handy flipping it over.....missed that picture though, I was rather busy...
Some nice yard art until we gat the tandems pulled....
This is an epic project. Thanks for keeping us updated.
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