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Newbie And Buying A B61


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Hello, All -

Long time lurker here. Thinking about making a purchase, but I don't take such things lightly.

What I'm after is a B-61 or similar with a flat or stakebed on it. I'm not after, nor do I want to do, a total frame-off resto. My ideal B-61 (be it purchase or project) would be something that's mechanically sound, not a rustbucket, and perhaps gets a new coat of paint.

As for me, I drove for a few years in the 90's, but that's it. I owned a modern Freightliner with a warranty and a good relation with a shop, and only did a minimal about of maintenance and PMs on it myself. With a B series, I'm guessing that most mechanicals would have to be farmed out to someone other than me. Not that I have deep pockets, as I do not.

So, I'm going to look at a B-61 dump in the Raleigh area, about 200 miles from me. I'm interested in hearing about any kind of pitfalls, encouragement, discouragement, or other tales to keep in mind when looking at this machine.

I've always liked the looks of the B series. My grandfather and great-grandfather both worked at Mack in Allentown. The latter was supposedly a charter member of the UAW there, in the 30's.

I also own a '56 Chevy 3/4 ton dually. It's a pretty simplistic machine and I'm able to deal with that! :)


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There are ALOT of variations of B models out there and finding the right one might take some time.

Some hints: find one with Maxi brakes(not the old hand brake), geared for highway speed(60+) unless you don't plan on going but across town. Lots of typical rust areas, finding one that is super nice will cost you. The ability to get your hands dirty will make it easier. Except for a few big ticket items, your standard socket set will work.

Good luck.



1959 B61 Liv'n Large......................

Charter member of the "MACK PACK"


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If you only want it for a Hobby Truck I would look for a single axle with 20" or @22" hubs not 24" tube type they are expensive and avaibility is questionable cam brakes.Tandem rears are expensive to rebush and trunion replaced. 673 engines were very reliable I have one and no complaints. 711'S had some issues. 743 Cummins parts are getting scarce 855 Cummins parts OK. V-8 Macks parts are pretty scarce even the newer V-8's. B-61-67 and some other B Models are still reasonably priced if you look around. Some rust issues but do not forget newest one is 45 years old and a lot of them ran in Northeast section of U.S. with winter and road salt rode hard and put away wet.Good Luck. Joe D.

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