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4X4 Or 6X6 Conversion Questions


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Good evening,

I am a newbie to this board and I have a question that I would guess is not NEW to the veterans, but may definitely be considered 'hair-brained' and NOT trivial.

I have always had a fondness toward the B model Macks.

As of late, I have wondered what it would take to transplant some 4x4 (6x6) hardware underneath a Mack truck.

My thought was to take some deuce and a half running gear (transfer case and front and rear Rockwells) and sling them under a Mack truck. In my mind I would want to do this to a NON tandem rear Mack truck.

At first blush I would think that it would work. I understand that the load rating would likely change, but I would not be doing it for on-road hauling capability. It would be more for a functional heavy duty off-road rig (not rock-crawling, just off-highway use) with some classic antique styling.

The brakes on Rockwells are air over hydraulic (so are Mack's correct?)

The transfer case from a deuce and a half is air shifted (not a problem for a Mack).

My guess on a suspension would just be a heavy duty leaf-spring concoction with maybe some airbags on the back for 'helpers'.

I would also like to transfer the PTO winch from a deuce over to the Mack. But my problem here is that I don't know what types of PTO's were avialable on the Mack transmissions. The deuce and a half PTO winch runs off the Spicer transmission but I like the novelty/fun of the duplex/triplex/quadplex transmissions, so I would like to run the winch off of a PTO that mounts to those transmissions specifically.

Like I said before, I understand this is by no means trivial and would require a rather significant amount of work, but I just thought it would be one heckuva neat welding rig/recovery vehicle.

Regards,

Chris

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You could always start with a Mack military truck. If you really want to have fun, get a M123 10 ton Mack. In reality you want what they refer to as a bobbed deuce (only two axles) and to solve the issue of a front winch you could always use the hydraulic winch off a 5 ton military truck. If you use the deuce springs you will want to take some leaves out other wise your kidneys will hate you. The deuce was designed to handle 2.5 tons off road and 5 tons on road, the engines in the older ones will be a multi fuel engine, with or without turbo. The axles are geared very low (like 6.2:1)The brakes are air over hydraulic and is only a single circut system that has the parking brake on the driveline.

Oh...and as far as antique styling, the B model and the M35 both started life in 1949.

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  • 1 month later...

I have not seen it, but I have been told of a 4X4 B model built the way you describe in Mass. It has a duplex trans, and army truck axles. The truck was used to spread fertilizer in fields. The typical Mack has straight air brakes, not hydraulic. The Mack PTO is generally driven off the main box ( 5 speed ) but can be driven off the compound if the case was machined that way. You probably have a PTO access on the transfer case, too. Go for it.

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