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TRFD1933

1933 Mack Type 50...more questions then answers!

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Good Morning All!

I am new to this forum, hopefully looking to get some answers to some of the many questions I have. My name is Dan and I am on the Three Rivers Fire Department in Three Rivers, MA. Chasis number 6 BG 6S 1060. Lately I have taken the initiative to start getting our old Mack up to par. She still runs and drives in the parades, just as good as in September of 1933 when we first got her, but her appearance needs a little sprucing up. I have started doing some maintenance on our Bosch Magneto with Bill Lopoulos' Magneto Parts and got some new exhaust gaskets from Olsen Gaskets. Both make great products by the way and are very helpful.

What I have been really trying to find out is what the accessories were that came with the ol' girl. From the attached photos we received from the Mack Historical Museum, you can see a strainer, some couplings, extinguishers, hard suction hose, a lantern / flashlight and nozzles. This is how it looked right out of the factory! I wasn't sure what people had for information on these. I believe the lantern / flashlight is a Harris Bros. since they are the only company I have found to carry a version with a leather handle. I found a few examples online.

I have inquired with the Mack Historical Museum and sadly the accessories provide on the Type 50 BGs is lost to bad record archiving. All of the photos indicate they have most of the same accessory equipment. Perhaps someone out there has examples or can recall this lost-to-history information. Hell, it even looks like the extinguishers were plated with Mack on them, but I can’t find one single example. I have seen posts on here for tool sets that were provided for the Bulldog model, but I am not sure what our BG may have had.

One interesting thing I come to the conclusion was that the bulldog was not added until it reached the branch office, not at the factory as shown in the photos. Dale at the Mack Museum seems to agree.

I know this seems like an overload and a scatter shot of information, but its a start!

Thanks for all your knowledge, help and providing such a great research tool for us Mack Nubies! :mack1:

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Welcome nubie ! ask away

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I guess the first question is, am I correct that the lamp, lantern or flashlight on the drivers side made by Harris Brothers? Here is an example of what I think it is.

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Edited by TRFD1933

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Hi Dan:

Welcome. Be assured you are among friends! Your BG is an interesting apparatus. I find it unusual that it had no ladders from the factory, at least none I can see. I might have some brochures from the early Mack B series that list the "standard" equipment for the trucks in the series. Every Mack contract I have seen has at least one and usually more than one, pages of changes to the standard specification by the ordering department. These trucks were true customs and Mack was very interested in supplying the needs of all of it's customers. Each department would modify the standard so that their new apparatus would fit into their individual operating system. For example, my department ordered a pair of Dietz Fire King kerosene lanterns on our 1934 Mack. I think the Dietz was the standard, the electric lanterns were just coming into use at the time. The suppliers of the era were Grether, Woodhouse and others, some makers like American laFrance made their own electric lanterns.

Before I digress too far, it might be helpful if you could post pictures of the apparatus as it is presently equipped. That would be helpful in identifying what is wrong or missing. For example, I hope the Mack script suction caps have survived as they are very hard to find. A friend of mine had some made for a restoration but they were quite expensive, vicinity of $400 plus. Those caps are not like the usual, the plate with "Mack" on it is a separate piece that is held in with a spring. The extinguishers are probably long gone although you might be lucky and find them in the firehouse attic or cellar or someone might have taken them home so they wouldn't get lost.

I'll look for the old brochure and let you know how I make out.

Paul

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BTW, the Mack extinguishers were usually one foam and one soda-acid. The type that were on your apparatus were some of the earliest series of Mack marked extinguishers. I have seen some from the 30's that were labeled "Mack-Fomon" which might indicate that Fomon made the extinguishers for Mack at that time. Mack made or had made marked extinguishers up into the late 50's early 60's as best I can determine. There were several distinct styles used. I have seen pairs of your era trade for over $1000 for a nice pair.

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Hi Dan:

I was able to find my Mack Type 50 brochure which lists all standard equipment. The page with the list is double wide so I will scan it and send it along as a PDF. Msg me your email when you have a chance.

The standard equipment is:

WARNING SIGNAL- electric siren horn and locomotive bell

TOOL BOX: one with complete tool kid, also ample equipment locker space

BOOSTER EQUIPMENT: 100 gal booster tank mounted in hose body, 150 feet 3/4 inch four ;ply rubber hose with shut off nozzle and 2 tips

mounted on hose reel. Soda and Acid chemical tank optional.

LADDERS: Extension, 20 foot solid side rapid hoist. Roof, 12 foot solid side with folding hooks.

SUCTION HOSE: two lengths 10 feet 6 inches long

CROWBAR: One 8 pound steel crowbar with holder

HOSE CAPACITY: 1000 feet of 2 1/2 inch hose

PIKE POLE: Regulation 10 foot pike pole

AXE: One fire department standard

LANTERN: one, electric (I stand corrected!)

EXTINGUISHERS: Two 3-gallon, with hose and shut-off nozzle, complete with holders, one soda acid and one foam type.

MISCELLANEOUS: one hydrant connection, one metal strainer for suction hose, two-play pipe cones or screw bases, one 2 1/2inch double male connection, one 2 1/2 inch double female connection

End of List

Your apparatus looks like it has everything except the ladder. Tool box usually in a compartment under the hose bed at the rear step.

Edited by paulromano

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Also, on the driver's side photo of your apparatus, the can on the running board between the pump and the extinguisher is an oil can. Carried extra oil for motor or primer. Can went into a bucket style holder which held the oil can with friction springs.

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TRFD1933:

Maybe you could touch base with the Barnstable, MA Fire Department; they have restored their 1935 Mack "B" model pumper, very similar to yours. They may have some ideas to help you.

Barnstable, like Palmer, has several separate fire departments (Cotuit, Barnstable, West Barnstable, Hyannis, and Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills). Barnstable has the restored '35 and

Hyannis has a 1950 "L" model. Good luck with your project.

Re: ground ladders. I know of one department that bought an "L" model pumper in the mid-1940s and it came with suction hoses on both sides. It was intended to be a water source engine.

bulldogboy

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Nice truck; welcome aboard.

The best way to identify the lantern would be to check the mounting bracket if it is still there. The maker's name or patent number is most probably on it somewhere. If it is missing the mounting holes may provide a clue, but you would have to find the various brackets to compare them to.

Do a search on this forum for 1930, 1931, etc. as there have been other posts about early B models that may be helpful. Cal Little did a wonderful restoration of a B model out of Kellogg ID that ended up in Belgium(??), so he would also have a lot of historical references I would think. His shop, Pine Hill Restorations, is on the vendors list that the museum supplies.

Bulldogboy; Neat to know about Barnstable's Mack. I am in Barnstable two or three times a year and I have never seen it. I guess a visit to the station is in order.

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fxfymn:

There is a website, www.firenews.org, that has a lot of information about New England fire departments. If you go to "Department Listings", "Massachusetts", "Barnstable", there is a photo of Barnstable's

1935 Mack. If you are on the Cape and have a day available, head over to Martha's Vineyard. Edgartown has a fire museum with a restored 1927 Mack "AB" pumper and a 1952 Mack "A" pumper.

bulldogboy

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Thanks; I have been on the site, but I don't have the time or patience to go through it all.

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I want to first thank everyone for the great effort from everyone to provide me with information. I greatly appreciate it.

Thankfully we have both suction caps for the pump. One of them seems is broken though with one of the nodes broken off. Too bad that piece isnt around to get welded on. Oh well.

I looked into the website with the Barnstable pictures. They have one that is very close to our configuration. It appears they have a different pump and extra suction hose at first glance. When I am out that direction I will be sure to check it out. I believe that Lunenburg, near Fitchburg, MA has one as well. It appears on the chassis register to be 9 numbers newer.

As for what we still have is the two playing nozles, the strainer and roof ladder. The smaller nozzles may be around. We also need one additional fire extinguisher holder. If anyone knows of one please let me know. I will attach pictures of everything soon. If anyone is aware of a two fly 24 foot wood ladder let me know. That we are missing as well, but we do have the roof ladder.

My father and i had some old fashion bonding time working on getting the magneto cleaned up and maintained. Now the old Bosch is throwing spark like a champ. See attached photo.

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Edited by TRFD1933

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I have seen the posts about the Mack in Europe restored by Cal. I havnt seen much photo documentation on it though.

Oh..one more thought. Does anyone know what the original oil can that was in the engine compartment looked like? There is a VFD restoring one in Arizona and it appears to be nickel plated. I am not sure if that a stand in or the original.

Thanks Again All!

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I would suggest you try to attend the Antique Truck Club of America National Meet next weekend in Macungie Pennsylvania. Not only will there be fire truck enthusiasts there but also Mack enthusiasts who may have some of your answers. There is also a truck flea market that last year had many antique Mack fire truck parts.

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If I only had the time to get down to PA this weekend! Too much to do prior to a cruise.

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Contact Cal Little about your steamer cap. He has a person who is an absolute wizard when it comes to repairing cast items.

The other option would be to take the good one to a brass casting shop to have a mold and re-casting made. This is not as expensive as you might think if you have one they can use to make the mold from.

The ladders should be relatively easy to find. Just make sure the ones you buy fit your racks. Check SPAAMFAA's web site.

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As promised, here are more pictures of the Mack. We have installed the magneto and it runs good on that system alone. The electric lantern came in. I gave it a good cleaning and a new coat of paint. Tooled new leather straps for the leather handle since it was well beyond repair. Have two B7 type batteries coming form Interstate Battery next week. I have also included images of the pump suction caps. you can see that one of the handles is gone. The oil bucket is there and a extinguisher. Sadly not one of the originals.

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Nice! The extinguisher is a "building" type soda-acid extinguisher that is definitely not right for this, or any, truck. The proper Mack apparatus extinguishers are out there, but they are usually pretty pricey. The last two I saw go off at auction both fetched $1200.00.

How far do you plan on going with this? Refresh it a bit, do the cosmetic stuff, or repair/rebuild everything that needs it?

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Well this piece is still owned by the fire district. Since the Mack turns 80 this year, myself and another guy on the department are going through it to make it a nice piece for parades, funerals, etc. I have this thought in mind to try and get it mechanically solid before something goes totally wrong, or the wrong hands try to fix something they have no clue about. Its been a great research challenge.

Hopefully we can get a paint job sooner then later. Apparently it was painted in the early 70s. Sadly all of the gold stripping is covered. But, to me that is stage two.

Tires will be necessary soon, since they are rather dryrot. It seems no one wants to touch split rims these days.

On the side I have been trying to determine what came with the truck. So far so good. If you know of any images of what those Mack extinguishers I would greatly appreciate to see it. Also, trying to figure out what tools came with it. I see some posts about what came on the Bulldog models, but not any relative to the early Bs.

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I thought it was owned by the fire district, that's why I asked. And I know there is no money in Mass. these days.

Given the historical nature of the truck I'd explore doing some type of community fund raiser to do a full restore if that is possible. You are looking at $100K or more to do a full on professional restoration, but most non-profits can usually work out donations in kind to keep the costs much lower. Don't want to scare you off, but the costs add up quickly so you need to be prepared. For example it can cost $200.00 just to plate one stanchion.

If you are thinking of going this route I'd contact Firemack on this site as he did the B Model for Radnor and I'm sure he would have a lot of valuable information for you.

Take it from someone who has been there; before you get into it too deeply make a list of exactly of what you want to do so you can set a realistic budget. It also makes sense to have an action plan so you don't get ahead of yourself and do things like painting it only to discover you want to remove the pump to overhaul it. (Paint should be one of the last things you do; not the first)

If you don't have one, get a copy of Harvey Eckart's "Mack Fire Trucks 1911-2005" There are quite a few pictures of early B models in the book. And Harvey would be well worth contacting as well, as his knowledge of Mack fire apparatus is unbelievable. He would be able to tell you what the proper Mack script is for the extinguisher you are looking for.

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Well I have not posted in a while and I thought I should provide an update. A few of us have taken off the exhaust and intake manifolds. They are currently at the welder being repaired for cracks and broken flanges. Attached are some pictures of the current state of the engine compartment. I am starting to put it back together with all parts cleaned and painted. The carburetor is all cleaned up nice inside and out. Thankfully we were able to save the old gasket, since trying to find rebuild kit for a Stromberg SF-3 does not exist. The gaskets from Olsen's came in and we ready for the manifolds! I will post some pictures of the completed carburator later. I figured I should put pictures up since not to often someone posts pictures of what is under the hood.

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Very nice!

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Anyone have an idea as to what the torque spec might be for the valve covers? I looked through the shop manual and could not find any indication. I believe when the manifold comes back to the welder, a safe torque of 40 lbs should be adequate. Thanks again!

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Here is another question to all the Mack Folks,

This is a rod that connects at one end to the exhaust manifold for the pre-heater baffle, redirecting exhust gases into the intake. The other end has been detached, and letting the rod flop around inside the engine compartment for as long as anyone can recall. Where does the other end attach to that indicates "On-Heat-Off"?

The only place I can think of is on this brass piece of the accelerator linkage where this spring is. But really to the accelorator linkage?

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