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Road Trip With the Old Farm Truck


glitchwrks
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1 hour ago, glitchwrks said:

I've still got that old typesetting stuff in the back of the Midliner, and it's all loose since I've been going through it in there instead of rolling it into the shop. I had to pick up a small load near Harrisburg, PA, so I "borrowed" the old farm truck. "Borrowed" since it's mine anyway 😛 It's a 1985 F-350, 6.9L International motor, 4-speed T19 transmission. Got it home from the farm and realized my parents hadn't put tires on it since I brought it to the farm. None of the marker lights were working either (dash switch issue). Anyway, here it is loaded up with about 28,000 floppy disks:

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The government surplus place I was at had a really nice military forklift they use to load stuff, including my two pallets of disks:

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They loaded me up and then took off for Labor Day weekend, so I didn't get to ask about it. It's probably a Pettibone 6K or 10K rough terrain unit. Detroit diesel powered, sounded like a 4-cylinder so probably a 4-53. I'd love to find one of those for the farm!

They also had an old International cabover they use as a yard dog:

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Nice little trip, stopped at Walnut Bottom Diner for lunch. The old F-350 is still a reliable little truck, the trip was around 750 miles. No overdrive though :)

And next to the Binder looks like an old airport refueler on possibly a Louisville?😎

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Yep, 360K! Folks actually still use these, I work on industrial control equipment for my day-job (factory line control systems, etc.) and still support a bunch of machines that use 5.25" disks -- even some that use 8" disks! There are floppy emulators that replace a floppy drive with a USB flash drive, but they don't work in all systems, and in some cases switching to them would require recertification  of the equipment, so it's less hassle to just keep them running.

A portion of these disks are going off to a small game company that just made a new game for the Apple II (yes, the one from the late 70s!). They're doing a boxed release (remember when software came in boxes?!) and needed disks for it. But, the majority will be sold off to folks that need 5.25" disks.

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360k on an IDI is a cake walk. my 88 has a little over 495k on it and still purrs like a kitten. the cab is ready to fall off it, but i have a spotless one to drop on it over the winter. 

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when you are up to your armpits in alligators,

it is hard to remember you only came in to drain the swamp..

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5 hours ago, tjc transport said:

360k on an IDI is a cake walk. my 88 has a little over 495k on it and still purrs like a kitten. the cab is ready to fall off it, but i have a spotless one to drop on it over the winter. 

Hah, no, 360K is the capacity of the floppy disks loaded on there :) The truck is barely broken in, driveline wise: I believe it's got around 150K on it from the maintenance logs it came with -- 5-digit odometer that's definitely been rolled over, but it was owned by a tree cutting company, then by a construction company, and both kept maintenance logs. The cab on the '85 is a little beat, but it's not quite falling off yet. I haven't decided if I should just let them run it until it does start to come off, and swap a cab on, or fix up the current one.

Those old IDIs are tough little engines though, especially since the 6.9 doesn't have as big of cavitation issues as the 7.3, so it matters less if the previous owner(s) weren't good on SCA maintenance. I know they don't have modern 3/4 ton truck power, but I've always felt like it was totally adequate for the job. I've thought about adding a Brownie aux transmission behind the T19 in the F-350 for overdrive, or better yet, double overdrive.

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Hah, no, 360K is the capacity of the floppy disks loaded on there [emoji4] The truck is barely broken in, driveline wise: I believe it's got around 150K on it from the maintenance logs it came with -- 5-digit odometer that's definitely been rolled over, but it was owned by a tree cutting company, then by a construction company, and both kept maintenance logs. The cab on the '85 is a little beat, but it's not quite falling off yet. I haven't decided if I should just let them run it until it does start to come off, and swap a cab on, or fix up the current one.
Those old IDIs are tough little engines though, especially since the 6.9 doesn't have as big of cavitation issues as the 7.3, so it matters less if the previous owner(s) weren't good on SCA maintenance. I know they don't have modern 3/4 ton truck power, but I've always felt like it was totally adequate for the job. I've thought about adding a Brownie aux transmission behind the T19 in the F-350 for overdrive, or better yet, double overdrive.



SCA? Never heard that before
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SCA is something added to coolant/antifreeze for diesel engines, it helps cut down on cavitation (formation of bubble-like voids in the coolant around the cylinder walls). Engines with thinner cylinder walls, like the 7.3 IDI, are more susceptible to cavitation to start with. If you do nothing about it and run coolant with no SCA eventually you end up with holes worn through the cylinder walls, which of course ruins the engine. You can get test strips at most parts counters that carry truck stuff, I think my current bottle of them came from NAPA. I test every time I change the oil. You can get SCA to add to regular antifreeze, or to "top off" existing antifreeze once it gets low, but I typically just drain, flush, and refill with antifreeze that already contains the right SCA levels, like Fleetguard.

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Yeah, I'd love to turbo a 6.9 or find a 1994.5 with factory turbo, though I hear the factory option doesn't do much for the engine. A friend of mine in upstate NY had turbo'ed his 6.9, in addition to swapping 7.3 heads for better flow. I think he ended up cutting a relief in the pistons to drop compression a little, too. He was a welder and ran his F-250 as his main service truck, with a Lincoln SA200 on the back.

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