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Hello everyone.  My screen name is DKWIDK, and it stands for “Don’t know what I don’t know.”  I’d like to get some input from y’all about bringing a B61 back to life.  Please be patient with me; I’m learning.

I don’t think a full-blown restoration is what I’m seeking, because I’d like it to be sort of a daily driver here in south Texas.  That means freeway speeds, air conditioning, reliability, etc., are all key factors.  Also, while I enjoy a manual transmission, the thought of shifting a 5 x 3 to top out at 65mph isn’t practical.  (Shoot - we go 65 through a McDonalds drive-through.)  

Ultimately, I want to put a custom-fabricated pickup truck bed on it and use it to pull a 20’ bass boat.  Here’s a link to a really nice truck I’d like to emulate:  https://images.app.goo.gl/xjRP1rNB2uNESHbLA

I recently learned in more than one source that two of the best, most reliable Diesel engines of all time include the Mack 7 and 6 series, and the International DT466.  With that, here’s what crossed my mind:

Option 1:  Find a Navistar 4700 series with a DT466 and a Fuller manual tranny and buy it for the chassis, drive train, power steering, brakes, a/c, etc.  (One can be found for less than $10,000.)  Remove the cab and whatever was on the chassis.  Do a reman on the engine, and tranny if needed, which would run about $20,000.  Shorten the frame as needed to accommodate the pickup bed.

Option 2:  Find a Mack R model, and basically do the same as option 1. 

For both options, find a B61 whose body is in reasonably good shape.  Move it to the frame of the 4700 or R model, along with the wheels, gas tank, and other B61 components.  My thought is parts for both the 4700 and the R model should be relatively easy to find.  Both should have more modern features.  

I like Option 2 better, because it keeps everything Mack.  That said, I really don’t know if EITHER option is viable.

Before the purists come after me with a shotgun for cutting up a B61, please know I’m a purist at heart myself.  But since a restore won’t work, I would rather honor the B61 heritage in a tastefully done pickup truck than to let one die a slow death, rusting in a field somewhere.  

Thanks for your patience with me and this wordy post.  I look forward to hearing from you.

DKWIDK

 

 

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Anything brought back to life is better than scrap!   terry:MackLogo:

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You could go with a 3/4 ton pickup chassis also.

20190509_125157.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Saw this one in person, was built on a dodge pickup, if I recall correctly... Only about as tall as I was but figured I’d add it here for inspiration...

A5C96C87-B08B-4CDD-A05F-3338C30D18D2.jpeg

Edited by CaptainCrutch

Who needs a back yard when you could have a :mack1: Yard?!

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1 hour ago, 66dc75 said:

You could go with a 3/4 ton pickup chassis also.

20190509_125157.jpg

I really like that truck.

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1 hour ago, CaptainCrutch said:

Saw this one in person, was built on a dodge pickup, if I recall correctly... Only about as tall as I was but figured I’d add it here for interesting...

A5C96C87-B08B-4CDD-A05F-3338C30D18D2.jpeg

don`t know who owns it but that's a class job

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pretty sure the red one in the pic as well as a white one, green one that George Tack owns and a white one, and a green and red one and a yellow Peterbilt around upstate ny were built by George Sprowl out of Maine


post-6-0-64947600-1408238925_thumb.jpg

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I'd love to put an old body on my F550 like that. I have the truck, just need the talent and the money, LOL

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There was a long running thread from a member who built a truck to pull his race car hauler using a B85 (fire truck) and an International school bus. I very nice build. Phantom 409 maybe?  I think he and Larry might have crossed paths at a race track or two at some point.  I cannot find the thread of the build.

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3 hours ago, Terry T said:

There was a long running thread from a member who built a truck to pull his race car hauler using a B85 (fire truck) and an International school bus. I very nice build. Phantom 409 maybe?  I think he and Larry might have crossed paths at a race track or two at some point.  I cannot find the thread of the build.

that was that real nice white one correct?

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Thanks to all for the great picks.  They’re excellent for keeping the ideas flowing.  Keep ‘em coming!

Terry, your kind remark about not letting something degrade into scrap is appreciated. That’s exactly what I’m thinking.

66dc75, great suggestion about using a 3/4 ton pickup frame/drivetrain.  I’ve considered that as well, but realized it’s far too logical for my dysfunction.  Admittedly, much of it is vanity: I like the idea of saying “no, it’s a full-size truck frame and drivetrain.”

Can anyone offer other comments/guidance about the two trains of thought (Option 1 and Option 2) I listed in the initial post?  Remember, the intent is not to just restore a B61 but to make a reliable daily driver with a 6- or 7-speed tranny, air conditioning, and the ability to sustain freeway speeds.

Thanks everyone!

DKWIDK

(Don’t know what I don’t know)

 

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Posted (edited)

A few years ago at the Cortland NY Brockway show someone had done an excellent job of putting Brockway sheetmetal on an IH ex-U-Haul and was pulling a good sized camper with it. Can not remember the mans name.. Possibly go to brockwaytrucks.com and ask?? There might be pictures also if you go to topics about their show??

Jim Hancock, do you remember the black truck I am talking about???

Edited by Brocky

Brocky

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Here's an Aussie one..

Picture

 


"Be who you are and say what you feel...
Because those that matter...
don't mind...
And those that mind....
don't matter." -

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17 hours ago, Brocky said:

A few years ago at the Cortland NY Brockway show someone had done an excellent job of putting Brockway sheetmetal on an IH ex-U-Haul and was pulling a good sized camper with it. Can not remember the mans name.. Possibly go to brockwaytrucks.com and ask?? There might be pictures also if you go to topics about their show??

Jim Hancock, do you remember the black truck I am talking about???

Brocky's pictures of the above mentioned rig.

Cortland 2012 045 - Copy.JPG

Cortland 2012 037 - Copy.JPG


Jim

It doesn't cost anything to pay attention.

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Thank you Jim.. 


Brocky

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wow nice neat job,,on all of them...bob

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Does anyone know if a B-model cab/engine cowling will fit over an R-model frame having an E6 or E7 engine?  

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yes it will.that actually your best bet.....but if i were you i would look for late model...bobtail rig maybe slightly wrecked...got everything you need there for running frame....including good power and automatic duel wheels.usually in expensive...then add the classic sheet metal....good luck...bob

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Thanks Mowerman.  It seems like a logical way to go.  Finding an R model that can be brought back to reliable running condition shouldn’t be too hard to do and relatively inexpensive as you said. Then it’s a matter of finding a B model whose cab and engine cowl are in fairly good shape. 

The next question would be how much trouble is it to convert a tandem axle R model with a Camelback suspension to a single axle rear end?  Am I better off narrowing the search to an R cab with single axle to begin with?  That really limits the selection pool.

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The red B model, like some others mentioned, was built by George Sprowl in Maine 20/25 years ago.  They were built on Ford one ton frames with 6bt Cummings engines.  The cab, fenders and cowl were cut down to make them look appropriately to scale.  I am lucky to have one of them, and love it.  He really did an amazing job.  I looked at building my own for years, and it is a lot of work.  I also looked at dt360 and dt466 engines (I have some of both), and the power, size and parts available with a Cummins 6bt make them hard not to consider.  Look at the horsepower, torque, weight and maintenance cost of  a full size Mack power plant, not to mention fuel consumption in what amounts to a pickup truck, and you might start to rethink this.  I looked at Mack, Ford, Chevy and Dodge frames, all of the power plants noted above, as well as other issues.  There are folks on this site who have built nice B model pickups using 3/4 ton, one ton and full size (class 5-8) frames with gas and diesel power.  It might be worthwhile to reach out to them before you get in the deep end of the pond.

 

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Lol yes very well put... better have lots of time for it.... bob

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On 3/12/2020 at 2:29 AM, Terry T said:

There was a long running thread from a member who built a truck to pull his race car hauler using a B85 (fire truck) and an International school bus. I very nice build. Phantom 409 maybe?  I think he and Larry might have crossed paths at a race track or two at some point.  I cannot find the thread of the build.

Jim was his name and I did meet up a couple times in Michigan at a race we both attended.  Truck as nice in person as pictures show.  He did only run it a few years though.  Have not seen him in some time now.


IMG-20180116-202556-655.jpg

Larry

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

Charter member of the "MACK PACK"

 

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Steelman which truck do you have? picture? the cab isn't so bad to chop down but I wish I had some prints of what George did with the fenders to actually cut them to make them look normal


post-6-0-64947600-1408238925_thumb.jpg

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