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New Guy With B-85


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Hi, my name is Jim and I'm the co-owner of a 1957 B-85 fire truck. We're not going to restore this truck back to a fire truck though, we're going to turn it into a tractor to pull a 40' trailer. We use the trailer to haul a 55 Chevy drag race car and we're going to paint the truck to match the car. We'll be putting several thousand miles each year on this truck so we're going to replace the 707ci gas engine with a diesel and we'll be adding a few upgrades like air conditioning etc.

The other owner and myself are partners in a small trucking company and in fact one of our first trucks was a B-61. I'll post some progress pictures along the way, we're hoping to have the truck ready by spring.

By the way, the dog in the avatar is my partner's Bulldog Winston. He's at the shop quite a bit and tends to find his way into a lot of pictures. I'll try to add some pictures of the truck and race car to this post.




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Couple of nice looking rides you have there, Jim.

You'll have to talk with Larry (aka Freightrain) as he pulls his racecar & trailer with a B61.

Welcome to the board, I'm sure you will find many knowledgeable and helpful people that can answer almost any question. :)


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Hi Jim,

When you take to pump body off, you will have a some good parts that the those of us in firetruck group can use. If you can save the pump, pump panel & gauges, chrome rails and other parts to resell they should be able to find a home, and give you some funds for the project. We have a parts for sale area here on this website that will work, or a much larger firetruck audience on the www.spaamfaa.org website.

Good luck with the truck.


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Thanks for the welcome Paul.

As for the re-power, nothing's carved in stone yet, we're starting to look for a donor truck. Of course a Mack engine would be great but we've also been thinking that a 466 International could work too. You can get a used school bus pretty cheap around here and many of them have the 466 International turbo diesel and automatic transmissions. The 466 is an in line 6 cylinder that comes with horsepower ratings between about 200 and 300hp and it's smaller than the Mack engine so it would be a pretty easy swap.

I don't know much about these trucks yet but I think the 707 gas engine is pretty much the same size as the old 237hp Mack diesels that I remember and I think the newer more powerful Mack engines are also similar, except for the turbo. I know there's a lot of knowledgeable people on this forum that can answer questions like that. I'll use the search function and see what I can learn. The gross weight of the truck and trailer will only be about 27,000 lbs so we don't NEED a ton of power but a 350hp Mack engine sure would be nice.

I'm leaning toward getting a donor truck with hydraulic brakes because it would be a ton of work to change this truck over to air brakes.

Here's a couple of sketches I made to get an idea of what the truck might look like.



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Scott, I saw Larry's car in his avatar photo. Nice car!!!

Firemack, We're saving most of the fire related stuff for a local guy but we won't throw anything out. The truck sat outside for several years and some of the pump related stuff froze and cracked. Unfortunately the bell was gone when we got the truck but we do have the siren.


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