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Info on the the R series Mack's, please.


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I'm a newbe to old trucks but I'm drawn to the R series Mack with the single axle. I would like to buy one at some point(when the wife lets me) to drive around in. I would like to stay in the $15,000 range if that's possible. Can I get a decent truck for that money? I'm hoping to learn what to look for when I start shopping. Thanks

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You absolutely can get R-models for that...or even less.  A lot of what to look for depends on the intended use...work or hobby.  Once these guys know what you are wanting to do, you'll have more opinions than you can shake a stick at!

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"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines."

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What kinda hobby truck? Hobby dump truck for picking up your own mulch? Hobby rollback to support an existing automotive hobby?  5th wheel for towing some old John Deere tractors?

The possibilities are endless.  A bit of mechanical know-how is important, and so are some big wrenches! 

As with all things metal, rust is the biggest enemy to watch out for. Solid bones are important.

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No,I have no plans to put it to work just to enjoy driving it and tinkering. I was a manual machinist for 40 years so I have an understanding of how things work. My problem is low back issues make it hard for me to do some things. I can't work for long before the pain tells me "go lay down". There are 4 competent diesel repair shops within 20 miles of me for big issues. I've had diesel pick ups off and on for 9 years but a big rig is a whole new thing for me. I like learning new stuff too.

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Citing low back pain, get something with light duty springs and a longer wheelbase, plus an air ride cab is a must.  Not sure when they started, but Mack offered an option on the R model where the rear cab mount is air bags.  Night and day difference on operator back pain.

 

You can convert any truck to single axle air ride, would likely give you a much better ride quality than traditional springs.

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Short wheelbase trucks tend to "buck" like a bull rider more noticably, and with how far off the ground you are you feel it more than you would in different wheelbase cars/pickups.

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Are used to own one yes these guys are right they will beat you to death especially with nothing on the frame single drive the worst… otherwise good choice… bob

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I run a b model with a 10 foot flatbed and I have an air seat and an air ride rear axle and when I came home from Macungie I hit a bump that I bottomed out on the seat and was driven up against the roof hurt my neck and my head has a bump on it. Anything with no weight on the back is going to buck. I had 6500lbs on the bed and that helped some. These trucks are not pickups. A tandem will ride a little better. If your running the truck in Pa. god help you.

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Run low air pressure in your drive tyres if you arent carrying a big load helps a low, 55 psi max with no load on for a hobbie truck

110 for a loaded truck

 

Let the steer tyres down to no less than say 75 - 80 psi other wise trucks dont seem to handle any good

Air ride cab and seats make huge difference, also the sockers or dampers need to be spot on as well on the seat, the cab, and axles, they take a huge amount of the getting thrown about out of the ride 

As I've got older this stuff is becoming more and more important, getting softer I think

Noise is the next big challenge for me, want it quiet as a car inside

 

Paul

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Lots of engine possibilities.  The various "673" Thermodynes (ENDT 673, END 673, ENDT 673C) are pretty common in the older ones.  Usually had Duplex, Triplex, or Quadruplex transmissions behind them.

A little later, the ENDT-675 Maxidyne came along, usually with a 5- or 6-speed Maxitorque transmission.  Very easy to drive.  Great torque curve.

I spent most of my time with a 250 HP ENDT 673C with a two-stick 18-speed Quadruplex behind it.  Once you learned that box, it was really something.  Kept you busy, though.  That was a double-overdrive setup, and would cruise pretty effortlessly.

My last one had that same engine with a 15-speed RoadRanger. But, it was direct drive, which limited the top speed.

Low tire pressure helps the ride.  Air ride suspension does too.  I have seen several with almost all the leaves removed from the springs.  That works too.  It'll never ride like a Cadillac!

Good luck!

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"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines."

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