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Wayslow
Wayslow Reader
10/29/10 3:17 p.m.

Ok I know this has been discussed before but my neighbour is in the process of restoring a 1953 Mercury pickup. It's very cool and it got me thinking. I currently tow a +/-7000lb gooseneck horse trailer and I'm wondering where i can find tow capacities of old trucks. I figure that I could find a decent example and upgrade the powertrain, brakes and suspension with more modern items but it'd be kinda cool to keep it as original as possible.

I've searched some antique truck sites but they don't give a towing capacity rating. I'm guessing that maybe the manufactures didn't rate their vehicles at the time. This list seems to be a font of knowledge so I'm hoping someone will be able to point me in the right direction.

914Driver
914Driver SuperDork
10/29/10 3:24 p.m.

Mercury is the same as a Ford F-1. Mercurys (Mercuries?) are rare and worth a bit to collectors. Given the opportunity I would turn it over, make a bunch of cash and buy a tow vehicle.

That's just me ...

I have no web sites on the tip of my tongue but search for F-1 Ford specs. Use the same year as the Merc you're looking at. Generally they tow OK but remember why they were built; it's farm equipment. 45 - 50 mph is about as fast as you'll be comfortable. Flat six engines, low rear end gearing, 6V electrics, you know.

Better put up pictures.

Dan

Wayslow
Wayslow Reader
10/29/10 3:31 p.m.
914Driver wrote: Mercury is the same as a Ford F-1. Mercurys (Mercuries?) are rare and worth a bit to collectors. Given the opportunity I would turn it over, make a bunch of cash and buy a tow vehicle. That's just me ... I have no web sites on the tip of my tongue but search for F-1 Ford specs. Use the same year as the Merc you're looking at. Generally they tow OK but remember why they were built; it's farm equipment. 45 - 50 mph is about as fast as you'll be comfortable. Flat six engines, low rear end gearing, 6V electrics, you know. Better put up pictures. Dan

I'm not actually looking at towing with his truck. It just got me thinking about getting an old truck to use as a tow vehicle. I already have a decent reliable tow vehicle. Since I use it to tow an old Lotus and a couple of very temperamental show horses I figure the pickup should match.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
10/29/10 3:31 p.m.

I see a lot of old trucks all hot-rodded up, lowered... but none can still be used as a real truck - something like this with a modern diesel, Allison trans and a pick-up box with a 5th wheel would be awesome and useful.

914Driver
914Driver SuperDork
10/29/10 3:39 p.m.

Here's the stuff on Fords and Mercuries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_F-Series

I had a 1952 Dodge B3C-116, a long wheelbase one ton. I got planked by some old man who ran a light so I put the '52 body on a 1987 3/4 ton Dodge. Heat, automatic, 12V, with a cool old body.

The truck originally had 4.78 : 1 gears. I could lasoo your house and pull it around the block, but on a highway keep looking in the mirror.

If you pass on the Mercury let me know.

Dan

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave SuperDork
10/29/10 3:44 p.m.

I think that dropping an old school body on a modern frame and drivetrain is the way to go for towing with a classic.

novaderrik
novaderrik HalfDork
10/29/10 4:20 p.m.

find a rolled over modern 3/4 ton truck with a straight chassis and put the old body on it. since it's a Mercury, look for a wrecked SuperDuty. if it was a Chevy, then find an HD.

rob_lewis
rob_lewis Dork
10/29/10 4:28 p.m.

Classic Ford COE on a Powerstroke chassis FTW!

Something like this (hotlinked!)

-Rob

alfadriver
alfadriver SuperDork
10/29/10 4:48 p.m.
DILYSI Dave wrote: I think that dropping an old school body on a modern frame and drivetrain is the way to go for towing with a classic.

+1

The issue with old trucks is strength- of the chassis, brakes, engine, etc. But with careful work, you should be able to find a more modern chassis that you can put an old body onto- old F150, Ranger, GM version of the same, etc. And the small trucks do V8 swaps well, too.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy HalfDork
10/29/10 4:57 p.m.

Mercury = Canada. Ever heard of a Meteor?

Woody
Woody SuperDork
10/29/10 7:34 p.m.

I've only seen two Mercury trucks in my life. They were only sold in Canada and very few have survive the trip South.

Cotton
Cotton Dork
10/29/10 9:38 p.m.
914Driver wrote: Here's the stuff on Fords and Mercuries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_F-Series I had a 1952 Dodge B3C-116, a long wheelbase one ton. I got planked by some old man who ran a light so I put the '52 body on a 1987 3/4 ton Dodge. Heat, automatic, 12V, with a cool old body. The truck originally had 4.78 : 1 gears. I could lasoo your house and pull it around the block, but on a highway keep looking in the mirror. If you pass on the Mercury let me know. Dan

that's a great lookin truck

Rad_Capz
Rad_Capz Reader
10/29/10 11:46 p.m.
914Driver wrote: If you pass on the Mercury let me know. Dan

Very cool truck!

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/30/10 6:35 a.m.

Sure you can tow with old trucks.. What did grandpa use to move 30klbs around?

But if I was going to do it, I'd go big.. Old pickups weren't really meant to tow great loads.

Kramer
Kramer HalfDork
10/30/10 7:32 a.m.

My grandpa used an Intrrnational KB8 to move 30k lbs around. On a hill in Richmond, Indiana (not known for being a hilly part of the world), they would have to get another dump truck behind the trailer to push the load up the hill. Top speed was about 35 going downhill (horrible brakes).

Even the biggest trucks back then weren't good at towing what we now consider mediocre loads.

914Driver
914Driver SuperDork
10/30/10 10:51 a.m.
DILYSI Dave wrote: I think that dropping an old school body on a modern frame and drivetrain is the way to go for towing with a classic.

This is a '52 Dodge on an '87 3/4 ton frame. 318, 727, Dana 60, 32" tires. It's quite a project but that's the way to go.

Jay
Jay Dork
10/31/10 8:41 a.m.

Out of curiosity, never having had much to do with body-on-frame before... How much work is "just dropping a classic body onto a modern frame"? Do you have to change the suspension all around? Steering system? In-cab amenities like climate control? I presume the body is bolted to the frame somehow, how do you go about making the bolt holes line up? Fab up adapter brackets?

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/31/10 8:51 a.m.
914Driver wrote: Here's the stuff on Fords and Mercuries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_F-Series I had a 1952 Dodge B3C-116, a long wheelbase one ton. I got planked by some old man who ran a light so I put the '52 body on a 1987 3/4 ton Dodge. Heat, automatic, 12V, with a cool old body. The truck originally had 4.78 : 1 gears. I could lasoo your house and pull it around the block, but on a highway keep looking in the mirror. If you pass on the Mercury let me know. Dan

There was a blue pilot house dodge in North Charleston that was for sale for a long period of time. Boy did I want. I just love the styling of those guys.

Suggest you read http://www.amazon.com/Truck-Rebuilding-Worn-Out-Post-Technological-Adventures/dp/0874517559/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1288536092&sr=8-1 "Truck" it's about the restoration of a pilot house dodge.

EDIT: Whoops.. Wrong Link posted above.. I fixed it.

914Driver
914Driver SuperDork
10/31/10 9:19 a.m.
Jay wrote: Out of curiosity ....

I made brackets that went from the 1987 frame to the '52 body. I used hockey pucks for rubber cushions.

"Just dropping a classic body...." Pretty much. Everything is in about the same location, maybe doing a cab over type body would be different, moving the steering column etc. The only in-cab amenity I opted for was heat and 12V. Given enough time and money air conditioning, electric windows and a big stereo could be put it I guess. The only "trick" thing I did was to shave the door handles. There's an electric popper inside the door, the button to open the driver's door is inside the bed rail. That 1" diameter bar up top has a button in the front and at the back on both sides are 1" LED double filaments.

Dan

Jay
Jay Dork
10/31/10 9:49 a.m.

Cool, sounds like a neat project. BTW I love the "Farm BMW" plate. It actually made me laugh out loud.

nocones
nocones HalfDork
3/2/11 4:29 p.m.

Not to resurect a long dead thread but this is basically the exact question I have. I have inherited a 1953 willy's overland swaped onto a 1994 blazer chassis that I intend to use for light duty (3000lbs or so) towing. The question.

What do I do about insurance. The truck isn't worth a Bunch, it's value is more sentimental. I want to be able to drive it to work, and occasionally tow my MG with it..

alex
alex SuperDork
3/2/11 4:34 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote:

Oh hey, I used to buy batteries from Staab when I worked at the motorcycle shop. Great picture!

alex
alex SuperDork
3/2/11 4:35 p.m.
nocones wrote: The question [*should have been*: - AKC]: can I sell it to Alex?

Yes. Yes you may.

DrBoost
DrBoost SuperDork
3/2/11 4:40 p.m.
rob_lewis wrote: Classic Ford COE on a Powerstroke chassis FTW! Something like this (hotlinked!) -Rob

Oh
my
God
is that fugly!

Hal
Hal Dork
3/3/11 2:45 p.m.
nocones wrote: Not to resurect a long dead thread but this is basically the exact question I have. I have inherited a 1953 willy's overland swaped onto a 1994 blazer chassis that I intend to use for light duty (3000lbs or so) towing. The question. What do I do about insurance. The truck isn't worth a Bunch, it's value is more sentimental. I want to be able to drive it to work, and occasionally tow my MG with it..

First question: How is it titled? As a 53 Willy's or a 94 Blazer?

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