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1959 Chevy 1-Ton


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#1 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2012 - 04:32 PM

My old Chevy truck is going to go thru another update.
About six years ago I put a late 80's, 6.2 diesel engine with a turbo 400 automatic in it.

This is a non turbo engine and it has plenty of power for just the truck itself and gets 22 MPG.
The problem is that when I'm hauling to tractor shows, I'm often pulling around 16,000 pounds and it can drag the engine down on some of the hills around here.

Here's the engine that's in the truck right now.

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My wife has an uncle that is 84 years old and he has some of the old hit-n-miss engines that he displays at the tractor shows.
Last August at the Buckley show, he was saying that it might just be the last time that he shows his engines.
He was thinking of selling his engines, trailer and the truck camper.
I told him that if he decided to also sell the truck, I would like first dibs on it.

Last weekend we ran into her uncle at the grocery store and he asked if I was still interested in the truck.
Well we just got home from picking up the truck.

Now here's the best part. .....
This is a 1990 Dodge with the 12-valve Cummins diesel and the Allison automatic transmission.
He bought the truck new and it only has 90,708 actual miles on it.
The 6.2 diesel is coming out and this engine and transmission is going in my 59 Chevy 1-ton.

Here's some photos of the Cummins.

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#2 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2012 - 04:43 PM

Sounds like a good deal. How much more power will the Cummins give you in the 1 ton? I assume you will re power the Dodge. That Dodge is the type of truck that I dream of owning some day. I prefer the older style Dodge trucks.
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#3 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2012 - 05:06 PM

Dang, that Dodge isn't hardly broken in yet. My '99 has over 187,000 and still going strong!
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#4 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2012 - 05:20 PM

I bet Ray is going to swap the GM diesel into the Dodge after the Cummins goes into the '59. Great project ray, hope it all fits together.
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#5 Gtractor OFFLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2012 - 05:20 PM

That will really wake the '59 up Ray! Thats the engine I want to put in my '55 Dodge cabover ..... someday.
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#6 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2012 - 09:03 PM

Ray, You won't even know that 16,000lbs. is back there with the Turbo Cummins. You will have a real nice hauler when you get done.
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#7 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2012 - 09:07 PM

Had a guy say that there is no way that I got 22 MPG from the 6.2 in my 1-ton and he could very well be right.
I only checked the mileage one time when I first put it together 6 years ago and was sure that was what I figured on it.
I never checked it again and it is possible that I don't remember it correctly or I didn't figure it right.

This is the first and only diesel truck that I have owned and the only thing that I am certain about is that whatever mileage the truck is getting, it sure is better than what I ever got with the gas engine that was in it.

Edited by jdcrawler, April 29, 2012 - 09:10 PM.


#8 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2012 - 09:09 PM

You got yourself a nice truck and with the Cummings in it'll really be something.
In Ontario Canada to pull a trailer that weighs more that 10,000lds you need an A license, tractor trailer license.
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#9 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2012 - 09:12 PM

the only thing that I am certain about is that whatever mileage the truck is getting, it sure is better than what I ever got with the gas engine that was in it.


That statement....you can take to the bank!
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#10 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2012 - 09:36 PM

Ummmm! I know you like your 59, I like old trucks too, BUT, why would you wreck a nice newer dodge by yanking out it's heart and not just drive the Dodge?? OR, plenty of junkyards must have junked Dodges that you can buy to do the swap and not wreck a good truck! Just my opinion, worth .02 for sure! Ha! OK, group......I'm behavin'........need smileys.... :( :smilewink:
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#11 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2012 - 10:13 PM

Ummmm! I know you like your 59, I like old trucks too, BUT, why would you wreck a nice newer dodge by yanking out it's heart and not just drive the Dodge?? OR, plenty of junkyards must have junked Dodges that you can buy to do the swap and not wreck a good truck! Just my opinion, worth .02 for sure! Ha! OK, group......I'm behavin'........need smileys.... :( :smilewink:

I understand how you feel and there certainly is justifiable reason for feeling that way.
I'm sure that there are going to be others that feel that way also.

However, my biggest concern is dependability and cost.
I've been driving this 59 since 1995 and I don't want any other truck.
This isn't like most old trucks that sit in the garage most of the time and are just driven a few times on nice days.
This is my regular transportation during the summer and only gets parked for the winter months.
When I'm gone, it will belong to my son.

I know exactly how this engine has been driven and maintained and there isn't another engine out there that I can have the same confidence in.
It's for sure that I can't find one with this low a mileage for any sort of price that I could afford.
My wife's uncle likes the idea of me using his old truck engine in my truck and he made me a very special deal simply because I was going to us it to update my truck.

I have no intention of scraping this truck body.
After I get the engine and transmission out, I'll sell this to someone that has one that is all rusted out and they can then put their engine into this body.
So it will still end up being used by someone that will appreciate it and make good use of it.


Here is a photo of my truck.

Posted Image

Edited by jdcrawler, April 29, 2012 - 10:50 PM.

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#12 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2012 - 05:05 AM

That's a really nice 1 ton you have there. I see why you want to update it with more power. When you find a vehicle that you truely enjoy then it's worth the effort to keep it in top shape. It looks like that truck would be virtually impossible to replace. Someone else is getting a really nice Dodge chassis that will last for many years. Sounds like a win, win situation to me.
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#13 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2012 - 05:15 AM

My 6.2L Deisel only got about 18 MPG, and that was with an auto and 4:11 gears. My personal choice for an engine/tranny setup would be a 3306 Cat and Allison, but I don't think a 1 ton would heavy enough for this.
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#14 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2012 - 06:31 AM

My 6.2L Deisel only got about 18 MPG, and that was with an auto and 4:11 gears.

That's about the same thing that some others have said also.
It's possible that my speedometer isn't reading exactly accurate.
This cab was originally a 1/2 ton pickup with 15 inch wheels and now it's a 1-ton with 16 inch wheels.

I followed my wife in her car to see what my speedometer was reading and I had to change the speedometer gear in the transmission to get it to match her speed.

An odometer reading a mile or two faster per hour would make a difference in the MPG check but still wouldn't be enough to register much speed difference going down the road.

Edited by jdcrawler, April 30, 2012 - 06:51 AM.


#15 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted April 30, 2012 - 06:44 AM

One thing I wonder is if you have enough room in the engine compartment for that engine? Those are quite long, if I remember correctly.
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