That first picture reminded me vaguely of the menacing truck from “Jeepers Creepers”. I know they’re probably not the same, but it was my first thought nonetheless.
You can do some cool stuff with a WWII era cab over truck; take a look at Paul Niedermeyer’s Curbside Classic from August 1; the restored Chevy is pretty awesome.
I would suggest going back to RWD if you are going to haul any weight or tow a trailer; there is a reason very few trucks are front wheel drive. If you are committed to keeping the Tornado drive train the steering assembly from a Isuzu NPR or similar cab forward truck might do the trick.
Agreed, with that much weight over the rear axle, you’re going to need to drive the rear wheels, otherwise you wont go anywhere
How hard can the steering be? 20 minutes with the McMaster-Carr catalogue, some chain and sprockets, you’re all set. Just make sure to use some snap couplers to keep those chains tight.
Here is a story about a very cool 1941 Dodge cabover resto-mod that took a trip across Canada. http://www.mystarcollectorcar.com/3-the-stars/star-truckin/1249-september-2011the-most-amazing-1941-dodge-cab-over-resto-mod-on-planet-earth.html. The owner was incredibly innovative.
Thank you for posting this. It will be invaluable, in a “see it could be worse” way, in my never ending negotiations with the spousal unit.
Ha! Like the demotivational poster with the legend – Perhaps your purpose on earth is to serve as a warning to others…..
Re: the steering. I’m thinking antique farm tractor style – a big steering wheel mounted like a ships wheel and a stout rod in a couple of pillow blocks out over the hood to a right angle gear – worm gear for max homage to tractors – scooting down to a rack and pinion. Uh, maybe a break-away coupling in that stout rod – you know, for safety.
The Cadillac 501 series engine coupled with the TH425 transmission have provided decades of yeoman service pushing around tens of thousands of motor home chassis for the past four decades: for that tow rig the Olds 455/425 combination should work well.
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I have a soft spot for COEs. I didn’t even know the big truck makers had stopped production of class-8 COEs, until I saw a UPS Freightliner a few months ago and looked it up – it was in perfect condition, and the panels were unusually nice. I think a nice engine for that truck would the Ford 534CID super duty big block, or the 1,100 CID Ford GAA.
The jury is out on the Toro drivetrain. I have found a handy OEM part necessary for zig-zag steering systems though. 98-02 Isuzu Rodeos have an angled reverser-box-thingy: http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii297/mudtoy67/random/DSC00073.jpg (note, inside there are two bevel gears, so it reverses rotation too)
My mentor, Charlie Lach had a 46 Ford COE dunp truck . He worked it until he retired in 1978. No comment on the Toronado refresh
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