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Beefed-Up 3/4-Ton Ford Equipped With Dump Bed
Jerry Mattox isn't an ordinary back yard mechanic. He runs a machine shop in Salem, Indiana, so when he decided to rebuild his 1978 3/4-ton Ford truck, he went way beyond what most folks would do.
"We replaced the 306 engine with a Perkins 354 diesel out of an 8800 White combine," says Mattox. "We chose it because the turbo is on the sideso it fits under the hood."
However, he had to widen the under-hood area to create more clearance for the engine. So Mattox cut out the front-end suspension and replaced the front axle with a straight axle from an old Hostess Bread Truck. After boring it out to incorporate 1-ton Ford spindles, he went to a junk shop and picked up leaf springs from a 1-ton army surplus Dodge truck.
"The leaf springs fit perfectly," reports Mattox, adding that he also had to cut out the firewall and move it back further.
With the engine in place, he went on to replace other parts. Brakes are now powered by a vacuum pump off a Ford diesel pickup truck, and the transmission was replaced by a 3000 Series Spicer out of a 2 1/2-ton Army surplus truck.
"The rear end is a Dana 60, out of a standard Ford 3/4 ton," says Mattox. "We put extra leaves in the spring, so it takes a lot to overload it."
The extra lift was necessary to handle a new dump box that Mattox built. He used 2-in. sq. tubing for the bed, sub bed and frame. The hoist unit itself came out of an old farm wagon, while the hydraulics to lift it are provided by a power steering unit off a Lincoln Towncar. Mattox lathed down an electric clutch from an air conditioner to fit the power steering unit. He dumps with the flip of a lever.
The cab was dressed up with powered leather seats out of a late model Ford car. He added a fan to boost the defrost system and an electric fuel pump to prime the engine should he ever run out of fuel. Mattox also built large boxes on each side of the frame under the bed to house tools and the two large batteries needed to start the Perkins. With a fresh paint job, the truck looks good and runs great.
"I use it for play and for hauling wood," says Mattox. "I can haul 3,000 lbs. on it easy."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jerry Mattox, 3728 W. State Rd. 56, Salem, Ind. 47170-7580 (ph 812 883-6460).

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2002 - Volume #26, Issue #6