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He Hard-Surfaced His Pickup
Gene Boehler will never have to even think about replacing his 1976 Ford 350 pickup - unless he simply gets tired of it.
    That's because he subjected most of the engine's major components to cryogenic treatment, which is like hard-surfacing metal all the way through. Cryogenic processing involves using liquid nitrogen to lower the temperature of parts to -320 degrees F. It toughens the parts so they'll last four to five times longer.
    Boehler is the community welder and fix-it man around Farmersville, Ill. He had the cryogenic processing done by a company called 300 Below in Decatur, Ill. They treated the engine's pistons, crankshaft, and other moving parts - everything except the block.
    "I bought the truck used about six years ago for use in my business, and had the engine parts subjected to cryogenic processing about four years ago," says Boehler. "I knew I would use the truck a lot for all kinds of different jobs, so I wanted it to last as long as possible. The truck's body was in good condition and the engine ran okay without using any oil.
    "I spent about 2 1/2 years to completely customize the truck. I stripped it down and went through it front to back. The truck was originally equipped with a utility bed, which I replaced with a flatbed that I built. The bed and 8-in. sides are made from 1/4-in. thick plate steel. The bed is built to handle both a gooseneck trailer and a 22 1/2-ft. beavertail. There's also a 3-ft. tall boom on the bed that can lift up to 1,500 lbs. via a battery-powered winch.
    "Once I had the flatbed in place, I used POR 15 to rustproof the entire truck."
    Boehler says he paid about $545 for cryogenic processing. Was it worth the money? "It might be too early to tell, but I think it was money well spent," says Boehler. "It seemed to take a long time for the rings to seat in, which tells me the rings are wearing slower than normal. I put on about 3,000 miles before the rings were seated."
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gene Boehler, 27299 W. Frontage Rd., Farmersville, Ill. 62533 (ph 217 227-3220) or 300 Below, Inc., 2999 E. Parkway Dr., Decatur, Ill. 62526 (ph 800 550-2796 or 217 423-3070; fax 217 423-3075; www.300below.com).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #1