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3/4 Ton pickup turned into a 1-ton dually
When Bernard Dumcum drives into town, he gets a lot of strange looks and comments from people who want to know how he can pull a 24-ft. fifth wheel trailer with a 3/4-ton pickup. No one ever guesses that he converted his 1978 Ford F-250 3/4-ton 4-WD pickup to a 1-ton model.
Dumcum cut the 3/4-ton model in half behind the cab and welded on the back half of a 1979 Ford F-3501-ton pickup equipped with dual rear wheels. He then mounted a Hillsboro 8-ft. long flatbed equipped with a headrack onto the frame.
Dumcum, who raises beef and hogs, mainly uses the modified pickup to pull three different 24-ft. fifth wheel trailers - a 24-ft. livestock trailer, a tandem axle 400 bu. grain trailer, and a 20-ft. flatbed trailer. He can also pull up to three loaded gravity flow wagons at a time totaling 850 bu.
"It's a real workhorse," says Dumcum, of La Cygne, Kan. "My 3/4-ton pickup had 140,000 miles when I made the conversion two years ago. The engine, transmission, rear end, and suspension system were worn out from pulling loads up to 26,000 lbs. I rebuilt the 400 cu. in. engine and 4-speed transmission. I used the 1-ton pickup's rear end, driveshaft, and suspension system.
"The frame on the 3/4-ton pickup was in good shape, but the four-speed transmission, rear end, and suspension system was worn out. I took it to a Ford dealer three years ago after the transmission went out. He told me the new model 3/4-ton pickups weren't built as strong as my old model and that if I used them to pull my trailers I might damage the frame.
"Repairing and converting the 3/4-ton to a 1-ton cost much less than buying a new 1-ton 4-WD which can cost $17,000 to $19,000. The 1-ton pickup had 59,000 miles and had been in a wreck, but the frame was still good. I paid $350 for it and spent $280 to have the two halves of the pickup welded together. Both pickups have the same 4:10 gear ratio and the same 4-speed transmission. I had to install a larger universal joint on the driveshaft of the 1-ton pickup. My pickup now has 200,000 miles and still works as good as new."
Dumcum installed six new 8-ply radial tires on the "dually" pickup which he says last about twice as long as the original 10-ply nylon tires on the 3/4-ton.
The frame on the 1-ton pickup was 4 in. narrower than the frame on the 3/4-ton pickup. Dumcum pulled the front end of the 1-ton frame apart and installed a 3 3/4-in. spacer, then "fish plated" the two frames together. Gas tanks from the 3/4-ton wouldn't fit the narrower frame so he in-stalled 2 new tanks. Total capacity is 46 gal.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bernard Dumcum, Box 123, La Cygne, Kan. 66040 (ph 913 898-4045).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #4