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Old 01-19-2005, 09:28 PM
Tape Drive Tape Drive is offline
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Default Aluminum Frames? Swap Chassis?

I'm looking at an old 1960 Peterbilt with a good cab/ hood & fenders etc.. This truck has an aluminum frame with a Hendrickson rear suspension. The frame is patched in several places and has a slight crack behind the drivers side spring hanger (rear hanger) Are aluminum frames just junk or what?

In the same place is a 1959? KW with a crushed cab/ hood. It also has an aluminum frame, but this frame seems to be ok. This truck has a Hendrickson rear suspension as well.

Is it possible to swap the Peterbilt cab onto the KW chassis? Wouldn't this be easier than putting in new frame rails on the Pete? I read someplace that KW has a "frame horn" in front of the firewall. What does this mean?

Could I possibly switch the Pete cab to a more modern chassis? How about putting an old Kenworth Cab on a modern chassis?

I would like to bring this Old Pete & maybe a KW up to date with new power/ drivetrain/suspension.... Just looking for some reasonable input before I jump off the deep end.
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:43 PM
big rig guy big rig guy is offline
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How deep wide and full is your wallet??????????
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Old 01-19-2005, 10:55 PM
Tape Drive Tape Drive is offline
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Default How deep?

If my wallet was an Ocean, we wouldn't need a boat
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Old 01-19-2005, 11:08 PM
big rig guy big rig guy is offline
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Good reply, I got a chuckle outta that.

Well the projects your proposing are expensive, the Pete with the patched and cracked frame, I would forget about that. I think more info is needed with regard to what the final product is supposed to do, ie, haul freight, or just sit there and look pretty.

I like the idea of the old pete or kw and sliding a modern drive train under. A guy that I know did this with a KW, looked sweet, left the frame rails in and went with new drivetrain only, after paint, 100 grand.
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:14 AM
Tape Drive Tape Drive is offline
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100 Grand ? Someone musta seen him comming...

I've been pricing KW 8 bag cutoffs & Pete air/ leaf cutoffs. Also been looking at Used/ Reman engines & trannies. I have a Big Cam Cummins with a Super ten trans setting in an International frame with Reyco (sp) rear suspension. This is (was) a tandem dump truck 'till it got laid on its side and pushed the cab about 10 inches sideways. This truck is in good shape mechanicly. We run dump trucks and have 12 tandems & 4 18's.

We have a fairly decent shop & can do most of our own work. I have never tried anything like this before, but it seems like it should be do-able with-out having to kidnap my banker.

The end result is to have a nice old tractor that is road worthy and work ready. Some light duty dump work combined with Interstate long-haul.

I'd like to know more about my initial questions. What's the deal with the KW "frame horns" ? Are these frames squeezed-pinched-dropped in the front, or whatever? I really don't see a problem with going from one straight frame to another, but this "frame horn" deal has me confused.

Thanks for any input anyone can give on this.
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Old 01-20-2005, 10:43 AM
big rig guy big rig guy is offline
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100 grand really is not out of the picture, this is a show/working truck, redone top to bottom.

The frame horn I would have to find out about, as this is before my time. I am thinking it would be much the same as the drop down frame extension that Pete is currently using. The drop down section on the pete is aluminum and incorporates the hood mount and front spring saddle.

Sounds like you have been around a truck or two, have a decent shop and a variety of parts to work from. I will do some research on that era of truck.

Going with a straight frame appeals to me, you will need to fab brackets etc for cab hood mounts, especially when you have an available frame in the yard to start with. The cost and time trying to find the exact replacement frame for that year, difficult at best I would think. Using a aluminum frame for a working truck, I would not do. Installing the KW 8 bag, that would be expensive, including cross members. While you have all this apart, time to sandblast and prime. Your project will get up there in costs, of course with a frame looking so good, time to refurb and paint the cab/hood, then all new chrome, poilished budds, new rubber and all mechanical items checked and renewed, throw on that fancy exhaust job and a new rad and air to air, nice upholstery inside, like I always say, its only money.
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Old 01-20-2005, 12:40 PM
markct markct is offline
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my heavy truck experience is not very much, have done alot of repair work on IH tractor trailers and dumps but i have never ever heard of an aluminum frame on anything but a sportscar, was this very common, what was the reason just lower weight, were these full gvw tractors that had aluminum frames or just lighter duty ones, i have seen what happens to steel frames over time so i can only imagine that an aluminum frame must have to be 4 times as thick to even hope to stand up
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Old 01-20-2005, 05:24 PM
big rig guy big rig guy is offline
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I don't think there is a OEm now that supplies a aluminum frame, Freightliner in the late 70 early 80's had one, I know Pete had one up to around 85. Lower tare weight was the biggest reason, meaning more load weight etc. They were full size full load tractors too.
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:32 PM
JTMcC. JTMcC. is offline
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Mack had an aluminum frame available for a while as well.

JTMcC.
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:49 PM
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Never seen a Mack frame in Al, maybe a Mack made in California, what years????????
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