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Old 09-06-2013, 08:08 PM   #1
McMurphy
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HRSaR

HRSaR
"Hot Rod Search and Rescue"



This is almost a time capsule tale...


Known History at this time (as related to me 3rd hand):
This was purchased as a stock C-30 dually and modified by the Original Owner (OO) to be to a Tow Truck.
He did all the mod work himself, and evidentally was an accomplished mechanic/welder as the truck is reported to be stock in engine and unaltered parts, and the work he did has withstood the test of years.

He installed the OD Transmission (I am told it either is a Browning, or "like a Browning" to quote my fave Junk Yardman) which gives it 12 forward gears and 3 reverse. All I can tell you at this time is that the Low 1st gear is so low that you can start the truck with it in this gear.... how weird is that?
He also built the push bumper, flat bed, headache bar, and boom, as well as reinforced the frame. This thing is built better than some Army Tanks !!

He then used it for the next 38 years to make his living with as an independant road side hauler. Up here in central Alaska with the set up he put in it made him the first choice to call for long out-of-town hauls, particularly in the harsh winter months up here. He could get in, hook up, and get the target vehicle out and safely down the road in conditions that would make others shudder (or so the story goes...)

Its amazingly good condition is due to a few combined factors.
Firstly they dont salt the roads up here in Alaska.
Secondly he garaged it like a prized classic (understandable since it was the main tool of his lively hood).

Sadly he died approximately 10 years ago, but his widow kept it garaged until a local gas station and amature car dealer inquired about it to the widow as she stopped in one day. A deal between them was struck, he invested in the Herculiner that is currently on the surface of the bed, and put it up for sale at a mild profit.

I happend across it one day about mid summer this year of 2013.
I stopped, looked at it, shot some photos and then chewed on it for a few days. Then in an eerie sweep of providence I texted my wife and asked her to stop by and "look at the 60s era truck at the Tesoro" she chimed back with "The red tow truck? Yeah I have seen it" which said to me that if this beauty can catch her eye like that, then it was an instant imperative to make an inquiry on it.

The next day I got the truck for $50 more than the station owner paid for it as he graciously took a $50 hit for the Herculiner....I cannot relate what a joy it is to deal with people that are more interested in saving rigs like this than they are about profit margins... !!

Things I need to confirm:
o I am not sure if this is rocking a 283 or 327 yet (getting to the casting numbers is kinda a PITA)
o The type and origin of the additional transmission.
o rearend gear ratio
o winch size (right now I am told it is between a 7-10k with 1" steel cable) none the less I am going to un-and re-wind the cable to clean and oil it, as well as wind it neatly as it likely will not be used much if ever again.


Immediate Plans (within the next year):
o Brake Job all the way around
o upgrade to power assist for the brakes
o Power Steering
o tune up
o Oil and Lube
o convert from home made tow ball platform (the locking latch on trailer hitches conflicts with the towing C-clamp pintle above it) to a modern receiver.
o replace broken lights and reflectors (already in progress)
o replace the seeping gaskets (valve and timing chain covers so far)
o cut down the push bumper to something less... less weighty, less air flow constricting to the radiator, less masking of the trucks pristene front grille.
o add retro-look modern stereo with hidden speakers and amp.
o fix the in-op fuel guage.
o remove the old CB radio set up (already in progress)
o make minor improvements on the OO additions (already in progress ie: the safety lights bracket has been redone)
o replace the rubber bumper guard on the tow lift (replacement rubber has been purchased, just needs intalled)
o "skirt" the flat bed with fleetside panels.

o use it to haul the Stepside from Alaska home to Spokane next summer when I exit the Army; then as a prime hauler for one of our other classics to car shows until the 55 flat bed is done. Then I will probably put it up for sale.


Future Plans:
o clean up the welds
o fix the nominal rust, look for more and fix that too.
o clean and dress the engine and compartment.
o install factory deleted items like passenger side sun visor, arm rests, dome light (done)


Generally overall I intend to keep this truck looking as period correct as I can, meaning things like that monster emergency services strobe light will get a replacement bulb for the burnt one, and will stay up there as is. Luckily there is a Trucks Specialty Parts Store here in Fairbanks that actually carries modern as well as retro parts for this rig (talk about an unforseen score !!)
The CB radio whip antenna will be replaced by a period correct radio antenna and will be used for the stereo I intend to install.


I never thought I would have more than one active build thread at a time, and surrepiticously feel I have entered into an alumni of esteemed builders like Dino, Alan, Wutnext, and Clemdaddy !!
I must caution you build thread junkies, this is going to be a slow moving thread. Since I have no place to keep this bad boy, it is going to be parked and tarped for the winter here soon.

****************************************************************************************

These photos are from the initial photo shoot I did at the gas station the day I stopped to look at it. The cab was locked and it was way too early in the morning for the station to be open.

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For those of you wondering as to the title of this build:
When I was in Air Defense Artillery, my weapon system was towed behind a truck, and was air mobile (you can look up the M167A1 Vulcan if you like) and as a 16R we were known as DAGBs (Dagbies) = Dumb Ass Gun Bunnies.
Our system mechanics had a truck they drove around in to go from gun to gun to effect repairs with and on window was stenciled "DSAR" which I came to learn meant "DAGB Search and Rescue"
I became good friends with those guys during my tenure as a DAGB, and this is sort of a homage to them as well as a cool idea for possible door art which I will share in some future post.

*****************************************************************************************

Well, my wife made me promise only one project at a time.
Meaning I cannot do anything to the TowTruck until I am done with the Stepside.

Dang; I am sure going to miss her....
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Last edited by McMurphy; 09-06-2013 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Edited for...well....editing LoL
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:48 PM   #2
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Re: HRSaR

Here are a few more Day One photos.
Enjoy !!

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Old 09-06-2013, 08:48 PM   #3
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Re: HRSaR

Awesome Vision!!!
Looking forward to watching this one too!!!
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:57 PM   #4
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Re: HRSaR

Final set of introduction photos.
This is from when I went to buy the truck and could get into the cab...


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These last couple photos show the state of the rear lights and reflectors.
At the time of this posting I have replaced most of these already, but there are a few more to go.
The hard part of this sort of thing is resisting the urge to rip out all the old wiring and intall new.
Moderation is the word for me to remember when laying hands on this rig !!
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:36 PM   #5
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Re: HRSaR

Deluxe wheel, in dash tach. Tow truck to boot.

Score!!!!!

Know what you're talking about wifeys One Project At A Time thing.
Tow Trucks so clean it won't take nothing to get it all spit shined and haulin.




.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:57 PM   #6
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Re: HRSaR

koooool rig murph... fun fun fun
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:10 PM   #7
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Re: HRSaR

Very COOL!! Tuned in for the progress!! I know you said it will be a while, but I'm here
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:16 AM   #8
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Re: HRSaR

It's good to see some more pics of your most recent acquisition.

That tach sure doies look original, but I have not seen an original that went to 8K

The suffix code stamped on the pad in front of the passenger side head will tel you what the engine is. That harmonic balancer is not typical of the early 327, let alone a 283, of the lower HP ratings.

I'm really curious to see some pics of the auxiliary trans.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:34 AM   #9
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Re: HRSaR

I'm in for the ride
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:51 PM   #10
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Re: HRSaR

I donít know which is more impressive, the rig or the story that came with it. And even a set of early Cal Custom valve covers! I donít know anything about summers in Alaska, but that front plate sure doesnít seem like it would allow much air into the radiator. But it apparently served well, there doesnít appear to be a ding in it. Amazing how clean the dash is for a working truck. Iíve seen fire vehicles with holes drilled all over.

Thanks for sharing all the details and photos.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:50 PM   #11
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Re: HRSaR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ta2Don View Post
Awesome Vision!!!
Looking forward to watching this one too!!!
Thanks Don !
I would like to see this one stay and sell as close to period correct as possible.
Too many guys already have said they would cut the boom off and just flat bed this rig.
I personally like the way it is set up, just the way it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bomp View Post
Deluxe wheel, in dash tach. Tow truck to boot.

Score!!!!!

Know what you're talking about wifeys One Project At A Time thing.
Tow Trucks so clean it won't take nothing to get it all spit shined and haulin.
.
I dont really think she would ditch me over it, but she is right about the Stepside. Given its state of assembly, I really do need to finish it up before turning my attention and $$$$ to this new addition to the McMurphy Fleet of Classics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clemdaddy View Post
koooool rig murph... fun fun fun
thanks Clem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan's Classic View Post
Very COOL!! Tuned in for the progress!! I know you said it will be a while, but I'm here
Thanks for taking a look Alan!
I know you always have a full plate too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainfab View Post
It's good to see some more pics of your most recent acquisition.

That tach sure doies look original, but I have not seen an original that went to 8K

The suffix code stamped on the pad in front of the passenger side head will tel you what the engine is. That harmonic balancer is not typical of the early 327, let alone a 283, of the lower HP ratings.

I'm really curious to see some pics of the auxiliary trans.
I am going to be doing some work on it today.
I will make every effort to look for that stamp, as well as get some detailed photos from the underside for you guys.
There are a couple of pretty awesome transmission shops here in Fairbanks, I will get in and get them to look at it so hopefully someone can tell me exactly what it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff La View Post
I'm in for the ride
I have not forgotten your questions about this rig Jeff, hopefully in the next few pages of this build I can answer them all for you!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by markeb01 View Post
I donít know which is more impressive, the rig or the story that came with it. And even a set of early Cal Custom valve covers! I donít know anything about summers in Alaska, but that front plate sure doesnít seem like it would allow much air into the radiator. But it apparently served well, there doesnít appear to be a ding in it. Amazing how clean the dash is for a working truck. Iíve seen fire vehicles with holes drilled all over.

Thanks for sharing all the details and photos.
This summer up here was amongst the warmest in recorded history, it got up to 90* for a week. People thought they were going to die....LoL
So imagine how we are faring, we come from here when it was cooling off (mid to high 70s in July) to the typical NE Washington mid to high 90s for a month; then back here where the high for the days have been in the high 50s-low 60s.....
Meh.
On the one hand I dont like how that moose killer bumper chokes the radiator, but on the other, the original grille is in pristene shape !! Other than the oxidized white paint, you would think it was fresh from the factory.

Like I said, the OO babied this truck and you can see the fruits of that.
The original seat, though faded, does not even have a split seam in it.

I think I will go out and actually do a video tour of the truck like I did those rigs from the car show.
I believe you guys will get a better understanding of just how well preserved this truck is that way.....
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:03 PM   #12
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Re: HRSaR

GREAT SCORE Mike !!!!

I will also be watching this one.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:07 PM   #13
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Re: HRSaR

Ok, so I am not usually one to fall in for the impulse purchases at the cash register... you know, the bubble gum and candy and condoms stuff.
So when I was at one of the parts stores, waiting for them to fill a request for parts, I happened to look at the rack of electrical odds and ends next to me, and I spied a red dot illuminated plunger switch and I thought "Oh that would be so cool for the 4way flashers for the TowTruck !!


Here you can see on the extreme right I am holding the light switch that the OO had used to rig up his 4way flashers and which I had gotten the new plunger switch to replace. On the extreme left you can see the OO homemade bracket with the On/Off switches for the Emergency Services Strobe Light and the Boom mounted flood lights.
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I decided since I had already removed the CB Radio mount, that I would make a bracket that would utilize the existing holes but would also accomodate all my Emergency Services Lights.
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So here it is completed and mounted:
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I regret that it isnt as retro or period correct as I would normally like for the intent of this build, but I thought it would be better than a house light switch.....

What do you think?
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:11 PM   #14
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Re: HRSaR

Score!!!
Posted via Mobile Device
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:21 PM   #15
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Re: HRSaR

Alrighty now...
For all the guys that I said I would post photos of the transmission set up, well here you go !!

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I have not gotten this identified yet, (dang I forgot to look for the casting ## for the engine today too) but as soon as I do, I will certainly post it for you all !!
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:16 PM   #16
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Re: HRSaR

Not a lick of rust any were under there.
Im no expert but the hose clamps are interesting to see. Is that some type of brake setup off the tranny?
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:32 AM   #17
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Re: HRSaR

That is just the original SM420 trans with the e-brake drum on the back of it. That is typical of some C20's and the C30 and bigger trucks. The auxiliary trans is at the end of that short interemediate driveshaft, above than channel crossmember at the left of the pics.

Yeah, not a chance of much rust under there
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:23 AM   #18
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Re: HRSaR

I've seen the ebrake drum on the back like that, but the second trans, It has to be a 3 speed box, but for the life of me I can't remember ever having seen one.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:55 AM   #19
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Re: HRSaR

Great looking truck McMurphy. The interior looks great and it definitely looks stout.
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:45 PM   #20
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Re: HRSaR

Uh Oh another one!!! Good looking interior.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:05 PM   #21
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Re: HRSaR

Groovy 'ol tow truck, Murph! That's gotta be fun to bomb around in.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:28 PM   #22
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Re: HRSaR

Always happy to follow a Murph build! Amazed at how little rust there is on it.

Why is it that we men get accused of not being able to multi-task yet when we want to build more than one, our wives are giving us grief?
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:46 PM   #23
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Re: HRSaR

Quote:
Originally Posted by da_bears_da1 View Post
Always happy to follow a Murph build! Amazed at how little rust there is on it.

Why is it that we men get accused of not being able to multi-task yet when we want to build more than one, our wives are giving us grief?
True....
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:13 PM   #24
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Re: HRSaR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bomp View Post
Not a lick of rust any were under there.
Im no expert but the hose clamps are interesting to see. Is that some type of brake setup off the tranny?
I have no idea what that hose, and the hose clamps on the intermediate drive line is for....
Yeah, not much rust on this rig.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captainfab View Post
That is just the original SM420 trans with the e-brake drum on the back of it. That is typical of some C20's and the C30 and bigger trucks. The auxiliary trans is at the end of that short interemediate driveshaft, above than channel crossmember at the left of the pics.

Yeah, not a chance of much rust under there
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff La View Post
I've seen the ebrake drum on the back like that, but the second trans, It has to be a 3 speed box, but for the life of me I can't remember ever having seen one.
Here are some new photos from under the truck, hopefully these will give you guys a better idea of what is going on under there.
As you can imagine it is a difficult thing to photograph. I think the best ones are were I just held the camera up and took my best guess on aim....

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1963c-10 View Post
Great looking truck McMurphy. The interior looks great and it definitely looks stout.
Quote:
Originally Posted by laynrockers View Post
Uh Oh another one!!! Good looking interior.
Oh yeah the interior is awesome !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Elco View Post
Groovy 'ol tow truck, Murph! That's gotta be fun to bomb around in.
It is a gas to drive around in, fun getting the looks when I am in uniform driving it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by da_bears_da1 View Post
Always happy to follow a Murph build! Amazed at how little rust there is on it.

Why is it that we men get accused of not being able to multi-task yet when we want to build more than one, our wives are giving us grief?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ta2Don View Post
True....
For me it is not so much as not being able to multitask, but a matter of funds distribution. The goal is to complete the big bling-bling project first before I retire and the funds for that sort of thing dry up. (funds for a resale project are different as it will be minimalist work where the Stepside is an over-the-top work of personal art)

****************************************************************************************

Here are the new pics, I hope they show something you can find useful !!

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Michael McMurphy

My 66 Stepside
My 64 Tow Truck
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:11 PM   #25
McMurphy
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Location: Tacoma, WA
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Re: HRSaR

Even though I am not supposed to be spending a ton of money on this rig yet, the sale that Brothers was having was too hard to pass up.

Although I plan to keep this old boy as stock LOOKING as possible, some of it is going to be unavoidable.
So this is what I got in, and what the deal is:

The fuel sending unit is pretty self explanitory, as are the heater control knobs that are hard to see in the baggie.
The Throttle cable is going to be installed for PTO control (NOT a poor mans cruise control).
I also got the stereo dual speaker set up for the in dash speaker. This truck came as stereo delete, so this will all be new added upgrades.
I also got the retro look stereo for it.
If you have seen my 66 build you will know that I am not one to compromise on quality of tunes..... So this is the top of the line unit that Brothers had to offer.
In the months to come I will figure out where else I can stash speakers in that cab without taking away from the stock look and feel.
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