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Old 08-07-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
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Vintage Tow - will this work?

What questions should I ask, what should I know before I consider buying this 51 Chevy Pickup with V8 (according to the For Sale sign) to tow my 58 Flying Cloud (22'). There is some hammerhead shifter on the floor, so I'm thinking that the drivetrain has been updated.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:00 PM   #2
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Nice looking truck. There are many here that tow with vintage vehicles.
No doubt they will pass along some good info.

Thinking more info is needed about the upgrades and driveline.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:05 PM   #3
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It doesn't take much power to pull a '58 22 footer, so the only things I would worry about are the brakes, and the cooling system.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:34 PM   #4
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I'm not saying it's gonna work, but it sure is cool. And the best color. Sal.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:58 PM   #5
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The drivetrain has definitely been updated, since Chevrolet didn't offer a V8 till 1955. I'd be concerned about whether the suspension and brakes have been updated as well.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:34 PM   #6
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When you say, "brakes updated" what should I look for? Condition of hydraulics, certainly, but do drums and shoes get beefed up?
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:39 PM   #7
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When you say, "brakes updated" what should I look for? Condition of hydraulics, certainly, but do drums and shoes get beefed up?
I'd ask about whether the update included disc brakes and a double reservoir master cylinder. Also what ratio the rear end now has.
I'd also be concerned about how much "custom" modifications were made. You don't want to be in East Bigtoe, Idaho, and find out a part has to be fabricated in order to get back on the road.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:04 PM   #8
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I would make certain the master cylinder had been updated. Front disc would be nice but, let's face it, they pulled em back then just fine. I'd also make sure the lines were in good shape. It's all about stopping. Getting there is fine, stopping when you do is better. I have had both a 1955 and currently a 1954. Put brakes on both.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:59 PM   #9
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What's involved in a brake upgrade? How much$?
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:48 PM   #10
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Michael,

Find out everything which has been done to the truck, engine size, transmission type and rear axle ratio. I would want disc brakes on the front and back, size and from what vehicle. Dual master cylinder, of course. Power steering and power brakes, necessary on disc brake vehicles.

Good luck.

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Old 08-07-2012, 09:05 PM   #11
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You are going to need some help with this.

A truck like that, in original condition, wouldn't be suitable for you to pull a trailer with. But, many trucks like that have been modernized with late model V8 engine, suspension, transmission, disc brakes etc.

In that case it might be suitable but it all depends on what parts are used and how well the work was done.

I suggest you have it looked over by a mechanic with some experience of hot rods and similar conversions.

Unless it is very well done you would be better off getting a newer tow vehicle.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:26 PM   #12
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Micheal,

Bare minimum on that truck, would be a dual master cylinder, good lines, rebuilt wheel cylinders. ( 350 ish if the lines are okay) Putting disc brakes on front would be the next thing, but that includes swapping to tapered bearings, and maybe a power booster. It snowballs, but I did my 55 for about 600 in parts and I did the work. Stopped like a champ after that. Always drove like one.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:37 PM   #13
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Hi from GA/AZ. . . If I wanted a vintage truck to pull my vintage trlr, I'd find a good rust-free body of the style I wanted, jack it up and drive a late model truck under it. I had a '46 Ford PU with a newish 302, AT and A/C. It was a great Saturday night cruiser, but I wouldn't have pulled anything without putting a new front end under it and big brakes all around. Hey, it's only money regards, Craig
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:27 PM   #14
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I'd ask about whether the update included disc brakes and a double reservoir master cylinder. Also what ratio the rear end now has.
I'd also be concerned about how much "custom" modifications were made. You don't want to be in East Bigtoe, Idaho, and find out a part has to be fabricated in order to get back on the road.
Those of us who live in East Bigtoe Idaho will second that... Toothy grin
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