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Author Topic: Peterbilt 350 possible build project  (Read 301 times)

FireStar

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Peterbilt 350 possible build project
« on: September 20, 2017, 07:30:15 AM »
So I have yet more questions. I seem to be full of them these days. I was thinking of saving up to buy some old Peterbilt 350 parts and using them to build my own truck. From the description in the classified, it seems the only thing I will need are a 4 speed auxiliary box to complement the rebuilt 5 speed box I'll be buying with it, an engine, radiator, and chassis. I'm more worried about getting a chassis to put the cab, hood, fenders, etc. on once I get them fixed up and painted. I want to get an actual semi truck chassis so I can use it and it isn't just a show truck. I also want it to be the same (or close to) original length. So here are the questions.

1. Does anyone know where I can find a chassis exactly or close to the original length, from a newer semi truck? Are there any companies that would custom make a new chassis?

2. What engines can I get enough horsepower out of to haul corn in a hopper, pull a freight van, and/or a tanker trailer?

3. Where in the world can I find a 4 speed aux box without spending more than I did on the cab?

Any and all answers are appreciated.
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Peterbilt 350 possible build project
« on: September 20, 2017, 07:30:15 AM »

tery

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Re: Peterbilt 350 possible build project
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 09:20:10 AM »
Here is one source that may help ?

https://www.truckpaper.com/
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FireStar

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Re: Peterbilt 350 possible build project
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 09:49:28 AM »
Truckpaper will help with the engine and possibly finding an auxiliary box, but there isn't anything for sale that's just a chassis with the drive line, axles and steering components. It's all cab and chassis or cab and dump, 5th wheel, etc. And they're all to expensive to make it worth buying the entire thing. Like I said, for the moment I'm just looking for a modern frame that I can fit the cab on that isn't going to make it look absurdly long. Hopefully with the steering, drive axles, and (fingers crossed) drive shaft, Because I want to be able to work with it, and not let it sit there and rot as a show truck. But thanks for reminding me Truck Paper existed!
If I haven't found it, I will. Believe me, no truck is safe from my eyes, Large or scaled.

FireStar

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Re: Peterbilt 350 possible build project
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 03:40:07 PM »
Somebody pleeease help me I really don't want to take out a loan to junk an expensive truck for the chassis or put it on a pickup truck chassis.
If I haven't found it, I will. Believe me, no truck is safe from my eyes, Large or scaled.

1937 caddy

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Re: Peterbilt 350 possible build project
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2017, 03:58:44 AM »
You might try a salvage auction,some of the rigs there go reasonable,find one with the drivetrain you want,with the cab demolished?,there are lots of them around. Harvey
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FireStar

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Re: Peterbilt 350 possible build project
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2017, 05:42:13 AM »
Thanks. I'll start looking around for them to see what some go for.
If I haven't found it, I will. Believe me, no truck is safe from my eyes, Large or scaled.

Wee Willy

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Re: Peterbilt 350 possible build project
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2017, 07:32:36 AM »
 I think you should consider finding a Pete that is complete, engine, diffs, suspension, wiring and etc, where everything works, then strip the cab off and fit the 350 cab and components on that chassis.
 
 But first, in order to not overspend and make mistakes, before you buy a chassis, you should measure your hood, cab, grill surround and etc, to estimate cab position on the frame, and check for clearances and problems that may arise.
 For instance, start at the grill surround to see if it will accommodate a larger and later model radiator, and what kind.
 It might be too small, because those old trucks weren't available with much more than 335 hp at best, in which case you'll have to have one custom made for adequate cooling, or modify the nose.
 
 Wheelbase should not be a concern, as long as it's not shorter than the "original" which I assume you already know.
 A longer WB is easily shortened, a short one is harder to lengthen.

 You also need to know how much torque your 5 spd trans will handle to determine how much engine you can get away with.

 You might get your 4 spd from Tremec, call them to find out.
http://www.tremec.com/anexos/3050-1_167.pdf

 I would do a lot more research before I start any project, and know exactly what I was doing and had all the parts before I started assembly.
 The last car I put together was Max Wedge inspired 63 Dodge, and if not for research the car might not have gone together as smoothly as it did, without a hitch, not a single glitch during assembly, no surprises afterward, and performed exactly as predicted.

 That's how you want your truck to go together, I'm assuming.
Good luck.
 
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 07:44:09 AM by Wee Willy »
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coloradogreen

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Re: Peterbilt 350 possible build project
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2017, 07:14:50 PM »
Junk yards might have usable frames. Big Cam Cummins can be bought for cheap and produce enough power for highway work. P.G. Adams will produce new frame rails for heavy trucks.

The 4-speed won't be cheap, period. Unless you find someone who wants one gone, a decent rebuilt is going to run for about $5,000. A high quality rebuilt or new (yes, you can still get them new) is going to be $8500-$11,000. I can think of several 4-speeds in varying levels of condition and cost.

The big stuff isn't the difficult part of building a truck, it's the dozens and dozens of little details involved in doing it. If you go with a newer chassis, but you're going to use a Big Cam, you'll have to source at latest, N14 motor mounts to correspond to the engine. Once you've mated the 5-speed to the engine, you'll need to dial-indicate the flywheel housing to ensure proper flywheel/ clutch contact. You'll have to either install a new, or make sure you have a crossmember properly placed for the auxiliary to mount to, and calculate the angle the auxiliary will sit at to ensure the input and output shafts, u-joints/ yokes set properly, you'll have to have a jackshaft measured and built to run between the main and aux. If the 5-speed needs a yoke, which it likely will, some of the older mains used a half-round yoke that aren't cheap today (my 6-speed main has one, about a $700 yoke). Unless you're long, the original driveshaft in the chassis you buy will have to be shortened and the carrier bearing removed, which means setting the angle from the aux to the front diff.

Cooling is a big question, Detroit radiator would likely have to build you a one-off radiator to fit within the confines of the iron nose and provide adequate cooling.

You'll also need to source the rod linkages to the aux, another pricey piece.

If you really want to go about it this way, you need to find a wrecked truck with good rails and driveline, the cab and hood can be destroyed so long as the rails and driveline are in good spec, and adapt the older cab to it. There will still be significant work involved, fabricating cab mounts, adapting wiring harnesses if it has an electronic engine, etc. etc.

Willy is also right about knowing the torque rating of the main. If it's a 350 Pete, likely it's a single countershaft main unless it was updated at a later date. A single countershaft will lead a long and useful life behind and Iron Lung or a 262. A 400 Cummins, it will, if you have a very good foot. A 6NZ, N14, Series 60, the first missed shift and you're going to tear the transmission apart. Even if you didn't, it wouldn't last long behind the increase in torque. Keep in mind, in the days of 350 Pete's, 1,000lb.ft. of torque was a big hammer. If it's a twin countershaft main, they're rated about 1200 but can take significantly more torque driven properly. If it's a later like mine, I'm rated to 1800lb.ft. of torque, but, my boxes have significant updates, even over the days of 1241 auxiliaries.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 07:22:33 PM by coloradogreen »
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Re: Peterbilt 350 possible build project
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2017, 07:14:50 PM »