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Traven

Rear engine '77 Loadstar

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I just got a NEW (to me) '77 IH Loadstar!!! My plan is to leave the cab and front clip original, but I am going to "Z" the frame leaving the suspension and wheels original. While I am adjusting the frame I thought about moving the engine to behind the cab in the frame rails. My main issue is the shift linkage, it has a 4 speed (i believe, haven't torn into the truck yet) that I would like to keep. The clutch is most likely going hydraulic. I'm just not sure how to go about setting up the shift linkage???????? Any help would be great!! Also it has the 345 or the 394 I'm not sure on that yet either.

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Leave he engine where it is and put a 100 gallon gas tank in the space behind the cab. You're gonna need it pulling a trailer with a 392.

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6 hours ago, R Pope said:

Leave he engine where it is and put a 100 gallon gas tank in the space behind the cab. You're gonna need it pulling a trailer with a 392.

I can't really imagine a 392 getting much better mpg that the 478 powered Loadstar I drove.  It averaged right around 3 mpg pulling an empty 45 ft dry box van semi-trailer, either empty or loaded up to 15,000-20,000#, around 40,000# gross.  392 I would expect to get between 3-1/2 to 4 mpg.

To handle shifting, I'd use an automatic transmission and eliminate the clutch and shifting mechanism.

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Having run many loadstars in the course of a lifetime, I can say with some authority that 4 MPG is a very optimistic estimate,  most 3 ton gas pots will barely do that empty. 392's are good at a lot of things, but economy ain't one of them!

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I really don't plan on pulling much besides a trailer with a show car on it. I also prefer not to worry about or even try to think about MPG LOL. I just want a cool fun looking big truck rat looking thing! Thus is the truck I'm starting with. Another question the air brakes on these trucks are they worth keeping long as everything's in working order or should I just get rid of them and go to something newer??

20180201_123125.jpg

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6 hours ago, R Pope said:

Having run many loadstars in the course of a lifetime, I can say with some authority that 4 MPG is a very optimistic estimate,  most 3 ton gas pots will barely do that empty. 392's are good at a lot of things, but economy ain't one of them!

In 59 I worked at a gas station, where the owner also ran a  59 F950 Ford "tractor" , believe the engine was a 8-331.  When I fueled the truck up I forgot to fill one of the tanks. The load was a 5-brick high load on a 35' flat bed.  An hour or so later we got a phone  call the tractor was out of fuel less than 40 miles from our station.  It had 2 ea  40 gallon saddle tanks and got less than 1 MPG with less than 10K on the trailer. That was the worst fuel mileage I have ever personally observed. After that they got a 57 Mack Diesel, it always got 3-5 MPG with a load.

BUT we did make a heavy haul once with a borrowed Pete with a 60 Detroit turned up to 500+ HP,  it got 2 MPG with a, tank extractor over 100,000# on a self loading heavy haul, for a load.

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10 hours ago, R Pope said:

Having run many loadstars in the course of a lifetime, I can say with some authority that 4 MPG is a very optimistic estimate,  most 3 ton gas pots will barely do that empty. 392's are good at a lot of things, but economy ain't one of them!

Only medium duty I drove was the C-65 Chevy's with 366's.  Not sure what they got for MPG, gas barrel didn't have a meter on it.  Days when I hauled chips from the quarry I had to run pretty hard to get 8 loads in 8 hours and never needed gas after first fill-up in morning.

The 3 to 3-1/2 mpg in the 478 V-8 LoadStar was proved day after day for over a year.  Two 50 gallon side tanks got me just under 300 miles between gas stops.  Delivering freight it did a little better.

What hurt was the 81 or so F-700 Ford with the Fuel Pincher 8.2L Detroit I drove before the LoadStar got more like 7 mpg when it was running right.

 

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The LOADSTAR with a 478 was  unusual in my neck of the woods I can only remember one fleet that had some tandem dump  trucks but the mechanics said a lot of front suspension trouble.  there were quite a few more FLEETSTARS equipped that way running around here

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Traven, are you sure that it has air brakes? In the pic there are no air pots or tanks visible. Most have a Hydrovac system under the cab on the drivers side.

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22 hours ago, R Pope said:

Traven, are you sure that it has air brakes? In the pic there are no air pots or tanks visible. Most have a Hydrovac system under the cab on the drivers side.

So I got the truck home today and started tearing into it. It does have the hydrovac. Any suggestions on the best break system to change to that doesn't cost a ton??

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Diesel pickups have a hydraulic booster that runs off the power steering pump but it might not pump enough volume. Nothing wrong with a good hydrovac system, though.

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So what kind of gas mileage can I get with a 345 engine with a 16000 total weight and if I pull a Travel trailer that Weighs 10,000, that would make me around 26,000 total?

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8 hours ago, R Pope said:

Diesel pickups have a hydraulic booster that runs off the power steering pump but it might not pump enough volume. Nothing wrong with a good hydrovac system, though.

All of the 8600#  GVW GM pickups  in 1993 had the power steering pump brake booster.

Our 93 8600 GVW 454 powered Suburban has one, that currently leaks! Very expensive replacement for a vacuum booster on a gas engine.

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4 hours ago, MarksRV said:

So what kind of gas mileage can I get with a 345 engine with a 16000 total weight and if I pull a Travel trailer that Weighs 10,000, that would make me around 26,000 total?

Between 5-7 MPG on a good day if you keep your foot out of the Carb.

Our NEW 1970 1200D 4X4 V345 and T98A1 4 speed 3.71 rear 6100 GVW, got 12 MPG on the freeway at 65 MPH, empty

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On 2/7/2018 at 7:34 PM, R190 said:

The LOADSTAR with a 478 was  unusual in my neck of the woods I can only remember one fleet that had some tandem dump  trucks but the mechanics said a lot of front suspension trouble.  there were quite a few more FLEETSTARS equipped that way running around here

Been too many years and too many miles,  probably was a FleetStar.  I was always amazed that tiny quarter-inch diameter fuel line and that tiny 2 bbl Holley carb could feed the beast 20 gallons of gas an hour!

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On 2/9/2018 at 4:37 AM, Traven said:

So I got the truck home today and started tearing into it. It does have the hydrovac. Any suggestions on the best break system to change to that doesn't cost a ton??

I don't understand why you'd want to change from the original system, but that's just me. Short answer: No, there is not going to be a cheap and easy retrofit. What is it you don't like about hydrovacs? If that truck had a bed, it would stop with 12 tons of #57;  the way it is currently set up you could probably put it into a broadslide.

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When I sold my Loadstar last fall the guy took a test drive, put us both against the windshield on first stop.

Dennis

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If you're intending to haul a travel trailer long distances I personally would repower the truck.  I've got a Cargostar with the 392 and Fuller 5 speed, with a 10,000 lb compressor system on the back. It barely has enough power to get out of it's own way, and seriously gets about 2-3 mpg.  I took the load off and empty I'm getting around 4mpg.  It's fine for short trips around town, which is all I use it for and why I've left it alone.  But for highway duty like you're planning on doing I would swap in a modern engine for better driveability and economy.

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HydroVacs are good brakes when they're working right; I just wouldn't want to trust them too much.

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A conversion to  a GM Hydroboost system is popular among Scout owners and reportedly greatly increases stopping power.  Details of the conversion can be found on binderplanet.com.

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What do you feel is a good engine for the Loadstar 1600, I believe that I have a 345 but the line sheet says it’s a 304 with a 15? Tranny, There are no numbers on the block so I think that it has been upgraded and it has a T98 tranny...

The line card also says that it is a prototype... any ideas or thoughts...

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I would consider looking for a used school bus with a diesel, auto trans, and some of them have 4 wheel disc brakes, with a engine powered booster with electric back-up.

Just a thought.

Mike

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