'55 R-140 Has Arrived, Sortakinda

Discussion in 'Triple Diamond Trucks' started by Boomer_NC, Oct 22, 2014.


  1. Boomer_NC

    Boomer_NC Farmall Cub

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    Not sure if I should brag or hide, but the deal finally came to completion today for the '55 R-140 I've been looking into for a few weeks. When I first started talking to the seller it was a running/driving truck which was a big plus. About a week before I was scheduled to see it, he was driving it to the dump when the engine went south. I still looked at it when I was up north and made him a much lower offer than he had in mind, even 'broken'. He declined, so we parted company.

    Got back to NC to find a voice mail waiting saying that he had decide to accept my offer. Of course, getting everything done from hundreds of miles away tends to take a bit longer.

    Anyhow, they delivered it to the garage this morning where it will get looked over in the coming days. Not holding out a lot of hope for the engine. Unless it's something simple I'll look for a bolt-in replacement option. All the more complicated since it's in New England not NC. Hey, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

    If it has a familiar look it's because the seller had it listed on Craigslist for a while then advertised it on some online site where it got picked up by a gazillion other sites. Despite the ads, I think the combination of a very high price and marginal cosmetic condition kept folks away. Other than a few email inquiries I think I was the only one interested enough to look at it and make an offer. These are photos he sent to me.

    The bed is really crispy. Thought of replacing the floor with diamond plate but the sides are bowed out and beat up so it might be easier to find a replacement 9 foot bed. Will definitely be looking for a front bumper from a R-150 or 160, same bumper and more around.

    Don't laugh too hard, I was really excited and chose to ignore the obvious.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  2. Boomer_NC

    Boomer_NC Farmall Cub

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    Here are some shots I took when I was there. Only took a few underneath as it was clear the price gap was too big.

    Frame still has original paint in places, and none of the rust is bad beyond typical freckling from sitting. Does need a good cleaning and painting, though.

    More amazing to me was having both leather boots still attached to the front axle (more or less). Aside from the usual weepy seal look and a patch on the tank, it's actually solid underneath as is the cab. Doors shut like a new vehicle, and I got the original set of doors which a previous owner removed due to bad channels.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. DT466

    DT466 Farmall Cub

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    Nice project!

    As I'm sure you know, there aren't many 140's around.

    Dean
     
  4. Boomer_NC

    Boomer_NC Farmall Cub

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    That's for sure, Dean. I was able to locate around a dozen in the last couple months, 4-5 for sale including this one. The others ranged from chopped frames to basket cases to a long ways away. But the overall lack of complete, running trucks helped with the decision to take it on.

    This one will never be a show truck but that's not what I'm after. Just a clean, reliable 'toy' of sorts to drive locally. Found a decent R-150 with front bumper and all the front sheet metal I need for $500 but it's nearly 1000 miles away. Really need to refine my 'locating' skills.

    It'll be a while before I get to it, but I'll post some shots here as it progresses.
     
  5. jeff campbell

    jeff campbell Lives in an IH Dealership

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    good deal, gotta go where the parts are if you want or need them. thats par for the course ! jeff:D:yes:
     
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  6. nhp1127

    nhp1127 Farmall Cub

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    Congrats! It is a good platform to restore. I agree with you that you should look for a replacement bed. A bolt on replacement would make life much more simple. Cool truck.
     
  7. Boomer_NC

    Boomer_NC Farmall Cub

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    Not as nice as the one you got Neils, but it has 'good bones' as they say. I looked it over well underneath and the fact that it was on the road running, registered, and inspected a month ago was a plus. Unless it's something simple with the original engine, I'll just do a swap out with something a little newer and go forward. Hoping Rob or some of the other R-S series folks can point me toward a good alternative.

    Yes, the back bed is worse than I had hoped. If I can can find a decent 9 footer I think this one could still be rebuilt, once the sides were flattened back out and the front of the bed repaired (someone welded in another panel for support by the looks). Only the floor is rusted out.

    It really could use a driver's side fender and step along with original bumper, too. They should be easier to find than the bed. BTW, I've got a number for you of a guy in MN who might have your brake drum. Will send you a PM as soon as I find which piece of paper I scribbled it on.
     
  8. Geoff

    Geoff Farmall Cub

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    Hi Boomer. Glad you saved another one.

    Others will jump in here, if I'm off on any of this, but I believe any SD/BD/BG 6 cyl from late 1949 L series up through the late 60's (maybe into the 70's?) should be pretty much a direct bolt in.

    Yours has the adapters bolted between the rear drums and wheel's right? With the bed, it would have come originally with single rear wheels and the adapters (6 bolt drum to adapter to 5 lug wheel). The drw trucks didn't have the adapter and had 5 lug drums. There have been a few with 6 lug wheels (like the WWII trucks), but most were 5 lugs.

    I, too, have been surprised that most of the trucks I've seen still have the leather boots intact. Considering the age and how these trucks were likely used, I'm impressed that they lasted this long. Not the same for the leather seals in the transfer case. Lack of use usually let's them dry out. Most of the tcase seals can be crossed to a modern seal. I've only run across one of the shift rail seals that I have yet to find a modern replacement for. I have an NOS seal for that one and need to find the time to visit the local bearings and drives shop to see what they can do.

    I look forward to sharing the adventure with you and helping however I can.

    Take care,
    Geof
     
  9. Boomer_NC

    Boomer_NC Farmall Cub

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    Thanks Geof -

    Yep, Rob provided the same info on the engine swap. I tried to stay 'in stream' with my request and put it in the engine thread at the top of the forum. A lot of good info there, still haven't read it all.

    You are spot on about the single rear wheels. That was another of the big pluses for me as I wanted single wheels. Well, that and the Campbell Soup can that doubles as a gas cap. I bet there's not a Prius driver out there with one of those!

    The cobbled up dual wheels are history. I asked the seller to please remove them for loading/storage reasons since they stuck out so far. Had hoped he'd put the originals (outside wheels) back on but he just yanked those and left the balder tires in place. He used those Budd extenders for mounting but kept the original lug nuts in a coffee can and included them, so the guy looking over the engine is going to swap them back for me. I didn't even think they made those lug extenders anymore. And despite being a stout truck, I have to believe having those extra wheels on there created a lot of unnecessary loading on those single wheel adapters & everything else.

    I will definitely be pestering you for info on seals, gaskets, etc going forward, no doubt. It'll be fine as it is for now but eventually I want to clean it up and paint the chassis & running gear, and stop as much of the seepage as possible. There's a Farmall tractor here that leaks somewhere all the time it seems, no matter what you do to it, but less is better in my book.

    So far I've been able to score original MT-95, -96, and -97 manuals for reference, along with some Timken transfer case & sales info. I figure the least I can do is read as much as I can until the beast is here to get after.

    Oh, btw - someone is offering new replacement axle boots for certain military vehicles on ebay. Not sure if they'll fit the 140-160 family or not, and they're not cheap ($375 I think), but chances are you'd never need another set so price isn't so bad. And where else can you find them?

    Glad to have you and Rob on here to bounce questions off. I'm sure Niels is, too. I consider you two to be some of the foremost experts on these trucks since you've been there/done that and took the time to post your findings online to help others. Not sure who else is out there in Old 4x4 Land, actually.
     
  10. nhp1127

    nhp1127 Farmall Cub

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    Question: I located another 55 R-140 and the owner says it has a 5 speed tranny in it. Were 5 speeds optional or was this added later?
     
  11. Geoff

    Geoff Farmall Cub

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    Hi Niels. I've never seen anything to support a factory installed 5 speed in the r140's. Never say never with IH, cause they would do most anything a customer wanted. But this is most likely a po change (po=previous owner). If the line set ticket is there (on the top of the glove box) that would be the only way to prove for sure.

    Are you buying it?

    Take care,
    Geof
     
  12. nhp1127

    nhp1127 Farmall Cub

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    Hi Geof,

    I tried earlier PM'ing you but your box was full..... if you haven't already, you may want to clear it out some:yes:

    I may buy it depending on price. It actually has a professionally built tow truck bed on it which I would want to replace with a pick up bed. It also has a working front PTO winch and bumper which is attractive to me. I'm trying to set up a date this week to look at it. I'll keep you guys posted. Niels
     
  13. Geoff

    Geoff Farmall Cub

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    Weird that it told you my PM box was full. I only have 34 messages and 200 are allowed. Thanks for letting me know.

    Good luck on the truck. Let me know if you have any questions.

    Please post pics of this new find when you can.

    Thanks,
    Geof
     
  14. nhp1127

    nhp1127 Farmall Cub

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    Here is a link to the ad... http://ventura.craigslist.org/cto/4763593333.html

    The guy is a complete moron. I politely asked him for a pic of the interior and if it indeed is a 5 speed. He acted like I had just fondled his wife. I can only assume he has something to hide, he is not computer literate enough the post a picture or he is just a d-bag.

    I guess he assumes people will drive 4-5 hours round trip and fork out $6,200 because of his people skills. lol

    Regardless, it is interesting to look at the ad.
     
  15. Geoff

    Geoff Farmall Cub

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    Thanks for posting the info Niels. It's a shame some people are difficult to deal with.

    Locking hubs, front winch and I love that front brush guard. Would be interesting to see how the wrecker boom is powered - probably off the t-case. I would love to have one of those PTO's that attach to the T-case. One of these days I guess I need to identify a model or part number for that item and the PTO for the T-9 trans that powers the front winch.

    How are your brakes and other items coming along on your truck?

    Thanks again for posting.

    Take care,
    Geof
     
  16. nhp1127

    nhp1127 Farmall Cub

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    Hi Geof,

    The brakes are almost done. I found a donor drum that is too tall but the top can be cut off and welded to the bottom of my old drum. Hopefully my welder will be done with it later this week or next.

    I have new interior door panels, headliner, weather stripping, glass etc all ready for installation. After the brakes, in a couple weeks the truck should be at my buddy's body shop for a down to metal paint job in the original dark green.... I still haven't heard it run so there may be some issues that need to be addressed.

    I'll post pics as things move along.... thanks, Niels
     
  17. Boomer_NC

    Boomer_NC Farmall Cub

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    Been a while, finally have something to report on the R-140 project. Couldn't find the thread, wondered if it had been dumped due to age. Saw the other post about missing threads and changed the time setting. Worked well, guess there's just not a lot of old truck activity here.

    Anyhow - spoke with my friend up north last week about moving the truck to winter storage since he hadn't gotten to it, and he said he had just cleaned the snow off to move it into the garage. Best news was, the motor wasn't seized! He said he'd cranked it over several times and it popped but wouldn't run. Said to call him back yesterday as he was planning to get after it on Saturday.

    Didn't get to call until today. Bad news was waiting. Seems something naughty happened inside cylinder #3 that smashed the bottom of the spark plug. So it looks like the engine is toast anyhow, at least for now. Rather than sinking a bunch of money into it at this point I think I'll return to Plan B and look for a good running BD-240. Even had thoughts of stuffing a Cummins 6BT into it, but don't want to chop up anything on the truck. Now, if it was a bolt-in swap.....

    End result: the truck will get hauled to storage in another friend's backyard until spring when I'll get it hauled down here. Still have a pair of Ford F-1s to move down the road first.

    One the 'good news' front, I did buy a set of 4 new 8.25x20 traction tires with tubes and flaps, *and* three of the four 20" five lug locking ring wheels for it. They're three states away stored in yet another friend's back yard. Once he gets the model number off the wheels I'll look for a couple more to complete the set (4 plus a spare). The seller actually has the 4th wheel but wanted to keep it for a project. For the price, I didn't mind.

    Next spring is going to be a busy one, especially if I keep finding parts everyone else but here.
     
  18. sarookha

    sarookha Farmall Cub

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    I was wondering the same thing... 5 speeds weren't officially optioned on the R-140's, as far as I can tell from old IH dealer brochures (see Geof's new posting with links to tons of R-140 stuff) and from the parts catalog. But IH seems to have done lots of "unofficial" things at the factory. Only the LST knows for sure, and seems those are lost for these '53-'54-'55 trucks.
     
  19. sarookha

    sarookha Farmall Cub

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    Yes, I've been keeping an eye on that one too, he has responded helpfully to my emails, but then I didn't ask for more photos. He isn't interested in coming down on the price either. Seems high for a truck that probably has a later tranny and no pickup bed. But it is still tempting...
     
  20. sarookha

    sarookha Farmall Cub

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    Not laughing at all! I had been looking with desire, but not much hope, for awhile, I'm glad you got it, and for a more reasonable price. I had told the PO that a low mileage R-140 with winch and tailgate in much better condition had sold in August for only $6500, but too bad it had to blow an engine to get the price down. Of course, better before you bought it than the week after you paid for it!
     

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