After picking up my Travelall and Travelette, the addiction did subside……for a while.
About three years later while searching Craigslist for Internationals I came across a truck that many boys of all ages dream of having one of their own: a dump truck! But it wasn’t just any dump truck, but the relatively rare 1510 series. This model sort of bridged the gap between the “1 ton” trucks and the Loadstar, a value priced deuce and a half. It shares the cab, I-beam front axle and springs from the 1 ton, and the basic rear axle and brakes with the Loadstar, held together by a much stouter frame and rear springs than the 1 ton.
I didn’t bite at first instead; I waited it out until the price started dropping. When it got to $500 I called the guy to set up a time to look at it; during the call he dropped the price to $300 almost immediately. When I arrived I got a little history on the truck, which had been used in their roofing business. They had purchased it at a city of Tacoma fleet auction with what he called a gravel bed. They had extended it, and the high sides were fabricated for hauling roofing debris. Once I looked at the Line Set Ticket I found it was originally purchased by WA DOT.
In the mean time I have come across three of its brothers from the same purchase, though with their beds in the original configuration. While one of the earlier ads was running someone had came and looked at it and tried to get it running. They replaced the points and even “rebuilt” the carb. I corrected the point adjustment, and firing order and it started up but it was flooding badly. However it did run so I figured what the heck, and made arrangements to come back and pick it up when I had someone to drive me there and follow me home.
Rather than mess with the carb that was on there. I pulled the one off of my Cab Top and swapped it on. Now it would idle, so I set the timing. The one problem was that the oil definitely had a lot of gasoline in it, so I changed it before we got under way. The cheapo under-dash gauge wasn’t showing any oil pressure, but considering how long I’ve driven these engines without oil pressure before, I figured it would make it the 20 or so miles home even if it truly didn’t have pressure.
The brakes were a little sketchy with a softer pedal than I’d really like and a definite heavy pull. So we set out to take the long way home. At one point while winding our way through one of the towns along the way, there was a cop sitting and taking radar in a store parking lot. Now I didn’t get a trip permit and with the looks of the truck I was sure I was going to get pulled over. Luckily he didn’t come after me.
After making it out of the last town it died. Thankfully we were only a couple of flat miles from the shop so we pulled out the tow rope I’d brought along and hooked it up to my buddy’s Ranger. We putted along at 25 mph or so and made it to the shop without sweating too many bullets from not having power assist on already iffy brakes.
The following Monday I went into the shop to mess with it some. I quickly found out why it had died: the fuel filter was packed solid with rust. After swapping that out it was running good again. However the lifters were starting to rattle and I could hear a slight knock occasionally. Pulling a valve cover I was greeted with a large amount of oil and gunk flowing out. The gasoline had been in there long enough that it had broken all the years’ of sludge and scale free and plugged the return ports in the heads. Dropping the pan revealed an oil pump pickup screen that was blocked from all the gunk that had been broken free. Cleaning everything out, I stuck it back together and fired it up. It did now show pressure, but that knock was still there.
I had a parts truck with a 345 that I knew was a good runner, so I figured the best thing to do was to swap that one in. However, I also had a 345 that I obtained as part of a package deal. A couple of years prior I had came across a guy that had parted out a truck and had a couple of things left: a tilt column, topped with the Rallye wheel, and a 345 engine that had a 4bbl intake manifold on it. I got the entire lot for about the going price for just the column, wheel, or manifold individually.
A few months before, we had purchased one of Snap-On’s new cameras with the head small enough to fit in a spark plug hole. So before taking the engine out of the parts truck figured I’d take a looksie in there. Sticking the camera down all the holes on one bank I found clear cross hatching on the cylinder walls and .030 stamped on top of the pistons. Scraping some of the crud off revealed that all the core plugs were aftermarket. So I had an engine that had been rebuilt.
I dragged it home and went about converting it from Scout to truck-spec dress. I had most of the parts in my stash, including a rebuilt non-Scout oil pump. While it was out I figured it would be a good idea to clean and paint it up as well as put on new water and fuel pump since I had them in stock too. I pulled off the 4bbl manifold since I didn’t have a known good 4bbl carb and put on a 2bbl unit I had. I then tore into the carb that had come with the truck. It did have new gaskets and such but the root of the problem was quickly figured out.
The person who had attempted to rebuild it had stripped the threads in the metering body that the power valve screws into. Because the power valve was just sitting in there it caused a direct path from the fuel bowl to the manifold. I went to the parts shelf and grabbed the carb that was on my Travelette when I brought it home and robbed the metering block and parts for adjusting the genuine Holley needle and seat. Once it was all together I popped it on the Scout I had borrowed the carb from and it worked perfectly.
I then took it all down to the shop and one afternoon when things were a little slow, I swapped it out. It fired right up and within a few seconds it was running better than any other of my IHs. Next up were the brakes. Since the GVW is just under 15,000lbs, I wanted to make sure everything was perfect, particularly the hydraulics. Of course nobody lists the 1510 series trucks in their catalogs, but I had purchased a reprint of the IH parts catalogs and found the OE numbers there. Going to Napaonline and plugging in those numbers and the wheel cylinders showed it as being in the local warehouse.
I found the part number on the master cylinder and located a brake specialty house in Portland that had three on the shelf. Even with wholesale and brother discounts I still spent around twice what I had paid for the truck, but when all was said and done, the brakes are all as good as they could be. Since it has a driveline parking brake and I had a Mico Leverlock, I added it that while I was at it.
With all that squared away it was time to take it to the dump and get rid all the stuff that had accumulated in its bed during the seven years it had sat. I pulled up to the area for dump trucks pulled the levers and the bed went up a 1/2 inch or so and stopped. So I had to pull over to the regular area and unload by hand; I was not happy. When I got back to the shop I started checking out the hydraulics. I found that the “tank” for this system is the outer portion of the cylinder and its fill is right up against the bed when it is in the down position. I drilled a couple of holes on either side of the cylinder where the fill was and pulled out the plasma cutter. I then filled it up with hydraulic fluid and it worked like it should. A quick trip to the local metal store and a couple of hinges and I could check and fill the system with the bed down.
Since then it has hauled several tons of garbage and gravel. It really beats me up when I’m driving it, but much less so than unloading tons of material manually. I do wish it had the two speed rear end so it’ top speed wasn’t 55mph. Power steering would be nice, but since it only sees use about a half dozen times per year, I can live with it as it is. Eventually I’ll likely swap the cab with one from that parts truck but until then I’ll just be careful to not drop anything through the floor when driving.
So this is the final chapter for now; I’ve covered all the Internationals I’ve owned, at least those that weren’t bought as parts trucks. But I still have the addiction, and there are a couple of rigs that are on my wish list. First and foremost is the Wagonmaster as pictured above. It was IH’s answer to the 5th wheel craze, and in the 1010 version it was a vehicle that would pull a 5th wheel and still fit in the standard garage. Never mind the fact that to mount a hitch in it’s bed means putting the hitch point well behind the rear axle center line, negating the benefit of the 5th wheel design. I have come across quite a few but of course when I found them I didn’t have the cash to buy another toy and when I’ve had the cash I couldn’t find one, at least one worth what they wanted for it.
The other truck on my list is a Scout Sportop, IH’s response to the burgeoning pony and personal car segments. Yes it’s a serious stretch to consider it competition for a Mustang or even worse a Thunderbird, but I think it is a cool looking little SUC (Sport Utility Coupe). You’ve got to admit that it puts the Mustang and T-Bird to shame in the length of the hood to decklid ratio.
While I do have some other brands and models that will eventually get their own COAL , the FIRST FRC robotics season is approaching, so they will have to wait. I do want to thank all the readers for their nice comments during this series and Paul for letting me share these stories so far.