Curbside Classic: 1964 Ford F600 Dump Truck – Still Hard At Work

(first posted 3/4/12)    Since we’re wallowing in old Ford dump trucks, how about a little pictorial on one that showed up at my house demolition party this summer? A couple of days late actually, to haul off the big chunks of logs from the two trees that had to come down. We could have used to to good effect yanking on the steel cable to take down the stubborn structure. Yes, living is Eugene is a bit like living in Havana, so when a half-century old truck shows up for work, it’s just another day in CC paradise.

This fine veteran was bought by its youngish jack-of-all trades owner fairly recently, and for a song (I’ve forgotten now; it was last summer!). Maybe $700; or $1100. And it’s been earning its keep, as I see it plying the streets from time to time. So let’s take a quick tour, and check out this jealousy-inspiring rig.

The owner told me this F600 was a 1962, but that didn’t square with the grille,

or the manufacturer’s plate. 1964 F-Series trucks began the model year with serial numbers of 445000; this is a ’64 indeed.

That non-stock hood ornament’s origins escapes me just now, but I know one of you will enlighten us.

Under it lies a 292 cubic inch (4.9 L) Y-Block V8, rated at 153 (net) hp at 3600 rpm. No, the Y-block was not known for its willingness to breathe and rev, but it’s a solid old lump, and acquits itself aurally very nicely indeed through its two shorty pipes and glass-pack mufflers.

“Ace” has a Custom Cab, no less, trimmed with lots of chrome on the grille and in other important places. Someone paid good money for those flourishes in 1964. Pride of ownership.

Let’s slide in and get (re)acquainted. The Custom Cab option means some additional chrome on the dash, but other than that, things are pretty spartan.

There’s the fun stuff: big long shifter for the four or five speed transmission, and the little red knob that affords so much pleasure when twiddled with properly. Splitting up-shifts cleanly, without just a quick let-up on the throttle, is an effortless joy. Split downshifts, unless done right, will give a tell-tale grind from the two-speed rear axle. That chrome lever is for the trailer brakes. No time for texting while driving this rig.

Of course, there’s a few more levers on the floor for the PTO to drive the hydraulic dump bed, as well as to actually control the lift.

I couldn’t help but notice this little air filter on the cab floor. Hmm?

I’m 99% certain he told me it was for the hydrovac brake system, a more powerful vacuum-assist commonly used on mid-sized trucks without air-brakes.

While we’re under there on this nice warm summer day, lets peel off a shot of the hydraulic pump for the dump bed, which is driven off the transmission. Need to put in neutral, and release the clutch, after pulling on the right pto lever in the cab.

Here’s the other end, with the wires to the solenoid-activated two-speed rear axle.

That concludes our tour. The F600 is ready to roll, hauling the big log sections to the Urban Lumber Company, where they will be turned into something useful. The Ford’s barely-muffled exhaust can be heard for several blocks before the background noise swallows it up.  Summer’s calm returns, and it’s time to clean up the brush.