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1980 W900 Kenworth with under 85k original miles

Posted By Scott Ales 4 Years Ago
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Scott Ales
General Posted 4 Years Ago
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In my constant quest for the best classic truck I can find (short of finding my old 1971 W900) I have acquired a really amazing piece of history.  They're only original once and finding a work horse like this which has been so carefully maintained but rarely used is a real thrill!

It's a 1980 W900 which was stored for the last 30+ years in a climate controlled (AC too) hangar.  The second owner lovingly cared for this truck as if it were a multi-million dollar Bugatti.  She wears her original cab paint, has less than 95k original two owner miles, looks and feels like it is only a couple years old if not new.  It really is a trip down memory lane for me.  And it is my desire to share the experience with as many people as I can.  Here are the spec details.  I will post some pictured later today if you all want to see them.

Sold new as a fifth wheel tandem axle,  she currently has an 8 ton crane and flatbed installed.  Strongly considering to take those off and either return it to a fifth wheel or install a high grade roll back since it has an extended frame modification.  Would be a great antique farm tractor hauler.

1980 W900  serial # 180905
* Build date 11-1979
* Walking beam susp.
* Detroit 8V-92 TA A90 435 hp with Jakes
* RTO 12515
* SSHD 44k rears
* 4.63 gears
* Converted to 11.24.5 wheels and tires 10 years ago when the crane was installed
  Only other modification is a 2005 model Kenworth air ride driver's seat.  The original seat was moved to the passenger side and the air tank under the platform seat was then moved under the frame rail.  PTO added as well.  Not sure what method they used to stretch the frame then but it  is double from the cab back.  The mechanic said the truck never had any other steps or fuel tanks from new.  I presume it may have been a very short original wheelbase.  Anyone know if I can or who to contact at Kenworth to research the original line set sheet to see how she was built?  

 I am a buyer for anything circa 1980 Kenworth also.  Brochures, books, support items like original tow hooks and pins or anything else they came new with.  In 1976 my family bought two new daycab W900 trucks which had some of those things.  

Enjoy!  When is the next Florida gathering?

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/55db05a0-eb79-4bee-9a13-4f27.jpg



wayne graham
Posted 4 Years Ago
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Scott, Go to your KW dealer's parts counter and look for the oldest guy. They can pull up and print the line setting if they want. Many don't want to be bothered and the younger ones are totally afraid of the word archives. On an A model that new the line sheet should be no problem other than getting the dealer to do it. One charged me to do it and another did it for free but I did spend a lot with them. Nice looking truck you got there.

I cried because I had no shoes till I met a man who had no class.
Scott Ales
Posted 4 Years Ago
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Rick at Orlando Kenworth is working on it.  Good guy so far!

Thanks for the insight.  I told him that you suggested to butter him up and I may get what I want!
roKWiz
Posted 4 Years Ago
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I like the paint scheme, nice KW.

Cabover Nut
In order that the labour of centuries past may not be in vain during the centuries to come...Denis Diderot 1752

wayne graham
Posted 4 Years Ago
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Wiz, That was called "SEMINOLE" design. It is far and away the sharpest design for one of them. It was and still is extremely popular. I have one myself.

I cried because I had no shoes till I met a man who had no class.
roKWiz
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Ah, Thanks Wayne, looks good.  I don't think I've seen any pics of your trucks.
Hey Scott I'm also looking for those tow hooks, I don't think they used them down here so they're pretty scarce, I've seen them on U.S ebay , freights to Oz is the killer.
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/af76016a-d270-48d5-b390-8e12.jpg

Cabover Nut
In order that the labour of centuries past may not be in vain during the centuries to come...Denis Diderot 1752

Scott Ales
Posted 4 Years Ago
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Thanks fellas.  I have studied the truck for the last few days and still feel it is all original body paint.  The frame obviously has been stretched and painted but not completely.  Still digging around to determine just how far forward they sprayed.  Here are a few unanswered questions I currently have.

* Shouldn't there be a rubber cover on the brake pedal?  Or were they bare?

* What the heck is up with this tranny?  I learned on a two stick Spicer 4x4.  Then installed an air-shift 4x4 later.  So I'm not really a fan of 10, 13, and 15 speed Fullers.  This truck has a RTO 12515 which I understand is a 15 speed.  So how does this work?  The original shift pattern sticker is on the plastic headliner behind your left ear as a driver.  It shows 10 speeds, not 15.  The gear shift has only one air shift valve which looks totally stock.  It even has this cool rubber wrap around the guts that fits like a glove.  No evidence of another valve anywhere.  I recall these to have a chrome dome cover with a slide valve that spun like a clock and then the up / down splitter that was Hi and Low.  Could it be the owner just remove the clock style valve when they put the crane on?  If so, I definitely want to return it to the stock configuration.   Needing a NOS knob and valve.

* The engine appears to be some shade of dark grey just off of black with gold lettering.  January 1980 is the truck build date.  I read where the Silver Series did not come out until late 1980, so I doubt it is one of those.  Build sheet says (Kenworth dealer sent that to me Friday afternoon for $50 then I found the actual book in the truck yesterday!)  8V92TA A90 435hp @2100 @3 degrees  736 ci  I presume it is a Double O 92 series.  But what's up with that color?  8VF051677 is the engine serial number on the valve cover, it matches the line set sheet in the truck and the info the KW dealer supplied Friday.  So it is original to the truck.  The mechanic told me they never had the engine apart or did anything but service and rebuild the starter / Alternator.  So is this the last of the 8V92 just before the Silver Series?  Non -DDec?  Pros / Cons?  I do know it is shedding a fair amount of oil through the breather lines under the truck!  Do I need to run it a while to see if that clears up or is it showing signs of needing an in-frame for sitting and idling too much in it's life?  As a crane truck I imagine it did idle quite a bit.  

 One thing I noticed that is really amazing.  The factory ordered and installed bug screen is still on the truck!  I remember these quite well and it does appear to be the original version that came with the truck 35 years ago.  There are all kinds of pearls like that as I dig through this gem.  It's really quite fun I must say.  And everything is so darn tight!  The doors, latches, switches, everything you touch, move, or operate feels lovely!

http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/865e479a-d3d5-43a7-a260-6377.jpg


jhancock
Posted 4 Years Ago
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Fantastic Find!


Jim

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Scott Ales
Posted 4 Years Ago
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One more thing, original wheelbase?

185"  

A stubby little thing!  Build sheet says 100 gallon and 75 gallon tanks.  Can't determine if the 75 should be on the passenger side or driver's side behind the battery box or the pass. side tank.  Thoughts?  So if I do remove the crane and flatbed to make it a (longer) fifth wheel truck again I'll need to find that setup.   


Tony Bullard
Posted 4 Years Ago
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Scott I believe the RTO-12515 is a ten speed for over the road and a deep reduction of five speeds for off road or lo-lo if you will.





I think there should be a Deep Reduction valve in the dash.



There were two different Range valves, one shown above and a RoadRanger which is more modern. If you need the part numbers let me know.






Tony


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