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1970 Autocar A7564T

Posted By Brad K 5 Years Ago
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Brad K
Posted 5 Years Ago
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A few years ago I started looking for a classic truck to haul my 1903 Case steam tractor to local shows.  I saw an Autocar at the Berryville, VA steam show and loved the looks, so I started searching for a restorable truck.  After looking at a few trucks needing too much work, or missing too many parts, I finally found one that looked promising.  In August 2014 my father and I bought this truck; a 1970 Autocar A7564T tractor with 350 small cam Cummins, Fuller RTO-915 trans, Freightliner 4 spring suspension, unknown 4.11 rears, aluminum cab, aluminum frame, and fiberglass fenders.
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The previous owner gave me about 20 photos that came with the truck when he got it.  He didn't know much about the history, but the photos show 2 previous owners.
These photos appears to show the "original" owner and the truck in somewhat original condition.  It had the factory suspension and original air cleaner in these photos, but Mack mirrors, aftermarket headlights, rooftop A/C....  Name on the truck is "Morgan" and it appears to be PA license plates.
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The following photos show a "2nd owner" working on the 1st restoration of the truck.  I assume this was done in the 90's sometime.  The data plate in the truck says it originally had a 335 Cummins, but someone put in a 1972 small cam NTC-350.  I'm not sure when that happened, but the 2nd owner swapped the original "velvet ride" suspension and spoke wheels for a Freightliner 4-spring and aluminum Budd wheels.  Name on the truck here is "Pollock-Reading, Temple, PA" and a recycling symbol.  I suppose that means the truck on the trailer is being scrapped... 
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These photos show the modified truck for sale again.  I'm not sure what's with the Bugs Bunny (front of hood) and Yosemite Sam (mud flaps) theme of the truck.
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http://forums.aths.org/Uploads/Images/228c0354-092a-42c2-bc16-df97.jpg

1970 Autocar A7564T, Cummins SC NTC350, RTO-915
1986 Loadking 352 DFP folding gooseneck trailer
TonyClemens
Posted 5 Years Ago
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I always loved the looks of those trucks. About '72, I built an AMT Autocar kit of a truck just like it. Wish I still had that model.
Brad K
Posted 5 Years Ago
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The person I bought the truck from did some work on it.  It now has dual 5" straight pipes, aluminum Merritt rear fenders, chrome visor, new rear wheel seals, new brake pads and new rear spring brake chambers.  I don't know who put the bonnet on the air cleaner, but it was made from a house roof vent.  I've since replaced it with an actual Donaldson chrome air cleaner bonnet.  The passenger door is painted over, but I can still read "T. E. Newman JR, Shamokin, PA."
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This is my first experience with a semi-truck, and it's a challenging learning curve.  I'm not used to air brakes, unsychronized transmissions with high-low ranges, no front brakes, no power steering... it's a handful to drive, but I'm doing alright.  I plan to do what I can to make the truck a reliable runner, learn everything I can about it, and document what I've got and what I need to do to maintain it.  I'm hoping this blog will help me keep track of what I've learned, and answer the questions I have about the truck.

Starting with the engine.   The previous owner claimed his mechanic identified the engine as a 400 Magnum.  The engine data plate is missing, but the PT pump has a plate that shows CPL 695, which corresponds to the 400 Magnum reconditioned engines.  However, this engine appears to be missing a number of the parts associated with a true 400 Magnum.  It has an aluminum oil pan, old style aftercooler, Holset HT3B turbo, and high oil pressure (60psi warm), but it does have a pulse manifold and 25b Jake brakes.  I have no idea what pistons or injectors are in it, but it runs well and doesn't smoke.  It does however lope badly when cold and I have to set the hand throttle to 800 rpm to get it to smooth out.  When warm, it idles smoothly.  I found the serial number on the block and Cummins says it is a 1972 NTC-350.  I'm guessing someone did some shop upgrades to it, and maybe even rebuilt it, but I won't know for sure until the day I tear into it.  I do have the Luberfiner for it.
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1970 Autocar A7564T, Cummins SC NTC350, RTO-915
1986 Loadking 352 DFP folding gooseneck trailer
Brad K
Posted 5 Years Ago
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My plan is to do something of a resto/mod.  I want to maintain the classic look of the truck, but update it with some modern conveniences and accessories.
The engine starts and runs well, has great oil pressure (60psi warm), seems to have plenty of power and sounds great.  One issue I've found is that the fan runs constantly.  It has a Horton air clutch on the fan that is air engaged.  There is an electric solenoid that supplies air to the clutch and is activated by a temperature switch, but also has a manual override in the cab.  This solenoid is apparently stuck open, causing the fan to run whenever the truck has air pressure.  I'm planning to replace the solenoid, replumb the air supply, and rewire the controls to make it work appropriately again.  The air shutters run off a shutterstat, but also has an electric solenoid for manual override.  So far, the shutters have always stayed closed unless I override them, but with the fan running constantly the engine may not be getting warm enough for the shutterstat to open.  When I fix the fan, I'll observe if the shutters work automatically, and if not I'll fix them too.
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Many of the gauges don't work either and the wiring under the dash is a nightmare.  So, I've got almost a dozen Isspro gauges on order for replacement  and I hope to clean up the mess of wiring and make it easier to remove the dash for maintenance.  There's about 3 switches on the dash that I can't identify what they do.  At least one of them is a short and I can hear the breaker behind the dash clicking when I switch it on.  I assume one of the unidentified switches was to control the windshield washer.  I'm planning to relocate some of the switches and control to more logical positions.  Light and windshield wiper/washer controls on the left, heater/ventilation controls, Jake brake, deep reduction, interaxle diff, fan and shutter controls on the right.  There's a panel above the sun visor that will have an ammeter, voltmeter, and Filterminder gauge.  The left dash panel will have the fuel gauge in the panel and the Fuel-tach mounted above.  The center panel will have oil pressure, oil temperature, water temperature, trans temperature, tachometer, speedometer, brake application pressure, pri/sec dual air pressure, front axle temp, and rear axle temp.  The right dash panel will have the Isspro "Turbocator" boost/pyrometer gauge in the pod on top.  I'd like to have a radio and CB in the truck, so I'll have to find new locations to install those.
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1970 Autocar A7564T, Cummins SC NTC350, RTO-915
1986 Loadking 352 DFP folding gooseneck trailer
Tony Bullard
Posted 5 Years Ago
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Boy that is a rat's nest of wires in the dash. You'd have to be a contortionist to work on it. I like the original Autocar heater. Are you thinking about putting power steering in. It's gona be a bear in tight places with your trailer and steam tractor loaded.


Tony
Brad K
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I'm hoping the Isspro gauges help cleanup the wiring.  The power, ground, and backlight wires can be daisy chained from gauge to gauge.  There's also a lot of extra wiring that's been added over the years.
I've seen a couple junk yard trucks that have hydraulic power steering on them that I've thought about scavenging, but it's not a high priority right now.  Air assist may be an easier way to go and help out in the tight spots.  Looking at the old photos of my truck, it almost looks like there was some kind of power steering at one time.  Can anyone identify this item on the drag link?  Is it a valve for air assist? 
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Or maybe it used to have air assist and someone removed it and welded in a solid piece in place of the valve...?
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1970 Autocar A7564T, Cummins SC NTC350, RTO-915
1986 Loadking 352 DFP folding gooseneck trailer
wayne graham
Posted 5 Years Ago
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I would guess that it had air assist and was removed. If I were to want power steering for that truck I would find the stuff to install hydraulic power steering. That is just my opinion. Looks like you got a nice project and you have done the right thing by getting a plan together before you start. You are correct that the guage wiring can be daisy chained. The wiring for that truck should be fairly simple just time consuming. As far as the cummins goes if it is working well I would probably leave it alone. Tearing into the engine is to say the least a money pit. Problem is one thing leads to another and before you know it you have a block and crank on their way to the machine shop. Speaking from experience here. Good luck as it appears to be a nice project.

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Aaron
Posted 5 Years Ago
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Wayne is correct that was an air steering brain.
 If you run across the junkyard power assist steering set ups grab them, for a hobby truck they will do fine,I've got one on a working truck and its just fine. There are  a couple different types I believe garrison was the most popular, it has a brain in the drag link and a ram on the tie rod,I've put several of those on over the years, the other is Vickers and it mounts to the sector arm and is attached to the truck fram, I ran one truck with it and didn't care for it.


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wayne graham
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Aaron, you are correct, that is all he needs for a hobby truck but I haven't seen one in a bone yard for a long time.

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Tony Bullard
Posted 5 Years Ago
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One down side to air assist is they use a lot of air and run out quickly with a lot of maneuvering.
Here's an early Vickers set up. It works great but there's a little too much free play in the wheel.
http://forums.justoldtrucks.com/uploads/images/21df45c6-8636-4432-9fb8-9fee.jpg  
Here's a Garrison. Both are hydraulic.
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Tony
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Vickers Power Steering.JPG (11 views, 840.00 KB)
Garrison control valve.JPG (10 views, 865.00 KB)


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