I Break My ’66 Ford Dump Truck and My ’63 International Every Time I Drive Them

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I am not a wise man, nor have I ever claimed to be. Reading through my past editions of Old Work Truck Chronicles will prove that to anyone. Buying my 1966 Ford F600 was the first step down a hard, painful road. And then, after daily driving it for a while, I was convinced I needed another. So, I traveled more than 500 miles roundtrip to buy a ’63 International Loadstar 1800. The results have been… mixed, to put it gently, but that’s only partially the trucks’ fault. The rest is all mine.
We’ll start with the Ford. Last time I wrote about it, I was relying on the 55-year-old inline-six to get me from Point A to Point B every day. The engine itself is and pretty much always has been solid, but I spent months-yes, plural-tracking down a fuel issue. I took off the carb, replaced the steel lines to avoid vapor locking, relocated the fuel pump from the engine bay to under the cab and… nada. I’d make it to 50 mph, feeling optimistic and even making it to my destination every once in a while. Then it’d cut out completely, leaving me stranded with an 8,500-pound truck to drag home one way or another.
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My pal Brian snapping a photo before taking off. It had taken me 40 minutes to drive three miles, but it died for good a few hundred yards from my house.
“What if it’s the spark?” I asked myself. I then swapped the old distributor for a single-wire unit that got rid of the points and condenser, but as you’d guess, a breakthrough eluded me.
Finally, after unbolting the in-cab fuel tank and tracing from there to the carburetor, we found a 12-inch section of fuel hose hidden behind my brake booster that had totally collapsed. It was most likely original and almost certainly the cause of my headaches that involved several full days and a few hundred bucks trying to fix it.
I drove it a couple times after this, pulling hills and pushing the pedal to the floor, basically begging the fuel problem to return if it dared. Well, it inevitably happened again after taking it on a parts run to get spark plugs for the International. I was only a mile and a half from home and it wasn’t long before a Lowe’s delivery truck driver offered to tow me back. A real stand up guy, he was.
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That made me feel even worse when his truck broke trying to push mine out of the way. He pulled me to the middle of the dirt road in front of my house, and he chose to push the Ford out of the way to save time, which was fine by me. The problem is, his Freightliner’s bum…
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