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Highway to Hell
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1,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well Here is my trucks story.

Its a 1977 RS786LST
Built in Hayward Ca and speced as a OTR truck. Sold out of a Witchita KS Mack Dealer. Shortly after I bought the truck in 05' I sent a letter to the the name and address that was well faded on the frame rail. A few weeks later the 2nd owner contacted me. It was good to hear from him and to get some of the trucks history. Truck was bought from the first owner who was running coast to coast. The 2nd owner bought the truck and used it to haul freight to and from FL / midwest. He had the engine rebuilt a year after he bought it. At the same time of the engine rebuild he pulled the straight 5 speed out and put in a 6 speed out of a wrecked F model. The front bumper was replaced wich came from the same doner F model. A new Fontane 5th wheel was installed around the same time. He ran the truck for a few years and then pulled the 36" sleeper off as he was then useing it only localy . a few years later his back was shot and he needed to upgrade to a truck with air ride. He sold the mack to a used car/truck dealership so he could buy a Freightliner. The used car dealer sold the truck to a wrecking company/auction out fit. I found the truck on Ebay and watched as no one put a bid in on it. It was listed for $3500 and I talked them down to $3250. Sent the downpayment and packed my bag of tools. Bought a one way southwest planeticket to Kansas City Ks for 49.00. Got off the plane on the cold Febuary morning and into a cab that cost me $75 to get to the yard. Looked over the truck and it was in said condition except they thought it had a 18 speed. Not sure how you mess up a 6 and 18 speed? anyways they had the truck ready, all the lights worked. after we exchanged funds and title I asked for a grease gun.I went under the truck to get to all the zerks on the drive train. lucky I did because the U joints and drive shaft were dry.

here is the pic from the ebay add,
 

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Highway to Hell
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1,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
After the deal was made and greased it up...I Got on the high way and next thing I know I lost the Passenger side batt box cover. luckly it slid to the right and I was able to get it back without damage. The other side was already off and in the cab likely because of the same troubles?

I stopped at a local DMV to get a temp plate and permit for the trip home. Showed my temp insurance and bill of sale and I was on my way in 5 min... That was easy? Got back on I-35 north and what do you know Scales open at the KS/IA line . got pulled in and red tagged for a low tread on the RF steer tire. had to call a repair guy to come out, he put a used tire on that just passed inspection.

Here is the pic I took while waiting for the tire guy
 

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Highway to Hell
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1,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
After I got out of "Jail" It must have been around 4pm. Still figureing out the truck and all. Noticed that the MPH gauge was only reading 55MPH at 2100RPM. seamed kinda slow for a truck that had 4.17 rears with a 1:1 trans. also noticed that the blower motor was not working and as the sun went down it was getting cold pretty quick. It was now around I had made it all the way to the IOWA 80 where I had to stop for some allagator clips so I could "hot wire" the motor to push some much needed heat into the truck. The trick worked and I had heat. Think I went past a sign that said it was 15 deg out that night. Wish I would have stopped 2 hrs before when it was still in the mid 30s and I could still feel my feet. I made the rest of the trip without issues. Got back to the yard around 1am. Tired of the days adventrue. came in the next night after work and some of the guys had some new mud flaps for me.

here you see the truck Running north I-35 just before Desmoins IA and the night after I got it home
 

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Highway to Hell
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1,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Truck was back safe and sound. came in that weekend to work on it and as soon as I saw the truck I noticed it was leaning. Seams that "new" front tire that I had to R and R at the KS scale was blown out. it was a recap. or looked like one. over the next few months I got the truck stripped and painted.
 

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Highway to Hell
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1,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I did a lot of little body work,set the truck up for duel exhaust, welded a panel in the roof where the AC unit once was. replaced some tires, added fenders, worked on the alum to get it to shine. etc.... after 3 months of work I had turned a turd into somewhat of a truck. this was summer of 2005 and spent many afternoons just fixing all the little things. Found out the speedo was off by 10MPH and infact I was running 65MPH at 2100RPM. Lucky I had no tickets in IL. Here is the truck a few weeks after paint
 

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Highway to Hell
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1,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The truck had a bla interior with just a headliner and half a rear wall. plane wood dash with limited gauges. I freshend it up a little in late 2005. In early 2006 I put a 2 line wet kit on the truck. all used parts that cost me less than $200. had alot of help from the former boss with that. First day pulling a trailer the truck did not feel right. It would not boost over 14psi and EGTs were around 1150. Got it home and and went searching. this is what I found
 

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Highway to Hell
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1,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Replaced the turbo and after a Member by the name of "FJH" helped me turn the pump up, now I was getting 27 Psi and the truck was rolling the coal.
 

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Highway to Hell
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1,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
So worked the truck for 06' 07' 08' and part of 09'(when things were good) made alot of side cash and was able to fix her up as years went on. This last year I redid the cab and put a new roof on it. new marker lights,horns, replaced all the glass,vent windows, rubber seals,new fenders,side box,deck plate, doors, went thru the interior with new carpet and sound deadning, CD radio, newer style dash with about 5 added gauges, fresh paint inside, new foot valve, and led back lighting for all the gauges. Its all a work in progress and never done.
 

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Senior Member
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2,555 Posts
All that work and you prolly still haven't spent what most guys do on their pickup
Looking better every project, the stacks and deck plate look sharp

Thanks for posting:bluesbros
 
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Highway to Hell
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1,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thank you sir!... Im sure I have spent close to 10K on it over the years. But I think its worth keeping it alive. The factory stacks were bolted to the cab via 3 bands. 2 that held the lower/center of the muffler to the rear wall and 1 band at the top around the muffler exit/stack clamp. It was a goofy desin that never kept the stacks straight. So what I did was make some brackets that bolted to the stock lower band location. then welded a bracket under the cab that supports a saddle clamp. The lower exhaust elbow clamps to both of these locations and holds it solid. I reused the upper most bracket and just made an extension to reach the Pipe. I used Pete/KW style clamps tohold the stacks and they allow for minor adjustments. The deck plate is from Iowa 80 Still need to fab up how I will run the air lines. Im thinking of putting quick release on them so the deck stays clean when bob tailing?

Here are a few more photos of some of the work I had to do to get it to where its at today.
 

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Highway to Hell
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Discussion Starter #11
and a few more
 

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Gear jammin fool
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869 Posts
Wow Trent, didn't realize you did some much to it over the years. Like you, I don't really want to know how much I've spent LOL!

Look'n good.
 

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Dump Truckin SOB
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90 Posts
Man you got a lot of work in the ol girl but def. worth it. Not to many of them left. I remember riding around with my grandpa in his when I was a kid. Watching him shift the twins was amazing to me. He still has it to this day but its no where near as nice as yours!
 

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Highway to Hell
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1,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
He still has it to this day but its no where near as nice as yours!

A little hard work and it can be :happymugs

oddly the worst of the rust was inside the cab. for a truck built 30+ years ago thats kinda wierd. No rust in the corners or under the cab. its not a leaky pig so oil spray dident save her either. The inside bottom of the drivers door was kinda bad so I replaced it. Want to sand blast and paint the frame this summer. Pull all the tanks fenders, deck plate stuff back off and hit it. Not sure if I will keep it with satin black rails or if I should go with a deep dark Red? I kinda like it all blacked out. I also hope to put some aluminum rims on the steer axel but the rears are staying black for now.:toytruck
 

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Highway to Hell
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1,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Im down in FL this week and stopped at a chrome shop. Bought some shift boot trim rings, dash screws, more gauge covers, and gauge emblems. I will have them all installed when I get back home and can dig my truck out of the snow. Here are some pics of the LED lit gauges I put in before I left town.
 

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Senior Member
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4,827 Posts
Lookin great Trent! :)
 

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Highway to Hell
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1,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks Guys.

I got back Friday night. Did a 700 mile run that started in Central FL at 5pm Thursday and ended at 4:30am just south of Nashville. then did the next 600 miles Friday and was home by 7:30pm.... Log book? no,no,no...log books
Here are a few pics of the new gauge trim rings, temp gauge emblems and dash screws I piked up and added today.
 

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Highway to Hell
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1,022 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
little update foud a guy selling a 36" ablebody. my Truck was built with a 36" bunk but it was gone before I bought it. may add it down the road for now its going to just sit around untill Im ready to restore it.
 

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