Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Ford F-100 Buyer Guide - Crown Auto & Fleet Services

Although they were never fast or exciting when new, never the stuff of kids' dreams, they were always there, in the background of life. Transporting, hauling, towing, delivering. Working. Long before trucks became leather-lined status symbols with designations like "Denali" or "King Ranch," real trucks endeared themselves as faithful, purposeful companions.

Now these humble trucks have become covetable. Pickups rolled off assembly lines by the millions, but most were run hard and put away wet, just like the horses they replaced. So finding a good vintage truck today is, in many cases, harder than finding good cars of the same era, even though production numbers would lead you to think otherwise.

Among the most desirable of vintage trucks are the 1953–56 Ford F-100s. Effies, as they're called, were the evolution of Ford's postwar F-1 Bonus Built half-ton trucks. Introduced for Ford's golden anniversary in 1953, F-100s were groundbreaking not for what they could haul in their beds but for how they hauled what was in front—people. They were the first trucks designed with ergonomics in mind. Ford invested millions to create its "Driverized" cab, going so far as to use a life-size mannequin known as the Measuring Man. It wasn't just marketing hype; this was a truck with comfort on par with passenger cars of the day. The F-100 also had a much larger greenhouse than its predecessor and a stylish exterior. A milestone vehicle if there ever was one.
Ford F-100

Today, the best part about these second-gen F-series trucks, aside from their great looks, is their usability: They can operate comfortably at highway speed, with reassuring brakes and surprisingly competent handling, and still feel livable inside, even if they lack King Ranch creature comforts.

The challenge, of course, is finding a good one. "Imma gonna buy that there new pickup and store it away as a collectible," said no truck buyer, ever. So over the years, despite my appreciation for Effies, I never found an example that wasn't hot-rodded beyond recognition, "restored" with no regard to authenticity, or simply treated like a work truck for 60 years.

Until, that is, I stumbled upon this unrestored 1955 F-100 Custom Cab at a local car show and swap meet. It still had its factory power train—a 239-cubic-inch Y-block V-8 paired to a column-shift three-speed manual transmission with optional factory overdrive (a superslick unit, functioning on all gears, with a nifty freewheel feature).

The unrestored interior was flawless. But it had a big plus above all that: Its paint, also original, was Mountain green, a dead ringer for my wife's favorite color. And her birthday was the next day. So, can you guess my excuse for dragging this sweet old F-100 home?

Originality: Unmodified original trucks are exceedingly rare, making them the collector's choice. The values reflect this. Decent but incorrect drivers trade in the $15,000 to $30,000 range, while impressive original or properly restored stock examples have sold for two times that or more and are on the rise.


Guts: A six-cylinder was standard for 1953, and a 239 flathead V-8 was optional. For 1954, Ford's new Y-block eight-cylinder, the company's first modern overhead-valve engine, replaced the flathead as the top engine choice in various displacements. This engine gets a bad rap for oiling-system problems, much of it well deserved. A lack of oil changes will lead to plugged oil galleys that will then starve the top end of oil, literally running the valvetrain dry. An external feed kit was the period fix. Nowadays, Y-block specialists make internal modifications to increase the volume of oil to the top end, and modern detergent oils rarely coke up oil galleys. 1953 was the first year for the optional Fordomatic transmission. A variety of manual transmissions were also available.

Stuff you can hide, if you must: Bolt-on upgrades are abundant and easy to reverse if needed. Electronic ignition, power brakes, better starting and charging systems, radial tires, and the like go a long way toward driving enjoyment without diminishing value.

Vital info: Inside the glove-box door or driver's doorjamb of any F-100 should be a data tag indicating the truck's original color, engine, transmission, and rear-axle ratio. Make sure the tag's serial number matches the one stamped on the truck, as data plates do get changed—sometimes in an effort to deceive.

Easy to restore: Effies, like most old trucks, are as basic as vehicles can get. Almost every part on them is readily available, right down to correct upholstery. Assuming you start with good bones, a restoration of an F-100 can be a fun experience that has a good chance of not leaving you upside down financially.

Pick of the litter: Of the second-gen F-series trucks, the 1956 is by far the most desirable. Its one-year-only styling, particularly its wraparound windshield with vertical pillars, is instantly identifiable. Also, it was the first year for the 12-volt electrical system. As a result, a '56 will carry a 10 to 20 percent premium.


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Deciding Between A Diesel or Gas Truck

Diesels from the mid 2000's were noisy, they had obnoxious exhaust emissions, they vibrated and cost more money to build than a gas burning truck. Clearly they are made better today, but are they actually better than a gasoline engine? Each has their own good and bad points, and once again you will have to determine how and what you most use your truck for. Dodge Ram 1500 came out with the first ½ ton pickup in the US market with a diesel power option in 2013. Now we have the Chevy Colorado Canyon with a Duramax Diesel, and the Cummins powered 2016 Nissan Titan XD. It is rumored that Ford is testing a Lion V-6 powered F150 as an addition to their diesel lineup. So, you do have some options for a ½ ton, but I am going to focus on full size trucks for this information. The diesel engine is a more suitable choice if towing capacity is critical to your trucks' operation due to the torque advantage.

Diesel fuel has a higher energy density than gasoline, which means less fuel is needed to generate the same power as gas, therefore offering the potential for a 30-35% fuel savings compared to gasoline engines. It should be noted that over the past decade, diesel has consistently averaged 14% more per gallon than unleaded gas. Over time, the maintenance of a diesel engine will end up costing more than a gas engine, partially due to the engine components that may require servicing more often or are not found on a gasoline engine. Diesel engines have a larger oil reservoir plus the water separator and fuel filters will require replacement more often than its gasoline counterpart.

Diesel or Gas Truck - Crown Auto and Fleet Services

Gas engines are known to make more horsepower, while diesels produce more torque. This is where the "how" of using your truck comes into play. Do you need more acceleration from your unloaded truck while driving around town, where quick starts may be important to you. If you don't haul any cargo or tow a trailer very often, a gas engine is probably best for you. Simply by design, a gas engine will rev faster and can reach higher RPM peaks than a diesel engine. This feature allows them to reach greater horsepower more rapidly in zero to 60 mph time frames. Gasoline is typically more readily available than diesel since some gas stations do not have diesel pumps. These engines also have longer service intervals for engine oil, spark plugs, and engine coolant.

One other consideration may be retail value. The truck market perceives that a diesel-powered engine with 150,000 miles on it has more remaining productive life than a gas-powered truck with comparable mileage. Small companies with lower budgets that need towing or hauling fleets may turn to used vehicles instead of new which makes a used diesel more in demand than gas engine trucks.

Deciding Between A Diesel or Gas Truck

It really boils down to using the right tool for the job. You wouldn't use a rake to shovel heavy wet snow. Using a gasoline truck for heavy towing in most cases would result in significantly reduced engine life and increased gasoline consumption. Using a diesel truck for a light-duty truck would make equally as little sense if you don't need to tow anything or haul heavy cargo. Consider how long you may use your truck before trading up, and the value of a diesel engine compared to gas over time.

Crown Auto and Fleet Services licensed Auto Damage Appraiser, CSE certified, I-Car Certified, and have worked in the automotive industry for decades. I've had the opportunity to teach auto body repair to misled kids in a classroom setting, giving them a chance to have a trade for a viable income. I found this very rewarding. Previously, I was all about the American muscle cars of the 60 year old. Now, I find pickup trucks and the way they have evolved to be my fascination and focus. I truly enjoy hearing from fellow pickup truck enthusiasts, so stop in to http://www.gatortruckcenterofocala.com/ and leave a comment on my website or any of my truck blogs or articles.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Rare 41 Dodge pickup restored as tribute to military

Last week, TLC sister publication Equipment World shared a gallery of vintage pickups from this year’s SEMA show. Missing from that gallery was perhaps our favorite vintage truck from this year’s show, the imposing Sgt. Rock.

Not only does this truck have a hell of a look to it, it’s got the history to match.

As builder Stacey David explains on his website, he set out to build a big rig with serious off-roading capability using a vintage pickup from World War II.

Specifically, he wanted a 1941 Dodge half-ton 4×4 Army truck. Trouble was, that ’41 model was only made for one year, with a total of just under 80,000 units made.

1941 Dodge half-ton 4×4 Army truck

Finding one was tough, but luck had it that after years of keeping his eyes peeled, David located a ’41 Dodge “hidden in some trees about a mile from my parents’ house in Belleview, Idaho.”

The truck was missing the original bed and had a snowplow attached to the front, but David saw that the cab, fenders, hood and grille “were not only rust free, but they were extremely straight.”

David breathed new life into this rare war truck using a 6-cylinder, in-line, L-head engine that produces a huge 850 horsepower.

The truck features a custom fabricated radius arm suspension with Predator racing nitrogen gas shocks with 14 inches of travel.

In the bed of the truck is a mounted machine gun and on the tailgate is a painted tribute to all of those who have served in the U.S. military.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

WJ engineering staff present vintage truck to directors

The presentation was carried out by Dave Wright, executive director of Kier Highways, today (Wednesday 9 November) as a tribute to the work of Martin (group operations director) and Wayne (WJ Group managing director).

Wright said: “WJ are our partner of choice for white lining. Their approach to safety and innovation is second to none. The first time I ever came across Wayne and Martin was when we delivered the Olympic Route Network in 2011. I’d never used you before and I can honestly say I wouldn’t use anyone else out of choice. This presentation demonstrates where you guys have come from and what you’ve brought to the company. But also the strength, commitment and appreciation that everyone has for you.”

Chief executive of the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE), Richard Hayes, added: “The culture that has been developed within WJ is a beacon of good management, reciprocal respect, trust and collaboration. If only we could get the whole of the highways maintenance industry subscribing to a similar ethos, then we would be moving forward.”

Vintage Truck - Crown Auto and Fleet Services
Vintage Trucks

The initiative started with Scott Logan, WJ Group transport manager, following the firm’s recent South West depot open day, when Terry Trevelyan arranged a parade of vintage cars as part of the depot opening celebrations.

This sparked the idea, thinking it would be very apt to have a WJ vintage vehicle. Scott got together with Jason Craddock (WJ workshop manager) in Stoke and they solicited as much information from various employees and management regarding the history of the business and what the original vehicle/vehicles were like when Wayne and Martin started the business in 1987.

Nigel Gresty, general manager engineering at Stoke, came on board and they all searched the web to find the appropriate vehicle. They researched with discretion being careful not to raise suspicion’s as they wanted to carry this off as a surprise and fitting tribute to thank Wayne and Martin. They eventually found the old dear (see image) in some state of repair and underwent a secret mission of restoring the vehicle to its former glory within the road marking theme of that time.

The truck is as original and authentic as they could possibly get it and it has taken dedication and many hours of their own time, weekends and evenings to get it completed. The build has been completed by Knutton workshop and WJ Engineering at Holditch.

Old Truck”Old

It was agreed that a public presentation was appropriate and Highways SIB (Seeing is Believing) would be an ideal time to present the vehicle to Martin and Wayne. Of course, that final bit of extra effort to get the vehicle completed in time was needed. Parts have been difficult to source but with help from many people, all friends, colleagues and business associates they resourced the massive parts list identified. Parts have come from all over Europe and even as far as Australia.

Kim Yates, owner and group managing director of Chevron Traffic Management, and Grahame Beswick from HW Martin, were involved in the early days at WJ on the temporary road markings side of the business. They are testament to the goodwill and relationships that Wayne and Martin have built over the years, having maintained those relationships that are just as strong today.

If you are looking to buy used pickup trucks contact crown auto and fleet services

Scott Logan, WJ Group transport manager, said: “Wayne and Martin have both worked very hard to get the company up there as the best in the road marking sector by some way and the tribute reflects the feelings of the whole WJ team.

“The presentation is a demonstration of the upmost loyalty, respect and gratitude for providing the opportunity to be part of an amazing company and developing careers in a supportive family atmosphere.”

Speaking at the event, WJ Group managing director Wayne Johnston said: “I don’t really know what to say. It’s quite emotional. I can’t believe they’ve done it. You’re only as good as your people. I’ve recognised that for a long time and I like to treat people how I want to be treated.


“People want to work for companies that treat them with respect. They respect you and don’t want to leave. We’ve had a very low staff turnover over the years and it’s part of that family culture that’s helped retain them.”

Revealing more about the vehicle, Johnston added:  “It’s a Ford D Series. This is the first truck I ever had back in the 1980s and it’s an exact carbon copy of it. If you include this one we’ve now got 181 trucks in our fleet!”

Later today and as part of Highways SIB’s Road Worker Safety Showcase, visitors can witness how the ingenious design of the new WJ Group’s Guardian system allows the complete road stud installation process to take place, whilst protecting operatives within an integrated safety cell of an 18-ton truck. The demonstration will feature WJ’s new Allux prismatic road stud but the concept can be used for installation of all types of road studs.

Source Link: http://highwaysmagazine.co.uk/sib-2016-wj-engineering-staff-present-vintage-truck-to-directors/

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

1971 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Rare Engine Options

Here Crown Auto and Fleet Services gives explanation how the 1971 Corvette Stingray came with several engine options that could be added to the $5,456 base coupe price. Total production numbers were pretty thin in 1971, with a total of 7,121 convertibles and 14,500 coupes.

One of the rarest, and most desirable options, is the LS6 454ci, 425hp engine, which added $1,221 to the base price. There were only 188 of these rare Corvettes made in 1971. I can only imagine price must have been the issue, as this was a highly desirable, high horsepower big block. The LS6 454 was conservatively rated at 425 horsepower, but I bet with the right tuning and some bolt on aftermarket parts 550 horsepower would not be difficult to attain. Can you imagine how much fun that car would have been?

1971 Chevrolet Corvette1971 Chevrolet Corvette

I would love to take off the T-Tops and hit the streets with this Saturday night special! I have always loved the big block Corvettes, as they seem to symbolize the ultimate in American sports cars. Simply say the words "big block Corvette" to an automotive enthusiast, and watch their eyes light up. These cars have always been coveted among collectors and enthusiasts. However, with today's gas prices, I can see why this car would be less desirable as a daily driver, as it almost undoubtedly boasted high single digit or low double digit gas mileage ratings. In the early part of the 1970s, gas was cheap, so that was not an issue at the time, and there were few emissions controls, so this car would have been king of the streets.

By the mid-70's, the gas crunch and emissions issues would squash any further development of these types of cars. I wonder if this was only available via special order, or if they were available on the dealership lots? I was not alive in 1971, so I don't really know, and cannot find any data to support either side. I do know that with only 188 of them made, this is quite a rare and desirable option for any Corvette collector.

1971 Chevrolet Corvette C3”1971

I would love to see one of these in person, or see photos of the build sheet or data plate. I wonder how many of the ultra rare cars exist today, and how many people own them without realizing how rare they are? I would love to have one of these big block monster Corvettes!

If you are looking to make your car breather more freely, you can trust Crown Auto and Fleet Services to provide you with the best customer service that will help enhance the performance of your car.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Vintage Split Rim Wheels

Crown Auto & Fleet Services Inc describe how the issue of multiple piece rims and safety comes up frequently. There seems to be a quick rush to judgment about any rim that has more than one piece, and while certain types of multiple piece rims have indeed been outlawed and are no longer made, many others are not only still in service, they are still made new.

1947-1954 light duty trucks offered split rims in 1/2 ton (optional only) up to 1 ton trucks. Many people are unaware that there was a 1/2 ton two piece 15″ six lug rim option available in GMCs and I presume Chevy too. More often than not, we run into eight lug two and three piece rims on 3/4 ton and one ton trucks and these are the subject of most of the misinformation.

There were two types of split rims offered originally a 3/4 ton GMC; 15″ TWO piece split rims (Kelsey-Hayes type WK-3), and optional 17″ THREE piece split rims (Kelsey-Hayes type WK-4)

The two piece split rim uses a lock ring that is fixed and is one solid piece. There’s a notch in the rim where you can remove and reinstall the bead retainer ring while mounting and breaking down tires. To remove, you tip the ring at an angle and then slip it by the notch. To mount, do the opposite. This type DOES NOT require prying apart the ring and if you try to pry it off, you’ll ruin ix

The 17″ split rims originally would have been the Kelsey-Hayes type WK-4 and are three pieces; the rim, the bead ring, and the lock ring. They are put together pretty much the same way they do now-a-days on big truck rims. The tire goes on the rim, then the ring slips on and then the third ring is “zipped” on/off using a sledge hammer and pry bar.

The safety of these rims is directly dependent upon their overall condition. I have split rims on all three of my vintage GMCs. You will find knowledgeable truck tire places will work on them without hesitation and car tire places will go screaming in circles with their hair on fire spewing misinformation about “suicide” rims which may or may not be applicable, but does more to spook people than inform them with facts.

I have many many miles on my original split rims and find them to be great for my purposes. Others may have different views of what works for them. See the illustration below to understand the three basic types of original stock rims you’ll find on the old GMC trucks.

1947 Split Rim - Crown Auto and Fleet Services

Jim Carter follow- up on this article by Rob English:

I have three 1 to 1 ½ ton Chevy’s that were restored at least 10 years ago.  They all have the correct split rim wheels.  There has been absolutely no problem with any of them.

The tire quality in today’s world is so superior to that of 50 years ago!  In the 1950’s I would see someone on the road changing a flat tire almost every two weeks.  Now, it has changed to about once in 6 months.

Suggestion:  To improve the appearance of your split rims, zinc plate (like GM did when new) or paint the small lock ring silver.  This will nicely contrast with the painted wheel.  You might say they even look a little like white walls!  It really helps the appearance!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Best Guide To Choosing Credible Transmission Service

Crown Auto and Fleet Services Knowing how transportation means have been part of our daily lives, we clearly have known such set of services that can attend to the very corners and needs of our vehicles. Sure, that kind of machine has been giving us comfort and ease by traveling anytime and anywhere we want. Still, we should never take for granted on how the maintenance must be observed no matter what.

Loads of companies related to maintenance on such aspect are popping out in the city but a person who is meticulous cannot really deny the fact on how the selection can be a tiring method to ponder. So, to start your selection of outstanding transmission service rockford il in town, you better not underestimate the important key factors being simplified and discussed here.

Best Guide To Choosing Credible Transmission Service

Crown Auto and Fleet Services said let your friends share their ideas, suggestions and anything that is related so such selection. If ever there have been some set of confusing factors that has gotten you a bit lost, always spend time on listening and asking questions to all of them. Gather more of information and try to compare it all as you learn the needed factors to see from those choices.

No matter how time is needed for you to sort the array of options in your note, it is really recommended that you will take a closer look on the legitimacy. Do not hesitate to check through the licenses and credibility of every single option in hand. For the sake of keeping everything in order, you could opt for having the government or any agency to assist you on learning facts surrounding each firm.

Experience vary and it does matter for most times. See the background and how that company was able to gain trust from its loyal clients even before you were able to hear about their availability. Check the very corners and always determine how their company was set to perfection in delivering impressive set of services to those in need of their service.

Reviews are absolutely important. No matter how hard you try on keeping an impressive note from ever company, you still are going to hear some of those negative feedback. If ever you seem uncertain, just do not hesitate to reflect and distinguish the pros and cons on each prospect. Have yourself more ready and prepared to dealing with anything that is seen.

Listen, classify and distinguish the capacity of their workers. Most of the work which is about to be done in accordance to your request are made by their field workers. Basically, reviews are not only referring to the entirety of a company but also some of it are categorized and even divided from how their working team were able to attend to such need.

Feel more satisfied and secured that your chosen company can withstand the test of time. As accidents take place without giving us some notice, it is important that you will learn how that firm has established its insurance and some important security measures for their team. Determine how insurance can actually cover the expenses and leave you not having to worry about anything at all.

Discus the contract with them. Verbal discussion is one thing but for the sake of documentation and having enough basis to reflect just in case anything goes wrong, having the written agreement signed is more credible compared to anything else.