I'm looking to get a late 50's or early 60's panel truck or Suburban to restore for my business. It will be an everyday driver and I also need it to be able to haul a 1.5 ton food trailer about 5-6 times a month. I'm wondering what models/specs would work for this or will I have to do extensive modifications regardless of the stock specs.Thanks!
well... 50s thru early 60s model trucks have less than desirable brake systems at the wheel..after 67 the brake systems improved...the trick is.. you might be able to easily swap later rear axles and sometimes front brakes.. and going to disc on the fronts is almost a requirement...there are SO MANY options depending on which model panel or early suburban you find...depending on the vehicle you find.. it might also be easier to swap the entire frame and drivetrain from a much later truck or van..which ever you end up with being sure to match the fronts to the rear with OEM sizing.. so the brake bias is not far off... this makes sure that the rear brakes don't lock up before the fronts..most late 80s up have a pressure adjuster to the rear brakes to change the brake bias depending on the ride height/load in the back.. to make sure the brakes are equal..and a huge hint.. since you will be driving this daily... but only towing once in a while.. you will probably end up with a class III receiver mounted under the back of the truck.. but where to store the removable part.. there are cheep receiver tubes that you have a few choices... have somebody weld a flange on the end so you can bolt it down just inside the rear doors... or even better.. have somebody weld brackets/plates to it.. so you can bolt it over the cross tube on the receiver... this allows the plug to be removed from the tow position and moved to the stored position and keep it out of the way and safe... one brand of receiver had an open cross tube end.. i used to use a strap to hold the removable part into the end of the cross tube..
Awesome info. Thanks Wayne!