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F-650 flatbed w/wheel lift

Colin Doyle

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Here’s something I’ve been working on this summer.  I built this F-650 pickup from a 24ft dry van truck a few years ago, but the novelty of the dually box wore off and I wanted more functionality out of the truck.  I blew a recap drive tire and tore up the pickup box last year, so I decided to rip the truck apart and upgrade to air suspension, install a wheel lift, and build a flatbed.  No winches or boom, I wanted to be able to drag around disabled junk but still tow gooseneck trailers and have a useable 8 ft x 102” flatbed deck.


Don’t know anything about the wheel lift, no data plate or anything.  I bought it from some guy who turned an old rollback carrier into a car trailer.  I’m sure the Isuzu NPR pictured is a little beyond its rating.


I wanted to see if I could design the flatbed with hot dip galvanizing in mind, so it was a lot of head-scratching to prevent warpage and allow proper drainage and venting during the zinc dip process.  Turned out better than I expected; the only part that distorted at all was the honeycomb window guard.

I ended up pulling the engine (Cummins ISB 6.7) in order to build my onboard air system.  I had a spare Wabco compressor and some plumbing left over from a Kenworth T270 I’d recently repowered, but I had to swap the flywheel housing to allow it to mount in the correct position.  I got a gently used Bendix AD-IS dryer/governor and a pair of tanks and brackets from a Freightliner FLD120.  Didn’t want to run some cheesy 12 volt compressors.

Anyway, wrapped this up a few days before the SEMA show in Vegas, so we drove down there from Minnesota and I found a rust-free Tacoma in Utah on the way home, and dragged that back.  We plow snow with a Tacoma, but the frame rust is so bad it’s going to be retired after this season. Thinking about galvanizing the frame on the new one and running it into the ground for the rest of time.


61883958-A689-4CF9-A7BC-F778AD5FE564.md.jpg C2F40E02-8CC0-4A8B-B6C1-DFC5E69DB047.md.jpg 106B24DC-A3E5-4362-AF58-11494D9CA75A.md.jpg 6F7AD874-76D0-4239-9E6E-4392FD108156.md.jpg 21C5253D-D847-48B5-BCF0-AECEB75EE93A.md.jpg 0ACAF4BB-D38E-4CA1-B0D1-A2B71D739965.md.jpg 23060DFA-3E4A-4AE1-ADF1-F296794D8434.md.jpg 9DBF757C-1564-43D7-9C77-23130A767364.md.jpg FE8CC26E-C8F8-4285-8317-413413518AFB.md.jpg 6A5C139B-283C-4761-A383-1DB818202731.md.jpg 7DC0D597-D033-4B26-A16B-4F6064635AE9.md.jpg 48A5CA31-106F-4D4A-91AD-3C8B7A02AE21.md.jpg 04898166-A01C-46B4-A600-C6ECC9485990.md.jpg 00DACF64-111B-45D3-A365-4614650D4974.md.jpg EAC674EC-4018-4100-AA4A-DE08F5773B49.md.jpg


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These photos are from 2013-2014, when I first assembled the truck.  It was a Copart insurance auction purchase, from New Jersey.  I didn’t realize it when I committed to buy, but it had been damaged in the flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy.  Thankfully, there was no sign of water damage above the frame rails, but water did get into the crankcase.  We decked it home from the east coast on the back of a Volvo VNL, then altered the wheelbase, clipped it into a crew cab, upgraded from the 5.9L Cummins to the 6.7L, etc.




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