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  #1  
Old 02-19-2023, 03:28 PM
jerry56 jerry56 is offline
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Default Back to the Fifties

I've wanted to do one of the 56 Tonka trucks for a while, I found some reproduction cabs on "Gasoline Alley" so I decided to get it built. I started this earlier in the year but house and yard and stuff got in the way.... it took me longer than I planned.
Any way as usual it starts with some frame rails, I use aluminum "C" channel from Lowes or Home Depot 1/2x3/8 sometimes called plywood edging.

I trim it down to about 11/32 or about there....it just makes it easier to work with when your bolting stuff to it.

Then I lay out the location of my WPL axles so I can get the wheel base that looks right to me

I wish I could get the body lower on the wheels but they are a little bigger than the Tonka wheels and if I go any lower then the bed will hit the duals when I set it on so... this is the ride height I'll go with


Just doing some test fitting...



The cabs are close to the originals but one obvious difference is the nose angles back a lot farther on these...not a big deal just wanted to mention it...
The biggest problem is the metal wrinkles up just forward of the doors on both sides and a little on the front edge of the hood and a little in the fenders... so to get a smooth finish it took almost 5 hours of metal work with a pick hammer and a file to get it all smooth, it's still not perfect but it's close...
This week I'll get my axles and drive train mounted.
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2023, 08:39 PM
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frizzen frizzen is offline
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

That's gonna be a sharp truck! I'm really digging where this one is going.

With that stance, it looks like the cab protector might be pretty close to the cab?

For what it's worth, I can't say the originals of that style cab were ever perfect & wrinkle free stampings. At least by going new you didn't need to fix sandbox dents, and grind or blast rust with that one. In addition to the grille rake angle, I think they also thinned out the cab roofs B-pillars.
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What do ya mean "Cars are neither Trucks or Construction"?
It's still scale, and i play fairly well with others, most of the time...

Last edited by frizzen; 02-20-2023 at 09:10 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2023, 05:23 PM
jerry56 jerry56 is offline
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

The cab and bed are just balanced on the frame and aren't quite square so I think it will be fine... I hope...LOL
I looked at some originals and yes they also had the ripple on both sides... still didn't like them....mine are gone now...The roof pillars may be thinner I never even thought to check that, but for my purposes I think they will be ok...
I should get these together pretty quick cause I had most of it cut and or printed just kind of let them set ....but it's time to finish this up.!!!
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  #4  
Old 02-24-2023, 08:23 AM
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frizzen frizzen is offline
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

Gotta say that your dumptruck mockup is looking pretty close to the one in the 1955 ad

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What do ya mean "Cars are neither Trucks or Construction"?
It's still scale, and i play fairly well with others, most of the time...

Last edited by frizzen; 02-24-2023 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Big pic
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2023, 12:49 PM
jerry56 jerry56 is offline
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

Wish I had seen this sooner I would have done my rear view mirrors differently.. but I'll go with what I have
I'll get an update out this weekend.
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  #6  
Old 02-26-2023, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

So... I made a "floor" for the truck so I have a place to mount stuff... and create my rats nest of wiring....

And I created this tail piece just to tidy up the back end and give me a place to hang my mud flaps

Still wishing I could get it lower.... but I'll live with it

Getting the drive train in place using WPL after market stuff...



As you ca see I'm going with a different bed lift, these are the cheap actuators from Aliexpress it lifted 8lbs with on problem and I'm pretty sure that little bed won't see 8lbs ....
I'll get some pictures this week of some of the parts and bits and pieces and get the frame painted....and report back
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2023, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

The chassis is looking really clean so far! Love the way you made the tilt-cab hinges.

Rear springs will probably need to stack a few more of the metal leafs so it's not constantly on the bumpstops with a load in bed.

A set of running boards mounted below the frame might help visually lower it more, and make it easier to carry when it's completed

Any links to the 3d printed parts files? Digging the wpl upgrades, that gearmotor & t-case fit great in there!
https://www.blueovaltrucks.com/vinta...ord-truck-ads/
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What do ya mean "Cars are neither Trucks or Construction"?
It's still scale, and i play fairly well with others, most of the time...
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  #8  
Old 02-27-2023, 01:09 PM
jerry56 jerry56 is offline
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

Funny you should mention running boards
I doubled up on the springs and they are pretty stiff, if they do bottom out a lot I'll just load it lighter LOL
Yeah the cab hinges are kind of odd, they have to be off-set so they let the cab sit lower and extend in to line up with the holes in the cab and bumper.
I thought about putting them on Thingiverse but didn't figure anybody would be interested it doing the old metal toy conversions ....well... except maybe you LOL
Another reason it takes me so long to build these is because I keep getting ideas for little details to add to it....fuel tanks, mirrors, running boards, bed protectors.
This one is going to look pretty good I think....

Last edited by jerry56; 02-27-2023 at 01:13 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2023, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

Haha, well some Running Boards seemed like it might fit a dump truck better than suggesting some Sidepipes to lower it.

Yeah, i just might have a 55/56 semi tractor thats started a downward spiral to be an overhauled. Besides if you posted the files somewhere, all the toy collectors would go even more mental.

Those do sound like some really cool additions to the truck. About the only way around wanting to make more details is turning up the Lazy, or invoking ADD so that you get more side tracked hey lets go ride bikes.
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What do ya mean "Cars are neither Trucks or Construction"?
It's still scale, and i play fairly well with others, most of the time...
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2023, 10:57 AM
jerry56 jerry56 is offline
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

Semi tractor you say.....
Well these are reproduction cabs, and the dump beds ( I bought 4 from a guy) were rusty and a little bent up and some were missing tail gates so the collectors didn't want them, so no collectable was harmed in the making of these trucks.
Ironically I wish these had just a little more detail in the cabs just a little. I'd like to figure out some 1/16 sized air horns and cab lights, the 1/14 stuff is just to big and it looks like the 1/24 stuff would be way to small.

Last edited by jerry56; 02-28-2023 at 11:04 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-01-2023, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

Um, i mean Nothing.

I don't know about good working light housings.
But i know some of the old toy repair sites like 'Gasoline Alley Toys' have replicas of little parts that break off toys and get lost. Buddy L trucks were often sent out with Horns, Mirrors, Bumper guards... Smith Millers with Hood orniments, Door handles, fake clearance lights... Structo with wipers, mirrors, horns...
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What do ya mean "Cars are neither Trucks or Construction"?
It's still scale, and i play fairly well with others, most of the time...
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  #12  
Old 03-01-2023, 04:36 PM
jerry56 jerry56 is offline
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

Yeah, I have a set of Structo air horns, wipers, and mirrors, for a Structo dump truck I have .... they a little more toy like than I want....but I'll scan thru there again in case I missed something
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  #13  
Old 03-02-2023, 01:57 PM
ddmckee54 ddmckee54 is offline
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

Some of the farm stores around here have some 1/18-ish sorta Bruder trucks that are about the right size. I've got a tilt-back roll-off wrecker that the WPL axles and wheels are a fairly good fit with. Something like that might supply some bits and pieces.
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Old 03-02-2023, 05:45 PM
jerry56 jerry56 is offline
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

Typically Bruders are closer to 1/14..... but I'll take a look
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  #15  
Old 03-03-2023, 02:13 PM
ddmckee54 ddmckee54 is offline
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

They're smaller than a Bruder, cheaper, and don't have quite the quality of Bruder. That's why I called them a sorta Bruder. But then again I think I only paid about $20 for the wrecker. Can't hardly go wrong at that price.
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Old 03-03-2023, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

For cab roof Clearance Lights I had started wondering about trying out some different sizes of clear or amber Teardrop shaped Rhinestones. Something in Acrylic with a foil back should be easy to make take a 3mm Led, even easier if you like using surface mount Leds.
Maybe smooth looks better? Maybe faceted throws light around better?

I'm not sure which trucks he's talking about, but i saw some "Driven" trucks "by Battat" at Target a while back that sound similar? There was a coe with Crane, conventional euro-style Flatbed with car and crane, a conventional Streetsweeper.
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What do ya mean "Cars are neither Trucks or Construction"?
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Old 03-03-2023, 04:30 PM
jerry56 jerry56 is offline
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

ddmckee54... do you remember a brand name or anything....
Frizzen...Gasoline ally did have a smith miller air horn but the picture was kind of blurry... I haven't ordered anything yet
They also had clearance lights but they were cast solid and looked to tiny for me to work with...
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  #18  
Old 03-05-2023, 12:59 PM
jerry56 jerry56 is offline
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

Time to wire this thing up....
just the basics, headlights, tail lights, back-up lights, bed lift....
One of the first things I do is slip a piece of cut off insulation, red and black on the LED leads...then after I start cutting and soldering I know which lead is which...


With the chassis put together and all one color ( semi-gloss black in this case) I start the process..


I typically wire up a master on/off switch with a charging jack,This time I put it in the end of the running board/step...


I use these junction blocks for main power and for my lights. Then if I want to add something that needs power like a trailer, or additional lights all I have to do is plug them in. This way I don't have a bunch of jst connectors all over and I don't have to solder anything else in.


I used this actuator ( a cheap one from aliexpress) it's much cleaner and has built in end stops and still lifts 8 lbs....


This is the one I used


And as you can see wiring is not my strong suit... I'll neaten this up but....


I'll get some paint on the bed and cab this week and get some of the little detail things done....
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  #19  
Old 03-06-2023, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

Looking great, and lots of good build tips and parts suggestions in there!

If a guy drills a couple holes into the printed plates to run some small zipties or wire lacing, it could really help clean up routing that wiring.

It's probably WAY too late to ask, but is the 'rear tab' on your cab sitting above the frame, or tucked through like in toy mode? Only asking since you were talking about lower. A little fender trimming for the wheels might have let you lower the cab more to drop that tab through frame. Either way, I really liked the mockup stance
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What do ya mean "Cars are neither Trucks or Construction"?
It's still scale, and i play fairly well with others, most of the time...
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  #20  
Old 03-06-2023, 03:30 PM
ddmckee54 ddmckee54 is offline
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Default Re: Back to the Fifties

I got the truck around Christmas time at Theisen's, which is a farm supply store here in Eastern Iowa.

I'll check when I get home tonight to see if I can find a name & model number on the thing. One of the things I liked about it was that it has actual wheels and tires on it. The tires are hard enough that you can almost drive nails with them, but they look good from both sides - not just one.
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