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Old 03-06-2020, 01:00 PM   #1
FordTruckGuy96
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Default 1937 Ford Truck

Recently I came across this 1937 Ford Truck, it's was a two owner vehicle with the second owner doing absolutely nothing to it aside from having it shipped. I bought the truck to use for parts for another 1937 ford truck that I had pulled out of a sinkhole. But this truck is in a lot better condition so I was looking at restoring it. I was told it is a "Tonner," but I think it was actually a bigger truck 1 1/2 ton, 2 ton. I have plans to pull the motor out this spring and to rebuild it if it is good. The question I have is where to go for the brake parts. If they are off a big truck I am sure they are obsolete by now (Both my 46 and 71 big trucks brakes are obsolete), and I don't know the condition to see if the pads can be relined and rotors turned. Also curious as to what tire size would have come on this truck, there were 7.00/20's and 8.25/20's on it. Plans are to keep the truck as original as possible, so any help is appreciated.

I was informed from another site that this is not a Tonner, but rather one of the bigger trucks. Did they have a name? I have a 1947 chassis and was told that based on the tires and springs its designation would have been Ford Heavy Duty. Curious if these had similar designations.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1937 Ford 3.jpg (106.1 KB, 137 views)
File Type: jpg 1937 Ford trailer.jpg (124.4 KB, 634 views)
File Type: jpg 1937 Ford 4.jpg (104.6 KB, 141 views)
File Type: jpg 1937 Ford.jpg (96.8 KB, 128 views)
File Type: jpg 1937 Ford 1.jpg (66.7 KB, 127 views)
File Type: jpg 1937 flathead.jpg (36.1 KB, 142 views)
File Type: jpg 1937 flathead 2.jpg (46.8 KB, 130 views)
File Type: jpg 1937 Ford springs.jpg (56.1 KB, 121 views)
File Type: jpg 1937 Ford rear axle.jpg (85.5 KB, 117 views)
File Type: jpg 1937 Ford 5.jpg (76.6 KB, 119 views)
File Type: jpg 1937 Ford 2.jpg (106.1 KB, 118 views)
File Type: jpg 1937 ford brakes.jpg (101.0 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg 1937 ford front axle.jpg (47.7 KB, 78 views)
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Old 03-06-2020, 04:36 PM   #2
rotorwrench
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

The longer wheel base trucks can be set up for several weight ranges. The type, size, and number of rear tires has a lot to do with weight carrying capability. I don't have the chassis parts catalog for the 1937 models so I can't give you a lot of information on them. In 1938 they had 122", 134", and 141" wheel base trucks.

The rear springs were the other factor that could be changed. There were 12-leaf, 13-leaf, and 14-leaf springs in the BB 5560 part number range. There were also auxiliary springs in the BB 5588 part number range. Combinations of springs and tires were used to build trucks up for whatever weight range was desired. Yours looks to have a fairly heavy compliment of springs plus dual rear wheels.

The old truck looks to be in pretty good shape for over 80 years of use. It still has the old 21 stud motor that is consistent with the 1937 model year.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 03-06-2020 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 03-06-2020, 04:49 PM   #3
mercman from oz
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck


That is a neat old Ford Truck. Unfortunately, there are not many survivors left today.
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Old 03-06-2020, 05:07 PM   #4
ford38v8
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

Your truck looks to have led a sheltered life! Beautiful condition, bone stock, apparently only surface rust, the best 21 stud engine ever, maybe a 157" wheelbase? probably low mileage? Cabs of all trucks big and small were interchangeable, Of course obsolete brakes, but your drums may still be turnable, if duty was mainly off the highway? and don't knock mechanical brakes, especially on a collector vehicle. Yes, you can get lining for your brake pads. Your front spring may have a broken leaf, which is replaceable. Watch out for the wheels, you'll have to go to a truck stop to install tires if your wheels are widow makers, and even then they might refuse, I don't know.
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Old 03-06-2020, 05:32 PM   #5
Seth Swoboda
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

I have a bunch of NOS Ford script brake linings and big truck linings are among them.
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Old 03-06-2020, 06:25 PM   #6
rotorwrench
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

The dangerous wheels were made later after the war. If that one still has originals then they should be OK.
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Old 03-06-2020, 06:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

Nice old truck. You are using the nomenclature for modern disc brakes with terms like pads and rotors. This truck has mechanical drum brakes. So "shoes" and "drums" are the correct terms. I say this not to be a smart Alec, but is case it helps you when discussing jobs or trying to locate spares. The parts on the truck may well be serviceable.

Good luck with it. The 37s have a nice style to them and as said, the 37 motor is the best 21 stud motor. I have one in my 33 coupe. (It's actually a Ford Pilot but it is very similar to the 37 motor).
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Old 03-06-2020, 08:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

Check with Chuck's Trucks for brake (and other parts as well) parts. As far as the wheels go, I doubt they are the so called "widow makers" Lots of info on them over on the Ford Truck Enthusiast (FTE) site. 19.5 tubeless rims from a Dodge M400 motor home chassis are a direct bolt on replacement for the split rims you currently have and 8r19.5 tires are very close to the same diameter of 20 inchers you have now.
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Old 03-06-2020, 09:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

Well thanks to all for the information so far. I apologize for using the incorrect nomenclature, chalk it up to a Freudian slip, I know better. I would be very interested in acquiring a set of brake linings from you Seth. As for the wheels, I have a family friend who dealt with split rims throughout his career and said he will teach me the proper way to change the tires. And I am pulling the widow makers off of my 47 to put on for know as all the tires are fairly flat or junk. And the wheelbase of the truck is 157 and there are 14 rear leaf springs with 5 auxiliary springs.
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Old 03-06-2020, 09:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

I tonner was a few yr truck around 38. Nothing like a 1/2ton or a 1.5ton. Kinda like a 3/4 ton modern ford. Special truck now.

The full ton and a half are neat too.

Looking forward to what you do. Please don't put a motorhome chassis under it. I'd rather you used the frame and a diesel motor or something.


But it's your truck. Do what works for you.



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Last edited by Tinker; 03-06-2020 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 03-06-2020, 10:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

there was a post a while back about making a 1.5 to a regular pickup. Shortened frame and bed sides made.



My favorite version, probably at least 20yrs ago... Don't know where it's at today.
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File Type: jpg 1936LWBPickup2.jpg (80.5 KB, 164 views)
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Old 03-06-2020, 11:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

Well, you may already have all the information you need or want, but just in case, I'll chime in with a few comments.
It looks like you have a 157" wheelbase 1 1/2 ton truck, Model 79 (I think). The springs are standard for a dual rear wheel setup. The 1 1/2 nominal rating is for a truck like yours with a single rear wheel and no "helper" springs (these are the smaller second set on top of the larger set). It looks like you have most of the original parts which is great. There are sources of brake parts and other chassis parts for your truck. I know because I'm restoring a '35 1 1/2 ton truck and have purchased NOS parts to make the brakes like new.
There are many tire sizes. Ford published a table of the load ratings for various tire sizes and configurations. I'll send you this table if you would like to see it. The smallest tires are 6.00 x 20 and go up from there. The rear tires can be much larger, but front tires greater than 7.50 x 20 start to get interference with the stock front fenders. The wheels are correctly called "two-piece" wheels. There is a locking ring which can be removed from the main wheel to allow the tire to be removed. This ring rotates and securely locks in place. Your tires and wheels look like many that I've taken apart and the issue is just getting them apart as a result of accumulated rust. I've had to cut through the tire cords down to the wheel and peel the tire off.
I can share lots more information if you want, just let me know.
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Old 03-08-2020, 11:00 AM   #13
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

Looks like a heavy duty frame reinforcement too. Look at the frame side rails. Looks like they are a foot deep.
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Old 03-08-2020, 08:55 PM   #14
FordTruckGuy96
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

Thanks to all the help! Dave I will send you a message on where to start hunting down brake parts. Also the plans for the truck are to keep it on the current frame and to rebuild the Flathead that’s in it, if possible. I also plan to build a flatbed for the truck and figure out how to put in wood floorboards.
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Old 03-11-2020, 08:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

Your truck seems to have an "original" truck engine since you have two(2) fan belts. Truck engines came with 2 fan belts as well as double wheel water pumps. I have a 131" dump truck with 35,000 plus miles. The model is "79" and is a 1 1/2 ton. I have 6.50 x 20 wheels.

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Old 03-12-2020, 08:30 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

FTG96
Beautiful truck. A flatbed with wood would be perfect. Wait until Gary sees it. Really like the turn signal light on the fender.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:41 PM   #17
mercman from oz
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck


Lovely Australian assembled 1937 Ford Truck seen at a local Truck Show. Very few old Ford Trucks remain in Australia. It seems that after serving their owners until they were worn out, they were simply scrapped. They are nice looking trucks.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:46 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

Truckguy96:
Back in 2012 I needed the wood floorboard and a member
at that time sent me a high res. drawing.
His name is Don Rogers; I think he is still on this forum ,as, he still shows
an email or PM links.
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Old 03-13-2020, 07:08 AM   #19
FordTruckGuy96
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

Don Rogers, I will look him up. And keep adding photos, getting some good ideas for the flatbed just looking at these photos.
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Old 03-13-2020, 08:41 AM   #20
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Default Re: 1937 Ford Truck

Mercman, is that an aftermarket turn signal hanging on the door of the truck in Australia?
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