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Has Anyone Installed a Tilt-Rollback Truck Bed?

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  • Has Anyone Installed a Tilt-Rollback Truck Bed?

    I've got a 1951 Chevy 5700 cab-over-engine 2-ton truck. It's in pretty rough shape and has no bed, but it does have a power takeoff shaft on the transmission.. I've been toying with ideas as to what to do with the truck and have been thinking of a restoration and installation of a tilt-rollback bed. It would make a great truck for hauling antique tractors to shows

    Has anyone fitted a tilt-rollback on a truck frame? Is it difficult? Any comments/thoughts/suggestions? Are there any truck forums that would be useful to peruse?

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  • #2
    I think it's a great idea. I like a guy with vision. That's a vision.
    While I haven't done such a feat, my time in the truck trailer industry suggest anything is possible if you put your mind to it. The question that will come up is how deep is the well and how thirsty are you to drink from it?
    While restoration is a broad sword to swing, I'm wishing you had mentioned the old girl was still running? Half the battle is show up right? Lots to consider maybe in deciding how you choose to go in restoring old glory?
    I say make a plan and go for it. Key word is plan. Good luck with that.


    • #3
      Attached are two more pics of the Chevy COE.

      As oldguyfrom56 implies, there is never enough money and far too many places to spend what there is, but I could probably scrounge up some funds to at least get the restoration started. For now it's just a vague concept and probably the last thing I need to do is start another project while my workshop is already full of half-done projects ... mechanical, woodworking, restoration, machine tools, gun making ... on and on.

      I think there are already more projects started/planned than I have years left to complete them. Sigh.

      As to oldguyfrom56's other question, it was running a few years ago, so with fresh gas, a strong battery, and an afternoon's worth of tinkering, it could probably be running again.

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      • #4
        I'm not one for taking advice, but I'm usually good at giving it... Keep that in mind when I suggest you don't take apart anything unless you have to. Fix that and put it back together. Do your mechanical first. Fabrication second. Any restoration last. Your friend will be time, enemy someone else's labour. The best investment will be a big compressor, the worst will be not buying it sooner. Remember it's not an investment, but it can offer rewards.

        "I think there are already more projects started/planned than I have years left to complete them. Sigh."

        Me to. But I remind myself so what? Some times it's good just to have inspiration...dreams and a vision, something to do if you feel like doing it, and at the end of the day, it's not like there isn't worse things to spend your money on right? I new a guy who blew 15g on a three week cruise? Not faulting him but not my gig either?

        Anyways, I think it's a jewel. I'm sure with the dust washed off it'd look like a bronze goddess. I'd keep it that way my self. There I go giving advice? Stay the course.


        • #5
          oldguyfrom56, I like your philosophy of time and projects!!


          • #6
            Originally posted by JohninOH View Post
            oldguyfrom56, I like your philosophy of time and projects!!
            What use are you planning? Is it going to be a container hauler, auto hauler...etc, and are you going to build from scratch, or buy a second-hand bed?


            • #7
              if you have`nt already check out


              • #8
                Hello JohninOH, Welcome to the forum. Lots of highly skilled people frequent this board. You will get good advice. Here are a few items to think about before you commit a lot of time and money to this project: How heavy is the tractor that you want to haul? Does the truck have the GVW (gross vehicle weight) available to be able to carry it? Count in the weight of the tilt-roll-back bed, too. How enamored are you with stopping? Unfortunately, these older trucks didn't come with much in the way of brakes. How strongly are you enamored with keeping the original, period parts? If I were thinking about this project, I'd think strongly about swapping out both axles for ones with late-mode air brakes and brake drums. (Current brake drums for a truck this size are TWICE the size of the period-correct drums.) You realize that when these older cab-overs were designed, tilt cab was not a gleam in a designer's eye, right?. It's only a chore if one has a bad attitude about the "extra" work involved, but very time you want to do more than just check the oil, you have to unbolt and remove the seats then unbolt the floor plates and remove them. Another item to think about, is there is sufficient space in the engine compartment to fit in the hydraulic pump for the tilt-rollback bed? . . . . plus the air compressor? Are you a good contortionist? Tilt-rollbacks have been around since the 1980s and, of course, are very common today. Definitely buy the bed. You want to work on some of your other projects before you get toooo old, right? There are plenty of tilt-rollback beds available for smaller "tow" trucks, but finding a tilt-rollback that is in scale with this truck might require some searching. Oldguyfrom56 gave you some GREAT advice "Don't take apart anything unless you have to. Fix that and put it back together. Do your mechanicals first. Fabrication second. Any restoration last." I interpret his advice to mean, Get the project running and working, THEN pretty it up. I don't want to throw water on your fire, JohninOH, but you are contemplating a B-I-G project. You should go into it with your eyes open. I've thought long and hard about a project like this one, too. My project truck includes a "married" twin-stick (5+4) transmission and a screamin' Detroit 6-V-53 with Jakes. Alas, it is destined to remain a dream. My pockets aren't deep enough and my remaining life isn't long enough. That's just the way it is. ~0le
                "If a problem can't be solved, enlarge it." (The 34th president of the United States)


                • #9

                  Thinking of your project and found this for sale in Ohio... a little clean up will go along way on yours. Good luck in the effort.