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57 Dodge 300 DeKalb milk truck


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   A couple months ago, I went searching for a milk truck in an area that had a few dairies forty or more years ago. Well I found a couple and a 39TC and a 40VC. The 39 could be a good project, the 40 has some badly dented rear fenders and a newer year left front fender. So the headlights mount different on each fender. The 50 Dodge is missing the front and rear axle and engine parts. The hood was laying on the right side, so I put it back on. It would take too much rigging to load on my 20’ 12,000 gvw trailer. A local man with a roll-back said he would charge $300 to deliver it to my place and I would unload with fork extensions on my forklift and set on some square timber’s. Upon opening the hood on the 57, I thought that I could get that running. I called a week later, and the husband of the owner said that the grand kids were coming and he’d let me know. He called about a month ago and bumped up my offer, that I agreed to. On a Friday I went to the ranch and filled the tires and squirted some ATF in the cylinders, oiled the door hinges, added brake fluid and pulled it into a position for an easy load. I went to get the truck the next day and emptied what was in the back and hosed it out when I got home. Sunday I rolled it off the trailer and parked it in a convenient spot to work on. It was still light out, so I did a compression test and got 105 psi in all six cylinders. I had disconnected the lines to and from the fuel pump but the pump was spitting old gas so I plumbed the line into a jug and capped the fuel line from the tank. I took the screws from the carburetor top out and sucked the old gas out of the float bowl. I hooked up portable gas tank. It started up, had good oil pressure and idled fine. Since then I have replaced all the coolant hoses and detailed it a bit by painting the headlight surround’s, air cleaner, oil filler cap. The engine doesn’t have a serial number but the frame has a number that I will use for registration. I have it on a 4 post lift now, to do an oil change, fuel tank removal and scraping of the crud that accumulated over the years and the mandatory brake and seal work. The last license plates were 1982. The left front fender needs more work than the right front. The 1” horizontal and vertical trim at the rear corners and wheel wells are aluminum, and I look forward to getting the paint off of them, they will add a nice accent to the body. I had other pictures, but these worked, I think. 

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   Here are three more project trucks. I have some more talking to do. The daughter said she learned how to drive in the 39, which is a bad reason to let them deteriorate anymore. I found a 50 cent Disneyland parking stub with a note to her dad on the back and a pair of  pliers in what was left of the glove box. I'm going to give them to the woman as keepsakes.   

39 TC.jpg

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40 VC.jpg

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40 VC right.jpg

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The milk truck is in nice shape and in good hands now. looking forward to the updates. I don't recall ever seeing a truck with as many dents in the fender as the 39. I'm sure there is an interesting story on those dents. Learning to drive on a farm starts in an open field for most, I guess they skipped that step😄

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   The mostly blue truck is a 39, the beat up one is a 40. The 40 has a hose connected to the tailpipe and a pile of sand in the bed. The owner used to put the hose in a gopher burrow and fill any exhaust holes with sand. The husband of the owner trailered it to a car lot for an ugly truck show, in the past, and drove it into position. I have to see them again and check out a bone yard of more parts that might be around. That odd ball fender might have come off of a decent donor. Parts is parts for any W series truck owner. I saw the radiator from the 39, the top tank was getting eaten away from the PH of the acids on the brass. As an aside, a rancher a few miles away has a Plymouth truck box and tailgate sitting on the ground, loaded with cast iron to recycle, I’ve talked to them a couple times and I guess it will just rot into the ground. I’ll try one more time. Iron prices are better.

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