Bought a Fire Truck & looking for help with Force 4

jRaven

Registered Member
I am the new owner of a 1979 GMC K35 Fire Truck.

Truck was sold new in Illinois in 1978 and driven until 1991 when it was traded into a dealer. From there it was sold to a trucking company in Minnesota in 1992 where it was converted into a fire truck. It was put into commission in Montana in 1992 as the department's "jaws of life truck" and decommissioned & sold in March 2017 when they got a grant to upgrade to something with fuel injection. I bought it from the fire chief's brother earlier this week. Truck is pristine and well maintained with even the owners manual in the glove compartment.

I love the light bar and want to convert the lenses to yellow as I am pretty sure I cant run the red lights without getting hassled. Be great to convert it over to LED as well.

When I saw the truck the light bar reminded me of the bar the Ghostbuster's hearse ran.

Information
Force 4 SAE-W3-82 measures ~55" across the base.
53.5" from the top end to end.
Clear housings w/ red lens on the spinners.
Has a speaker in the center section.

Not really sure what my options are but I could use any help or direction. I pretty decent with electrical just need some direction to start and want to avoid any costly mistakes on making it more user friendly.



 

cmb56

Member
Outer lenses in amber would probable be difficult to get because usually lenses for the Force 4 SD are scarce.

But you have clear lenses with red rotator filters so you might be more lucky to find amber filters instead.

Michael
 

Sparky_911

Member
Gold Supporter
What cmb56 said. Full domes would be pretty expensive not to mention hard to find compared to finding amber filters for each rotor. Should be the same filters used on the C3 XL5K series. In the mean time you could just run it white to avoid hassle. Got more picks of the truck?
 

Stampeed Valkyrie

Senior Member
Silver Supporter
The filters on this are specific to the parabolic reflectors since both the XL5000 and the Newer SD bars use the same reflectors. This is probably your cheapest path, contact Code 3 or do some ebaying and you should be able to find the filters in amber.

If your looking for an amber dome, I have 1 NOS amber dome you would need a 2nd.
PM if interested.
 
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jRaven

Registered Member
The gadget on the dash board is the Code 3 PA/Siren system. Has the switch panel underneath it cut into the dash.



Here is the whole truck when I loaded in on the trailer on Monday. Truck had a nasty fuel leak from a shredded hose we found out about as we loaded it up. I got it replaced last night and cruised it around to burn any old gas out of the tanks.

 
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jRaven

Registered Member
And any thoughts on converting to LEDs or just leave it alone?

I am looking for some yellow/amber lens for the Weldon lights on the grille but I have a feeling that might be an easier task.

Thanks for your help.
 

Sparky_911

Member
Gold Supporter
What would you be converting to led? Warning lights or head/tail body?
 

bpollard

Member
The gadget on the dash board is the Code 3 PA/Siren system. Has the switch panel underneath it cut into the dash.



Here is the whole truck when I loaded in on the trailer on Monday. Truck had a nasty fuel leak from a shredded hose we found out about as we loaded it up. I got it replaced last night and cruised it around to burn any old gas out of the tanks.

Well Done. That is a bad ass truck
 
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jRaven

Registered Member
"What would you be converting to led? Warning lights or head/tail body?"

The lights in the Force 4 are halogens. I was thinking there might be a thread or kit or some method for converting the Force 4 to LEDs.

The cab lights can be converted to LEDs pretty easily.

"Might consider a winch on the front."



I just put a Warn 8274 in the front of my K30 ranch truck. Went full overkill on a .25 wall custom bumper I fab'd up with weld thru clevis mounts.
 

BLUELIGHT

Established Member
So far I've been underwhelmed with LEDs in rotating lights. However, you have clear domes, so you could fab up what ever sort of LED arrangement you like in place of the rotators. Or sell the bar as is and buy an LED replacement bar.
 
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jRaven

Registered Member
Not really up on prices but what does something like the light bar sell for? Complete with the code 3 box for the sounds and PA? Just for my own reference.

I want to leave the truck as original as possible cosmetically - I got a whole game plan for the drivetrain w/ an LMM duramax/allison I parted out earlier in the year.
 

CrownVic97

Veteran Member

Sparky_911

Member
Gold Supporter
"What would you be converting to led? Warning lights or head/tail body?"

The lights in the Force 4 are halogens. I was thinking there might be a thread or kit or some method for converting the Force 4 to LEDs.

The cab lights can be converted to LEDs pretty easily..
Converting the cab and body lights would be easy and brighten those up. You could do bulb swaps or full replacement. As for the bar, swapping the bulbs to led is useless. Let it ride as is or sell it and put an led bar in its place. Value of that bar may vary depending on where you sell it, but should bring a couple hund-o from the right buyer.
 
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jRaven

Registered Member
I ordered new LEDs for the side markers on the fenders. Ordered amber lens for the Weldon 1010 on the front. They have LED bulbs as well. And cab marker lights in LEDs.

I will order up the amber lens on ebay and swap them out.

I got plans to bend some tube for a headache/chase rack off the bed to mount the light bar and move it off the cab. Similar to what this guy did minus the full tube/aluminum bed.

 

Aaron W

Established Member
Nice truck, one of my favorite body styles. I've worked off of 3 similar but slightly later K35s with the square headlights (80-84?), one rescue, one hazmat and one brush truck. All were good trucks, but 2 of them had a 454 so had trouble passing a gas station. ;)
 
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jRaven

Registered Member
I had an 84 Chevy K30 single cab dually brush truck from the Arkansas Fire Authority. It was a former CUCV M1028A3 that got painted red and put into action. I sold it in 2017 to a guy that wanted it more than me.

Round headlight trucks were 73-80. Squarehead lights 80-91. They had an option for square in 1980.

I had been on the hunt for a 77-80 round eye one ton crew cab. Coincidently, I have met 3 different people that bought trucks from a fire station. They all said the same thing - immaculately kept with complete service records and history. This truck was no different and 40 years old. So when it popped up I moved quick. Here is the service records and warranty card.

Truck is going to be 40 on the 12/29/18.

 

CrownVic97

Veteran Member
Any updates to this project truck, jRaven?
 

dg0223

Member
I love the light bar and want to convert the lenses to yellow as I am pretty sure I cant run the red lights without getting hassled. Be great to convert it over to LED as well.

When I saw the truck the light bar reminded me of the bar the Ghostbuster's hearse ran.
I know I'm a bit late to this thread, but allow me to offer up some advice. If you want an LED bar, get one that's already an LED bar. There's no good reason to take a nice, relatively clean, vintage lightbar and butcher it for a light output that isn't going to be that great. You should be able to find amber filters for it by Google searching the name of your lightbar along with rotator filter. That said, a couple of members have already offered to sell you some amber domes for your lightbar.

If you want to leave the truck as original as possible, avoid ANY LED upgrades at all. Keep the lighting the same vintage as the truck.

Also, why do you need a lightbar on the vehicle? Is it going to serve a legitimate purpose, or do you just like flashing lights like the rest of us, so you're just going to keep it mounted on your truck?

And, for the record, this lightbar is nothing like the one that were installed on the original ECTO-1. The ECTO-1 had blue/blue Code 3 XL 5000's. Those are completely different lightbars than the one mounted on the truck you purchased.
 
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