I bought a fire engine, need help with warning equipment

Aaron W

Established Member
#1
I bought a fire engine and could use some help identifying some bits, and getting information on others as far as saving / replacing, cost etc. Some included just because it is sort of a collection and this place is about showing this kind of thing.

The engine is an ex US Forest Service 1958 Dodge W500

A couple as it sits now, and one showing the original primary equipment. My intent is to restore it to the original US Forest Service condition, green paint and all.

2.jpg

Engine.jpg

Old photo of truck.jpg
 
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Aaron W

Aaron W

Established Member
#2
Starting on the roof

Dietz 7-11 beacon, this was obviously added later since these are from the late 60s or early 1970s. I'm mixed on the beacon, I kind of like the look of the off set beacon, but it was obviously added much later.

beacon.jpg

Grover airhorn, do these vary or are they all the same? I don't see any obvious model number, just company info.

airhorn.jpg


Antenna mount? It has no radio currently.

antenna maybe.jpg

Dietz or similar Par46 lights. They have seen better days I'm not even sure if they are practucal to salvage. There were originally can lights where these are.. I have a few of Dietz lights in better condition so I'll probably use those until I can find some can lights at a price I can afford. I have time, and the forward facing red lights still look pretty good.

redlight.jpg

redlight 2.jpg
 
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Aaron W

Aaron W

Established Member
#3
The siren mount is still on the fender, but the siren is gone. I believe it would have been a Federal C5G. CAM and B&M were also popular on Forest Service trucks around this time, so I do have options, although I'd prefer the C5G (assuming that is the correct model shown in the photo from my first post).

siren mount.jpg

Rear light, there would have been two of these, I only have one. I can't make out the manufacturer, but it says Model SC Chicago IL.

rear1.jpg

rear 2.jpg

Small floodlight, I can't find any brand / model info but I know there were lots similar lights like this one from different manufacturers.

floodlight.jpg

Rear speaker made by Realistic (Radio Shack brand I think). Assuming a replacement at somepoint, don't think it could be original. Not sure what would have been available as an outside speaker in the 1960s. Yes there is a Budda attached to the back of the truck behind that speaker. I don't know what that is about. ;)

speaker.jpg
 
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Aaron W

Aaron W

Established Member
#4
Anyway, I could use some help identifying some of this equipment, tips for rehabing what can be saved, and general estimate on the cost of the missing / damaged equipment so I know what reasonable prices are vs dreamer prices.

As the photos show, I have a lot of rust to contend with so I have some time to shop around for decent prices on the warning equipment.

The truck is a 12 volt system.
 
#5
The holes for the siren suggestes as you guess a Federal siren, most probably as on the photo, a C5G.

The old rusty lights are probably, as you also think, Dietz 510 (9-51) and the can lights on the photo are to what I suspect, Trio Sales T-2.
The T-2 was made in several different colours (Black, Red, Green and Yellow) by Trio.
The problem for you will be to get these lights. They are not so common and when they come up for sale they are very expensive.

The rear light(s) might be a Unity 6” search light. There should be an ornament on top of the bezel which might have came off.
I think I see a hole on top.

You can ask Unity about this light on their own forum here at elightbars.
https://elightbars.org/forums/forums/unity-manufacturing-co.108/

You can contact Grover in L.A. Ca. if you need to identify or repair the stutter horn.
Phone: (323) 263-9981
E-mail: eteam@groverproducts.com

Michael
 
#6
Didn't Gary Cahill have reproductions made of the Trio lights? I thought he sold them by the pair in the $400 plus range. While not cheap it is about half what an original set would cost.
 

tsquale

Site Minion
Platinum Supporter
#7
Didn't Gary Cahill have reproductions made of the Trio lights? I thought he sold them by the pair in the $400 plus range. While not cheap it is about half what an original set would cost.
Not Gary, but a different guy. I can't remember his name but I had bought a set. He sold a lot of them via eBay. He stopped producing them over a year ago and has none left.
 
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Aaron W

Aaron W

Established Member
#9
I could potentially make myself a set of can lights that would look the part even if not 100% correct. I have a lathe and other metal working tools, they don't look very complex. I would think the end clamps are probably available from a currently available light.

The siren is probably going to be my biggest issue, it seems like my first choice, a C5G is fairly scarce so I assume they probably demand fairly high prices when found complete with the body shell in decent shape.
I see CAM sirens occasionally in the $600 range, most seem to be 6V but I assume there is a work around available for that. B&M of course is still in business, but a new Super Chief is $2200... that is a lot to spend particularly for a 3rd choice.
 
#11
The bezels for the Trio T-2 was the same as for the Dietz 510 (9-51).
These should not be to difficult to get.
You already have two.

I think that it easier to find a Federal C5G than a CAM 104 or B&M SC8B.
The holes in the fender is for the Federal mounting base so that make it easier to reinstall without to much problems.

Michael
 

BLUELIGHT

Established Member
#12
Starting on the roof

Dietz 7-11 beacon, this was obviously added later since these are from the late 60s or early 1970s. I'm mixed on the beacon, I kind of like the look of the off set beacon, but it was obviously added much later.

View attachment 215898

Grover airhorn, do these vary or are they all the same? I don't see any obvious model number, just company info.

View attachment 215899


Antenna mount? It has no radio currently.

View attachment 215900

Dietz or similar Par46 lights. They have seen better days I'm not even sure if they are practucal to salvage. There were originally can lights where these are.. I have a few of Dietz lights in better condition so I'll probably use those until I can find some can lights at a price I can afford. I have time, and the forward facing red lights still look pretty good.

View attachment 215901

View attachment 215902
Your antenna mount is very similar to NMO antenna mounts. If so, the threaded collar should screw off. There is an inside/outside threaded ring that fits over mount and allows the antenna to screw onto it. Google NMO antenna mount for pictures. You may need to have the hole welded up and start over.
 
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Aaron W

Aaron W

Established Member
#14
Glad to hear the C5G is not as hard to find / costly as I had assumed.


Your truck is a beast. Wish I could find a neat old warrior like that with good running gear.
I've wanted a fire engine for quite some time, and semi-seriously been looking for about 15 years. I'm very fussy, I wanted something directly related to my career, a truck I'd worked on, or at least one from a department I'd been with.

Finally everything lined up, it met my narrow window of needs, the price was right and for once I was the first guy to call the seller. This is going to be quite a job, but it has solid bones to work from.
 

MRFD715

Lurking Newbie
#15
I'm not any help with the lighting and siren on this one but I'm a Mopar guy so I just had to chime in to say how cool that truck is. I wanted to get my department's 1969 W300 Air Force P10 when we turned it back in to DOD but I couldn't get it bought, my plan was to do the same as you and restore it to original condition. Good luck with the restoration on yours!
 
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Aaron W

Aaron W

Established Member
#17
I am planning on documenting the restoration, but hope people are patient as I am doing as much of the work as I can myself. There are some things that I will have to hire out though, paint being the big one when that time comes, lots of work before I get there though.

I put a battery in the truck, the heater blower and one red light work, the starter makes a clunk sound... hey we have to start somewhere, two of 6,389 things off the list. :) Oh and crawling under the truck it has a poly tank, so no rusted out tank to worry about.

I've seen restoration threads for warning devices, but not seen whole vehicles done here. I guess the Installs, builds and projects forum would be the place for that thread?

Thanks, watching that Q2 / C5GB. If the B stands for brake than that would be the right model, there is a button on the dash for a siren brake.
 
#18
There are two versions of the Grover air horns. The standard truck horn and the “Stuttertone” Emergency horn. The Stuttertones have the word Emergency on the back plate. Of course, they are more expensive than the standard horns. And yes, the spotlights on the back are Unity AG Decklights. I have a few available when you get to that point.
 
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Aaron W

Aaron W

Established Member
#19
There are two versions of the Grover air horns. The standard truck horn and the “Stuttertone” Emergency horn. The Stuttertones have the word Emergency on the back plate. Of course, they are more expensive than the standard horns. And yes, the spotlights on the back are Unity AG Decklights. I have a few available when you get to that point.
I've gotten under the truck, and found the compressor and air tank, I suspect both will need replacement. The tank is quite rusty. The airhorn and airlines don't look bad, the lines are copper and I'm guessing the horn is stainless steel. It looks like Grover does sell a compressor and tank, so replacement shouldn't be be an issue other than possibly originality, and safety wins over that.

Thanks for the offer on the Unity lights, I will keep that in mind. My initial focus is going to be getting the truck functional before dealing with the warning devices.

I've now seen two decent looking C5GBs sold for less than $500 on ebay which is encouraging. I was tempted to go after them but it makes more sense to get the truck moving safely under its own power before splurging on the bells and whistles.
 
#20
I have no knowledge of this truck but is not the break system air powered?
Usually you use the vehicle’s break air compressor and tank for the air horns.
If it like that, the compressor and tank you found are for the break system.

Michael
 
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Aaron W

Aaron W

Established Member
#21
I have no knowledge of this truck but is not the break system air powered?
Usually you use the vehicle’s break air compressor and tank for the air horns.
If it like that, the compressor and tank you found are for the break system.

Michael
No the air horn with the related compressor and tank is an add on. The truck is only 20,000gvw (basically same class as a Ford F550) and is equipped with hydraulic brakes.


Grover sells air horns systems like this for non-air brake equipped light and medium duty vehicles that want a more substantial horn.

This one has dual horns, but same idea.

https://airhornsbygrover.com/product/1605/
 
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Maxim2Eng

Premium Member
Platinum Supporter
#22
Trucks of this size typically do not have air brake systems. In the 60s & 70s some trucks of this size would use power assist brakes that included an external slave/vacuum assist unit to do the actual braking. I have a '79 F-650 10-wheel grain truck that has the unit mounted on the frame directly behind the cab. When the brake pedal is depressed, the slave unit engages the vacuum assist that applies the brakes. Like a car, only beefier. Still, quite an exhilarating experience when fully loaded (30k)!
 
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Aaron W

Aaron W

Established Member
#23
Trucks of this size typically do not have air brake systems. In the 60s & 70s some trucks of this size would use power assist brakes that included an external slave/vacuum assist unit to do the actual braking. I have a '79 F-650 10-wheel grain truck that has the unit mounted on the frame directly behind the cab. When the brake pedal is depressed, the slave unit engages the vacuum assist that applies the brakes. Like a car, only beefier. Still, quite an exhilarating experience when fully loaded (30k)!
Is that what they called an air over hydraulic brake system?

I've heard and read about them, but never seen one in the wild. :)

This truck doesn't have that, but it does have a Mico-lock, sort of an auxiliary parking brake that I've gotten mixed reviews on from people who have used them.
 

Maxim2Eng

Premium Member
Platinum Supporter
#24
Think of the vacuum assist component on the master cylinder on a car being much larger and located on the frame.
IMG_2006.JPG IMG_2007.JPG
This is hydraulic/hydraulic: there is a car-size master cylinder on the firewall that engages the vacuum assist. That pulls the lever in and apples braking pressure on the second master cylinder next to the frame rail (both are single cylinder masters). Simple but effective for the era, although not as effective as air brakes.
 

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