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DrKerry

What’s the major differences between Pete 359’s-379’s and 389’s

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Just like the title says. Looking to find out what the major differences are between the three classes of Pete’s. I know air cleaners were moved under hood and the 379-389’s have the kick up in roof and sleeper..

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If Tim A may show up on here he could tell you. The dash for one.359 had a half moon or what some would call a Corvet dash.379 is square. 389 is some what oval. Try Yahoo search.

The 359 and 379 hoods are a little different. That's all I can think of.

 

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Posted (edited)

There are many differences between these three generations of Peterbilt’s flagship truck. On the surface, casual observers will just see a long-nosed square grille truck. Through each truck’s 20 or so year production run (the 389 is in its 10th year) since the late 60’s there were numerous changes, but the general style stayed the same. Not to get into too much detail, here’s the main spotting differences, so at a glance, or at least a quick look-over, you can tell which one is which:

Headlights. Most 359s were built with dual round lamps, later ones were square, but  most all 379s have dual square lights. Key difference with all of them are the 359s having the turn signals on the fenders and 379s have them on the ends of the headlight housing. The 389s have a roundish oblong headlight “pod”. Ugly if you ask me, but really different. In most cases you can tell the trucks apart this way, but long-nosed Pete’s are a custom builders’ playground, and anything goes. But, generally this will be the easiest spotting feature. 

Air Cleaners. The 379 and 389 have larger air cleaners on both sides, and the 359 often had only one. Even if they were equipped with dual ones, the air cleaner tubing on a 359 was visible in a elbow shape in front, extending from the hood area to the canister. Also the hood itself has a cut-out curved notch surrounding the tubing that isn’t part of the hood that opens.

Hoods. The aluminum hoods on all three are different but they are subtle differences, specially at first glance. BBC lengths on the 359 (bumper to back of cab) were 119” and more rarely 127”. The 379 was the opposite with the 127” being more common. The 389 has a longer 131” BBC, with a shorter 123” aluminum hood on the less common 388 model. The 359 had a wide center hood trim on the top and the 379 and 389 has a narrow one. The 389 has a rounder edge to the grille surround and it’s pretty noticeable when compared side by side to a 379. Both the 379 and 389 has a larger, wider hood overall when compared to the 359.

Cabs. With the larger hood comes a wider cab. The 379 and 389 cabs are wider though still not even close to the ubiquitous wide-cabs of today. This is again subtle, but the 389 and 379 has a more angled windshield, the 359 was more upright. The early 359s had even smaller windows, just google “little window 359”.

Those are the tools I use when spotting the trucks out on the road. Sleeper types and cab roofs can also provide clues, but generally those variations are shared with the 379 and 389, rather than the older 359.

Now, our hobby world doesn’t reflect our current reality. 359s are everywhere on the workbenches and storage shelves of the glue slingers of the world, yet not common on the roads today, as the newest ones are over 30 years old. The 379 (the most popular owner-operator truck of all time, and still the most popular show truck) is only available in resin, as is the 389. The 389 is even harder to find, as no one is currently making it in resin. Maybe even after 10 years, people still think it’s a 379.

I bet many people think the 359, 379, and 389 are all the same truck. Maybe model manufactures do too, or at least they believe, rightfully so, that everyone else does, so why make a separate kit?

Its great that you want to know how to tell them apart. I hope this helps.

 

Edited by vincen47

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Posted (edited)

Tim Ahlborn has a website with lots of useful information and pictures of Peterbilts.
 http://www.timstrucks.com/ 
If you browse around there you'll find answers to mostly everything you want to know.

Edited by Force

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359's have different cabs, called "little window" or Unilite cabs, which are far removed from the newer styles. Another good one is the fact that due to center point steering, 359's generally have smaller track width up front than both 79's and 89's. And of course, if we're talking 1/1s, powertrain options are just about always a dead giveaway.

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Peterbilt switched from the Unilite cab to the 1100 series cab in 1972. Not only did the 1100 cab have larger windows, but the bottom of the doors were rounded off and slam locks replaced the lever style door handles. The corners of the windshields are a little more rounded on the 359 than the 379. Not all 359s had center point steering. The dash went through changes during the production years of the 359 as well. The 1100 series cab is definitely closer to the 379 than the Unilite cab, but still quite a few differences. As was mentioned before, research reference pictures of the real thing and check out Tim's website for a lot of good info including Peterbilts you've never heard of.

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A ton of great info guys!!!! Many thanks for the info you all provided! I’ll be thumbing around over at Tim’s this weekend.. 

i know the older 359’s and see the difference of that model from the 79’s and 89’s and did notice the difference in headlight assemblies! I’ll do some more digging. 

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