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Questions about the Freightliner COE cabin


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Muncie

MCM Ohana

On 8/2/2020 at 9:39 PM, stenfalk said:

The Freightliner COE is a good piece of truck. And the model knows how to please, indeed!

Since I am currently looking through many photos to understand the development of the WFT cabin over the years, I have a question. Is the into the casing worked step over the round wheel arch photographically documented? So far I could only identify a variant of two metal brackets or a "ladder" behind the wheel arch without a further step under the door, but I would like to know if there were other shapes.

The Wrecker looks great - good work combining the Freightliner with the wrecker body.

Please post some pictures of the steps that you've seen - I can add some notes and history 

 

leafsprings

MCM Ohana

On 8/2/2020 at 9:39 PM, stenfalk said:

 

Since I am currently looking through many photos to understand the development of the WFT cabin over the years, I have a question. Is the into the casing worked step over the round wheel arch photographically documented? 

This would be a great topic in the Reference Photo thread. Fender design  and steps started to get unpredictable on WF's in the early to mid 70's

 

 

Ok guys, I'll try to add photos to my question. First we see three vehicles with a round wheel cutout. Wire bracket step in the wheel recess.

1960.jpg.09eb1999ea2e4fc66e0c52ff7a88a0b8.jpg

1968.jpg.d255fe9bb8cfb59f23191bc88ffffad5.jpg

1978.jpg.114643195ca08aa80104e49c56afb894.jpg

The next three photos show flattened wheel arches, the entrance step is above the wheel arch.

1977.jpg.2551250944664943316e24d59c9ceb0c.jpg

1979.jpg.357ec20866e19b9a15849f47fda98a5a.jpg

1981.jpg.5c9586451d752c8e895c24b083ed55f3.jpg

I couldn't find a photo anywhere that shows a round wheel arch with a "cut out" step like this in

Could this possibly be a "do-it-yourself"? Do you know more?

 

 

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48 minutes ago, stenfalk said:

thanks for the pics - I couldn't get thru this without them.

Hope this works, Let's see how far we get...

  • The solid plate below the grille would identify this as a 21 Serie COE, maybe late 1960's, probably early 70's.  The loop steps below the door and on the cab skirt aft of the wheel would be the only steps that were available for this time period.  The loop type step continued in production thru 1982 when new cab access regulations became effective.

Ok guys, I'll try to add photos to my question. First we see three vehicles with a round wheel cutout. Wire bracket step in the wheel recess.

1960.jpg.09eb1999ea2e4fc66e0c52ff7a88a0b8.jpg

 

  • This  (green and white) would be late 1970's, also 21 series cab but with a very early design ladder step on the cab skirt and loop step below the door.   Loop steps would still be standard, and ladder step would be a very rare option. probably an owner operator hauling for a moving van company.

1968.jpg.d255fe9bb8cfb59f23191bc88ffffad5.jpg

 

 

 

  • We'll call this (blue on blue) mid 1970's an owner operator rig because its dressed up a bit.  It's the 61 series cab which was an upgrade from the 21 series.  Still a single bar down the center of the grille but note the perforated panel below the grille.  Loop steps below the door and on the cab skirt would be standard and what most fleets ran. The ladder step on the cab skirt on this one would have been an option.  
  • The tooled ladder step puzzles me. It may have been a later modification to make it look like a newer truck.  There have been two types of ladder steps, tooled or the earlier fabricated step.  This may have been a very late 61 series after the tooled step became available but the White Freightliner name plates tell me it's an earlier truck

1978.jpg.114643195ca08aa80104e49c56afb894.jpg

The next three photos show flattened wheel arches, the entrance step is above the wheel arch.

  • We'll add one more truck before we continue with the pictures.  That will be the AMT COE kit.  In the mid 1970's we're also seeing more horsepower which needs more cooling - requiring larger radiators.  Freightliner got more room by raising the cab - known as the Raised Cab 61 series.  The 21 series was probably phased out by then.  That raised the door above the wheel well.  Loop steps below the door and on the cab skirt were still standard on the raised cab but there was about a 3" tall panel below the door.   I haven't really pinned a model year on the AMT kit but it has to be about 1971 or 1972, possibly 1973.  That's about the time that ladder steps were being developed.  The first design was fabricated from aluminum sheet metal channels and step tread material.  The step under the door was just a fabricated aluminum box with a piece of step tread.   This is what is in the AMT kit.  Early design, probably a show truck that Freightliner built for truck shows, but still a customer unit.
  • 61 series raised cab - loop steps standard, ladder step optional with a box step under the door.  
  • Not many were built with the fabricated ladder steps  - most fleets avoided the option and they were replaced later in production by the tooled steps. 
  • The shape of the wheel well is also part of the changes for the raised cab

Back to the regular program -  

This truck is one more step in the evolution (Freightliner doesn't really have model year changes - production changes are more evolutionary). 

  • Steps first - this is the tooled step under the door and the tooled ladder steps on the cab skirt.  The vertical parts of the ladder step are formed with a curve that matches the tire.  In later years, the ladder step loop became one piece.
  • We've jumped another gear here.  This black and white truck is a mid to late 1970's 71 series cab, also known as a Stretch cab.  Horsepower and cooling requirement had continued to increase.  Radiators became bigger again, but this time wider.  The 71 series cab is 4" wider than the 61 series.  The 71 series is easily identified visually by the  two vertical bars in the perforated grille.
  • Will identify this one as about 1975 - has the larger optional 96" cab but still with White Freightliner nameplates

1977.jpg.2551250944664943316e24d59c9ceb0c.jpg

 

  • Gotta love those late 1970's show truck paint jobs - I was going to call this 1978, but the tag in the window says 1979 (Freightliner usually changed model year in April).
  • Emblems changed to Freightliner (White Freightliner is gone), 
  • It's another 71 Series Stretch cab.

1979.jpg.357ec20866e19b9a15849f47fda98a5a.jpg

 

  • And the gray truck has the one piece ladder step frame which was a little longer and lowered the bottom step.
  • The 61 series was still in production but basically just for fleets that didn't need the big horsepower engines.  But fleet horsepower was increasing, too. and fleets were changing to the 71 series.
  • About this time period, The deluxe ladders steps were made standard on the 71 series and the loop steps were gone by the end of 1982.
  • There was also a narrower Deluxe ladder step for the shorter cabs. Also, notice the space between the fuel tank and the ladder step to allow the cab to tilt.
  • no test
  • hope this helps

1981.jpg.5c9586451d752c8e895c24b083ed55f3.jpg

I couldn't find a photo anywhere that shows a round wheel arch with a "cut out" step like this in

Could this possibly be a "do-it-yourself"? Do you know more?

 

 

 

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Posted 16 hours ago, Muncie said

 

thanks for the pics - I couldn't get thru this without them.

Hope this works, Let's see how far we get...

Thank you both very much for the extensive information about the Freightliner COE. I would certainly never have found out that without your help! Steve, you have drawn my eyes to details that can only be discovered with your incredible knowledge. Special thanks therefore! I think I have to create a table now ... ?

Two another questions are following - is cabin 61 simply a little higher compared to 21 due to an extension at the lower edge? And is the radiator inlet of the various series 21/61/71 different in heights and widths? And if so, do you know the measurements?

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Hi Torsten,

your questions

Two another questions are following - is cabin 61 simply a little higher compared to 21 due to an extension at the lower edge? And is the radiator inlet of the various series 21/61/71 different in heights and widths? And if so, do you know the measurements?

I would have to say that I don't know.  The 21 series was before my time but I believe it was considerably different from the 61 series.  The 21 series is probably smaller than the 61 series.  I think Freightliner had the same goal in mind - more horsepower, more cooling and took the opportunity to do a major redesign.  Drivers were probably also looking for more room and comfort.

If my memory is correct, the 61 series raised cab has a three inch taller grille opening than the earlier 61 Series (not raised).  The 71 Series is four inches wider that the 61 Series - right down the middle - grille, windshield, dash, tunnel, roof, back wall... driver space was the same in both 61 series and the 71 series.

So we've quickly covered COE models. 21 Series, 61 Series,  61 Series Raised cab,  and  the 71 series also known as Stretch

Other things that you will notice -  

The location of the door handle changed at some point in time - from the center of the door to the lower corner - easier to reach.

Grab handle lengths- longer grabhandles were an option on the 61 Series, 61 series Raised Cab, and 71 Series. but became standard late 1970's (?)

Round corner doors - Rounded on the rear lower corner were an option that became standard - also sometime in the late 1970's (might have been early 1980's).

Speaking of doors, the gray truck in the last picture has the "new door."  which was a bulkhead design and both front a rear lower corners were rounded. The new door went into production in the early 1980's and is the same door that was used on the FLA and FLB COE's.

The AMT kit has the optional noseskin reinforcement.  This is a steel panel that is riveted over the noseskin above the grille.  Consolidated Freightways and otherwise very rare. That is why the front of the AMT kit looks different from most photos that you will see.  I've seen some model builders convert the AMT kit to the standard noseskin - lot of work. 

COE cab sizes:  for 71 series, bumper to back of cab, nominal, not exact and varied with bumper options  - non-sleeper 48", 51", 63" (AMT single drive), - sleeper 72" (bunk was usable only for storage), 75", 86" (AMT dual drive), 96" and 104"

The Sales Date Book was huge.  Freightliner was known as a Custom truck builder.  There were some common specs but you will see a lot of different things.  Trucks will be modified as they go thru new owners.

Hope this helps, 

 

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2 hours ago, Muncie said:

Hi Torsten,

your questions

Two another questions are following - is cabin 61 simply a little higher compared to 21 due to an extension at the lower edge? And is the radiator inlet of the various series 21/61/71 different in heights and widths? And if so, do you know the measurements?

I would have to say that I don't know.  The 21 series was before my time but I believe it was considerably different from the 61 series.  The 21 series is probably smaller than the 61 series.  I think Freightliner had the same goal in mind - more horsepower, more cooling and took the opportunity to do a major redesign.  Drivers were probably also looking for more room and comfort.

If my memory is correct, the 61 series raised cab has a three inch taller grille opening than the earlier 61 Series (not raised).  The 71 Series is four inches wider that the 61 Series - right down the middle - grille, windshield, dash, tunnel, roof, back wall... driver space was the same in both 61 series and the 71 series.

So we've quickly covered COE models. 21 Series, 61 Series,  61 Series Raised cab,  and  the 71 series also known as Stretch

Other things that you will notice -  

The location of the door handle changed at some point in time - from the center of the door to the lower corner - easier to reach.

Grab handle lengths- longer grabhandles were an option on the 61 Series, 61 series Raised Cab, and 71 Series. but became standard late 1970's (?)

Round corner doors - Rounded on the rear lower corner were an option that became standard - also sometime in the late 1970's (might have been early 1980's).

Speaking of doors, the gray truck in the last picture has the "new door."  which was a bulkhead design and both front a rear lower corners were rounded. The new door went into production in the early 1980's and is the same door that was used on the FLA and FLB COE's.

The AMT kit has the optional noseskin reinforcement.  This is a steel panel that is riveted over the noseskin above the grille.  Consolidated Freightways and otherwise very rare. That is why the front of the AMT kit looks different from most photos that you will see.  I've seen some model builders convert the AMT kit to the standard noseskin - lot of work. 

COE cab sizes:  for 71 series, bumper to back of cab, nominal, not exact and varied with bumper options  - non-sleeper 48", 51", 63" (AMT single drive), - sleeper 72" (bunk was usable only for storage), 75", 86" (AMT dual drive), 96" and 104"

The Sales Date Book was huge.  Freightliner was known as a Custom truck builder.  There were some common specs but you will see a lot of different things.  Trucks will be modified as they go thru new owners.

Hope this helps, 

 

Steve,

I am touched that you have taken so much time for my requests. I'm afraid that I will unfortunately never be able to repay you for this, not even with information. You will always know more than I do, because you are lucky enough to have grown up with these great machines. I am all the more grateful for your willingness to share this knowledge with me! That's very friendly.

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No worries, I'm glad that you are interested.  Your questions were intelligent questions, very specific and the (very helpful) photos would have taken me much longer to find - that all made it much easier to respond. It was a pleasure to go back thru some memories.  

There are a lot of people here willing to provide information, don't be afraid to ask.

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On 8/18/2020 at 9:15 PM, Muncie said:

No worries, I'm glad that you are interested.  Your questions were intelligent questions, very specific and the (very helpful) photos would have taken me much longer to find - that all made it much easier to respond. It was a pleasure to go back thru some memories.  

There are a lot of people here willing to provide information, don't be afraid to ask.

Steve, thank you again, I know to appreciate these advantages in the forum.

But I would like to come back to our previous research results. Based to your hints, I have been able to read with many new search terms in other, previously hidden posts. There it could be seen that the Cab series 61 was the variant of the first tilting driver's cab, while the series 21 was the fixed form accessible from the front as in these photo:

8c127f3d-ba14-4c64-9df1-6573.jpg.e9199026ace1969669e8e96c1a1e3dd6.jpg

Then the construction with the one-piece closed plate under the grill would already be a 61, the perforated plate an indication of the raised 61 and the later wider grill the hallmark of the 71 series. Can you confirm these new information or are you sure that your classification of my original photos is correct?

I also found out that there was a "Powerliner" with a huge grill on the (modified) raised 61 cabin for a few years from 1973, also an interesting sight!

Power.jpg.62f687f3eed5e141c25a1e824843de7a.jpg

Power1977.jpg.7c0e292d6af70a02119792405ee4adde.jpg

I also found out that there was a "Powerliner" with a huge grill on the Raised 61 cabin for a few years from 1973, also an interesting sight!

Kind regards

Torsten

 

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Good questions,

You caught the obvious detail that I missed.  Prior to 1958 The cab did not tilt.  Engine access was thru the tunnel in the cab but there were several custom variations..

You're right , I am misidentifying what I've been calling the the 21 series.    I'm learning also - I did some checking on the internet. I agree with you and the red and white truck with the solid plate below the grille in the first picture is a 61 series  - prior to the 61 series raised cab.  My good knowledge, what's left, starts mid 1970's. and is for the 61 series raised cab, and 71 series.  I try not to talk about things that I don't know but I also make mistakes - not many (I hope) but it happens.  I should have picked up a few pieces of the old documentation for reference long ago when I had the opportunity, but who knew.  

The Powerliner was it's own animal.  The outside cab dimensions were the same as the wider 71 Series.  Detroit Diesel, Cummins and Caterpillar came up with with some big power engines in the 1970's.  Way beyond the normal 250 to 300 for the time. At first, Powerliner was minimum 400 horsepower but later became minimum 600 HP.  A huge 1200 square inch radiator to cool all that horsepower was behind that big grille.  They were expensive trucks.  Mostly an owner-operator truck but there were a couple of small fleets that had them..  Very few were built and each one took a lot of custom engineering work.  The front of the chassis was unique.  As you can see in the photos, Powerliner owners loved their trucks and all of them were well taken care of. 

Looking at the photos I found one more thing.  The licenses plate bracket on the cab is hinged so that it doesn't interfere with the steering gear.  The pitman arm goes thru a notch in the cab in a hard left turn.  The license plate bracket could be ordered in several sizes - one to match could be added on the passenger side, also hinged  - and one below the bumper could be ordered in various sizes, also hinged.  what fun that was 

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On 8/20/2020 at 6:00 PM, Muncie said:

Good questions,

You caught the obvious detail that I missed.  Prior to 1958 The cab did not tilt.  Engine access was thru the tunnel in the cab but there were several custom variations..

You're right , I am misidentifying what I've been calling the the 21 series.    I'm learning also - I did some checking on the internet. I agree with you and the red and white truck with the solid plate below the grille in the first picture is a 61 series  - prior to the 61 series raised cab.  My good knowledge, what's left, starts mid 1970's. and is for the 61 series raised cab, and 71 series.  I try not to talk about things that I don't know but I also make mistakes - not many (I hope) but it happens.  I should have picked up a few pieces of the old documentation for reference long ago when I had the opportunity, but who knew.  

The Powerliner was it's own animal.  The outside cab dimensions were the same as the wider 71 Series.  Detroit Diesel, Cummins and Caterpillar came up with with some big power engines in the 1970's.  Way beyond the normal 250 to 300 for the time. At first, Powerliner was minimum 400 horsepower but later became minimum 600 HP.  A huge 1200 square inch radiator to cool all that horsepower was behind that big grille.  They were expensive trucks.  Mostly an owner-operator truck but there were a couple of small fleets that had them..  Very few were built and each one took a lot of custom engineering work.  The front of the chassis was unique.  As you can see in the photos, Powerliner owners loved their trucks and all of them were well taken care of. 

Looking at the photos I found one more thing.  The licenses plate bracket on the cab is hinged so that it doesn't interfere with the steering gear.  The pitman arm goes thru a notch in the cab in a hard left turn.  The license plate bracket could be ordered in several sizes - one to match could be added on the passenger side, also hinged  - and one below the bumper could be ordered in various sizes, also hinged.  what fun that was 

Hello again,

It was a lot of fun working with you to expand my knowledge. You were practically the key to my Freightliner closure, thank you again for that! Your reference to the license plate brackets is valuable also. I am now working on my table and will present it to you as soon as I am ready. But I've already found something interesting: The Turboliner! Also a "strong" piece ... ☺️

Almost forgotten: do you know the usual cabin lengths of the 61 and 71 series? So far for the 61 I've been able to determine 48 ", 58", 65 ", 72" and 75" since the beginning and then 51", 63", 86", 104" and 96" in the flow of time. Then i read about a 56" cab from which the first conventional WFC cabin is said to have been cut. It remains a mystery to me that because I have not found any information about the introduction of the 56". Could that be a typo?

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You reading the internet again?  Oh wait, this is the internet too...

I'm glad you understand my English - I hate working to write correctly by the grammar book rules.  I'm glad you are putting it into a table -will be glad to see it.

Turbinliner - ah yes, well before my time but interesting and sadly, most of the people who would have known about them are gone.  That is another thing that I should have learned about when I had a chance.  I believe only two were built as test trucks, at least one with a Boeing turbine.  They may have had some test runs with a customer but it never made it to production.  Consolidated Freightways owned Freightliner at the time so some assumptions are probably accurate about who was interested.  They that didn't have the performance or fuel economy.  Don't know until you try. Several other truck manufacturers were also giving turbines a try at the time.  They made tremendous press for everybody even if combustion engines were still king. I've been trying to find a technical paper at SAE but haven't spent a lot of effort looking. 

All of the cab lengths for the 61 and 71 series are below - they were not all available at first.   Some were added for special customer applications or to make larger cabs available as customers wanted more deluxe accommodations.  I think the other cab sizes are earlier, probably non-tilt cabs, based on what I saw on the internet yesterday... had to look

48" special customer application

51"   The 51" has more than a family relationship with the conventional.  The FLC conventional was derived  from the 51" COE with some cab common parts.  The left and right cab decks are basically the same but the floor uses a lower and narrower tunnel for the conventional - much lower, much narrower  (The 56" is maybe a typo but at Freightliner??? it's may have been something earlier)  

63" - this is the AMT kit day cab single drive, common for fleets.  Most common size for non-sleepers.

72" - very small bunk - probably useful only for storage.  This worked well when trucks had an optional air intake and/or exhaust that routed inside the cab at the rear corners.  Check the air intake bonnet on the red and white truck at the beginning.  I bet there is something like that for exhaust on the other side.

75" sleeper,  a little more room

86" - we know this as the AMT kit sleeper cab dual drive sleeper.  Most common option 

96" and 104". 

Cab Width (outside surface to outside surface, give some tolerance for the way they were built or designed depending on who's saying it)  is 90.38" for 61 series, and 94.38" for 71 series.  Steps mirrors, turnsignals, grabhandles were excluded from overall width measurement.  The AMT kit is right on.

An assortment(13", 18" and 24") of baggage doors was available. 18"x18" was most common with a single door on each side for the 86" cab

In the days of the COE before 1982, cab size was driven significantly by the size and weight regulations. Vehicle size and weight were controlled by the states - size was governed by the overall length of the combined tractor and trailer.  A larger cab meant less freight, meant less revenue.  Trucks were tools to do a job.  After the Surface Transportation Assistance Act in 1982, the Federal Government specified that the size regulations would be based on just size of the trailer.  The Federal government couldn't directly tell the states what the regulations would be but they could be persuasive by connecting the regulations to economic assistance thru the interstate high way system.  Pretty effective.  Interstate fleets wanted the change because it basically changed 50 different state regulations to one.  They had to have different trucks in some states.  Overnight, the truck market changed to conventionals. 

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