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Kenworth W900 - I need some important information


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Sometimes I could condemn myself for succumbing to the charm of American big rigs from the 60s to 80s. It's so difficult to work your way through and understand the modifications of the different types. But since this forum were able to help me a lot when it came about the Freightliner COE, I hope that at least one of you can answer my question about the Kenworth W900. It revolves around the width of the hood or grill. Am I right when I deduce from the photos I have available that there were a total of three different dimensions within the W900, W900A and W900B series between 1961 and 1990? A narrow nose, the typical wide grill of the late series and a size that stood between the two? At least until around 1975/76? It would be great if someone could give me a tip! Thank you in advance!

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You are correct in your assessment about the W900 vs W900A. W900 was a narrow tilt hood that replaced the butterfly hoods of years prior. 1967 brought us the W900A wide hood, which was used with minor changes until about 1981 or so. The W900A was also available in two hood lengths, the longer of which was to accommodate larger and high horsepower engines such as the Detroit Diesel 12V-71. W900B followed and is easily identifiable by square headlights versus round ones. The W900B is still in production today, along with the W900L which is the long hood version of the W900B. There's lots of minute details and differences among all the model years, but these are the basic breakdown of them. I'm no KW expert, but they're one of my favorites.

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The Kenworth 900 Series (narrow nose) debut in 1956, and was produced through 1962.  In 1962, Kenworth introduced the W900 (wide nose) which as Casey mentioned continues production with various changes to today.  For reference, here are what the various kits build up to:

AMT Kenworth W923/W925 - 1969-1971 (W923 spring rear suspension / W925 tandem torsion bar rear suspension)

Revell USA (Monogram) W900 AeroDyne- 1976-1982 (AeroDyne sleeper debuted in 1976)

Revell of Germany W900 - 1972-1982

Gary Wallace of GW Trucks does make a W900B resin conversion kit.  One of the changes from the W900 kits & the W900B is the exhaust is run on top of the frame instead of below it.

DSC02472.JPG.71ce126b638212ac85c47cda355cf237.JPG

When you look at old pictures, Kenworth had a 900-series & a 500-series conventional that looked virtually identical.  I'm not sure what the difference is: diesel vs. gasoline maybe?  Not sure.  To make matters more confusing, Kenworth called their COE at this time (predecessor to the K100) a 500-series.  No idea why.

Edited by Jim B
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