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Peterbilt 351 with Peerless trailer

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I never thought I would build something as old as this - a logging truck of 1950´s. But I watched the birth of brand-new cab for Peterbilt 281/351 and was so impressed that I couldn´t resist. I bought two transkits straight from the author. I started working on one and I would like to have this


or that


As I do not know much about logging trucks of that era I will appreciate every information, every advice, every help that I can get from you. If you see me going wrong direction, please, don´t hesitate to tell me so and get me back on the right track.

This is the first big rig that I started out with frame and not the engine. It is also my first attempt to work with resin material at such an extent. But first, the good old styrene. I said I started with frame but that´s not quite correct. Actually, I started with the front axle. I didn´t have any spare one and so I copied the RoG Peterbilt 359 axle using styrene sheets and channels. Believe it or not but the axle alone, without springs, consists of some 30 parts.



The brake chambers are part of the cast set. The rest is scratch built. So is the frame. The rails are doubled for better toughness. The cross members is a mixture of resin cast, the original RoG parts and scratch built ones.





The rear suspension is attached just temporarily. I will rebuild it if I don´t get better one somehow. I hope this kind of suspension is okay for logging truck. What do you think?


I added some bolts cut from Plastruct hexagonal rod. The job is not finished yet but I think I will put them only on the outside.


Next time I will show you the birth of the cab using the author´s photos. And the modification that I have done to it. Till then I would like to know if a non turbo engine is okay for logging truck of 1950´s and if I can use two gear boxes for a twin- stick shifting. I would really appreciate this information.

Edited by truckabilly
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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks everyone. Here is how the cab I use came into being. Even though there are some cast 351 cabs available in the world, a friend of mine and local modeler decided to make his own master. He modified the Revell - Monogram Peterbilt 359 cab and turned it into the 281 / 351 cab.






With the cab shell, the einterior parts came along and some of the frame parts as well.




A 20 pcs batch (if I remember that correctly) of cast cabs and other goodies came into being the other day and this is how the fresh delivery looked like.



The whole batch is sold out at the moment. Most of the transkits ended up in local modelers hands. Only one left for the author himself.

Next time I will be back with my build.

Edited by truckabilly
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This is very cool.

Just suggestions since obviously scratchbuilding is obviously a strong suite. (I am jealous).

Consider researching the steering wheel and seats. These are a bit "fancy" if you are trying to go for original 1950's but by the same token desirable upgrades as they became available. Consider low backs and a bare bones smooth white plastic for the wheel.

The Hendrickson walking beam suspension is a good choice however my experience with loggers is they typically have a heavier arrangement for the springs or are sometimes on rubber blocks. The extra springs sticking out towards the rear as on your kit are more typical on walking beam suspension found in highway service and have a lighter load ratings. Not saying it is "wrong" by any means, simply a heavier version is typically used. See below.

I honestly cannot recall on these if the clutch pedal was a floor mount or suspended. Pete was big on a rather odd shaped floor mount for decades. The clutch pedal actually came thru the floor almost below the steering column and kicked to the left. The picture below is just to throw out to give you an idea what was used for so long (be aware the foot surfaces are not original). Again, I dont know for sure how it was done on yours.


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Thank you very much for your help, friends.

The rear suspension is just point-glued to the frame and will be replaced with either better version of Hendrickson walking beam or a completely different system. The clutch pedal... I was thinking of this arrangement.


I like it because it´s different from the 359 kit offer. But I am not sure if it isn´t a modern replacement because the truck in the pic might have undergo a restoration.

I also don´t like the tall fancy seats that came with the resin set. I was considering a complete replacement but look what I came up with at the end. I replaced the floor because the resin piece was twisted and I was too lazy to fix it. Also the original floor had the front part angled only on the inside. The bottom side was straight all the way rear to front. So, this is my floor made of plastic sheet.



Since I made this, I also had to cut off part of the fire wall so that the new floor would match.




As you can see, the cab still has round fenders. I won´t cut them off until I have the flat fenders ready. I wanted to make new seats but to make things quicker I stole this idea from another of my model building buddies (with his kind permission). I shortened the back of the passenger seat and raised the base a bit because it seemed to sit too low on the floor. I kept the driver´s seat tall and even added air spring to it. Like Jesse said, a desirable upgrade for the driver.




The idea of rubber block suspension is worth considering. I have found some pictures but I don´t know how much the look changed over the years. Could this be the thing?


Edited by truckabilly
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That would be great for the suspension. Going down amnesia lane, Hendrickson walking beams with springs typically had ratings up to about 50,000 lbs. I am sure there are exceptions. Above 50K and severe duty on up often use rubber block. The design has changed little since day one. I dont know if torque rods or shocks were used back then. Talking about a rough riding beast!

If you are going to get real obsessive on this one, note that in the pic you posted, it has the heavier "parking brake" chambers on all 4 positions and in addition they are mounted "up high". That was the typical on heavier off road suspensions and optional on most highway rigs back in "the day".

This is just so cool.

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351 (depending on the year) would be available with the Hendrickson suspensions, the Western Unit Stabiliare from the original kit and Page and Page suspensions.

Engines - Detroit Diesel, Cummins and later in the 60's Caterpillar. (more likley a Cummins).

The interior - Peterbilts upholstry was smooth, not the ribbed seats that Monogram/Revell molded the seats in. The clutch comes up through the floor and takes a turn. A auxilliary transmission (twin sticks) was available.


This one shows twin sticks..


This one is a restoration


I hope these help.


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Thanks a lot Tim. That sure helps.

I started working on the flat fenders. But I realised that I don´t have a picture showing the shape of the part between the hood side and actual fender.



I made this technological specimen. It´s not very well done and it won´t come to the model. I just tried to get the shape and dimensions. Not sure if I did it right.




Let me know, please, if you see any clear mistake. I just do by the pics I have.

Edited by truckabilly
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For those building aa standard fender 351, the step board skirt should be a solid piece, not the split piece (the split is for a tilt hood). The real panel is attached to the chassis at the cab mount and the fender. There is then an angled step inside the corner where the fender and the skirt attach.



Here's a nice side view of a 70's vintage 351L


Left view...



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Thank you very much, Tim, for your information. It´s really helpful.

I got rid of the ribs on the seats. I hope to make different upholstery for each seat and different level of wear.


I also modified the dashboard. The one from the Revell-Monogram kit is too narrow. The instruments location is different on each pic I have. I just picked one and drillied out the holes according to the picture.




Well, not that much accurate. I hope it will look okay when it´s painted.

Edited by truckabilly
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