Dodge / Ram
Based on materials sent by J.P. Joans
In 1969, Chrysler Corporation was a full line manufacturer, making boats, house/business air conditioners, school buses, tanks, missiles, rockets, and motor homes.
The company was a leader in using computers for engineering, largely thanks to the Huntsville electronics center. It should come as no surprise, then, that Dodge also made heavy duty trucks, with separate lines produced for North America and Europe (the latter engineered by Commer).
Their truck lines for 1969 were C, L, and D; each had a number afterwards to indicate their class, and the letter T added on would show it had tandem rear wheels (e.g. CT700).
The L series (such as the LN-1000) were tilt cab trucks that were designed in cooperation with owners, drivers, and mechanics; as a result, it could make exceptionally tight turns (with a 50° turning angle and short length). Most key areas were galvanized, and the engine and transmission were easy to reach; owners could do a good deal of servicing without tilting the cab. Launched in February 1964, with tandem and single-axle versions, the L-series started with the L600 and L700 medium-duty line, for 24,000 to 50,000 gross weight; the heavy duty L-1000 series (in LN, LNT, LV, and LVT forms) could carry considerably more. There were sleeper and non-sleeper models, full carpeting, and high-end trim.
The D series were essentially heavier-duty versions of the company’s standard pickups.
C-series trucks had come out in 1960, and were often referred to as “LCF” (low cab forward, since they had a relatively low cab and the engine was under a traditional hood). These ranged from the C500 to the CNT900.
Cab forward trucks had a choice of two Cummins heavy-duty diesel engines; there were four Cummins diesel options for high-tonnage tilts. They all had direct injection fuel systems for economy and power, a cast-iron block and head with aluminum alloy pistons and chrome-plated top piston rings, dual Silchrome steel intake valves, and dual Stellite-faced exhaust valves.
The Detroit Diesel 8V-71N came with different fuel injectors for maximum power (318 hp @ 2100 rpm), a balance of performance and economy (290 hp @ 2000 rpm), or better economy and engine life (260 hp @ 1950 rpm, standard on LV and LVT). Detroit Diesel used cast iron block and heads, with malleable iron pistons, a counterbalanced chrome-alloy steel crankshaft, chrome plated steel piston rings, 18 oval intake ports, and 4 poppet-type exhaust valves per cylinder.
There were also gasoline V8s: two 361s and two 413s. These truck engines were specially assembled, given a test run, and inspected with the pan down before being installed. They had intake valves of Slichrome XB steel with rotators; sodium-filled, Stellite-faced exhaust valves with “Rota-Caps;” trimetal main and connecting rod bearings; induction-hardened crankshaft journals; shot-peened, drop-forged crankshaft; chrome-alloy, cast-iron block; chrome-plated top compression ring with cast iron ring groove insert; water-heated intake manifolds; and hydraulic valve lifters.
The oil pump was rotary, and the air cleaner was a heavy-duty, one-quart oil bath unit. The 361 had a two quart, pad-mounted, full flow oil filter, while the 413 had an oil cooler and a two-quart full-flow oil filter for extra protection. The biggest engine, the 413-3, included a 4-barrel carburetor. Automatic aluminum radiator shutters were standard on Models C1000 and CT900, optional on all other LCF models, for engine temperature control.
Gasoline engines used five-speed transmissions (New Process 541 or Spicer 5652A). Optional transmissions, depending on the model, were a short-fourth NP541 or five-speed Spicer 6352A. Tandems and C1000 trucks got three-speed auxiliary Spicer 7231D and four-speed auxiliary Spicer 6041 transmissions, with an optional six-speed Allison automatic on CT800.
Diesel got a Spicer five-speed transmission with short-fourth (S6452A) on all but LV1000 and LVT1000, which got a Fuller 5-speed transmission with short-fourth (T905B). Optional transmissions on all models included Fuller or Spicer models with five, ten, twelve, or sixteen gears; the CN900 and CNT900 could get the Spicer 83410 auxiliary transmission.
Rockwell or Eaton single-speed rear axles were standard with two-speed rear axles, and optional on some other trucks. All tandems had either a Rockwell or Eaton bogie with two live rear axles and the Hendrickson suspension system; equalizing beams and torque rods distributed the load evenly between the two rear axles, and transferred torque reactions to the frame.
Power was divided between the two rear axles by means of an interaxle differential to let one set of wheels travel faster than the other over uneven ground.
The C800, CT100, CT800, and D800 had vacuum-hydraulic brakes; air brakes were optional on these and standard on other trucks. They also had a drive-shaft-mounted, Orscheln-lever parking brake (C1000 and CT900 had a Berg-Shure parking and emergency brake). Diesels all had full air brakes with a 12-cublc-foot compressor and the Berg-Shure spring-loaded, air-actuated parking and emergency brake system.
Heavy-duty gasoline trucks used 13-inch double-plate and 14-inch single-plate clutches, hydraulically actuated; diesels used double-plate 14-inch Spicer clutches were standard, air-hydraulically actuated.
Dodge used a variable-rate suspension, with cam brackets on single-axle models, which theoretically gave a softer ride when traveling light, and increased resistance to weight and road shock as it was loaded down. The assembly also had only one lubrication point, and had a separate radius leaf to absorb driving and braking forces, leaving the spring free to cushion the load.
For comfort, the diesel tilt cab featured three types of insulation (fiber glass, Ensolite, and Celotex), a tinted windshield, and ventilation through a two-way vent in the roof, large vent wings in the door windows, a high inlet for the standard heater, and a special vent in the left door that provided a flow of air across the driver's feet. Other standard features included dual West Coast mirrors, air-actuated windshield wipers, windshield washer, map light, cigar lighter, dual sun visors, dispatch case, turn signals, 4-way emergency flasher, coat hooks, plus a low air/oil warning light and buzzer, front side marker lights and reflectors, and front identification and clearance lights.
For durability, the truck used box-section braced aluminum construction with “top-quality hosing, clamps, and electrical connections throughout.” For serviceability, the cab tilted hydraulically to 55°, revealing a large engine access area; there were also access doors for tiltless maintenance or repair.
The Dodge LCFs were big and tough, reinforced with heavy-gauge steel and box-section beams, riding on rubber-insulated cab mounts to snub out noise and vibrations. Ahead of the driver, a big steering wheel with a double-jointed column also absorbed road shock. These could be equipped with many options: single or tandem axles, gasoline or diesel engines, Spicer, New Process, or Fuller transmissions, Allison automatic transmission, Rockwell or Eaton rear axles (single- or two-speed).
Standard equipment included full-width, 6-way-adjustable seat (gas models); driver's Viking T-bar suspension seat (diesel models); heavy-duty instrument cluster; heater/defroster; windshield washers; dual long-arm mirrors; push-button door locks; 5-way ventilation; turn signals (double-face up front); 4-way emergency flasher; side marker lights and reflectors (front only); identification and clearance lights (front only); and backup lights.
LCF (Cab Forward) Dual-Drive Tandem Axle
The Dodge D800 conventional cab was toughest and tight, with box-section strengtheners solidly backing welded construction; heavy-duty door hinges sunk deep into the doors; extensive treatment to protect against rust; thick rubber cab mounts insulating against road shock and noise; and a durable coil spring seat. GVWs on this Dodge high-tonner went from 20,000 to 29,000 lbs. with GCWs up to 55,000 lbs. New, standard conventional cab interiors were color-keyed, with compatible headliner and door trim panels. Door handles were safely recessed in the fiberglass trim panels. Seats were heavy vinyl over coil springs. An inside rearview mirror, underseat heater, and padded instrument panel were optional Custom Interior and Exterior packages were available.
Standard features included a 6-way adjustable seat, color-keyed interiors, two seat belts, padded left sun visor, left and right armrests, push-button door locks, high-level ventilation, dome light, coat hook, rubber mat-cab floor, Orscheln-lever hand brake, two-speed electric windshield wipers, windshield washers, fresh air heater/defroster, front side marker lights, reflectors, and identification and clearance lights, backup lights, turn signals, 4-way emergency flasher, and dual long-arm outside mirrors.
Also see the Dodge 100 Series and Dodge 500 Series commercial trucks, engineered and built in Europe; and the current Dodge Class 3 and Classes 4 and 5 Ram trucks.
Brakes, were 100% air, with covered area varying by axle capacity. The clutch was a two-plate, 14” model (424 square inches). The wheels were cast-spoke ten-stud disc or ten-stud high-tensile disc.
The following used a one-quart oil bath air cleaner, and a 12-volt alternator (37, 46, or 60 amps). Service brakes were all hydraulic. Brakes, were 100% air, with covered area varying by axle capacity. The clutch was a two-plate, 14” model (424 square inches). The wheels were cast-spoke six or ten stud disc, or ten-stud high-tensile disc.
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