Classic trucks are great as collectibles, and many hobbyists enjoy restoring them. If, however, you actually want to drive your classic vehicle in the modern world, it will need some modern upgrades. Here are some basics to get you started.
Safety should always come first. Upgrade the following parts to stay safe on the road.
• Brakes: Older vehicles usually have drum brakes. Sometimes they are just in the rear of the vehicle and sometimes they are on the whole truck. Upgrade to discs brakes for safe stopping.
• Gauges: Old trucks need to be monitored even more closely than modern vehicles. Install new gauges to keep track of temperature and charging. Overheating is a common problem in old vehicles, so being able to monitor the temperature is particularly important. There are even companies that make gauges in classic styles so they won’t clash with the look of your older truck.
• Seat Belts: Make sure your seat belts are up to date and in good repair.
• Power Steering: Power steering may seem like a convenience, but in tight, busy, fast traffic, it becomes a safety issue. Upgrade so you can move quickly if needed.
Convenience might not be a deal breaker if you only pull out your truck on special occasions, but if you drive it regularly, you will need to upgrade a few parts to avoid delays.
An older points ignition system will need constant adjustment and cleaning. You can become an expert on your ignition points and carry a screwdriver with you everywhere you go, but it still might mean you are late to a meeting. Switching to electronic ignition is pretty simple and will save you hours down the road.
If you’ve ever driven in commuter traffic, you know it can be pretty tedious. Older mechanical fans rely on the speed of the motor. So when the motor slows, your fan can’t keep the engine cool while you sit in traffic on a hot day. Upgrade to an electric fan so your truck doesn’t overheat while you wait in traffic.
If you spend a lot of time in your truck, comfort will be important. Upgrade the air conditioning so you can enjoy your classic truck during the hot summer months. It is also a good idea to upgrade your suspension. Modern roads are much smoother than they used to be, but we also travel at much higher speeds. Check out companies like Tonka 4-Wheel Drive Ltd. for help upgrading your suspension to modern standards.
If you’re driving a classic truck, you probably already like the way it looks, but freshening up the paint and replacing the upholstery will accentuate your truck’s classic look and protect it from wear and tear.
One of the best things about owning a classic truck is restoring it to its former glory. As you restore your truck, make a few modern renovations to keep it running for years of enjoyment.