359 Barn Find

Discussion in 'Peterbilt Forum' started by AM/PM, Feb 4, 2021.

  1. AM/PM

    AM/PM Bobtail Member

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    I found a 78 359 big cam/13 speed for $6,000. Needs interior, glass, 5th wheel plate, and tires. Owner has all glass and new weather stripping and lights that come with truck. Hasn’t been started in 3 years.
    Limb fell on truck and broke the windshield so owner bought all new glass had the truck painted, put new rear drums and shoes on it then drove it home with no windshield and parked it. 3 years later there she is. He’s a diesel mechanic intended on fixing it and selling.
    My goal would be to get her road worthy and start working an end dump I have.
    I’m not too knowledgeable on these older Pete’s, I have a fertilizer business and haul all my own material. I’ve always wanted a 359 but I was just curious about what I’m getting into with this set up. Thanks in advance guys, I know it’s hard to comment without seeing the truck but just hoping to spark some discussion with the fellas that know more than me.
     
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  3. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    Price seems pretty reasonable IMO. Some folks seem to think that 359/379 = big $$$$$$$ even if its a bagged out hunk of trash.

    Sounds like a pretty solid starting point. If the frame is good and rear end housings aren't rotted out you're off to a great start.
     
  4. Don379

    Don379 Light Load Member

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    Would have to see in person and inspect myself to tell you wat your getting into. Maybe there is a magical member on here that has magical vision that could tell you
     
  5. AM/PM

    AM/PM Bobtail Member

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    Everything looks solid even the air bags aren’t dry rotted. Just kinda looks like an intimidating project because the glass is all gone and the interior is toast. Plus the guy had it painted flat black and it’s sitting in between a bunch of junk.
    What’s the scoop on the 13 speed? Reliability is my only concern. I have only ran trucks with 10 speed eatons and a international with a 9.
    I will only be hauling 25 ton loads of fertilizer.
    Oh the dash says 279,000 so let’s go ahead and assume that’s 1.2 million on the ol girl.
     
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  6. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

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    Literally over a dozen different 13 speed models out there. We'd need the model number to really be able to tell anything about it.
     
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  7. AM/PM

    AM/PM Bobtail Member

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    I know questions like these are a can of worms. And I know nobody could possibly be specific in a response without seeing the truck, way too many variables.
    I’m just looking for tips on what to look for when I go inspect again.
    Parts might be hard to find/expensive/unique to this truck?
    Long time reader first time poster on here.
    Appreciate you guys again in advance.
     
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  8. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

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    If it sat with the windshields open in the weather I'd be concerned the rain got down into the gauges and maybe cause a problem with the fuse box or circuit board whatever is on there.

    I would also be concerned if any animals got in there mice ate the wiring or anything like that. I hate wiring problems like that.

    Maybe he had it in a barn or well covered with tarps?

    But on the positive side it has the big cam Cummins. It's hard to go wrong with that engine. If the truck was really too much people pay insane amounts of money for Peterbilt parts so you can probably Part the whole truck out and have a free engine you could put into something else worst case scenario.
     
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  9. AM/PM

    AM/PM Bobtail Member

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    Yep, not well covered. I’m going to take some batteries over there and fire it up. If none of the gauges work I’m going to video call you guys and just have you walk me through re wiring the dash. Just kidding.
    Local Cummins shop today said around 10k is average rebuild cost same place told me an N14 wasn’t worth rebuilding because it had heat cracked pistons though. Put a new head gasket in and it’s been running for 2 years haha.
    I’ll try to get some pictures for you fellas
    Thanks
     
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  10. RocketScott

    RocketScott Light Load Member

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    Depends on what's on it. Some stuff is still supported, other stuff you have to find NOS or try and upgrade the system to what is in use today

    My truck came with wedge brakes on the front. Huge pain in the ### to find parts and rebuild. Should have just swapped to cam brakes

    1978 is probably like my '89; Not old enough to be 'vintage' but not new enough to have a lot of support. I'm happy to share whatever info I have that may help
     
  11. wore out

    wore out Numbered Classic

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    I would look real serious at the roof cap they are known for rotting. They are expensive and not easily replaced. A one piece fiberglass is offered aftermarket but looks like ####. They never line up right. Also look at the front cab mounts they are notorious for breaking through.
     
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