If you read ‘Alex Bought an Army Truck: Episode 1,’ you may remember how I mentioned that I had made the decision to purchase a different DAF that had been restored and actually driven around for a significant amount of time. Unfortunately due to the timing and extra days that the whole process of driving the first truck to and from Kamloops took then driving back to Vermilion, I was behind on work and wouldn’t be able to return to Abbotsford for quite some time. Well, a little over a month later I was finally able to make it back to Abbotsford to hand an additional clump of money to the owner and drive away with my new truck.
This truck, like the first, I didn’t take for a test drive, which admittedly was kind of stupid, but it was immediately apparent as I drove the first few kilometers that the new truck was in far better condition than the previous and would likely make it home. It did.
This is going to be a short post and I’m not going to ramble on too much, but what I will tell you is this. The Leyland DAF is slow, really slow. It took me two and a half days of consistent driving to make it from Abbotsford back to the farm driving at an average of 80kph. Although the truck is really fun to drive and it’s hilarious the looks you get, 75-80kph gets old really quick. It is also very loud inside and I was forced to wear ear plugs for a lot of the drive. I drove to Edgewater, BC the first day to spend the night with Matt at his parents place, then to Red Deer the next day then to the farm on the third day.
The plan for this summer is to get into the guts of the truck and pull the motor and trans and replace it with a North American Cummins 5.9 6BT that is slightly newer and more powerful. The motor will be mated up to a Eaton Fuller 9 speed transmission with an overdrive highway gear which will hopefully get me 100kph while only revving at around 2100rpm. My hopes are that by reducing the rpm’s and increasing the amount of power the motor makes that I should also improve the fuel mileage from approximately 13mpg to 17mpg. The 9speed transmission will also allow me to gear down in smaller increments while traveling downhill, that coupled with an exhaust brake will make the truck significantly safer to drive and will be less wear and tear on the brakes. The 9 speed transmission is a non-synchromesh transmission which you rev match to shift instead of using the clutch which will result in less clutch wear. The truck will also receive an additional fuel tank to improve its range. By summers end I hope to have all this done so that I can begin to build the living area on the back of the truck. Stay tuned for updates.