Posted by Clint Dixon [18.104.22.168] on Saturday, December 31, 2022 at 08:10:11 :
I always seem to post right before a Forum is refreshed. ;^)
I recently added a K Series Dodge Truck Sales Manual to my Power-Wagon library. These manuals were issued to Dodge dealerships each year in order to provide a complete list of facts and figures as an aid to sales personnel tasked with promoting and selling the new models of trucks for that year.
These binders contained more specific information and detail than the common sales brochure, but unlike the sales brochures, were not intended to be made available to the customer. They do provide a valuable source of information especially when combined with, and cross referenced to, the sales brochures available to the customer as well as the MoPar parts lists, both of which were updated every year or so. Additional cross references can be found in the service bulletins that were frequently sent to the service departments of each dealership.
With this new addition I now have access to information found in four separate Sales Manuals dated April 1951, February 1955, October 1956, and September 1961.
A quick scan of these manuals reveals information pertaining to topics that occasionally come up here on the Forum. Although probably not the final word on any of these subjects, the information within does tend to agree with and supports previous findings. Here I have compiled some data on topics that come immediately to mind.
Gross Vehicle Weight (G.V.W.) ratings:
The Sales Manuals break down possible G.V.W. ratings based upon Code Model Numbers (ordering codes) assigned to each available choice. When specifying a truck to be rated at 7,600 G.V.W., Code 76 would have been chosen. For a truck rated at 8,700 G.V.W., Code 87 was chosen. For a truck rated at 9,500 G.V.W., Code 95 was chosen.
Trucks with 7,600 G.V.W. wore 7.50/16 tires on 5.50" width rims. Those with 8,700 and 9,500 G.V.W. wore 9.00/16 tires on 6.50" rims. Both the 1951 and 1956 Manuals list all three possibilities. The 1955 Manual details only Codes 76 and 95 while the 1961 Manual details only Codes 87 and 95.
Code 76 specified the use of the 4.89:1 differential ratio while Codes 87 and 95 specified 5.83:1 differential ratios. Additionally, extra equipment was required in order to boost the G.V.W. to a rating higher than 7,600.
Beginning as early as 1951, the base Code 76 trucks wore 1,150 lb. rated front springs, 2,500 lb. rated rear springs and the aforementioned 7.50/16 tires with 8 ply construction. For 1951, Code 87 and 95 trucks continued to wear 1,150 lb. rated front springs but extra equipment rear springs were required to satisfy these higher G.V.W possibilities, each with a 3,000 lb. rating.
In addition, Code 87 trucks required 9:00/16 tires with an 8 ply construction while Code 95 trucks required the same size tires but with 10 ply construction. The same spring and tire combinations were used up thru 1961 for the aforementioned Codes.
The only available tires listed, for all four years, were the Tube-Type All-Service tread type tires in the three applicable sizes. (As pictured in the Manuals, these were what we currently refer to as "NDT" tread tires). For all four years extra equipment 1,600 lb. rated front springs were listed as available but not required. It is assumed that these higher rated front springs may have been preferred on winch equipped trucks but the earlier Manuals do not address this question. However, the 1961 Manual does show the extra equipment 1,600 lb. rated front springs as being standard with the front winch.
Front and rear axle assemblies did not change through the years and had no bearing upon G.V.W. ratings. The front axle had a 3,750 lb. rated capacity and the rear a 6,500 lb. capacity.
More to follow,
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