Hello everyone. I just wanted to share some pictures of an awesome Ward Lafrance/Maxim that I am proud to say I am restoring and showing off at truck shows and musters. I wish I could say I was completely happy about it, but the events leading to me getting the truck are not exactly what I dreamed.
A few months ago our only attack engine had failed its pump test and the testing agent told us the impeller was going bad, which is an expensive repair. We are a small department with an even smaller budget, so I reached out to my brothers and sisters on these firefighter web sites I belong to and within days, I started to chat with an assistant chief about an hour away from us, and he said they just got a brand new engine, it was due to arrive within 2 weeks and they had an older 1980 Ward they were going to scrap. In fact, that NIGHT they were going to strip it and bring it to the scrap yard, which broke their hearts because it was still an excellent truck with lots to still offer, but they couldnt sell it and they didnt have the space to keep it. He told me that it was ours to have if we picked it up.
They saved us...BUT...Our "commisioners" were too proud, too silly to not put this truck in service, they told me "We dont want other peoples junk!" ?!?!?!?!?! I told them that beggars cant be choosers, and I worked with a truck like this in a past department that was a 1978 Ward and it was a work horse. They still wanted to spend the money to fix their Ford Front mount 2 man cab 1000/1000 from 1986. They spent thousands of dollars and when we got the engine back, it BARELY passed the second pump test, the truck would barely put out 500 GPM's with TWO 6" inch suction hoses drafting.......They still put it back in service, so now we have an engine that will barely give us 500 GPM's as our front line attack.
This baby that I have now still pumps full capacity with very little work and is still a gorgeous truck. I salute the department that gave us this truck and was not going to let my department get rid of it without trying to get it myself and be able to take proper care of it, so to the department that gave us this, do not worry, I will restore it to its former glory and show it at musters and shows. I will take pictures and send them to you as I progress and keep you posted...Thanks again from those of us that wanted the truck, you will be remembered through this truck and all i accomplish with it.
The truck runs like a dream and there is realy no mechanical work needed other than repairs to the pump controls. The valve that switches the pump from pressure to volume has been stuck for a while now and I want to fix that. The body has some rust damage under the axe mounts on the side of the cab, which I plan to clean up the rust and place some diamond plating over the side there to cover the holes. I will make it uniform on both sides of the cab. The only other rust damage is in the compartments in the rear, but a quick once over with a wire brush and a new plywood or sheet metal floor will fix that. The original department removed the on-spot tire chains because of issues with their drivers, but they are in the rear compartment and i will be re-mounting those as well. Then, I will be on the lookout for an old deck gun that I can mount to the top of the reel house and use for the musters.
Other than that, just cleaning her up and keeping her looking nice. The tires were all either brand new or re-treads when we got it, and the tank was brand new about 5 years ago. The light bar and warning lights still work, I need to find a Fed "Q" siren for it though and hook that up.
It should be a fun project to work on with my father-in-law and daughter, and provide for lots of memories.
Sounds good! Seems like its just enough to make it a good project but not so much that you'll have to dump a ton of cash into it. Good Luck!
You could check out Galls.com for the siren as they might still stock it or check out Darley's websites (Darley Fire Pump & Apparatus out of Illinois & Chippewa Falls, WI [where I live] ) as I know they carry the siren. Another site you could check for the "Q" siren is Federal Signal since the are the one that make it. I know I have seen it on their site before. Good Luck.
Check ebay under Fire Truck Accessories for deck guns and other fire equipment. I have bought a Apollo monitor, Stang gun and ladder pipe as well as many adapters for my project that way. For a Q just put Federal Q Siren in the search on Ebay and you will usually find several. Caution to watch pricing so you don't overpay.
Absolutely! Post any pics you have, I love to see pics of old fire trucks.
I have some sad (but happy) news for you all...
I was talking about my new truck with a friend from work the other day who is a new member of his volunteer department. He told me they desperately needed a newer engine because they lost theirs...So...Being torn between my emotions of restoring the truck with my daughter and inlaws creating memories and offering the truck to a department that needs it and seeing it continue to serve proudly for a few more years...I told him I would be happy to let them have it. (sob) (stuffs face with pizza)
I am both saddened to loose the truck, but happy to see it still do its job and serve a department proudly and still be able to protect a community. I am hoping that this department will at least allow me first dibs at getting the truck back when they are done with it so i can restore it, maybe then I will have more money to do so anyway!! So, I hope this truck serves them well and keeps them and the people they protect safe, and has many more years of honorable service. Make me proud Ward!!!
Thank you all for listening to me grovel...LOL
Thats too bad Moose, but a great thing you did for that department!
Hopefully it serves them well and gets back to you soon.
I find that pepperoni and combo pizzas work best for sad days.