Grit Blogs > The Daily Commute

1965 IH 1200 Pickup: Definitely a Keeper

By Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief

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OK, so I have been waffling on whether to really keep that second IH truck of mine. You know the 2-wheel-drive partser truck that my friend Aaron picked up cheap at an auction.

1965 IH Model 1200

The truck has been on jack stands in the shop for a couple of months. Several weeks ago, I unbolted the relatively well-preserved front bumper and removed the left-front fender. The bumper was a breeze, but the fender was a bear. It took a couple of air wrenches and the Sawzall to finally free all the bolts. The fender came off unscathed except for the already present rusted-out sections. The rusted areas seemed larger than before, but that’s OK, I’ll just cut them out before welding patches back in. That is, if I don’t just scrap the truck.

Right Front Spindle

The right-front fender came off a couple of weeks ago along with the front axle’s hubs, brakes and backing plates. I tried all the tricks I know to remove the kingpins so I can replace the knuckle bushings to tighten the steering up a bit. No luck. I finally just left them soaked with PB-Blaster, my favorite penetrating fluid, and whacked the pins with a 20-pound sledgehammer on each of the next several days. Did they budge? Nope. 

Last Saturday, I pulled the rear axle shafts, hubs and brakes. And after pondering the kingpins up front again – and whacking a bit – I decided to just remove the entire axle and take it to a shop with a large enough press to push the pins free. At least that’s what I will do, if I decide to make the truck into a runner.

Right Rear Spindle

Yesterday, I went to my favorite online parts store,, to search for some of the parts needed by the old binder. They had all the brake shoes, springs, cylinders and other bits and pieces. They also had the kingpin rebuild kits in stock. I went ahead and ordered the parts; they shipped this morning.

So, I guess the 1965 truck is actually a keeper. And I expect that it will run again some day, come what may. I will do my best to keep you informed on the progress here. Meanwhile, if anyone knows of a good IH truck boneyard, or where I might find some decent used IH ¾ ton 6-bolt brake drums, I would love to hear about it.

Badly Scored Brake Drum


Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on .