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 .

5/14/2016 4:36:34 PM

I need a spindel for a 1975 ih 500

5/20/2014 5:35:44 AM

Hi Hank, I enjoy reading about your experience with the truck. I have a 68 International with some door hinge issues. I think that fender removal is in my near future. Any tips on this? Are the bolts all obvious, or are some in hiding? What's with the British car links for so many of us? In my misspent youth I've owned 3 Bugeyes and a Spitfire. And now an International pickup? See you guys at the square dance some time. In the engine bay! With a Whitworth! Thanks for sharing, Alan

bill mcpherson_1
3/24/2010 10:58:25 AM

For parts such as a good brake drum, I suggest Chances are they will have them in stock.

hank will_2
1/20/2010 1:16:23 PM

Holy Morgan Plus 4, Steve. Is that really you? The midget was a '67 -- my hands are still scarred from working on it. I should have never strayed from trucks ... you can hold a dance in the engine compartment.

steve benford jr.
1/20/2010 1:07:51 PM

Hank, Is this truck older then your high school Midget?

8/25/2008 7:59:04 PM

Hank, My grandfather used to say that once you gave a stray dog a name, it was staying. You gave your stray truck a name when you ordered parts for it. Give it a good home. Wayne