Congratulations to 10-4 Magazine for producing one of the best magazines that caters to the owner operator segment of trucking for the past 30 years. We at Pittsburgh Power have proudly been with 10-4 Magazine for 21 of those years and have enjoyed your company at many truck shows, dinners, and parties over the years. We would love to see more of you and your magazines on the eastern side of the United States. Here’s to 30 more years!
I always wondered why Kenworth never made the cab of their great trucks about six inches longer so taller people would have room for their legs. Recently I had the opportunity to meet Mike McWilliams from Bakersfield, CA. He is now 56 years old, and in his younger years, he was a welder fabricator in the oilfield. The lure of the open road, being self-employed, and heavy hauling led him to purchase a 1979 A-model Kenworth. I asked him what made him do the things he does to equipment, and he said, “It’s in my blood – I can’t leave things alone. I always have to improve the design, like making my old W900A a 6” extended cab. I also extended the frame horns nine inches to make it a long nose. I couldn’t find the long hood, so I made a 9” cowl and kept the short standard hood.”
After California banned the use of non-emission trucks, Mike decided to pull his 5th wheel camper trailer with the A-model. To get traction, he built a tilt tray that latched into the fifth wheel plate. That was the only securement – just the kingpin and the weight of the D4 dozer to hold it down. He could not pull the travel trailer without the D4 on the deck, or the tray would lean back to the ground. Next month we will showcase his newer Kenworth with a 180-inch bunk and a box on the front of the trailer that hauls his dune buggy or Harley Davidson.
Not only has it been 30 years for 10-4 Magazine, but it has also been 30 years since the last N-14 mechanical engine rolled off the assembly line at Cummins. The mechanical N-14, in my opinion, is an excellent engine that is often overlooked by the younger generation of drivers (and sometimes even the older ones).
We recently finished rebuilding one of these engines in our shop on a 1652 CPL that was making 430-hp from the factory. We installed steel pistons to replace the less durable aluminum stock pistons, a larger turbo with custom flow injectors, and a newly rebuilt fuel pump. With this setup, we are able to take this engine from 430 flywheel horsepower to 625 flywheel horsepower, and still be reliable.
If you have an older N-14 or Big Cam Cummins engine and are looking to increase its horsepower and torque, please give us a call. We are one of the few shops in the country that still regularly stock parts for this engine, as well as a large inventory of miscellaneous parts in the clearance section of our website.
Thanks to Mike McWilliams for allowing us to share his story and pictures, and to Peter Sharp for helping me put this month’s article together. Here’s hoping for another amazing two decades with our friends at 10-4 Magazine. We love being part of this great magazine that sheds a positive light on the trucking industry every month. If you have questions, we can be reached at our shop in Saxonburg, PA at (724) 360-4080 or online 24/7 at www.pittsburghpower.com.