Converting a IH 4900 to a Gooseneck Hauler/ Farm Truck...
First, let me start out as saying, wonderful sight. I've spent the last couple hours pouring over the information. I find myself at a point I need some information from "people who have been there" about what I'm embarking on. While my purpose is to haul horses and livestock, I think you all can help me out with your information garnered from hauling your campers.
My current tow rig is a 1986 Ford F-250 XL, 6.9 NA, C6, 2WD, 150,000 miles. I drag around my 24' Gooseneck stock trailer (15,000 # max), 33' Prowler Regal fifth wheel (13,000 # max), 14' bumper pull stock trailer (9,000 # max) or my 16' implement trailer (7,000 # max). All except the implement trailer have electric brakes and almost all of my hauls are within 200 miles on relatively flat ground. Obviously my F-250 is capable of hauling them (since it does on a regular basis) but the old girl is getting to the point where it's costing more money to keep it going than it's worth. So, in true fashion, it's time to replace the old girl with something bigger. That's what brings me here.
Friend of mine I was discussing my dilemma with, has a possible solution for me. He bought a fleet of 90's IH 4900's and 4700's off of an ice delivery company (he got many other trucks in the deal as well but these ones are what I'm concerned with). Only two of them are LP's and the rest are standards. A couple of the 4700's have 444's but I'm only interested in the ones that are 466 powered. Not sure but I believe they are the 210 hp versions and have manual trannies (6's I believe but could be an auto or two mixed in there). Cheap, enough said.
So, for the sake of discussion, I'm looking at a 1994 IH 4900 with a 466. They have alot of frame behind the cabs from the 20' or better boxes on the back (just a guess). What I want to do is mount a 9' flatbed, chop off what's left of the frame, mount a gooseneck ball under a trap door in the bed about even with the top framerails, mount a solid pintle hitch in the back and a 2" receiver down lower. I'm going to try and avoid moving the rear axle to avoid re drilling the frame and shortening the driveshafts. It will be farm truck plated and will be used in the exact same role as my pickup. It will even (on occasion) take me to my off farm job (57 miles). That's one reason I don't want to upgrade to a full on HDT hauler.
So, there's my situation, and finally , here's my questions...
1. Will the 466 be enough grunt to pull my trailers?
2. What rear end gear, tire size combination will I need to achieve the best economy/ performance for cruising at 60-65 mph?
3. What power adders/ tricks can I use to get more power out of the 466?
4. What kind of fuel economy are you guys with 4900 haulers getting out of them? Loaded city/ hwy? Empty city/ hwy?
5. How bad would an auto rob what economy I would be getting?
Any advice or information you could give me would be great. Bottom line, I could have this truck put together and on the road for less than $4,000 and I believe have a very capable work truck. I have alot more in depth ideas and details in my head but I'll let you all digest this and figure out details as they progress.