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Possible CL9000 Purchase - Opinions?

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Old 01-13-2018, 08:18 PM
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73F700 73F700 is offline
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Question Possible CL9000 Purchase - Opinions?

Looking at a 1980 Ford CL9000 with a VT903 Cummins and 13 spd.

Use for the truck, we buy and sell used construction equipment and we plan to get our own float and take care of deliveries and offer a float service as well. We often are transporting equipment that weighs anywhere from 15 to 30 ton.

Wanting to know if anyone here has driven one of these trucks and has input into whether it will work for us or not. We are looking to buy something with a bit of style, we understand that style and mileage don't go together usually.

Thank you in advance for any helpful pointers or warnings.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:21 PM
Tenwheeler Tenwheeler is offline
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For a cab over they have a nice ride, air ride cab. The three A/C units running off one compressor will keep you cool, if you keep them working. It can get expensive. Parts are surely getting hard to find.
Never drove one with a 903 but probably the same as in a Road Commander. Rolls down one hill and can ardly make up the next. Seat is to high off the ground to open the door and help push. It has thirteen speeds so row the shift lever like it is a boat for maximum speed.
I thank it would be a good hobby truck but was never good for a 60,000 pound load. Probably need a 4 axle tractor to axle that anyway.
An L9000 with a 3406 or N14 would be a better choice.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:54 PM
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73F700 73F700 is offline
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Thank you Tenwheeler that is very helpful.

I did a bit of research on the VT903 and I understand they are not a sought after motor by any means.

I am also a little worried about parts availability. Probably will hold off on buying this particular truck for now.

I do think that a CR9000 painted gloss black with chrome trim would make a pretty sharp looking rig.
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Old 01-14-2018, 11:30 PM
Tenwheeler Tenwheeler is offline
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I could not recall the model at the time but I thank a big Ford with class would be an LTL9000. Down side is the turning radius is also big.
If you like cab overs we are in the minority. Those trucks with a set back axle can get through some tight spots.
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:07 AM
Louisville Joe Louisville Joe is offline
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Nice looking rig, but......

We had one back in the day, and it spent a lot of time in the shop. Parts are gone, the CL's had already been history a long time before Freightliner took over. Believe it or not, VT-903's are still in production, but only for military use. Truck specific engine parts might be a problem. This would be an interesting hobby truck, but I wouldn't buy one to work.
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:27 PM
dmanlyr dmanlyr is offline
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The 903 did not have a great reputation and are now long out of production. Cummins seems to be able to get parts, but I did have to wait for over a year for a exhaust manifold - wait was until they got enough orders to make a production run.

Just my experience
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