Stalled Project: 1974 Peterbilt 282 Daycab

'74 Peterbilt

Do you need a semi to haul your car haul around with? How about a Peterbilt Class 8 Daycab? This stalled project is parked in St. Louis, Missouri waiting for someone to move this cab forward again. It’s a 1974 Peterbilt 282 and is listed here on eBay with a BIN of $3,500. This COE is powered by a Cummins NTC-350!

'74 Peterbilt cab int.

There is a new 22″ steering wheel installed in the cab. The factory A/C doesn’t currently work. The engine fires right up, but the hydraulic hose for the cab tilt has a hole in it so that will need replacing. The small cam Cummins has a Jake Brake, the transmission is a 15 speed Fuller and the rear axle is a Rockwell R-170 with 4.63 gears on spring suspension.

'74 Peterbilt tank

There is some cosmetic damage that has been done to the right saddle tank. The tank looks to be sound, but we would think about replacing it.

'74 Peterbilt rear

The tires were on the truck when the seller purchased it in 2010.  The seller says all six tires are good with deep tread. The rears have caps and the front are “virgin”, as the seller puts it. The age of the tires is unknown, so you might want to replace those too. There is a Fontaine 5th wheel system to hook up and pull whatever rig you wish, within limits of course.

'74 Peterbilt left side

Some pieces were removed from the truck in order to prep for painting. The “Peterbilt” emblem for above the grill and the front bumper were missing when the seller purchase the cab. This Peterbilt is not roadworthy, but it can be driven onto a lowboy under its own power. The seller says that the Cummins engine is worth $2,500 by itself. Does $3,500 make sense? Would you tow a 5th wheel behind this to travel to shows and races? Would you get a 3 car trailer, put a sleeper on it and be able to pick up one or two more vehicles? So what would you do with this day cab?



  1. MountainMan

    This would make a great 5th wheel hauler! Seems like quite the deal but would take some work to finish it and make it road worthy. Like the seller says, the engine alone would justify the purchase price if its running properly.

    Like 1
    • dave

      10 to 15 grand to finish. This will outlast any 60.000 truck that you buy to haul your trailer. Better mileage and 20 times safer than your dually.

      Like 1
  2. grant

    But why? These old diesels are being phased out for a reason they’re dirty and inefficient. This is just an old semi truck its not a collector car. I suppose you could haul toys with it but again why? There are newer cleaner vehicles available for the same thing you would have into this by the time it was done.

    • Dylan

      “Dirty and ineffiecient?” No, like any car, the older they get, the less of them there are around. Fixing this truck is more for the love of cars than just going out and buying a “clean” new dually. Besides, this has more power and looks cooler.

      • van

        Dylan is just explaining what happened to the all the great cars that are gone
        Old inefficient
        Ever seen a ww-1 video with all the cool trucks don’t worry we won’t miss all the old trucks
        What’s harder on the environment elbow grease and a few parts or a new truck with heavy metals new materials etc

      • dave

        Not safe with a dually pulling 10.000 or more. Can’t stop, bad MPG, blows tires constantly etc. I’ll do a tug of war any day with this truck against any truck with the 5500 series on down and even 4 wheel drive on even pavement!

  3. dave

    Not! Where are they being phased out? Besides CA. Lot of rigs this type on the road hauling freight and toys. If I bought it, I wouldn’t have 20.000 done and a new truck loaded is 60 plus. And you have a pile of —- after a couple of years hauling. Tires, Brakes, Rear ends, computer and turbo repairs etc.

    • grant

      Everywhere, as far as I know, although not on the same schedule as California. Most old class 8s are headed to south america. Not to be a greenie, but these old diesel engines are nasty.

      • dave

        I own a trucking company. Not being phased out. Have numerous friends with trucks dating back to the 50s. These old diesels run clean when maintained. You must not be in the trucking industry making these remarks.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Grant. I disagree with your comment about old diesel engine’lls being nasty. That Cummins 350 is one of the best over-highway engines ever made. It’s still one of the cheapest engines to keep on the road, cheaper than what’s being churned out these days. Anyone with a reasonable knowledge of mechanics can keep one of these running for a long time. They might be big and heavy but they’ll take most anything you can dish out.

  4. Go cart Mozart

    Old truckers never die, they just get a new Peterbuilt! Sorry, I just had to say that.

  5. Howard A Member

    Well, not to get in the middle of this debate ^^^, these aren’t being “phased out”, more like obsolete, and yes, old diesels spewed a ton of fumes, however, if you can find them, these can still “haul the mail”, plenty of parts around and as far as I know, they are legal in 49 states. ( and all of Canada, hey) I spent 35 years in the trucking industry, and 90% of the 50 or more trucks I drove had Cummins motors.( including 3 of my own) They always got me home. The truck itself is quite a rare piece. I can count on 1 hand how many Pete cabover daycabs I’ve seen. Most were the single and double sleeper, and were the highest of class ( for a cabover) Somebody must have had a nice boss to get them a Pete daycab, when so many other trucks were a lot less money. 1st thing to go would be the “tattle tale” on the dash ( speedogragh) It’s an early speed/time recording device and shows on a removable paper disc, speed, when you stopped and for how long, and you turned it in at the end of the day. I knew many drivers that would cheat the unit, one, drilling a small hole in the face at 55 mph, put in a pin to hold the speedo needle at 55, and then proceed to speed ( if the truck could do it, that is) With these rear gears, you’d be lucky to get 65 mph out of this setup, so clearly a city rig. I’m not sure what to do with it. Being a spring ride, it will shake the guts out of you, and the motor is not that efficient, maybe 6 or 7 mpg. A lot of shifting,( although, you can skip a few) It says “center-point” steering, but makes no mention of power assist, so be aware of that. Many trucks of this vintage didn’t have power steering, and “center-point” is a type of steering geometry, and is a little easier, but still a bear. I had one, I know Still, a pretty rare find. Thanks, Robert.

    • Robert Member

      Howard A,

      You are welcome! Thanks for the comment.

    • Ed P

      HI Howard: When did power steering become a common item on big rigs?

      • Howard A Member

        Hi Ed, I began driving semi’s in the mid-70’s, and by then most trucks had power steering. Probably late 60’s or early 70’s. Some old timers still wanted manual steering although, make no mistake, I did drive a few ( my Pete had manual steering) and it wasn’t fun. Never happened to me, but I heard steer tire blowouts on manual steering trucks would yank the wheel out of your hands.

    • ydnar

      Will the low sulphur fuel wreak havoc on the injector pump?

      • Howard A Member

        Hi ydnar, that’s a good question. ( I’d have to bring out the “big guns” and ask my good friend geomechs) There have been many discussions on this, and fuel producers are suppose to add additives to ULSD to increase lubricity ( which sulfur did on old trucks) It wouldn’t hurt to use an aftermarket additive though.

      • dave

        I have trucks from 93 and never had a pump issue from fuel except when you get water in a bad load.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi guys. Low sulphur fuel can wreak havoc on the fuel injection system in that the lubricating qualities of the fuel got compromised. The energy content is still there so you don’t lose any power. The best way to restore the lubricating quality of the is to use a good quality lubricity enhancer (read: additive or conditioner). There are lots out there, just make sure you use something that doesn’t contain methyl hydrate. I tell my customers to find an authorized fuel system repair shop and buy it from there, or pick it up from an authorized engine service facility. Farm and construction equipment dealers are also a good source. Once you know what you’re looking for, you’ll find it in a number of places. For example, my son-in-law and I were at Big R in Farmington, NM and they had a whole rack of the good stuff.

  6. Don Holt

    Would you need a CDL license to drive it.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Don, I don’t believe so. The cutoff is 26,000 lbs. This truck probably weighs 10 or 12,000. Depending what you did with it. Pulling a flatbed with some toys, may bring you close, unless maybe licensed as an antique. ( then there’s payload issues) Either way, might want to eat your Wheaties ( manual steering), put your kidney belt on,( rough ride) and brush up on your non-synchro gear jammin’.

      • Dave Wright

        Howard…….you know….the cutoff of 26,000 lbs is the Gross Vehicle Weight….not the net. The gross on this truck would be 44,000 or 80,000 combined. It could be licensed and used as an RV hauler but you would still need a CDL to bobtail it. This looks like an old doubles tractor. I hate day cabs. There isn’t even a place to put your bag or hat. These were common in many large truck company fleets. The price is pretty retail in today’s market. Center point steering was popular with “joint” drivers because you were less likely to over correct going down the road than with power steering……so you would go down the road straighter. These were highway trucks so didn’t have to negotiate small spaces often.

    • dave

      When you pull a trailer rated over 9,999 Gvwr, you need a CDL

  7. Kevin Harper

    Unless you are really into this model it is overpriced even at free. Old trucks are very cheap to buy, but it cost a fair amount of money to keep them on the road.
    To give you some perspective a friend of mine just purchased an old Harry Gant truck with trailer. It is in pretty good shape but needs tires, brake linings, and one brake chamber, and we may go ahead and replace the airbags while we are there. The truck is a conventional sleeper, which in my opinion are easier to drive and maintain than the cab overs and more comfortable, and the trailer is already setup to haul cars and has a small shop and kitchenette. The cost was 7500.00 and they are budgeting another 6k for repairs and service.
    The truck is still in its old skoal bandit livery and they plan to leave it for now for both memorabilia reasons and really the cost of repainting it.

    To Don, Yes and No. You can have the truck derated and not have to have a CDL. This is what happens to most of the camper conversions you see. If it remains a class 8 you do have to have a CDL. Regardless I would highly recommend taking the CDL class if you plan on really driving one, especially an older one. They do not drive like a car and particularly shifting, but also braking and backing take some practice. Be aware that some schools now only use automatics and you really should learn on a manual.

    • dave

      I work on my own trucks
      Brake shoes with hardware,150.00 per axle

      Cam shaft.75.00 per
      Axle seal. 49.00
      Air bag, 65.00
      Double brake chamber, 54.00
      Virgin steer tires, 800.00
      Drive and trailer cap tires, 250.00
      Don’t know how you spent 7000.00
      On the work you had done. Can you post receipt?
      I did not include labor as I maintain my own trucks. I also buy and sell trucks and in my opinion, I would say it’s a fair price.

      • Kevin Harper

        Hey Dave
        I got involved with this just because I was a friend and use to be an engineer for Mack and know truck brakes and suspension well.
        But I helped them and our numbers aren’t to far off yours
        Brake lining 150 per axle , and this is a 6×4 with a dual axle trailer so 750 there.
        Brake chamber was a meritor at around 50 bucks.
        Air springs you beat us our cost was 110 bucks each for the 4 for the truck and i dont know the cost for the 4 for the trailer.
        Tires are the killer, it was about 900 for the pair of front steer and it was a little more than 250 for the others but there were 16 of them. Just the tires they spent close to 5k. To be frank I think they will go over budget.
        There were a few areas that they could go a little cheaper, but not by much.

  8. tbone

    Old diesels are far from dead. Antique trucks and buses are a big deal. Attached photos is one of four antique buses I own. Photo shot at the restored Blytheville, AR Greyhound depot. I organized a national antique bus show there in 2010. Had 63 antique coaches show up.

  9. Dustin

    Peterbilt classification system: If the first digit in the model number is a 2, it has one rear axle. If it’s a 3, it has 2 rear axles.

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