This is where it all started. I ended up with this truck through a complicated series of trades. The previous owners had installed a 250 straight six from a '70s Chevy pickup. The brake system had been gone through and updated to a dual master cylinder with power booster. The front end had new kingpins and bushings. I figured it would serve me well for hauling gravel and compost for our little acreage.
I did a quick brush paint job (dents and all). For the next couple of years, I hauled a lot of gravel, compost, and trash, and the old truck did a great job. One thing I didn't like was that the 250 didn't have the torque that the old 235 would have had. I found an old Watson Brownlipe transmission and installed it. Now I could start out in 2nd gear using the low gear in the Brownie. Before that I had to slip the clutch to start out in 2nd.
But the old engine was used when they installed it, and never ran as well as I thought it should. Plus they did a really crappy job putting it in there. This is when I decided I'd like to upgrade to a diesel, preferably a Detroit.
I put out a few feelers and a friend in Washington found me a little 3-53 from a fishing boat. The price was right and the deal was made.