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Hi, everyone! I have just recently discovered this site while searching for service manuals for a 1973 international 1210 4x4 I purchased a couple of years ago. I bought the truck for $540.00. It was used as a plow truck up in northwestern Ontario where I live. The truck is in very rough condition, hence the price.


The truck does run like a top, minus  the brakes. I have recently had some issues start arising and would like to find service manual infomation on this awesome old truck. I never thought when i bought it I would fall so hard for a truck in such rough shape. This truck will out perform my 1996 f250 in deep snow and blow my 2009 f150 away by miles when it comes to running in deep snow. Shame, shame on the new Fords!!!! I love the simplicity of all the working of this truck and how little it needs to maintain its functionality. If anyone can help with finding the manuals I need it would be great as I have looked high and low but it`s a hard item to find.


While out plowing the other morning (-35c) I heard a creaking from the front end but figured maybe the plow bracket was cracked or loose, turns out seconds later I lost the front axle drive capabilities. First I thought it might be the clutch pooched out but I was able to drive with rear wheels so that ruled out the clutch. As I was looking underneath I noticed what looked like black rust or filings, possibly by the front u-joint near the front passenger tire and then got to thinking maybe the locking mechanism or hub pooched. Hopefully its nothing to do with the transfer case but as of yet no one has come out to the house to be my assistant to help with diagnosing the issue. Hard to drive and look underneath to see what is going on by yourself, lol Soon enough though.


Can parts still be purchased easily for this great old truck? I hope in the future I can find one in great condition as I would love to restore one and use it as my daily drive truck. But for now finding a service manual or info would be very helpful as winter is far from over and living remotely out on a lake and having an ice road, this old truck is a must have!


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Thank you for any info and help you may be able to provide!

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Welcome to the forums, Bgillon...I am pleased to hear another I-H owner singing the virtues of these 4x4 trucks!  1973 was a terrific model year with many advance technology features, including the open-knuckle front axle you describe.  What you will discover with the I-H truck is that International-Harvester outsourced many components, including axles, transmissions, transfer cases, carburetors, distributor/ignitions, brake components, steering gears, clutches and many other components.  In my view, these trucks were purpose built with the very best components available in the industry.  Coupled to the I-H V-8, likely yours is a 345 2V (Holley carburetor) engine, you have an unbeatable truck.  Yea, and for only $540! 


The beauty of the outsourced parts is wider parts availability.  Savvy parts sources know the common crossover pieces and can provide the right parts without chasing down NOS I-H components.  In fact, NAPA and others were very deeply into I-H parts in the past, it's worth making friends with your local dealer.  I-H itself will be helpful with the engine parts, and the V304, V345 and V392 eights each saw use in medium duty trucks and even I-H ag equipment.  So, your local I-H dealer will be a friendly resource.  Then there is Scout/Light Line Distributors, Inc., offering continued parts support for the Scout and I-H light trucks at: http://www.scoutlightline.com/.  They sell through a dealer base, and in Canada, that is Scouts Pluss at B.C.  Being East Coast, you may find a U.S. dealer closer...With some ingenuity and cross-referencing, you should be able to keep this truck running!


Note: Consistent with my sense that these parts are still around, I looked up brake shoes at Rock Auto.  Guess what, there's currently a sale on a wholesaler close-out: http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carcode,1409756,parttype,1688,a,www.google.com%2BSearch%2Bfor%2B1973%2BINTERNATIONAL!  So, seems like parts sourcing is still broad. 


It sounds like your problem is a front axle shaft U-joint, a common part to fail at higher mileage, especially with plow duty.  If nothing else has been damaged, you likely can get by with an axle shaft rebuild, with brake and wheel bearing service recommended at the same time.  On that note, does this Canadian truck have four-wheel drum brakes like U.S. models?  If you have the original I-H "Line Ticket" that came with the truck (a prize if still available!), you can identify the origins of each component on the truck—from the original build sheet!


I have many shop manuals, parts interchange guides and parts catalogs that cover I-H trucks.  My suggestion for your purposes would be a factory shop manual via eBay or a used automotive book outlet like Faxon.  This may get expensive, and if so, consider a used Motors, Mitchell or Chilton Truck Manual from that period.  I have a set of Motors Truck Manuals and seldom, if ever, find the information lacking.  Those books had integrity during that era, much like your I-H 1210 4x4 pickup truck!  I peeked at Scouts Pluss, they currently list a '74-'75 truck manual (NOS in good condition) for $79.  This book would cover your '73 1210 4x4 quite thoroughly.


As for bigger damage at your front end, it's always possible, but the freewheeling hubs or an axle shaft joint would be the place to start.  If the axle joint snapped, you would lose power through the front axle:  This is an "open" differential, and power will flow to the side with least resistance.  In this case, a snapped joint or axle shaft would simply spin freely.  There would be no torque/power to the front wheels.


Please keep us posted—and encourage other I-H buffs to join us here at the forums!  We value your input and enthusiasm for these 4x4 trucks...I grew up around I-H trucks and know their service needs.  Feel free to ask questions.



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Hey Moses, thanks for all the valuable info on my truck! Got crawling around the other day, turns out it was a joint on the front axle. so far spent the day in the snow bank and was able to finally get everything apart, talk about grunting to get some of the parts free but once they were off the axle and stub shaft all look great but i think I`ll have to replace the outer wheel bearing as theres a little pitting and spalling on it. Nothing too major but think while it's apart I`ll freshen it up.

As for the wheel cylinder for the brake it is seized solid but I`ll try and give it some lovin and work on it a bit in the meantime. I was able to get u-joints from napa so I figured might as well get them all and change them out when it warms up.

Most of the drum brake parts are in great shape so that is a plus. Hopefully in time when I get to the other side it`ll be in as good a shape as the first one. As for the build sheet, that would have been a sweet find had it still been in the truck. No such luck of course. I was able to get a manual from IH out of California, quite a bit more money but is a very good shop service manual which will come in handy.

Being this truck is a 73 and I plow snow with it in the winter, and it`s cold as a guy's mother in law, what do you recommend for the tranny and tranfer case for cold weather fluids? Hate to do any damage to this vintage unit!

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Very pleased that we nailed the axle shaft issue, joint failure is common. That quickens the troubleshooting, a good idea at your neck of the woods during this bitter-cold time of the year!

The wheel cylinder should be common, so don't fret over trying to free it up. It would be great to restore the cylinder, if still a safe measure. However, the only parts available will likely be the rubber cups and boots.

Suggestion: Disconnect the brake hose and remove the cylinder from the backing plate. Soak the cylinder in denatured alcohol. Denatured is often used as professional glass cleaner or for "shellac thinner", not to be confused with lacquer thinner! You can find denatured alcohol at Lowes and Home Depot in the U.S., I've found it at old-fashioned hardware stores for years. Make sure the product is pure.

After soaking, work the pistons only when they will yield without great force. The goal is to preserve the pistons, they are the wild card due to lack of parts availability. If the cylinder is not pitted (rare!), clean the cylinder thoroughly with denatured alcohol, touch up surface blemishes with crocus cloth, and dry the cylinder completely. There is a bore to piston clearance.  See your I-H factory manual for specifications and additional brake cylinder rebuilding details.


Caution:  Depending upon the manufacturer, brake cylinder bores in your truck's era can be factory "bearing-ized".  This is a factory boring and surfacing that involves compression.  The compressed iron surface becomes bearing-like in hardness from the process.  (The factory method involves a diamond hone!)  This is all well and good as a tough, wear resistant surface; however, honing during service is not advised.  If you hone through this surface hardness, the softer underlying iron will not deliver a long service life...For those wondering why vehicles from your truck's vintage onward have cylinders that can only be "touched up with crocus cloth by hand", this is the reason.


Glad you're happy with this truck. You have a new counterpart here at the I-H forum: "Atsbush". His truck is also a 1210 4WD with very similar componentry to your pride and joy...Looking forward to the three of us—and others—dialoguing!


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