Knox Box

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Lanlubber

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@Lanlubber thanks for the story. That idea of turning it into an A-frame shelter got some ideas going around in my head. I was able to learn a little history about the trailer. I acquired it from my brother-in-law who inherited it with his family's mountain property. His dad purchased the trailer from a local miner decades ago.

Apparently International commissioned Knox to make these truck beds because the Knox box had wood floors and steel was hard to get around WWII. So originally, I would say this trailer was much lighter duty than any military trailer. However, this bed was converted into a trailer to be used around the gold mines of Jamestown, CO; likely hauling rock, lumber, and heavy tools/equipment. Today I noticed a plywood layer, I'm guessing that's where the original wood floor was, and I'm guessing that means the steel floor was welded in by the miner. I need to take a look under it and see what kind of axle he put on there and what other reinforcements might have been done. I expect this thing can handle a beating.

It has been fun learning about the history of Knox and of the trailer itself. I should get it weighed. Who wants to bet the over/under? haha

For the past couple of years I've been using a hitch rack and it has been enough to keep me comfortable on the road for 1-2 weeks at a time easily. The hitch rack is just incredibly inconvenient. Two boxes of assorted camping gear and a cooler, plus 10 gallons of gas, 10 gallons of water, 5 or 10 gallons of propane, 2 bundles of firewood, a lid, and a couple of kayaks (35lbs each) will easily keep my payload under 500lbs. This will probably be the easiest work in this trailer's life.

The classic look of the fenders is growing on me, but I will most likely remove them. They are in bad shape and I am leaning towards fitting 35" tires on there so the Jeep's spare is interchangeable. @Road Those flat fenders do look really useful. I'll be mounting a propane tank, so building a cooking area utilizing a fender could be a good way to do it.

Here is a close-up of the plywood layer I found under the steel bed
View attachment 115680
The funny thing about the plywood is that they didn't use plywood in the 30's, 40's or 50"s, they used T&G flooring with metal dividers. I don't think plywood was invented until the late 50's or early 60's.Some one may have used the plywood to support the steel plate floor while welding it in and for a sound deadener. Probably the floor was added in the 60's or 70's.
Anyway I like it and am anxious to find out if it has an axle or a differential under it. International have a large 6 bolt pattern on the 3/4 ton axles and a 5 on
5 1/2" bolt circle Ford bolt pattern on the 1/2 ton axles. BTW Ford and international shared a lot of parts and those fenders may be late 1930 ford fenders. Either way they are worth a couple of hundred a piece to the rat rod or restore crowd so don't toss them. They will buy you a bunch of new stuff for you trailer.
 

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The funny thing about the plywood is that they didn't use plywood in the 30's, 40's or 50"s, they used T&G flooring with metal dividers. I don't think plywood was invented until the late 50's or early 60's.Some one may have used the plywood to support the steel plate floor while welding it in and for a sound deadener. Probably the floor was added in the 60's or 70's.
Anyway I like it and am anxious to find out if it has an axle or a differential under it. International have a large 6 bolt pattern on the 3/4 ton axles and a 5 on
5 1/2" bolt circle Ford bolt pattern on the 1/2 ton axles. BTW Ford and international shared a lot of parts and those fenders may be late 1930 ford fenders. Either way they are worth a couple of hundred a piece to the rat rod or restore crowd so don't toss them. They will buy you a bunch of new stuff for you trailer.
.

Plywood was actually first developed and brought to the US before 1870, surprisingly enough, with the first standardized 4x8 sheets being used in construction in the United States before 1930.
 
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Lanlubber

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Plywood was actually first developed and brought to the US before 1870, surprisingly enough, with the first standardized 4x8 sheets being used in construction in the United States before 1930.
I didn't research it, I should have. I have been in construction all of my life, torn into old houses 120 years old and older but never have seen plywood used in houses anywhere in the sw usa. Even old basements show signs of planking used for concrete forms unlike the plywood forms used today and for the past 70 years. So I assume they didn't use it in the construction of trailers either. All the wood flooring I have ever seen in trailers or PU trucks has been plank type wood with metal joints. Out of curiosity have you ever seen a truck bed or trailer with a plywood floor ? This is all I could find.
 
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MtnManAlex

Rank IV

Pathfinder I

The original truck bed was not plywood and likely looked more like this:

IMG_3104.JPG

But anyways, I finally got to visit the trailer (I have it parked at a mountain property since my apartment is not as enthusiastic as I am about it).

You guys seem to know your stuff, what can you tell me about this axle? Double leafs springs (haha). The leaf springs span 2/3s of the frame, which seems huge. The differential on this axle looks twice the size as my Jeep. I don’t know if that’s because it’s old or if it’s off something giant. It also looks like some axle component takes up the entire inside of the wheel. Is that a wheel bearing of some sort? What sense can you guys make of this thing?

IMG_3085.JPG

IMG_3089.JPG

IMG_3090.JPG

IMG_3092.JPG

IMG_3097.JPG

IMG_3099.JPG
 
Last edited:

Lanlubber

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Mimbres, NM, USA
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The original truck bed was not plywood and likely looked more like this:

View attachment 117531

But anyways, I finally got to visit the trailer (I have it parked at a mountain property since my apartment is not as enthusiastic as I am about it).

You guys seem to know your stuff, what can you tell me about this axle? Double leafs springs (haha). The leaf springs span 2/3s of the frame, which seems huge. The differential on this axle looks twice the size as my Jeep. I don’t know if that’s because it’s old or if it’s off something giant. It also looks like some axle component takes up the entire inside of the wheel. Is that a wheel bearing of some sort? What sense can you guys make of this thing?

View attachment 117533

View attachment 117534

View attachment 117535

View attachment 117536

View attachment 117537

View attachment 117538
Well it is a standard truck rear end, probably at least a 3/4 ton diff. The hydraulic brake drums are still attached and may even still have the brakes inside.
The bottom springs are the standard weight carrying springs and the top one's are overload springs that you can probably discard. It's as I suspected, the frame is the back half of a pickup truck as is the bed. Since the bed is steel it is probably late 50's or early 60's bed from a pick up truck. The rear end is not ford for sure and is passenger car type but could be 1/2 ton International P.U. It still has the very old 50's style shocks. It is a morphydite of parts. The frame could be a 1940's up type since it is C channel, and does resemble my 67 international. The bolt patter can tell you a lot. Ford, Jeep and International shared the 5 on 5" bolt pattern. If it's not that, then the rear could be Dodge or Chevrolet. It appears there might be a spare tire carrier behind the axle. Very definitely not a trailer frame, it's a modified truck frame. I see hydraulic brake lines still attached above the axle. I'm still thinking the whole thing is late 1950 - 1966 vintage because of the flared top to the bed sides and really resembles this Chevy truck bed. Conclusion ti all may be Chevy.
 

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Lanlubber

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The original truck bed was not plywood and likely looked more like this:

View attachment 117531

But anyways, I finally got to visit the trailer (I have it parked at a mountain property since my apartment is not as enthusiastic as I am about it).

You guys seem to know your stuff, what can you tell me about this axle? Double leafs springs (haha). The leaf springs span 2/3s of the frame, which seems huge. The differential on this axle looks twice the size as my Jeep. I don’t know if that’s because it’s old or if it’s off something giant. It also looks like some axle component takes up the entire inside of the wheel. Is that a wheel bearing of some sort? What sense can you guys make of this thing?

View attachment 117533

View attachment 117534

View attachment 117535

View attachment 117536

View attachment 117537

View attachment 117538
Should be easy to do a spring over axle swap on this but I'm not sure I would keep the rear end because of the weight. There is a way to put floating axle hubs on the existing axle and gut the diff-axles all together making it a lot lighter. Circle track Race car guys put them on their front hubs for safety.
 
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Lanlubber

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none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
The original truck bed was not plywood and likely looked more like this:

View attachment 117531

But anyways, I finally got to visit the trailer (I have it parked at a mountain property since my apartment is not as enthusiastic as I am about it).

You guys seem to know your stuff, what can you tell me about this axle? Double leafs springs (haha). The leaf springs span 2/3s of the frame, which seems huge. The differential on this axle looks twice the size as my Jeep. I don’t know if that’s because it’s old or if it’s off something giant. It also looks like some axle component takes up the entire inside of the wheel. Is that a wheel bearing of some sort? What sense can you guys make of this thing?

View attachment 117533

View attachment 117534

View attachment 117535

View attachment 117536

View attachment 117537

View attachment 117538
This is another box, very similar also. Not sure what it is, could be a 50's model Ford or Chevy
 

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MtnManAlex

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It’s definitely a Knox bed. It has “Knox” stamped into the gate. It is nearly identical to the 1948 International KB2 3/4 ton (pictured below).

So the frame is a modified truck frame? Do the frame and box match each other? If so then it’s probably an international 3/4 ton frame too. The internationals also came with 5/5.5 wheels.

Thanks for helping me figure this stuff out! If it is in fact 5x5.5 then I can find cheap wheel adapters and fit Jeep JK wheels on it.

IMG_3105.JPG
 
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MtnManAlex

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Should be easy to do a spring over axle swap on this but I'm not sure I would keep the rear end because of the weight. There is a way to put floating axle hubs on the existing axle and gut the diff-axles all together making it a lot lighter. Circle track Race car guys put them on their front hubs for safety.
As of now, I probably won’t bother modifying the axle or suspension too much. Thanks for pointing out that the “double” leaf springs are on purpose. I really thought that was just thrown together poorly.

I wonder if there are any creative ways to repurpose the spare tire carrier underneath. I am still in the air on whether I should add a spare or add new wheels and tires that integrate with the Jeep.
 
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Lanlubber

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It’s definitely a Knox bed. It has “Knox” stamped into the gate. It is nearly identical to the 1948 International KB2 3/4 ton (pictured below).

So the frame is a modified truck frame? Do the frame and box match each other? If so then it’s probably an international 3/4 ton frame too. The internationals also came with 5/5.5 wheels.

Thanks for helping me figure this stuff out! If it is in fact 5x5.5 then I can find cheap wheel adapters and fit Jeep JK wheels on it.

View attachment 117584
5 on 5.5 were 1/2 ton wheels..3/4 ton have 6 on 7.5 ? wheels. If they used the international box I don't see why they wouldn't use the frame too.
Those fenders definitely look more like the ones on yours but the box is probably a short bed judging from this picture the fenders are closer to the rear
of the box on your trailer. At least as well as I can see from your pictures. If you'll notice the tail gate on this red truck does not have a name stamped into the sheet metal. There is a good chance the tailgate is International with Knox stamped on it. Internationals were a better built truck than the rest because of their use on farms. It's possible that international was the first in the 40's to make a steel bed and is why Knox used them.
Boy this red International is a beauty. My dad had the delivery truck version (panel truck) of this red truck that I wrecked back in 1948 when I got T boned by a new 1948 Pontiac club coupe. Smashed his grill clear up to the windshield, only put a large dent in the body of dads truck. Didn't even bend the frame. Dad continued to drive it but it was ugly...and I left home after that. I was 13 years old.
 

Lanlubber

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As of now, I probably won’t bother modifying the axle or suspension too much. Thanks for pointing out that the “double” leaf springs are on purpose. I really thought that was just thrown together poorly.

I wonder if there are any creative ways to repurpose the spare tire carrier underneath. I am still in the air on whether I should add a spare or add new wheels and tires that integrate with the Jeep.
It would look great with matching wheels if the bolt patter is 5 on 5.5". No reason why the old carrier cant be used. I think it is a one side swing down type. Sure would beat using up space to carry it somewhere else. Clearance is another story for off roading and is why I suggested flipping the springs to top of axle. On the overload springs, notice that if the main springs flatten out then the top OL springs come in contact with the frame which acts like a slider spring to support the trailer frame. The rubber pads aren't even worn. You will never get that kind of load it there though and neither did anyone else based on the spring pad wear. Nice talking to you, am glad I can be of any help if I was.