1984 Kenworth W900B restomod still a workhorse

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Britt, Iowa-based J.R. Schleuger bought this 1984 Kenworth W900B in June 2022 and worked it for about five months before parking it and taking three months to tear it down and rebuild it with custom parts from his Lifetime Nut Covers custom parts business.

He showed the finished product at the 2023 Shell Rotella SuperRigs working truck show in Gillette, Wyoming, where the truck earned a second-place trophy in the Classic Division.

Schleuger said he bought the rig at auction for $9,000, adding that "it was a legit $9,000 truck" in "very bad shape." He hauled grain with it last fall before parking it toward the end of November. He took the first bolt off of it on Dec. 18, and he had it rebuilt by March in time for the Mid-America Trucking Show. 

J.R. Schleuger's 1984 Kenworth W900B at nightSchleuger took three months to tear the truck down completely and rebuild it with custom parts from his Lifetime Nut Covers custom truck parts business. All of the parts on the truck, aside from the interior, were manufactured in-house.

"When we did this truck, we actually pulled it in our shop, parked it there," Schleuger said. "It was painted there. All the custom work was there."

Interior of J.R. Schleuger's 1984 Kenworth W900BOne exception is on the interior, which was done by Two Bee's Upholstery out of the Seattle area.

The sleeper on the truck, while not original to this specific rig, is still an all original sleeper. It was on a previous B-model Kenworth that Schleuger had bought, and it still had plastic on the floors and bed.

Inside the sleeper of J.R. Schleuger's 1984 Kenworth W900BSchleuger said he had this 1982-model sleeper sitting in his shed, untouched after pulling it off of a different truck. "It's a perfect fit" for this truck, he said.

Schleuger continues to work the truck today, mostly hauling grain leased to IMT Transport. He also occasionally hooks it to a step deck when needed.

855 Cummins in J.R. Schleuger's 1984 Kenworth W900BUnder the hood, the rig still sports the original 855 Cummins and 13-speed with 3.55 rears. During the rebuild, Schleuger replaced the injectors and turbo, but left the engine mostly intact.

[Related: Independent's 2022 W9 hauls livestock coast-to-coast]

Catch plenty more views of the truck in the video up top. For more videos and custom-equipment features delivered to your email inbox, subscribe to Overdrive's weekly Custom Rigs newsletter via this link.

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J.R. Schleuger: J.R. Schleuger, we're out of Britt, Iowa.

The truck, it's a 1984 Kenworth W900B model. Bought it off an auction for $9,000 and it was legit a $9,000 truck. Very bad shape. We ripped everything apart, redid everything out, all the wiring, the air lines, did a ton of custom work on it. It's original motor's in it still, still the 855 Cummins, we just put new injectors in, new turbo on it. We reran the rack. It holds great oil pressure, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Same transmission, 13-speed. We put a Freightliner cutoff on it. 3.55 rears.

Redid the whole interior. Two Bee's Upholstery out of Seattle, Washington actually did the interior in the cab. The sleeper that was on here was actually a 36-inch coffin and we stretched it so much that actually wanted to put a... I actually had the sleeper sitting in the shed, so we put this one on here and it never been touched. We got it when we purchased another truck, so it actually had plastic on the bed, plastic on the floor, never been touched since '82, so it was kind of a perfect fit for this. It's a B model bunk.

The funny deal with the paint scheme actually, the sleeper was actually just like that, the way it was set up with the lines and stuff, it was like that. And I'm like, "It's a cool scheme I guess," so we went off of that, put our colors into it, and then we finished the stripes out on the front how we wanted to do it. But we figured we'd kind of incorporate the old paint scheme with something a little newer.

And when we did this truck we actually pulled it in our shop, parked it there. It was painted there. All the custom work was there. Didn't outsource anything. Basically all the work was done there. So all the custom parts on here are all built right in house at our shop.