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Old 09-28-2006, 04:08 PM   #1
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Raising the Flying Cloud

Hi. New here but I did a search on this and came up empty. I like to camp off the beaten path and wonder if anyone has ever raised one of these puppies up and put a little bigger wheel and tire on them for more clearance. I've just purchased a 63 Flying Cloud. The refurbishment is about to begin.

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Dave
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Old 09-28-2006, 04:35 PM   #2
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Alright Dave. Got it home yet? I haven't heard of larger wheels and tires but have heard of folks moving the axle to under the leaf springs. Adds about 2 to 3 more inches of clearance.

Brad
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Old 09-28-2006, 05:46 PM   #3
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Axle Replacement?

Are you changing the axles?
If so you will be able to go from leaf springs to torsion.
When ordered the angle of dangle is prescribed by you.
Boondocking is my prefered style too.
Have you planned out how extensive you will renovate?
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmaiden
Hi. New here but I did a search on this and came up empty. I like to camp off the beaten path and wonder if anyone has ever raised one of these puppies up and put a little bigger wheel and tire on them for more clearance. I've just purchased a 63 Flying Cloud. The refurbishment is about to begin.

Thanks
Dave
Dave,

The easiest and probably the safest way to raise the trailer is to use a straight rather than a dropped axle and place the axle under the springs. You can also have the springs re-arched. Replacing wheels and tires will only gain 1/2 of the increased overall height.

Bill
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:58 PM   #5
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1963 should already be a torsion axle. We put a "high rise" axle under a Caravel with good results. The new, higher-angle axle and 7.00x15 tires gave the coach enough ground clearance I could roll around under it with no problem, and I am not a skinny guy.
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmaiden
Hi. New here but I did a search on this and came up empty. I like to camp off the beaten path and wonder if anyone has ever raised one of these puppies up and put a little bigger wheel and tire on them for more clearance. I've just purchased a 63 Flying Cloud. The refurbishment is about to begin.

Thanks
Dave
There are several things that you can do to increase the ground clearance.

If your 63 has a bad torsion axle, the starting angle of a new one will add over 3 inches to it's present height.

If you require more than that, a beefed up axle mounting plate can be added to the frame.

You can then install the new axle in that plate.

As a suggestion, don't raise it more that about 10 inches from normal. Even at that, make sure you travel with full water, so that you can keep the center of gravity as low as possible.

Andy
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:54 PM   #7
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Thanks all

I love this forum. So many good tips at the drop of a hat.

Nope, haven't got it home yet. It's still sitting at the back of a junkyard covered in bird poop. Has to go from L.A. to Phoenix. My options are to buy new tires, get the wheel bearings packed and brakes checked and hope for the best. OR.. My nephew has a 7 x 16 flat bed trailer he hauls his Jeep on. But not sure it would fit.

Once I get it home I'll get under it and check it out. I imagine it will need a new axle. Looks like it's sitting low but the tires are flat and I really didn't feel like challenging the rats for space underneath it. Got a good price on it though and the skin looks good all over.

I plan to gut it and either restore or refurbish, depending on the condition of things. It has the stove and fridge and rear bathroom intact, but not sure of the working order of things. Has a weird looking AC on top. A big square box with vents. Actually looks like a swamp cooler, but the controls inside look like a normal AC control.

Thanks for all the tips folks. Feel free to send more. I'll get some pics posted once I get it home. If you see an upside down AS on I-10 in the next couple of weeks, it could be me.

Thanks
Dave
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Old 11-30-2006, 07:47 PM   #8
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If you raise the Cloud, can I raise the Wind?

Dmaiden, now that you've got it home and you're getting it "legal" (yeah, some do have too much time on their hands), have you thought about raising the Cloud anymore? Not that you have anything else to do on your FC right now.

I'm facing the same issue on ground clearance on a 60 Tradewind after repairing a blackwater outlet that got knocked off coming out of a steep drive (http://www.airforums.com/forum...98-post35.html). Plus, boodocking clearance would be nice. If you have a torsion axle your fix is different.

I have leaf spring axles and 29" C rated 6 ply tires cross section 7.9 rated for 1820 lbs. each. Yes, I'm aware I'm pushing the envelope on load ratings for a dry wgt. of 3150 lbs. I went to a spring shop today, we discussed flipping the springs above the axle like flyfshr mentioned. They said it would raise the TW a minimum of 4 inches, maybe more. I'm afraid this would change my center of gravity to be topheavy. Not a risk I want to take until I get a TV with a longer wheel base. So we talked about replacing the spring leaves and adding an extra one. Would gain about an inch. If they can move the shocks to the medial side of the springs that would free up space for a 15 D rated 8 ply tire 31" with a cross section of 8.8. That would add another inch of clearance.

I'm thinking of going this route. I'm still not certain if they can move the shocks. If anyone sees any problems in this plan, please feel to shoot it to bits. Feedback is a good thing.
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Old 11-30-2006, 09:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarfoot
I'm thinking of going this route. I'm still not certain if they can move the shocks. If anyone sees any problems in this plan, please feel to shoot it to bits. Feedback is a good thing.
Axles like yours are relatively cheap, why not mount the axle under the springs like you want, and get an axle of the proper rating with a 2" drop on it? That, and you tire height increase, will give you about 3" more ground clearance, instead of the 5-6" if you re-used your straight axle. Just for S&G's, I went to Northern Tool the other day, and scoped out axles like I just described. A 3000 pound axle, with a 3" drop, costs about $249 here.
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:07 PM   #10
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The standard axle should be a 4" drop most common on these trdwnds .
that means 4" or more mounted on top of the leaf spring pack .you would be surprised how high it will be ,then the springs still are 47 years old ,getting them done stock will add a 1 to 2" more with no extra leaf in the pack .A straight axle in the stock location will give 4" at minimum. But that will get
it up there .Careful about the 4 wheeling these trailers with old springs ,they
can and will break .on the old caravans of Wally byam they did have springs break and these trailers were new fairly new then just.A word of caution from a veteren 4x4 enthusiest familiar with broken springs on the trail. the springs can be made longer with more arc or arch to get more lift as well .it seems the springs on these trailers are not given alot of thought ,but should be .

Scott
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:16 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info Terry. I hadn't priced my type of axles and thought they would be way more expensive than that. This gives me another option to consider.

Scott, if I'm correct in understanding this, I could get a new axle with a 4" drop, install new springs without extra leaves under the axle as it is now, the new springs will give my TW 1-2" extra in clearance? Believe me, I have no intention of 4-wheeling, I just want to keep my sewer outlet fittings intact.
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:52 PM   #12
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Not a new axle ,you should have the standard 4" on you trdwnd already .
It has some drop to it from your tire placement in your photos and sewer pics.If your springs are sagging as they do ,new ones should give 1 to 2"
max more .In addition ,if you go rearch ,have them add 1 leaf to the spring pack ,that should give you 3" of lift .Id get the springs done first and then see how the trailer sits and if you have enough clearance ,if not Terrys
idea of the 2" drop axle which will get you another 2" more, so 4 to 5" ,that should do it .No need to change the axle unless its benefiting your lifting ideas.and it may be the ticket with the rearched springs .

Scott
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Old 11-30-2006, 11:16 PM   #13
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OK honey, at 47 years of age do I sag?

Probably not a question most of you want to hear!

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Old 11-30-2006, 11:45 PM   #14
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Id say sugarfoot that the spring pack does has some arch to it ,its not too bad looking there,mine at that angle is about 1" higher .I can see more of the spindle,but thats it and that makes sense ,I" with new .so then a 2" drop
is a good choice in the stock location ,because you won't gain much more than 2" with the extra leaf.Your axle is a 4"drop same as mine .Id think that since your thinking doing the springs ,a higher lift pack is in order ,new springs and more lift as well ,why do the springs stock style and then replace the axle ?
New ,higher lift springs will be needed ,they can do that .

Scott
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