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Old 11-12-2006, 07:02 PM   #141
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What about the width advantage of a dually? You can't get duallies in a 1/2 ton pick-up.

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Old 11-12-2006, 08:16 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by Barry2952
What about the width advantage of a dually? You can't get duallies in a 1/2 ton pick-up.
You can make them. there use to be a company that did conversions to Suburbans and made Suburbans dually's's%20Truck4%20dually%20suburban%2090%20up.jpg

Dually has advantage but towing a bumper pull trailer its not a huge advantage. A fifth wheel, goose or a slide in is where a Dually shines

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1988 R20 454 Suburban.
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Old 11-15-2006, 12:08 PM   #143
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One thing you have to remember about towing....hauling etc. The GCVW of a rig. Just putting duallys on a rig dont chang that. TO HAUL A HEAVY LOAD the breaks have to be appropriate...the tires and wheels...the axels...and THE FRAME OF THE TRUCK. I hauled paper for years and have experience with this in pickups and medium size trucks. If you over load the frame of your two vehicle it don't matter what tires you have. Get the tool built for the job.
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Old 12-10-2006, 03:36 PM   #144
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12-10-2006 Progress has slowed as Fall chores took a lot of time.

While waiting for the welder to show up I expanded the battery rack to accept 4 more Optima marine batteries. That should bring my run time for the a/c to about 6 hours.

The extra weight will help load the tongue weight properly. The most tongue weight I can get with all three axles pressurized is 1,100 lbs. The batteries will bring the tongue weight to 1,400 lbs.

Took time off to show the Mark II at the Naples Concours. Took a top award and had beautiful weather.

The welder brought his stick welder to gain a real deep weld. He wasn't pleased with the weld's appearance so he came back with a MIG and TIG welder to smooth things out. I ground things smooth and used a filler for a nice finished appearance.

He used his TIG to weld the replacement ramp activating arm. Helps to know what you're doing.

Sanded down all the rough finish on the tongue and sprayed it with Rustoleum primer and flat black paint.

Installed the new Equal-I-Zer hitch. Dan powdercoated the parts in a matt finish.

A lot of thought went into the design of this product.

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Old 12-10-2006, 06:01 PM   #145
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wow, quite the rig

I don't know if you're still looking for a different tow vehicle, but for something this heavy one of the Freightliner M2 Business class 6 wheelers witn the Mercedes diesel would do really well. I really like these trucks..... they look good,they drive well, have lots of room on the inside (check out the 4-door models), and get really good fuel mileage for their size. Registration might be an issue, though, if the combined weight of TV and trailer exceed 26001 might have to go commercial and get a commercial drivers license. Good luck getting rolling again.
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Old 12-27-2006, 01:29 PM   #146
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1955 Porsche 356 Porsche "Continental" Cabrio paint job.

In August of 2006 the Porsche was tied down inside the newly finished Spartanette Toybox when we hit a guardrail. The Porsche tore loose from its moorings and smashed into the inside wall of the trailer.

The entire length of the Porsche was smashed pretty flat. The front suspension was bent from contacting the wheel well of the trailer. I knew that my friend Larry Smith, owner of Autometric Collision and new head of the Meadow Brook Concours, had recently restored a 356 from his collection of beautiful cars.

I asked Larry who he would recommend to repair the car and he said he would literally "take it under his wing" to see that it was done right and to justify an invitation to show it at the Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance in August of '07.

My insurance company sent out an independent adjuster who was very familiar with Autometrics and thought that they would also be the correct company to make the sheet metal repairs.

The Porsche 356 is post-war German engineering at its best, yet had enough ideosyncracies to warrant a mechanical specialist with the right tools and temperament to do the job on the damaged suspension.

Ted turned out to be the right guy. Expert on all things 356. Ted got the task of disassembling the car for repair. He pulled off all the trim, bumpers and windshield so that there would be little masking necessary.

Ted repaired the bent front suspension and found an appropriate replacement brake drum to replace the one that was bent. He was able to straighten the bent rim and detected no tire damage.

When the car came back to Autometric the passenger side sheetmetal was treated to a basic straightening and grinding that exposed some additional areas of concern. The rocker panels had been replaced years earlier but had not been properly positioned. The door sheetmetal seam at the bottom had thickened over time due to rust expanding the layers of metal. They had fit the sill to the door instead of repairing the door and installing the new sills correctly.

This is what the car looked like just before the crash.

The aftermath. The back bumper is pushed in flush with the fender, the door is flattened and the front fender has a distinct slab-side look to it.

I went to look at the condition of the car at this stage and I was shown the thick door bottoms and some minor rust penetration along the bottom of the door. They showed me, with a shim, that the sill was improperly installed to accommodate the the thick door bottom.

It was at this point that I had to have words with the insurance company. They were only going to pay for painting the damaged side of the car, which would have been fine had there been some break line to paint to. Since this is a unibody car with no removable fenders there is no natural break point to paint to.

Autometric's could have blended the paint but the original lacquer paint would have not reacted well to being overpainted with today's two-stage paint. I learned that the thinners used today would seep into the lowers of paint, destabilizing them over time.

I was able to convince a higher level adjuster to take a closer look at the evidence I had gathered in support of repainting the entire car. They brought in their own paint expert that agreed with my assessment and authorized the additional $8,000 to strip and build a fresh paint job. This was on top of the $11,000 already authorized for the bump and paint work on the damaged side.

The car was taken to bare metal all over. The front end was media blasted to remove thick layers of body filler.

The front end had been hit sometime in its past requiring the replacement of the hood. Each panel is stamped with the car's serial number except the hood.

The front end had been pushed in but never bumped out properly.

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Old 12-27-2006, 01:31 PM   #147
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The front end sheetmetal was slathered with bondo to make the front panel line up with front edge of the new hood. The filler was 1/2" thick along the hood edge.

The entire front of the car is one stamping from the wheel wells forward. This seam needed some attention but was basically sound. Removal of the body filler revealed a past sideswipe that was never properly bumped.

The front door gaps were excellent showing no rust in the typical areas.

Once the car was stripped of all paint and filler it was shot with a Dupont heavy zinc self-etching primer designed to be the bonding agent between the raw metal and the new body filler and paint.

The blocked and sanded hood was reinstalled on the car and the front end sheetmetal was restored to its original position requiring minimal body filler. The hood gap was also adjusted with metal manipulation and body filler where needed.

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Old 12-27-2006, 01:32 PM   #148
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The replacement door sill welds were ground off and the sill was properly repositioned.

The entire car was covered in a layer of body filler just thick enough to take out the body flaws. This was typical of factory bodywork of the time. The body filler was sanded to near perfection and a layer of gray primer was sprayed over the whole car.

Successive layers of primer were sprayed on and blocked off. The primer layers were overlaid with a black paint that stayed in the bottom of flaws and scratches bringing them to the attention of the bodyman.

Meanwhile, the doors were removed and worked separately. Pinhole rust was found in the bottoms of the original door skins so they removed about an inch of metal along the bottom of each door. They ground down the spot welds and removed the rusted door panel bottom. A section was cut from the lower door skin that originally was big enough to cover the bottom 6" of the door. The bodyman thought it best to cut away as little as possible to eliminate any distortion of the door.

A final coat of primer was applied and thoroughly wet sanded. Close attention was paid to eliminate any flaws before the first layer of paint went on.

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Old 12-27-2006, 01:35 PM   #149
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There's no margin for error at this point as it will be shot with two-stage paint, eliminating the sanding in-between coats.

The color coats are shot and then is covered by the clear coat so that the whole paint job cures as one coat.

Wet sanded, wheeled-out and ready to be reassembled.

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Old 12-27-2006, 04:09 PM   #150
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Interesting stuff. I can't wait to see the finished product. I started a post a while back re: Classic Cars . I was hoping that those of us that are into classics would post pix. How about putting in your Mark II and the Porsche. I currently have both a '70 and a '71 Mark III. Just sold my really nice '68 912. Ron
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Ron and Debbie Lawrence
1985 345 Motorhome...... delightfully tacky......yet unrefined
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:07 PM   #151
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Wow Barry!

An interesting look back on the past of your car.... probably would have been secret until you "peeled back" it's past.

Such craftmanship, such a far cry from today's replaceable plastic.

Can't wait to see the finished product!
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:19 PM   #152
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1-1-2007 Lower clam-shell door finish.

The lower door was functional, but not finished. I attached a "U" channel to each of the existing aluminum skin flanges to stiffen the structure and create an attachment point for an inner skin of FRP, matching the rest of the interior.

These U channels needed to be capped as a base for trim. The new chanel had to be bent to match the curvature.

The outer skid bars were attached with sheet metal screws. They are now firmly nut and bolted in place. You can see the finished cap installed.

I installed FRP plastic moldings on the perimeter rails.

Fitted panels into trim and secured with stainless screws.

The upper door latch system recently installed needed something to latch onto. Look closely and you will see the ubiquidous screen door latch strike. It will allow for some movement and acts as a spacer to keep the door centered on the rear opening. Pressing the upper door into place is answered by a click saying that the latch is seated. Not the most elegant, but extemely effective solution to a couple of problems. $1.44 each at ACO

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Old 01-28-2007, 07:43 PM   #153
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1-27-2007 Underbelly

I wish I had done this while the chassis was upside down.

I designed the diamond plate sides to have a 46" gap that would be filled with a FRP layer supported by aluminum crossmembers.

Before I was able to install the crossmembers I had to solve a slight clearance problem with the arm that connects to the linear actuator and I had to figure out a way to mount the actuator itself 90 from its current mounting position.

I started looking around my shop for some material to make a swivel bracket from when I spotted the shackles from the old trailer springs. They were the perfect shape but one needed to be smaller than the other so I made a trip to the local trailer supply and found two new spring shackles and a spring bolt to create my contraption. The only hole I had to drill was the one that bolts the actuator to the swivel.

The material I'm using as crossbracing for the underbelly is 1" x 2" x 1/8" aluminum angle. I used it on the flat at the back so that the actuating arm could clear the brace. I was able to trim away enough of the actuator arm to clear the brace.

The FRP is sanwiched in-between the diampnd plate and the bracing. The FRP is connected to the cross bracing with stainless fateners and washers. I hope I never have to take it apart again but I want to be able to if I need to.

Aluminum crossbracing attaches to the diamond plate on both sides.

This is what the finished underbelly will look like. All of the raw aluminum and Frp edges are trated with the same edging used elsewhere.

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Old 03-10-2007, 03:03 PM   #154
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Update 3-10-2007 More details.

The Porsche is almost finished. Can't wait to see it.

This is my emergency brake light system. The regular tail lights are powered off of the tow vehicle. This emergency system provides brake lights should the trailer be separated from the tow vehicle. The trailer is equipped with a breakaway switch that activates the trailer brakes, but, no brake lights.

This system takes a separate lead from the battery and passes the current through a Normally Open brake pressure switch. When the hydraulic actuator is activated, both in an an emegency and under normal use, the emergency brake lights are activated.

This is a series of automatic circuit breakers rated at 150A that feed the winch. The wire feeding it is fused at 175A.

The FRP belly pan is finally complete. 240 square feet of Fiberglass Reinforced Panels and 224 linear feet of extruded 1" x 2" aluminum angle and 200 stainless screws and washers.

I installed the system so that a single panel could be removed for service without taking the whole belly pan down.

I raised the suspension off of the ground so that I could measure for wheel skates. I ended up buying heavy duty skates capable of rolling 2,000 lbs each.

Note the nylon axle restraint. These keep the air bags from hyperextending and damaging the flexible stainless steel brake lines.

Business has been slow so I had my crew add an outlet every 10 feet and four new 400-watt metal halide high bay fixtures.

The damaged chair got put back together after polishing the frame.

Each axle has it own ride height valve. That's the black device with the linkage attached to it. That valve get's its instructions from the position of the suspension's swing arm.

This control rod had to pass through the new belly pan. Due to the 6" range of motion the coltrol rod needed to pass through an oblong hole. I had seen oblong grommets in a leather catalog and contacted the Stimson Company and left word with a customer service person. I only needed three of the two-piece grommets so she sent them out as free samples. Thank you Stimson!

Next to the ride height valve is the electric dump valve. Each axle has one. I can selectively dump air to aid the jacks in tilting the trailer for loading and unloading.

Next to the dump valve is a pressure sensor that gives me a readout of air pressure in the main tank and in each set of bags. It has a digital readout and an audible alert in case of pressure failure.

The drain valve for the concealed 5 gallon air tank ended up directly above the rear axle. The first nipple I used was too long and it broke off as soon as I lowered the trailer. That made quite a bit of noise as the tank still had 150 psi in it.

This is the digital readout for the airbags. Next to it is the hydraulic tongue weight scale.

I needed to install mud flaps. I didn't want the typical Yosemite Sam or reclining chrome nude and just plain black didn't do much for me.

I found some floor mats that I thought were perfect. Together they were too wide so I cut them in half and they worked perfectly.

I mocked up a set in pink.

And another set in blue.

I liked the pink much better.

I installed a concealed battery kill switch that cuts power to all the electrical at the rear of the trailer including the lighting, electric ramps, compressor, dump valves and screw jacks mounted at each corner of the trailer. It was that or lock the hatch door to the controls. I feared someone would destroy a lock to see what was inside so the door will be left unlocked but allthe controls inside will be defeated.

The handle of the switch pops out whe power is deactivated.

Side view of the installation

The new lights for the garage are fluorescent and operate on 12 volts. Fluorescent lights only work off of AC current so each fixture has a miniature rectifier to convert 12-volts DC to 12-volts AC.

The lights are semi-recessed. They are about 1" deep above the ceiling and about 3/4" below. Each fixture has 3 15-watt lamps and each fixture has it's own switch to conserve battery power.

All of the electrical is stowed under the front floorboards. the process of charging the batteries and converting 12-volts DC to 120-volts AC generates a fair bit of heat. This is a thermostatically controlled muff fan installed to draw air fom the cool chambers of the trailer and exhausted out of the bottom.

Up until now there has been no fuse protection for the 12-volt wiring. As I hooked up the last fuse the trailer started shaking and the lights flickered madly. I heard the sound of arcing of electricity against metal and quickly ripped the battery cables free of the fuses.

I jumped out of the trailer after I hear the noise persist and saw that the lights in my shop were cycling on and off too. I heard a loud explosion and hit the button for the garage door and saw that the power lines adjacent to my shop had fallen on a neighbor's metal shed and were dancing wildly until another transformer down the line blew and shut everything off.

The front stone guard is almost complete. The rear panel is being made by my fabricator out of polished diamond plate. The emergency tail lights and back-up lights will be mounted in this panel.


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