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Old 05-31-2013, 03:34 PM   #15
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Henry, Would a piece of deck plate work for the steps cutout if it were hinged at the top to allow it to drop out of the way while using the steps, yet provide a place for the car's wheel when it's up and pinned?
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:14 PM   #16
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Hinging a portion of the deck to access the steps and/or fuel caps is a solution, as a matter of fact I have seen it on one of the recent HDT deck builds. Elegant.
Unfortunately, Smart is a weird animal, front and rear axles and therefore tires are at the extreme edges of the body. To secure the car, the chocks and strap anchors end up within 2 inches from the sides of a typical 102 inches wide bed.
Here's the Smart mounting on Jeff's truck.



If the deck is not too thick (3 inches on Jeff's) the top step is still usable while climbing, but you do have to "hold on". Hinging forward portions of the deck would complicate matters pertaining to securing the chocks and straps, since the hinged portion would have to be very secure first.

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Old 05-31-2013, 10:14 PM   #17
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If we use a 3/4 or 1 inch thick steel plate to fill in over the steps will it be strong enough to attach the chocks and straps to? Would I then be able to turn the fuel nozel sideways as it went through the narrow opening to fill the tanks with drom out over the fill caps? I took some pictures of that area, but not at enough different angles to tell from them.

Jim
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:46 AM   #18
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Henry:

I look forward to following this project. Someday, I will add a bed. I just do not know what I want/need yet.

What is the wheel base for the truck? Were the frame rails shortened? Does the back end of the bed rub, when going up an inclined driveway?

Jim
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:31 PM   #19
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Or, what about filling in only the back half (toward the rear of the bed) of the cutout so it leaves enough room for the step to be open and still allows access to the fuel filler cap while giving you room to attach the tie-down and chock?
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:09 AM   #20
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Jim D, don't know what the original WB was, I suppose I could figure it out. From the position of the axle vs. the tanks I would guess that it was one of the shorter versions of the 770 (780 now). I'm assuming that the truck you got from Greg is singled mid, which is an animal of another sort and much more "friendly" to the wants and wishes of customers (primarily loading Smarts).
The truck is pretty good as far as the ground clearance is concerned.

There's a clearance of over 11 inches and an angle of about 9 degrees. I think all I have to do is move things back 10-12 inches which will reduce the angle by about a degree with the same clearance. You'd have the truck pointing up at the sky to eat up that clearance and it would have to be a hell of a ditch. When pulling big rigs with HDT one has to be little more judicious about where one goes.
The rails on this truck were shortened either at or beyond the beaver tail because they are straight, I'm assuming Greg left yours a little longer until you decide on the bed.
Here's what we did on Jeff's truck,

his was singled mid, note that we did "kick up" the bumper and the ends of the tool boxes a bit, but it was more to "give it the look" rather than worry about the clearance.

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Old 06-02-2013, 04:05 PM   #21
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Henry:

Thanks for the info.

Henry, are you telling me that I can't go 4-wheel'n in the desert, in my HDT? That sux! I'll bet I could do it - at least once. LOL.

My 2008 780 Volvo was singled short (rear axle moved to the front axle location). Next time I go to the storage yard, I will measure the wheelbase. I suppose that I should know that info. But for now, I can and, will plead blissful ignorance, which I do very well, thank you very much. Also, I suppose I should know how tall it is, so I can squeeze it into underground parking, in downtown Los Angeles.

BTW - The frame rails were NOT shortened. Since I was not sure of what I was going to do with the bed, I left the rails stock.

I really do like the "balanced look" of Jack Mayer's mid axle location.

Jim
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:30 PM   #22
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Singling short was the "rage" starting 6-8 years ago when the only thing on those trucks was a hauler body with some compartments. Once motorbikes, golf carts, cars, etc starting piggybacking on those trucks, short was too short.
Short makes the 770/780 "unpedictable" in rain or hard braking unless you put some weight (ET/bed) back there. I almost swapped the ends couple of times until I put my bed (and drom) back there.
Height, well better get used to that 13 feet plus. You know that window in the roof, if that clears you are still not done.

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Old 06-02-2013, 06:02 PM   #23
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On a 780 230" wb gives you a pretty good look, AND it works well for a smart on deck. It gives you good box sizes as well, and enough room in the front boxes for the winch - although it is offset a little from the center of the car.

For fuel tank cutouts take a look at my album. Anything less than what I did will not work well. I guarantee it....we were very careful on that aspect of it.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:21 PM   #24
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I am really looking forward to the upcoming HDT rally and, doing a lot of looking, listening, learning, talking to people and meeting the people behind the keyboards.

Somehow, I have a feeling that the rear axle may be getting moved to the mid position, before a bed is added.

Jim
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:22 AM   #25
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Jim, it just depends on what you want to do....it may work well where it is. I'm sure we will have ample opportunity to consider all alternatives at the Rally. We are looking forward to meeting with you.....
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:24 PM   #26
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Henry, we get a big chuckle every time we see this picture. Those hand prints on Darth's bumper are Cindy's from the very first load. If you remember we loaded the car to see exactly where the chocks needed to go. Well the ground at the end of the ramps was below the truck, but the truck was slightly low on the passenger side. After the tires cleared the strap cleats, Darth began to pick up speed. Cindy shouted out a warning, and I tried to push at the driver's door which was open, but the deck was slippery because it was so DANG FREAKIN COLD. Finally I was able to reach in and yank up on the emergency brake. Man that would have been embarrassing to load the car and drop it off the other side all in 10 minutes!
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:18 AM   #27
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by hjsdds View Post
Jim made it to northern New Hampshire. I haven't seen Mike's truck recently but once I saw its back, I knew I needed to approach it with respect.


hjs
Wow Henry in clean clothes?
He Really is showing respect.
Think I have only seen pictures waring well
Used jeans.
Charlie
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:20 AM   #28
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OK Charlie, it would seem that I have to seriously address the subject of my attire, since you guys are absolutely shocked when you see me dressed like this,

instead of like this.

The best I can explain is that my personality and activities are "bipolar". The fancy clothing is utilized during my "intellectual endevours" , like this one.

but then you have to don an outfit more suitable to the task of actually building it.

And here's another example of "intellectual work",

and the moment of truth to see if it will actually work.


In truth I have several pairs of "abused" jeans abusing DW's front loading washer. She regularly makes "executive decisions" about quality and future of a particular pair.




My current clothing preference is a result of failed retirement and certain "freedom" that comes with retirement. In my previous "careers" I had to regularly deal with "sophisticated people" and therefore regularly appear in monkey suits, I still have few of those.

By the way that is my cousin and her two lovely daughters.
Going even further back I was involved in endevours that required ownership of tuxedos (a white one in this instance).

But those have gone the way of Salvation Army since they no longer fit.

In conclusion I might add that I also explored "alternative" clothing horizons. Being of Polish decent I did appear once as a Polish Pope.

And as a "beauty queen".




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