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Old 04-06-2013, 09:47 AM   #1
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Smart car question from Bill R

Bill, you were worried about the effect of going to the shorter pin box and what it would have on your clearance between the Smart car and the fifth.
I used the plans I have for Jeff's truck,

to run a "little CAD experiment" to show you the effects. By the way Jeff has about 68 inches of clearance to the car.
First I moved the Smart model to the 58 inch position, I'm assuming that's where yours is, center of the king pin to the sidewall of the Smart, or is it to the mirror?

I have a model of the fifth front and I created couple of versions, one with long pin box and another with the same pinbox but 6 inches shorter. Lets start with the long pinbox.

The worst position you would be in clearance wise would be at 90 degrees, probably trying to turn around in a parking lot where you shouldn't be in the first place.

Note that as you are straitening the fifth sidewall and the fifth corner are beginning to arc and are actually going away from the Smart.

Next I "hooked up in the CAD" to a fifth that had a pin box 6 inches shorter.

At 90 degrees that fifth's sidewall is in the same position vs. the Smart, except that the fifth's front is 6 inches closer to the driver's side of the truck.
As you start straightening out you get the same arcing effect.

So, not to worry, loose the long air pinbox. You do know that air pinbox and an ET together is like a Hollywood marriage only good for appearance.

hjs
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:59 AM   #2
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Not to butt in, but I saw this arrangement a month ago in Terlingua Tx.

Regular Diesel tractor, modified to haul Smart Car. Loads using ramp on the driver's side. He installed large airbags for the passenger side to lift the passenger side 16" (I think that's the number); this allowed for eliminating the "crown" needed to get the car over the hump. Loading rails stowed beneath the frame. He also had the option of changing the rails to take on his Honda Goldwing trike.

Box for the fifth wheel was as far back on the frame as you could put it.

Nice rig. Smart car was a great option for tooling around shopng and sightseeing.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
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Crowning is not an issue with extra long folding ramps.
.
The air lifted tilting deck uses short 8 foot ramps and has to be lifted to avoid hanging up the car.

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Old 04-06-2013, 10:44 AM   #4
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Thanks Henry! That is what I needed. Convinced me to go ahead with the shorted pin box from the Med box on this trailair. Appreciate the Cad work!

Yes, the 58" pin to folded mirror on Smart. And yes, in 3yrs with the Smart on I don't think I ever got 90* except when testing in gravel for clearance checks when I built it.

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Old 04-11-2013, 10:16 PM   #5
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What a good looking truck Henry, but it looks so cold!
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:43 AM   #6
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Jeff, ah the fond "memories" of that bed build.
This was the day we were bringing it in for the tool boxes mounting , but we had a "surprise" the night before.

But it looked "so pretty" with the tool boxes against the "white background"

These were the "heat wave" days, only below freezing. Then there were the -5* days and Jackalopee re-install.

But I solved that problem, I will with you my "solution" in the next post.

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Old 05-05-2013, 07:51 AM   #7
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This is how I haul my Smart.
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:46 PM   #8
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PanchoV will you please share info on your rack? Have seen a similar set up once before and have been interested but unable to find it.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:54 AM   #9
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Olive,
I designed it myself. I had a company laser cut the pieces and I welded them up.
One word of caution, every grandpa with a diesel pusher will want you to build him one. You'll have to explain how his RV doesn't have a frame or hitch capable of doing this. It's kind of sad how they sank their entire savings into a depreciating pusher and wish they built a Showhauler.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:25 AM   #10
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RVs, whether pullers, pushers or towables are "unique (?)" when it comes to their "quality". Airplanes have to be built so they don't fall out of the sky, boats have to be built so they don't sink, you expect your commuter car to last past your last payment. RV's for most of their lives sit on the side lawn or in the campground and most spend no more than 2-5,000 miles on the road per year. So the industry figured it out, "if we make the luan, wall paper, sticks and fiberglass just hang together with glue and staples, that's good enough". Few exceptions to that "philosophy" but it takes years to find out who, which makes and which models.

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Old 05-18-2013, 05:06 PM   #11
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I just paid Mercedes $899.06 to replace the two front wheels bearings in my '08 passion and it had only 11,372 miles on it. 8% of the original cost. Now that SUCKS. You can't buy the parts except from Mercedes only.
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:05 PM   #12
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CJGJR, owned one of these in the early 70's for a decade.

Was young and "naive" then, bought it from a dealer and had dealer(s) do the repairs. Every "visit" felt like a session with a local mob loan shark, just short of having your knees caved in with a baseball bat. Ripoff squared or cubed.
Mercedes AUTHORIZED parts only at prices that would bring tears to Warren Buffett. There was an interesting development few years after I sold the car, I was "invited" to join a class action suit against Mercedes for nor allowing the use of substitute parts from other (cheaper) sources. Wish I had that car now, it's worth between 50-100K, depending on condition. Learned afterwards of the many sources for parts to fix, repair and restore such a car, but no dealer will "educate you" to that alternative, you have to dig.
Here's an interesting tid-bit, there are large concentrations of German immigrants in South America including many with excellent technical skills. Guess what, you can purchase many replacement parts, particularly for vintage German autos in Argentina, Brasil, etc.

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Old 05-21-2013, 09:39 AM   #13
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Tried to find bearings and doing the job myself.You can buy the rear bearings online for $48.Only thing saved me was extended warranty with a $100 deductible. When I took it in I told them it was the bearings and their mech called and said my tires were chopped,not the bearings. I told him,now this is a Mercedes dealership service dept, that go ahead and change them and if it still growls then you can replace the bearings and I'll keep the new tires on your dime. That's when they called back the next day and said I was right ,it is the bearings.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:15 PM   #14
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The $800 bill for bearings replacement sounds like a hospital bill you get these days, thousands of dollars and then they "negotiate" with the insurance company, or Medicare after they said, "you've got to be kidding". I don't think Mercedes or a warranty company would pay anywhere near that. The tire "diagnosis" is either incompetence or trying to "move you" into a repair that would reach more directly into your pocket.
The only time my cars or trucks have ever seen dealerships was when these were still under warranty, after that I always used independent repair shops all over the country. The Volvo I own,

had over $10K of repairs done over the last several years in Michigan, Kansas, Florida and New Hampshire (that's all over the country), none of it by dealers.
The truck has almost 900,000 miles on it, perfect truck for mechanics with dirt under their fingernails who diagnose the problem, fix it and write out the bill, in a shop that doesn't have a "waiting room" with soda machine and a TV tuned to soap operas (I guess to numb your mind before you get the bill).

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