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Old 06-19-2016, 11:58 AM   #1
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Stop ACME Dolly ramps from coming off

If you've been using the Acme Dolly, you may have experienced the ramps popping off of the dolly while loading or unloading your car. For some reason, the ramp hooks bounce out of the dollys loops and the ramp(s) fall to the ground.

This has happened to me a couple times, and seems to happen when loading/unloading, and the car bounces up / down or forward/backward.

My fix is reasonably inexpensive, and only requires one minor step when installing the ramps.

I ordered two of these latches from Nuera Trailer Parts ($7 each)

Installing the latches on the ramps.


I only used one latch per ramp. Release the latch so the pin is extended. The latch fits perfectly tucked up into the inside surface of the ramps edge. Slide the latch toward the hook so the extended latch pin is just touching the ramps hook.

Securing the latch to the ramp - You can drill holes to either rivet or bolt / nut the latch into place, or do as I did, spot welds on the edges and the holes to hold the latch in place. Clean the welds and a little shot of aluminum paint to clean it up.


Installing the ramps on the dolly using the latches

Always wear gloves when handling the ramps, they have some very sharp edges..

Pull the spring loaded latch open (the pin is retracted) and turn the lever so it faces down. This will hold the latch open.

Place the ramp hooks on the dolly, reach under the ramp and release the latch. The latch pin will slide forward and prevent the ramp from unhooking.

To remove the ramp, you need to reach under the ramp and pull the latch backward as you lift the ramp out of the dolly loops.

PHOTO 1

Shows the latch I used (ordered from Nuera Trailer Parts). Also, look carefully at the ramp, you can see I already installed the latch on this ramp and the pin is in the closed position and is just touching the hook..

PHOTO 2

Shows the ramp upside down. the latch is welded into the ramp. If you look very closely, you can see the latch pin is retracted and locked (the handle would be pointing straight down)

PHOTO 3

Look very carefully, you can see the ramp hook is on the dollys loop. The latch pin is released and in the lock position. This ramp will NOT jump out of the loop.
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:53 PM   #2
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Do you think a couple of U-bolts would work?
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:34 PM   #3
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Yes, they would work, but very inconvenient to install / remove
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1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.
(www.1999Southwind.com)

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:47 AM   #4
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If you pull the car up to the ramps slowly and don't gun it from afar they might not bounce off the trailer, but that might also be the reason why I tow 4 Flat.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiter21 View Post
Yes, they would work, but very inconvenient to install / remove
Maybe I should have provided a better description. Do you think you could use the "U" bolts to hold on the latches as opposed to welding them. Don't think it would hurt if the round part of the "U" were to protrude above the ramp a bit. For example (may not be correct size), something like this:

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Old 06-20-2016, 03:10 PM   #6
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I don't think the U bolt would work.

HOWEVER - If I decided not to weld, I would do it this way:

Look at the photo. The latch has a hole in each corner that would be great, EXCEPT, the two front bolts would need to be drilled through the ramps hook, and you don't want to do that. (The red circles show the approximate hole location that would line up with the latch.)

I would drill two new holes in the latch between the existing holes, then drill corresponding holes in the ramp (see the two brown circles) . Then use #10 or 1/4 bolt and nut in the two holes. This should be acceptable.
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1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.
(www.1999Southwind.com)

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:16 PM   #7
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Vettnuts, I'm re-looking at your comment and maybe you were thinking of this.

Could you mount the latch to the underside of the actual ramp instead of the inner vertical edge???

I don't think so because the pin would then be to far away from the hook, However, when I get home tonight, I'll look at my ramps to see if that would work.

One consideration, you would not be able to lock that latch in the open position! This isn't a big deal, just hold the latch open while installing/removing the ramp.
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1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.
(www.1999Southwind.com)

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:40 PM   #8
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Huh, The latch may work if mounted to the underside of the ramp. It looks like the pin would block the hook so yes, it might work if mounted to the underside.

See the two photos,

In the first photo I'm holding it against the inside of the ramp edge. Thats where I installed mine and welded them in place.

In the second photo, I'm holding it against the underside of the ramp.

..
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1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.
(www.1999Southwind.com)

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