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XTreeFarmer 12-22-2017 06:54 PM

T7500 Dump Build
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Here begins the posting up of the build up of my new to me truck. I found it on Craigs's in Kansas City. Her name is Dorthy. The first reason for selecting this particular truck was the HP (250). My old truck was lacking in that department. Next was the relatively short wheelbase. I did not want a super long truck and the design idea was for a 16' flatbed that also dumps. A third reason is the heavier weight rating it has and I was hitting the upper limits of the old trucks 23K limit. It will be registered it as a "farm" truck. Here in Oregon, that means I have a 150 mile driving radius, but that gets me nearly half way across the state. Any trip longer than that and I will need a trip permit. My plan is to register the truck at 26K which is lower than the 33K it is capable of. The last appealing item was the Allison Automatic Transmission. I guess I'm just getting old, but an auto tranny sure sounds nice!

XTreeFarmer 12-24-2017 02:01 PM

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Now for the details.

As I said, I bought the truck out of the Midwest then had it trucked to the west coast. This as it turns out was a learning lesson for me. Because they use so much salt in that part of the country, the truck had some serious cancer issues that I was not expecting. I did ask about the rust, and the seller said it was not too bad. I have come to believe that rust in the Midwest is different than what we out West consider bad rust. That said, here is the plan for the truck

16' dumping flatbed
2' tall drop (or fold) down sides. (here is one point of inspiration)
3 way end gate (removable)
Double ram scissor hoist
PTO hydraulic pump
Auxiliary diesel pump to fuel equipment
under-body storage box

Other items that will be address:
new tires all the way around
cancer (rust)
full double frame behind cab (because of above)

So here is job one, RUST. I will be double framing the truck from the cab back to the hinges. This will require me to remove everything from the back of the truck. That means off comes the fuel tanks, battery box, air filter, all the hangers for the rear axle..... yadda, yadda, yadda... This was ALL unexpected work. The paint on the truck has acted like a seal to keep in the salts and cause the frame to rust as noted in the second photo. The truck did have a partial double frame. This too will have to be removed as well.

XTreeFarmer 12-24-2017 02:11 PM

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Here I am deep into removing everything off the truck. As you can see the frame has a significant amount of cancer. I know I am making the right decision to address this first. Once it is all off, I will remove as much of the rust as possible and then put some rust stopper on it and start the build up. As you can see in the last photo, I have done a little test cleanup in one small section at the rear of the frame.

XTreeFarmer 12-24-2017 02:35 PM

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It took me about a week to get everything off along with some other messing around, now it is time for rust removal. I would love to sand blast the frame. To this end, I tried my own compressor and a small Harbor Freight blaster. The baster worked ok, but my compressor (60gal upright), just could not keep up. I then renting a tow-able compressor as seen in the background of the last picture of the last post. This worked reasonably well, but eventually, the compressor started adding too much moisture to the blasting tank and the sand stopped flowing like it should. I was able to blast a few of the small pieces before the sand stopped flowing like it should.

Next method of attack was a wire knot on my grinder. This also worked ok, but some of the rust was just too severe. Finally, I settled on a grinding wheel to attack the worst of the rust scale to get down to some solid steel. Using the grinder, I went over the entire frame, until I could see roughly 50% shinny material. Then went back over everything with the wire knot to give it a final clean up.

Once I had gone over the entire frame using this technique, I wiped down the frame and applied the rust stopper. It was suppose to rain overnight, so I put together a make shift cover to keep things dry overnight.

I am also fighting time. My goal would be to get the truck all done and rolling by the time my harvest comes along. This means I have about 3 months of work to do in about 3 weeks. It's not likely to happen, but I'm going to give it a good effort. 25 days to go to harvest begins...

XTreeFarmer 12-24-2017 02:42 PM

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After dealing with the frame, I decided to take a bunch of the misc. pieces to a sand blasting professional. Only problem, was I took it to them just before hunting season. They did a good job and I was able to just primer and paint the pieces after they came back.

XTreeFarmer 12-24-2017 02:52 PM

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While the parts were at the blaster, I managed to get some paint on the frame. I'm only using some Ace rattle can primer and paint. I know this is not the best solution, but it's quick easy and better than nothing. Also, I am rushed for time.

XTreeFarmer 12-24-2017 03:08 PM

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I am going a little out of order on the build, to keep things flowing. As with any project, you do a little bit of this and then some of that and then back to the first item.... Alas, back to the story.

Now for the double frame. The steel is just some 1/4" mild steel bent in an "L" shape to match the frame dimensions of the truck and 16' long. I was not really sure how this was going to work, but once I got into it, I realized I was going to be able to get the double under the rear of the front axle leaf spring perch. Then it would extend back to the rear hinge point and spanning the entire frame. Why would I do this? 20,000 reasons! The payload on this truck will be near 20K lbs and I don't want any problems. If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing. :HiHi:

First thing is to put the steel in place and mark all the holes necessary. I tried drilling the holes in place, but it is a lot easier to drill "down" than "sideways". In marking everything up, I used a series of clamps to get the steel as close to the final mounting point as possible. Then when drilling, I started with a much more manageable (and fast) 1/4" bit. Graduated to a 3/8" then finally a 1/2". A mag drill sure would have been a lot easier, but I did not have one.

XTreeFarmer 12-24-2017 03:12 PM

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The end result turned out really well. I can not remember exactly how many holes it was, but it was in the neighborhood of 250....

XTreeFarmer 12-24-2017 03:25 PM

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Lights, I need lights!

It's all LED for this guy. LED's are so affordable any more, that it does not make sense not too. My plan is a single light bar just below the hinge point that is 7' wide.

Lets start with some 7"x3"x3/16" steel picked up at a local steel surplus yard cut to length and purchased for 0.50c/lb. After laying out my pattern, its off to the drill press for some rounded corners. I will finish cutting everything out with a plasma cutter. Finally it's all finished up with a grinder to smooth out the cuts. Last pick is a mock up of the lights in place. Not too bad if you ask me.

XTreeFarmer 12-24-2017 03:40 PM

The Bed

The bed is the truly unique part of the truck. My plan as said before is for a 16' bed with drop down sides. The sides will be 2' tall and be in two sections for each side. In order to make things strong enough, I will be adding two very large stake pockets for additional support. My previous truck also had drop down sides that were 14' long. They were really too heavy to pick up, thus the need for a break in the sides on this truck. The back end will have an end gate or tail gate that swings three ways: open to the bottom for dumping or spreading gravel, swing down from the top like the tailgate on a pickup and opening on one side and out of the way. All three of these options will open smooth to the inside of the bed so there are no points for material or trees to catch on. Everything needs to be stout! No compromises in strength! Think 20,000 lbs

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