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Discussion Starter #1
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!
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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...
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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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Discussion Starter #11
The bed starts with the side rails. I have developed my own system now for building a flatbed that intigrates stake pockets into the middle of some rectangle tubing. I have two sections per side on this build.

I start with some 6" x 3" x 3/16" rectangular tubing. After cutting the tube to length, it's time to mark up the short side for the stake pockets every two feet on center. You have to mark both sides of the tube as well.

Below is all the tools of the job and in process
 

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So let's start be doing some math here first. The sides are 3" wide minus 3/16" on each side or 3/8" leaves 2-5/8" on the inside. The stake pocket itself is a piece of 2" x 4" x 3/16" rectangle. The stake pockets go completely through the side material and are 6" deep and centered in the side rails. So if you are following along with me there is 1/2" of material on each side of the stake pocket and .3125" of space inside of the side rail. I used this technique on a tilt-bed trailer I made earlier in the year and used the space inside the rail as a chase for my side lighting .

So after marking things up, it's time to cut. My friend calls it "Cowboy Cutting", cuz I use a 4-1/2" grinder and some friction cut off wheels. The trick is to be as steady and straight as possible. The holes are just a touch bigger than 2" x 4". After cutting both long and short sides it's the sawzall and a steel cutting blade. Wa-La. Now, repeat 40 times. 8 pockets on 2 sides, both top and bottom and 4 across the back.
 

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Now here is a better look at a finished section and what the stake pocket looks like before welding it up. Then welded in place. I also have a system for keeping the 2x4's from falling through, 1/2 cut washers. Why the washer?

1. it keeps the 2x4's from falling through.
2. rain and debris can fall through.
3. because it's welded on the inside underneath of the pocket, the outside can be used for a ratchet strap catch point.
4. a piece of chain with a hook can also be ran through the stake pocket without too much problem.
5. it can easily be replaced.

Just my assessment.
 

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Next step on the bed is the big stake pockets, think receiver hitch. There will be two on each side, one in the middle and one on the back corner. They are also different sizes as well. The one on the back corner is designed to accept a piece of steel 2"x6". The one in the middle of the bed accepts a 2"x4" piece of steel. There is nothing off the shelf for this and it is a new experiment for me. I hope it works.

I went back to the steel scrapyard and found some 3/8" leg angle. One piece is 5"x3" and the other is 8"x4". The problem is, the steel needed to be 7/16" thick. I purchase 4' of each. The pockets will be 1' deep and have some 3/4" holes just to secure the uprights if needed (I will not be able to add the holes later). I cut the pieces to 1' lengths, then cut off some of the leg on every piece so the material will be 7"x3" and 5"x3" respectively. Then I took some scrap steel plate around 14 gauge and drilled a series of hole in it for weld tack points and welded them to the inside part of the leg material. I used the 2x material as the template before welding (i.e. does it slide in and out without binding? Also is there minimal slop?) Overall, I don't really like how this came together. I think it will work, but not my best effort. Now for the pictures.
 

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Bed sides are next. This part is pretty straight forward. A whole lot of clamps, a long piece of alignment steel and then double and triple check everything several times. You start to get a sense of how this is all going to some together. You can also see where I am using the tilt trailer I mentioned earlier as my work table. Also you can see the stake pockets on that project.

8 days to harvest
 

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The bed itself is also very straight forward. The sides that I put together, then add 2"x3"x.125" rectangle as cross members placed every foot on center. The front cross member is a piece of 3'x3'x.1875" steel. Line everything up the outside pieces as close as possible. Measure from corner to corner about two dozen times and weld. Then fill in the cross members welding them down 3/16" from the top of the side rails. I will be using a piece of 1/4" steel plate for the deck. Only one picture

6 days to harvest begins
 

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Fun project - least..looks like it to me!

I like those cabover dumpers, would have liked to have found one with a 4-5yd bed but they're like unicorns.

I ended up with a 97 C3500 HD gasser with a 4yd elec/hyd royal dump bed. I wish it was a 6.5td 4x4...but those are unicorns too!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Time for some more.

I made a rear plate/bumper/tow/ what have you out of a piece of 1/2" plate. No real build pictures, just a finished project. It's was really all about layout and drilling holes. I did tape the holes for the trailer plug and licience plate so all I have to do is screw in bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Had to make an adjustment to the end of the frame to accommodate the 16' bed I will be installing. Frame is set up for an 18' bed. That is too long for me. So, after fully installing the double framing and getting it all snugged down, I started making some measurements. The hinge is built around a piece of 4x4x1/2 angle so I will need to be notched to accept it. Just like Norm Abrams has thought us for years, "measure twice, cut once". Ok, measure 4 or five time and think about it for several minutes to make sure you are accounting for everything. No going back once the damage is done.
 

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Now time for the down rails as I call them. These are the pieces that come down from the main frame rails at the end of the truck to hold the rear plate. For me, they are a couple of pieces of 1x2" leg angle. Same notch as in the end of the frame. This is what the hinge will actually be welded to. Lots of 3/4" Grade 8 hardware with Gripco nuts. They are like nylocks only stronger and more secure. Sorry, no picture of the hardware. I'll pic that up in a later post.
 

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