Jump to content
mr. cob

Rounding up parts to build the Smart Car, deck, info needed.

Recommended Posts

Most of this has been posted before, some re the hitch about a year ago.  Cost to me was about 500$ Canadian to do the hitch.  pcs of the rear fenders and bumper had to come off plus some other 'stuff' over the rt bolt area in order to access the bolt holes.  There are 6 grade 12 bolts thru bolted with nuts holding on the hitch assembly.  He would be inclined to radius off the outside corners a bit to provide a little extra clearance between fender parts and outside corner of hitch bar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Need anything else, better clarification or specifics??  Or are you too busy shovelling snow??  Victoria will suffer Cardiac Arrest in a couple of hrs when traffic starts this morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

    My bed had nuts welded to the bottom of the deck where the chocks are located and the chocks are bolted into them. The same holes are used to bolt down the ramps just like in some of the pictures

Brad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Couple of comments....

1) It is not necessary to build a two-vertical winch arm. A properly supported single arm is more than adequate. 

2) as Roger said, deck layout is going to TOTALLY depend on the width of the deck. Do not underestimate the detail required to get this correct. 

3)The chocks are built the way they are for a reason....if you intend to modify the design, fully understand the reasons why, and what the alternative tradeoffs are. For example, the front and rear clearances on the cars are critical.

4)You do not want to winch off the car. Driving it off is the appropriate method. Trying to winch it will be more of an annoyance than anything. You can drive a 453 on - we shot a video on that if you search for it. It is no big deal, BUT it must be done correctly.  Winching on is always safer - there is no denying that.

5) the 4K Warn winch with synthetic line is what you want. It works well. You can get it with a wireless remote, which I recommend. We have had zero issues with that winch.  Do not buy a cheap unbranded winch. You will regret it. There have been LOTS of issues with the cheap winches. Do not use steel cable. Period.

6) we will make component pieces available for sale in the new year....but I don't know exactly when. Likely in Jan sometime. I'll probably make our deck layout available as well...it was not that simple to figure out, believe it or not. Marc and I worked two days to get it right to handle both models of cars. We only move one chock. If you are interested, you can contact me via email.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps contact Herrin to see if he can make the chocks for you, if you can figure out what you need.  Maybe make a mock up of 1/4" plywood with some 4x4 cant strip for the chock then send to him to duplicate out of steel with the winch attached.

Like I said earlier the holes in the chock should be a little loose to allow for things not quite lining up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, rdickinson said:

Need anything else, better clarification or specifics??  Or are you too busy shovelling snow??  Victoria will suffer Cardiac Arrest in a couple of hrs when traffic starts this morning.

Howdy Roger,

You have covered it quite well, your photos have given me a really good idea of how to make things work, THANK YOU, your help has been a great Christmas present.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Brad & Jacolyn said:

Dave,

    My bed had nuts welded to the bottom of the deck where the chocks are located and the chocks are bolted into them. The same holes are used to bolt down the ramps just like in some of the pictures

Brad.

Howdy Brad,

Welding the nuts under the deck is a really good idea, I'll put it to good use.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jack Mayer said:

Couple of comments....

1) It is not necessary to build a two-vertical winch arm. A properly supported single arm is more than adequate. 

2) as Roger said, deck layout is going to TOTALLY depend on the width of the deck. Do not underestimate the detail required to get this correct. 

3)The chocks are built the way they are for a reason....if you intend to modify the design, fully understand the reasons why, and what the alternative tradeoffs are. For example, the front and rear clearances on the cars are critical.

4)You do not want to winch off the car. Driving it off is the appropriate method. Trying to winch it will be more of an annoyance than anything. You can drive a 453 on - we shot a video on that if you search for it. It is no big deal, BUT it must be done correctly.  Winching on is always safer - there is no denying that.

5) the 4K Warn winch with synthetic line is what you want. It works well. You can get it with a wireless remote, which I recommend. We have had zero issues with that winch.  Do not buy a cheap unbranded winch. You will regret it. There have been LOTS of issues with the cheap winches. Do not use steel cable. Period.

6) we will make component pieces available for sale in the new year....but I don't know exactly when. Likely in Jan sometime. I'll probably make our deck layout available as well...it was not that simple to figure out, believe it or not. Marc and I worked two days to get it right to handle both models of cars. We only move one chock. If you are interested, you can contact me via email.

Howdy Jack,

Thanks so much for your very valued input to this topic, I will be contacting you when you have parts available.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you do not have compartments that need to stay dry under the tiedown points using keyhole slots with appropriate hardware is a really good way to secure the end of the basket opposite the lashing winch. It actually is my preferred method, but we have storage compartments under that area. 

We will do a run of chocks in the first two weeks of January, since we have two projects that need 8 chocks completing in January. I'll probably run some extras...they will not be custom to anyone's specs, but our standard design. HERE is a link to an album with them....note the lashing winch is held in place with two bolts (although the picture only shows one unless you look carefully). Let me know if the album does not show up properly.  [and no, I don't know the price yet, but it will be more than you could build them yourself for :( ...]  If there is a desire to do these in aluminum that is a consideration, but the cost will be higher because of the tigging time and material costs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was sourcing wheel baskets to fit Smart tires 8 yrs ago I had a hard time finding anything. 

I went with car carrier straps from US Cargo. Never looked back. 

http://www.uscargocontrol.com/Towing-Auto-Hauling/Wheel-Straps-for-Auto-Hauling/2-x-10-OEM-Replacement-Wheel-Strap-with-2-Swivel-J-Hooks-and-3-Adjustable-Rubber-Cleats

I did use welded on tie downs for a long time with ratchets. 

Changed over to 4 wheel chocks with ratchets on them. Still use the carrrier straps with rubber tread cleats. 

Love this setup. 

Larry Herrin made and shipped to my specs  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Jack Mayer said:

If you do not have compartments that need to stay dry under the tiedown points using keyhole slots with appropriate hardware is a really good way to secure the end of the basket opposite the lashing winch. It actually is my preferred method, but we have storage compartments under that area. 

We will do a run of chocks in the first two weeks of January, since we have two projects that need 8 chocks completing in January. I'll probably run some extras...they will not be custom to anyone's specs, but our standard design. HERE is a link to an album with them....note the lashing winch is held in place with two bolts (although the picture only shows one unless you look carefully). Let me know if the album does not show up properly.  [and no, I don't know the price yet, but it will be more than you could build them yourself for :( ...]  If there is a desire to do these in aluminum that is a consideration, but the cost will be higher because of the tigging time and material costs.

Howdy jack,

Thanks for the photos, I can make something like that.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, billr said:

When I was sourcing wheel baskets to fit Smart tires 8 yrs ago I had a hard time finding anything. 

I went with car carrier straps from US Cargo. Never looked back. 

http://www.uscargocontrol.com/Towing-Auto-Hauling/Wheel-Straps-for-Auto-Hauling/2-x-10-OEM-Replacement-Wheel-Strap-with-2-Swivel-J-Hooks-and-3-Adjustable-Rubber-Cleats

I did use welded on tie downs for a long time with ratchets. 

Changed over to 4 wheel chocks with ratchets on them. Still use the carrrier straps with rubber tread cleats. 

Love this setup. 

Larry Herrin made and shipped to my specs  

 

 

Howdy Bill,

Thanks for the links.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some great pictures and ideas posted.  Thanks.  Getting here a bit late.

19 hours ago, mr. cob said:

I have tried searching for this information, as my computer skills are next to nonexistent I have not had much luck. 

You will probably get a better search result by searching on Google and directing the search engine to this site.  Enter the search word or words before "site:http://rvnetwork.com".

Example: wheel chocks site:http://rvnetwork.com 

If you want to get a specific lookup on a group of words and not individual words , put them in quotes.

Example: "wheel chocks" site:http://rvnetwork.com

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave - if you choose to weld nuts under the deck what fabricators do around our homeland is make the hole in the deck slightly larger than the bolt, hand thread the bolt in to the nut while "centering it" then weld. Then use a touch of antisieze on the threads to chase away rust. 

If you wish to incorporate the deck plate into the strength, then make "nuts" out of pieces of flat bar welded to the deck plate, drill both, and thread both the deck and flat bar to accept the bolt. 

Merry Christmas

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, noteven said:

Dave - if you choose to weld nuts under the deck what fabricators do around our homeland is make the hole in the deck slightly larger than the bolt, hand thread the bolt in to the nut while "centering it" then weld. Then use a touch of antisieze on the threads to chase away rust. 

If you wish to incorporate the deck plate into the strength, then make "nuts" out of pieces of flat bar welded to the deck plate, drill both, and thread both the deck and flat bar to accept the bolt. 

Merry Christmas

 

Howdy noteven,

I have used those techniques in the past, protects the threads from being buggered, welding in a small piece of plate is easier then welding nuts.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, noteven said:

Dave - if you choose to weld nuts under the deck what fabricators do around our homeland is make the hole in the deck slightly larger than the bolt, hand thread the bolt in to the nut while "centering it" then weld. Then use a touch of antisieze on the threads to chase away rust. 

If you wish to incorporate the deck plate into the strength, then make "nuts" out of pieces of flat bar welded to the deck plate, drill both, and thread both the deck and flat bar to accept the bolt. 

Merry Christmas

 

That's what was done with my chocks, a pce of 1/2" flat bar drilled and tapped thru both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, mr. cob said:

Howdy Bill,

Thanks for the links.

Dave

I had ran across this company a few days ago and was looking at this strap.  Wondering if anyone has used this type or what are your thoughts about it.
http://www.uscargocontrol.com/Towing-Auto-Hauling/Side-Mount-Wheel-Nets/Side-Mount-Wheel-Net-W-Cam-Buckle-2-Ratchets-and-Flat-Hooks_3

Dave, Also if you haven't seen these 2" winch's yet here they are for under $9.00 ea.
http://www.uscargocontrol.com/Flatbed-Trailer-Products/Truck-Tie-Downs-Web-Winches/2-Lashing-Truck-Tie-Down-Winch-Left

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, rdickinson said:

That's what was done with my chocks, a pce of 1/2" flat bar drilled and tapped thru both.

Hi Roger,

I just want to 'Thank You' for posting up your pictures. I think any info someone can post will help anyone doing a bed project. I always wonder how the winch was attached to the bed and how the wiring was  hooked up.

Al

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The winch was mounted inside a compartment on a shelf which Herrin fabricated. It comes with a fixed switch which was wired into the same compartment.  Also the winch comes with a wired remote with an 8' cord.  This is pretty much useless coming out of the same compartment as most of the lining up of the car and adjustments on the way up need to be done from the drivers side.  So I rewired the connection to the drivers side compartment for backup in case the wireless remote failed.  BTW, I always keep an xtra set of batteries for the remote.  They are and oddball size and not all that easy to find.  The spare set is in the electrical parts box outside so I'll take a pic and post it.  The remotes gobble batteries for some reason.  Even though they do power themselves off after a certain time.

Wiring comes from the batteries under the drivers fairings/door .

Winch free spools out and Kevlar is fed out thru the 2 snatch blocks on the A frame then across the deck to the pulley on the back of the car then back to the A frame where it is attached with a shackle.  This gives it a double pull, half the speed and not jerky like a single pull shown in earlier pics.  This also allows for minor adjustments when loading the car.

I leave the car window down, car running, back it up to the ramps, get out and make sure it is lined up as best I can, also centering it on the 12" ramps.  Then pull the car  fwd a few inches, put it in reverse and back it up a foot or so up the ramp...doesn't need to be far, just enough to transition it from the horizontal.  Stand on foot brake, put on emergency brake and put into park.

Get the  remote, fire it up by pushing both buttons at the same time, pull the slack out of the cable going back to the winch drum, not the other one.  You want the cable going on tite, not bunched up..Take the slack out of the cable and take the wt of the car.

Hop in the car, put in neutral and release handbrake and start winching.  I can reach in the window for the first few ft to turn steering wheel to make adjustments if needed after that I need to twist the front wheel which isn't that easy but possible.

I try to make the passengers side of the truck slightly higher than the drivers side when loading otherwise once the car gets on the deck it will want to roll which can scare the crap out of you.  So I leave cables attached until rear tire baskets are secured.

To stop the cable from chaffing on the deck for the first 2 or 3 ft of pulling, I use a plastic load protector.  There is a slit along the bottom edge which sits over the T handle of the closed ramp compartment door.

Image result for plastic load protector

There has been lots of tweeking the system over the 5 yrs.

You need to be focused when loading, unloading and setting up...not the time or place to be chit chatting with some interested bystander.  Miss one step or get out of sinc and you will wind up on UTubes epic failures.  Something catastrophic can happen, pretty much guaranteed to be expensive or the very least inconvenient.

I just tell people I don't want to talk when I'm doing this and I NEVER NEVER let anyone help me.  They cross thread bolts, stand in the way or in front of the car when loading.

Even when unloading, I don't let anyone guide me off.  I pull the seat fwd, sit on a cushion, lean out the window and watch the drivers front wheel.  If that one is a couple of inches in from the edge, all the others will follow.

Remember to leave the ignition key on and dump the suspension, the 4" drop makes a difference.  Put a pce of 1/8" angle iron in the hinge to reduce breakover angle . I can post a pic or 2 of that.  You may need to raise the dirt end of the ramps to get the underside of the car to clear bolt heads when going over the deck edge.  Watch that closely or body parts and screw can get ripped off.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On edit

Someone should do a step by step video on everything involved in loading and unloading.  Different camera angles, reasons for this and that and showing the start of a problem before it gets to be serious. As well as the solution.

It's kinda like landing a plane, don't try to salvage a bad landing, power up, go around and try again.

Edited by rdickinson
more info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gosh that sounds like a lot of work. I have not winched ours up yet. Was considering it. I pull ramps out. Unfold them. Place on deck and screw bolt in. Place square on bed and ramps adjust. Line up car and drive up. Put chocks in rear and strap down. I must admit I use bottle Jack to move back in line. Can't seem to get it right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing I would strongly suggest to Roger's "plan to load" is to make sure your ramps are parallel to each other.  Know your width of the inside of the ramps at the top, and make sure you measure and adjust the bottoms to be the same.  Even with two bolts holding your ramps to your bed at the top, you can still get about 2" of movement at the bottom.  If they move in opposite directions, you might be in for a bit of a surprise!!!!

I don't use a square to line up the ramps as it is pretty easy to eyeball them with a diamond plated bed.

I actually open the door when winching up and driving off and I can easily see the wheels, front and back, just by leaning a little to the left.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In an earlier post I referred to the use of 2 bolts to secure each ramp to the deck.  If the bolts are drilled and tapped thru when the ramps are parallel, they won't go on any other way. Look at the picture posted earlier.

Doing it this way saves a step that could be missed causing the UTube syndrome.

Just to check, I've lifted the dirt end when the other end was bolted on and it doesn't move enough to worry about.  There is no slop in the deck attachment or the hinge area even with the angle iron in.

Open or closed door...personal preference.

Edited by rdickinson
more info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.



×