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mr. cob

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

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On 12/25/2017 at 11:51 AM, mr. cob said:

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

Hi Dave,

Are you planning on installing a winch on your new truck ? I will be following this thread closely because I have a need to install a winch on my truck also. I am still in the building process of the bed of my truck. I am trying to keep the cost down. Trying to be frugal. The bed is a combination of wood and steel.

Looking forward to see how your bed turns out,
Al

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43 minutes ago, alan0043 said:

Hi Dave,

Are you planning on installing a winch on your new truck ? I will be following this thread closely because I have a need to install a winch on my truck also. I am still in the building process of the bed of my truck. I am trying to keep the cost down. Trying to be frugal. The bed is a combination of wood and steel.

Looking forward to see how your bed turns out,
Al

Howdy Al,

Yes, I plan on installing a winch, I have a few ideas some based on the work of others as to how to do it, it will all come together once the bed build starts.  It will be at least three months before I can work outside for limited time periods, its to darn cold and WET outside now, within three months it will warm up enough and the rain will slack off to where I'll get a day now and then when its dry enough to start work.  Not having a large shop sure puts a damper on this type of work.

Dave

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Even having a large shop is no guarantee, it has been in the oughts and teens here and it is just too costly to heat for  comfortable working conditions.       Ten days ago I was wearing tee shirts and jeans, since Thursday last week it has been mid 20's at best.     I do have heaters but, they cost an arm and leg to run, 90-100 a day.      

 

Much of the work I want to do is with adhesives that need 60 ideally over 70 temps to use.    The other work is below the truck on the ground, the floor and all the metal in the shop are ice bergs about now.      With any luck this cold front will move through just after New years, it ain't going to be summer but, I can start heating.   

 

Steve

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19 hours ago, mr. cob said:

Howdy Al,

Yes, I plan on installing a winch, I have a few ideas some based on the work of others as to how to do it, it will all come together once the bed build starts.  It will be at least three months before I can work outside for limited time periods, its to darn cold and WET outside now, within three months it will warm up enough and the rain will slack off to where I'll get a day now and then when its dry enough to start work.  Not having a large shop sure puts a damper on this type of work.

Dave

Hi Dave,

Thank you for the answer. When I need to work on my truck I am outside myself. I woke up to 2*f this morning. Just a little cold to be handling any steel. It looks like the cold is going to hang around for another week. The truck is plugged in and the fuel is treated.

I will be interested in seeing how you do your winch. Right now I am at a lost about the winch. The main parts of my bed are wood. The back of my truck looks like a deck you have on your house. Part of my plan is to use steel diamond plate that measures 12" x 96" for the tracks for a smart car or a utv. The steel plate will sit on top of the deck boards.

Al

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What about coming off the frame out and under the bed with a receiver. Then like a lot of us use slip in a single arm to position above the side of the deck.  This would be removable. 

Add a small winch easy to maneuver to this arm. Have a plug for Elec supply. Both store away when done. That way you keep your wood bed and have a winch setup too. 

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8 minutes ago, billr said:

What about coming off the frame out and under the bed with a receiver. Then like a lot of us use slip in a single arm to position above the side of the deck.  This would be removable. 

Add a small winch easy to maneuver to this arm. Have a plug for Elec supply. Both store away when done. That way you keep your wood bed and have a winch setup too. 

Hi Bill,

Thank you for the idea. I like how you are thinking. It would be nice to see if anyone has done this idea.

Al

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2 hours ago, rickeieio said:

I think now would be a good time for Darryl to post a picture of his winch.......................... Hint, it"s not on the truck.

Hey Rick,

Did Darryl mount the winch on the car ? With my utv I don't worry about a winch because there is one on my RZR. Can't wait to see a picture or two of the set-up. Could be a new brain storm. lol.

Al

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There is a member here that has a winch mounted to a bar of tube steel that he use the tow hooks to attach it with. Cuts slots in tube steel and drops in pin. Cable never rubs on deck this way. 

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Yup, that's Darryl.  If memory serves me, he mounted the winch to a bar or tube, and cut slots so it slips over the tow rings in the front of the car.  He pops off the "hood" and clips the leads to his car battery, and the control cord is plenty long to reach the driver's seat.  

The cable may contact the deck, but it is stationary at that point, so no need for rub rails, rollers, pulleys, arms, etc. Brilliantly simple.  Now if only we had some pictures.

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Quick thought. To keep the ramps parrallel, simply set the ramps up correctly, then fashion a rope with some clips on it at the correct length. Next time, put ramps on, then clip the rope on to both ramps and pull them out till rope is tight, should be perfect everytime. 

Secondly, for wheel baskets (and all tow straps, adjustable track, etc., I highly recommend MacsCustomTieDowns.com. Best in the business and many, many motorsports teams will only use Macs. http://www.macscustomtiedowns.com/category/WheelNets. They will make you whatever you want as well as all the models in stock. Iim thinking of using Macs versatie track for the chock mounts. Simple clip in and out, surface and recess mount available. http://www.macscustomtiedowns.com/category/VersaTie-Track

Lashing winch, d-rings, etc.:

 http://www.macscustomtiedowns.com/category/D-Rings

And attachment point for smart, single bolt option (soft touch tow point anchor):

http://www.macscustomtiedowns.com/product/Macs-Soft-Touch-Tow-Point/Accessories

Edited by lockmup68

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25 minutes ago, lockmup68 said:

Quick thought. To keep the ramps parrallel, simply set the ramps up correctly, then fashion a rope with some clips on it at the correct length. Next time, put ramps on, then clip the rope on to both ramps and pull them out till rope is tight, should be perfect everytime. 

 

I believe you're talking about crisscrossing your ropes from the top right of the left ramp to the bottom left of the right ramp.  And then the top left of the right ramp to the bottom right of the left ramp.  This way if the ropes are identical in length and pulled tight, then the ramps will be square.

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Rocky, I have never understood the need for all these great plans and gadgets  to keep the ramps parallel (ropes, rods to hold them in place, etc). I have two ball detent pins for each ramp.

s-l300.jpg

The pin is fairly tight in the holes in the ramp AND the holes in the deck that line up with the holes in the top of the ramp are real tight. Put one pin in, line up the ramp to get the other hole lined up with the deck and it's done. I can't move my ramp, at the bottom, more than half an inch. So, at the most, both of my ramps might be an inch total out of "square" with the truck. 

Pin the ramps to the truck and they ARE straight. They can't fall, they do not move and they are straight (and parallel), every time. 

Edited by Big5er

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Late to the party, busy trying retirement for the winter. All my pics were on Photobucket, but it seems they haven't paid for their Domain lately. The website won't even come up for me. 

The winch was bolted to a piece of 1 1/2" square tubing, using the mounting bracket supplied. The square tubing is held on the rear of the car by inserting linch pins into holes in the tubing. Slots were cut into the leading face of the tubing, to allow the factory tow eye, plus a second eye, to slide into the tubing. The fairlead lines up with the tubing enough that the line doesn't impart excess rotational force on the eyes. The hook attaches to the passenger side of the deck via a purpose-built attachment point, but the deck was designed to be multi-purpose, and has many available points to attach to. 

As a multi-purpose design, all tie downs in the centre of the deck are key-hole shaped, with a chain to drop in. Clevis are used to attach ratchet straps to the chains, if needed. The holes are used alone for horizontal pulls, while the chains allow vertical pulls. Options, always have options.

The winch is powered of a small 12 volt UPS battery, that gets recharged off a 1.5 watt solar panel. If I'm in a hurry, I can use a larger panel, or 120 volt charger. More options.

Also due to the multi use design, and my having already hooked a heel on a truck deck, our deck is smoooth. Plywood. or any other sheet goods slide easily, lumber stacks easily, and a dance has broken out up there, but this means no chocks or raised tie-down points. Chocks are pointless in this application, as the most aggressive force the car will see would be a sudden deceleration event (crash) and the chocks aren't intended to handle force that direction. No car hauler has chocks, so why are they so in demand here?

Further questions and comments below may be incendiary, so read at your own risk:

 

 

 

We use a SuperWinch brand 3500 lb winch, which came supplied with synthetic rope for less than a third of the price of a Warn 4000 lb with wire rope. I have no regrets with this winch.

Synthetic is the best option for this use, but you need to keep it out of UV, and inspect it regularly. Your hands, pant leg, and paint will thank you.

My ramps sit on the deck of the truck. No pins, no bolts, nothing. The greatest hazard I face with my ramps, resting on the face of the deck only, is the truck end being popped up a bit. This happens as the car comes up onto the ramps. Before the car puts enough down-force on the base of the ramps, they want to push a bit. This is remedied by backing the car onto the ramps before winching.

My winch and cross bar together weigh less than a couple of the arm setups I've seen, but the battery does add to the total.

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Phil, I agree.  I just put the one end of the ramps up, step back and line it up with the diamond plate on the deck.  I don't even put the inside bolts on anymore.  They were ticking the bottom of the car at times.  I do pull a tape on the bottom of the ramps and at 40.25 inches, the ramps are parallel.   But I don't want to tell others that it is really simple, since we have had one person on this thread drive off his ramps prematurely and did some damage!

Edited by HERO Maker

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When my setup was built I had a spreader bar made for the bottom of the ramps. I just drop pins through it and the ramps are the same width. I check at the edge of the bed and the ramps for close to square and then load.

Phil I have two bolts in top of each ramp and with use the ramps have started to move so I'm glad for the spreader bar.

 

Brad 

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On 12/27/2017 at 9:38 AM, alan0043 said:

Hi Bill,

Thank you for the idea. I like how you are thinking. It would be nice to see if anyone has done this idea.

Al

Yes, it has been done before. The original winch setups - back in the 2005 (or so) era - were fixed on the arm and the entire thing was moved in and out of a mount for winching the car. 

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16 hours ago, Big5er said:

Rocky, I have never understood the need for all these great plans and gadgets  to keep the ramps parallel (ropes, rods to hold them in place, etc). I have two ball detent pins for each ramp.

Well, I've not had any Dr. Pepper today, so I'll "play" Phil here....

Why are you all making this so complicated? It is not. It is absolutely simply.

Line up the ramps where they need to be on the deck. For loading I have a small white paint dot to make it easy, but where the chocks bolt through kinda marks the spots - right?

Measure the top and bottom of ramps to ensure parallel.  Drive off (or on)....or winch on if you prefer.

To answer the question on "why chocks?". Because they are a convenient way to stop the car from going off the other side, IF you have a bad day. And they also are a convenient mount point for the lashing winch. Now, if you don't have compartments under the deck that need to stay water "resistant" then the keyhole method is absolutely a great way to do it. Likely the preferred way, IMO.

Also, you don't really need wheel baskets. The straps with the rubber non-slip inserts over the wheel work fine. Wheel baskets "may" give you more security, but I seriously doubt it in this application - especially with chocks. We use them primarily because it stops the endless second guessing as to what is "required".

Edited by Jack Mayer

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Howdy All,

When I bought my ramps, I got three of the 19 inch wide ramps rated at 1,500 pounds each, having three ramps makes it easy to load motorcycles and sidecars rigs. 

I also bought from the folks who sell the ramps a special piece of aluminum extrusion that bolts to the top of the deck and then hangs over the side, the part that hangs over the side has a channel formed in it that accepts the protrusion that is under the ramp.  This makes sure the ramps don't slip forward or backward while in use and also keeps them perpendicular to the truck bed.  Quick and easy to use. 

As the Smart Car is so close to the ground, I have already used the ramps set on top of timbers to make it possible to get the car far enough off of the ground to do some work under it, had to replace the front under-carriage plastic that was broken when I bought the car.

When I build my deck I would like to have a flat-clean top surface, when I build my chocks I am thinking of using a couple of bolts screwed into the bottom leaving the thickness of the deck material between the bottom of the chock and the underside of the bolt head.  I figure if I drilled holes in the deck that would allow the heads of the bolts to drop through and then had slots that the bolt itself could slide in I would have easy to install-remove chocks that would make it easy to keep the car from going over the side as Jack has mentioned.

Thanks to EVERYONE who has posted to this thread, with your help I have pretty well figured out what I have to do and the steps to take in which to accomplish the task, now if I only had a dry place to work.:(

Dave

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3 hours ago, Jack Mayer said:

Well, I've not had any Dr. Pepper today, so I'll "play" Phil here....

Why are you all making this so complicated? It is not. It is absolutely simply.

Wow, now I am really flattered but aren't you a little tall to be playing me? Although I guess you can't really tell height on the internet, can you? 

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As one who's in the process of building chock/winch brackets and planning ramp placement/storage, this is all very interesting.  I hope to make my ramps fit in such a manner that they can only be placed correctly.  That said, I would imagine those folks with 12" ramps might fuss a bit more over the whole straight/parallel thing than those w/ 19" ramps.

I'm fortunate to have some stake pockets on my bed, one of which is placed perfectly to drop in a ratchet which will also function as a chock.  In addition, it will have a strip of angle iron bolted in such a way as to create a "funnel" of sorts, to guarantee I hit the chock square, every time.  

Simple is good. The fewer bolts and straps involved, the less chance of a screw-up on my part.

Oh, and Phil, you look tall in your avatar.  Stature is a state of mind.

Edited by rickeieio

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2 hours ago, Big5er said:

Wow, now I am really flattered but aren't you a little tall to be playing me? Although I guess you can't really tell height on the internet, can you? 

Howdy Phil,

If Jack were to lie sideways he'd be about your height so it all works out in the end.  :lol:  Sorry Phil, just pullin your leg can't help myself sometimes, just being the "Cob" that I am.  I guess I had better have some cold Dr. Pepper the next time we meet, yup that's the plan.............:D

Dave

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"I'm fortunate to have some stake pockets on my bed, one of which is placed perfectly to drop in a ratchet which will also function as a chock.  In addition, it will have a strip of angle iron bolted in such a way as to create a "funnel" of sorts, to guarantee I hit the chock square, every time."

The funnel may or may not work.  If you take a look at my deck pics there is a hatch in the center of the deck.   When the new car is loaded there is about an inch clearance between the outside of the tire and the edge of the hatch.  If the car loads off angle, the tire will hit  the edge then ride up and on top of the hatch. Even at that slight angle. If the angle iron is higher, the wheel may run alongside the angle iron and scuff the rim.

You may want to make a mockup and check this idea out first.

VlxtXtel.jpg

It's unlikely you will be off too much of an angle, it would be noticeable right off the bat.  If so, lower the car, line it up and try again.  In my case, ideally, the mirror clears the truck fairing by 5", 3.5" if folded in.  Any closer and it makes getting the tire basket on too tite to reach between the car and the fairings when I have to reach to clip on the inside deck rings.

I don't want to sound like a naysayer but at least check  before you go to a lot of trouble.

 

Edited by rdickinson
updated info

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8 hours ago, rdickinson said:

I don't want to sound like a naysayer but at least check  before you go to a lot of trouble

I have a couple of "advantages".  My deck is painted steel, thus a simple "funnel" is able to nudge my wheels better than if I had a grippy surface.  A little "tire shine" helps too.

Plus, I can fiddle with the angle iron "funnel" by simply drilling a couple of holes and bolting down said funnel.  If I don't like the results, I can move it and weld up the holes, and paint the repair.

When I'm done, I'll be able to remove a few bolts and have a clean deck.

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