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phoenix2013

Jon Short's Project

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Jon and I have spoken quite a bit, he asked very good questions and I shared quite a bit of my "wisdom" with him to help him in the process of converting his truck to a RV hauler. He has done a very nice job and I saw the pictures of the process. I suggested that he posts the pictures on this forum where such an "initiative" is greatly appreciated. He's not a member (yet), so I told him I'll be happy to start a thread for him. So please welcome him and "here it goes".

Phoenix 2013

After a three month search I found my truck!  It was in Fargo ND

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Edited by phoenix2013

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Very nice truck!!!  How about some details/specs?  

The pics of Jon's truck gave me a bit of a start for just a second.  My first impression was that it looked like ours.

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Edited by mb36912

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SWEET!!!!  Both of those trucks look great.  I always enjoy drooling over other folks trucks, and dreaming.  We've been tossing around the notion of upgrading, so ideas are welcome.

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Looks like this will be a great thread to follow especially now, can not wait to see the progress. Thanks Henry for starting it.

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Here's the next batch, Phoenix2013

I’m going to try to keep a timeline as I go. I got the truck home, from ND, on October 29,2019. I chose to use “Arc Welding” a frame shop in Oneonta, AL. Kerry Green and his guys did a great job on singling my truck.  We learned a few things in this process.  Only one that made us sweat was obtaining the correct driveshaft yoke for rear axle.  Factory drive axle yoke is smaller than power divider axle yoke.  Volvo could not even help with this one. The only other help was Volvo resetting the ABS.  Truck went into frame shop on November 10, 2019. The truck was out of frame shop on November 23,2019.  I chose a mid single for two reasons.  First was for the bed length.  I wanted to be able to carry a smart car, or more importantly to me, two motorcycles. Second, was just for looks. I felt I needed a mid length just to balance the looks of the truck.  I had seen several of these, while I’m sure they work great for what owner wants them to do, they look unproportional.  Like most others I tossed around the “ride” debate.  I had the opportunity to drive a couple before my build. My option is that you should build for use/function, looks, or turning radius, but not ride.  They all ride good! I have driven a 202” WB that rides and drives great empty or loaded. The last picture is the day it came out of the frame shop.  The people who I chose to build the bed could not start on it until January.  I drove this truck like this for several hundred miles. I was amazed how well it drove and handled.

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My name is Jon Short.  I own the HDT that Henry posted today. I will try to answer any questions re my build.

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4 hours ago, mb36912 said:

Very nice truck!!!  How about some details/specs?  

The pics of Jon's truck gave me a bit of a start for just a second.  My first impression was that it looked like ours.

828924779_TruckpicatEZKamp-181004aresized.thumb.jpg.47d814e3b425b67ffe0541807ff9f080.jpg

Thanks!  We have twins. What a nice set up! I will try to answer question you have.  
 

Specs;

2016 VNL 780

Volvo 13 motor

volvo 12 speed auto

455,000ish miles at  purchase, 460,000ish now

2.64 rear

236” WB

ET Senior hitch

jackalopee

 

 

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2 hours ago, JP70 said:

Thanks!  We have twins. What a nice set up! I will try to answer question you have.  
 

Specs;

2016 VNL 780

Volvo 13 motor

volvo 12 speed auto

455,000ish miles at  purchase, 460,000ish now

2.64 rear

236” WB

ET Senior hitch

jackalopee

 

 

 

6 hours ago, mb36912 said:

Very nice truck!!!  How about some details/specs?  

The pics of Jon's truck gave me a bit of a start for just a second.  My first impression was that it looked like ours.

828924779_TruckpicatEZKamp-181004aresized.thumb.jpg.47d814e3b425b67ffe0541807ff9f080.jpg

I would love to see some more pictures of your bed on your truck.  What kind of hitch did you use?

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JP70:

I will have to take some pics of the bed and send them to you.  The bed was put on 10 years ago by the previous owner.  It was built and installed by B&G Truck Conversions in Argos, IN.  They will build whatever you want, but mostly cater to the mobile home transport industry.  The bed  is not set up the way I would like it, but it has been functional and served us well so far.  If we ever decide to carry a bike or car on the bed, we will make some changes.

We are using a Hensley TSLB2H hitch.  We added the 3rd airbag to bring the pin weight capacity up to 7500 lbs as our pin weight (with an empty garage) broke the 5000 lb threshhold.

We were introduced to the HDT option by Henry back in 2010 at the Escapade in Goshen, IN when I asked him what he pulled his Royals International with.  He showed me his truck and sold me on that being a less expensive and more capable option than the 1T dually I was preparing to buy.  Thanks to Henry, we have the truck you see in the picture.

Truck info:

2006 VNL 780

Volvo 12 L

Eaton 10 spd automatic

2.36 rear

569,000 miles +/-

Plated as an RV

 

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5 hours ago, rickeieio said:

SWEET!!!!  Both of those trucks look great.  I always enjoy drooling over other folks trucks, and dreaming.  We've been tossing around the notion of upgrading, so ideas are welcome.

I drooled for years myself!  It is very interesting to see what people come up with. 

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   Nice truck. 

   What do you plan for the axle you removed? I have 21,000# spring axle now. Looking for air ride axle.

Thank you

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2 hours ago, dlcarsonak said:

   Nice truck. 

   What do you plan for the axle you removed? I have 21,000# spring axle now. Looking for air ride axle.

Thank you

The front axle removed in the process of singling is useless, other than the value of rims and tires. The rest is scrap metal. It's designed primarily to transfer the engine torque to the rear axle. The only time you use it if you get hung up going over a hump or a slick spot. Early on (when there was a lot of ignorance about singling), few trucks were singled by removing the rear axle and driving on the front axle. These were very unhappy owners as the front axles crapped out in the short order.

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10 hours ago, mb36912 said:

We were introduced to the HDT option by Henry back in 2010 at the Escapade in Goshen, IN when I asked him what he pulled his Royals International with.  He showed me his truck and sold me on that being a less expensive and more capable option than the 1T dually I was preparing to buy.  Thanks to Henry, we have the truck you see in the picture.

You welcome, wow that was a while ago, probably the last time I was at an Escapade. I've been a pretty "fervent" proponent of the HDTs, considered myself like a missionary spreading the word of the HDT God among the heathens, the unwashed and the un-wise throngs of the pickup pullers. Jon was the latest "convert" I "ministered" to.

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38 minutes ago, phoenix2013 said:

The front axle removed in the process of singling is useless, other than the value of rims and tires. The rest is scrap metal. It's designed primarily to transfer the engine torque to the rear axle. The only time you use it if you get hung up going over a hump or a slick spot. Early on (when there was a lot of ignorance about singling), few trucks were singled by removing the rear axle and driving on the front axle. These were very unhappy owners as the front axles crapped out in the short order.

True.  My front axle was the power divider, rear was “pull”.  I thought I would sell the power divider.   Wrong!  I couldn’t give it away.  Hauled it to local scrap yard. I had to rob the break chambers off the power divider and change with rear axle.  I also had to find a new driveshafts yoke for rear axle.  If I had known about the yoke issue a few days before I needed it, it would not have been so bad.  I found out when the driveshaft builder was standing there ready to start.  He couldn’t start until I had new yoke on the axle.  About a three day set back.

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Power divider yoke vs. drive axle yoke is an age old "discovery" on Volvos, going back to when the "singling movement" was started. Sort of like entering into an arranged marriage, lifting the veil and discovering that the bride has buck teeth and halitosis. Shops that do it routinely stock the oddball yoke.

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  I am looking for the suspension part of the removed axle. The air bags and bars. The mounts and stabilizer bar. The gear ratio is not even close. I will keep my 5.43 rear-end. 

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A power divider in a tandem is a differential, not a “pass through”.  It divides power 50/50 to the two differentials. On dry footing 25% to each wheel position. 

 

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Yea that's why the input shafts were traditionally different sizes.  There was only a couple tandem sets that had the same 39 spline front and rear.  There was only one application amongst them that had a 39 spline SPL 250 and the slinger had to be reworked to fit the seal of a normal 404 highway axle.  So the fwd rear yoke probably wouldn't have worked anyway, don't let it keep ya up at night. 😉  

But, newer trucks that are direct drive and downsped are using 42 spline both front and rear now, so yokes would interchange.  I don't think we've talked about that here before.  Maybe yours is one?  So what # did you end up doing for a yoke?  What driveline do you have?  Looks SPL in the pic?

Glyn, Reyco makes a whole kit to change a 79KB into a 79AR without changing frame brackets and lower seats and things.  It is made to be quick and easy so dealers can change over a truck for sale.  I had the kit # all ready, then realized International makes their own spring susp and doesn't use Reyco.  Bummer.  But I bet a Navistar MD air would go in the same way.  No frame bracket changes, but you'd still have to weld on the track rod tower.  Those are no fun.

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Jon, sent me another batch of pictures to "work up" and post them for you, also some comments.  Phoenix2013

Before I go any further with my build pictures. I would like to explain why I chose to post any of this stuff.  I first saw a rv hauler like this with Greg at RV Haulers.  I was amazed.  I talked with Greg about 9-10 years ago.  I thought about this for years.  I have run every brand of 1-ton truck known to man.  I have put more money into upgrades than I care to talk about.  I have watched every YouTube video RV haulers ever posted.  I have drooled over ever bed and conversion that Jack Mayer has posted. Henry Szmyt has sent me tons of info, build diagrams, and pictures.  I think I have seen almost every HDT that has ever been posted.  All you guys have given me information that has saved me tons of, rookie mistakes not to mention money.  I have learned so much from what people before me have gone out on a limb and DONE!  Not dreamed up on a sheet of paper and talked about, but Done!  Thank everyone of you for sharing your experience.  I’m thankful I have gotten to ride in on the coattail of a ton of great ideas.  I don’t think there is one perfect HDT.  I think whatever works for you is perfect for you, no matter what anyone thinks about it.  So, I hope what I post helps you know that you can do this, and it is fabulous!

On to the bed shop. In January 10, 2020

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On 4/14/2020 at 8:38 PM, dlcarsonak said:

  I am looking for the suspension part of the removed axle. The air bags and bars. The mounts and stabilizer bar. The gear ratio is not even close. I will keep my 5.43 rear-end. 

I got rid of all that with the axle. Sorry

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10 hours ago, Scrap said:

Yea that's why the input shafts were traditionally different sizes.  There was only a couple tandem sets that had the same 39 spline front and rear.  There was only one application amongst them that had a 39 spline SPL 250 and the slinger had to be reworked to fit the seal of a normal 404 highway axle.  So the fwd rear yoke probably wouldn't have worked anyway, don't let it keep ya up at night. 😉  

But, newer trucks that are direct drive and downsped are using 42 spline both front and rear now, so yokes would interchange.  I don't think we've talked about that here before.  Maybe yours is one?  So what # did you end up doing for a yoke?  What driveline do you have?  Looks SPL in the pic?

Glyn, Reyco makes a whole kit to change a 79KB into a 79AR without changing frame brackets and lower seats and things.  It is made to be quick and easy so dealers can change over a truck for sale.  I had the kit # all ready, then realized International makes their own spring susp and doesn't use Reyco.  Bummer.  But I bet a Navistar MD air would go in the same way.  No frame bracket changes, but you'd still have to weld on the track rod tower.  Those are no fun.

The front and rear axle had different splines on mine.  I don’t remember what it was that I ordered and used.  I will go back and find that out and let you know.

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Man are there some awesome beds out there!  So, in my bed search I looked at everything! I had to weight my wants and budget.  After talking to several builders and shops I chose to use a local welder just down the road from me, John Calvarese. He came highly recommended from some very well-known fabricators in my area.  I have to say I was very nervous. I had no less than 10 pictures of different builds that I liked different aspects about.  The man (and his guys) hit a home run.  I am very pleased in the quality and value I got in my bed.  By the end of this job John, I’m sure, was glad to see me leave.  I added something to that bed every other day.  The last week he preferred I not come around. He handled installing my hitch, building the bed to include; et senior hitch, gooseneck hitch, standard 2” receiver, headboard that doubled as exhaust mount, mounting specific toolboxes (4), incorporating two ramps into the bed, all lights, sandblasting, and a shower hoop.

 

Another area I was more than happy with was, “Vinemont Welding and Fabricating”. They handled my powder coating.  Jeremy Harbison did a very professional job! They are great people to deal with.

 

Last on on this phase I wanted to discuss why I chose the hitch I used.  When I made the decision to go ahead and get a truck, I had already decided to get an ET hitch.  This was solely from recommendations made by professionals that have been doing this for years. I had no experience in this area.  I ordered my hitch before I bought a truck!  I will say this was probably the easiest part of my build.  We extended my frame about 14” and bolted it on.  Everything was perfect, fit, ride height.....  Now that I have used it, it works great.

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Out of bed shop Feb 6, 202

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