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Single Axle Conversion... Pete 359


DIESELSUBMARINER

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Hello Guys,

 

I think I finally found the truck, that I want to convert for pulling my 5er.

But before I pull the trigger on purchase, I am trying to gather up some cost estimate for conversion.

The Truck is a 1986 Pete 359 short hood, 63" sleeper and dual axle.

there are two options I am considering :

1. remove forward drive axle, move read drive axle forward and cut frame. the space left, is the same as my 8 ft truck bed, and the overall length would be about 23ft. 1ft longer than my old F350

2. remove the front axle and install a carrier bearing, leave the rear axle in place. The length would be about 4ft more.

 

so, does anybody had this done at a shop and has a rough idea on either option about cost?

how hard would it be to do #1 by yourself ? (yes, I have tools to do that )

 

In addition, i know the old 359 has a horrible turning radius. considering this, what is the thought on the longer wheelbase?

 

thanks for advice in advance..

more questions to come :-)

 

 

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Weigh your truck, front a rear seperately. Send DollyTrolly a coupon for some Dr. Pepper and he will send back his spread sheet for figuring axle loading. Or, just do it with paper and pencil. Be sure you won't over load your steer axle.

 

Everything else is personal preference.

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Weigh your truck, front a rear seperately. Send DollyTrolly a coupon for some Dr. Pepper and he will send back his spread sheet for figuring axle loading. Or, just do it with paper and pencil. Be sure you won't over load your steer axle.

 

Everything else is personal preference.

Oh ya so now I have to send a half gallon of Crown Royal to me chief of marketing . ...Rickrooo ....no problem.

 

Spreadsheet seems a big time popular give-A-way so just email me at mmcdan3189@aol.com and when I get to town I will stop by the library and email you back the spreadsheet.

 

Until you move your loads, hitch AND axle locations it is just a wild A$$ guess what your axle loads once you are hitched up and ready to hit the road.

 

Spreadsheet is configured to give you the truck AND trailer axle and hitch loads for any given configuration LIVE data as you enter values in the spreadsheet cells.

 

Who knows maybe your loads and hitch locations will indicate that you might stay tandem and then with the money you save you can buy a truck load of Dr Pepper.....

 

Drive on.....(run the numbers...)

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I singled a Freightliner a few years ago. Handling the weight of everything involved was somewhat difficult. The front axle weighs about 2,500 pounds. Getting the drive shaft angles right is critical and finding a good shop to build the drive shafts is important. Depending on how the current truck is configured the brakes and suspension may need significant modifications. By doing it yourself it gives you a chance to look everything over and replace parts if needed. I sold the truck I singled shortly after the job and my next truck I left both axles due to the weight we carry. I would have to think about singling another truck if I was to do it again. I probably wouldn't do it myself and wonder if I would do it at all.

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Adding to Randy retired above...... when you say you have the tools, understand a tractor with an adequate front loader and chains along with a crane truck became an absolute necessity when I singled mine. The axles and their weight are a major problem. Huck bolts need to be blasted off so a blue flame wrench is a must. Frame will surely need drilling - mag drill is best to get any needed holes for supports right. Ability to lift rear of truck several times and place proper cribbing is needed. It is simple and straight forward but all very hard work. Driveshaft angle problems are over rated and can scare people off Easy to get correct angle - quite possibly just moving rear to front with OEM shims "as is" will suffice. When you get driveshaft installed you can check angle with iPhone and Theodolite App. then adjust ride height air valve/rod and add/remove/change axle shims as needed. As noted, new driveshaft with proper sized yoke for rear axle will need to be made. Good time for new U joints. Replace carrier bearing while at it and might as well change diff fluid. Cost? At a truck repair facility figure 20 minimum hours at their going rate plus driveshaft and any other needed parts (air bags, shocks, graded nuts/bolts, air line fittings, ABS electrical fittings, etc.) $2,200+ labor plus another $1,200 for driveshaft and must have parts not counting "may needed" parts. Then throw in a full front/rear alignment ($250) once all is back together. I spent about $1,800 total doing mine with help from a friend that had a crane truck, including driveshaft building at a machine shop and axle alignment at Volvo. New air bags and shocks included in my cost. Used power divider axle was traded at a junk yard for about $150 in parts. Unpolished aluminum wheels and well used tires were sold for $125 each on Craig's List. I kept drums and shoes from interaxle as they were almost new. Z springs and cut off steel from frame went to scrap metal dealer. Not much recovery income from used parts.

 

Good luck on your project.

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As I have said before- if'n I was to do it again, I'd sell the complete tandem trade to a salvage yard for a factory single of the ratiop you'd really like to have. Heavier axle, bigger brakes etc & you get to pick the ratio (www.roadranger.com).

I did mine myself in my driveway with jacks and determination using factory front holes, no air tools due to neighbor courtesy.

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That does bring up a good point. Is it worth the $ and trouble to move an old SQ around? Who wants to adjust brakes every trip? Who wants to put the dial indicator on the hubs every year, or even fight their way through some ball seats just to get there? Assuming it matches what you got, a pretty fresh Low Air Leaf cutoff might be worth going in while everything is apart.

 

Aluminum rail might choose the axle position answer for you as well. You have to be pretty persnickety to avoid hole overlap so there may only be a few spots where it could go.

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Is it worth the $ and trouble to move an old SQ around? Who wants to adjust brakes every trip? Who wants to put the dial indicator on the hubs every year, or even fight their way through some ball seats just to get there?

I believe it has for me and our Volvo. When I singled my insurance options improved as companies were willing to write a policy for a MDT. Now have better coverage at a lower cost. Also, getting rid of 4 tires I didn't need saved me when I put new rubber on. I've done a lot better with tolls in PA, WVA, Ohio and IN. That extra axle can double your tolls. Since we often use the Volvo as a daily driver we have fewer issues finding a parking spot. Sorry, but the brake adjustment every trip, etc. went right over my head. You're the MAN when it comes to HDT's and I digest every word and piece of advice you give like it was etched by a diamond in gold bars. Is there something I need to know that I obviously don't? We aren't haulin' freight - added weight with the trailer pin, golf cart, AGM battery bank, aluminum deck/bed and tool boxes behind the cab is under 6K. I inspect and service the one axle just like I did when I had two - what am I missing here?

 

I can't imagine doing a single the way Sibernut described. No air tools? I couldn't do that. Yea, my only regret was not searching long enough to find a higher ratio axle from a factory single. Our local yard (Eubanks) had nothing to offer at the time and I was not willing to wait and see if one became available. Still, fuel mileage is good considering weights and wind resistance - much better than my GMC Dually was getting.

 

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If I knew how to post a pic here, I'd show you my "drill-press" for the frame holes needed for the change.

 

Hi Everyone,

 

Can someone help out SIBERNUT with posting a picture or too. I would like to see the "drill-press". I need to do some drilling on the frame of my truck. There might be some more people that would like to see this idea.

 

Al

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Hi Everyone,

 

Can someone help out SIBERNUT with posting a picture or too. I would like to see the "drill-press". I need to do some drilling on the frame of my truck. There might be some more people that would like to see this idea.

 

Al

Hey Al, do you remember the ComfortRide hitch install at the ECR last year. Dave, Charlie, and Chet used a poor man's drill press as described above similar to Darryl's description.

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Guys, I used to have the entire Phoenix resurrection on Photobucket. But it died, and I haven't put them up on another site. Meanwhile, I think something changed on here that lets me post individual pics right from my PC. Zat so ?

Suggest a photo hosting site I can use w/o a PhD

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Limited pics can still be posted directly, Google dropped the ball with the transition from Picasa to their present hosting site, DropBox has been used by some, I still use PB. Some have used Imgur, but I haven't.

Bmzero is the guru of posting pics here .. however he is a web wizard for a living and has recently sold his sole reaching for the brass ring (or gold) ....oh to be young and chasing the dream....ok where was I ....oh ya....posting pics....maybe Zero could chime in and enlighten us pic-disabled geeeezers ....

 

Drive on....(1,000 words= 1 pic...)

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I'm happy to help anyone with hosting pics and helping you post them here on this forum if you need help. I've helped several people selling their rigs already by hosting and posting their pics and don't mind helping others for what ever reason on a few pics here and there you want to host. Just e-mail them to me at my "forum name" @ gmail.com. I host all my pics on my Smugmug.com account which is owned by one of the national motorcycle forums I frequent. I can load your pics into an album and give you a link or just post the pics directly in a thread so they show up right in the thread.

 

If someone decides they want their own smugmug account, it's one of the best looking picture hosting sites out there with no ads when people go to visit your pics. There is a nominal fee ($40/yr for basic) more for higher levels, but it's unlimited storage space so you can make sure all your pictures you treasure are safe and sound for years to come. It is so much better than photobucket that inudates you with ads anytime you visit it. (Coupon code for 20% off) if you want to sign up) - https://secure.smugmug.com/signup?Coupon=Y2l43o9LVBERU

 

I just looked and Iv'e been a member for 10 years and I'm up to over 49k pics/videos on my account totalling over 157gb of space. :D

 

- Dan

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The easiest way I know of to post photos here is to use the RV.Net app at http://photoposting.is-great.net/?i=1

Just drag & drop or select your photo, and then copy & paste the complete resulting link into your post. The app is intended for RV.Net users obviously, but I have tested it here, and it works fine.

Test of above link. It works great and simple. BTW pic or R134 connector setup to connect air compressor to truck when checking for leaks.

bVLV2E8l.jpg

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Hey Al, do you remember the ComfortRide hitch install at the ECR last year. Dave, Charlie, and Chet used a poor man's drill press as described above similar to Darryl's description.

 

Hi Carl,

 

I remember that install. I also remember that it took two guys to operated the drill.

 

Al

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Hi Carl,

N

I remember that install. I also remember that it took two guys to operated the drill.

 

Al

Al,

 

I would think you could rig it as a one man operation by securing the drill in the board in an upright position and just putting a chain or strap on the other end you could secure to the frame. Use a small wedge under the chained end to put a slight incline on the board to gain leverage. Charlie's job was to keep the drill perpendicular to the plate and we all remember he did an outstanding job :). Gotta work on my truck today, will see if I can come up with a workable design for you. I won't be as good as the engineers here but will try to help.

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You can rent a magnetic drill press for a couple of bucks and be done with it. Use a properly sized transfer punch and then a good sized center punch to get started. I step drill 3/16" dia. (hand drilled) then go to the 5/8" inch bit in the magnetic drill

Beat me to it Stekay. Was gonna tell Al much easier to just rent a mag drill.

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