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First loading of the smart


rickeieio
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We've had the truck since 2010, and the smart since 2013.  Today they finally got together.

I've spent the past week measuring, marking, thinking, measuring again, drilling, cutting, painting, etc.  Today I ran it up the ramps and immediately learned there ain't nearly as much clearance with a 300# doofus in the saddle as there is when measuring in the garage.

I had built and installed the chocks and ratchets for the driver's side of the truck, and made up some pretty slick ramp mounts for the passenger side.  Moved the truck into a spot I knew was less than ideal, but that was intentional.  The truck wasn't quite level, and the low end of the ramps (10' x 19") were a couple of inches lower than the truck.  First, the front valance hit the ramp.  Easy fix with a piece of 2 x 12.  then the car drug badly as it broke over at the top of the ramps.  Couldn't go forward, or backward, even after dumping the suspension air..  Lucky me, I had enough ramp exposed that I could get out, climb past the door, and go get a step ladder so my bride could get in.  Oddly enough, the clearance issue disappeared.......  She drove the car up the rest of the way, only to discover the front valance hit my freshly painted chocks.  Duh.

So, I took more measurements, made some marks on the bed, laid some more 2x12s in the wheel track to lift the front of the car so it wouldn't drag, and she backed it down. Tomorrow I do some more cutting and welding, and mount my rear tie downs and ratchets.  I have some ideas on how to make it all neatly removable.

 

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8 hours ago, GlennWest said:

Mine 12'X19". That two foot can make right much difference

Agreed.  Putting a 160# lighter driver in the saddle does too.

Today I'll trim my front wheel chock, mount my rear tie downs, and fab up some nifty quick release ratchet attachments, then load it again.

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1 hour ago, JPL said:

Rickeieio   That is why you test and then weld. One Step at a time. You'll get there. Sounds ike you have a plan. Just be careful!   Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

Understood.  But, I wanted the chocks in place for the load, just didn't consider suspension sag.  I only fabbed the front before the load. Then marked the bed for where to mount the rear attachment points.

Fortunately, I have all the fun tools to cut and weld, so misteaks aren't a disaster.

Another issue is getting the car perfectly in the sweet spot.  The front's easy, but the rear was off two inches. which doesn't leave me enough room to store the ramps.  I have some ideas........

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13 hours ago, rickeieio said:

We've had the truck since 2010, and the smart since 2013.  Today they finally got together.

I've spent the past week measuring, marking, thinking, measuring again, drilling, cutting, painting, etc.  Today I ran it up the ramps and immediately learned there ain't nearly as much clearance with a 300# doofus in the saddle as there is when measuring in the garage.

I had built and installed the chocks and ratchets for the driver's side of the truck, and made up some pretty slick ramp mounts for the passenger side.  Moved the truck into a spot I knew was less than ideal, but that was intentional.  The truck wasn't quite level, and the low end of the ramps (10' x 19") were a couple of inches lower than the truck.  First, the front valance hit the ramp.  Easy fix with a piece of 2 x 12.  then the car drug badly as it broke over at the top of the ramps.  Couldn't go forward, or backward, even after dumping the suspension air..  Lucky me, I had enough ramp exposed that I could get out, climb past the door, and go get a step ladder so my bride could get in.  Oddly enough, the clearance issue disappeared.......  She drove the car up the rest of the way, only to discover the front valance hit my freshly painted chocks.  Duh.

So, I took more measurements, made some marks on the bed, laid some more 2x12s in the wheel track to lift the front of the car so it wouldn't drag, and she backed it down. Tomorrow I do some more cutting and welding, and mount my rear tie downs and ratchets.  I have some ideas on how to make it all neatly removable.

 

Hi Rick,

Do you have any pictures ? We all love pictures. I am still working on my bed for the Smart car.

Al

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2 hours ago, rickeieio said:

Understood.  But, I wanted the chocks in place for the load, just didn't consider suspension sag.  I only fabbed the front before the load. Then marked the bed for where to mount the rear attachment points.

Fortunately, I have all the fun tools to cut and weld, so misteaks aren't a disaster.

Another issue is getting the car perfectly in the sweet spot.  The front's easy, but the rear was off two inches. which doesn't leave me enough room to store the ramps.  I have some ideas........

I seldom get on straight. Been using bottle Jack to move rear over.

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46 minutes ago, GlennWest said:

I seldom get on straight. Been using bottle Jack to move rear over.

I can be off around an inch or so from "perfect". That is pretty normal. So our chocks are wider and have fore/aft adjustment in them to account for any slight offset of the car. This works well and permits far more flexibility in loading. If you get off too far, of course, you have to adjust...but I've not had to do that yet with this new chock setup.

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1 hour ago, Jack Mayer said:

I can be off around an inch or so from "perfect". That is pretty normal. So our chocks are wider and have fore/aft adjustment in them to account for any slight offset of the car. This works well and permits far more flexibility in loading. If you get off too far, of course, you have to adjust...but I've not had to do that yet with this new chock setup.

Howdy Jack,

Maybe you can give your opinion-advice on this thought of mine.  When I get around to building my Smart Car deck I was thinking about only using ONE removable chock on the drivers side to stop-locate the car when loading.  My thinking is the chocks aren't really needed to secure the car but are more of a SAFETY thing to keep a person from driving to far and damaging the car if you were to drive past the edge.  Having only one chock would allow for a bit of misalignment without affecting the ability of the tie downs straps to do their job, or am I headed for a disaster in my way of thinking?

Dave

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Dave, as long as you have a convenient way to stop the car and a way to attach the lashing winch that does not interfere with the car body then you can do without the chock. However, we have found that the chock is very convenient for mounting the tiedown. There are certainly other ways to do it. 

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33 minutes ago, Jack Mayer said:

Dave, as long as you have a convenient way to stop the car and a way to attach the lashing winch that does not interfere with the car body then you can do without the chock. However, we have found that the chock is very convenient for mounting the tiedown. There are certainly other ways to do it. 

Howdy Jack,

Thanks for getting back to me.  Until I start to make sparks I am just kinda tossing out and looking for ideas, in the end I am sure whatever I come up with will be a combination of what others have done, no sense reinventing the wheel.

Dave

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So, I cut down the offending chock, which doubles as a ratchet mount.  Spent a couple of hours fussing with trying to mount the rear ratchets in a secure manner which wouldn't interfere with loading.  DW had a great idea, which in turn led me down a path of simplicity.  I like simple.  So, one wrench, two nuts, and everything comes off for loading/unloading.  It all came together.  I hope to get pictures soon. 

I will have 3 - 2" wheel straps and one 1" strap.  The 1" is rated for more than enough, so the 2" is way overkill.  And 2 - 3/8 gr5 along with 2- 7/16 gr5 per wheel.

And spindrift, it could be worse.  I could drive a Subaru.:P  Have you tried one of those cigars? I found out they only made 10,000 of those for 2017.

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Howdy rickeieio,

Thanks for the photos, that's almost identical to what I have in mind. 

When I bought the ramps I also bought a channel that was meant to be bolted to the rear of a pickup tailgate that locates the ramps.  I bolted that channel to the side of the deck on the Freightliner it works perfect to hold and locate the ramps, it will be going on the deck I will be building on the Pete.

Dave

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You mean you can buy it already made?  Duh.  I made the first one using 5/16" square stock as spacers.  The second one, I just welded over size nuts to the back of the flat steel, one on each bolt.

It works great.  No bolts or pins, no measuring or marking trying to keep the ramps square.

Hope to load again tomorrow, and pull out Sunday for the south-west.  Stops include, but not limited to:  Terlingua, Rusty's RV Ranch, Tuscon, maybe Las Vegas for the antique motorcycle auction the end of this month.  Last time we went there, a '27 Henderson Deluxe followed us home.

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5 minutes ago, rickeieio said:

You mean you can buy it already made?  Duh.  I made the first one using 5/16" square stock as spacers.  The second one, I just welded over size nuts to the back of the flat steel, one on each bolt.

It works great.  No bolts or pins, no measuring or marking trying to keep the ramps square.

Hope to load again tomorrow, and pull out Sunday for the south-west.  Stops include, but not limited to:  Terlingua, Rusty's RV Ranch, Tuscon, maybe Las Vegas for the antique motorcycle auction the end of this month.  Last time we went there, a '27 Henderson Deluxe followed us home.

Howdy rickeieio,

Yup, you can buy the channel same place as you buy the ramps, costs about 30 bucks if remember correctly.

Someday if I live long enough to see my wife quite working I hope to become a snow bird.  I have made up my mind that I'll endure one more year up here during the winter.  Donna wants to work until she's 66 that's June 24th, 2019 but after that if I have to fly solo I'll be darned if I put up with this rain and gloom all winter long, we only get one ride on this Merrygoround, ain't no sense in being miserable if you don't have to.

Dave

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Image result for race ramps

 

Pete has the right idea...the above pic is what you want to achieve.  Ramps go into the notch on the left.  These are generally quite long ...5' or more but needn't be that long.  So long as the air dam clears.  They could be hinged.

Aluminum would be lightest, or plywood with at least a 1/2" bullnose on all outside edges.  maybe some cleats to keep them off the ground a bit, glued and screwed together, epoxy glue .  Maybe sprayed with Rhinogard or something that would stick to wood if wood were used.

G92UV1Pl.jpg

 

IMG%5D

Angle iron can be used to reduce the breakover angle.  1/8" in the hinge raises the rt side or truck side by 2.5" as I recall.

P4dllqWl.jpg

3 or 4 yrs ago, I used a modified method Rick uses in his pic.  In my case the idea was to get the rear wheels up high enough to let the underbelly of the car clear the bolts holding the deck down.  Once the car was backed up enough, the rear wheels would drop off the block and continue towards the rear chock.  the front wheels would continue up the ramp and onto the deck but the car would stop in the correct location to be tied down but not far enough back to jump up on the block of wood.

Last pic is of minimal clearance I had to deal  with my old car.

GVf078zl.jpg

To sum up, my way isn't the only way.  Ramps in the slots is a better method than mine, no bolt heads to rip off underbody parts.

The blocks Rick uses work, it's whatever works which could be a combination.   As they say in First Aid, was the objective met.

I remember a few years ago Phil blasting me telling me I was the only one having problems with the underside of the car catching on the bolt heads.  There are a lot of variables, ht and width of deck, ht of chocks, car clearance caused by suspension kit and tire profile.

I met Phil a couple of years ago, he was different from what he sometimes projects on the forum.

 

Try to make mockups, ie use blocks or 2x12's to raise the dirt end of the ramps.  I use 1" thick polyethylene 12"x12" to raise the dirt end.  2 or 3 on top of one another then a couple in front does the trick.  Staggered Lego type levelers would do the same and be lighter and easier to store.

 

Whatever the issue, we have all had to deal with some of them.

You and others have the advantage of our experiences.  You are also correct in wanting some kind of 'folder' where all these ideas and accompanying explanations could be stored and others have access to.

I may bring the truck into town tomorrow and will need to load the car so I'll take as many pics as possible. 

 

 

Edited by rdickinson
typo
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