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Converting Truck To Car Hauler?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by derek2002, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. derek2002

    derek2002 1/2 ton status

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    There is a 1989 Ford truck that looks like it used to be a box van or something similar. It no longer has a box on it and has an 18 feet of frame rail behind the cab. The rearend it HUGE, it is complete, has a 370 V-8 and runs and drives. He wants $1500/best for it and its been sitting for about a year. What I was thinking, is I've been needing a car hauler trailer for the longest time... Why not spend a little more and have a whole rig? Here's my question: The truck sits kind of high - would I be able to just get really long ramps, or should I really try to rig up a hydraulic lift and make the bed tilt like a flat bed wrecker? Any questions, comments or opinions would be appreciated.. Thanks in advance!

    Later,
     
  2. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    A flatbed truck like that would be sweet. You could probably find a used rolloff bed somewhere. The standard flatbed would sit pretty high, but you're not going to be loading mini trucks are you? Just build a loading dock at your house. haha. And find a "nautral" one on the trail. One more thing to check into is how big is the truck? If it has air brakes or is over a certain GVW, you'll need a CDL to drive it.
     
  3. derek2002

    derek2002 1/2 ton status

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    See, the thing is that I need to be able to haul cars. I am always buying and selling cars and trucks and dont want my rig to be limited to lifted trucks. Do you think I could maybe come up with a beaver tail design or would I need a tilting bed? TIA!

    Later,
     
  4. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    I dont know, but i'd be simple trig to find out what your height off the ground would be and how long your ramps need to be to get the correct breakover angle. A heavy duty truck is up there though. A rolloff would be much easier, but probably not too cool on the wallet. Of course you could get some Lo Pros and get some of your height out of that.
     
  5. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    Dove tail the bed then build ramps to make up the difference. Then you can haul anything you want. I am building my 1954 IHC COE as a car hauler and that is my plan (with a 7.3L Powerstroke diesel and 1 ton ford Dana 70 rear axle)
    [​IMG]
     
  6. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    That's pretty much what I did to my 69 GMC car hauler. Added 8' (or was that 6'?) to the frame in front of the rear axle, flat bed to the rear spring hangers, dove tailed after that for another 6' or so, then made up the rest with about 6' of ramp. That was about 16 years ago. It also had a pogo stick and sling behind it so I could haul 2 cars/trucks at a time. Lots of cars would drag a bit going over the dove to bed transition but no big deal...
     
  7. derek2002

    derek2002 1/2 ton status

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    How about this? I just ran across and old Ford dump truck without an engine that the guy wants $500 or best for. What if I were to build a frame using C channel and then covered it with hardwood. Then, mounted some sort hinge system towards the back. I was thinking maybe something like a 2" pin and bushing and then two to lock the bed down on each side. Is this a little clearer than mud? Let me know your thoughts on this, because it isn't a "rolloff" bed that wreckers use, so would it still be useable with cars? TIA!

    Later,
     
  8. Jeff427

    Jeff427 1/2 ton status

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    Hey Derek, what you are describing is a tilt bed wrecker. That is what Frank Foutch (Frank's Auto Salvage) in Gladwin has. You would have to set it up with some kind of hydraulics to tilt the bed, otherwise it would be hard on the truck frame when it comes down (if you just let it teeter). A winch on the end of the bed by the cab would be a good idea too.
     
  9. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    I know a guy with a bed like you describe. Pivots down from a flatbed behind the rear axle. But on his the bed in front of the axle stays flat. More of a hinged bed. Short wheelbase cars you can drive up till the front axle gets past the pivot and the belly would start bottoming out. By then the rear axle is on the tilt portion and can be raised hydraulicly to keep the car from bottoming out. Big trucks work better on that design however.

    Some things to consider first:
    1. Some states limit rear overhange to 1/3 of the wheelbase so check the wheelbase and state laws to see how long you can go behind the axle.

    2. Stress on the frame could buckle or crack it if overloaded. So by tilting the bed you put a concentrated load in the area just in front of the axle. Since the truck was already a dump truck you will probably find the frame was already re-inforced in that area but if not I would consider it.
     

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