Well its finally arrived
The truck failed its roadworthy the week before though, on a 'frayed' seat belt, pin-hole in flexible exhaust coupling, broken exhaust rubber hanger and a cracked driver door indicator
Retested 3 days later and then we cut the roof off the night before the cockpit arrived and used its to make a new tractor port between two containers
Picked the cockpit up and had a roller coaster ride home.
Realized the following day that the front springs are past their best and just too soft to carry the load.
Worst time of the year though, as everywhere is now closed and the spring factory that used to be on Port Rd, Adelaide is now out of business and there's no others that make new springs.
So I've made contact with a guy in QLD who has been very good and offered to make me a new set, but has also suggested that I could replace them with a 9 leaf Isuzu FCR set, if I just replace the bushes and U-bolts.
Any other suggestions or comments would be very much appreciated, as I cant drive it anywhere until I sway the springs.
My main problem is that I cant remove the cockpit yet either, as I need to drive it to my welder mate, who will hoist the cockpit off and build a new cradle for it to sit on so that we can demount it from the truck.
Merry Christmas to you all
Bob & Claire
Wangaratta Spring works in NE Victoria but would be closed over Christmas.
Just a thought... as you could ask or check under the local fire brigades trucks as they are either Isuzu or Hino usually with identical parts most small to medium jap trucks share many parts.
In order that the labour of centuries past may not be in vain during the centuries to come... D. Did
180wannabe, I was already thinking about Northern Springs, but I was told that they had closed midweek for at least 3 weeks and would only really be able to reset the springs, for $650-800 each and with no real guarantee that they wouldn't sag again in 6 months, so I'm looking at trying the 'off the shelf' Isuzu upgrade, which are about $350 ea.
Swishy, if I go for the Isuzu option, they already have 9 springs, so no packers hopefully.
Atkipete, weigh disruption is not an option, as the cockpit can only fit on one way. I cant get it to a weigh bridge until its safe to drive really, so a catch 22 situation. If it turns out to be overweight on the front axle, then its back to the drawing board, looking for another 12 ton truck with the same wheel base and ride height hopefully, as I have only 1'' to spare front and rear when its squeezed in to the shed
Well its been a long 4 months since my last post and sadly its not good news.
I went to the trouble of an overnight trip to Broken Hill in the new year to have the front suspension re-set and a new leaf added.
Then I streamlined the headboard even more, to make it look more pleasing to the eye with the cockpit loaded.
After all that I stripped the tray back to bare metal and repainted it and the spent 2 days with a bottle of t-cut and two sore fingers to polish the whole of the cab by hand, simply because the sun was shining and I didn't want to buy another buffer
After all that I loaded the cockpit and set off for its first proper road trip, but I didn't get out the paddock
The heavy roll was still there and after MUCH deliberation and head scratching, it was decided that with the chassis rails being only 750mm wide (and probably only a small 'Ç' channel at 170mm deep) and the rear wheel set being only 2250 wide, the combination was too narrow for my 2730 wide load with its high centre of gravity.
We considered adding air bags and sway bars, but we could only fit them inside the wheel and chassis rails, so it still wouldn't have compensated for the overhanging load enough.
So the decision was finally made to sell the wee Hino and thankfully I found a buyer within 2 weeks, who was looking for exactly the truck that I had ended up designing, so happy days
Anyway, its now back to the drawing board, with 2 main options.
Option 1: Build a trailer to carry a 3100kg load, which will then have a GVM of around 4000kg and needing a Chev/Dodge or F350 to tow it, which then means having another $25k of vehicle sitting around the property doing nothing on days when the cockpit doesn't go out, cos I couldn't afford to have it as my daily commute
Option 2: Buy a heavier truck , such as an 1999 FG Hino, a 1999 Mitsubishi FK7 Fighter or a 1991 FL6 Volvo, as all will have stronger chassis with wider wheel sets.
The Hino and Mitsubishi are listed on auctions sites, but sadly the tray top Hino is at Gracemere QLD, but the FK7 is in Adelaide with a Pantech body, which I would need to remove again. The tray top Volvo is listed on eBay in VIC, but its been on eBay for nearly 4 years!! and the listing hasn't been changed in all that time, so I have to ask.....why?
Any thoughts would be welcome, or anyone near Dandenong or Gracemere Pickles to view the other two trucks on my behalf would be even more welcome