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  #11  
Old 12-10-2008, 07:32 PM
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monckywrench monckywrench is offline
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A good place to check out any tow truck modification or questions is

http://tow411.yuku.com/

Don't scrap any old wreckers or parts without seeing if a someone there has a home for it.
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2008, 06:06 AM
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LW Hiway LW Hiway is offline
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MidMo', I like the way you speak of "Professional Restorers". As a kid I was able to assist a much older gent who was cutting Cadilacs into trucks. All filler work was either gas welded/brazed or using lead for filler.

With his hammering/teaching of the use of pick and file body work, the use of heat to move metal, actually there was little lead actually involved with the body work except for joints etc.

Quote:
He is looking at possibly upgrading the wrecker bed/boom and we need to know how to tell if the trucks frame is strong enough.
Flametamer, there's really no way to accurately tell. You can possibly find the original specs as it was originally set up for towing and the equipment set in place, but that doesn't account for the wear, tear and out and out abuse the truck has seen. And I promise you, if it's a wrecker truck that's been put to work, it has seen abuse in over-hoisting and tugging. Having the front wheel of a winch truck off the road and in the air is not unusual by a long shot.

You can clean as best as possible, look at those areas of flex for cracks and repairs if any might be found.

I doubt that once a pro-built wrecker is bought and sitting in the owners yard that the truck will ever see the builders shop again. From the few wreckers I've been around and worked, they were mostly under-rated for the work being asked of them and barely able to survive. Fixes were cobbled on etc etc.

But to repeat, cleaning and looking hard with it in the air will offer the answers you need.

There is a national organization for wrecker owners and companies, having a publication and I'm sure by now have their own web site.

If I find one of the old copies, I'll pass this information forward for ya.
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2008, 06:30 AM
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LW Hiway LW Hiway is offline
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Flame, I'm having no luck finding that publication or finding anything about it on-line.

After looking at the link for 'tow411', joining this site might offer a few answers that you seek.

For giggle factor I ran across this thread posted on that site.

Throwing a PM Big Rig Guy's way probably wouldn't hurt either.
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God, if you would grant me one request through Prayer, please help me be the Man my Dog thinks I am. Please.

Quoting "The Hunt". "A man will walk into hell with both eyes and arms wide open. His dog will know better."

I never thought I'd live long enough to become a grumpy old bastard. Here I am, killing it!
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2008, 10:26 AM
big rig guy big rig guy is offline
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i would go back to the Oem with the vin number and find out what the original spec on frame was.

Having said that, I have two trucks in the shop right now with double frames and inserts over the lift axle section, these are tri-axle dumps, both with cracked frames at the lift axle location. Thats a full inch or better of steel that cracked, cracked so bad, that we had to lift and align the frame and temporary weld it up just so that we could move the truck in the shop and yard.

These are heavy spec construction type trucks, both 10 years old. Both due to cracking from the install of the lift axle and mounting holes being too close to the bottom flange, weakening the main frame, they both cracked in the same location.

I have seen towtrucks with single frames, light duty and not designed for heavy winching, but, the guys use em anyhow.
I'd be checking crossmembers as well, and number of them. If you feel the frame being double is not enough, triple it up under the cab, problems is length of insert and getting a shop that has the ability of forming a c channel 3/8 thick some 20 feet long. Depending on the style of crossmember, there is different methods on shortening the crossmember to accomodate the inserts.
Getting online with guys in the trade is about the best place to get good hands on info.

Whatever you build you will sooner or later in heavy recovery, over extend the units ability, or at the least put it to the test, nature of the beast.
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2008, 03:50 PM
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LW Hiway LW Hiway is offline
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Quote:
Whatever you build you will sooner or later in heavy recovery, over extend the units ability, or at the least put it to the test, nature of the beast.
Ain't that the truth!

BRG, thanks for answering the call and stopping by. I know you've been busy, but hopefully the new year will find you with more time to relax and show up for coffee.
LW
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God, if you would grant me one request through Prayer, please help me be the Man my Dog thinks I am. Please.

Quoting "The Hunt". "A man will walk into hell with both eyes and arms wide open. His dog will know better."

I never thought I'd live long enough to become a grumpy old bastard. Here I am, killing it!
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  #16  
Old 12-21-2008, 09:24 AM
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If you start messing with inserts, be cautious of where you end them at. the chassis we used when I worked at the vacuum truck place had its highest stress levels near the back of the cab,so for your load case, be aware of stress risers due to changing frame geometry.
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  #17  
Old 12-21-2008, 06:49 PM
Albin Albin is offline
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Hey flametamer,

Nice try with the "explanation" about why you want to know about frame strength. Too bad, now we all know the real reason you wanna know!

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=d90_1229190375 (see the money shot at around 4:30).

:evil:
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  #18  
Old 12-21-2008, 08:06 PM
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monckywrench monckywrench is offline
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Good old Holmes 480 folds another one!
Yay for PTO winches.
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  #19  
Old 12-21-2008, 09:59 PM
bgott bgott is offline
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Built Ford tough...
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  #20  
Old 12-21-2008, 11:14 PM
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midmosandblasting midmosandblasting is offline
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Back when those 80-87 f series came out there were a bunch of them around here that did that with big bale stingers on the back.Sorry no warentee ,You abused it.
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