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PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
1/13/23 10:24 a.m.

This off season I'm building a second Spec3 (jimgood's old ST6 car) car to tag along on race weekends with my Spec3 and jh36's Camaro. The idea is to rent it out some weekends and jh36 will drive it other weekends. But bringing three cars to the track was going to be difficult with two single car trailers. And so I started looking at two car trailers. Then BAM. This thing showed up on marketplace for not much more than the cost of a decent two-car trailer. The seller was a super stand-up guy and put other people on hold while we did more research and scraped together the money to purchase. Extremely nice guy with a great family and a daughter who wants to get into karting.

It's a 1993 Freightliner FL70 with a Cummins 5.9 and 6 speed. Supposedly has around 141,000 miles but the odometer was not working by the time we went to grab it. 

The good:
21-foot flat bed can hold a car and it's all set up to tow a trailer behind. Two cars, no problem.
Gooseneck hitch.
Sleeper cab with queen bed. It's no Wanderlodge but hey now I don't necessarily have to mooch accommodations anymore. 
Extremely clean underneath with zero rust. Truck spent most of its life in Florida, then two Year in NC, and now Maryland.
AC unit in the sleeper cab along with hookup and invertor for 30 amp power. Also has  switches and wiring for generator and winch (Not included, but can be added later)
Two back-up cameras. One overlooking the bed and one down on the rear bumper.

The bad:
There's a major oil leak coming from the back side of the timing cover. Lost about 4 quarts on our 5-hour drive home with it. Going to start digging to find the cause. 
It seemed to be running a little hot. Gauge well past center on the dash. It never overheated per se but I think I'll still refresh the cooling system before its first voyage.
As stated before, the odometer doesn't work currently. Supposedly it was working within a week of our purchase so it shouldn't be more than a few hundered miles off. But still.
It has 6-foot steel ramps that pull out of the back. with the height of the truck, 6 foot ramps create way too steep of and angle for our cars. I'll be shopping for longer aluminum ramps, but in the meantime I'll probably just have to make some tall wood ramps to supplement the steel ones.
 

The ugly:
Paint on the roof is faded/gone in some places.
The seal between the cab and sleeper cab needs to be replaced. The seller provided a replacement.
The interior is the roughest part of the truck. Lots of little trim things broken or super faded. But honestly I couldn't care less about that.

Overall I'm super pumped about it. Just need to address the oil leak and some cooling items and then it can start toting stuff. Once it's good to go, no matter which cars we want to bring to the track on a given weekend (3, 2, or 1), we should now have the capacity to do so.


 

jh36 and I went to pick it up and it got its first hauling test right away. We drove his highlander down and carried it back on the bed.

The oil leak seems to be coming from somewhere back here around the air compressor and fuel injection pump. We'll have to do some digging to investigate.

Nukem
Nukem GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/13/23 10:41 a.m.

Everyone reading this is jealous. How then can it be a dumb thing?

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/13/23 10:48 a.m.

Not the kind of ramp truck I was expecting but I am ALL for this. 

NY Nick
NY Nick GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/13/23 10:51 a.m.

I know you said dumb and not stupid but still...

I have always thought HD trucks are the ticket for limited mileage deals like hauling campers or race cars. Repair bills can be a little nutsy but they should be fewer since the parts last longer. 

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
1/13/23 10:52 a.m.
NY Nick said:

I know you said dumb and not stupid but still...

Same difference. I identify as both. And yeah. Hoping the hardware lasts a long time. Not looking forward to the bill the first time something major breaks.

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
1/13/23 10:54 a.m.
Nukem said:

Everyone reading this is jealous. How then can it be a dumb thing?

Mostly because it still feels like overkill lol. Don't get me wrong, overkill is my favorite kind of kill. But I went straight from borrowing my dad's pickup to a medium duty semi. Big jump.

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
1/13/23 10:57 a.m.

Oh I forgot one of the best parts: There's an excessive amount of 'Murica on the back. 

wae
wae PowerDork
1/13/23 11:04 a.m.

I don't know from gooseneck and/or fifth wheels (in fact, I'm not even sure what the functional difference is between the two and why both exist in this world, but whatever...), but is that gooseneck hitch located behind the rear axle?  Is that a potential problem?

That's a really cool truck, though, and I'm jealous.

84FSP
84FSP UberDork
1/13/23 11:07 a.m.

That is a pimpy setup sir.  Theres no way you could get hurt on this financially.

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
1/13/23 11:11 a.m.

In reply to wae :

Honestly I don't know the difference either. And don't know about the placement being an issue. I guess that will make it reverse like a tag along trailer, right? One day I'll try it out and we'll all learn something.

wae
wae PowerDork
1/13/23 11:12 a.m.
84FSP said:

That is a pimpy setup sir.  Theres no way you could get hurt on this financially.

Now why'd you have to go and bring that evil on him!?

nocones
nocones GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/13/23 11:16 a.m.

This is awesome.  I like this.

Please discuss in detail how you as a private not business do the following things:

Title/Register this

Insure this item

What License endorsements you have to operate it

I think all of us look at things like that or a Fuso forward control cab and go..  Why shouldn't I use that as a car hauler, but I've never gotten past the initial.. That seems difficult to own so discussing that would be great.  Is it like owning an RV where it seems "different" but it's actually just the same as a big car or is it more difficult to take a "comercial" vehicle and use it in a non-commercial way?

 

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/13/23 11:22 a.m.

I'm drooling on my keyboard with jealously and awe. I bet that thing is fun as hell to drive. And that's one of the best engines Cummins ever made. 5.9 with a P-pump is tough to kill.

golfduke
golfduke Dork
1/13/23 11:26 a.m.

Amazing, my dream hauler. Please do keep us updated on what nocones asked above too, very very curious! 

 

NY Nick
NY Nick GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/13/23 11:31 a.m.
wae said:

I don't know from gooseneck and/or fifth wheels (in fact, I'm not even sure what the functional difference is between the two and why both exist in this world, but whatever...), but is that gooseneck hitch located behind the rear axle?  Is that a potential problem?

That's a really cool truck, though, and I'm jealous.

Functionally I know that with a 5th wheel you don't need safety chains and with a gooseneck you do. One of my friends switch hitches on his car hauler / camper because of that, doesn't sound like a big deal but with a full pick up bed it made a difference. 

I found this on the Curt website, it was informative:

https://www.curtmfg.com/5th-wheel/gooseneck-adapters/learn-more#:~:text=Which%20is%20better%20fifth%20wheel,for%20their%20minimally%20invasive%20design.

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
1/13/23 11:53 a.m.
nocones said:

This is awesome.  I like this.

Please discuss in detail how you as a private not business do the following things:

Title/Register this

Insure this item

What License endorsements you have to operate it

I think all of us look at things like that or a Fuso forward control cab and go..  Why shouldn't I use that as a car hauler, but I've never gotten past the initial.. That seems difficult to own so discussing that would be great.  Is it like owning an RV where it seems "different" but it's actually just the same as a big car or is it more difficult to take a "comercial" vehicle and use it in a non-commercial way?

 

Luckily it's already titled as a motor home. So I'll keep titling and registering it as such. I do need to get it to pass an MD inspection though. Going to attempt that after I kill this oil leak.

I already insured it. I did the bare minimum coverage for when it's parked and being worked on. It's in the low $30s per month. Edit: I also plan on subscribing to the Good Samaritan motorhome insurance. jh36 has it and it has saved him multiple times in the Wanderlodge. Supposedly a little over $100 per year but I haven't shopped yet.

I may need to update my driver's license. I may need to go from Class C to Class B for the additional weight. I'm still a little fuzzy on that because the MD license requirements are based on GVWR. This truck is not in it's original configuration so idk if the GVWR rating applies. Still need to figure that out. Worst case scenario I take a course and get my class B license. But at least there is no CDL required because motorhome.

As far as the leap between a personal vehicle and a Class 7 semi, I had the exact same feeling. It's daunting at first but in this case when the drivetrain is pretty darned similar to a long line of Dodge pickups, it makes it less intimidating in my mind. And I love the extra space that the larger truck allows you around the components. After doing my homework and getting insurance it does feel more like I got an ultra large pickup rather than a big ex-box truck.

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
1/13/23 12:15 p.m.
NY Nick said:
wae said:

I don't know from gooseneck and/or fifth wheels (in fact, I'm not even sure what the functional difference is between the two and why both exist in this world, but whatever...), but is that gooseneck hitch located behind the rear axle?  Is that a potential problem?

That's a really cool truck, though, and I'm jealous.

Functionally I know that with a 5th wheel you don't need safety chains and with a gooseneck you do. One of my friends switch hitches on his car hauler / camper because of that, doesn't sound like a big deal but with a full pick up bed it made a difference. 

I found this on the Curt website, it was informative:

https://www.curtmfg.com/5th-wheel/gooseneck-adapters/learn-more#:~:text=Which%20is%20better%20fifth%20wheel,for%20their%20minimally%20invasive%20design.

This was very informative. Thank you. So yes, this is a gooseneck hitch. Still unclear if its location behind the axle may cause any issues. Load shouldn't be an issue. Rear air bag suspension should be able to handle it I'd think. Stability may be a concern? I don't own a gooseneck trailer so we may never know.

NY Nick
NY Nick GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/13/23 1:25 p.m.

In reply to PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham :

I would consider weighing the front and rear axles and then doing a quick and dirty axle weight calculation before I went on a long pull with the trailer.

https://truckscience.com/en-us/calculate-axle-weights/

The Googles has a lot of these and you may already do something like this but that has a long overhang so you can do it with just a few measurements and weight inputs. 

You want to make sure the trailer weight doesn't unload the front axle too much, I have done this before I was smart enough to plan and it is not fun. It is slightly more fun than negative tongue weight but you don't have to worry about that!

PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham UberDork
1/13/23 2:00 p.m.

In reply to NY Nick :

Excellent points. I hadn't thought much farther than "Big truck pull. Big truck pull good." I'll do some maths to check some of this stuff. How do you reckon I would measure its center of gravity without weighing the axles separately? 

NY Nick
NY Nick GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/13/23 2:48 p.m.

In reply to PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham :

Your initial thought is spot on, I am not telling you that you are wrong there, this should handle a gang of weight and a ton of trailer. I don't know about the finding COG with no scale. There are usually a bunch of local places that have truck scales. Within 10 miles of me there are 2 truck scales that charge $6 a pass (that was 2 years ago last I used them but you get it, not much $). Those are for gross weight but I am pretty sure they will weight you twice and let you put the front wheels just off the scale which will give front and rear weights. From there it is a tape measure on wheelbase and distance from rear axle to the connection point. 

Typing all of this it is probably a mute point, that truck probably weighs close to 15K and empty a lot of that (1/3 or 1/2?) is on the front, If you have a 2:1 lever to the trailer hitch how much are you really gonna unweight the front axle? 1K? 

That thing is a beast, I am happy for you and jealous (a little) of you!

slefain
slefain UltimaDork
1/13/23 3:14 p.m.
PunchyWrench - Ed Higginbotham said:

Oh I forgot one of the best parts: There's an excessive amount of 'Murica on the back. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
1/13/23 3:21 p.m.

This is AMAZING

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
1/13/23 3:39 p.m.

WOW that's super nice

buzzboy
buzzboy SuperDork
1/13/23 3:45 p.m.

1 ton Dodge engine, but what 6 speed?

I absolutely love this

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/13/23 4:27 p.m.

there is no such thing as "excessive MURICA".  what you are displaying there is the correct amount of MURICA.

also, how about driving the front of the truck up on to ramps (stacked 2x6) to help rear load angle?

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