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Old 03-15-2003, 03:03 PM   #1
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Hello Larry,

When you remove an axle from your Volvos how do you come up with the wheelbase? I saw on your website you list 202 inches. Is this the center of the tandems? When you have the foward axle removed, what do you do with it? Do you keep it and sell it or does the company give you a credit for the axle? How much are these axles worth? Also what do you do with the tires? I am considering doing this to a Freightliner. The truck needs new rear tires. I was quoted 25-50 hours labor at $50.00 per hour. I can keep the parts or they would give me something for the rear. They did not specify. There are 8 virgin tires on the back and I think I can probably get a good credit towards four retred tires. Do you change the tires at the same time you remove the axle? Thanks for your help. I really enjoy your forum.

Thanks,

Robert
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Old 03-15-2003, 07:47 PM   #2
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what part of the country are you in?....I can get it done much cheaper if you are close to Cincinati Ohio
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Old 03-15-2003, 09:22 PM   #3
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I am in Florida. Probably is a bit too far to travel to Ohio. How much can you get it done for?

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Bob
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Old 03-15-2003, 09:45 PM   #4
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$500-700 if you aren't in a hurry and can leave it for as long a month.....they fit it in when a mechanic is waiting for parts or not busy between other rigs.....they do their regular customers first and fit it in when they are free for an afternoon...I do some prep to speed things up some.....geof
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Old 03-16-2003, 05:33 AM   #5
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I agree with Geoff, the costs quoted you are a bit high.

The wheel base is up to you in terms of how you want to use your tow vehicle. My Volvo had a 207 inche wheelbase. Measure from center line of front axel, to the middle of the distance between the rear axels. I took off my front and moved the rear up for a wheel base of 182 inches. I did that for manuverability reasons in town etc, sacrificing some ride comfort, perhaps, in doing so.

Jim Gehlen, kept his rear in place and has a bed with a 220 inch plus wheel base. He did that so he would have enough room between his cab and fiver for a couple of motorcycles.

Oldphoneman and myself mounted our air ride hitches in back of our new drive axel in order to get some room between cab and trailer. Volvo will allow you to remove weight off the front by doing this. I have lost the exact number but I have it some where.

I received a 1000 dollar credit for my axel, wheels and tires, if you have new tires should do better than that. I can't get mine done as cheap as Geoff, but a net 800 to a 1000 should be possible.

I can't tell you how my rig rides bob tailed compared to Jim and Valeries as I haven't ridden in theirs. I have driven mine over 3000 miles bob tailed and I don't have any problems with the ride, but then maybe I don't know what I am missing either.

fyi

Chuck
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Old 03-16-2003, 06:39 AM   #6
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Hi Robert,

Sorry about the tardy reply. I've been out of town a few days. I bought two white 2000 610s with autoshift for my next conversions.

Chuck filled in nicely in my absense. First, find someone who does this type of converions. If a shop can't even quote you a firm price, you don't want them working on your truck.

A frame shop that knows what they are doing can do a conversion in about 16 hours. You may have to wait a day or so beyond that while a new driveshft is built by a driveshaft company.

I have never had a conversion that was not completed within 4 days. I have a shop that will allow me to assist. We can do a conversion in 10 hours not counting the driveshaft. Make certain the company you choose uses all new class 8 bolts. After the conversion is finished, before installing fenders, light bars, ets, I try to have the frame sandblasted and painted.

As far as selling differential, tires and wheels, figure you may get 50% of retail for the tires and wheels unless you want to try to sell them yourself to users.

Usually you just have to get on the phone and call around till you find someone who will make you an offer for the differential.

These truck parts places buy entire trucks wrecked for around $10K. They have diffferentials, transmissions, engines, etc that have been setting on racks for years unsold. Consider yourself lucky if you get $400 for it.

onezman
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Old 03-17-2003, 04:02 AM   #7
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Well here is a twist, I did my own,In my back yard,In about 13 Hours. Not working real hard! Now I took the easy route and just removed the rear axle and left the front where it was I run with the Diff. Locked in! I think the wheel base is now 186" I forget,But it sure turns alot easier and the ride is not much differnt IMO. Total Cost about $30.00 I kept the rear and tires just in case.

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Old 03-17-2003, 06:13 AM   #8
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I thought about just removing the back rear. Is it a problem to run the front with the diff. locked? Freightliner says not to drive like this. I also didn't know if the hitch would be to far back and would change the way the truck drove when pulling the trailer.
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Old 03-17-2003, 06:28 AM   #9
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Hi Robert
I have about 2000 miles so far Still works great! But like I said I kept the rear<>Rear just in case. I did shorten the frame, So it looks like a single

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Old 03-17-2003, 03:23 PM   #10
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KZX11

Did your truck have a sliding fifth wheel? Did you move it forward?

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Robert
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Old 03-17-2003, 03:34 PM   #11
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Yes it does and yes I did.

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Old 03-17-2003, 06:17 PM   #12
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Robert,

The first conversion I ever did was done the same way KZX11 did his. I spoke to Eaton several times before I did it. Eaton said it would not be a problem. I drove that Volvo about 20K miles towing and bobtail combined.

I never had any problem with that arrangement. Of course you do have to run in the locked position all the time, but that doesn't hurt anything when the truck has been converted to single rear axle. Some folks don't like the look of that yoke sticking out of the rear end housing though.

onezman
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Old 03-17-2003, 07:04 PM   #13
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I think I will search for another company to do this work. My main concern was that since this truck is titled and registered as a motorhome, I wanted to make it look less like a large truck. I will be pulling a 50ft. racecar trailer and I don't know if the different states will give me trouble when driving through. The trailer is not tall like a semi trailer, but still looks like a commercial type trailer when behind the truck. I did put not for hire on the sides. I also considered putting private RV on the sides but I am afraid it would draw even more attention. I will be taking a short trip in two weeks and I would like to be prepared.

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Robert
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Old 03-17-2003, 11:25 PM   #14
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Jim (KZX11),
I went to your website and looked at the pics of your truck. I noticed that you tapered the rear of the frame. Could you tell us a little more about how you did this and how you shortened the frame?

onezman,
You mentioned waiting while a new driveshft is built. When the rear housing is moved up into the front housing's position, why would you need a new driveshaft? Does the front yoke end up in a different place due to a difference between the housings?
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Old 03-18-2003, 03:57 AM   #15
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Well to start with I used a torch.and a grinder. It would have been great to have a plasma-cutter but cost would not allow it. Cheapest I found was $1500.00 that would do the job. A friend of mine is a teacher at Penn State Univ. in diesel and drive trains and said a torch would work just fine. I just made a template of the orginal taper and moved it foward I used the orginal lite bar also. As for the air lines it is kind of basic as to what you need and dont. I also cut most all the bolts. The biggest thing I would say helped is a few E-mails back and fourth with Larry Z And I looked at it for about 2 hours thinkin to myself Now how can I make this easy!!<>Good Luck You can do it!!<>

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Old 03-18-2003, 04:24 AM   #16
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This is a true story First hand Not hear say. About a year ago I stopped at our local Pa. State Police Dept. and ask a few questions of our friendly DOT Officer about my rig. as a MH, Which it is now in NY. I must say he was nice to talk to But a real PR<>K, If given a chance I bet. He said it was a real fine line I would be walking and went on to say just last week he stopped a Class 8 pulling a race car trailer. He said he ask the guy what was in the trailer and was told my race car. He than ask if he could see it , The guy said sure. Wow nice Car, Do you ever win with it ? Now being a guy he said sure do allot!! Guess what you are now under arrest for inproper Reg. and no CDL Because you do make money!! He also told me the same is true with stickers or decals<<>>SPONSERS<<>>Money!! I don't want to ruin your day but it's something to think about! I'm sure he has lot's of brothers out their.

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Old 03-18-2003, 06:07 AM   #17
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That really scares me and makes me want to stay home. I wonder if this is also true for truck conversions into toterhomes. If you put a box on a class 8 and now looks like a motorhome, would you still get hassled by the state?

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Bob
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Old 03-18-2003, 10:55 AM   #18
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Larry,

Does anyone who purchased your Volvos use them to pull a race car trailer? I thought I read before that you did have a few Volvos that did.

Thanks,

Robert
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Old 03-18-2003, 06:48 PM   #19
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Robert,

I would highly reccomend getting a CDL and the proper registration. I think this is something that's only gonna get worse. I hear of more and more people getting pinched as more states start to crackdown on this. Even if it's an "RV" once you hook up the trailer, it's commercial.

Funny how the highway patrol calls a race car a business, but the IRS calls it a hobby!!
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Old 03-18-2003, 09:40 PM   #20
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It is a real fuzzy area-then applying a defination for your business-hobby-sport-profession.....CDL is written on the 8th grade level here in Ohio....check the 'net and find a copy of the test first-take it and decide from there.....I got 79% first time through without looking at the manuel and 100% after reading the manuel sitting on the crapper...[makes good reading-HA!] so how hard could it be?....the paperwork and physical take longer-that and waiting in lines.....geof
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