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Old 09-02-2002, 07:51 PM   #1
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Location: Sioux Falls, SD
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Below is a figure I got from Larry Doonan, Doonan Peterbilit in Wichita, KS for converting a Class 8. If you've seen Jim Gehlan's Volvo, you'll agree, he does good work. Doonan uses 3/8" steel deck plate. The 1&1/2" thick tail plate adds weight to soften the ride. Any comments - especially like I got a better deal at Joe Blow's place and here's what he did -- specifics, please. Thanks - Joe

Doonan Peterbilt Class 8 Conversion

Standard Doonan 82.5" Cab-to-Axle Bed $10,000.00
Includes: Rhino top coating & one color ImRon 5000 Paint; Sand Blast and Prime; Ziebart Undercoating; Stubby (2" X 2") Trailer Hitch;
Two Mounted, 48" X 24" X 24" Tool Boxes;
Taillights and two 12v Electric Plugs

Other Modifications(Parts & Labor)
Remove Front Drive Axle, $2,753.00
Install New Driveline and Carrier Bearing
Remove Exsisting 5th Wheel, $120.00
Install Spring Brake Valve, $570.00
Trailer Saver Air Hitch $2,500.00
Trailer Saver Switch & Valve Installation, $160.92
DOT Inspection, $58.00
Adjust Brakes, $33.00
Toy Tracs Heavy Duty MC Lift, $2,405.00
1 and 1/2 inch thick Tail Plate, $1,885.00

Minus 4 Tires & Wheels, Front Axle, 5th Wheel
-$1,000.00
Subtotal: $19,484.92

Step up to Two 72" Tool Boxes, add $433.00
Increase to 104" Cab-to-Axle Bed, add $1,039.00
Note: 82.5" bed extends another 38" to rear plate. Total bed length is 120.5"

Joe
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Old 09-03-2002, 11:10 AM   #2
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Joe,

I mentioned to you in e-mail corrospondence that the last bed I had built was in 1996. It was 8 feet wide and just over 9 feet long. It had 6 toolboxes, 4 of them went deep, all the way in to the frame rails, full size headache rack with an upward slant towards the front of the bed that rose about two feet on each side of the bed then leveled off. This provided extra side support on each side of the front of the bed. (I know my description is hard to visualize, but it looked really good). I didn't want to be driving around with just a rectangular box sitting on the frame rails.

The bed had steel "lips" on the side folding inward 2 inches above, and going all the way around the bed except for a beveled three foot wide opening in the back of the bed for the trailer king pin to enter the hitch area.

It was constructed from steel with a diamond plate bed. The bed was beveled on all four corners for aerodynamic purposes and looks. There were 4 lights on each side of the back of the bed and two marker lights on each side of the front of the bed on the beveled edges. It had 6 eyebolts for securing any cargo, also a heavy duty hitch receiver was welded to the crossmembers of the bed and bolted to the frame rails. I also got the heaviest duty removable hitch availiable and two balls, wiring connections and chain hooks.

I hauled a Honda 250 motorcycle on the bed up front, braced against the headache rack. I had a ramp that hooked to the back of the bed. I would dump the air, and ride the bike up the ramp onto the bed to load it and roll it off to unload.

The fifth wheel hitch was removable if necessary, with a plate which covered the hole and screwed down to the bed. This would give me complete use of the bed. This entire job cost me about $4,500. (I had been quoted much higher prices from other places) I designed it with lots of suggestions from them, and had it built by Cowboy Metal Products, Inc., in Denver Colorado. They did a great job.

The truck was kept in their shop the 8 or 10 days they took to build it. They had one guy do the entire job. He did nothing else but work
on my truck until he finished the job . Their number is 303-778-0851. Tell them I sent you. They have done other work for me also.

They primarily build car trailers, boat trailers, Carriages etc, They can fabricate anything you want. I don't think they have a website. Ask for Willis, he's the owner. Kurt is the Forman, and Leon is the guy who can build anything.

Priming, sealing, painting, undercoating, and rubber seals around the toolbox doors cost me
about $800. I did this stuff myself except for the paint job. So much for the bed.

I have had three Volvos converted from tandem axle to single axle at three different places.

With the 610s, I had both axles removed, had the the rear axle moved forward to the front axle position, cut and beveled the frame ends, and reinstalled the end plate. All lights, wiring, and air lines were reconnected or blocked off.

The Torque bar, U bolts and everything else were properly installed. The drive shaft was lengthend and installed. They all did the complete job.

The most I paid for any of these axle conversions was $1,700. I had one done for $1,100 cash. They all installed the new mudflap holders I bought at no additonal cost. No $570 brake valve was required for any of these jobs. The hitch was removed and reinstalled at no cost once because they wanted to do it for easier access. No charge. They left the hitch alone at the other two places that did the conversion.

I had one conversion done in Denver, at Cowboy Metal, one in Salt Lake City, and one in Phoenix. No DOT inspection is required for RV use. (you could get this done if you wanted it anyway.)

I negotiated with each shop. I explained step by step how I wanted it done. I had the rear most crossmember left on the 610s, which makes the end of the frame slightely longer than it would be from the factory, but there is still a ton of clearance between the end of the frame and the front of the trailer.

I highly reccommend Cowboy Metal Products inc.
in Denver for tandem conversion, frame work, or any type of fabrication. They are good people to work with.

Larry

[This message was edited by onezman on September 03, 2002 at 02:31 PM.]

[This message was edited by onezman on September 03, 2002 at 02:39 PM.]
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Old 09-03-2002, 07:30 PM   #3
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Great response, Larry. I know we have talked (email) about this; but wanted to get an idea what everyone else has done. I think there are around a dozen shops that handle these kinds of conversions; but all I had for $ comparisons was Doonan's cost sheet. Would appreciate seeing a few others. Thanks - Joe

Joe
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