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Old 01-03-2008, 11:38 PM   #1
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ok, I am new to this forum, but, I have found alot of answers to my questions here,just reading other posts and topics , thanks for the information to all, what I have in my mind is building a 14' toter to pull my 36" haulmark gooseneck racecar trailer , I recently looked over a Powerhouse conversion that was a bank repo and absolutly fell in love with it ,It was built on a mid 90's HDT frieghtshaker chassis I have found these trucks are proubly in my price range to get things started, (and if I possibly go with a larger trailer someday), id hope it (frieghtliner fld120) is equivelent to match, I proubly (realistically) put on less than 7k throughtout the racing season I travel with a group of buddies that share the same interest, and we are "mild moutain men", so luxury isnt a demand ( AC and a shower is proubly most important )the other chassis I have been looking at, and seems to look really nice with a conversion is a MDT topkick or kodiak ? is the registration costs and power differance worth the debate? which engine/tranny and rearend ratio should I be looking for for optimum performace (for today) in either chassis, id like mileage around, or better than 10mpg ? is that possible? without a dog under the hood? Im possibly going to reside in this unit when my trade requires me to travel some ? majoriy of welding, fab, and construction, I am not afraid of doing myself, the resouces to obtain the correct materials are my only troubled areas? also is it possible that Powerhouse does this conversion without streaching the frame ( I didnt look close enuff to tell)? your help is greatly appreciated. dirtdevil
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:29 PM   #2
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Hey dirtdevil, welcome to the site!

I'll try to answer a few of your questions based on past experiences.

First forget the MDT such as Topkick or Kodiak, I think when you get into used trucks the difference in price is not worth the trade in power and capacity. You may have seen my first conversion details which I did on a 95 FLD120 and after cleaning and dressing her up that truck looked great. Those trucks where and probably still are a dime a dozen on the used market, and probably a decent one can be had for $10,000.

As for power I would stay above 350 hp. My FLD had a M11 350 w/ 10 speed and at 34,000 combined I never had to drop out of 10th on the highway, even on a 4 or 5% grade. That combo got me around 12 mpg. Oh those where the days!

Your definitely going to have to stretch the frame to do a 14' toter. Quadra MFG will do it, or if you plan to do it, the best way I heard was to splice in your needed length mid way on the frame (butt weld) and than huck bolt a frame rail over the existing now extended frame rail. Basically having a double frame rail. That was from one of the top frame stretchers in the biz back in 2000. I did see a bent frame resulting from splicing in the stretch and than diamond welded a patch over the butt weld. Not good. Either way defiantly check with the experts on the current correct methods

On the build materials, I know that a few guys have mentioned a few resources on some old posts, but not having built my conversion I will be no help there.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:07 PM   #3
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I was kinda leaning towards the fld120 anyhow, I'm glad to hear you got 12mpg, what engine and tranny did you have? as well as rear end ratio? Im not totally set on 14' that is just a number that came to mind from previous classifieds I have been looking at, the rear of the conversion, on the Powerhouse rig, I looked at, ended in the center of the axle , I didnt bring a tape with to do some in depth investigation? but, I believe thier web page has a toter of the spitting image as for the streaching of the frame , I have resouces that I think streach alot of Garbage trucks for city sanitation use , I believe they use double framerails the complete length (when finished) ill do some "brown bottel" investigating there also? thanks for the info, I was sceptical if the good MPG was a old wifes tale? I know alot of dually pickups that dont get that mileage! Ive owned two of them ! and the milage got worse, on the way to the track !have you ever driven to a race slowly? ! not possible in my world , thanks again
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Old 01-05-2008, 04:29 AM   #4
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I had a Cummins M11 (11.1 liter) 350 hp with a manual Eaton 10 speed. That was the orginal setup and it had 550,000 miles on it. I screwed things up when I changed out the trannie to a new Super 10 (half of the gear changes are just a button shift) Putting that new tight trannie in dropped me to about 9.5 to 10 mpg.

I am pretty sure the rear end gear was 3.15
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:18 PM   #5
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Warpath , Thankyou, this gets me one step closer to knowing what im looking for when I do decide to purchase a rig, Now anbody have some ggod experiances for replacing a trailer/RV roof ive been looking at a rubber roof matting material , the cost is greatly less than the aluminum, my trailer has steel,roofing that has split around the roof access and is in desperate need of replaceing , i could get by with a small section replaced at the front of the trailer and I have thought about welding aluminum diamond plate there, because is is on the walkable portion of the roof? and reqires a a roof access to help aid in the troubled (leaking) area thanks,
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:01 PM   #6
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I found a 93 fld here localy with a 13 sp and higher HP cat,(im assuming) I havent asked about the rearend ratio , is the milage going to be lousy ? Ive also heard guys pay a decent price for the fifthwheel plate and axle that I will drop from the unit? any truth to that? I know literally nothing about large trucks (never been aroud them)and am trying not to make a big mistake, Ive kept my eye close to the M11 and ten speed, I will be pulling a rather light load, I have found a few FLD's with a different M #, is there much differance? thanks for the help.
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