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Doing a restomod B61 single axle for pulling my holiday trailer. Was just going to stay with the wheelbase on the first truck until I picked up one of my parts trucks that has a shorter wheelbase and thought "I really like that shorty wheelbase". The one truck has a 166" and the other 147". I know the shorter I go the choppier it will ride but I am going with air ride so i can run low pressure in the bags and also, since I'm not hauling heavy, lower pressure in the tires. This SHOULD mitigate the choppy ride somewhat, just don;t know how much. I can set the wheelbase anywhere i want <166", just looking for some thoughts in case I am overlooking something. I WAS going to build a box to go behind the cab for my generator and perhaps a few tools which I won't have much room for @ 147"

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I was 150" and it beat me to pieces.  Length will do more for ride then anything.  I'm 206" now and it is not bad.  The short, bucky ride is gone.  

I looked around for different front springs but the very short length will hinder fitting a tapered leaf.  That along with the rubber front mount.  I still run a full front pack, but I could see eliminating many of them but I would have new springs made as the old springs WILL break if you try to use them and have it move very much.  I real set of shocks might help over the stock set up.

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Larry

1959 B61 Liv'n Large......................

Charter member of the "MACK PACK"

 

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I think the very short length would negate the help a long tapered leaf would give you.

Granted I have the big axle under my truck.  Maybe just changing to the lighter spring pack would make mine better?  Ive seen guys remove springs then add a small pancake air bag.  Again, I would start with new springs as those old brittle springs would break.

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Larry

1959 B61 Liv'n Large......................

Charter member of the "MACK PACK"

 

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7 minutes ago, Freightrain said:

  Ive seen guys remove springs then add a small pancake air bag.  

That is what I was thinking of doing if it was too rough. If I'm  not mistaken, you have air ride in yours??

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Yes, the rear is Neway air ride.

I've thought of doing the front, but just never have gotten into it.   My local spring shop would be able to replace my existing front springs with new(less) and then add an air bag.

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Larry

1959 B61 Liv'n Large......................

Charter member of the "MACK PACK"

 

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How about a air ride steer axle off a bus ? should give a smooth ride and good handling

Yes its all a lot of dicking around but Macks have never been known for a smooth ride 

 

Paul 

 

 

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This whole project will be "a lot of dicking around". That is OK. I enjoy making things work. Spent the better part of the day figuring out how to install a power steering box using the stock steering column. Unfortunately, the boxes i have access to (6 of them) appear to be unsuitable and the one that looks like it IS suitable is in my bucket truck which I bought for parts (one of those parts being the steering box) and now am thinking of keeping the truck intact (story of my life). A friend of mine has a bus that he bought for the engine. I'll check with him and see if it has air ride. Thanks for the tip. I don;t know that some buses had air ride on the steers. 

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I was thinking about the air bag idea.  You'd need some form of a spring with enough of it to locate the axle and some form of eye and bushing in the front..... a bag (obviously)  a well matched shock and probably some form of a panhard rod. There's so many things they make now compared to even ten years ago. 

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3 hours ago, Licensed to kill said:

This whole project will be "a lot of dicking around". That is OK. I enjoy making things work. Spent the better part of the day figuring out how to install a power steering box using the stock steering column. Unfortunately, the boxes i have access to (6 of them) appear to be unsuitable and the one that looks like it IS suitable is in my bucket truck which I bought for parts (one of those parts being the steering box) and now am thinking of keeping the truck intact (story of my life). A friend of mine has a bus that he bought for the engine. I'll check with him and see if it has air ride. Thanks for the tip. I don;t know that some buses had air ride on the steers. 

Most coaches, if not all have full air bag suspension in Australia, I doubt the US is any different 

When you pull up to the gutter you just flick (normally marked kneel) a swith and the front end lets the air out to make the step closer to the ground 

Gotta remember most buses the driver sits out in front of the front axle 

On some of Australias high quality roads it feels like Im in a washing machine 😔 around and around lol

 

Paul

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There's two advantages to longer wheelbase-- better ride, easier handling. Shorter wheelbase means you have to be more attentive to the steering wheel to keep 'er going straight on the highway. Of course, then you have a larger turning radius.

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On 8/5/2021 at 12:17 AM, Licensed to kill said:

since I'm not hauling heavy, lower pressure in the tires.

^^^^ This^^^^ will be a huge Help to a better Ride..

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"Be who you are and say what you feel...
Because those that matter...
don't mind...
And those that mind....
don't matter." -

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1 hour ago, Hayseed said:

^^^^ This^^^^ will be a huge Help to a better Ride..

I agree. The little model A truck I posted I WAS running 32 PSI because that is just what I always run in car tires that size. Ran it that way for a few years before it occurred to me that this truck is SO light on the rear that I didn't need that much and that this could be contributing to the kidney cruncher ride. Dropped the pressures to what appeared the be he proper "squat", which turned out to be 24PSI and it made a significant improvement on the ride. Still rough but not as bad. 

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Maybe between running a really low pressure and removing spring leafs you might get a acceptable ride 

Does your back end have shockers on it at all, not all Mack bogie drives do, dunno about single drive, if you were to pull leaves out and you had no shockers it may tend to bounce a lot

Should be a interesting exercise 

 

Paul

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6 hours ago, mrsmackpaul said:

Maybe between running a really low pressure and removing spring leafs you might get a acceptable ride 

Does your back end have shockers on it at all, not all Mack bogie drives do, dunno about single drive, if you were to pull leaves out and you had no shockers it may tend to bounce a lot

Should be a interesting exercise 

 

Paul

I'm putting airliner air ride from a 2016 freightshaker in it (with shocks of course). 

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26 minutes ago, Timmyb said:

I personally know people that have changed from a 9 leaf front spring to a 3 leaf tapered/parabolic leaf and said it made a huge difference. This was in a COE where your sitting on top of the front axle. 

I talked to the spring shop friday and gave him the measurements and he is going to see if tapered springs are available for this application. He sounded concerned about availability when i mentioned that the front of the spring is a straight slip joint (I forget what he called it) rather than an eye with shackles. 

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1 hour ago, Timmyb said:

I personally know people that have changed from a 9 leaf front spring to a 3 leaf tapered/parabolic leaf and said it made a huge difference. This was in a COE where your sitting on top of the front axle. 

I did the same to a Western Star I had 20(odd) Years Ago. Made a BIG Difference..

"Be who you are and say what you feel...
Because those that matter...
don't mind...
And those that mind....
don't matter." -

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In my experience, most of the roughness of the ride comes from the rear.  My R had a 9,000# front axle, and it was fairly tolerable.  The rear was another story.  But, I ran the air pressure in the rear (empty truck) low, and that helped.

"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines."

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Installed the hangars today so the wheelbase is set. Went with 156". This will give me just enough room behind the cab for a polished aluminum box to house my generator and a few misc tools and still clear the trailer in the extreme case that i have to jack knife it to get in or out of someplace. 

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Way back I did the same thing, mounted a truck toolbox across the rear of the cab for holding stuff because in a B model there is no storage room!!  The truck had come with a ~24" side box but that was too little.

Here I am dismantling the truck to stretch it.  I had a yanmar diesel genset on it then, I have an Onan 4K on it now.  Something you might consider is having a box made and hang your genset on the frame.

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Edited by Freightrain
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Larry

1959 B61 Liv'n Large......................

Charter member of the "MACK PACK"

 

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