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Old 12-16-2019, 12:58 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I dunno, the front hinged storage option seems like it would be a pretty cool idea imho.

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Old 12-27-2019, 12:39 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I want to mount some manner of wind-deflecting cargo container atop the cab, but still have the flexibility to remove it to carry long items and such. I've been using a clamp-on Yakima setup, but it's a bit clunky to install and remove quickly and squashes the upper weatherstripping for added wind noise. My solution: turns out the Ranger Supercab roof has about the same curve as a 1986 Honda Civic wagon, so I installed a pair of those tracks which I happened to have. It's always a little nerve-wracking to drill holes in the roof, but they came out well, and the middle bolts lined up with the internal roof support beam. I sealed them well with butyl sealant left over from a recent window replacement. They're not too obtrusive as-is, so I'm satisfied. Next step is to figure out how I want to mount the cargo platform and/or a rack, and design it.

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Old 12-27-2019, 12:54 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I also towed my old cap to New Jersey to give to a friend for her Ranger. Upon realizing that she wouldn't be able to store it in her available space, she decided to do without it. It's staying in NJ, advertised cheap locally until someone takes it away. A NJ-CT-NJ round trip with the utility trailer made for 18.18 MPG, my all-time worst fuel economy in this truck. That's a good bit of work for a 4-cylinder nearing the 170,000 mile mark, can't blame it for getting a little thirsty.

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Old 12-27-2019, 01:05 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plasmajab View Post
I dunno, the front hinged storage option seems like it would be a pretty cool idea imho.
Thanks! I drove a couple of 70's VW campers in the mid-late 1990s, so a lot of my ideas are inspired by old Westfalias and other conversion companies' designs. I use the truck as a camper periodically year-round, so it would be a really handy space to keep supplies as well as mount a solar shower in the warmer months. I think it would be perfect for coiled items like cords and air or water hoses when I need them for tasks as well.
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Old 12-27-2019, 02:12 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I don't know how much the cap weighs. I wish I did, but had no luck looking for weight stats on these. They were all built to order with many different options, so it would be tough to figure out without a scale.

While it definitely feels heftier than the cab-height fiberglass cap it replaced, the older gent I bought it from and me were able to lift it off of his truck and onto mine without help or undue strain or injury. The cap is built from 1x1 aluminum square tubing with .035 aluminum skin and a few aluminum extrusions forming the corners and hinges. My first deflector will likely be made from .040 aluminum, because I happen to have a decent-sized piece of it.

The curb weight of the 2WD Ranger Supercab is around 3,300 lbs, so I doubt it will even hit 4,000 lbs. post-modifications without a significant load onboard.
CT isnít overrun with truck stops, but there are a couple at New Haven Iíd park a couple of days to visit my son at grad school. CAT SCALE phone app. Otherwise at Springfield, MA.

Scale numbers are baselines to use as context.

My pickup carries a 1,200lb load without me in it (max fuel aboard). It took awhile, but I got the axle loadings equal. Within 40-lbs each corner.

Handling (as an aspect of steering) is big. Attend to the distribution FF/RR.

If a 100-mile trip for you at present is $14/fuel (2.60 average), my 24-mpg diesel pickup makes the same trip for $1.00 less ($3.00 average).

Perspective.

.

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Old 01-06-2020, 11:07 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Good to know about the scales, Slowmover, thanks.
One benefit of the locking cap (my previous one wasn't secure) is that I can keep a large box in the bed for some of the heavier items I previously normally keep in the cab for the sake of security. This includes a trolley jack and whatever tools I'm carrying at any given time. I don't leave everything there 24/7, but I can comfortably stop for a meal or a visit without having to worry. Anyway, this has shifted a mass that can often exceed 100 pounds from the rear of the cab to directly over the rear axle. It definitely reduced the hop-skipping effect when hitting bumps in a curve and contributes (along with snow tires and a limited-slip diff) to impressive snow traction for a 2WD truck.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:40 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Then that’s the second use of the scales. This post for anyone.

Bed marks to show where to load. “Centered” over rear axle a bad idea (not saying you are). We had marks on flatbed trailers to learn where and how to load. OVERALL vehicle balance big, even with an articulated combination.

TARE WEIGHT: Driver only plus max fuel and ONLY gear kept aboard till the days it’s sold. This is the adjusted empty weight. Gives you an idea of what can be done. This is a required basic.

WHERE to load a box of known weight such that MOST of its weight is AHEAD of the rear axle. With time you’ll be able to eyeball it, but don’t. Use the scales to learn.

First weigh about $12. Every one subsequent that day is $2.

It’s not unknown for me to have to cross the scale three times before I have trailer and truck adjustments to meet legal limits finalized. AND STEERING SAFETY.

Had a vehement argument a short time ago about being under a load (not heavy) where even with tandems pulled all the way forward I was still 10k heavier there than on Drives. (Better to be 1k heavier or more on Drives). That also meant I had an ENORMOUS amount of trailer BEHIND the Tandems. Sail Area. Then set off down the Corkscrew Roller Coaster (64/81 WV Turnpike) with winds, ice and a metric **** ton of other truck drivers incapable of good practice (low IQ) . A no-win set-up-to-fail situation.

What I’m driving at is that with a pickup I’d still generally want some front bias. BUT ALWAYS the mass of weight BETWEEN the two axles. Otherwise, tail out is a distinct possibility. Empty is an immediate sideways slide. Loaded is a deadly slide.

The drive axle is a teeter-totter. Easy to be WRONG with either too little or too much. “Balance” is favoring the area ahead of the axle. Thus, CAT Scale my friend. (See also household moving companies, county dump, etc, for other public scales).

.

Last edited by slowmover; 01-08-2020 at 02:49 PM..
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Old 01-08-2020, 06:35 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Thanks! I drove a couple of 70's VW campers in the mid-late 1990s, so a lot of my ideas are inspired by old Westfalias and other conversion companies' designs.
I'm a big fan of James Watt's four-bar linkage. A reverse alligator with long back/short front bars would lift and store over the windshield for easy loading and unloading.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:44 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I want smoother side hatch doors for the cap: windowless on the driver side and a single window on the right. As others and that NASA study have mentioned rounded front corners are better. I decided that I want to re-skin the doors, keeping the basic structure of 1x1 square tubing, but replacing the aluminum faces with a fiberglass skin that curves around the square leading corners of the cap. Rather than make them from scratch, I shopped online classifieds for flat fiberglass full-size pickup tonneaus. Scored this Leer unit from a 90s GM 8 foot bed for $60. I will measure and mark the side panels in the next couple of weeks. Iíll cut them so that the angle of the leading edge will match up well with the back of the cab. I wonít be able to rebuild the doors for a while, but I want to cut them soon so that they are easier to store and so that I can experiment with some of the scraps. The tonneau has two layers of Ďglass in most areas, so the scraps will help me determine the best way to reduce the doorskins to a uniform 1/8Ē thick layer. I have more immediate plans for some of the leftover scrap. More on that shortly.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:47 PM   #30 (permalink)
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This is a rough eyeball-scale drawing of the cut plan. The rear edges of the tonneau have the most curve (2.5" or so) so they will be the leading edges of the new lid skins.


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