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Author Topic: Gen in the bus, hitch installed - but I've got a stupid Question  (Read 2670 times)
tnichol
MC-9 1979 - A work in progress
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« on: April 13, 2010, 05:06:15 AM »

Greetings folks -

I've been working furiously on my new (old) bus.  Installed the 13K Generator from Wrico, built a hitch on the back. But I'd like to change the oil - and I've gotten conflicting advice.  See the last photo please - there are two locations marked "A" and "B". Which one is the correct location to fill oil?  Or are there 2 spots? If so why?





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dbenck
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2010, 05:21:06 AM »

"B" should go to top of valve cover for engine oil. "A" should go to reservoir for steering
on engine by air compressor.

David Benck
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grantgoold
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2010, 06:31:14 AM »

Get some soccer shin guards on when working around the engine! Grin
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Grant Goold
1984 MCI 9
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2010, 06:33:00 AM »

Dave and Grant are both correct! Wink
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
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bevans6
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2010, 06:36:49 AM »

What are you planning to tow?  I figure a towed car four down, right?

Brian
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gumpy
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2010, 07:02:28 AM »

Would you please post more info and photos on how you built and attached your hitch and what you intend to tow with it?  I'm kind of concerned.
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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2010, 07:13:51 AM »

I dont wanna offend you,but please dont have any tongue weight on that hitch.
maybe its the pic,but that frame work doent look safe to put weight on it!!

if you tow a car,with a tow bar it may work!!!
just keep everybody safe!!!!

in order to get enough strenght in the rear of my neoplan,i had to build my own tailsection with extra framework.replaced the rear cap and skinned it with sheetmetal.im towing a 15k trailer,so i had to do a little more work.


just my 2 cents
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tnichol
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2010, 08:09:03 AM »

I appreciate the concern, but I'd like to hear more about what you are worried about.  My plan is to tow a light trailer (not a car) I've got a motorcycle.  The hitch is welded to the frame with 1/4 inch steel - not to the bumper. Talk to me - what is the concern?
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bevans6
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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2010, 08:16:44 AM »

The concern is the cantilever extension of the hitch not really being able to support much tongue weight, and the ball mount in the middle of a tube not being able to handle much actual tow weight, the hole through the tube for the hitch ball really reduces it's strength in bending.  What material is the tubular structure - outside dimension and wall thickness?



Brian
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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2010, 08:28:51 AM »

just wanna make sure you wont put much tongue weight on it!!!

even a smaller hitch uses min a 2" square tubing as a crossmember.
look at a hitch (class 3 or 4) from a older 90s chevy van.they are easy to find on the junk yard,and you can weld different mounting plates to the sites to bolt it onto your engine cradle -frame.
you then have a 2" receiver hitch,thats hidden under the bumper.
(NO chinguards needed then)

i have build a few setups from these hitches and was allways hapy with them.you can also get the 2" receiver tube only (from most welding shops or trailer shops) for (last time i got it )less then$25,and build your own hitch around it!

also you will find,that if you have a hitch,it comes handy if you can use it also for other trailers or a tote"

on your hitch,the crossmember is even smaller then the mounting surface of the ball.
that shows me,your framing is a little undersized!

remember,that you wont see your trailer in the mirror,and its hard to feel in a bus what he is doing!!
i have to have all the senses in my "butt"together to feel the trailer and its reactions!
im towing a 15k trailer,and can only see the a fraction of its outside when going straight down the interstate.

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Len Silva
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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2010, 08:33:47 AM »

I have to join some of the others here in expressing concern for the strength of your hitch.  It looks like about 1" tubing.

I would not consider anything less than 2" x 2" tubing with a 1/4" wall thickness for a hitch.

The ball stud going through the square tubing has all but removed it's integrity.  I would expect the ball to rip right out of there in short order.

The other point is that even though you know that it will be lightly loaded, once a hitch is installed on your bus, there is no telling what might be attached to it five years from now.
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tnichol
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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2010, 08:36:25 AM »

I used this as the basic concept for the hitch :

http://users.cwnet.com/~thall/fredhobe2.htm

The flat bar welded to the frame is 1/4 inch x 3. The bar the ball sits on is 1.5 x 1.5 - believe its 3/16th thick.   I roughed it out and tacked all the pieces together - then I took it to a fabrication shop - they did the real welding (I'm an amateur welder and just have a little mig welder). For something like this I always go to the pros.  They didn't like the bar I had there (because it wasn't thick enough). They replaced it with the one on there - and also added those 45 degree angle support pieces out of the same material.

Appreciate the questions, if I did something stupid I'd rather know now.

Tim
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NeoplanAN440
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2010, 09:00:45 AM »

if thats my hitch,i would at least change the tubing the ball sits on!!
also think about the design,as im sure every time you check your oil and hit your leg on this
hitch you will be mad,you didnt do it right the first time!!!!

(on the funny site,you will always know when you checked the fluid levels)

like i said take a look under a chevy van or a 90s pick up with a class3-4 hitch and you see the difference.

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bevans6
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2010, 10:10:44 AM »

I can't remember  exactly how to do stress calculations on beams in cantilever, but tried to do a little research.  I found some calculators on engineering sites that may work for this.  I ran through some calcs that lead me to believe that you would be OK with about a 100 lb tongue weight with what I see in the picture, and that is just a guess.

things to  do to improve the design - shorten the stick-out from the attachment point.  Reducing the stick-out to half would increase the strength by 4-fold (I think).  Increase the section area of the tubing - add a piece of angle iron underneath it with the leg pointing down.  That will increase tongue weight capacity.  Best would be to have the ball as near to the bumper as possible, reduce the cantilever out from the bumper to the minimum.  For tow weight strength, don't have the ball in the middle of a bending tube, have it in a joint area.  Don't drill through the tube to mount the ball, weld on a flange.  The hole through the tube weakens in in bending immensely.  

So basically get the hitch back against the bumper and don't mount the ball through a hole in the cross tube.  With what you have, a trailer weighing 1,000 lbs and 100 lbs tongue weight might be acceptable, but I personally wouldn't do it that way.

Brian
« Last Edit: April 13, 2010, 10:21:58 AM by bevans6 » Logged

1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
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1972 NTM MK-4 B/SR
desi arnaz
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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2010, 10:20:28 AM »

i say "BUST A BUCK"  and have a pro make you a proper hitch........ if your insurance company saw that hitch they would S***. and then cancel your policy.
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thomas f  Bethlehem n.h
kyle4501
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« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2010, 10:23:24 AM »

Sorry, I don't like the look of that hitch. Like Brian said, it is extending the load too far away from the support.
The deflection increases exponentially with the cube of the distance from the support, but the stress increases linearly.

One of my concerns is that the ball will not stay tight. The flange isn't supported front to rear & that is the direction of pushing & pulling. This will result in it working loose. I've had properly supported balls work loose. Is there a support sleeve welded inside the tube? If not, the tube walls will bend under load & the ball will become loose.
I'm not a fan of welding trailer balls on either.

Then there is the vertical loading. In ANY ball coupled hitch, there will be 2 kinds of vertical loading, one is from expected loading & is easy to plan for, the other is a result of the unexpected which is much more difficult to plan for.

Many assume there is minimal to no vertical loading if you are towing a car 4 down, however this assumption can be very wrong. If the rear raises during a hard stop, the tow bar is no longer horizontal. If the toad is pushing, this angle will get worse as the toad's front end drops. This angle will create a vertical load on the hitch.

For example - assume a tow bar is 3 feet long (ball to toad's bumper pivot) & the coach rises 6" & the car dives 6" (a height difference of 12").
If the toad is pushing 2500# in the horizontal plane, the resultant is ~884# in the vertical plane.

If the height difference is 16", the same 2500# push will result in a 1240# vertical lift on the hitch.
(These are only example numbers to show how a little angle can go a long way to increase the actual tongue load. The force of the push can exceed the actual weight of the toad due to momentum.)


I never thought too much about this until I was riding beside Dad's coach & saw how much the tow bar moved when he hit the brakes hard - AND, he has a functioning brake buddy in the toad applying the brakes.


Another way to look at it, in theory, with a long enough lever, you can lift that end of the bus by yourself (of course this assumes favorable levers & fulcrums  Grin ).
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tnichol
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« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2010, 10:38:23 AM »

Sorry, I don't like the look of that hitch. Like Brian said, it is extending the load too far away from the support.
The deflection increases exponentially with the cube of the distance from the support, but the stress increases linearly.

Thanks sincerely to all of you who responded. I value your suggestions - and the time and thoughtfullness of your answers. 

The trailer I was planning to use is really light - I just reach down and pick it up and attach it to the hitch on my truck, never use the jack - even when I've got the bike on it.  I guess because its so light that I didn't give the design of the hitch the consideration it deserved. 

I'm going to go back to the drawing board on this after I get a few of the more pressing issues resolved - and before I try to pull anything with it.

Thanks again.

Tim
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kyle4501
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« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2010, 10:52:49 AM »

Tim,
It takes a hell of a man to accept the criticisms of their work & not take offense at any of it.
You are setting a fine example for others.  Grin

I wish you well with your new design.
Having a trailer come loose is a sure way to ruin someones day.
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desi arnaz
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« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2010, 10:54:59 AM »

in all fairness i will say you did a wonderful job on the generator! what will you be using for insulation? also you might want to put her on a joey bed for better access. it looks like a real tight fit as it is...
« Last Edit: April 13, 2010, 10:57:39 AM by desi arnaz » Logged

thomas f  Bethlehem n.h
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« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2010, 10:56:07 AM »


I'm going to go back to the drawing board on this after I get a few of the more pressing issues resolved - and before I try to pull anything with it.



That's a very sound decision.  

Do a search on this board. There are plenty of hitch threads with good photos and info.

Here'a a link the hitch I put on my MC9. It's been on there almost 10 years, and not problems.
http://www.gumpydog.com/Bus/MC9_WIP/Towing_Hitch/towing_hitch.htm

I'm going to try to update the thread with some photos of a similar hitch I put on a friend's MC9, also.  


craig
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Craig Shepard
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grantgoold
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« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2010, 12:18:12 PM »

I will try and post some pictures of my hitch set up (similar to many others). Took a 10,000 lb rated hitch and "fabricated or customized it to work with the structures already on the 9.

I am impressed that you quickly realize the people on this board on only really interested in your safety and those around you and not attacking your credibility.

This is the kind of person that will much appreciated here!

Grant
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Grant Goold
1984 MCI 9
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Tom Y
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« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2010, 06:50:20 PM »

I sent a pic of my hitch on my 5C. Tried to post here but file to large. Not sure about that, I take all my pics on the same setting, and some will post. Hope the pic helps.  Tom Y
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Tom Yaegle
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« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2010, 07:07:04 PM »

As promised here are some pictures of my hitch. As you can see, I used the examples provided by gumpy!

Hope it works out!
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Grant Goold
1984 MCI 9
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« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2010, 07:08:53 PM »

Another picture!
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Grant Goold
1984 MCI 9
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« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2010, 07:09:33 PM »

One more! Grin Grin
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Grant Goold
1984 MCI 9
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« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2010, 08:00:06 PM »

Tim,
It takes a hell of a man to accept the criticisms of their work & not take offense at any of it.
You are setting a fine example for others.  Grin

I wish you well with your new design.
Having a trailer come loose is a sure way to ruin someones day.

well put Kyle... I know I would have had the "let me try it" attitude.
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1990 102a3... Just got started, don't  know  what I'm doing.
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