Part 14: Final Assembly and Tire Handler


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The Trip

We were moving quickly toward completion of the mounting of the Lance 1685 on Thor.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

The final welds were performed to make the attachment of the Lance to the sub-frame cross members permanent.

The generator was mounted and a locking tab was welded on to deter theft of the generator when parked.

The rear tool box was re-attached.  Once the rear tool boxes were attached, we headed to fill the propane tank as we would continue to live in Lance until the completion of the build-out.

The preliminary test drive went well and we returned to the shop to continue the build.

The lower step on the Lance was removed and our stair mount was added.  The retracting stairs were deployed and the hand rail added for security.

The propane tank that we chose required the attachment of a remote fill/vent device to allow filling the tank without getting underneath the truck.

Some cast-off seats were inspected for possible replacement of our 30-year-old stock seats.

The old seats were removed in preparation for mounting.

The new-to-me seats require both 24v power and an air supply to inflate the rubber bolsters and lumbar support bladders.

Our Solidworks-designed parts arrived from the machine shop.

A view of the Solidworks design.

An interesting aspect of this design is the locking pawls to prevent the hydraulic system from being under load when the truck hits a bump.  The top bar will be manually rotated counter-clockwise with a handle to unlock the mount.  Once the pawl is rotated clear, the hydraulic system can lower the mount.

A "dirty basket" was fabricated.  The basket will allow storage of dirty items on the frame of the truck behind the intercooler rack.

Using the Solidworks drawings, the raw material for the tire handler was cut to length.

A test-assembly that shows how the components will mate.

The tire frame approaches completion.

Test-fit of the frame on an actual 395/85R20 tire.

Attending to the details of the pawl/lock pivot interface.

Hydraulic mounting tabs were fabricated.  These mounts were salvaged from Thor's bash plate mount.

The center portion of the front bumper was removed to reveal the frame cross-members.

The tire mount was augmented with the locking pivot points.

Hydraulic mounting tabs were re-attached to the sway bar mounts and a piston was attached for testing purposes.

A mount for the hydraulic pump was added behind the passenger wheel well.  The mount will be painted after the test fit.

Test fit of the front mounting plate.

The hydraulic cylinders were attached to the lower mounts for testing.

The "dirty basket" that fits on the frame behind the intercooler mount was painted prior to mounting.

The bumper plate was welded to the support plates and a test assembly was performed.  Note the set screws on the locking pawl.  The lower bar is for jigging and testing only; it will be replaced with hardened pins.

The assembly was hung on the bumper for test fitting.  The basic geometry was good but there were a few adjustments necessary.

The tire frame was lowered manually to check for interferences and insure range of motion.

This segment of the build process took quite a bit longer than expected.  That said, progress has been made and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  This is a complex process and there were more challenges than we expected.

Tomorrow, the final adjustments to the tire handler will be done and it will be connected to the hydraulics for testing.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2019 all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.