Thread: C5500 TopKick 4x4 Crew Cab Build

  1. #441
    Thank's for the update, I was starting to get worried ;p

  2. #442
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    Aug 2010
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    Looking sharp!

  3. #443
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    Jun 2009
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    Colorado Springs, CO.
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    Wow that looks SO very nice. I am super impressed with your wonderful build. I will look forward to a write up in about a year or so to see how it is holding together once you have had it on some serious trips etc. That is, seeing as you said there is a lot that is experiemental and one off just for your rig. I am sure hopeful because I would like to someday use many of your ideas for the slides and perhaps even the double directional slide. (I want one that goes up for a second story, and then side slides to pop out on either side!)

    Super stuff, and thanks for the update!

    Brian
    "Do you know what a soldier is, young man? He's the chap who makes it possible for civilized folk to despise war." -Allan Massie

  4. #444
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Park City, UT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ford Prefect View Post
    (I want one that goes up for a second story, and then side slides to pop out on either side!)
    Brian
    And I thought I was ambitious! If there's one thing I've learned on this project it's that slides are not for the faint of heart- tricky, tricky, tricky.

    Speaking of sliding, the cargo "drawers" are all mounted and fit nicely. Now we just need to pretty them up, install the exterior aluminum skins, latches, lighting, and pressure switches. I debated long and hard about drawers, which added moving parts, weight, and reduces cubic storage area. However, from past experience, I found that a smaller space with better access and organization is preferred to a simple catch bin that has to be dug through. I've also got some ideas on how to use the vertical side space inside each drawer for additional storage of many items I always keep on board.

    The drawers are made of 1" and 3/4" PPE honeycomb with bonded and glassed joints- very, very light, very strong, and impervious to moisture. All the slides are 22" Accuride 9301's, rated for 300lbs. I also used the Accuride drawer mounting brackets for mounting the slides to the cargo bay and the drawers to the slides.

    The two rear cargo compartments are "pass-through" from side to side, allowing storage for long items such as shovels, tables, etc. That required a drop-hinge door to allow access to the pass-through storage space.

    Closed. The overlapping aluminum skins have already been fab'd up, but we won't bond them on until we've finished testing all the other working parts.



    Open with doors dropped. The cutout accommodates the latch/locking mechanism, electric actuator, and plunger connecting rods. Once installed, we'll screw on an FRP skin to cover the panel.



    The fronts up and locked. The honeycomb gets finished with an anodized u-channel as seen in the closest drawer, but we won't glue those on until we apply the coating to body of the drawers.



    Two of the doors are wide-swing aluminum continuous hinge: holding tanks hinged on top and the genset door hinged on the bottom. All of the doors have a two-point catch with Trimark latches and electic actuators linked to the keyless entry system (keypad and fobs). I'll install a retention cable on the genset door so it can be used as a platform for the detachable fuel pump that will quick-connect to the 33 gallon tank under the entrance steps.





    I spent 8 hours chasing down a ground fault on one of the radiant heat circuits last week, finally traced it to a manufacturer's flaw when they cut the material, but got it fixed. We've had some very cold nights in the past week, and it's working AWESOME!!!!! It's a nicely insulated camper, and it just feels great to walk on a warm floor. Next cold stretch I hope to do a little measuring of the amp draw so I can predict battery life when the radiant is on. The Atwood ducted propane furnace is also very effective, so between the two, I'm sure we'll be able to handle sub-20F night temps with the cabin at 72F easily.

  5. #445
    I'm getting excited!

  6. #446
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    May 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailrunner View Post
    I'm getting excited!
    Me too, but I'm seriously short on time to get this thing wrapped up right now. Progress is being made: cargo and personnel doors are just about ready for final install. The skins got coated yesterday and the first coat of paint went on the drawers today. Still waiting on some of the push-on trim seals, but hope they get here next week.

    Now that the rig is at travel weight, it's finally time to get serious about improving the suspension. The cab already has a Link airbag system, but for both comfort of the passengers and protection of the rig, I'd like to take some of the bite out of the ride. I'm clueless about suspension and I've cruised the boards for relevant posts. A few things seem to be of interest. On the air suspension side, there's several made for the C5500s. Anybody with some real world experience would be doing me a favor by chiming in.

    Candidates so far are:

    Link, Hoffman, and Kelderman

  7. #447
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Colorado Springs, CO.
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    My only thought is to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Be sure that you have all of the shocks you need to keep the body of the truck stable in rough terrain. That body roll can cause you some trouble. I have seen big trucks like that in off road situations, and the worst is when you see the rear of the truck take a 1.5 foot hop to one side or the other owing to the body roll just moving that truck over. Scared me to see that. I have seen a lot of these things off road as well, some are very stable, some are so rigid you know the people inside are rattling themselves to death in there.

    If you use air, will the bags be connected (side to side that is)? IE if one deflates will that force the air from it into the other? This would contribute to body roll, and it seems to me that I recall reading that some systems function that way.

    Last thing I will add is that I have no personal experience with any of these systems other than what I have read here, and seen in person following the rigs, or riding in the rigs off road. I have never helped with the install, nor do I have experience with how it is done/piped/ etc. Perhaps I am just nuts, or full of crap, because I really do not know, just sharing my layman's observations.

    Regards,
    "Do you know what a soldier is, young man? He's the chap who makes it possible for civilized folk to despise war." -Allan Massie

  8. #448
    How's things progressing?

  9. #449
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailrunner View Post
    How's things progressing?
    Getting very close. Progress is getting made every day, but I've been so buried at work that I've not had time to post. All the compartment and personnel doors are on and gasketed. Girard is pounding through the interior punch list, finishing up all the little details. I'm dying to get it out on the road for a shake-down, but this year is WAY different than last year. I'm glad I got this project going when I did. If I had attempted it this year, I just would've bagged it. I'll post some pics later in the week. On the bright side, I did take one pic this past weekend:



    After racking up 110,000 miles on my 95 GS, I decided it was time to modernize, so the boys down at BMW Motorcycles of Las Vegas set me up. Sweet ride! The plan is to have a hoist on the back of the rig to carry this and my wife's 650 when we're traveling without the boys and don't want to haul the trailer.

  10. #450
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Colorado Springs, CO.
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    Now you are just gloating!

    Trying to find a nice K1200LT for myself right now. The GS is a great bike.

    Are you going to make the rack/hoist set up removable? My reason for asking is that it would seem to considerably elongate your truck, and I am wondering about it getting in the way when the trailer is in tow.
    "Do you know what a soldier is, young man? He's the chap who makes it possible for civilized folk to despise war." -Allan Massie

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