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The phone rang... and then the next car adventure starts


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"I find the non skid tires comical. " compared to the balloon tires of the period were probably effective in rain and even more-so in mud/snow. Few streets were paved in those days and being "stuck in the mud" was a common event.

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14 minutes ago, padgett said:

"I find the non skid tires comical. " compared to the balloon tires of the period were probably effective in rain and even more-so in mud/snow. Few streets were paved in those days and being "stuck in the mud" was a common event.

How can a tire (ex. balloon of period) that has just concentric rings for a tread pattern channel water ?  That is why you hear me complaining so much about the tread pattern of Lester tires being squirrel-ly in the rain on the 1931 Cadillacs we had with them.  While most tires of period really have no tread pattern to write home about - have not founfd one yet ;), the non-skids actually should achieve channeling (probably needed more non-skid wording though as still not a lot of surface area :) ). 

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5 minutes ago, Billy Kingsley said:

If you're going to have to fabricate extra lights anyway, please make them blink somehow. This car seems irreplaceable, I would want other drivers to be aware of what direction it's turning as much as possible.

 

Yeah, make some party lights!

 

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Upon opening them up he informed me......”never seen anything like them!” He complemented the style and design.......and had no clue as to who manufactured them. He did offer help with the lenses. So, like the water pump shaft, the lights are a one off application that isn’t known by the experts.

 

The link that you posted from coachbuilt.com suggests that for 1917 these lamps were a "hemispherical design" specially designed by Rubay, yes?

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3 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

 

I wonder if any of the White trucks with electric lights in this same era used these lights? 1918 was still very early for commercial vehicles to have electric lights.

But they were an available option with most of the leading truck makers like White , Mack , Autocar and Packard.

 

Greg

The lamps were specially designed by Rubay for that car according to the article posted unless I am interpreting it incorrectly?

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Leon Rubay designed car coachwork not lamps, he would have gone to a supplier and looked at what was available ( lots of suppliers in that era , more then one could believe) and he would have possibly suggested to White what lamps he would have liked to have seen on the coachwork he designed and built that complimented the rest of the car styling ( fenders, hood, etc) I know of no coach builder/body builder that also designed lamps for the cars their work would be on in the USA or Europe. I am sure the lamp suppliers worked very closely with the car manufacturers to not only make the car look good but also to get substantial orders for the lights! The manufacturers of car trunks for trunk racks at the rear of a car or running boards were also of the same nature/idea. 

I just was given a car trunk ca. 1930 made by Kaylee of Wisconsin, it also has a Packard tag on it meaning that it should fit a Packard car specifically and would have been in the Packard accessory catalog. This was the kind of orders component manufacturers counted on for guaranteed income, be they designers/builders of lamps, tail lights, trunks, cowl lights, wheels , door handles etc etc.

I am not an expert on this , just trying to put it in perspective economically . We now view the cars as - in a sense - art objects, the manufacturers saw them as a commodity they wanted to sell.

WG

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10 minutes ago, Walt G said:

Leon Rubay designed car coachwork not lamps, he would have gone to a supplier and looked at what was available ( lots of suppliers in that era , more then one could believe) and he would have possibly suggested to White what lamps he would have liked to have seen on the coachwork he designed and built that complimented the rest of the car styling ( fenders, hood, etc) I know of no coach builder/body builder that also designed lamps for the cars their work would be on in the USA or Europe. I am sure the lamp suppliers worked very closely with the car manufacturers to not only make the car look good but also to get substantial orders for the lights! The manufacturers of car trunks for trunk racks at the rear of a car or running boards were also of the same nature/idea. 

I just was given a car trunk ca. 1930 made by Kaylee of Wisconsin, it also has a Packard tag on it meaning that it should fit a Packard car specifically and would have been in the Packard accessory catalog. This was the kind of orders component manufacturers counted on for guaranteed income, be they designers/builders of lamps, tail lights, trunks, cowl lights, wheels , door handles etc etc.

I am not an expert on this , just trying to put it in perspective economically . We now view the cars as - in a sense - art objects, the manufacturers saw them as a commodity they wanted to sell.

WG

" His 1917 White touring car bodies featured cowls that flowed into the doors and rear seatbacks that were integrated into the lines of the body, a featured that years later became known as a dual cowl. The Whites featured built-in ventilators and included unusual hemispherical headlights that were also designed by Rubay."

-Yes, I agree that sounds pretty silly but please take note of what coachbuillt.com piece is stating.

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The Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office Volume 222 displays image 48,396:  "The ornamental design for an automobile headlight".

It pictures a dead ringer to the lamps on the car being discussed here. Over the image it reads "Automobile-Headlight. Leon Rubay Cleveland, Ohio assignor to the White Company, Cleveland Ohio and corporation of Ohio. Filed Sept 4. 1915. Serial N0. 49,124." They crammed it right in between images for an ornamental design for a rug and a "talking machine case"!

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Md murray....yes, that is my understanding. Since there are only two cars left with these lights, it’s understandable why he is not familiar with them.

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For Rubay to have special built lights is unheard of......the car supply companies were set up to make multiple lines for different manufacturers. Often times they would design thirty or forty different style items per year, and only a dozen would be chosen for production. Interior hardware as a great example............each year Turndset made about 75 proposed styles of hardware.......and made about thirty different sets in the end.

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UPDATE:

 

Lots of progress last night. Oil pan is back on. Air compressor is repaired, restored, and back on. Exhaust cut out was removed......and at 103 years old, it came apart without any problems.........no heat required. It needs a new spring which will be sourced tomorrow. Fuel line progress. Evapo Rust treatment on the block will end tomorrow. Transmission was flushed three times, and the rear end was also done three times. Clutch linkage sorted, as well as the compression release......but still more to go on the compression linkage.....it’s as complicated as the water pump shaft. Magneto will install tomorrow morning......I could actually run the car tomorrow without the water pump, but I will wait till we get it back and installed. Battery cables serviced and repaired. Brake and brake linkages lubricated. Both Phil and a I suffered smashed skulls several times today.......both of us were bleeding. One hit dropped me to my knees seeing stars and planting my ass on the floor for fifteen minutes. Such is the way when your helper is 18 inches shorter than you are..........my head is still pounding after a few Crown Royals. We are definitely making huge progress considering the time frame..........we are trying to resist jumping ahead and starting the engine before the car is really ready.......I know I am! We are not going to install the engine splash pans until we steam clean the engine and chassis..........need to figure out a battery set up. I will probably run dual 12 volt gell cell units from a tractor or motorcycle...........also have to figure out a battery cut off. Will start flushing the radiator tomorrow. More interior clean up is needed on door panels.........it’s slow, dirty, and difficult work. Oil pan looks fantastic when viewed from under the car. Looking at the pan, you can tell the machine is no ordinary piece of equipment. Best guess as to first start is Thursday or Friday of next week. Things will accelerate quickly as we are planning ahead as much as possible cleaning and sourcing everything we may possibly need...........I’m feeling the need........the need for speed! 

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MORE:

 

Been working on additional lights for the car to drive at night..........and additional tail lights instead of just a single marker light in the rear. I think I have found a set of headlights from 1922 that I can fabricate brackets to attach to the round front accessory bumper. If the plan works out, they will look period correct, and have halogen or LED bulbs. The car is positive ground, but nothing on the car cares except the amperage guage......so I may just run a negative ground to make bulb replacement easier on the modern replacement bulbs......so we just will have to swap the poles on the guage and be good to go. I will need to fabricate a brake light switch.......probably something off a motorcycle to active the new two extra rear lights.......but first I have to find what I want to use. They will attach to the rear spare carrier and pop on and off quickly and easily. I want the front and back extra lights to go one and off in less than two minutes at each end........will have to hide modern quick connect plugs to make this all work. 

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More things and stuff.......

 

 

So, I was told the car was missing the clock, and then I thought it didn’t ever have one. Well, that was incorrect. The clock and part of the dash dash trim are definitely missing. It was hard to tell, but addition information has showed we are missing it. I won’t make it a priority, but will add it to the to do list. Will need to get a small tool kit to go in the tool storage compartment behind the passenger seat. Also need to get a jack and handle for the car. Anyone have any ideas what I need? We are going to fabricate a air hose with built in guage that resembles what they used in the era. Also need to make a top boot as soon as possible to protect the top during test rides..........I also located 4 NOS spark plugs for the car in addition to the four 80 year old plugs that are currently in it. I also need to figure out making a new gas guage......the old one is in hand......but no part of it is serviceable.........so we will end up making it ourselves. Making a windshield template to cut the glass we need will be on the list next week also.

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Ok.......another update...........

 

Things are going back together well..........planning ahead pays off days and weeks later. We have had some good news, and some bad news. We are now changing our plan to adapt to the new challenges.

 

The bad news: We have been cleaning the gas tank for a week. We used hot water and Dawn to break down the varnish. We did the treatment three times, left the tank in the hot Florida summer sun in my pick up bed that has a black liner in it. The tank gets to about 125 degrees inside with the water and soap. I drove it all around the neighborhood with speed bumps to shake it up well. After the three treatments, we flushed the tank with hot water and then drained it. I put my two proctologist’s lights inside to see what we have.......AND IT AIN’T GOOD! Huge pieces of flaked rust.......not sure the tank will survive in its current form. It’s going to need some or total skinning. I don’t trust anyone in Florida to fix it......so now it’s check on options and shipping to someone who I trust to fix it. It’s going to take a while to solve this one. I will probably order a fuel call and install it for now. I don’t expect to solve this one for weeks or months......but it won’t stop the car from running or driving. It’s not my first rodeo............time to adjust the plan. 
 

The good news: I started flushing the radiator with hot water only..........it looked very clean to begin with. I got the water temperature up to 170 in the pale, and began pumping. NO LEAKS! Let the pump and heater do it’s thing for an overnight push. Still no leaks........but very interesting development........the block is huge, and takes seven gallons of fluid to flush, and the heater would hold it at 175 degrees in an 74 degree air conditioned building. The radiator takes five gallons, and it is so efficient at shedding heat.......I can’t get the temp up over 121 degrees with the pump running. Interesting way to prove the radiator is working well without any airflow over the tubes. Tonight I will evapo rust the radiator because I have it in hand......don’t think it need it, but no shortcuts on this job. 
 

oil float and glass are back in the oil pan, I installed the rebuilt starter and hooked up the battery cables. Interestingly both battery cables run to the starter........never seen anything like it. The mechanical linkage to start the car is now free and moving good. There is NO solenoid for the starter..........the switch is mechanical fingers that are huge........and contact when you press the lever. I still have more electrical things to investigate and figure out. We will make an adjustment due to the fuel tank........We will not run or install the generator or shaft for now, and the vacuum tank will also not go in.......we will need to run a temporary fuel system with an electric pump.....not my first choice, but with no gas tank, adjustments must be made. 
 

By leaving out thr generator, it will be easier to steam clean the engine without damaging it and the other accessories. The battery only powers the starter.....as the magneto doesn’t use any power..........so we will just charge the battery every few days until we can correctly install a factory duplicated fuel delivery system from gas cap to carburetor. 
 

Rear tail light below with spare tire carrier.

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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More:

 

Thr water pump will be temporarily installed by Thursday..........and while the temporary fix will last years........we won’t leave it in a half assed condition. The car will run Friday in the late afternoon. Unfortunately my trusty side kick Phil with hands like “George the animal Steel” won’t be here for the first start up.......he has family business up north for ten days.

 

Still have to deal with four tires with new tubes. The fuel system was going to be a biggest challenge.....and now with the additional issues, it will be months until we get the car back to factory correct and “perfect”. 
 

Windshield glass is going to be the next big project. I will have to take the windshield off to get the glass made. Thus, I will have to put the top down, which scares me......but there is no choice. Not sure how good the video will be, but rest assured it will,all be captured on video.

 

Need to figure out if the moto meter works.....and a bunch of other stuff.......but in reality we are coming to the end of the “Wake Up” service. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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A few kind words about a new service provider I used:

 

 

For the first time ever in 45 years of working on cars, I decided I needed some help with a magneto....and found Rudy on Youtube............he's a great guy. Did exactly what I asked him to do. And he did it all very quickly with great communication. I recommend him 100 percent. He does this service full time, and had over 100 rebuilds in front of me. He offered a quick turn around service when needed for an extra 50 bucks. I happily paid it. Check out his web page. Also, my car had a replacement mag in it......and its the one I chose to run as it is the most reliable unit available then or now. I did want a correct origional for the shelf for shows......he had a good core unit in stock........which I also purchased, and now don't have to chase anything. 👍

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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That tail light looks like a unique item as well. Possibly even more  " one of a kind " than your headlights. When old cars were junked people tended to hand on to things like dash clocks, magneto's and headlights. But few bothered to save tailights.

 

Greg

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I bought a set of era correct headlights to put on the front of the car that will attach with the front plate bracket........a quick on and off set up that will have halogen bulbs......now working in the extra two rear lights......I will probably use two right hand side Model T lights as I can get them new and in all black with 12 volt bulbs..........and they will mount easy. Total cost for two new tail lights......80 bucks.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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If Ed will pardon a minor digression?

 

13 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

But few bothered to save tailights.

 

Except for the "Ford-0" tail-lamp. It was the lousy tail light Ford provided on the no starter or generator "loss leader" cars in 1925/'26/'27. Though rarely properly restored or seen today, the CHEAP Fords were fairly popular and common through the end of production. Original era photos of them are not hard to find if one looks at lots of era photos of model Ts. The background on them is that several (political manipulations are not only recent developments!) states wanted Ford to use a different type of tail-lamp. They lacked the authority to require Ford (as an interstate commerce company) to make the change. So they simply rewrote local equipment requirements so that Ford's long-used oil tail-lamp was technically not legal on new automobiles. Well, all this did was make Henry angry! Ford was already making plans to do away with the old oil lamps in a few years, and he could have sped up that design change, but he did NOT like meddling little bureaucrat types telling him what to do. So a very careful reading (legend says Henry, but probably by a trusted advisor?) of the badly written laws found a simple modification of the old oil lamp would actually comply with the rules. So the old lamp with the large and easy to see red lens looking rear, and the small clear lens looking to the side to adequately "light" the license plate, was twisted around with a small red lens that could hardly be seen in the dark (popular on many marques, so that was of course kept legal!), and a big clear lens that lit up half the back of the car! (Of course, lighting up a black car on a dark night?)  The change was very easy to make for the lamp manufacturers (Ford did not manufacture their own oil lamps, and not many of any lights in the model T era). All of the lamp suppliers that sold to Ford also manufactured lamps for other marques as well as the after-market buyers. They even used many of the same dies, jigs, and bucks to make them. They were already making twisted after-market versions of Ford's oil lamps for other markets including TT commercial use, with different lenses, and/or mounting bolts or brackets (I have an incomplete but good pair of those odd lamps)

The bad design actually complied with the goofy rule changes enacted by a few states (apparently, they all copied one another?). However, people hated them!  Although relatively few (hundreds of thousands out of a few million Fords) those years were so equipped, the tail lamps are quite common today! It would appear that a lot of people that bought the "cheap" Ford, would replace the lamps soon after the purchase. After-market electric (and even oil) tail-lamps can be seen in some era photos, which sort of goes against the whole "buying the cheapest one I can" idea. What is also interesting, and seems to confirm the idea that the lamp was so bad that people felt compelled to change them? Is how often era photos have been seen with 1926/'27 non-electric (no starter generator or battery) model Ts (ALL of which got the "new" 'Ford-0' tail-lamp) can be seen with the newer car with earlier style oil tail-lamps (which they would have never gotten from the Ford factory).

 I have one of those Ford-0 tail-lamps on the shelf. Like so many others I have seen, it appears to be nearly new-old-stock. It is probably an "early-take-off", with some shelf wear and scratches, but otherwise in nearly new condition. I have seen many of them had by other people I have known over the years, and most of them were in the same condition. At one swap meet about twenty years ago, I suddenly realized I had seen a few of them, and quickly counted seven nice Ford-0 tail-lamps at different booths of only two isles. So there are a lot of them around, and they rarely sell for much in forums where the buyer likely knows about them. If one wants much money for one, put it on eBad and hope for a fool.

Thousands of people must have kept those stupid things!

 

Back to Ed's wonderful project!

Edited by wayne sheldon
I hate leaving typos! (see edit history)
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11 hours ago, edinmass said:

I installed the rebuilt starter and hooked up the battery cables. Interestingly both battery cables run to the starter.

My 1914 Premier has both battery cables going to the starter. It's a Remy system. I hadn't seen that before either.

Great post. Love your car and the "project"

Ken

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I just completed a similar car adventure to Ed's...1987 miles in 2 1/2 days to deliver my aluminum rollback wrecker body to it's new owner, and then on to pick up my latest project...a 1919 Cole Aero 8 roadster...completely disassembled, including the engine.  It took 7 hrs to load the majority of it in 24 large plastic bins and get everything loaded, and tied down.  The only setback - a blown left front trailer tire at 75 mph.  Small pieces of the steel belt embedded in the tread of the rear tire, but it held for the remaining 4 hour drive home at a reduced speed.  I was carrying 3 spares so in 15 min I was back on the road.  I won't add anymore to keep from hijacking Ed's thread.

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George......no worries about hijacking the thread......but you need to start your own.......probably in the restoration and projects section. I started in the general area..........maybe I should have put it in the projects section. I think I will be driving the White a few weeks sooner than you will be driving your new Cole. Looks very nice, and I'm glad some people are still willing to save, finish, and drive early cars. Best, Ed

 

PS- Just looking at the trailer and all the totes makes my back ache while thinking of driving all those miles!

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Ok........so, a little bit more to the White recovery story.

 

As previously stated, my trail hitch on my 3500 GMC was found to have two bad welds just as I was leaving to go get the car. I bought a new Class III hitch, and installed it. I ended up starting almost a day late. Hauled the trailer up north and met the local caretaker of the property where the car was stored. It was VERY rural along the Blue Ridge, and GPS wouldn't get you to the half mile long driveway.....according to the seller. He was CORRECT! Turns out three people got stuck trying to drive up the 7-9 percent grade to get to the car barn, and had to be towed up with the tractor. My rig is over 60 feet bumper to bumper and 102 inches wide. The approach to the driveway was tight, and as one pulled in it became narrow, with gullies on both sides cut from water flowing. The driveway was cut into the mountainside. The second gate was located at a spot of about an 9 degree incline, and I had less than two inches on either side to make it through.......while in four wheel drive and NOT stopping so I didn't get stuck. It was the most challanging driveway I have ever encountered.....and I thought I had seen it all. Fortunatly near the barn, there was enough room to make a three point turn and back up to the door of the building. Loading went fast and easy. I had just installed a new 12,000 winch with remote control.......it was fantastic, and much better than the emergency small unit I have in the trailer. Coming down the driveway was just as interesting, as at the bottom you had to just keep going. Fortunately we had someone holding traffic both times at the foot of the hill. After about three miles on the road a car pulled out in front of me and I almost lost the entire rig........it was pure insanity....I was lucky no to be dead. I was almost totally out of control, but managed to grab the electronic brake control and max it out....which got the truck and trailer straight again just before a jack knife along a steep ravine.......remember, it's the Blue Ridge. After I settled down, the rest of the trip to see the other cars and return home was rather uneventful. About five hours from home....the rig felt funny when trucks passed me........but I didn't think too much of it. So, after I installed the Class III hitch, I ordered a Class V as I only use the best for towing. The intent was to use the Class III one time, and then replace it and sell it. At the yard when we got home, I found the new hitch had broken the welds........another POS product. The class V hitch weighs three times as much as the class III. So, even though I was under the total load rating of the III it still failed. Thats why you MUST always buy nothing but the best tow equipment.....or it may cost you your life. Now I'm paranoid and will have to look at the hitch every time I stop for the rest of my life..........here are photos of the driveway, barn, and the hitch.

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26 minutes ago, edinmass said:

George......no worries about hijacking the thread......but you need to start your own.......probably in the restoration and projects section. I started in the general area..........maybe I should have put it in the projects section. I think I will be driving the White a few weeks sooner than you will be driving your new Cole. Looks very nice, and I'm glad some people are still willing to save, finish, and drive early cars. Best, Ed

 

PS- Just looking at the trailer and all the totes makes my back ache while thinking of driving all those miles!

 

Ed, no doubt my latest project will take much, much longer than yours...especially since there are some parts missing.  And yes, some of the totes are heavy.  At least some of them are only half-full because of the weight.

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3 hours ago, edinmass said:

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That's broken.  And, think of all the expensive stuff.   

 

Did I ever tell you the story of the driver loosing the trailer on the way home from Fran Roxas' shop after dropping off the Duesenberg J555 ... - bridge - ravine - lots of parts down there. 

 

 

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Ed, with the way that hitch broke, I would carefully examine the mounting area on your frame when you bolt up the new hitch.

The way the hitch is pulled it almost looks like the frame goes up slightly and it may put unneeded stress on those welds.

Or it could just be that the weight of the trailer pulled the arm down.

 

Either way, that is scary stuff.

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5 hours ago, edinmass said:

Now I'm paranoid and will have to look at the hitch every time I stop for the rest of my life.

Ed, if you would go to a gooseneck set up you could stop worrying. You wouldn't have to use an equalizer which puts leveraged stress on your set up and equalizes the load over the entire frame.  If you had a 22-24 ft trailer it would be different.  Just my opinion after your near misses with faulty hitches.  Even with a class V hitch your frame attachments are suspect

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Was that a " name brand " hitch ? I see the label but it is not one I am familiar with.  Mind you apart from Reese I am not very up on hitches. 

So much offshore junk out there these days! Just a general observation , I am not implying you cheaped out on your new hitch.

 

Greg

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10 minutes ago, Robert G. Smits said:

Ed, if you would go to a gooseneck set up you could stop worrying. You wouldn't have to use an equalizer which puts leveraged stress on your set up and equalizes the load over the entire frame.  If you had a 22-24 ft trailer it would be different.  Just my opinion after your near misses with faulty hitches.  Even with a class V hitch your frame attachments are suspect


I knew when I installed it that it was too light for a permanent hitch.........it’s American made. Reese and Draw Tite keep changing hands, due to liability..........it seems there are only two companies that make them today. The new one will NOT fail, and we strengthened the trucks frame when we installed it. Fifth wheels are great, but a pain also.........I have a 48 footer now, and am looking at another.

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Ed, I have to agree with Bob about a gooseneck. I’ve put over 200,000 miles hauling horses all over this country and parts of Canada using both a tag along and a gooseneck . A gooseneck was much easier to backup, haul over mountains and overall trails the truck much better. The longer the trailer the better with the gooseneck. 
Sorry for interrupting your great thread. All that is important is you are safe and you will still keep posting info about the “Great White” !!!

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  • gwells changed the title to The phone rang... and then the next car adventure starts

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