Part 23: Muffler, 4th mount, and VIDEOS!


Knuckle boom crane installation onto a 1951 Int’l truck

I was pretty excited from the last test in November of 2013 that the hydraulics were finally working.  December we were back, but the weather was cold and I didn’t feel like getting it out of the shop.  I did start it up again, and the I realized that one of the things I needed was a muffler added to the straight pipe system that I put together back in Part 18, June 2013.  I did get the muffler purchased that would fit into the pipes, but no time to install it.  Fast forward, and the next opportunity I had to work on it was July 2014, on our home visit from China.

The first thing I did was install the muffler.  I cut a chunk out of the flex pipe that connects the exhaust down tube from the engine over to the vertical straight pipe.  The new muffler I got slipped right it, thank goodness for the extra time I spent finding the right size of one, and then slipped on the muffler clamps and tightened it all up!!  Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera handy and neglected to take a picture of that.

The next item that was remaining was to finish the 4th mount that holds the crane down onto the frame.  I had chosen to leave this one, as it was going to require some extra work to make a spacer tube to get around the hydraulic tank sitting inside of the frame rail.  Now that the crane worked, it was time to tackle that.

I drilled the bottom plate for the holes, which are 1-1/4″ diameter in the mill, and then cut off a chunk of 3″ square tubing about 16″ long.  That would allow the bottom plate to sit below the tank.  I had to notch the flange of the hydraulic tank to allow long threaded rod to pass down between the frame and hydraulic tank, and then I could bolt it all in place.

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Then I adjusted all of the threaded rods so that I could trim off the excess and double-nutted both ends of all of them.  Cutting off 1″ threaded rod with a sawzall takes awhile, as there was 8 of them!

Here’s what it looks like with all of that complete:

mounting bolts

Before getting it out to test and take some videos, I wanted to do some maintenance on the motor that I’d been putting off.  First, the choke cable had some issues where the choke seemed to be all or nothing!  I had my brother operate the choke from inside the cab while I inspected the operation on the carburetor.  Sure enough, the choke arm was making contact on part of the carb, causing the choke cable to push really hard, and once it moved would then snap to the fully open position.  A bit of bending and adjustment and now the choke operated smoothly!  Next I removed all of the spark plugs one by one, and sandblasted them clean with my Harbor Freight sandblaster, and then re-installed them.  Most of the plugs were heavily fouled from the choke being on too much, and I think there’s some oil burning going on…. so a complete engine overhaul is probably in the future.

Once those items were complete, I popped in a battery (which I keep on a battery maintainer all the time), and the truck started up once the gas got flowing.

Then we carefully maneuvered it out of the shop to get some videos.

Here’s some pictures:

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Now time to do some test lifts to see what’s it’s capable of.  I had bought an electronic crane scale in China specifically for this purpose 2 years ago.  It was way cheaper to buy it on the tool market and bring it back than to buy an equivalent one in the US.  I paid around $200 for it… US versions were easily $500+.  The only downside is that it reads out in Kilograms only.  Not to worry, I’ll do the conversions for you guys!

Hmmm, what to lift that’s heavy?  Well, I just purchased a Dually truck and trailer, let’s try picking up the back end of the dually!

We picked up 1330 kgs worth of truck, so 2944 lbs!

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Hmmm, we need something heavier, let’s try the forklift!

The back end was only 1139 Kg or 2521 lbs, so we decided to try to lift the whole forklift next!!!!

Yup, that was much heavier!  2495 Kgs or 5500 lbs, which is the MAX weight that the crane will lift at that hook location.  It got the far side outrigger light enough to wiggle it back and forth, so we were at the limit!

Now we’re out of time, so time to fold up the boom and put it away for awhile.

Folding the boom up:

I do still have a few items left to finish on this before it’s completely done, but they’re more minor items.

1. I need to slide the flatbed forward slightly and then fully weld the mounts back solid.  Then I’ll be able to tilt the bed again.

2.  I should do a power wash cleanup, and the put some paint on the crane, that splotchy black and yellow isn’t very attractive!

3.  I want to add another extension boom onto it to expand the reach.  And start thinking about some additional attachments!

At this point its completely usable though, which may come in handy when the lathe that I just purchased shows up and needs to be lifted off the trailer.  If the forklift doesn’t have the capacity, which would be real close, then this will be the plan.

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