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Day 158: Car dolly for non-welders



Today I built a car dolly out of 4x4 lumber and 3/4 inch OSB.  It is a little taller than I expected, but it turned out OK.  A while back I asked for images of dollies and I got a bunch of nice ones but I didn't really like the stacked matchstick designs of most of the wooden ones.   I have a general contracting license as another one of my hobbies and I have scratch built a lot of stuff....like this out of pressure treated timber.   So I designed something that others have made out of square steel tubing and reionforced it with OSB.  It was a bit of a trial and error process primarily due to the height of it and a couple of angles that are unusual. 


Here is the finished product.  




It might not look that sturdy, but the little trusses and gussets make it perfectly stiff.  They add a couple of hundred pounds of lateral force resistance each.  It rolls around very easily and the posts, although the images may make it look otherwise, are perfectly vertical. (There is a 4 degree slope on the front subframe mounting rail, BTW).  Before I move this out of the garage, I will connect a couple of 2x6 boards along the bottom using lag bolts and will probably run one from the front base to the upper wooden crossmember in the back.   Oddly, it is much more comfortable to be under the car when lifted with this than it is to be under it when jacked up on my 6 ton jack stands.  That is probably because this is bolted to the car, so there is no chance the car will suddenly hop or fall off of the dolly.   


I looked everywhere for decent, locking, pnuematic wheels but Harbor Freight was out and Home Depot didn't have enough, so I settled on locking Urethane wheels rated at 350 lbs each.  My guess is that the body with glass, interior and a nearly full gas tank weighs about 900-1000 lbs.  What I didn't calculate, though, is that the rear portion of the dolly is probably taking about 60%-65% of the weight.  Once I got the wheels on (I built it without the wheels but pre-drilled so I could jack up the dolly and install them), I gave it a good shove thinking it would be hard to move and watched in shock as the car sailed straight into my workbench.  Ouch!   No damage, though, fortunately. 


The only thing I didn't think of, besides how scary high I needed to jack up the car to attach the dolly, is that the dolly is in the way of the body jack points in the rear.   So to take this down, I'll need to do it in stages and use the 2x8 attached to the differential mount points.     


And if I had to build it again, I would make it about 6 inches shorter.  Right now, the bottom of the car is about 27 inches off the ground and if I change out the wheels, it will be 2 inches higher than that.  My paint guy will need a pretty tall ladder to paint the roof and an even taller one to make sure it is correct and even.  


The goal is to have it over to soda blasting by the 2nd or 3rd week in April , depending on the weather.  SO much to do before then.   






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