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help me design tilt-cab sub-frame on my 39 COE

Discussion in 'The Antiquated' started by oldschoolantiqueauto, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Seasons Greetings all;

    I would love to start/get envolved in a discussion on designing & building a tilt cab setup for old COE trucks. Has any one done it lately & if you have, please give some info on how you did it & what was your end results.
    I have a 1939 STUBBED TOE. 1939 Chevy 1 ton COE with tow bed on back. My cab is on rollers in my shop at this time. I have a 1980 1 ton P30 frame for it with dully front spindles. So far I just added air bags to the front suspension, so far so good. Last weekend I brought home a rear-end with 355 gears. Next step is to set the rear-end under the P30 frame with airbags. Once I get that accomplished, I think my next step should be to get my cab set on the frame. I want my cab to tilt forward & I think I have ideas that will work, but it is time to get some pointers so as to get me started in the right direction... Can I get some ideas. My method of building something is to K.I.S.S it. Keep it simple stupid, that is my method & probably the only one that works for me.
     
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  2. Blaaze
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 15

    Blaaze
    Member

    Oldschool, I bought my coe as a project started by someone else. He had the cab bolted to a subframe that tilted on a motor home chassis. I went to a half ton chassis but still used the subframe. I was not able to get the steering engineered to work as the steering box was too far away from the pivot point of the subframe, so the KISS principle was used. I bolted the subframe solid to the truck chassis and will have to tip the seats ahead to check the oil etc. Even with this concession I'm 3 years into a six month build!
     
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  3. Blaaze; I drove COE semi trucks for many years, I remember some of the older ones. The steering Column went through the floor & stopped. There was a swivel joint at that spot under the cab. Than there was a two piece shaft under the cab, one part inside the other with swivel joints at both ends. The shaft slid in & out. One end hooked to the column, & the other end went to the steering box. So when the cab was tilting & changing angles the steering shaft would follow & stretch as needed to keep up with the cab. I guess it would depend on how close your steering box is to your column to determine if there is enough distance for any length if a two piece shaft? My cab is not on my frame yet, but I was planning to set it as close as possible. Possibly a 4" sub frame right above the frame & cab floor will sit on sub frame at that point. Which would be keeping the end of the column pretty close to the steering box? But I have no measurements to tell what I will have as yet? I am sure we could come up with something that works is we could keep the idea going...
     
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  4. kscarguy
    Joined: Aug 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,584

    kscarguy
    Member

    If I recall, this COE out of Leavenworth Kansas had a tilt cab setup. Anyone know who owns it?
     

    Attached Files:


  5. Blaaze
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 15

    Blaaze
    Member

    Oldschool, I actually have the shafts and steering joints you are speaking about. They came with the project but with the pickup frame there is no room to configure that system. It may have worked with the p-30 chassis steering but my steering box is too close to the steering column.

    kscarguy, I have seen the mag atricle of the truck you've shown in post 41 but it did not show or give any info on the tilt.
     
  6. Blazz; I think I was mistaken of the truck, it has been a while. I had all his photos & his name, but I some how deleted it all. I don't totally know my way around in this site. I'm getting better, but still a bit confused how to keep up with the topics & post I get into or start. I have three sites I watch also. Between the three web sites & there different setup's, I stay confused most of the time... But what this guy was doing with his sub frame design is still stuck in my head & will stay there unless I come up with something better???
     
  7. Blazz; I expect that I will need to start with raw metal & build the sub frame as I think it will work. I probably need to find a few junkyard COE's & check out there hinge setup's & maybe even bring parts home to make my job easier. I have been all over the internet, you tube & a few car builder web sites trying to find other builders for there knowledge & photos, but with no luck so far. In the past I had found a couple photos of COE's of the era that were tilt cab's, but never been able to find some one to contact & ask questions. I know there must be plenty of COE builders that have built there trucks with a tilt cab. It seems to me that it don't get any better for a COE than tilt cab.
    So were are they hiding...
     
  8. Gamedic
    Joined: Nov 27, 2012
    Posts: 3

    Gamedic
    Member

    There is a coe I have seen on the Internet that has a tilt cab. The chassis is an Isuzu and the builder cut the entire floor out of the Isuzu cab and welded into his coe. I can't remember if it was a Ford or Chevy. I saw plenty of pictures of the cab tilted on it, but none of the bottom side of it. I don't know if the builder was a member of this forum or not, but someone on here was trying to sell it for him.
     
  9. kennkat
    Joined: Aug 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,383

    kennkat
    Member

    I suggest you tilt the cab on a mid 90's IHC "Class 8" Truck and have a look see... Note the general idea and placement of the pivot and lifting points... Nice and simple system, in my opinion.
     
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  10. Gamedic
    Joined: Nov 27, 2012
    Posts: 3

    Gamedic
    Member

    There are lots of pictures on the coe picture thread of those tilt cab White 3000 coe trucks. Maybe someone has some pictures of the cab tilt mechanism.
     
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  11. 53 COE
    Joined: Oct 8, 2011
    Posts: 688

    53 COE
    Member
    from PNW

    Exactly - why re-invent the wheel - use an existing mechanism from a tilt cab or the whole floor as mentioned.

    With mine I grafted the front half of the COE frame to the back half of a '73 Chev heavy half. The front suspension unbolted from the '73 frame and bolted/welded to the COE front. This kept all the COE super structure for the cab.

    A tilt cab would certainly be nice for access. I just had the grill, radiator and hood off to change out the timing chain. From above there are 3 removable floor boards stock. Access is pretty good really with basically the whole front half of the floor removed. And considering I have a Cadillac 472 under the floor in place of the 6 banger....

    ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  12. I was reading just the other day that 1 ton tilt cab's got popular back in the 60's. Right after Christmas I will start calling around to the wrecking yards to see if I can find any tilt cab frames in my area. I am really surprised that there are not a lot of custom builders showing up with tilt cabs...
     
  13. finding a strong supported floor already setup with hinged mounts would be the way to go if it is possible. I know I don't want to invent something if there is already parts available. I will look for some newer COE's & see if any of there parts will work for me. My cab is 1939 Chevy & I have a P30 frame I am working with. i am keeping the 1 ton suspension & adding air ride in place of springs. My goal is to have my running boards as low to the ground as possible. I know most COE's have the cab high above the frame to avoid having a huge dog house in the floor. But if There is room for a dog house & I can tilt the cab, than a dog house won't be so bad. I just want to avoid hanging over the floor in a narrow doorway, all stretch out working in the engine compartment. My first thread will explain why I just can't do it, physically. Climbing up the steps will be difficult enough for me.
    So, bottom line is, I need to research factory made tilt cab trucks.
    I am still hopping to find more home made tilt cabs also.
     
  14. What about a slide out cab ? If you had the clearence it would be different.Anything is possible.
     
  15. 1949 White 3000

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Are you looking for air ride on the cab too?

    I used to work on big trucks, and wrenched on quite a few COE's back in the 80's. They all used hydraulic cyinders to do the tilting (with a safety catch in case of hyd. failure!!). The subframe under the cab was never that beefy, I think 4" would be overkill. Likely some 2"x2" would give you plenty of structure and get your running boards 2" closer to the dirt!!

    There are a lot of newer small COE trucks around like Hino, Isuzu, etc. There should be a bunch of them in the boneyards now.

    Looking forward to watch this project.

    Bill
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  17. LOL, Slide out, It takes more than just clearance to do that. Unless I was building a Monster truck. Now there cab's sits high enough over the drive train to do something like that. But if the cab was that high, there would be no reason to move it, LOL, & I don't want any more clearance then necessary.
     
  18. Ha billandlori; You got the right idea. Yea, I drove Freightliner COE's for most of 28 years. That's how I got the concept that it should work on my little COE. I was thinking I could build my own sub frame out of 2"x4" tube steel. C notch it over the axle were my frame hump's up a little. My cab has a 2" C channel steel sub frame under it now,"original" mounted to my cab floor on springs & pad's. The sub frame follows the truck frame directly above it, but on stilts about 8" tall. So if I sat the sub frame flat above my truck frame right now "with no stilts", my running boards would be 1" off the ground. I already have the front air bags in front suspension to test measurements.
    I saw a photo months ago were some one built his sub frame for tilt cab & he set motor mounts under his hinges, & in the rear he had air bags under the cab latch brackets. It looked very sweet. But his project was on hold till next summer & I lost his email along with a lot of saved emails & web sites I had stored in my putter. My biggest concern will be if my steering column will be to close to the steering box to leave room for a sliding shaft & two swivel joints? Also, my steering box is on the outside of the frame & steering column goes through floor inside the frame rails. Swivel joints will help that problem if there is enough distance between column & box & if the sub frame will be in the way for the shaft to cross over. (Steering will be my biggest concern).
    As for the hydraulic rams, the big COE's had long rams that bolted to the sub frame close to the nose. They were long & took up a lot of space. I'm not sure I have much room? So I have a new set of short stocky ones off a Caterpillar implement that should work? I really need to find a few different COE's in wrecking yards to check out there design. I really have expected to find a few other builders that have done tilt cab's. It would be good to find problems other's have had & solved, so as to avoid a few my self...
     
  19. phat rat
    Joined: Mar 18, 2001
    Posts: 4,524

    phat rat
    Member


    A way to get around where the column comes out is to shorten the column so that it ends in the cab. Then you have the first u-joint in the cab. I don't have any other pictures than this to show. I did this to a COE I had back in the late 90's
     

    Attached Files:

  20. 53 coe; Was there a reason why you didn't go through with tilting your cab if the front was already set up for it.? I'm sure your reason for the COE front clip was for the steering box location? Plus better suspension? That's why I did it. I'm using a P30 frame. My frame is off a 1 ton 1980 GMC step van. (potato chip van). The nose on the van is same length as our stub noses. I think it is easier to use the whole frame & front suspension off a newer COE or stub nose van, than to graft a front clip to the older frame. The P30 frame rails are identical measurements as a 1939 Chevy 1 ton frame rail. Chevy frame rails for 1 ton & bigger, are the same, way back from the 30's, to present day's. 34" across. The P30 gave me independent front suspension with disc brakes. Using a stub nose step van frame also gave me a power brake with hydraulic booster that mounts side ways flat to the firewall with attached swinging peddle. Every thing I need, made for a stub nose truck. Steering column is also made to stop just below cabs floor with two swivel joints & extension rod to reach the steering box. If I can keep my sub frame out the way of the steering rod, all I need to do is replace the rod for an extendable rod, (I think) LOL??? I know it all sounds good on paper, but till I have a sub frame in place, I have no idea what will get in the way. Your cab is also high up on stilts above the frame to avoid having a dog house. I plan on setting my cab as close to the frame as to get my cab as close to the ground as possible. AirRide suspension also, to get my running boards right on the ground. I probably will be moving my motor back a foot or so to drop lower in the frame to avoid a huge dog house, but I probably will still will have a shorter doghouse between bucket seats.
    Shorty is a real nice truck with a good history. I liked reading MR SHORTY's story. It must feel real good having it back. But that style is not for me, I get nose bleeds sitting so high up.
     
  21. 53 COE
    Joined: Oct 8, 2011
    Posts: 688

    53 COE
    Member
    from PNW

    Yep - MR SHORTY is in the clouds. I look down on lifted newer trucks - now that is fun. ;)


    [​IMG]



    The '53 era cabs are not tilt - here's a couple scans of some of many photos I still have from the early '90's build. Showing the '73 heavy half rear frame being grafted on. And the '73 front suspension attached to the orignal COE frame.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  22. Thank you for the photos, photos speak louder than words. I printed them.
    Looking at the first photo, your frame was modified for the steering box. Other than that everything looks just like my suspension. So my box is just a little more to the left on my frame. Or to the right in the photo. So if the shaft also swivels in side the cab, you must have a boot, like a floor sifter boot inside to keep the draft out? I wish you had a few photos of your whole tilt design.
    Were is your sub frame located under your body, & were does it hinge, down at the frame? Also, what did you use in the rear for it to sit on & latch to? Did you use a ready made system or design your tilt system? I probably have to many questions for you since you are the first response that has done a tilt cab so far.
     
  23. I will need to cut my frame behind the cab & take a section out. The P30 frame is aprox. 192" wheel base, my stub nose tow truck is 108".It's a shorty also. I call it my stubbed toe.
     
  24. phat rat
    Joined: Mar 18, 2001
    Posts: 4,524

    phat rat
    Member

    Sorry I can't help with the tilt cab set-up. Mine wasn't tilt and I had a 40" semi sleeper behind the cab with a 500" Cad beneath it.. The steering box was off a Chev van. By inletting the frame the way I did all steering componets were stock. I tilted the box as much as possible yet still able to use the stock idler. I used crush tubes where I inletted it. I had the floor of the cab just off the frame in the front. I had it low enough to go through a 7' garage door. Good luck getting it low with the motor under the cab and still having foot room.
     
  25. O darn, you got me excited, LOL. I was hoping you had done a tilt cab. But your steering swivel in side the cab does sound like a good plan if I need to go that rout. I have already decided that I will be moving the motor back far enough to clear the front suspension so I can lower the motor in the frame as much as possible to help save floor space. I am also looking at a diesel 4 cylinder motor which may help to lower it between the frame rails? I already have the front air bags installed, & with air dumped, if my cab is only 4" above the frame, my running boards are now 1" off the ground. That's with no motor/trans/cab weight on the frame. So I may be able to bring the cab up a bit, which will also help save floor space. It is all just guessing at the moment. I needed a rear end & just brought the one home I wanted. Weather won't let me install the rear suspension as yet. But once the rear is on tires with air bags, it will be time to build the tilt sub frame. So I felt it was time to get this thread started. This is my first time building a truck/car from scratch & I felt I need some ideas now.
    I saw your 40 Ford, has that car ever been in Oregon? It looks like one I saw 9 years ago, locally?
     
  26. phat rat
    Joined: Mar 18, 2001
    Posts: 4,524

    phat rat
    Member

    My cpe is a 41. It's been west, northern and southern Ca. Nev. and points in between here and there but never in Oregon. A friend and I built it so I know for sure it's never been there
     
  27. Gallie Prinsloo
    Joined: Aug 21, 2016
    Posts: 2

    Gallie Prinsloo

    Greeting. This is my first post. I am going the same route you did. How did your COE turn out? I have a 38 Ford COE on an Iveco chassis. Sub fram made an cab will bolt onto that. 350chevy with 400 gearbox.
     
  28. My truck is a big one off project that has been going on for a few years now. Right now my cab is off once more, more body work getting done. Here are photos of the P30 frame, with the 1989 corvette motor & trans. It's air bagged, 4 bags in the rear.

    With the motor still under the cab, My running boards are 2" off the ground & I still have the original floor.
    Do you have your steering column in? I'm still looking for the right column & shaft that will work with the cab tilting. Also, have you installed your master cylinder & brake peddle?
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
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  29. stingbean
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 206

    stingbean
    Member

    How did you get the hubcap to work on the Duallie Rim? I would like to try something like that on my 1937 1.5 ton project. Thanks.
    [​IMG]
     
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