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Old 11-28-2018, 03:08 PM   #1
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Removing spare tire assembly

So I am finally going to add a water tank where the spare tire goes. I have seen it done and read varying opinions on whether it is ok to remove the whole spare tire assembly and cross beam. I use the word "beam" looseley as it appears way to light of steel to be too much of a mechanical asset.

Also, does sportsmobile remove it when they add the rear under van storage option?

Thanks for any insight/opinions.
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:19 PM   #2
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John at Agile HIGHLY recommended welding in a cross member before removing the spare tire assembly. He told me they have seen lots of vans without the added cross member and that it can damage the frame.

I'm getting ready to remove my spare tire carrier and will be curious to see how your water tank install goes. I'm still debating a water tank & house battery vs. an in floor box for tools, etc. for that location.
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:22 PM   #3
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Well, i do trust John haha. I do think having an RB should help a little bit. And i plan on welding the frame to hold the water out of rather sturdy metal and then bolting it to the frame. Have to think it will be more robust than the tire carrier, that looks like a sawzall will make very quick work out of.
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:25 PM   #4
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SMB removes the entire carrier for the underfloor storage, as does UJoints underfloor box. It's only recommended to do this if you have a receiver hitch installed as this provides the needed structural stiffness for the rear portion of the frame.
I cut mine out with a sawzall and an angle grinder.
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:30 PM   #5
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That makes me feel better. Between the hitch i have and whatever I come up with to hold the tank, should be fine. I've cut off the roof and cut huge holes in the sides for windows, so this seems like the next logical thing to do!
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Old 11-28-2018, 06:14 PM   #6
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Sawzall with high quality metal and highest TPI (tooth count). Coveralls, gloves, face and ear protection. Cut off the tire carrier flush with frame leaving the rivets and the part that rests on the frame. Make sure wires are out of the way.

Re:water tank - I used a 55 gal water tank to make my storage box. It fits with modifications to the tank. Bottom of tank sits just above the bottom of the skid rails of the trailer hitch and flush against the bottom of the van floor. Lots of space!

I would not recommend a large capacity tank for water in that location. Maybe 20 gals due to weight. You could do a storage box and water tank.

If you want Ronco Tanks, let me know, I can save you some $$ and you can will call in Santa Ana.

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Old 11-28-2018, 07:27 PM   #7
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Hitch receiver serves as a replacement crossmember (Ford even sells one, except without the receiver opening). If you already have one, you're good to start hacking.

I used a plasma. Sawzall, grinder, torch, drill etc all will get the job done.
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Old 11-28-2018, 08:58 PM   #8
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Hacking it out with a Sawzall is the cheap way to do it. It's low rent, low class, just plain brutish. The gentleman's way is to do what I did. Spend about 2 days with an angle grinder, destroying 4 or 5 grinding wheels, incorporating lots of big hammers and pry bars to drive the pins out after you grind them down. Don't cheap out on the grinding wheels. I'd just play it safe and order a case of the most expensive ones you can find. You'll need the quality stuff to deal with that good ole American steel. This isn't like bolting a fart can muffler on a Kia.

Buy 2 or 3 shop jumpsuits because you'll burn holes in them with the grinder. You don't want compromised shop wear. It's truly uncool. I would order Arc'teryx snowsuits from REI or maybe the equivalent from Patagonia. No one wants cold nads during such an endeavor. Also, a few pairs of quality glasses, presciption if your feeble eyes demand it. I recommend Oakleys. Just a couple hundred per pair and a week or three to get them.

Also, build a building and put a 15k lift in it with about 15' overhead so you can get high enough to do the job properly. Make sure you insulate the building. I would build it out of brick. Wind blows those metal crackerboxes around like a windsock. You'll need paint booth style LED lighting down low on the walls to give you enough light to do the job right. Those clip on lights, headlamps and stuff are for amateurs. Do it right. Go LED top to bottom. Make sure the building is wired with 220, or maybe 440 or 660. If things don't go well you might need to plug a bigger grinder in.

Don't forget to prep the metal. I would remove all of the undercoating and factory paint from the frame from the rear axle back. Maybe dip it in acid. You'll need a good building, a 10 ton hoist and a large acid pit for this. Don't cheap out on the chain. Go for the good stuff. This isn't like dipping chicken tenders in batter. This is war.

I would plan on completely dipping the frame in POR-15 or something more elaborate and expensive after you expose all this metal. You'll need to call the EPA and get some specs on cleaning out that acid pit and probably have a tanker truck deliver the POR-15 for the dip pit. You'll probably want to enlarge your driveway to get the tanker in there. I would have to for sure. Don't even think of trying to recycle all that acid wherever you take your used motor oil. That won't fly. This is America. This isn't some third world cess pool. Don't ruin it for all of us.

Actually, on further consideration, I would remove the whole van body from frame to simplify the dipping process. This could likely simplify the tire carrier removal process as well since you could work from above. You're thinking you won't need that lift now but you will. Come on, use your head! You've got to lift the van body up with the lift. Don't scratch it. Be careful. This isn't an old Nova you're working on here. You're building a Sportsmobile for pete's sake!

If you do insist on doing this make sure you're well rested and eat nutritionally balanced meals for a few weeks before you start. Draw lots of diagrams. Discuss them with people smarter than you. This isn't like getting advice from the hardware store guy on clearing a drain. This is serious. Talk to people with letters behind their names. Make sure your plan incorporates solid engineering software. I'd use a Mac. Definitely a Mac.

Take lots of pictures. Do you have a tripod and a digital SLR? I'd go frameless. Wifi too. Don't use a cell phone. Thiis isn't a selfie of your dog for Facebook. Get something by Nikon or Canon for the job, maybe even a Leica. This is your van after all. Don't cheap out.

Actually, the more I think about this I'm not sure you're qualified. I'm not sure any of us are. I would probably just have this done by a professional.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:24 PM   #9
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Old 11-28-2018, 11:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
Hacking it out with a Sawzall is the cheap way to do it. It's low rent, low class, just plain brutish. The gentleman's way is to do what I did. Spend about 2 days with an angle grinder, destroying 4 or 5 grinding wheels, incorporating lots of big hammers and pry bars to drive the pins out after you grind them down. Don't cheap out on the grinding wheels. I'd just play it safe and order a case of the most expensive ones you can find. You'll need the quality stuff to deal with that good ole American steel. This isn't like bolting a fart can muffler on a Kia.

Buy 2 or 3 shop jumpsuits because you'll burn holes in them with the grinder. You don't want compromised shop wear. It's truly uncool. I would order Arc'teryx snowsuits from REI or maybe the equivalent from Patagonia. No one wants cold nads during such an endeavor. Also, a few pairs of quality glasses, presciption if your feeble eyes demand it. I recommend Oakleys. Just a couple hundred per pair and a week or three to get them.

Also, build a building and put a 15k lift in it with about 15' overhead so you can get high enough to do the job properly. Make sure you insulate the building. I would build it out of brick. Wind blows those metal crackerboxes around like a windsock. You'll need paint booth style LED lighting down low on the walls to give you enough light to do the job right. Those clip on lights, headlamps and stuff are for amateurs. Do it right. Go LED top to bottom. Make sure the building is wired with 220, or maybe 440 or 660. If things don't go well you might need to plug a bigger grinder in.

Don't forget to prep the metal. I would remove all of the undercoating and factory paint from the frame from the rear axle back. Maybe dip it in acid. You'll need a good building, a 10 ton hoist and a large acid pit for this. Don't cheap out on the chain. Go for the good stuff. This isn't like dipping chicken tenders in batter. This is war.

I would plan on completely dipping the frame in POR-15 or something more elaborate and expensive after you expose all this metal. You'll need to call the EPA and get some specs on cleaning out that acid pit and probably have a tanker truck deliver the POR-15 for the dip pit. You'll probably want to enlarge your driveway to get the tanker in there. I would have to for sure. Don't even think of trying to recycle all that acid wherever you take your used motor oil. That won't fly. This is America. This isn't some third world cess pool. Don't ruin it for all of us.

Actually, on further consideration, I would remove the whole van body from frame to simplify the dipping process. This could likely simplify the tire carrier removal process as well since you could work from above. You're thinking you won't need that lift now but you will. Come on, use your head! You've got to lift the van body up with the lift. Don't scratch it. Be careful. This isn't an old Nova you're working on here. You're building a Sportsmobile for pete's sake!

If you do insist on doing this make sure you're well rested and eat nutritionally balanced meals for a few weeks before you start. Draw lots of diagrams. Discuss them with people smarter than you. This isn't like getting advice from the hardware store guy on clearing a drain. This is serious. Talk to people with letters behind their names. Make sure your plan incorporates solid engineering software. I'd use a Mac. Definitely a Mac.

Take lots of pictures. Do you have a tripod and a digital SLR? I'd go frameless. Wifi too. Don't use a cell phone. Thiis isn't a selfie of your dog for Facebook. Get something by Nikon or Canon for the job, maybe even a Leica. This is your van after all. Don't cheap out.

Actually, the more I think about this I'm not sure you're qualified. I'm not sure any of us are. I would probably just have this done by a professional.
The forum at its best: useful, helpful and informative! thanks for the laugh!
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