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Old 04-16-2007, 06:46 PM   #1
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Default Hydraulic rear gate/ramp

My 2004 2500 is used for towing motorcycles, golf carts, "Mules" and trikes, sidecar-equipped bikes and riding mowers, etc. In order to load them, I use a remote-controlled winch and a hydraulic ramp gate of my own design and fabrication. Here are some photos with sensitive portions tasteless-ly blotted out until further notice! The center support jack has been removed. The pully wheels on the side were for cranking down the jacks legs for additional support but are now unnecessary for my current use. Gate weight: 350#. Insatiably curious cat optional.







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Old 04-16-2007, 07:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hydraulic rear gate/ramp

Nice Joe!
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Old 04-18-2007, 04:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hydraulic rear gate/ramp

Thanks. It was originally designed to replace the tailgate on a 1990 Ford F-150 pickup. The gate required me to add leaf springs to the truck! it is a bit ... heavy. It sure worked well though! Then, I retired the gate to the side of my house for eight years while I put 1/4 million miles on a 1999 Ford F-450. When I decided to build the bed on my Sprinter, I thought the gate wouldn't fit so I ignored it initially. Then one day, I rolled it around to the back of the truck and wow! It matched up to the frame almost pefectly! So it became my rear loading ramp. Oh, I also had to beef up the rear suspension on the Sprinter. the single leaf spring couldn't handle the weight of the bed and gate. I'll post a photo of my new leaf springs today.

BTW: My original set of single leaf springs is for sale. eBay auction # 220102286542
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Old 04-18-2007, 11:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hydraulic rear gate/ramp

I had to remove the single tapered leaf spring and replace it with a new set of custom built multi-leaf springs.



This is a temporary solution. I am hunting for a dually axle to replace the single configuration. Then my FrankenSprinter will be ALIVE! ALIVE!!!!
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Old 04-18-2007, 11:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hydraulic rear gate/ramp

Not like I'll be doing anything (crazy :D) like this anytime soon, but who did the custom spring pack?

Thanks,
Seek
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Old 04-18-2007, 11:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hydraulic rear gate/ramp

A local spring shop in Escondido. I will be adding two more short leafs under the main springs, not for weight capacity but as an overload protector and to raise the height of the bed another inch. This will happenw hen I swap out to a dually axle.

Here is a photo of the mechanics of the gate. Notice that the swing arm allows the cylinder to be retracted when the gate is in the fully vertical position. The hydraulic shop told me this couldn't be done! They ALL came out to look at the finished design. The notch in the lift arms compensates for a 1/4" error in my geometric calculations. The top surface of the arms raises just a smidge higher than the frame member allows clearance for.

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Last edited by bikerjoe; 04-18-2007 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 04-19-2007, 08:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hydraulic rear gate/ramp

What is the leafspring made of? One of the members said that her's snapped in two at about 80K.
Steve
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hydraulic rear gate/ramp

Sounds like you might be exceeding the GAWR of the single wheel axle. One owner did and had trouble - lost a wheel, blew a tire, and had to buy a new rear end. He also thought about going to a dually axle, but I think there were width problems with that change for him.
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Old 04-20-2007, 06:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Hydraulic rear gate/ramp

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Originally Posted by talkinghorse43 View Post
Sounds like you might be exceeding the GAWR of the single wheel axle. One owner did and had trouble - lost a wheel, blew a tire, and had to buy a new rear end. He also thought about going to a dually axle, but I think there were width problems with that change for him.
Yes, if I swap to a dually, I will have to relocate the leaf springs. The Sprinter dually axle is too narrow to fit between the single configuration's leaf springs. Otherwise another axle would work. I could put a Dana rear end underneath, as long as the width between the inside of the inner tires is about 4 inches wider than the width of the existing leaf springs.
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Old 04-21-2007, 03:19 PM   #10
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Question Re: Hydraulic rear gate/ramp

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Originally Posted by bikerjoe View Post
Yes, if I swap to a dually, I will have to relocate the leaf springs. The Sprinter dually axle is too narrow to fit between the single configuration's leaf springs. Otherwise another axle would work. I could put a Dana rear end underneath, as long as the width between the inside of the inner tires is about 4 inches wider than the width of the existing leaf springs.
and you'll need to carry two spare tires and going to have an ABS light on due to the smaller diameter rear wheels. Then there is the driveshaft.... Is this really worth it?
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My Ride: Factory Order, Early`03 Freightliner version 140" SHC NO WINDOW Cargo version in Blue-Black
presently @ 170,000 miles...
RUNS like 25,000 miles....LOOKS like 1/2 a milllion...
Thank you Mercedes for the substandard paint prep & corrosion prevention throughout.
My '99 Audi Avant, 4 years older and 15K more miles...ZERO RUST.... You got me once!
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