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An Interesting well thought out conversion with a very good use of space - with a GM/Ford/Dodge dually you would have no room for the bikes and as you know a trailer on a long trip is a real liability with a long wheelbase.
Im sure you are aware of the ramp angle you have - the side lockers look quite low slung - are the fuel tanks recessed up a little so they are not the first thing to touch down ?
Also over Bad washboard/corrogations is there/will there be any contact between the bigfoot and the bike garage area - is there much movement ?
I couldnt tell from the photos - but is the chassis area around the fuel tanks reinforced at all - there will be a lot of loading on this area - or is it pretty beefy ?
Other than that - the Winch Cables- with a fairly heavy vehicle (any vehicle for that matter - but heavier vehicles load the cables up if badly bogged) I hate to see wire rope used these days - Cables IMO are bloody dangerous - having seen quite a few part and cause a lot of damage (fortunately only to vehicles)- they also splinter,kink,freeze up (and your hands), are heavy and you need heavy roller fairleads which dont do anything for approach/departure angles.
I would consider swopping them for some Synthetic Rope - stronger, easy to handle and spool in, wont freeze, doesnt kink, is much lighter and if it does break it will go dead and wont whip like wire rope - much much safer.
use it with alloy fairleads - probably save you 100 lbs ish in weight between the cables and fairleads.
Try these guys:
The small tyres and modest angles/ground clearance will restrict your options for exploring off the beaten track. Can you fit larger diameter tyres ? Also, do you really need two bikes ? You could save a lot of weight by taking only one. As for tyres I would choose Michelin XZY over any other type for this type of journey - they are pretty well bombproof. The cab access step looks a bit vulnerable, maybe consider a folding (Land Rover) type ?
are the fuel tanks recessed up a little so they are not the first thing to touch down ?
On this chassis, the lowest points are the diffs and the transfer case. We staggered up the fuel tanks and the side storage boxes so each gets progressively higher off the ground as you move away from the centerline.
Originally Posted by Gipper
is there/will there be any contact between the bigfoot and the bike garage area - is there much movement ?
There is a lot of movement by the camper. It is mounted on a three point pivot frame. The pivot frame pivots at the rear and is rigidly mounted at the camper/garage junction. The clearance between the garage & camper is fairly tight, but the photos are deceiving because the camper has a sloping rib that runs up under the berth that makes it look tighter than it actually is. Still, we are putting some rubber bump stops there. On our recent beta test one there was no contact, even at full articulation.
We plan to put motorcycle shocks on the rear of the pivot frame to dampen some of the lateral motion by the camper & upper boxes (which are also mounted to the pivot frame.)
Originally Posted by Gipper
but is the chassis area around the fuel tanks reinforced at all
We extended the frame about .5 meter / 18" to accomodate the camper. That section is boxed rather than the stock C channel, and we believe it to be the strongest part of the frame. The dual saddle fuel tanks mount under the garage along the frame rails, which includes this section.
Originally Posted by Gipper
I would consider swopping them for some Synthetic Rope - much much safer.
I agree. Until we did our initial training / beta test last week I had zero knowledge on winches/recovery/etc. After working with the wire rope our trainer recommended we change to synthetic. I've got some on order.
Originally Posted by Gipper
great website !!!
Thanks. I'm trying to make this an "open source" project. I couldn't find much out there on this chassis when I started, so I'm attempting to leave behind as much info as possible for those considering a buildup of any chassis in general and the Canter/FG in particular.
The small tyres and modest angles/ground clearance will restrict your options for exploring off the beaten track.
I agree with the characterization of this chassis as "a delivery vehicle that can operate in unpaved areas." The small tires, low diffs and transfer case will always limit it, especially in soft sand and deep mud. We chose the chassis specifically as a "base camp" concept, in other words, take us as far as it can or we are comfortable driving it, then get on the dirt bikes to explore further. This will inherently prevent us from reaching truely remote areas with the chassis & camper. To acheive true "go anywhere" capability we felt we'd have to move up to a larger chassis, i.e. MOG.
Originally Posted by Andrew Baker
Can you fit larger diameter tyres ? As for tyres I would choose Michelin XZY over any other type for this type of journey - they are pretty well bombproof. ?
At the last possible moment I had our fabricator modify our spare tire storage compartments to fit the XZYs, but we haven't tested them. I have my doubts they will fit laterally in the compartments.
The XZYs are 3" taller and would give us 300 lbs. more axle capacity on the front. They are not readily available in the US, so we would need to source them out of Canada, most likely as take-offs of their Army's G-Wagons, or from NZ/OZ or Europe.
Originally Posted by Andrew Baker
Also, do you really need two bikes ? You could save a lot of weight by taking only one.
Agreed. We'd save 238 lbs. We may be precluded from taking two due to weight considerations alone. Another complication is crossing land borders with three vehicles and two people.
Originally Posted by Andrew Baker
The cab access step looks a bit vulnerable, maybe consider a folding (Land Rover) type
That is a great suggestion! Thanks! Appreciate all of the feedback.
Project: Hackney Expedition Vehicle
Goal: Self-sufficient, Self-Extracting Global Expedition Vehicle
Mission: 2 - 3 years of unsupported exploration primarily in developing countries
Project time: One year
Build time: Nine months
Project type: Private
Funding: Privately funded, no commercial sponsorships, endorsements, financial or product support
Concept design: Douglas Hackney - inspired by an FG/Bigfoot design of Carl Hunter
Bumpers, frame extension, pivot frame, storage box, etc. design and implementation: Mark Johnson
Electrical, plumbing, electronics, etc. systems design and implementation: Douglas Hackney
Custom storage boxes: Fleet Metal Box
Powder Coating: Jerico Metal Fabrication and Powdercoat
Overall length: 27.17' / 7.98 meters (tip of front bumper to rear bumper)
Overall height: 12.04' / 3.67 meters
Overall width: 8.58' / 2.62 meters (rub rail to rub rail)
Front axle track: 65.6" / 166.62cm
Centerline to centerline rear duals: 10.75" / 273.05mm
Outer edge of tire tread to outer edge of tire tread - front: 71.75" / 1822.45 mm (stock tires)
Outer edge of tire tread to outer edge of tire tread - rear: 79.00" / 2006.60mm (stock tires)
Wheelbase: 154" 12' 10" / 3.91 meters
Turning radius: 28.2' / 8.56 meters (outer tread edge of outer front tire)
Mid Wheelbase ground clearance: 15" / .381 meters (stock tires)
Minimum ground clearance: 12.5" (xfer case skid plate) / .318 meters (stock tires)
Front differential ground clearance - max load: 8.5" / 215.9mm (stock tires)
Rear differential ground clearance - max load: 7.625" / 193.68mm (stock tires)
Horizontal centerline front differential, max load: 14.375" / 365.13mm (stock tires)
Horizontal centerline rear differential, max load: 14.125" / 358.78mm (stock tires)
Breakover: 79 degrees (from vertical at mid wheelbase), 11 degrees from wheels (stock tires)
Approach angle: 29.4 degrees (to front cab step) (stock tires)
Departure angle: 17.1 degrees (to departure caster wheels) (stock tires)
Top of rear wheel to box: 7.25" / .184 meters (stock tires)
Bottom of frame rail to ground @ rear axle: 26.5" / .673 meters (stock tires)
Bottom of frame rail to ground @ front axle: 29.5" / .749 meters (stock tires)
Chassis (everything except the camper) % of total weight: 63%
Camper % of total weight: 37%
Front axle % of total: 36%
Rear axle % of total: 64%
Left side % of total: 51%
Right side % of total: 49%
Left front % of total: 19%
Right front % of total: 17%
Left rear % of total: 33%
Right rear % of total: 30%
Center of gravity behind front axle: 98.14" / 249.28cm
Center of gravity from passenger outer tread: 36.19" / 91.92cm
Center of gravity height: 58.92" / 149.657cm (estimated based on tilt test)
Maximum left roll angle: 31.12 (estimated based on tilt test)
Maximum right roll angle: 31.56 (estimated based on tilt test)
Maximum back roll angle: 43.48 (estimated based on tilt test)
Maximum front roll angle: 59.02 (estimated based on tilt test)
Rear sway bar: 1.25" / 31.75mm x 36" / 91.44cm
Camper & storage box frame: three point pivot
Pivot frame suspension: 50/50 Fox shocks
Fuel capacity: ~100 gallons / 378.54 liters
Range: >1,000 miles / 1,609 kilometers
Fuel tanks: dual saddle
Fuel filters: dual one micron with online hot swap backup
Genset fuel rate: ~.2 gallons / .76 liters per hour
Air compressor: 4 cfm / 113.27 liters per minute
Air tank: 4 gallon / 15.14 liters
Maximum system working pressure: 150 psi / 1034 kpa / 10.34 bar
Air seats: dual, 3" stroke, 5 air bladders, heated
Air horns: triple, 152 decibels
House bank batteries: 840 amp hours
House bank dedicated alternator: 135 amps
Solar panel output: 19 amps
External AC input: 120/220 VAC / 60HZ, 30 amps single phase
Guest power output: 120/220 VAC / 60 HZ, 20 amps single phase
Diesel genset: 30 amps 120V single phase
Inverter: 3000 watts, 120V single phase
Raw water input: any fresh water source
Drinking water filtration: <1 micron
Drinking water purification: activated charcoal, Ultraviolet light sterilization
Input pump rate: 7 gallons per minute / 26.5 liters per minute
Internet access: global
Voice communications access: dual global, cab and camper external antennas for primary, camper external antenna for backup
Local voice communications: GSM 3G
Low data rate access: global
Emergency Beacons: EPIRB 406 MHZ global
Radios: VHF (bike to bike, bike to truck), CB (US band)
GPS: one fixed, three portable, cab and camper external antennas
LAN: Gigabit Ethernet
Data storage: 2TB configured as 1.5TB RAID5
Document handling: color scanner/copier/ink jet printer 8.5x11" / 21.59x27.94cm
Photo printing: 4x6" / 10.16x15.24cm dye sublimation
Cab video: DVD playback, rear color camera w/microphone
Cab stereo: 300 watts, four 4.5" / 114.3mm drivers, one 10" / 254mm subwoofer
Camper stereo: 70 watts, four 5.25" / 133.35mm drivers
Camper TV: 25" / 63.5cm LCD HD (US standard ATSC)
Camper TV sound: 5 channel Dolby/DTS wireless headphones
Camper TV playback: upconverting DVD
iPod integration: cab and camper
Primary chassis materials: steel, stainless steel, aluminum
Primary camper materials: chopped mat fiberglass & wood ply sandwich cored with injected foam, wood, single layer fiberglass
Camper glass: dual pane
Camper leveling jacks: electric / manual
Fire extinguishers: Four ABC type (cab - 1; storage boxes - 1, camper - 2)
Ditch bags: two
Vehicle recovery kits: one
Winch line extensions: two
Winch anchor: 14,000 lbs / 6,350 kg capacity
Hand tools: ax, cross bow saw, pick, short and long shovel, pry bar
Pneumatic impact wrench: 1/2" / 12.7mm 500 ft/lb / 69.13 kgf/m
Locking external storage capacity: 268.01cubic feet / 7.59 cubic meters / 7,589 liters
Camper internal storage: 92.98 cubic feet / 2.63 cubic meters / 2,633 liters
Total storage: 360.99 cubic feet / 10.22 cubic meters / 10,222 liters
Auxiliary vehicle storage capacity: two motorcycles up to 94" / 238.76 cm long and 48" / 121.92cm high (taller bikes can be accommodated if you compress the forks)
Other views just prior to completion (missing some box corner / stone guards):
The FG is basically a delivery truck capable of use in unpaved areas. We see it as a two-track type of vehicle. Roads of a type that in the US would be ungraded fire roads in the Western mountains. The small wheel size, dual rear wheels and limited ground clearance inherently limit the chassis. Our weight and ~59"/ ~150cm CG location also limit us in terms of roll angle.
Having said that, we know of very experienced 4x4 people who are out in this chassis who go to some amazingly rugged places with their FG. We are not experiened 4x4 people, so we'll take it as far as we are comfortable and then get on the two dirt bikes we carry inside.
So, not limited to tarmac, but certainly limited, at least for us, to reasonable two-tracks. That was our design brief for this project, so we are happy with those results.
We've spent a lot of time motorcycling in developing economies, so we knew the type of roads we were building the truck for. We're not looking to go where no vehicle has gone before with the truck. We'll get on the dirt bikes for that type of work.
And stepping back a couple of levels of abstraction, the FG is not a poor man's MOG or even a Defender on steroids, and I think that people can set themselves up for disappointment if they mentally develop that implementation model for this chassis. For what it is, it is a fantastically capable platform, but I think it is important to work within its capabilities and potential.
Doug, that vehicle looks quite amazing - hell off a job building it. Is that a "S Class type" infra-red camera arrangement in the cab in the picture?
No, it's the display screen for the cab Pioneer stereo system. It does display the rear mounted video camera while in reverse or when you select that display.
Originally Posted by gilghana1
And the specifications of the data storage and sound system (alongwith everything else) - wow! Your project is bigger in many ways than most peoples houses :-)
We sold our house and will be living full time in this rig for 2-3 years, so we often chose capability and comfort over maximum off-road capability. I've spent many, many, many nights camping off of a motorcycle and we spent a year traveling in developing economies two-up on a bike so we've lived the Spartan travel life before. We thought we'd do things differently for this chapter.
Originally Posted by gilghana1
Can I ask with such an obviously valuable vehicle and kit how do you approach the issue of vehicle security and not having someone drive away with it...
I could tell you the specifics, but then I'd have to kill you... 8^)
Actually, we've found the world outside the US to be a very welcoming and generally safe place. We rely on using our common sense, listening to our gut and taking some reasonable precautions.
Far too much info for me to read through, so you may have sorted out a good solution, but my thought was how easy it would be to smash in one of your windows and climb into the back.
Grills or reinforced windows might be a good idea for when your out on the bikes. Also your front spot lights might not last long in places I have been (though again I don't know where your plnning to use this).
Agreed. We put grills on the skylights and reinforced the windows.
Originally Posted by roamingyak.org
Also your front spot lights might not last long in places I have been.
Also agreed. Several people have commented on that. We plan to do some risk mitigation work on the exterior lights before we leave.
Originally Posted by roamingyak.org
Just a thought...
Very much appreciated. We knew nothing about overlanding a year ago when we started this and know little more now. What little we do know we've learned from people like you who are willing to share their experiences and provide suggestions and constructive criticism.
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