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In need of sock puppet
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


My Kurbmaster sits on a deuce and half International Harvester chassis. For wheels it rides on old school 17x7.5 Budd wheels, with dualies in the rear. The lugz? A 1.5" socket, and 500 ft/lbs of torque! Simply inspecting the brakes requires removing all 6 wheels, pulling the drums and wheel bearings, and for the rear, removing the floating axles. Lots of torque, lots of bolts, lots of time.

The Ingersoll Rand 1" pneumatic impact driver in the photo can generate over 1,000 ft/lbs of torque. Plenty for my needs. I'm sure the neighbors love the way the driver freaks out their pack of yelping daschunds.

For size reference there's a series of socket sets in 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4". The lug socket is about the same diameter as the Deschutes Black Butte I just polished off, to celebrate completion of the brake inspection and rotating the tires.

 

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Misfit Toy
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Brrzzzzzt!!! Brrzzzzzt!!! Brrzzzzzt!!!
 

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Captain Obvious
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you got a big tool
 

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It's a small world.I found Burning RV last night and saw your Kurbmaster on their Flickr link.Thought it was awesome just sitting in a parking lot.Even cooler seeing it in relation to those SUV's.
 

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25.806975801127
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All of this talk of torque, but no one really understands it....

Torque is measured by how far off of the ground your heels come when you try to take a leak in the morning. With morning wood.
 

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Curious do you have other pictures of this awesome machine?? we have been thinking of doing a project to build something like that into a camper.. some more details or if you can point me somewhere you have already typed would be appreciated..

Thanks
C
 

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In need of sock puppet
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Beauty shot from the early days - pre RV conversion. The Kurbmaster started life as a bread truck for a SoCal school district. It had stupid low mileage for a 1973 vehicle. All-aluminum body fabbed with 1/8' thick panels makes it easy to work on, no rust. It also has a lift gate for getting into the back.



As a conversion project, stepvan/breadtrucks are awesome. They are built like tugboats, heavy duty everything. And there are still inexpensive parts available for all the body bits and some mechanical stuff depending on age/manufacturer from this website: https://www.stepvanparts.com/

Sound insulation in the engine bay and exterior driver's area panels are a must for road use. I still need to glue up some carpeting in a few areas to keep the volume down when we're underway. It still whistles a little when all doors are closed at speed, but it's tolerable now.

If I were doing it again and had the options I'd like a taller truck - mine's interior is 6'2", I'm 6'4". I'd also rather have a Chevrolet or Ford drivetrain. The International Harvester stuff is bombproof, but hard to find parts for, including simple things like brake shoe return springs.

Being a '73, I'm exempt from California smog inspection, so modding it is easy from a legal standpoint. The total project is ghetto, but really comfortable; and I don't have more than $6K into the whole thing.



It's hands down the most interesting RV in any campsite, and there's nothing as cool as driving with the doors open and that huge flat expanse of glass up front. You can see everything. It's so tall, you look eye to eye with all the big rig drivers, and you can see the bald spot on any hummer driver. Added plus, getting to check out every passenger's legs. :)

You have to approach roads trip as a slow adventure. We cruise between 55-65 on the highway, 55 is optimal. Climbing the Sierras is another story, we trudge along and drop down to 35-45 depending on the grade. Secondary highways are the most fun, interstates less so.

At Sea Otter, with the step-ladder tall Caletti 29er mounted up front.



Inside has a queen size bed, fridge, sink/running water, a self contained marine toilet, lots of storage, an interior rated propane heater, an air conditioner and a bench seat from a van. It's got a deep cycle 12 volt with an inverter, a Honda EU2000 generator, and is fully insulated. It's wicked cozy.



Loaded for burning man a few years ago.





Once we arrived on playa, here's our set-up.





 

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Just Plain Bitter
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I get jealous every time I see that thing! You did a great job on it I think.
 

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had it in the ear before
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Pimp!
 

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In need of sock puppet
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
On the total investment - I forgot something - new tires - the old tires were rotten. The new rubber was hard to find for this vintage vehicle, and swapping out wheels is a deal breaker. 5 bolt coined Budds are rare birds, and nothing but a Budd wheel will fit the drums and studs... The Mexican Tournels in 17x7.50 were around 175 each X 6, plus tubes, and the extra charge for mounting em on deadly split rims ran a total of just under $1600.
 

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In need of sock puppet
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My wife watched my putting these photos together and is very sad we aren't able to go to Burningman this year. Actually, we both are.

Time to start looking for a mountain bike / camping adventure for the week of Labor Day.
 

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Mehpic
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loved the FB poasts related to this yesterday- your wifes comments of "it's a good time to go run errands" due to the noise made me spew beer all over my monitor.

really cool truck. as for the "climbing the sierras" speed, could the trans be redone w/ new ratios to help w/ that? i know that there are IH 4 wheelers out there. just a thought.

//how many splines are the rear axles? that might be a good place to start- convert them to a more conventional bolt number/spacing? would also possibly help with the brakes
 

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In need of sock puppet
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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
2cflyr said:
loved the FB poasts related to this yesterday- your wifes comments of "it's a good time to go run errands" due to the noise made me spew beer all over my monitor.

really cool truck. as for the "climbing the sierras" speed, could the trans be redone w/ new ratios to help w/ that? i know that there are IH 4 wheelers out there. just a thought.

//how many splines are the rear axles? that might be a good place to start- convert them to a more conventional bolt number/spacing? would also possibly help with the brakes
The FB thread is full; of win, and now this one is too.

I'm on the binderplanet forum and always searching to see what might help the truck:
1. Reduce top gear RPM and maybe net better mileage at cruising speeds
2. Add a little more top end speed
3. Improve climbing ability
4. Make spare parts searches a little less holy-grail-like.

I currently have the best rated IH 4 speed transmission for highway work, and the tallest rear end they put out. So getting more speed or reducing cruising RPMs would likely need an over drive unit, and getting one for a 2.5 ton truck is tough/expensive. Alt would be to swap out rear end gearing which would raise the speed across all four gears and might do the trick at cruising speeds, but it's hard to say if it would force me to drop another gear lower when climbing, and lower than 2nd over the Sierras would be too slow. Right now 3rd is perfect for all but the steepest grades, and 2nd gets me over that last little rise. On small slow steep mountain roads like in the Boggs area, or in the Santa Cruz mountains, the 2nd/3rd combo is perfect. We can easily maintain the speed limit on corners, faster is scary in a tall vehicle.

IH did make a 5 speed, but I haven't been able to find one locally - they are extremely heavy to ship. And they didn't provide an overdrive version, so final ratio matches what I currently run. The 5 gears would provide 20% more options though :D

As for parts, some folks talk about swapping out the whole rear end for a more commonly available unit, and swapping out the front hub/wheel/drum assembly too, but even among the binder enthusiasts, that's a very committed job.

The lightweight Scout 4x4 owners love this tranny/engine combo, but they're in a vehicle that's 4,000 pounds lighter. And spares for pads, drums, etc. are still available. But the 1510 MSC chassis under the Kurbmaster was a lot rarer and right in between the heavy end of their "light line" trucks and the light end of their "heavy line" trucks. So parts hunts are a mix of IH truck stops and online scout parts resellers with the very rare pick and pull yard score.

Bottomline, I guess I'm okay with the mileage, the concession to slow travel and to taking up the slow lane over the Sierras. This inspection told me the brake drums were true and score-free, the shoe linings easily have another year or more left and that everything else is sound enough to consider her road-worthy for a new trip.
 

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Mehpic
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very cool. it's one heck of a projet, and the fact that it's rare makes it even more cool. please keep us all updated.

//one more thought- what about an entire new rear end? would a dodge dually rear end work (width wise)? medium duty delivery truck? they can be had cheap, but then you're into semi custom or possibly custom drive shafts.
 
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