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Car Dolly

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The Dolly

I needed some way to move the shell of the car around my garage and onto the trailer once all the suspension had been removed, so I designed and built a dolly.  As of this writing, the dolly has only been in use for a couple weeks, but it seems to be quite sturdy.

Shopping List

Note: make sure you read the notes section regarding the actual dimensions of a 2x4 and a 4x4

1) two 8' 4x4 (make sure they are a full 96 inches long)
2) two 8' 2x4
3) four 6" castors, rated for at least 400 lbs (this is the minimum size I would recommend)
4) twenty 3/8" or 5/16" by 5 1/2" lag screws
5) thirty two 5/16" by 3" lag screws

The Design

Here is a schematic of the general concept.  We want the frame rails to rest on the front and rear beams of the dolly.  Those two beams bear all the weight; the sections of 4x4 that run the length of the car are for structural integrity only.  Make sure you keep that in mind when building the dolly, especially if you modify the design.

The blue boxes represent blocks of wood that keep the car from sliding around on the dolly.  They may not be necessary if you are maneuvering the shell around in your garage, but they are a must if the shell will be trailered.






Instructions

  • cut each of the 4x4's in half, so you have 4 sections measuring 48" each
  • using 2 long lag screws at each joint, build the frame
  • cut the 2x4's for the braces.  exact measurements is not important, but 32" for each brace is probably a good choice; that length will get you 3 braces from one 2x4 and one brace from the other
  • cut twelve 4" sections of the remaining 2x4.  These blocks will be used to prevent the car from sliding around (each blue box above is comprised of 2 of these blocks of wood stacked on top of each other)
  • mount the braces to your frame, using 2 short screws at each end of a brace (1 screw might be sufficient).  It shouldn't matter which side of the frame you secure the braces to, but if you've modified the design so that there is an "up" side, make sure you mount the braces to the "bottom" side
  • secure the restraining blocks to the opposite side of the frame from the braces.  Stack 2 of the 2x4 sections for each block.  Use 2 long screws for each block
  • secure the castors to the bottom side of the frame, using 4 short screws for each castor.  I mounted mine at the corners, but the exact location is up to you.  Please read the notes section below about mounting castors.

Notes

Wood Stock
A 4x4 is not really 4 inches by 4 inches.  It's more like 3.5" x 3.5".  So, make sure your measurements are accurate; don't assume the width of each beam is 4 inches, because it isn't!  Same for a 2x4.  It's actually more like 1.75" x 3.5".

Mounting Castors
Most castor mounts are 4.5" x 4".  This creates a bit of a problem when mounting them to our 4x4's, as they are only 3.5" wide.  Luckilly, the holes in the castor brackets aren't actually 4" apart, so you can make this work, but care needs to be taken to make sure each screw is in as much wood as possible.

It may not make a difference, but I would recommend placing all 4 screws that secure a castor to the frame in the end 4x4 section.  You could orient the bracket so that 2 screws are in an end beam and 2 are in a side beam, but this may place undue stress on the bolts holding the frame together.  The end beam is carrying all the weight, so that's what the castor should be secured to.

I mounted my castors at the corners so that they'd be as far apart as possible, given I needed to wheel this thing up ramps and onto a trailer.  If that isn't a concern for you, the optimal placment would probably be directly under the frame rails.

Mounting Restraining Blocks
Make sure the height of your block, including any portion of the screw that may be protruding, is less than 3.5 inches.  There is about 4" relieve from the bottom of the frame rail to the floor pan, and you obviously don't want the weight of the vehicle to be supported by your floor pan!

If any of this is unclear, feel free to send me email.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 





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