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Author Topic: Able Dog Belly Tank  (Read 14553 times)
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Pickle
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« on: February 07, 2015, 08:10:00 PM »

Well its been about a year now since I first found this site. I introduced myself then but have been silent since. Between the build diaries and the tech section there is such a wealth of information to sift through it has taken me this long to get through it all. Because its been so long Ill do a quick recap so there is no need to find my original post.

First for the formal stuff. I have a bachelors in physics from UCLA and a masters in astronautical engineering from USC (think rockets and satellites). Informally I am a contractor by trade and build cars on the side. This will be my first attempt at this type of car but its been a long time passion. I finished up a project about a year ago and have been taking care of the honey do list that kept growing during that project, but now its time to start another. I have a great wife she "gets it" and supports every project I do. I also am blessed with four kids all girls, our oldest is 10 and our youngest is 2. As a result of our large family I have more ingenuity and skill than finances and this project will reflect that.

Now for the good stuff. Armed with a rulebook and the basics I picked up here I went in search of a tank. After many months of looking most of the tanks I found were close to what I needed but nothing really fit the bill. Finally a few weeks ago I found my girl, she is a transfer tank from a Douglas AD-1. The AD-1 or Able Dog was first developed in 1947 and flew during the Korean war. Apparently it was a big nasty thing. I read it had a habit of consuming a gallon of oil an hour during flight. Anyway the tank is 300 gal and was belly mounted. It measures 165 inches long and 31 inches at its widest. Its widest point lands at the 40% cord point and its completely symmetric about its axis.

After a couple weeks of drinking beers with friends looking at the tank we have finally developed our basic plan. This decision wasn't easy to make but there were a few things that made it easier. Keeping in mind the aforementioned imbalance of ingenuity and money we started digging around to see what we had on hand. I have a few bits of winters rear parts and I think I can get one together with a couple of small purchases. A friend has a complete 49 chevy front end I will be chopping up for parts, and another will be donating a flathead block and M20 trans. So the decision has been made to run her as XF/GL. We also made the decision to build it to fit other physically larger drivetrain combinations in the future. I am a measure twice cut once kind of guy so I'm not going to rush the initial design phase, we are currently having the suspension/no suspension debate.

I can't tell you how pumped we are for this project and we look forward to sharing it with you guys. I am smart enough to know there are many things I don't know and I look forward to learning from those here. I am in So Cal and would love to be involved with the community here. By the way Pickle or James is fine.


* Tank First.jpg (23.65 KB, 640x480 - viewed 200 times.)
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manta22
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2015, 08:59:12 PM »

James;

Wasn't the AD-1 called a "Skyraider", built by Douglas?

Regards, Neil  Tucson, AZ
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Regards, Neil  Tucson, AZ
Pickle
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2015, 09:38:30 PM »

That is the one Neil. I found this quote about the plane and pilots that flew them. I think its fitting for our group.

What was it like to be an Able Dog pilot?  Wading through the rivalry between the attack and fighter communities we think Art "Swede" Hedberg, a former fighter pilot, said it best in his description of the men and the plane known as The Able Dogs:

As aristocratic, elegant, and elite fighter pilots, my mates and I always tended to avoid association with Able Dog drivers.  For one thing their military appearance and grooming habits were atrocious!  Their flights suits were always sodden and black with oil, grease, and other foul smelling liquids.   Their aircraft were always spotted back on the aft part of the flight deck in the "cheap seats" where the snipes blew tubes over them on a regular basis and they were always filthy with stack soot and clinkers.  Everything they were around soon became grimy and disgusting and their ready room looked and smelled like a garage heap.   On top of that they were loathe to bathe and carried their own atmosphere, like a large bubble, around with them wherever they went causing more genteel folk to veer out of their way, their sensibilities deeply offended.  What is worse, Able Dog drivers prided themselves in these disgusting habits!

In addition to this they were unfair and unscrupulous in the air.  They were fond of grinding around at low altitude and when they saw one of our gallant fighters start to make a run on them they immediately turned on a dime and positioned themselves directly under the heroic fighter pilot who, upon being pulled vertical, directly saw nothing but water in his windshield and was forced to frantically pull out with frazzled nerves, sweating heavily, and with pucker string two-blocked.   This maneuver was a killer.   And the Able Dog drivers gloried in this un-sportsmanlike conduct!!, gleefully sneering to themselves and applying spit wetted fingers to the insides of canopies to mark up points.  It must be known that I still harbor a deep resentment over this ungentlemanly and scandalous behavior.

Despite it's lack of speed the old Able Dog could surely take care of itself and I always marveled at the veritable junkyard of nasty stuff it could haul around to drop on the bad guys.

~  Art Hedberg

That sums up my group of friends quite nicely. for those interested in the sky raider this link has almost too much information.

http://www.abledogs.com

Interesting thing Neil, I got my tank in your neck of the woods. I picked it up at Marana Regional Airport just east of Tuscon.

James
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Elmo Rodge
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2015, 10:11:27 PM »

Welcome James. Have fun here. It sounds like you are capble of that.  rolleyes I too run XF/GL. The more, the merrier. Wayno
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2015, 10:15:15 PM »

Hey James, welcome.
I'd like to wish you all the best with your project
and I'm looking forward to watching the progress.

Have a blast. cheers cheers cheers

Mike.
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manta22
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2015, 10:19:53 PM »

James;

Yes, the Skyraider was able to carry an amazing amount of ordnance. Marana Airport also has a few Skyhawks (I think) in various states of disarray.

Regards, Neil  Tucson, AZ
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Regards, Neil  Tucson, AZ
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2015, 11:17:29 PM »

Flying dump trucks
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2015, 11:30:40 PM »

The rear section of the canopy would make a cool
liner canopy if turned around. grin

Just thinking, just thinking.
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fordboy628
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2015, 09:11:10 AM »

Pickle,

Welcome to the insanity!   Lots of guys on the board race flathead power, so there is lots of advice about how to avoid pitfalls.    Good luck with your project.

BTW, everybody loves pictures, and a picture is worth a thousand words.
 cheers
Fordboy
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Pickle
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2015, 09:49:54 PM »

Well between building a new fence and sanding and staining my deck this past weekend I did manage to get some work done on the tank. I started stripping parts off and making measurements trying to get a feel for the layout. I picked up the chevy front end and low and behold its not a stocker. It seems he forgot to mention it has speedway spindles and discs. Parts are out getting hot tanked. The axle is a beat up old drop tube that will be stored for another project. We intend to build our own straight tube axle.

So we are now debating the merits of breaks on the front vs back vs four corners. I have seen it discussed on here before, any conclusions reached. I know many run rear only with great success. Anyone run front only? I realize its counter intuitive but when setting up four wheel discs in the past we always set them to lock up the front first to keep the rear in line. It seems the same would apply here.

Another concern we have is with the winters rear. We would like to get the rear end as far back as possible for obvious reasons and as a result the mounting points will narrow to the point that we are considering bolting to the center section. We are a bit concerned about deflection in the axle tubes and horns. Anyone with experience here? As of now we are assuming 1200 to 1500 lbs on the rear for first pass design purposes.

Picture are incoming by weeks end.

James
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Dr Goggles
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2015, 05:12:37 AM »

Hey Hey!

I hadn't seen this. Welcome aboard Pickles.

When I was passing around the first draft of our tank a guy here in Australia, John Lynch, who has a Keith Black powered 301mph tank said "hard on both ends I see".....

I replied "well we've had all sorts of advice John, and none of it has been the same".

He looked at me with a sort of startled look on his face and said "Yep, you're on your own aren't ya"

We then quickly agreed, although our aims, and our circumstances (resources) were entirely different, that we were entirely on the same page, to an outsider tanks look like much of a muchness, to the insiders they are all different, totally different.

The most important thing if you're building a tank is to finish. Anything that gets in the way of that is unimportant. If you get up on your hind legs and say "I won't be happy unless this thing does 3 billion mph" or whatever you're kidding yourself, build it, run it with a dog motor then start the chit chat because by then you'll have the secret knowledge.

My tips.

1./Flange the frame so it can be taken apart.
2./ No suspension.
3./ GM 10 bolt rear.
4./ rear drums.

Watching with interest and a big thumbs up...... cheers
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2015, 09:30:54 AM »

i use drum brakes on both ends except my roadster which came with rear only brakes and stayed that way. Works fine but if i am driving the car, I like the feel of 4 wheel brakes. I consider disk brakes unnecessary drag.
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2015, 05:49:07 PM »

The belly tanks are such cool, complicated projects and I love them.
I showed my friend a few pics and he says some guy has four belly
tanks on the roof of his business. He tells the locals they're bombs. grin
Willie did tell what planes these tanks come from but I forgot.
We'll be doing a recce soon though.
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2015, 06:35:25 PM »

Rule 3.W, page 42, last sentence, 2014 rule book.

.... No front wheel only brake systems are allowed.

You really need a rule book.

DW
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2015, 01:57:43 AM »

Strange… under 70, wants to build tank powered by flathead.  Spent too much time in space?   grin

Anyways, my best advice since you're a local is don't cut or weld or do a Dodge thing until you go to the first El Mirage meet in May.  You need to look at cars.  Take advantage of being close to the action. 
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