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Little truck mount with a big heart.

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Little truck mount with a big heart.

Post by rainbowrider on Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:43 pm

I just finished installing a 1994 Bates D-84 Big Red in the back of a 2008 Chevrolet Express passenger van. The van came from GSA auction and with 35,000 miles. After getting rid of the seats I bolted the machines frame right to the seat rails which are in turn bolted to the frame. The machine for those of you to young to remember was made in the LA area by an old time carpet cleaner from the early days in the industry named Gene Bates. His original design for the Big Red diesel used a four cylinder Perkins and a #5 blower. State of the art in those days but heavy to say the least. My D-84 was the little brother. It's powered by a 23 horse Isuzu three cylinder diesel. Like it's big brother the cleaning solution flows through the engine block to get hot and then goes to a pressure pump that can handle hot water then out to the wand. The recovery tank looks like R2D2. It's a round stainless steel tank with a clear plastic dome. The dirty water swirls around and gets pumped out as you clean. It'll maintain 190 degrees so it's not the hottest around. I debated adding a blower exhaust heat exchanger but decided the extra heat wasn't worth the investment.
It was a project started last summer and is ready to start cleaning. In the case of the little D-84 it's means coming back from the dead. The diesel threw a rod in the late nineties and sat neglected in the back of a nice Ford van which proceeded to rot down around it. Ferns were growing out of the fenders when I rescued it five or six years ago. (Just so happens I had an extra engine that just needed rebuilding). It sat for a few more years collecting dust. I'd bought the first two D-84's in Hawaii in 1991 and 1992 and used them for years. The last one went down this past August. But good machines never die! My two ran a night restaurant route for over thirty years.
In 1994 one of my employees went into business for himself and copied me exactly. Same van, same machine, same chemicals etc. He lasted about four years before selling his van and machine to another guy. He used it for a few more years before making a bone headed move which caused the diesel to self destruct. It sat forlorn and abandoned for almost two decades but now it's ready to rock once again. Not only that but I have a spare engine (needs rebuilding) a spare blower, pressure pump and waste pump. Just in time. More on that later.

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Re: Little truck mount with a big heart.

Post by milspec6 on Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:16 pm

I love those GSA auctions, if you live near a military base, you can really get fantastic deals. I don't recall that unit back in the late '80's when I started, but sounds like it would be a tank.

I also consider heat to be over-rated for residential work and isn't a big deal unless you clean grease pits, slums, and heavy commercial. My old Butler hits 205 at the machine and has been plenty of heat for me except for maybe in the dead of winter when it is single digits outside.

I don't see you having any issues with heat levels.
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Re: Little truck mount with a big heart.

Post by dp1 on Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:08 pm

Wow, congrats on that van deal, that's super low miles, unless if you missed another "0" in there, making the van 350,000 miles, ha..ha.... Just kidding RR.
I've only seen one of those big red TM, I saw the big one with the 4 cylinder, that thing is a monster !
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Re: Little truck mount with a big heart.

Post by rainbowrider on Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:53 pm

The big one was a real beast. Heavy as hell. They were made so well that some are still working. This little baby should be good to go for years to come.

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Re: Little truck mount with a big heart.

Post by rainbowrider on Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:38 pm

Low mileage used vehicles are common here. My 2005 van just turned 100,000 miles The van I just picked up never left the base. It was just used to ferry troops around. The rear seats took a real beating but I threw them out anyway. This little van should be good for fifteen plus years. The machine in the back should be good for thirty plus.

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Re: Little truck mount with a big heart.

Post by dp1 on Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:29 pm

Have you ordered heavy parts such as vacuum blower or replacement motor before for any of your TM ? Shipping costs for heavy parts must be outrageous ?
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Re: Little truck mount with a big heart.

Post by rainbowrider on Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:02 pm

No blower or motor. I've purchased a blower locally. Outrageous! I just bought two blower silencers from Hydramaster through Jon Don. One cost about $57 to ship the other was nearly three times that much. When I asked Jon Don they said the first time they just ate the difference because they quoted the wrong shipping rate. The second time I paid full fare. Shipping is very high. I sometimes order bulk chemicals and have them shipped by sea. Still expensive but nothing like UPS or Fedex.

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Re: Little truck mount with a big heart.

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