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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Lancaster, Pa
    Posts
    431

    Default Difficult Project

    I work for a municipality and one of the local cops came to me today to ask me to do a project. I do all the welding for the municipality but this project Im not sure about. They have a Ford Econoline van equipped with armor plating on the inside. They want running boards on the outside along with rails to hold onto. The cops want to be able to hang on the side as they roll up to make a bust so they can just jump off instead of climbing out of the van. Average weight per cop with all gear on is 300 lb. The running boards are not a problem. I can use diamond plate or whatever and bolt it fast to the frame. My biggest problem is the handrail. With the armor inside, there is no way to get to the inside of the sheet metal. To screw it fast or weld it fast just doesnt seem strong enough to hold 3 or 4 cops holding on. Im open to any suggestions or ideas to someone that has been welding longer than myself. I was only at it about 5 years now, got into it too late in life.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vero Beach, fl.
    Posts
    761

    Default

    KBar, The only easy solution I can see would be to attach the grab rail into the running boards with some tall uprights, kinda like a hand rail on a walkway railing with out all the pickets in the middle. Dave
    If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

    John Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
    Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

  3. #3

    Default

    What about having the rail run horizonally close to the top of the van, there shouldn't be plating all the way up should it?
    Dewayne Sullivan
    Dixieland Welding
    Lewisburg, TN

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Deltaville, VA
    Posts
    2,239

    Default

    KBAR,

    Can you possibly tie into the roof and bring the support to the side. I suspect that although the van sides are armor plated the roof isn't, unless of course it was designed to give overhead protection.

    Does the van have the split doors or the one sliding door. If it's sliding, Dabar's idea of tieing into the running board may not work. The higher it is, the more support it will give to standing cops. Thats why, on some of the larger boats, you'll see a handrail mounted in the ceiling and running the length of the salon.

    Just a thought.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vero Beach, fl.
    Posts
    761

    Default

    KBar, SundownIII, My idea was to bring it up over top of the doors if they opened out or far enough away from the side if it's a slider. I was just trying to do a half a$$ed sketch on the computer but it wont let me transfer the file from paint for some reason. but anyways my idea was to bring it up to the top of the van sides. I didn't think about the roof idea as I wasn't sure about how the plating was inside the van, but you may be able to attach something like SundownIII suggests and brace it off of the drip rails. Dave
    If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

    John Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
    Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Lancaster, Pa
    Posts
    431

    Default

    I like Sundowns idea if I got it right.

    The armor plating is on the floor as well as the ceiling. Im getting a key to it next week so I can look inside and try to get a feel for any spacing between the armor and the sheet metal. It does have the sliding door so I dont think fastening the rails to the running board will work, on that side anyhow.

    Sundown, was your idea like running 3 - 3 inch straps across the roof, screwing them fast if I can find the roof supports, then fasten the rails to that with the rails running along the drip edge ?
    Ken

    What else is there besides welding and riding. Besides that

    Miller Thunderbolt XL 300/200 AC/DC
    Hobart Handler 187
    Dewalt Chop Saw
    4" Air Grinder
    Die Grinder
    Rigid Drill Press
    Kellogg 10hp Air Compressor


    2009 FXDC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Deltaville, VA
    Posts
    2,239

    Default

    KBar,

    If the ceiling is indeed plated, I'd probably cut two holes in the roof and weld a support directly to the inside armor (assuming it's strong enough). A little sheet metal cut to fit around the support (the one you weld to inside armor), and you've got the hole sealed.

    Then after mounting the center supports, you can bring the straps to the side where you would weld the grab rail. Actually seems pretty simple.

  8. #8

    Default

    This rig has handrails for the officers... although it's not an econoline van.

    http://www.swat-truck.com/armored/boxer.html

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    I live in Cheraw, South Carolina
    Posts
    112

    Default

    The support coming from the roof would be best I think because it will be easier for them to hold on. Trying to hold on with a hand hold shoulder high or lower will be more difficult, especially with all that gear on.

    But looking at this from a distance I wonder if what they want really makes sense. They are not protected by the armor outside. They may find they didn't have the element of surprise and wish they were inside the vehicle. I know in a drug bust situation there will be a lot of excitement and Adrenalin flowing. I can see the driver blasting through a gate without enough clearance on the side scraping off come of the officers. He may have to drive close to a tree or hit a big bump. Another vehicle may even hit them. The worse thing that could happen is getting to the drug bust with half the people missing. I think they would be much better off practicing the exit routine. They may be surprised how proficient they can become at jumping out. Just my humble opinion.
    6010
    If I had know I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Lancaster, Pa
    Posts
    431

    Default

    6010, I agree with you 100% but if you ever talk to an officer, they know best. They are too much of a target on the side if the criminal is holed up and using fire power.

    Besides I think they watch to much TV sometimes and want to be like the Bad Boys
    Ken

    What else is there besides welding and riding. Besides that

    Miller Thunderbolt XL 300/200 AC/DC
    Hobart Handler 187
    Dewalt Chop Saw
    4" Air Grinder
    Die Grinder
    Rigid Drill Press
    Kellogg 10hp Air Compressor


    2009 FXDC

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