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OT: Rebuilding an old forklift for home shop - dumb idea?

dkmc

Diamond
Pictures of said conversions ?

I'll have to dig (no pun intended, Man...;)) a bit to find some.......

EDIT:
This is a thread Hi-Jack......if the OP has a problem with this, I will remove this post.

This is the only evidence of the crime committed on the '53 Yale
Large cap HEI center bottom of photo. This is more than 10 years after the conversion, as evidenced by the ton of dust and dirt the cooling fan has sucked thru the 'engine room'.
With the stock points, this thing was a miserable SOB in damp conditions and cold weather.
Since the HEI install, starting and running smoothly is a complete non-issue. Zero ignition system maintenance has been done since HEI installation, and these were as-gotten junk yard parts with who knows how many miles on them. Can't remember, but I -think- the plugs are gapped at .050.



The 1970 Yale, Slant 6.....
SMALL cap (with external coil) HEI distributor on right, stock Slant 6 Dist on left.
No room for the large cap system on the Slant 6.






 

dkmc

Diamond
More........

This actually came up a bit too short. 2nd try, I'd add about 3/4" to the OAL, but I was
concerned about the cap hitting the frame member. Turns out, I was able to get just enough
movement to set the timing correctly.




No, they're not the early 'Hemi' style wires with the caps that fit in the spark plug tubes...
I checked, but the price on a set was stupid pricey. These work just fine tho....


 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Very nice, however, your post read like you had done the "Bumpercar conversion"
BillD wants.

Not a waste to post though, your pic are very informative, thanks
for taking the time to do that.
 

DFish

Plastic
Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Location
Altus, OK
Rebuilding an old forklift

Hi folks, I'm a newbie to this site, but I've seen a lot of info on here about old forklifts. I'm presently in the process of fixing up an old clark CF25 forklift. I sent an email to clark cmh, with my serial number. The reply was, that my forklift actually had 2 lives. It is a 1968 model that came out as a CF20, then a few months later went back and came out as a CF25. It has the continental Y112 engine in it, and run on LPG. When I bought it, the people said it ran 2 yrs. ago when they parked it. It looks a little ruff, but I brought it home, found tune up parts for it, then hooked up a grill tank to it, and a battery from my jeep, it took it a little while, but it cranked up and ran fine. Now I'm going through stuff making it safe. I have already rewired it with new wire. The things I still need, is a parts book and wiring diagram. If any one knows where I can get them, please let me know. I work on old trucks, in my home shop, so the forklift is not hard to figure out, just hard to find parts for. Thanks for any help. To the OP, it's a blast to work on old things. Just do it!
 

dkmc

Diamond
Now I'm going through stuff making it safe. I have already rewired it with new wire.

Brings up a valid point. New wire or old, a number of years ago we had 2 town highway barns burn down within 50 miles of each other and about 1 year apart. Both fires were caused by electrical shorts in highway maintenance equipment. Ever since then, any and all equipment I have that has a starting battery gets the battery disconnected when not in use. I also keep the terminals clean, leave the ground clamp loose on the battery, but just wedged on the tapered post, so it can be removed quickly if something happens while the machine is in operation. Works fine. A battery disconnect switch works even better if you want to get fancy.
 

badwithusernames

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 24, 2017
I am now 87 years old, and finding it hard to continue on the remaining projects that are on my bucket list. Looking back, I completed projects that were very interesting, things I did because they were rewarding at the time. I realize now that I should have concentrated on things that were important to me. I do not have significant regrets, but use this example to encourage you to look at long time goals and determine what you want to accomplish.

On the fork lift, you would probably enjoy having one for the occasional use. With experience with both battery and internal combustion units, I encourage you to go for a propane powered unit. Gasoline these days gets stale and gives problems if you are not running the engine regularly. Batteries degrade with time and are expensive to replace. Try to find a fork lift in reasonable shape and spend your time on long goal projects.

I agree 500%
I've been working on resurrecting a neglected Allis Chalmers forklift. Most of the experience has been fine, but the last project has made me angry, because I'm behind on my personal projects and I get very little satisfaction from fixing this thing. Just because you can fix anything, doesn't mean you have to.
 

m16ty

Hot Rolled
Joined
May 11, 2016
Why do you think Americans have such an aversion to diesel? You obviously think propane or CNG is better than gasoline or diesel. Of course gasoline is out of the question because of all the additives that cause the fuel to go stale and gum up the works, but you really have it wrong about diesel. The engines start in all kinds of weather. Dampness is a non-issue, as there is no high voltage ignition and with the glow plugs built in, even very cold temperatures are no concern for diesel, but cold temperatures are a killer for propane and CNG. I keep a battery tender hooked up to my STILL and starting is a non-issue even left standing for a whole year at a time.

Evidently, you haven't run a diesel forklift indoors. They will choke you in short order. Gas forklifts will do the same thing. With propane, you'll get a little odor, but are tolerable working indoors.

Indoors, propane or electric is the only way to go. Outdoors, it doesn't really matter.
 

m16ty

Hot Rolled
Joined
May 11, 2016
Some classic/foreign car guys are putting in electric power steering systems. Quick cut of the steering column and room for a windshield-wiper-sized motor is all the mechanics involved, apparently. On a forklift, you wouldn't even need to hide the mod under the dash...

The downsides would be cost (which I didn't look up) and eventual bicep deflation.

Easiest PS conversion is to get a hydrostatic steering setup off a old tractor or combine. Combines are usually the easiest, as you can usually use the whole steering column. I've done this conversion many times.
 

true temper

Stainless
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Location
Kansas

steve-l

Titanium
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Location
Geilenkirchen, Germany
Evidently, you haven't run a diesel forklift indoors. They will choke you in short order. Gas forklifts will do the same thing. With propane, you'll get a little odor, but are tolerable working indoors.

Indoors, propane or electric is the only way to go. Outdoors, it doesn't really matter.

How many hobby guys have a big enough shop to drive a forklift around in? Of course it is for outside use. In which case nothing is better than a diesel forklift.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Because, if the motor doesn't run, there is no prime mover. A forklift left out in the weather is a superb candidate for starting issues if the motor requires a spark ignition and or warm fuel.......that's why.

A diesel left out at -20f with no means to heat it (near a 120 vac outlet)
for a half an hour,
is deader than a gas engine one that I can ether and jump start off my truck at -20f.
 

Strostkovy

Stainless
Joined
Oct 29, 2017
How many hobby guys have a big enough shop to drive a forklift around in? Of course it is for outside use. In which case nothing is better than a diesel forklift.

Wouldn't the main use case then be to move things from outside to inside, and vice versa? If you aren't doing at least that then a forklift isn't even useful. You would want a tractor.

It doesn't get that cold here but I've started my propane forklift while the condensation on it was frozen.

And if trucks are any consideration diesels don't have reputation for starting easy in the cold either.
 

steve-l

Titanium
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Location
Geilenkirchen, Germany
Wouldn't the main use case then be to move things from outside to inside, and vice versa? If you aren't doing at least that then a forklift isn't even useful. You would want a tractor.

It doesn't get that cold here but I've started my propane forklift while the condensation on it was frozen.

And if trucks are any consideration diesels don't have reputation for starting easy in the cold either.

Both your opinion and Doug's is exactly what I mean about diesel bias in the US. It is false. Most diesels start easily in -20f temps because internal heaters are built in. In the OP's case as well as my STILL, the Deutz 3 cylinder engine is used. It has internal glow plugs that are engaged by the start key prior to engine cranking. This engine will easily start in temps even colder than -20f and do it reliably. My Dodge Cummins Dually had an engine heater, but I never needed it in cold temps. It just started all the time. Even the US Army uses exclusively diesel engines in everything today.

In Europe only the warehouse or inside building use forklifts are LP or electric. Most other forklifts are diesel here. It is very unusual to find gasoline forklifts in Europe for pretty good reasons not the least of which is fuel cost. Generally fuel cost in Europe is at least double the USA cost. However, heating oil can be used for forklift fuel and heating oil has no road tax attached to it.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Both your opinion and Doug's is exactly what I mean about diesel bias in the US. It is false. Most diesels start easily in -20f temps because internal heaters are built in. In the OP's case as well as my STILL, the Deutz 3 cylinder engine is used. It has internal glow plugs that are engaged by the start key prior to engine cranking. This engine will easily start in temps even colder than -20f and do it reliably. My Dodge Cummins Dually had an engine heater, but I never needed it in cold temps. It just started all the time. Even the US Army uses exclusively diesel engines in everything today.

In Europe only the warehouse or inside building use forklifts are LP or electric. Most other forklifts are diesel here. It is very unusual to find gasoline forklifts in Europe for pretty good reasons not the least of which is fuel cost. Generally fuel cost in Europe is at least double the USA cost. However, heating oil can be used for forklift fuel and heating oil has no road tax attached to it.

I am in it, I have several off road engines on various machines, gas & diesel.
I regularly need to start these at -20f, sometimes at -34f.

You are not. Glowplugs don't work when the oil is a ball of grease in the pan.

You are showing your blind allegiance to Rudy.

Plain and simple.

and it is sad.

The OP will be just fine with a spark ignited engine....
 

Strostkovy

Stainless
Joined
Oct 29, 2017
Both your opinion and Doug's is exactly what I mean about diesel bias in the US. It is false. Most diesels start easily in -20f temps because internal heaters are built in. In the OP's case as well as my STILL, the Deutz 3 cylinder engine is used. It has internal glow plugs that are engaged by the start key prior to engine cranking. This engine will easily start in temps even colder than -20f and do it reliably. My Dodge Cummins Dually had an engine heater, but I never needed it in cold temps. It just started all the time. Even the US Army uses exclusively diesel engines in everything today.

In Europe only the warehouse or inside building use forklifts are LP or electric. Most other forklifts are diesel here. It is very unusual to find gasoline forklifts in Europe for pretty good reasons not the least of which is fuel cost. Generally fuel cost in Europe is at least double the USA cost. However, heating oil can be used for forklift fuel and heating oil has no road tax attached to it.

So far the only advantage I'm seeing is that many diesel engines can start at temperatures just as low as other engines.

That doesn't change the fact that it stinks.
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
My preference for diesel is mainly reliability,and the engine can be left idling for hours without burning 10 gallons of gas.And as a diesel mechanic ,I understand them......but there are many makes of diesels I would not touch with a pole......And there is no doubt a closed indoor space is not a good work zone ,unless the motor is in top condition....unlikely in a forklift....But a fumey ,oil burning gas engine also stinks pretty bad......As to a wiring diagram....how many wires do you need on a fork......not many.....five or six maybe,with a self regulated alternator......I always have a secret starter switch,so unauthorized people /thieves cant start the machine and rob your shop.
 








 
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