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#1 nathan snyder

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 12:31 AM

So I purchased that McAllister dolly that was on ebay a couple of weeks ago. Among other repairs I am trying to track down a couple of wheels (rims and tires). There are two wheels that don't belong on the dolly. They are not the right size and prevent the dolly from rolling or turning freely.

I have already called Ray Wolf at Pyramid Films (who I gues owns Bardwell McAllister) and he tells me that the last time he replaced wheels on one of these dollys he used Cessna wheels. So, I called a couple of local aircraft parts suppliers, but they were no help. I called a friend of mine who flys and he is looking into it for me but he does not seem hopeful because the cessna wheels I am looking for are a 30 or 40 year old design.

I also called Richard Bennet at Cinema Engineering, because he gave me some great ideas about my Fearless dolly. He told me that he remembers seeing a pile of wheels for the McAllister dolly somewhere but he could not remember where.

The tires are a GoodYear smooth tire with an innertube. They are 12 inches in diameter and just over three inches wide. The marks on one of the tires says "3.4/ 3-007." and the Rims are split (two sides held together with bolts).

Here is a quick photo I took when I was cheking the dolly after I recieved shipment. Notice the two tires that have tread, they are the ones I want to replace.

Posted Image

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 Marc Alucard

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 01:04 PM

So I purchased that McAllister dolly that was on ebay a couple of weeks ago. Among other repairs I am trying to track down a couple of wheels (rims and tires). There are two wheels that don't belong on the dolly. They are not the right size and prevent the dolly from rolling or turning freely.

I have already called Ray Wolf at Pyramid Films (who I gues owns Bardwell McAllister) and he tells me that the last time he replaced wheels on one of these dollys he used Cessna wheels. So, I called a couple of local aircraft parts suppliers, but they were no help. I called a friend of mine who flys and he is looking into it for me but he does not seem hopeful because the cessna wheels I am looking for are a 30 or 40 year old design.

I also called Richard Bennet at Cinema Engineering, because he gave me some great ideas about my Fearless dolly. He told me that he remembers seeing a pile of wheels for the McAllister dolly somewhere but he could not remember where.

The tires are a GoodYear smooth tire with an innertube. They are 12 inches in diameter and just over three inches wide. The marks on one of the tires says "3.4/ 3-007." and the Rims are split (two sides held together with bolts).

Here is a quick photo I took when I was cheking the dolly after I recieved shipment. Notice the two tires that have tread, they are the ones I want to replace.
Posted Image

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Hello Nathan,
Try http://www.mcmaster.com/ and search tires. You didn't mention the axle / hub diameter.

BTW I still have alll that lens support stuff if you can use it.

Good luck!!

Cheers,
Marc
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#3 nathan snyder

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 11:58 PM

Hi Marc,

Good to hear from you.

I sent you an email through cinematography.com because I have lost your email addy. I was then block by your filter. I tried to comply with the filter requests to send you the email but neither the text image or the audio file would come up.

Mail me when you get a chance- nathan@owyheesound.com
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#4 Jim Feldspar

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 11:33 AM

[qThe tires are a GoodYear smooth tire with an innertube. They are 12 inches in diameter and just over three inches wide. The marks on one of the tires says "3.4/ 3-007." and the Rims are split (two sides held together with bolts).


Nathan,

This may be way off paranoid but I had a job changing (regular car tires) and I heard a lot
about the dangers of breaking down split-rim truck tires. It's actually done with the tire in a sort
of cage that you can reach into because sometimes they split apart and go flying and they have
split people apart.

Probably not the same thing, but when I heard "split-rim" I wanted to say at least check it out.
Feel free to say that you have a crazy friend who made you ask.



That's a cool looking dolly. Can you say how much you paid for it?
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#5 Paul Bruening

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 06:10 PM

Hey Nathan,

What happened to the Panodamnit? Was it too much of a pain to get around?
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#6 nathan snyder

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 12:02 AM

Jim,
Interesting. I will double check with my tire shop but I think that split rim dilema occurs at sustained high speeds faster than the 5miles an hour top speed I will be pushing this dolly. Also these wheels have innertubes and are not subject to the strains of the tubless split rim wheels.

I did not pay nearly what I think the dolly is worth. I paid just shy of a grand (including shipping) and I will have to alot of work tuning the hydraulics up myself which I realize most folks dont do themsleves. But I want this dolly to perform as close to as it did when it was new as possible. So far I think I need to replace six O rings an rebuild the pump and possibly replace the accumulator (which stores the built up hydraulic pressure from the pump so the acuators or pistons can run silently for sound shots).

Paul,
I still think the Fearless is the better dolly, but this dolly weighs less (almost half as much as the fearless) has pneumatic wheels so it can runs relatively smooth on imperfect surfaces like asphalt, and fits through a 3 foot doorway. But if I were in a big studio with a perfectly flat floor I would put any camera on the Fearless before the McAllister. Hydraulics are cool but manual gears are better.
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#7 Mark Henderson

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 08:31 PM

Nathan:

Check with companies that make "airless" tires. Look here:

http://www.airfreeti...asp?Tread=Slick

It's a start. If you look around you might find the size you need.

Also, the rim mentioned earlier is called a "suicide" rim. It was outlawed because it kept cutting the heads off of the people changing the tire. On a truck tire, it's was a metal rim about 1" wide that ran around the inside of the metal rim up against the rubber. The guys changing the tire would have to stand on the tire and beat it while bending over to brake this "rim" free. When they did, guess where it went... straight up. Next time you are in a tire shop that changes truck tires, look up, there's usually a hole made by these. The place I take my grip truck to has a nice "half moon" cut in the roof.

Good luck,
Mark
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#8 nathan snyder

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 07:46 PM

Hi Mark,
Thanks for the link. I did not find anything on the website that worked but I have contacted them and maybe they can help me with a special one off manufacture.

I will ask again, does anyone know where I might find some wheels that have slick tread, are 12" in diameter, 3" in width and have an axel of 16mm? The rim diamter is not critical to me but I believe that it would have to bearound 7". Also, the tire need to be pneumatic, or need to respond to the any surface they roll over like a pneumatic tire. I plan to use this dolly on out door locations, like on sidewalks and parkinglots and warehouse floors so I need the smoothing effect of pneumatic tires.

Thanks for the help I have got already but I still havnt find the right wheels.
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#9 Bret Allen

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 05:26 PM

I just wanted to share what I have done with Mcallister dolly. In fact I own two now.

I have spent most of my career on a Fisher or Chapman dolly. I was given a McAllister chassis from a key grip friend of mine about ten years ago, but it had no arm. I figured that because it's steering was In good shape and I know how to build things in my garage, I'd someday build an arm for it...

Fast forward about eight years... Well that dolly sat in my garage all that time and I never did anything with it. In the meantime I semi retired from the "rat race" of features and episodic TV and moved to a small community just outside of Sacramento CA. I now produce corporate films local TV spots etc. I invested in a Jimmy Jib package 25' height. Well all of a sudden that McAllister dolly was going to come in very handy because I wanted to use it as my platform for my jib; it's perfect for that.

The problem is that, for one, the dolly is too wide to fit through most doorways. So, I had to get out the cutter and modified the chassis from 33" down to 29" in width. Two the wheels were in bad shape and, like you, was tyring to find substitute wheels. the spindle was some odd diameter and couldn't find anything that would fit. Finlay I removed the spindles and took them to someone that had a lathe and had them turned to a common 5/8" diameter. I settled on a 10" grey wheel by Richmond. They are a semi soft solid rubber that will never need to be inflated and because they're grey, I don't have to worry about scuffing up some ones floor.

Now fast forward another two years. I'm doing a job for a local production company and out in there warehouse what do I see buried in a corner? yes another McAllister dolly with the arm in it this time. I quickly made them an offer and because it was old junk to them, I got it pretty cheep. I have done the same thing to this chassis, Reducing the width to 29", having the spindles turned to 5/8" and getting another set of my grey wheels. The only other modification I am making is to the hydraulic system. As it stands, the control valve is on the left and I need it on the right so I have had to flip flop the whole hydro system. I have just finished this process and charged up the system for the first time yesterday and it works great. I am waiting to get my spindles back this next week. I am coating the outside panels with that Rino lining so it will look cool and have a rubbery finish as not to scrape things. I'll use those skateboard wheels on aluminum channel to put it on track when I need to.

This has been a long project but when I'm done , this Mcallister will , in my opinion, be as good as a Fisher 9 or the Chapman Hustler.

If anyone has information on the history of these fine dollys please let me know. I would like to find out what years they were in service in Hollywood, anything tecnial etc.

bret@filmtoys.tv
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#10 David Erlichman

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 05:54 PM

Sounds great!! Love to see some photos!

Anyone have a Fraser Dolly?

Dave
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#11 Toy Spears

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 08:18 PM

Those are great mods do you have pics? Where did you cut the frame and re-weld to shorten the width? I am interested in doing this myself. I have one that I set my Xtend'r-Jib on but cant get it through most doors. Also have you had any problems with the shaft that engages and disengages 4 wheel crab? all of the sudden mine has jammed up, i can only move it too about the half way between 4-wheel and locked steering. Very frustrating, something must be in the shaft but I cant figure out how to get to the gears.
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#12 David Rakoczy

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 09:17 PM

I have a Colortran completely overhauled sporting a Pee Wee Leveling Head and Seat.
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#13 michael best

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 05:03 PM

Try Visual Products http://www.visualproducts.com/ they sel used gear, and may have some parts. I know they carry elemack dolly parts so seems like a good place to start
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#14 Darryl Richard Humber

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:23 PM

I just wanted to share what I have done with Mcallister dolly. In fact I own two now.

I have spent most of my career on a Fisher or Chapman dolly. I was given a McAllister chassis from a key grip friend of mine about ten years ago, but it had no arm. I figured that because it's steering was In good shape and I know how to build things in my garage, I'd someday build an arm for it...

Fast forward about eight years... Well that dolly sat in my garage all that time and I never did anything with it. In the meantime I semi retired from the "rat race" of features and episodic TV and moved to a small community just outside of Sacramento CA. I now produce corporate films local TV spots etc. I invested in a Jimmy Jib package 25' height. Well all of a sudden that McAllister dolly was going to come in very handy because I wanted to use it as my platform for my jib; it's perfect for that.

The problem is that, for one, the dolly is too wide to fit through most doorways. So, I had to get out the cutter and modified the chassis from 33" down to 29" in width. Two the wheels were in bad shape and, like you, was tyring to find substitute wheels. the spindle was some odd diameter and couldn't find anything that would fit. Finlay I removed the spindles and took them to someone that had a lathe and had them turned to a common 5/8" diameter. I settled on a 10" grey wheel by Richmond. They are a semi soft solid rubber that will never need to be inflated and because they're grey, I don't have to worry about scuffing up some ones floor.

Now fast forward another two years. I'm doing a job for a local production company and out in there warehouse what do I see buried in a corner? yes another McAllister dolly with the arm in it this time. I quickly made them an offer and because it was old junk to them, I got it pretty cheep. I have done the same thing to this chassis, Reducing the width to 29", having the spindles turned to 5/8" and getting another set of my grey wheels. The only other modification I am making is to the hydraulic system. As it stands, the control valve is on the left and I need it on the right so I have had to flip flop the whole hydro system. I have just finished this process and charged up the system for the first time yesterday and it works great. I am waiting to get my spindles back this next week. I am coating the outside panels with that Rino lining so it will look cool and have a rubbery finish as not to scrape things. I'll use those skateboard wheels on aluminum channel to put it on track when I need to.

This has been a long project but when I'm done , this Mcallister will , in my opinion, be as good as a Fisher 9 or the Chapman Hustler.

If anyone has information on the history of these fine dollys please let me know. I would like to find out what years they were in service in Hollywood, anything tecnial etc.

bret@filmtoys.tv


I used an old Mcallister years ago and also had a problem finding tires. I was also told that aircraft tires were used. I do know that the Paramount Grip Dock at the studios has rows of old Mcallisters in great condition gathering dust. You might try contacting the Paramount Studios grip Department.
I have a brief history of the Mcalister on my website dollygrippery.com. Click "dolly history" on the side.
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#15 Darryl Richard Humber

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:37 PM

I used an old Mcallister years ago and also had a problem finding tires. I was also told that aircraft tires were used. I do know that the Paramount Grip Dock at the studios has rows of old Mcallisters in great condition gathering dust. You might try contacting the Paramount Studios grip Department.
I have a brief history of the Mcalister on my website dollygrippery.com. Click "dolly history" on the side.

Whoops, sorry. I just reread it and it's briefer than I thought. Mostly about Colortrans, Sidewinders, etc. but interesting reading.
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