Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Free small utility trailer revamp

A while back a friend got this trailer along with a Honda quad in exchange for a debt. Now Steve, whom I will call Steve because it's his name, is not one to check things over. As long as it hooked over the ball and the tires not totally flat, he'd use it.

All was fine,and for several uses he did not get pulled over for no license plate or the broken lights, but coming back from the hunting club he belongs to he felt a vibration and the left wheel was about to come off...he got it off the road until I could come assist him with a larger trailer he had borrowed from his work, and we were able to winch it aboard. It was dumped in his yard for about a year. .And the yard taketh over....


Steve asked about getting rid of it and said he was thinking of cutting it up for scrap.......the scrounge in me knew with a new axle and some elbow grease with a grinder, some paint put on, I'd have a decent trailer. Georgia is pretty easy to register a homebuilt and does not title small trailers so the lack of paperwork won't be an issue here. Just fill out a form from the DMV, provide reciepts for materials and get it inspected by a cop (and signed off on) ane you are good to go
Now this 4x8' rig was likely home built or done by a pretty good welder. Steel floor and made with what looks like 1/4"x2" angle framing under the floor, and well braced. A nice, crank up swing away jack on the tounge.  But the axle setup is a bit funky. It appears to use floating hubs from a truck, though I can't think of what manufacturer used five lug hubs (most are 8) on this setup. I think they took a rearend from a truck, pulled out the actual axle shafts, and cut the axle tubes to eliminate the pumkin with the ring/pinion under there, and used more angle to splice the two together.

When the bearing failed, it chewed the hub and spindle up.

I went over last Sunday and managed to drag it from it's Kudzu prison, jack it up and get the old stuff mostly cut off before the rain came.

  Those nice, heavy springs are likely from the truck the setup came from.
I priced 1 1/4" spindles, hubs and bearings from Northern Tool, which is about the most inexpensive place to get stuff, but once I added shipping I was over 100 bucks. Then I was at Tractor Supply getting some gardening stuff and saw they had a complete, 3000lb assembly with hubs etc for $159, and I had found a $25 TSC gift card from two Christmases back in my night stand. Game on!

I will have to narrow the axle to fit, it's 72" to the bolt flange for the wheels. I have a pipe cutter to do a nice cut and section out what's needed. I will put a wheel/tire on, get the wheel centered in the fender on one side, "C" clamp the axle to the spring, and measure from the outside edge of the spring to the end of the axle, see what is sticking out on the other side and measure the difference. Of course I will have to cut the spring perches off and transfer them.

   Of course, I told a guy I know about it who automatically said "Why don't you just buy a new trailer...."  I don't know why I even talk to some folk!

  I have been given a pair of chrome Ford Ranger 15" rims with decent tires for this as it has a pretty standard 5 lug on 4 1/2" bolt pattern. I figure that I have $134 in the axle as is, I will need some U bolts, some lights, plywood and paint, and estimate $300-350 max in this when it's all done. And I will have a nice, heavy capacity rig for it's size.