Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Free utility trailer revamp part II

Now that it's November and the summer is gone, I have finally gotten back to updating the blog on this project that I started last June.

In early August, I finally got over to Steve's (the donor of the rusted relic) place with the replacement axle, and mocked it up in place.

My pal Phil gave me a pair of 15" rims with good Continental tires on them from a Ford Ranger pickup. These have the same 5 lug on a 4 1/2" pattern as the trailer  axle hubs. I slid the axle in over the springs and put one wheel on, positioned it where I wanted it.

Then I "C" clamped the axle to the springs, and made a measurement from the center of the leaf spring to the end of the axle on the side with the wheel where I wanted it. I then went to the other side, and marked it for the spring center-

Then I went home and several more weeks later (try October!) I narrowed the axle 7 1/4".  I used a pipe cutter, made quick work of it.

Just sheer concentration on that face.....

And once cut, I had to get it dead straight to weld it back together.

The axle, as purchased, had some camber to it. I took it out and made it straight. As narrow as it is now and considering it will likely never be loaded close to it's 3000lb rating, she'll be fine. In any case better than the home cobbled truck axle that was in there before.

Now where was I? Oh, I took the piece I cut out, cut it in half endwise, flattened it somewhat with a hammer, and used it for reinforcement of the splice. Came out nice I think-

On a Saturday in mid November I made it back over, clamped it all together, swept out the leaves and towed it home.

I spent some time trying to hammer the fenders into some type of less mangled shape than they were, as well as cutting the brackets and moving them in to better cover the tires and not stick out so far.
See below, before shot-

And an after-

Did not get any pics, but I cut the 1 7/8" coupler off the tounge and welded on a 2 incher so I do not have to swap the ball on my  tow rigs, as the boat we also tow uses a 2 incher.

I then pressure washed it, let it dry, and started to use a wire wheel on a grinder to knock the loose, flaking rust off. I treated the rusty metal with OSPHO, a chemical that converts iron oxide (rust) to iron phosphate before attempting any kind of paint. I think it is going to be dark grey in some industrial satin finish enamel. Then to put some plywood on the sides, fill out the GA DMV form for a home built trailer. 

That's all I have now, hope to get it finished and wired with new lights in a week or two.