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  • Bringing a trailer back to life

    As some of you may know I am still working an entire boat, motor and trailer refurbishing package. I finished the OB and a trolling motor already. I'm posting this here in this section because even though it is part of a complete rebuild effort, it is really a project that can stand on its own. So if this is posted in the wrong section, the powers that be can move it if they think otherwise. It won't hurt my feelings.
    Here is what I started with;





    While on the surface it looks like it is fair condition, it is in serious need of some huge amounts of attention. The actual trailer tongue was cracked right where it attached to the chassis of the body of the trailer that I didn't know about when I bought it. So That started the entire rebuild project.

    This was my starting point with everything stripped off the trailer



    Not much to work with yet.



    Luckily I have an engine host to use with lifting this around.

    Here is the tongue removes after finding the crack.

    Last edited by gm280; February 26th, 2014, 10:51 AM.
    Tom Boy Boat Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...s-what-trailer
    Rebuilt trailer project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/gener...r-back-to-life
    '76 40 HP Johnson rebuild https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...mplete-rebuild
    Minn Kota 599 Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ta-599-project

  • #2
    Re: Bringing a trailer back to life

    Looking good and appears your 3rd and 5th image is the same
    94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
    95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
    07 Seadoo GTX
    Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
    G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

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    • #3
      Re: Bringing a trailer back to life

      As you can see from the previous post, the tongue was really just two pieces of 1/8" channel metal spot welded together about every 8" or so. I cut all that off and bought a 3" X 3" X 20' 1/4" box steel to replace that weak design.



      That pretty much set the trailer for all the addition things I wanted to install now



      At this time I have added all new bunk supports that were measured from the trailer to the actual boat and angles were made to them and welded on. All the old bunk supports were removed as well as the roller mounts too. I welded everything back after cutting them and fitting them to the boat. That way nothing will ever get out of adjustment.



      You can see my weld grindings before dressing everything up later on prior to priming.



      I then bought new fenders and welded them on.



      The old trailer setup used 12" 4 bolt wheels, tires and hubs. The tires were so cracked from dry rot that I had to replace them. The PO took some white can paint and sprayed over the serious rust pitting to make them look better. It was obvious he did that because white paint was on the tires too. In fact he even turned one wheel around and put it on backwards to cover up the extremely serious rim rust. I decided that since those wheels, tires and hubs with the bearing and races and seals were completely gone, I would buy new 5 bolt hubs with bearings, races, seals and lug nuts new to replace then old ones. I also took the old axle assembly with the leaf springs and disassembled them as well. Sanded and even sand blasted those springs and primed and painted them and reassembled them again. They were remounted on the trailer chassis again to give me a solid base to work with.

      By now some of you are questioning why I would spend any money on this trailer in the first place. I bought this trailer, boat and O/B off Ebay after bidding on it from pictures only. And while it was just 20 miles away, I was not allowed to go by and look at it because it was donated to a company called Boat Angles (I think) to help with their efforts to provide for the needy. So my low bid won the package. After I got to the home address is the first time I got to see everything. But my bid was so cheap that I still decided to take it home...

      The O/B was a 1976 40HP Johnson (also needed much attention) and I liked that and that basically made my decision to take it all instead of declining... The amount of education I came by doing these parts of the total package are amazing. I now can look over any boat, motor or trailer and see everything they may need now.

      Yes AllDodge, I seen that after the post...thanks...
      Tom Boy Boat Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...s-what-trailer
      Rebuilt trailer project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/gener...r-back-to-life
      '76 40 HP Johnson rebuild https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...mplete-rebuild
      Minn Kota 599 Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ta-599-project

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      • #4
        Re: Bringing a trailer back to life

        Continuing on, the new fenders are getting a lot of surface rust because it is sitting outside during my work.

        I Flipped the trailer frame over temporarily bolted on the new wheels and tires to get some perspective on how things would line up and started adding the rear step sections to the frame and fender. I needed them to align straight across from the frame and the other side too. So I used a straight decking board and some clamps to hold everything in alignment until I could spot weld the metal. Interesting that the actual metal I was using for this rear step area was actually the old trailer tongue that I removed and cut through the welds giving me two channel section to reuse. Once I measured the length and width I cut a "V" notch in the metal and folded it to form the right angle corners. Then I spot welded the corner and came back and did a total weld of the entire section after everything was verified good and aligned.



        You can also see in this picture the many bunk support brackets installed and the center roller holders too. You wouldn't think there was much to building such a trailer, but there are a lot of welds to be made. Never doing much welding before this I was learning as I went. I now can tell exactly when a weld is going good and one that is not working correctly just by the sound.



        Another shot of the rear step section. You can see the wood and clamps and the spot weld in the corner of the right angle. At this point I was aligning the new rear step to the fender to get a nice fit before welding it all together. It took a few setups and regrinding before the fit was good to weld to the fender. Slow process but it is only time...

        Once I got the rear steps attached, I started with the front of the fender steps. I used the same procedures to align them as well. But this was a little different because I also had to blend in the angle of the trailer frame coming from the tongue area too. These front steps took a lot longer but I finally got them aligned as well after many many regrinds and tries.





        Another look at the two step sections welded on now. Still a long way to go...
        Last edited by gm280; February 27th, 2014, 06:54 AM.
        Tom Boy Boat Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...s-what-trailer
        Rebuilt trailer project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/gener...r-back-to-life
        '76 40 HP Johnson rebuild https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...mplete-rebuild
        Minn Kota 599 Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ta-599-project

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Bringing a trailer back to life

          About the rusty fenders. I was watching one of the car rebuilding shows and they were using a type of primer that can be welded through.

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          • #6
            Re: Bringing a trailer back to life

            Originally posted by lckstckn2smknbrls View Post
            About the rusty fenders. I was watching one of the car rebuilding shows and they were using a type of primer that can be welded through.
            Yes there is a Weldon type primer, but I solve the surface rust later on in this thread...to come... I really wasn't much concerned about any surface rust knowing what else there was to do at this time... Thanks for the post and comment. I have to say while I did know about the Weldon primer, I've never tried it either...
            Tom Boy Boat Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...s-what-trailer
            Rebuilt trailer project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/gener...r-back-to-life
            '76 40 HP Johnson rebuild https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...mplete-rebuild
            Minn Kota 599 Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ta-599-project

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Bringing a trailer back to life

              As you can see from the previous pictures I also installed two tie-down plates at the back of the trailer so I can use tie down straps from the boat transom to hold it on the trailer and not bounce around while trailering. After finishing up with the steps I decided to do a dry fit with the bunks and fender boards to see how everything looked. I used 2" X 6" treated wood and after cutting them to the correct length, I then cut the ends to an angle to help loading the boat on from the water. I also used a 1/2" round-over router bit and went over all the edges to make everything smooth and splinter free. Then I sanded them with some 220 git sandpaper to make them really smooth with no ridges.



              I also used some angle metal to form a license bracket to hold the license plate and protect it also. I see a lot of bent up plates that take a real beating because the plates are out in the open with no protection. I've made these plate holders on other trailers and they work great. It is really nothing but some angle iron cut with a 45 degree wedge and bent to form right angles and welded together to form the plate holder. Then use an old plate for a hole pattern and drill for the mounting holes and weld the plate holder on the trailer. I also installed the roller too and actually loaded the boat (which is visible in the background) to verify everything worked perfect and there was nothing that needed changed before moving on. On the sides of the trailer I added two brackets for the side lights. They too came from the old tongue metal I cut apart. I also drilled the access holes for both the mounting bolts and access through the trailer side for the LED light wire connections. I like to get everything drilled cut and ready before finishing up everything for paint. This being built for a tri-hull boat. I needed (well I guess I needed anyways) four bunks to hold the boat perfectly while trailering. I' sure as light as this boat is, two would have worked okay as well. But I get carried away too many times and over design instead of under design... As you can also see, I used carriage bolts for everything to hold the work pieces on. I purchased everything in stainless steel and predrill the holes and counter sink the heads below the surface to allow the carpet to look smooth. I glue the bolts in place to keep them from turning while tightening them on the brackets. I used 5/16" x 18 tpi size. Again over kill, 1/4" X 20 tpi would work as well... I usually order these in bulk to save money buying piece-parts locally. Stainless steel can get pricey otherwise.

              All this take much time but I serious enjoy doing these projects...
              Last edited by gm280; February 28th, 2014, 06:46 AM.
              Tom Boy Boat Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...s-what-trailer
              Rebuilt trailer project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/gener...r-back-to-life
              '76 40 HP Johnson rebuild https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...mplete-rebuild
              Minn Kota 599 Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ta-599-project

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Bringing a trailer back to life

                Nice work!
                The License Plate bracket is a great idea. I used some Aluminum Angle to protect the lights for the plate and tail, as I broke several over the years.
                On the Dark Side, there are no reevets….
                MBS, They tell me I need help, what I need is more 5200.

                1988 SunRunner 235 Weekender
                1963 Merc 500
                1963 Starcraft Jet Star
                1974 Starcraft Chieftain

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                • #9
                  Re: Bringing a trailer back to life

                  Okay moving forward again. The old trailer jack, winch tower, safety chain attachment, tongue skid and front roller holder were all removed and I created new ones to take their places. The old trailer jack assembly was so bent out of shape and had some metric bolts with SAE nuts that were barely hold it on (as you can see in previous pictures). So I had to remove that and make a new setup. And the old winch tower was also bent out of usefulness anymore that I totally fabricated a new setup as well. Same with the front roller holder too. And the safety chain was beyond rusted. So all new items were built and welded on. You can see those items in these pictures. I welded on the trailer jack plate so it wouldn't ever loosen up and change positions. The winch tower was all new and sized to fit the boat perfectly with a new web winch as well. And that tongue skid was the toughest to bent. I had to use a 1/4" piece of steel and to get it to bent, I used a 20 ton press and some thick steel plates on the sides as I pressed the center down. And I thought a 20 ton shop press was never going to be used but for one simple car front end job.

                  It took a lot of force to get the shape, but I know it will protect the tongue from catapulting the trailer if the trailer ever came loose and caught the road just right. Of course I also welded on a 1/4" plate drilled to attach the safety chains to, to help the tongue from ever hitting the road in the first place. Safety has to be observed! You can also see the trailer tongue hitch was welded on too. Have to attach the trailer to the hitch receiver somehow.





                  At this time I had used a little rattle can primer to keep everything from rusting as I proceeded along. It is getting there...

                  I started to grind the welded joints to make them blend better and look nicer. I am a true believer in flap disc now. I can't believe how fast those 4 1/2" angle grinder flaps grind metal away so quickly. If you've never used them, you owe it to yourself to try them out. You won't be disappointed for sure. And I also used some 2" Roloc 3M sanding disc for the angle grinders too. The pneumatic angle grinders get into those tight areas and blend the welds down nicely. They come in various grits and I like the 60 to 80 grit types for weld grinding before switching to 100 and 120 grits. But they do an amazing job as well. On the actual fenders I actually used a Dewalt orbital sander with 40 and 60 grit 5" sanding disc. It does a nice job but is a little slower on metal then wood. So use what you got to do the job...
                  Tom Boy Boat Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...s-what-trailer
                  Rebuilt trailer project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/gener...r-back-to-life
                  '76 40 HP Johnson rebuild https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...mplete-rebuild
                  Minn Kota 599 Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ta-599-project

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Bringing a trailer back to life

                    Sweet job where the leaf springs on top of the axle at first? If so did it keep the trailer height about the same when you mounted the bigger tires and leafs on the bottom?
                    Asking cause I have to go from drop axle to a straight axle and maybe small size tire need trailer higher.
                    Man I wish I knew how to weld.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Bringing a trailer back to life

                      Originally posted by MRS View Post
                      Sweet job where the leaf springs on top of the axle at first? If so did it keep the trailer height about the same when you mounted the bigger tires and leafs on the bottom?
                      Asking cause I have to go from drop axle to a straight axle and maybe small size tire need trailer higher.
                      Man I wish I knew how to weld.
                      MRS, If I remember correctly the original setup of the axle assembly was on the bottom (or outside) of the leaf springs. I put them on the top (or inside) of the leaf springs as it is now. So since I removed the 12" rims and tires and went with 13" rims and tires the overall trailer height now sets just a little higher from the ground. But not as high as one would think, maybe an inch if that. But I went from 4 lug hub setup to a five lug hub setup. And from studs to lug nuts. I just like the 5 bolt and lug nut design better. So I purchased new fenders for a 13" rim/tire setup and they fit really nicely. Plenty of clearance (equally spaced as well) all around the tire to fender. So maybe an inch height if that is the total difference from original. I can live with that for a much better and safer setup. The original hubs were still usable but the bearings, races, and of course the grease seals were toast and would have to be replaced anyway. I actually bought two completely new 5 bolt hubs with bearings, seals, races, dust caps and lug nuts (although I bought chrome lug nuts and bearing buddies as replacements) shipped to my house for around $45 dollars. Buying the replacement parts for the old hubs probably would have cost that much or more.

                      As far as being able to weld, I never had one lesson on welding. I just started and the more I welded, the better the welds looked and now they look very good. You can actually hear when you are welding properly and when it is not welding correct. If you hear the welds popping and spitting, something is wrong. And that can be the current adjustment, the wire feed rate, the gas not adjusted correctly, or even improper cleaning of the parts to be welded. It really doesn't take very long to get nice weld joints. Buy a MIG setup and practice. It is serious fun... If I can do it anybody can...honestly!

                      Keep watching I have a lot more to come on this project...
                      Last edited by gm280; March 1st, 2014, 03:27 PM.
                      Tom Boy Boat Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...s-what-trailer
                      Rebuilt trailer project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/gener...r-back-to-life
                      '76 40 HP Johnson rebuild https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...mplete-rebuild
                      Minn Kota 599 Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ta-599-project

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Bringing a trailer back to life

                        gm, Thanks for the reply I just was at lowes looking at welders might have to take the leap after your pep talk.
                        Your trailer is going to be Nice will keep watching your progress I need to raise my boat from the fenders so fenders will have room to fit right. Right now I have a 3 1/2 drop axle and I am going to go to a straight axle that should lift boat away from fenders 3 1/2 away I think. Keep up the Great work....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Bringing a trailer back to life

                          Originally posted by MRS View Post
                          gm, Thanks for the reply I just was at lowes looking at welders might have to take the leap after your pep talk.
                          Your trailer is going to be Nice will keep watching your progress I need to raise my boat from the fenders so fenders will have room to fit right. Right now I have a 3 1/2 drop axle and I am going to go to a straight axle that should lift boat away from fenders 3 1/2 away I think. Keep up the Great work....
                          MRS, Odd you stated that you went to Lowes and was looking at their welders. This is the place my wife bought my MIG welder from. I have a Hobart MIG setup (the 110volt version) and it has worked perfectly for everything I welded thus far. I wanted the 110 version so I could use it most anywhere. If I were welding for a living, of course I'd buy a much larger and more capably MIG setup and even a TIG setup as well, but so far I was able to weld all the metal I've come across. When she bought it for me (around Christmas time one year) they had it on sell and offered the cart for free as well. So she got a really great deal. I have gone through a number of 10-12lb spools of .030" wire and a lot of Argon/CO2 gas too, but I really enjoy welding now. I think you would enjoy welding too. It is addicting...
                          Tom Boy Boat Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...s-what-trailer
                          Rebuilt trailer project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/gener...r-back-to-life
                          '76 40 HP Johnson rebuild https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...mplete-rebuild
                          Minn Kota 599 Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ta-599-project

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Bringing a trailer back to life

                            What grit flapper disc's are you using?
                            I need to clean up a trailer to repaint, old paint and light rust.

                            Comment


                            • #15
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                              Re: Bringing a trailer back to life

                              Originally posted by lckstckn2smknbrls View Post
                              What grit flapper disc's are you using?
                              I need to clean up a trailer to repaint, old paint and light rust.
                              If I were going to clean up basically surface rust in prep for priming and painting, I'd use 80 or 100 or even 120 grit flap disc. They will cut through any rust quickly and if you get some good ones, they will last an amazingly long time as well. Zirconium disc are harder then aluminum oxide type. But name brands of either type will work. If the rust is a little deeper then the usual surface rust, use the 80 grit. If the trailer is basically good but some simple surface rust, go 100 or 120 grit. if you are going to smooth out some weld joints, go with 40 or 60 grit. You can control the bite a little with the amount of pressure you apply, so a medium grit (60-80) could work for all situations. You will see once you start using them. I buy most of mine on Evil Bay. I can buy two to three times the number then the local stores for the same price. I bought five disc for my trailer usage and I still have one left over that hasn't even been used yet, and my trailer is finished painted presently...
                              Tom Boy Boat Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...s-what-trailer
                              Rebuilt trailer project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/gener...r-back-to-life
                              '76 40 HP Johnson rebuild https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...mplete-rebuild
                              Minn Kota 599 Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ta-599-project

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