Shocks AND leaf springs on my trailer??

clattin

Seaman
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Jul 18, 2012
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73
My dad gave me his older 17' Spectrum (made by Blue Fin) and it sits on a galvanized Escort trailer. When trailering it home 1000 miles, we got 10 miles from home and a wheel bearing seized up. I'm in the process of replacing the axle and I've never seen a boat trailer with leaf springs AND shock absorbers. One of the brackets on the axle that the shock attaches to was damaged and I can't find another one. I have learned the axle was made by Reliant Manufacturing and I contacted them and they don't do those trailers any more. Any suggestions on where I could get a similar bracket? Do I even need it? I can't imagine this boat is heavy enough to need both shocks and leaf springs.

Thanks!
ChrisIMG_9822.jpgIMG_9830.jpg
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
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Nov 20, 2001
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12,472
Since they are not galvanized, I’m guessing the shock brackets are homemade.
Certainly wouldn’t be hard to fabricate
 

ahicks

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Sep 16, 2013
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3,274
My vote - take the shock brackets off and throw them away. Talk to Dexter Axle directly if you need a hand. Order new axle w/hubs to fit your wheels (4 bolt vs. 5).

Good source if you don't already have one : https://www.easternmarine.com/axles


Drop Axles - Your Completely Build-To-Order Custom Dexter Drop Axle
 

clattin

Seaman
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
73
Since they are not galvanized, I’m guessing the shock brackets are homemade.
Certainly wouldn’t be hard to fabricate
I thought the same thing at first and then I saw this pic on the Reliable Manufacturing website for their marine division and this is the exact trailer and it has the shocks on it too.

Thanks!
Chris
RVMarine-2048x1365.jpg
 

marc c

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Feb 22, 2005
Messages
3,245
Shocks and springs do different things.
They are not mutually exclusive.
The shocks will dampen the effects of the springs.
I'm not saying you need them, but they won't hurt.
 

dingbat

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I thought the same thing at first and then I saw this pic on the Reliable Manufacturing website for their marine division and this is the exact trailer and it has the shocks on it too.

Thanks!
Chris
View attachment 339236
"Home made" as in not commercially available... i.e. custom made by Reliable Manufacturing
 

Chris1956

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Mar 25, 2004
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I have seen one other trailer with shocks. It had coil springs. It was from the 80's or earlier.

Shocks and leaf springs were very common on American cars up to the 80s'. Earlier cars had them front and rear. Just about rear wheel drive product had them in the rear, until rear wheel drive was mostly phased out. McPherson Struts replaced them, in FWD cars.

The hardest thing to replace is likely the shocks, as I would think that you would need to match them up from aftermarket auto stock.

The bracket can be made of angle iron and a U bolt. Should be pretty easy to fabricate with a drill and a hacksaw.
 

clattin

Seaman
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
73
I have seen one other trailer with shocks. It had coil springs. It was from the 80's or earlier.

Shocks and leaf springs were very common on American cars up to the 80s'. Earlier cars had them front and rear. Just about rear wheel drive product had them in the rear, until rear wheel drive was mostly phased out. McPherson Struts replaced them, in FWD cars.

The hardest thing to replace is likely the shocks, as I would think that you would need to match them up from aftermarket auto stock.

The bracket can be made of angle iron and a U bolt. Should be pretty easy to fabricate with a drill and a hacksaw.
Out of curiosity, how would you create the bracket with a U bolt and angle iron? I can't envision how that would be done. The bottom of shock would need to attach to a 5/8" bolt that is parallel to the ground and pointing toward the rear of the trailer below the axle.

Thanks!
Chris
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
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Nov 20, 2001
Messages
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Out of curiosity, how would you create the bracket with a U bolt and angle iron? I can't envision how that would be done. The bottom of shock would need to attach to a 5/8" bolt that is parallel to the ground and pointing toward the rear of the trailer below the axle.

Thanks!
Chris
Looks like a piece of 1/4” x 2” flat stock bent into a U.

Very easy to fab with a torch
 

Chris1956

Supreme Mariner
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Mar 25, 2004
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24,085
Gee, bolt a piece of angle iron (for strength) to the axel with a U bolt. Now bolt the shock to the lower ubolts end. You will probably need to cut the top ubolt short and use a couple of washers on the lower U bolt for a spacer.

Flat stock across the ubolt might be better, if the angled part of the angle iron gets in the way of the shock.
 
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