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ANOTHER Rockridge4wd Creation!! Spare Tire Carrier Delete The Jeep Forum Discount is ON!The Original 3/8" Ruffstuff Diff Cover!

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Unread 07-13-2015, 11:34 PM   #1
ghostwhite
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Old Datsun Bed Offroad Trailer build.

I picked up this old trailer to make into a nice offroad/camp trailer and figured I could make a build thread instead of cluttering up the Las Vegas thread.

I was browsing craigslist for an offroad trailer and came up with this.





It towed home real nice and I think it will fit the bill just fine with some minor modifications.



It is an early Datsun/Toyota shortbed and frame. The overall design is simple but someone with very poor welding skills was involved in the trailer conversion, that's for sure.



I think I am going to chop most of the front frame rails off, put in a crossmember or two and run a beefy square tube tongue that can fold up. I plan to use a lock-n-roll or maxcoupler hitch for better articulation.

One of those 'bigger glob, better job' deals.





I'm guessing someone wasn't very careful with the torch either.



Its fairly solid inside.



The gas tank and the parking brake cables are still around. I think I may drop the tank, clean it out good and use it for spare fuel instead of gas cans. I have a few electric transfer pumps around.





My toyota is 5x4.5 lug pattern which is the same as my xj but unfortunately this thing is six lug.



I don't know if I want to slap my spare Chrysler 8.25 under it, use 6 lug to 5 lug adapters or just convert to a lighter 5 lug trailer. Either way I'd like to use the old steelies and 33s from my xj.

With a little adjustment the stock tailgate latches both work ok.



Among many other things it needs a bumper and some taillights. It is spring under right now so I can go spring over or just clearance the bedsides depending on where it sits with whichever axle I use.

And luckily it was already title as a trailer by a previous owner.

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Unread 07-14-2015, 12:01 AM   #2
ghostwhite
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I then started on the rear bumper section.

I wanted to build the bumper recessed in far enough to allow the tailgate to swing down and hang without tagging anything but after building the mounts and mocking everything up I realized this won't offer as much protection if I end up grinding the rear end of the trailer into the ground or off a rock and won't do anything if I back it into something solid. I'm going to keep the main tube set in but I'll bend up a tube to extend back and down to protect the back and tail lights.

Here is what I have to work with for the bumper. The frame inner diameter is 2.5 so that's what I chose to build the bumper out of.





Tube had to be notched to extend in a little further.









I went overkill with some 2.5x2.5 3/16 wall.



I haven't totally decided how far I want the bumper to stick out width-wise, my two best ideas were closer to flush with the edge of the bed or flush with the tailgate. I think I may go all the way out for added coverage. I may also add a hoop/slider going from the bumper to the rear of the fenderwell along the rear corner.

Option A



Option #2



My MaxCoupler arrived today so I took a break from the rear to get the hitch rigged up while I wait on my taillights.

Chop Chop



The 'tongue' in these two pics was just for mock up.





I set the rear cross tube as far back as I could without interfering with the gas tank. I have 17" of separation between the two crossmembers which gives me up to 51" of tongue length total. I went with 45" long and the tongue is 2.53x2.53 .250 wall 'receiver' tube from a local steel supplier, I paid for 6ft and ended up with about 8" more so I'll have some spare tube for other stuff.



I am going to add some gussets to the overall front structure and make a shelf to hold a lockable tote, firewood or a cooler and some propane probably.





The MaxCoupler







I don't know why but I found the 'Brophy' logo funny. It will be replaced with whatever gives me a level trailer after the lift/tires are figured out.



And here it is hooked up. I measured both jeeps to see how far from the centerline of the hitch ball to the corner of the jeep to see how long the tongue would need to be to jack-knife 90* without touching. 36" is about how long it needs minimum.





Still needs some safety chains added and I need to figure out what I want for a tongue jack etc. Taillights will be here tomorrow
17" RED LED SEALED TRAILER STOP, TAIL, AND TURN RED LIGHT BAR.

Still need to decide on what I'm going to do with the axle so I can get the 33s on it.

These are the 33s on a 16" rim that were on my XJ, bolt pattern 5x4.5

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Unread 07-14-2015, 06:15 PM   #3
B0nez
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Looks like a great start, looking forward to seeing this progress. That Brophy name made me laugh too, I thought that was a trophy for a dude with a flat bill hat and rollin coal out of the dual stacks from his 2WD sittin on 40's :P
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Unread 07-15-2015, 07:59 PM   #4
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Thanks, its coming along. Been a pain to work on during the week having to haul it back and forth from my storage to work on it(especially without decent taillights), I hate HOAs. I've also been sick a few days this week.

Lights showed up, time to cut the bumper to length and get it mounted so I can wire up the taillights. Need some wheels or swap axles.
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Unread 07-16-2015, 05:58 PM   #5
smccollamjr
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I think I'd go with a trailer axle to save weight.
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Unread 07-17-2015, 09:43 AM   #6
alittleoff
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About 20 years ago I made a trailer from a Toyota short bed. And used 1 1/4"x3" channel. Reinforced with 3 cross members and gussets.
The axle is a 3,500# pre-arched round tube with electric brakes. And what I did not consider (my fail) was the location of the axle.
I centered it in the wheel well openings. Very light tongue weight (bad tail wagging issues) when loaded down with heavy loads.
I'm on the myjeeprocks.com forum and volunteer with the Adopt-A-Trail program on Holcomb Cr. Trail. So the bed is pretty beat up, but the frame was built to take it.
Soon I plan on scrapping the bed and making a dump trailer with axle placement in mind.

Steve
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Unread 07-18-2015, 04:11 AM   #7
ghostwhite
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Good info on the axle placement thoughts. I have considered moving the axle centerline rearward once I do the spring over so that will help if needed. I think the fuel tank will help give me some tongue weight as long as I keep it full. Definitely have to keep that in mind.

I picked up some wheels and tires for the toyota axle so that will stay for now. The spring spacing doesn't match close enough for my spare XJ axle to go under with stock perches and the axle I have laying around needs to go in my XJ and the D35 axle from the XJ could have new perches added to better match the datsun spring spacing.

Rims and tires. 35s are fairly big but shouldn't be an issue, I will trim the fenders if I have to.



Bumper mounts are drilled and grade 8 nuts welded in for blind bolts. Two 1/2" bolts on the sides extending thru one side of the tube with a nut inside the tube and one 1/2" bolt extending from the bottom of the tube up to thru the body mount.



17" LED lights showed up.




I also got the bumper main beam welded to the mounts and added a loop up front for safety chains but didn't get a picture. I went with 59" total length which puts me at Option A above. Quit early to pack for a camp trip out to Barstow for a M.O.R.E. race.
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Unread 07-19-2015, 09:42 AM   #8
Burlbook48
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I have a little bit of experience with an old Datsun half-back trailer. Like since about 1987. Watch out for rust where the floor meets the front wall. If you plan on putting 35" rubber under that puppy, be prepared to trim the fenders all the way to the filler cap. Or lift it up a lot to match your heep. The stock springs will sag under any significant weight. Cheapo flexible rubber flares will give you some tire coverage.

That said, I've towed up to 2900 lbs. of rock in mine (gravel loader made a mistake, added too much gravel to *top off* a load). The springs were buried to the frame, but the trailer took it like a champ.

An old Datsun half-back makes for a tough little trailer. But the center of gravity, as you noted, isn't great. Add a tool chest or the spare tire up front to balance it out. Here's a pic of mine running 33" rubber on some junk-yard Chevy rims (they will bolt right up, same pattern). Notice the longer shackles for some added lift to match my heep.




Once you build that thing, you never know what you might drag home in it. This was the makings of a couple nice fire pits I made.


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Unread 07-21-2015, 06:38 AM   #9
ghostwhite
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I have seen your trailer around online. I plan to lift first then cut to make the 35s fit and luckily rust isn't to much of an issue out here.

I have an extra toyota leaf pack set from the my toyota that I bagged, it has the same generation frame so I'm hoping to make a hybrid leaf pack from the two.

Good info and nice to have first hand experience.
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Unread 07-26-2015, 04:05 PM   #10
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Got a few more things done.

Tongue handle, looks all twisted up but its not. It was originally a spare tire/jack crank handle that I added the front 90* bend.



Spring-over turned out pretty tall.



Wired up the bumper at work. Still need to run wire the trailer.




Been splitting my time between the trailer and this



easier to spend time on the dually when I don't have to pick it up at my storage like the trailer. I hate HOAs.
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Unread 07-27-2015, 01:52 PM   #11
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Hooked up

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Unread 07-27-2015, 07:38 PM   #12
B0nez
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Looking good. You gonna paint and/or xline it?
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Unread 07-27-2015, 08:53 PM   #13
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Thanks!

For now the body will stay how it is. I need to take the bumper back off and paint it as well as figure out what else I want to do up front before I paint the tongue.
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