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Unread 09-03-2013, 05:47 PM   #31
anony
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Originally Posted by Uniblurb View Post
Plus I was worried I'd break that crazy brass junction block with the main rubber hose going into it along with hollow vent line bolt holding it onto the axle and 2 brake lines coming in both sides.
The junction block normally doesn't break ... but the connected lines sometime break when removed, the fittings are unable to rotate

The OE brake lines on the axle are armored to prevent damage.

The rear line that goes from the mc to the rear axle connection, where it loops down before making its initial connection, sometimes becomes weak, thinned out from rust, can fail unexpectedly. If the fronts are ok and the rears fail you will loose fluid but still have breaking power from the front calipers.

99 was the year more significant changes were made to the intake and exhaust for emission standards. For some later years CA requires more cats, which includes two mini-cats on the down pipe ... (in later years 99+ there was also a redesign of the intake and exhaust manifold as well as parts of the exhaust system, I suppose it was to meet certain emission requirements.)

I would research this a bit ... for 1997 I believe all that is needed is a CA certified cat. In order to pass inspections CA usually requires that cat to be CA stamped and certified from the manufacture.

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Unread 09-03-2013, 11:07 PM   #32
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Probably my biggest white-knuckle moment in my XJ was pulling a dual-axle trailer with a half-dozen motorcycles and four-wheelers, plus lots of spare gear, gas cans, etc. And this was with a Class 1 hitch.

Think I was maybe just a "bit" over the maximums?

Strangely enough, it towed just fine - plenty of power, including up the mountains on the way up from Phoenix to Flagstaff (some pretty steep hills, but downshifting got me up all of 'em - I'm running a 5-speed and 3.07 gears, so I can roll over 40-45mph in 2nd if necessary). My problem (as you'd probably guess) was coming DOWN. I was coasting down a very steep (8 degree?) hill near Camp Verde, and before I noticed, I was going 80mph. That's when the trailer started shaking the tail of my XJ... and it was getting progressively worse.

Fortunately I knew enough not to just jam on the brakes (which can result in an instant jackknife), so I tried to gently counter-steer out of the tail wagging. It seemed to be getting worse, not better, so I reversed my steering inputs (which seemed backwards to me at the time), and the wobbling stopped, and I safely coasted to the bottom of the hill. On the way home, I had one of the other guys take a couple of the bikes back in his pickup, and the gas cans were empty, and that seemed to reduce the load enough to make everything work better.
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Unread 09-04-2013, 12:09 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by anony View Post
The junction block normally doesn't break ... but the connected lines sometime break when removed, the fittings are unable to rotate

The OE brake lines on the axle are armored to prevent damage.

The rear line that goes from the mc to the rear axle connection, where it loops down before making its initial connection, sometimes becomes weak, thinned out from rust, can fail unexpectedly. If the fronts are ok and the rears fail you will loose fluid but still have breaking power from the front calipers.

99 was the year more significant changes were made to the intake and exhaust for emission standards. For some later years CA requires more cats, which includes two mini-cats on the down pipe ... (in later years 99+ there was also a redesign of the intake and exhaust manifold as well as parts of the exhaust system, I suppose it was to meet certain emission requirements.)

I would research this a bit ... for 1997 I believe all that is needed is a CA certified cat. In order to pass inspections CA usually requires that cat to be CA stamped and certified from the manufacture.

Shorter smaller trailers it can sometimes be more difficult to distribute weight front and rear of the axle(s). Some trailer there may much less room rear of the axle(s) to distribute weight easily. Which can increase the tongue weight significantly for the trailer size.

Some of the smaller trailers even though shorter, smaller & lighter may not have been designed for smaller tow vehicles in mind, some seem to start out with too high of a tonged weight, when it comes to using lighter tow vehicles. (I am not sure why this is so, perhaps because of the wheel base and turning radius the axle(s) & wheels need to be set back farther?)
Some good info as usual anony, thanks! I wasn't so worried about breaking the junction block itself but the vent tube bolt holding the block to the axle. I ended up helping this below guy out who did it on a ZJ where it's the same as an XJ. Link includes a couple good photos of the "Hose Assembly, Rear Axle" where a replacement would be OE #520075562 on an XJ.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/r.../#post15091344

But I checked my lines on my 93 XJ and ran new lines out to the calipers from the junction block so know it can be done. When loosening the line fittings on my son's 96 from the calipers the fittings weren't froze where it broke the lines so hoping they're still good even though the coil armor is rusted pretty bad.

I don't really remember a downward turn on the metal line coming back from the MC and it seemed to go up where it connected to the rubber hose assembly line in a metal bracket. This is where the line was real rusted probably from salt/slush accumulation on the fitting/bracket during the winter months.

A little encouraging knowing he'll still have front brakes and can use his ebrake applied gradually if one of the lines from the junction block to the calipers failed.

Know what you mean about the newer exhausts being redesigned and having more cats on them. Just bought a new used 2004 4.7 WJ for my wife to drive back/forth to work and hope I never have to work on the front part of the exhaust w/2 mini-cats on ends of the downpipes. I'll try to search further on a CA cat for his 96 4.0 but not sure it would pass the safety inspection with the salt/belt rust on the bottom.

Believe we do have the trailer pretty well balanced but maybe we need just a little more on the tongue? His weights are mostly right behind the single axle so it's probably the best place for them. And he can't put much more on the tongue since he has so much weight inside where it's squatting some already.

I have a small 5'x 8' single axle trailer to haul my ATV around which I hardly do anymore. The axle is right in the middle which helps with the weight distribution but seems to bounce around a lot. Maybe the turning radius is on longer trailers is why they put the axle 2/3 of the way back? Don't know...
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Unread 09-04-2013, 12:21 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habbyguy View Post
Probably my biggest white-knuckle moment in my XJ was pulling a dual-axle trailer with a half-dozen motorcycles and four-wheelers, plus lots of spare gear, gas cans, etc. And this was with a Class 1 hitch.

Think I was maybe just a "bit" over the maximums?

Strangely enough, it towed just fine - plenty of power, including up the mountains on the way up from Phoenix to Flagstaff (some pretty steep hills, but downshifting got me up all of 'em - I'm running a 5-speed and 3.07 gears, so I can roll over 40-45mph in 2nd if necessary). My problem (as you'd probably guess) was coming DOWN. I was coasting down a very steep (8 degree?) hill near Camp Verde, and before I noticed, I was going 80mph. That's when the trailer started shaking the tail of my XJ... and it was getting progressively worse.

Fortunately I knew enough not to just jam on the brakes (which can result in an instant jackknife), so I tried to gently counter-steer out of the tail wagging. It seemed to be getting worse, not better, so I reversed my steering inputs (which seemed backwards to me at the time), and the wobbling stopped, and I safely coasted to the bottom of the hill. On the way home, I had one of the other guys take a couple of the bikes back in his pickup, and the gas cans were empty, and that seemed to reduce the load enough to make everything work better.
That does sound super scary and afraid the exact same thing could happen to my son or even worse. Sounds like the way you steered out of the wagging was the exact same way we steer out of ice/snow skids around here. Just not sure my son would have the experience in towing a trailer to do what you did.

I was kinka leading him through some different bad scenarios the other day so he will use his head instead of panicking. Guess the major point would be is too watch your speed going downhill because it will overtake you as you found out.

Thanks for passing this along!
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Unread 09-04-2013, 08:18 AM   #35
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I have a small 5'x 8' single axle trailer to haul my ATV around which I hardly do anymore. The axle is right in the middle which helps with the weight distribution but seems to bounce around a lot. Maybe the turning radius is on longer trailers is why they put the axle 2/3 of the way back? Don't know...
I don't know either. I have come across a few problems while towing small trailers, and believe a lot may depend on how well you are able to balance your load. Smaller amounts of weight can sometimes make larger differences in weight distribution, depending on the trailer design.

When a tow vehicle is overloaded on the rear springs it going to behave differently and not going to maneuver as well. If a tow vehicles suspension is uneven and/or overloaded ... it effects the steering & drive train including the tires, axles, drive line, braking, etc.

I don't know the condition of your trailer, if it rides straight and true while loaded ... You should be ok if your load isn't too heavy, @ 2500 lbs (GVW) trailer tongue weight should be somewhere between 225 and 375 lbs .. @ 3500 (GVW) trailer tongue weight should be somewhere between 315 and 515.

Maximum payload rating for an XJ when it was new is around ~1100 lbs placed over the entire suspension. 500 lbs maximum for the rear springs ... It has its limits when towing with higher trailer and tongue weights. With age the rear springs began to sag a little and become softer.

If your sagging in the rear you should be able to get away with a one time trip it just going to put some more stress on the Jeep and make things less comfortable. I prefer to tow when everything is level and lined up.
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Unread 09-05-2013, 05:19 AM   #36
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Thanks a lot for all the good info!

My son has still not left yet due to delay in housing closing and he's shooting for Sat.

We re-tarped/strapped down the load on the trailer again yesterday and he has a big wide roll of shrink wrap he's going to cover everything with including the tarps/straps. He's even going to go around the bottom of the trailer and sure hope it isn't going to come loose in the wind because it isn't going to be tight up against the sides where the rails are.

He took it for a test drive yesterday and isn't too happy the trailer was wagging, or swaying back/forth, once he reached 60mph. He said it felt like he was pulling a train. Now this is on a flat road and hate to see what's going to happen once he gets on some steep downhill grades. He did mess around with shifting some and when in 3rd gear w/o OD it's at 3K rpm.

Maybe I can get some advice on what would be the main problems on what's causing the trailer wagging/swaying? And what would be the best things to try and correct this problem?

As already mentioned it's a single axle International brand landscape trailer with a GVW of 2,990 lbs. The title says it weights 950 lbs but this must be w/o the wooden decking, or maybe the heavy 6' metal/mesh ramps, since it weighed 1,150 lbs at the feedmill empty.

I had also mentioned I replaced the wheel bearings in the hubs and heavily greased them with a moly-based grease. I can grab the wheel with the load on the trailer and move the wheels in/out just slightly. Believe I adjusted the wheel bearing correctly but maybe they have loosened slightly once the grease has dispersed? How do others adjust the axle/hub nut correctly?

The wheels are tilted in at the top and out at the bottom pretty bad. Know others have said this is a bent axle. I just wonder if the tubular axle is flexing more with a heavy load causing this since they didn't seem to tilt that bad when empty?

I did buy him a new wheel/tire as a spare and the current tires are worn bad on the inside tread and outside tread where they probably flipped them around. If I bought him another new tire/wheel would the new tires maybe help cure the swaying? And since I could buy the tire/wheel closer would it matter if another new tire was a different brand and maybe have a different tread? Or maybe I should drive another 60 miles back to the trailer dealer and get him an exact wheel/tire to match for $30 more?

He's going to take it to the feedmill today to have the loaded trailer weighed. They're pretty good about weighing anything you want. Wonder if I shouldn't also have them try and weigh the tongue weight by just having the jack stand on the scale, and not the rear tires, at the same height his ball hitch is? Think others mentioned the tongue weight should be 9-15% of the gross trailer weight.

If we have to move some of the heavy stuff forward on the trailer to stop the swaying I'm not sure how much more his rear XJ suspension can take since it's already squatting quite a bit. He has too much heavy stuff in the rear already. I did install new Monroe gas-matic LT shocks on it but know these aren't the greatest. Don't think the shocks are going to support the load itself anyhow and has more to do with what his leaf springs can handle.

Thanks for any help and can't really have him drive 2,800 miles on his current setup!
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Unread 09-05-2013, 07:43 AM   #37
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Oh boy - sounds like trouble...
The wheel "tilt" is probably the axle flexing under load. I suggest changing the tires if the inside treads are down anywhere near the wear bars. May not help the swaying but it would be worth it to me to lessen the chance of a blow out at speed. I'd further suggest putting on light truck tires - something with a load range good for at least 1500 lbs (half your total weight). [Sidebar note: I had a set of Uniroyal Laredo's light truck tires back when I had a Buick Roadmaster wagon and I towed a lot. Turned the raised whiter letters inboard. Tire guy recomended them since he knew I towed a camper. 44 psi max inflation. A little rough riding when the car was empty, but loaded up, they'd barely squat. Loved them!].
The swaying is more to do with the loading. Not only are you well loaded, you may have too much to the rear of the trailer. I think you're on the right track weighing the tongue weight. I understand the concern about the backend of the Jeep sagging. You may want to consider a set of air shocks [Another side bar: my Buick had the factory ride control with air shocks and an on-board air compressor. Blew an air shock once on the way to Florida with the camper. Back of car squatted to the point the chains dragged. We readjusted load to minimize tongue weight and it was definitely more "squirrely"].
And finally, (for your son to read): is there anything on that trailer worth risking your life and others for? California isn't the moon - they have stores out there and you can eventually replace what you leave behind. Might be better to get SOME of your stuff out there than lose ALL of your stuff along the side of the road somewhere...AND DRIVE SLOW. You are pulling a train...and you've got to stop it too!
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Unread 09-05-2013, 08:54 AM   #38
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Hate to be Mr. negativity but it sounds like the trailer is just to heavy like already mentioned. If that's the case then nothing is going to make it safe. I'm curious to see what the scale says
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Unread 09-05-2013, 09:41 AM   #39
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I think he might want to start to look into a U-Haul truck and one of their auto transports for the jeep, THEN LOOSE THE TRAILER...
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Unread 09-05-2013, 12:55 PM   #40
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Oh boy - sounds like trouble...
The wheel "tilt" is probably the axle flexing under load. I suggest changing the tires if the inside treads are down anywhere near the wear bars. May not help the swaying but it would be worth it to me to lessen the chance of a blow out at speed. I'd further suggest putting on light truck tires - something with a load range good for at least 1500 lbs (half your total weight). [Sidebar note: I had a set of Uniroyal Laredo's light truck tires back when I had a Buick Roadmaster wagon and I towed a lot. Turned the raised whiter letters inboard. Tire guy recomended them since he knew I towed a camper. 44 psi max inflation. A little rough riding when the car was empty, but loaded up, they'd barely squat. Loved them!].
The swaying is more to do with the loading. Not only are you well loaded, you may have too much to the rear of the trailer. I think you're on the right track weighing the tongue weight. I understand the concern about the backend of the Jeep sagging. You may want to consider a set of air shocks [Another side bar: my Buick had the factory ride control with air shocks and an on-board air compressor. Blew an air shock once on the way to Florida with the camper. Back of car squatted to the point the chains dragged. We readjusted load to minimize tongue weight and it was definitely more "squirrely"].
And finally, (for your son to read): is there anything on that trailer worth risking your life and others for? California isn't the moon - they have stores out there and you can eventually replace what you leave behind. Might be better to get SOME of your stuff out there than lose ALL of your stuff along the side of the road somewhere...AND DRIVE SLOW. You are pulling a train...and you've got to stop it too!
The house buyers finances are coming under fire so the closing has been delayed again. I'm trying to pass along all the good advice in this thread and my son has turned into Mr. Negative just giving me a bunch of crap. Gave him a good lecture on not passing his stress onto me through verbal attacks and maybe he got the point. Who knows?

We run Michelin LTX M/S tires on all our Jeeps so think he's in pretty good shape there. I run about 33psi in them and could probably jack it up another 5+psi.

I mentioned possibly blowing a worn tire on his trailer and he said he'd just keep an eye on them. Don't have any idea why if I'm willing to buy him another new tire/wheel he wouldn't take up my offer to be running new tires? Heck, his spare (the new one I bought him) is strapped down under a bunch of tarps he's going to put shrink wrap overtop and couldn't get to it if he wanted to.

Real good idea on the air shocks! Even though I just put new gas-matic monroes on it I would be willing to change them out with new air shocks. Not sure if the below ones are any good or not? Half the reviews said they're great and the other half are dismal where they're flimsy while blowing out. May not be worth it if the load's so heavy the shocks will fail.

http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/web...cks#fragment-3

The kid's on the cheap and wants to leave nothing behind. As if his trailer isn't heavy enough he loaded about a 20lb box of cleaning fluids/supplies to it last night. Now my daughter has all the cleaning supplies you need and why would you want to be hauling a bunch of full aerosol cans in the heat of the desert?

Thanks for the input and hope he comes to his senses once he finds out how much that trailer weighs. Leaving part of his stuff here may be better than leaving it in another state along the way...


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Originally Posted by cbenez1 View Post
Hate to be Mr. negativity but it sounds like the trailer is just to heavy like already mentioned. If that's the case then nothing is going to make it safe. I'm curious to see what the scale says
Me too! And I told him to weigh the tongue separately on the scale to see what the tongue weight is? Of course he said what's the difference because he can't move anything further forward since his XJ is already squatting in the rear. We'll see what the total weight is?


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Originally Posted by dave564 View Post
I think he might want to start to look into a U-Haul truck and one of their auto transports for the jeep, THEN LOOSE THE TRAILER...
Exactly and that was my suggestion from day one! If he would have asked his grandma nicely she probably would have given him the money to rent a truck along with a vehicle transport rig behind it. I should have mentioned this but he said there's no way he's driving a truck out there because of such crap gas mileage.

But once he found out it would cost $500-$600 for a one-way u-haul enclosed trailer rental his crazed neighbor convinced him to buy a $1,000 landscape trailer. Then once he got out there his move wouldn't cost him anymore than gas since he could sell the trailer once out there. The one flaw in this plan is he has to get there first!
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Unread 09-05-2013, 01:27 PM   #41
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...Me too! And I told him to weigh the tongue separately on the scale to see what the tongue weight is? Of course he said what's the difference because he can't move anything further forward since his XJ is already squatting in the rear. We'll see what the total weight is?
If he can't get that trailer properly balanced, he's not gonna make it. The wagging will wear out tires and wreak more havoc on the XJ suspension than a heavier tongue weight would. And that's assuming the wagging won't go catastrophic over a rough patch of pavement or the breeze from a big rig passing by. I've seen trailers take control of a towing vehicle and toss it all over the highway. Okay, maybe I nearly lost my tow rig, trailer, and jeep all in one fell swoop some time ago. Only the grace of God and some good luck saved me so now I have a healthy respect for only towing by numbers. Stubborness can't win over physics. Taking some stuff out of the back of the XJ and putting it on the front of the trailer results in no net gain to the jeep's rear suspension and a positive effect on the trailer balance.

Oh, and here's a couple of good articles. How to determine tongue weight and Measuring trailer tongue weight
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Unread 09-05-2013, 01:56 PM   #42
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Keep in mind you can do a quick tongue weight check with a bathroom scale. Park on a flat spot, put a board on the scale (say a 1 ft piece of 2x6) and drop the wheel or the foot of the trailer on the board. You're looking for a weight of ~300 lbs (10% of the 2990 lbs) which is essentially a very big man. Hopefully your scale goes that high...
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Unread 09-05-2013, 05:36 PM   #43
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Uniblurb,

Post a picture of the truck/trailer in its present state. Once we SEE how bad the squat and how the trailer is loaded, opinions might change...
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Unread 09-05-2013, 11:09 PM   #44
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If he can't get that trailer properly balanced, he's not gonna make it. The wagging will wear out tires and wreak more havoc on the XJ suspension than a heavier tongue weight would. And that's assuming the wagging won't go catastrophic over a rough patch of pavement or the breeze from a big rig passing by. I've seen trailers take control of a towing vehicle and toss it all over the highway. Okay, maybe I nearly lost my tow rig, trailer, and jeep all in one fell swoop some time ago. Only the grace of God and some good luck saved me so now I have a healthy respect for only towing by numbers. Stubborness can't win over physics. Taking some stuff out of the back of the XJ and putting it on the front of the trailer results in no net gain to the jeep's rear suspension and a positive effect on the trailer balance.

Oh, and here's a couple of good articles. How to determine tongue weight and Measuring trailer tongue weight
He didn't get his trailer weighed today and I told him he best do it tomorrow. Agree, he better get it balanced out if he wants to make it! Can't imagine him heading out of here for the long trip with the trailer wagging only 3-5 miles from home during a test drive. Also know of the disastrous consequences of an out of control trailer/vehicle although luckily I haven't been personally involved.

You're correct he does have some things in the far back of his XJ he could move to the front of the trailer. Like a 25lb floor jack, couple cases of dog food, etc.. There's another thing I don't like in that he has 100lbs of weights on the passenger side front floor. He said that would balance him (150lbs) sitting in the drivers seat. But I'm not so sure about that since seems awfully close to the front axle where the front wheel bearings have never been changed. Maybe it's a mute point in trying to balance the trailer first.

Some really good links, thanks! I like the one where you can just weigh the vehicle w/trailer attached but only vehicle on the scale, then disconnect the trailer with it on the jack, weight the vehicle again, and it will give you the trailer tongue weight. He may have more weight on the trailer tongue than I think because I sure can't lift/budge it. But I'm not a 300lb weight lifter either. Only the scale will tell and thanks again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ECL View Post
Keep in mind you can do a quick tongue weight check with a bathroom scale. Park on a flat spot, put a board on the scale (say a 1 ft piece of 2x6) and drop the wheel or the foot of the trailer on the board. You're looking for a weight of ~300 lbs (10% of the 2990 lbs) which is essentially a very big man. Hopefully your scale goes that high...
Good idea if we had a good ole' metal bathroom scale like we used to. But my wife got a fancy glass top digital scale as a present and even if I put some foam on the top afraid I might break/crack it. If I did I'd probably be heading to S. Cal with my son.

Dave564, may try to take a couple photos to post but since the XJ/trailer is in my back yard on uneven turf it may not show much. May give it a try..
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Unread 09-06-2013, 01:39 PM   #45
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The scale verdict is in and time to lighten the load!

Gross trailer weight - 3,500 lbs, on a 2990 max GTW single axle trailer.
(since trailer empty weighed 1,120 lbs he has 2,380 lbs in the load)
XJ weight with trailer tongue on hitch but not trailer itself - 4,010 lbs.
XJ weight partially loaded - 3,870 lbs.
Current load tongue weight - 140 lbs (way too light)

Info from sticker on his 96 4.0 XJ Sport driver's door:
GWR - 4,900 lbs.
GAWR - front axle 2,500 lbs.
GAWR - rear axle 2,700 lbs.

So my son said he needs to remove 1,000 lbs of items from the trailer. I told him maybe only 500-600 lbs to get under the 2,990 GTW but probably some bad advice I need to correct. I remember in this thread Chris saying he should only be hauling 2,400-2,500 lbs GTW w/o trailer brakes.

Sure wish he would have rented a truck because I have no idea where I'm going to put 1,000 lbs of his stuff in my already crammed basement which doubles as a garage under the house.

He's still bound and determined to have his weights on the trailer and in checking with freight companies it would cost almost $300 to have them shipped clear out to S. Cal. That's with us packaging them up in 10 boxes taking to a shipping terminal while picking them up at another terminal out there. From residence to residence it would cost $500 and he should have just bought used weights out there!

At least he's agreed to letting him buy him another new trailer tire. But that's only because there's a slit on the sidewall of one of the old ones. I'm having a difficult time finding just the tire itself while saving some money on not buying an extra rim he really doesn't need which costs more.

Time to go tear his trailer apart and this is getting real frustrating.
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96 4.0 ZJ Laredo, 2004 4.7L WJ Limited, 93 4.0 XJ (spare), 96 4.0 XJ (son's)

-Stalling ZJ? 12 things to check before replacing a sensor; the Dirty Dozen
-Crankshaft position sensor multimeter test. & video of testing.
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