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Unread 10-27-2013, 02:07 PM   #1006
armyRN
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And now for an opposing point of view (not to be mean)...

I would pass on the trailer. If it was an old military M-100 or M-416 that would be one thing, but this trailer looks like it was cobbled together from some old junkyard parts with home made fenders. Drop-down axles aren't safe to flip over (you're putting leverage on the U-bolts if you do). And the way the axle looks you couldn't do it anyways (unless you put the axle on top of the springs). Those spring packs look way too stiff (besides being too short). You'll have to put a lot of money into it to make it road-worthy and you'll still have a crappy looking trailer.

I'd keep looking, or start from scratch. Starting with a narrowed HF 4x8' trailer for a couple hundred dollars you'd be way ahead of the game.

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Unread 10-27-2013, 03:03 PM   #1007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armyRN
And now for an opposing point of view (not to be mean)... I would pass on the trailer. If it was an old military M-100 or M-416 that would be one thing, but this trailer looks like it was cobbled together from some old junkyard parts with home made fenders. Drop-down axles aren't safe to flip over (you're putting leverage on the U-bolts if you do). And the way the axle looks you couldn't do it anyways (unless you put the axle on top of the springs). Those spring packs look way too stiff (besides being too short). You'll have to put a lot of money into it to make it road-worthy and you'll still have a crappy looking trailer. I'd keep looking, or start from scratch. Starting with a narrowed HF 4x8' trailer for a couple hundred dollars you'd be way ahead of the game.
I decided to pass. Too much work required! And thank you all for entertaining my hijack!
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Unread 10-27-2013, 03:32 PM   #1008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armyRN View Post
And now for an opposing point of view (not to be mean)...

I would pass on the trailer. If it was an old military M-100 or M-416 that would be one thing, but this trailer looks like it was cobbled together from some old junkyard parts with home made fenders. Drop-down axles aren't safe to flip over (you're putting leverage on the U-bolts if you do). And the way the axle looks you couldn't do it anyways (unless you put the axle on top of the springs). Those spring packs look way too stiff (besides being too short). You'll have to put a lot of money into it to make it road-worthy and you'll still have a crappy looking trailer.

I'd keep looking, or start from scratch. Starting with a narrowed HF 4x8' trailer for a couple hundred dollars you'd be way ahead of the game.
I agree flipping the axle is probably not a good idea; but I suspect it is possible. I would replace the axle and springs instead. You would likely do that on a HF frame as well. Same with the fenders.

Basically, what you're getting here is the tub/frame. (With HF, you build your own box, or buy a metal one with the black trailer.) I happen to like the looks of this old style tub, so I think it would be worth it. And once cleaned up and painted it would be far from a "crappy looking trailer".

But then I'm not the one looking for a trailer. To each his own.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 04:09 PM   #1009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billybooster2 View Post
I decided to pass. Too much work required! And thank you all for entertaining my hijack!
Not at all. This happens probably more frequently than we know; someone is thinking about building a trailer, and then they find some barn find they think with a new set of bearings and a coat of paint they've got a road/trail ready trailer. It's good to step back and look at it, do the math, and see if it's worth investing the time and money to fixing them up.

There are many "barn find" trailers I wouldn't take if you gave them to me for free and delivered them to the house.

But who here wouldn't love to find an old military trailer in excellent shape for a reasonable price?
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Unread 10-27-2013, 05:45 PM   #1010
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Not at all. This happens probably more frequently than we know; someone is thinking about building a trailer, and then they find some barn find they think with a new set of bearings and a coat of paint they've got a road/trail ready trailer. It's good to step back and look at it, do the math, and see if it's worth investing the time and money to fixing them up.

There are many "barn find" trailers I wouldn't take if you gave them to me for free and delivered them to the house.

But who here wouldn't love to find an old military trailer in excellent shape for a reasonable price?
While I couldn't agree more, I wouldn't be too quick to pass a "barn find" by either. The little Harbor Freight trailer frames are not fit for off road use without modification. Some old school or even home-built trailers may -- I emphasize may -- provide a better foundation at a reasonable price.

But as mentioned earlier in this thread, there is such a wide variety of use cases for these it really depends on the individual.
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Unread 10-27-2013, 07:41 PM   #1011
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Ok; even thought I've been back for less than a week I've already done a few trailer projects. I've got the front and rear panels swapped out (so now the spare is on the back). I put the new longer fenders on, and centered them over the axle (when I changed out the suspension it moved the axle back about an inch). Next up is to take the tray from the hitch cargo carrier I ordered and narrow it from 60" wide to 40" wide, and mount it to the front of the trailer on the tongue (I'll have to find a new home for the ammo can). And then see how much I need to extend the tongue so the trailer can be at a 90 degree angle to the Jeep when connected. I don't want to have the tray hit the Jeep if I'm making a tight turn. And while I'm at it I'll probably tie in a 2" receiver tube under the spare tire for it to rest on (it would need to stick out 8" to support the spare, so I need a tube about 24" to make it work and tie it in well with the 2.5" angle iron I'm planning on using to extend the tongue).
new-truck-tires-trailer-mods-001.jpg   new-truck-tires-trailer-mods-003.jpg   new-truck-tires-trailer-mods-004.jpg  
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Unread 10-27-2013, 08:39 PM   #1012
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lookin good!
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Unread 10-27-2013, 09:05 PM   #1013
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Originally Posted by armyRN View Post
Ok; even thought I've been back for less than a week I've already done a few trailer projects. I've got the front and rear panels swapped out (so now the spare is on the back). I put the new longer fenders on, and centered them over the axle (when I changed out the suspension it moved the axle back about an inch). Next up is to take the tray from the hitch cargo carrier I ordered and narrow it from 60" wide to 40" wide, and mount it to the front of the trailer on the tongue (I'll have to find a new home for the ammo can). And then see how much I need to extend the tongue so the trailer can be at a 90 degree angle to the Jeep when connected. I don't want to have the tray hit the Jeep if I'm making a tight turn. And while I'm at it I'll probably tie in a 2" receiver tube under the spare tire for it to rest on (it would need to stick out 8" to support the spare, so I need a tube about 24" to make it work and tie it in well with the 2.5" angle iron I'm planning on using to extend the tongue).
Great progress! Northern Tool has a 24" receiver tube for about $33. Harbor Freight only goes up to 18". The extra length makes for better stability anyway, in case you want to put a bike rack or another basket or something. (I didn't think I would ever need a rear receiver, but am starting to second guess myself.)
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Unread 10-31-2013, 09:03 PM   #1014
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Ok; before I got started I wanted to see how my trailer did in the 90 degree test. That's where you see if your trailer can be 90 degrees to your Jeep without anything hitting the side. As far as I know, I made up the 90 degree test; but I'm sure someone will let me know if it's not an original thought. Anyways, seems like if you're going to be wheeling with your trailer you should be able to have it 90 degrees to your Jeep. So far mine passes. But we'll have to see how it does after the tray is installed; I'm thinking I'll have to extend the tongue some once I'm done. I'm also curious to see if I'll still be able to swing my tailgate open without hitting anything once all the new mods are done.
trailer-tray-updates-001.jpg   trailer-tray-updates-002.jpg  
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Unread 10-31-2013, 09:14 PM   #1015
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So making a tray:

I purchased a receiver mount cargo tray that was 60 inches wide; I had to narrow it to 40". I actually ended up narrowing it to 37" wide. Like the saying goes, I measured (more than) twice before cutting. The metal seemed a little thinner than I was expecting, and I had to come up with a way to join the ends together. What I ended up doing was getting two 36" long pieces of 2" angle iron 1/8th inch thick from Home Depot for the front and back. Lots of measuring and drilling later it's coming together. It ties into the trailer frame on the back side, and up front on the tongue. I'll also be using the bracing that goes from side-to-side and mounts under the tongue. Most of the bolts are 5/16" bolts, with a few 3/8" bolts in key locations.

Hopefully I'm done cutting and drilling; next up is paint and misc. nuts/bolts/washers before mounting it up and seeing how it looks. The ammo can is going to go back on the tongue right in front of the tray. It will be mounted to both the front of the tray and to the tongue itself.

After it's all put together I'll do the 90 degree test and see how much I need to extend the tongue for clearance. Hopefully you can follow the pictures to understand what I'm doing. I'm doing all this so I can mount a cooler on the outside of the box on the tray. It's a lesson learned from taking the trailer to Alaska last year from having the cooler in the trailer box with all the gear - there's got to be a better way (and I think this will be it).
trailer-tray-updates-005.jpg   trailer-tray-updates-006.jpg   trailer-tray-updates-008.jpg   trailer-tray-updates-010.jpg   trailer-tray-updates-011.jpg  

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Unread 10-31-2013, 09:20 PM   #1016
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Lookin great!!

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Unread 11-02-2013, 10:04 PM   #1017
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great progress really looks good
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Unread 11-03-2013, 08:28 PM   #1018
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Thanks for the compliments. I'm essentially done with the tray. Some of the front 1" long bolts I want to swap out for 3/4" bolts, but otherwise I'm happy. I'm also happy to report the cooler I already had (55 quart) fits just fine even with the 4 gallon fuel cell in place. Here are a few shots of it completed:
032.jpg   033.jpg   034.jpg   035.jpg   036.jpg  

037.jpg   046.jpg  
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Unread 11-03-2013, 08:39 PM   #1019
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I could almost run it as is if I wanted. A couple of issues though:

1. I can't swing the tailgate open all the way; it hits the cooler at almost full swing.

2. It fails the 90 degree test. Close, but not quite.

3. The tongue stand hits the underside brace before swinging up all the way.

So if I extended the tongue about five inches the tongue stand would be able to swing all the way up and be pinned in place. Extending it 9" it would just barely work to allow it to pass the 90 degree test. Ten inches would give it a little bit of breathing room for the 90 degree test, and 12 inches would remove all doubt. I need to order some 2.5" angle iron about 3/16" thick (two 6' pieces) and then re-measure to make sure it's exactly how much longer I want the tongue. I just need it long enough to pass the 90 degree test and not much over; I'll probably extend the tongue no more than 12".

Oh; and I ordered a 24" long receiver tube from The Sportsman's Guide; I think it was about $34.00 with free shipping. I'll be adding that to the rear of the trailer to help support the spare tire.
038.jpg   039.jpg   051.jpg   055.jpg  
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Unread 11-03-2013, 08:41 PM   #1020
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Looks great! I'm still waiting for my cooler to commit to some type of frame. I did buy a new receiver stock to extend the tongue. I'm going to leave it whole. Between that and the 3 axis hitch I should pass the 90 degree test. Wait and see..
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