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Unread 07-11-2012, 12:08 AM   #16
Burlbook48
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A little camping trip put a hold on forward momentum. But I made some progress the last couple days. The spring mounts gave me a headache, I made the dang things to fit, but welding them to the frame tweaked them enough that the spring bushing wouldn't fit between them anymore. ARGH!

I had to heat them up with a cutting torch and bend them back out. The spacers I had made to fit the 2" frame to the wider leaf springs made for a heck of a heat sink... the mounts took a LONG time to cool down before I figured it wouldn't damage (at least) or melt (at worst) the poly spring bushings. (translation... wasted shop time. Grrr....)

Anyway, I got the spring mounts done, the trailer will be (hopefully) a rolling chassis tomorrow. Spent the rest of tonight making the bracket/mount/hitch assembly for the tow ring. Cobbled together a piece of 2x2 hitch tube, some 1/2" spacers to clear the lock nut and cotter pin for the tow ring, and the actual mounting plate for the ring itself. Sounds complicated, and sounds even worse trying to explain it, I'll let the pictures speak a thousand words.

Picture of one side of the frame spacers to fit the leaf springs:




This is the 2x2 receiver tube with a couple 1/2 plates welded to each side. This will give me the clearance for the lock-nut and it's cotter pin, allowing the tow ring to rotate 360:




Front view from the tow ring's perspective:




All the players lined up for the team inspection:




Initial assembly, prior to welding for keeps;



Prior to getting things tacked together, and my welding the joints on the inside of the tow ring bracket assembly, the class instructor had suggested I could save some time afterwards-- (and also make a stronger joint, plus I could learn a new skill)-- if we used what he liked to call his "metal eraser". It's a carbon rod used in conjunction with pressurized air to remove metal in a rather spectacular (and loud) fashion. Set amps to about 450, turn the air pressure on, touch the rod to the metal, and watch the metal vacate the area. COOL! He demonstrated the first cut, and I did the rest. Took me a bit, but the last cut was MUCH better than the first. Progress forward is progress in the right direction, eh? Enough blabber, here's a coupla pics:

First attempts, not so pretty:



Final shot, this is how it's supposed to look. Remember, the joint has already been welding on the inside corner, this is akin to having ground a "V" in the joint pieces prior to melding so the weld penetrates deeper into the base metal:



Edit: the slag you see around the edges of the cut is akin to the drippings from a cutting torch-- it chips off with a welding hammer. Looks like the metal vommited all over itself and will take a 9" hand grinder to remove, but it is easiely removed with a couple taps of the hammer.

Spent the rest of the available shop time filling in the u-shaped areas the metal eraser left behind with a starting pass of 7018 rod at the bottom of the U, and a cover pass using a weave pattern to fill the area. Not my best work, I was tired and hot. No excuses though, it is what it is, and the metal shows your every flaw. I'll clean it up later, but leave the majority of it to remind me years from now how far I've (hopefully) moved ahead in my welding skills.

Okay, so that's all the pics I have for tonight, more to come. The next couple of days should have the tow ring assembly finished, the leaf springs mounted, and the frame turning into a rolling chassis. This thing should start looking like the beginnings of a trailer real soon.
.

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Unread 07-12-2012, 01:10 AM   #17
Burlbook48
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Thanks for the nice words, guys.

gspup, I should do so well as to make a trailer like yours. You set the bar kind of high.

A few more pics of progress so far. Got the front mounts done and bolted up, polished up the welds on the tow ring hitch (read, added a few more beads since I ran out of time last night), then worked on the back spring mounts. I knew I was going to have a problem with the design I had in mind for a rear spring shackle frame mount. In other words, how to weld a round piece to a flat piece and have it be strong. The frame is only 2" wide, and the spring mounts would need to be wider to accommodate the wider springs. But how to brace them?

Did some thinking, tossed around a few ideas in my head, and came up with this: a single brace enclosing the spring mount 360, and bracing the mount fore and aft. Two braces would need to be placed so close together I couldn't weld both sides of each brace-- the inside face of each brace was so close to the other brace that I couldn't get the right angle for the welder, let alone having the tip close enough for any decent arc control. Figuring a single brace welded on both sides was stronger than two braces welded on only one side, I gambled and made a single brace. Right move? Time will tell. Here's a few pics of the brace and spring mount in progress.

First, I traced out the DOM on a piece of 5/16" plate, with the DOM set next to the edge of the plate, and then guesstimated the amount of metal I'd need to provide sufficient bracing of the DOM. Cut the pieces out with the plasma cutter. Measurements on the braces, just kind of what "looked"
right... right, wrong? You be the judge. First pic, the braces for each side cut out of the 5/16" plate:



Then, the Rube Goldberg set-up I rigged up to hold everything in place on the frame before I tacked it down. It's a piece of scrap 1/4" spacer plate to give the DOM mount a reference plane relative to the frame and center it on the frame axis, a pair of vise grips to hold the plate in place, and a mock-up magnet to hold the DOM up against the overhead surface of the bottom of the frame. Wait... what? Yeah, me too-- it looks a heck of a lot simpler than it sounds:



The plate gives the DOM one half of the difference between the width of the frame and the spring, centering the DOM on the frame axis. Then the brace is slipped over the DOM, and from the side it looks like this:



A quick check with an adjustable square to make sure the DOM is perpendicular to the frame, and after a few minutes of yoga positions trying to position my body to see what the heck it is I am welding, everything has become one with the frame. Too bad it was still too hot to install the poly bushing in the DOM, or I'd have a picture of the frame beginning its new life as a rolling chassis. Oh well, next week will see the tow ring and mount installed, and whatever else I came manage to come up with. Do I have a plan, other than a vague idea of how to make the picture in my head become reality? Not really, I'm winging this. That's part of the fun, I get to explore new territory with each bend in the road. Hope you have enjoyed the journey so far.

Have a great weekend!
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Unread 07-26-2012, 07:30 AM   #18
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Well, a whole series of events have kept me from getting as much work done on the trailer as I planned. Suffice it to say that aging parents can suddenly become a huge commitment in time and emotion. (sigh... nobody really plans for this to happen, but it happens to us all, eh?)

Anyway, here are some shots of the trailer as it sits now, it's a roller.

Here is the rough cut of the trailer's 360 rotation tow ring. Works like a charm, we'll see how it holds up. Clunky, ugly, and an excersize to see if an idea pans out in real life, the true answer lies down the road.




Shot of the pintal hitch hooked up. VERY easy to hitch, not as finicky as a conventional trailer hitch:




The trailer rides level with the jeep, just a tad high right now to allow for the load of the bed and cargo later on:




I plan on shortening the tongue when I find out how long I want it to be. A couple short trips will give me a better idea of what I'm looking for:




All in all, it tucks in nicely behind the YJ.





If I can round up the cash, I'll but my own welder and continue with the details. The spare tire carrier is done, pics in the next couple days, but all the other incidentals still have to be made.... shock mounts, lights, tongue jack, fenders/mud flaps, etc. The bed will have to wait for now, a simple flat deck will give me something to tie down a pile of cargo. As usual, my life and projects are a work in progress.
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Unread 07-29-2012, 10:02 AM   #19
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Some more pics of details. Shot of the spring plate I made for the ubolts:



And a detail that really tripped me up. Bought 4 new ubolts, same part number on each box, checked one with a tape measure to make sure they would all fit, took all four bolts home and then to class. Went to bolt the axle to the springs and found out two of the four bolts were different... the threads didn't reach down far enough and the nut bottomed out before it could tighten down the spring! The pen shows a white spot where the ubolt pokes through the leaf spring. Grrrr... :



After looking literally all over town at the parts shops (why the HELL doesn't the chain auto parts stores carry u-bolts?!?!?), I found what I needed at Tractor Supply.

Couple pics of the spare tire carrier, inspired/stolen from BESRK and his rear bumper swing-out tire carrier design (thanks, Eddy!). Hand held plasma cut for the mounting plate:




Bolt-on carrier. Can flip the plate 180 to gain another inch and a half if I ever go to larger tires:




Current hieght, centered for about 17-1/2" inches--- plenty of room for 33" tires. Can also re-drill holes if I change wheels from 5 on 4.5" to a 5 on 5.5" pattern:



My welds are getting better. Found I can actually see better to weld with reader's lenses in my safety glasses.

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Unread 07-29-2012, 06:03 PM   #20
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Go to your local welding supply and buy a "cheater lense" for the inside of your helmet, they come 1.0 to 2.5 dopler and are only about $2-3. They just snap in and you can actually see better! The trailer looks great so far.
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Unread 07-30-2012, 11:02 AM   #21
Burlbook48
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Thanks, Earl!

Got the u-bolt problem taken care of, ala Tractor Supply as stated above. You can see the huge difference in length. I wonder how thick of a spring the NAPA bolt was designed for? I wouldn't think you would have 8 or so springs stacked on top of a 2.5" diameter axle tube:




Aaaaaaand, all ready to play:



Next up, paint, wiring, safety chains, yadda, yadda...
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Unread 08-01-2012, 09:55 PM   #22
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Looks money !
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Unread 08-10-2012, 04:29 PM   #23
rdsk8ter
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looking good
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http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f104/randys-offroad-trailer-1164102/
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Unread 08-10-2012, 04:38 PM   #24
gspup
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I'm planning a spare tire carrier for my new trailer, similar design.

Making good progress !
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Unread 08-13-2012, 11:31 AM   #25
Burlbook48
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Update time. My time constraints changed considerably as my parents health spiraled downward, and I wasn't able to finish the trailer in the time I expected. But an offer to enter a fire pit I made in a nearby art show lit a fire under my butt, so to speak, to get the trailer road worthy. So in a few hours of frantic work, I wired the jeep for a trailer, wired the trailer for a jeep, made a couple ugly scab-welded light brackets, and cut down some semi-truck mud flaps to keep the cops happy.

First, what brake controller? Prodigy, what else. Next, where to mount the brake controller? My YJ has AC, so the usual spot under the dash is a bit crowded. I wanted a spot that will be easy to reach, but not in the way. I decided on the front compartment of the Tuffy console. Fit nice, easy reach when needed (just leave to cover open when towing), and protected from thieves and the elements when not in use. In retrospect, I should have mounted it to one side of the space, it would make better use to the spot and leave room for something else in the future. I'll move it over later.



I ran the brake controller wires through the firewall, and connected them to the bus bar I made a few months ago. The positive runs through a 20 amp auto-resetting fuse, as per Tekonsha's directions.



The jeep had been wired for a flat 4-pin trailer connector by the previous owner. I wanted brakes on this trailer, so I needed the right connector. One look at the rats nest of wires gave me the willies at trying to mess with that mess in the time I had available. So I cut another hole in the tub, installed a grommet, and ran a piece of 7-wire trailer cable from the connector, up through the tub, and spliced everything together in the section that runs under the tub lip over the wheel well.



I fabbed up a quick bracket to mount the connector. Funds are running low (two girls in collage), so I had to do what I could on the cheap.



Knowing that this trailer is going to see some rock crawling, I wanted the wiring as protected as possible. That meant tucking it up high in the frame, as opposed to running under each cross member. A hole saw and some tube from the local metal supplier's scrap pile fixed the problem. You can see the tube sections sitting on top of the frame waiting to be welded in place.



I used split casing to keep everything neat on the outside. The black battery charging wire is capped off for now (no battery), and the yellow accessory wire is tied up and waiting for reverse lights..... no time for those now, I had to get the trailer up and running ASAP. You can see the angle-iron brackets for mounting the plywood flatbed in place. Again-- cheap and quick. The fugly light brackets are hastily made from scrap flat rod, and something I wouldn't sell to my worst enemy, but I can replace those easily enough when the bed is made.



The cable runs up along the tongue, and is held up with a simple carabineer clip. This lets me use enough cable to allow for turns, but keeps the cable up high from the ground. It was all I could come up with on short notice. Safety chains have quick-release hooks for ease of use



And here is the trailer all ready for its maiden voyage. The plywood is held in place with 1/2" bolts, the tie-downs are bolted to the frame. The load is plenty secure. The mud flaps are held in with snap pins so they can't bounce out off their brackets. This way I can pull them off in a second for off road use. I'll add a couple stop collars to the square rods to keep the upper parts of the flap sopport rod hanging horizontal, just for pretty. Dig the "Xtreme" logo on the flaps? Who knew, when I bought them they were upside down on the store shelf. Gotta laugh.... it's a little presumptuous, don't you think.

This was a rush job to get it ready for a single trip, and despite the time constraints, it came out okay. I don't even have the frame painted yet, nor a full sized spare (AFAIK, that's the original factory spare that came with the jeep when I bought it).



The trailer towed like a dream. The lack of shocks gave the fire pit a nice spongy ride, we'll see if I need them as time goes forward. 18 PSI in the tires helped absorb road bumps. I was amazed at how well it handled over a 2-hour trip that included 16% grades over a windy, bumpy, county road that used to be a logging trail in times past. No push in the corners, the trailer tracked well, and the brakes work like a charm.

The trailer is not done yet, not even close. But I'm happy with how it has worked out so far, given the fact that it's latest progress was cobbled together under a time constraint. Now to wait and see how the fire pit does in the art show. But that is a story for another thread...
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Unread 08-14-2012, 09:28 AM   #26
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Nice work on the trailer and I'd love some more pics and info on that fire pit. I've been wanting to build one for some time now.
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Unread 08-14-2012, 09:43 AM   #27
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Thanks Skippy!

The fire pit was the subject of this thread:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f7/ma...-tank-1282888/


I'll add some pictures of the pit at the art show next week. I'm interested to see how they display it amoungst all the other entries like paintings, sculptures, tables and such. Any questions, just post to that thread or PM me.
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Unread 09-15-2012, 11:02 AM   #28
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Finally got some time to work on the trailer. Made some progress so it looks like more than just a plywood rack.

Framing the sides and tacking before tacking the sheet metal to them:



Added a small rail to support the sides, I plan on having the ability to remove the box when I want to use the trailer for wider stuff. Here's a shot of stitching the rails in place. Liquid refreshment followed:



Several people have asked me why I added a receiver in the back bumper. I told them it was for a third hand, or a work support as needed. Glad I did so, it worked like a charm:



Exposed ends of the square tube frame are plugged with a piece of scrap round stock that fit perfectly. Tack, fill, grind flat... nice.



It's starting to look like a camp trailer. There's still a long way to go, but it's nice to show some progress. Decided to go with a simple box as opposed to the M416 look. I plan on adding side boxes later on, and this will make adding those boxes to the outside of the trailer easier. Different day, different refreshment.

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Unread 09-19-2012, 09:29 AM   #29
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Moving right along, one step at a time. Starting in on the back wall where the tailights will eventually be located:





Framing up the tailgate:






Heading off to class for the evening:






Tacking the skin on the front wall:






Gave the front edge a pass in stitches. The dang breeze kicked up and made the welds look like crap and fill the weld even worse. had to grind most of it down and start over once the wind settled down. Grrr... :





All cleaned up, the top and verticle edge of the front/side panels. Should look nice with a coat of paint:





A shot of the framework, tailgate resting in place, beginnings of the top framed. The mud flaps are simulating fenders in place. Yeah, it's not to scale, but you get the idea. The tail and backup lights will be LEDs located in the panels next to the tailgate. The license plate will be frenched into the tailgate. Nice and clean, so I can lose those cheap fugly taillights I installed to make the trailer road legal. Haven't figured out what type of latch I want for the tailgate yet.:





Visual of the tailgate in the down position:

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Unread 09-19-2012, 11:05 AM   #30
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Looking good ! I hate welding outside. It's too bright and as you know the wind...
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