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Knurled
Knurled UltimaDork
5/12/15 10:02 p.m.

(not a perfect math class)

Knurled bought a trailer. Because perfectionist, the trailer is not good enough as supplied.

Here's a stock photo of the trailer in question:

It bolts together, which is okay, but there is a sea of M10 bolts and Nylocs and nary a washer to be seen anywhere. This is something I can't tolerate. So, says I, I'll pop off to the hardware store and get a box of 3/8" washers. And maybe some decking... and something to hold tires with... hmm this will require Planning.

Meanwhile I gotta do something about the red. Everyone has a HF trailer and everyone's is red. Stands out like a needle in a stack of needles. If it ever gets stolen, I don't want to report a red HF trailer, since everyone has one. I want something so butt-ugly that it stands out and maybe is a theft deterrent in itself. I wanted Kawasaki Green because it's a really bright obnoxious bolor. NAPA didn't have any. Or any obnoxious colors on display at all. I ask the counter dude what he has that is butt ugly and obnoxious. He offers me a can of school bus yellow. PERFECT.

One can is not enough.

Here's where I was at after the first day: running out of paint then assembling loosely to verify that none of the parts went missing:

 photo GEDC1149.jpg

You'll notice a lack of axle and tires. That is because the hub bearings were supplied with a minimum of grease and I didn't want to put that together until I'd got it to work and greased everything properly. Well lubed bearings are happy bearings.

That is where we were at on Friday. Today I went to Home Depot to pick up some washers... and some 4x4 plywood to make decking... hmm a 4x4 won't fit in my car, looks like I get two 2'x4' pieces... hey they have 3/4" sanded OAK plywood, that would be awesome and should last just about forever, and at $25/sheet it's only a little more expensive than the 15/32 crappy plywood and do I really plan on doing it twice? And I may as well get the bolts for this and that and the other and the makin's for the wheel hold downs and an hour later I think I got everything. Go to the checkout... $141.20.

I ask her to repeat that, as my brain parsed it as "one-forty one-twenty" and I didn't get that she was describing a monetary figure. Then I asked to look at the tally since I didn't buy THAT much stuff, did I?

sigh

Oh well, the expense is forgotten long before the quality fades.

Sneak preview and jaunty rear-quarter shot of Oktavia:

 photo GEDC1151.jpg

Tally so far:

Trailer: $199.50 (got an instant discount from the $229 list price) Paint: $18 Home Depot stuff: $141.20 Total: $358.40

EvanR
EvanR Dork
5/13/15 2:43 a.m.

Before you grease the bearings, make sure to de-grease them. Whatever Xiang Dong (or whoever really makes them) uses is more like cosmoline than grease - all it does is prevent rust during shipping.

Please clean that glop off first.

914Driver
914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/13/15 6:56 a.m.

Find the story put up by Tom Suddard and then look at your trailer tongue.

Twice.

trucke
trucke HalfDork
5/13/15 8:58 a.m.

I had steel angle welded to the underside of the fenders on mine. I can stand on them now. Those fenders are rather flimsy.

Nice setup! Love the school bus (Koni Sport) yellow paint. These trailers are super handy. Keeps the car interior clean too.

dj06482
dj06482 GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/13/15 9:29 a.m.

Make sure the fender brackets aren't contacting the tires when loaded would be my best piece of advice. I blew a tire on my trailer's native journey!

Jerry
Jerry SuperDork
5/13/15 9:39 a.m.

SB yellow will pop nicely with the (dirty) black RX7. I was not happy with my trailer, way too bounce happy, but maybe I'm just a Bob Costas?

Knurled
Knurled UltimaDork
5/13/15 12:32 p.m.
914Driver wrote: Find the story put up by Tom Suddard and then look at your trailer tongue. Twice.

Why?

Jerry: I'm more or less duplicating Miles' trailer in function. It towed very nicely for me.

NGTD
NGTD UltraDork
5/13/15 12:36 p.m.
Knurled wrote:
914Driver wrote: Find the story put up by Tom Suddard and then look at your trailer tongue. Twice.
Why? Jerry: I'm more or less duplicating Miles' trailer in function. It towed very nicely for me.

It snapped on an interstate and the trailer went flying into the median or shoulder (can't remember exactly). Thankfully no one was hurt. Trailer done.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor
5/13/15 12:57 p.m.

Yep. And I assembled it properly and everything. Cheap steel failed. I would never, ever tow one of these again.

trucke
trucke HalfDork
5/13/15 1:04 p.m.

I used some conduit clamps to bolt a fiberglass rod to each rear corner to aid in backing up. I used these. This has been extremely helpful!

Driveway Marker Rod

Knurled
Knurled UltimaDork
5/13/15 4:42 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard:

If it were a pattern failure, I'd be concerned, but this unit seems to be the standard-issue tire trailer used by the local rallycrossers and I've never heard of one failing. I'm also probably never going to exceed 50% of its load rating, as well.

I'll certainly keep an eye on it for cracks, but to be honest, the tongue on it is pretty beefy. It's a 2x2 box with a thin slit up the middle (not a U-channel), maybe 16 gauge.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor
5/13/15 5:51 p.m.

Fair enough, I totally understand. The tongue on mine was actually fine—keep an eye on the steel it bolts to under the trailer. That's what failed.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
5/13/15 5:54 p.m.

As mentioned, repack the bearings well. They're a tough size to find even at most RV/trailer places, so you want to keep them in good shape. I seam-welded the whole trailer to stiffen it up, as well as added a V-shaped section made of angle iron to the neck - both to stiffen and strengthen it, and to provide more storage space. I had some concerns about the strength of the neck (may or maybe not justified), and that alleviated the concerns.

Also, if you're just going to carry tires and race gear, you can take one leaf out of the spring which will sit it a bit lower and reduce bouncing on rough roads and highways at high speeds. Mine has been cross-country with 500lbs on it (before I bought it) and I've towed it thousands of miles at up to.....uh......the speed limit in Italy....miles per hour.

btw, with this loadout (4 rally tires, spare, and a big gearbox) I have about 40lbs tongue weight, which is about perfect IMO.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
5/13/15 5:56 p.m.
NGTD wrote:
Knurled wrote:
914Driver wrote: Find the story put up by Tom Suddard and then look at your trailer tongue. Twice.
Why? Jerry: I'm more or less duplicating Miles' trailer in function. It towed very nicely for me.
It snapped on an interstate and the trailer went flying into the median or shoulder (can't remember exactly). Thankfully no one was hurt. Trailer done.

So, where did it break? I'm assuming to the rear of where the safety chains attach, then?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Associate Editor
5/13/15 6:18 p.m.

The tongue pulled straight off of the trailer, tore both steel cross beams where it bolts to the rest of the trailer. The chains worked great—I was just dragging a tongue down the highway.

Knurled
Knurled UltimaDork
5/13/15 6:34 p.m.

Oh, well that's interesting. I'll bear it in mind when I build the underframe for the battery. I'll try to incorporate the bracketry in such a way as it also reinforces the tongue mount.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
5/13/15 6:36 p.m.
Tom Suddard wrote: The tongue pulled straight off of the trailer, tore both steel cross beams where it bolts to the rest of the trailer. The chains worked great—I was just dragging a tongue down the highway.

lol....were you doing a drag start or something? It just ripped out for no reason? Odd.

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 SuperDork
5/13/15 8:44 p.m.

To be fair, Tom's trailer was carrying a bit bigger and taller load. I'm sure within the supposed limits of the trailer but still a factor.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
5/13/15 8:56 p.m.

oh wait, was that the camper trailer thing?

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
5/13/15 8:59 p.m.
Jerry wrote: SB yellow will pop nicely with the (dirty) black RX7. I was not happy with my trailer, way too bounce happy, but maybe I'm just a Bob Costas?

take out one leaf from the springs and that problem is solved.

Knurled
Knurled UltimaDork
5/16/15 5:36 p.m.

Waffling on buying a box right now. Because WOW decent boxes are expensive.

I did register the trailer today. I waited until today because I thought I needed to go to the Title Bureau. I'm cheerfully told (within 15 seconds of walking in) that, since the trailer weight is under 4000lb, I just need to go to the BMV. The two people I talked to thought my "I Void Warranties" shirt was pretty sweet.

So I waited until now for nothing, since the title offices are open at inconvenient hours while the BMVs are not. I walk into the BMV, show them my certificate of origin, and I'm handed a little form to fill out. That, a couple signatures, and $41.50 later, I have a license plate and a title.

Went searching far and wide for suitable boxes for the trailer. I want something weatherproof, lockable, and 40" wide by as long and tall as I can find. Found nothing, but I did find a swing-down tongue caster at K-mart for $10, marked down from $40. It's rated for more weight than the trailer's GVW so it should probably be overkill enough And for $10, why not?

Still waffling on the box. I found the perfect one, but I simply don't want to spend that much money.

Speaking of money:

Previous total: $358.40

Registration: $41.50

Tongue stand/caster thingus: $10.80

New total: $410.70

Now for the bit I'm dreading: Going to Lowe's and buying the box. And some stain/sealer while I'm there.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
5/16/15 10:50 p.m.

This is what I have and it seems to be a popular choice among the tire-trailer crowd that comes to our events as well. Pretty inexpensive, has a big inner lip to prevent any leaking in highway downpours, and it is VERY stiff and sturdy. Maybe a tiny bit smaller than your desired dimensions though (only 39" wide I think).

http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/contico-pro-tuff-bin

Knurled
Knurled UltimaDork
5/17/15 6:39 a.m.

That's a sweet deal, but I think that is the box that was on the trailer I borrowed, and it could have stood to be larger (taller). I'm weighing the pros and cons of carrying more stuff vs. being a larger aerodynamic brick. I am thinking "more stuff" wins out. I have an Idea for the aerodynamics issue.

I'm not all that concerned about the $40 in the face of carrying more stuff. I'll forget the $40 extra soon enough. If the box is too small, I'll remember it every time I need to pack more stuff but can't.

XLR99
XLR99 Reader
5/17/15 7:38 a.m.

I have the same box Irish has on his trailer - it's been behind the garage as unlocked storage for a few years and is still dry inside.

If you need bigger - Lowes has a 60" Deck Box as well; maybe mount that longitudinally on the trailer & put the tires beside it?

ssswitch
ssswitch Reader
5/17/15 11:01 a.m.

School bus yellow is going to look great, but I can't help but wonder what a Ford Mystichrome tire trailer would look like.

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