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Tow story or "My new trailer"

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by bigjbear, May 26, 2004.

  1. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    My latest adventure:

    I bought a trailer over the winter w/o seeing it. My dad bought it to haul machinery on and decided it was too big to do what he needed. He has a habit of buying things I want then selling them w/o telling me. We have similar tastes but live several states apart, about a 10 hour drive, so its just a matter of logistics. Anyway, knowing this I made it very clear I was in the market for a trailer.

    As soon as he decided to sell it I asked him for a description. What I got was kind of vague, but it sounded like it would haul a K5. I told him I definitely wanted it and sent him the money asking for a better description. He gave me a pic and a little better description. "Twenty foot trailer, might have six lug axles, dovetail on the end, tilt deck, and its got a small winch on it" and the clincher; "The guy I got it from used it to haul a backhoe" YES!

    So I fly up to Cleveland to visit family w/ plans of renting a truck & pulling this thing back. It is now the middle of January so there is snow and ice everywhere, but at least I get to see the trailer I bought.

    [​IMG]

    Turns out the specks I got were off a little off. The axles were eight lug, it was a 16' deck, and the "little" winch was a Warn XD9000. It also had a pintle hitch and real load range E trailer tire.

    [​IMG]

    Well, with the crapy weather and no rental trucks w/ pintle hitches or 2" receivers I had to leave it at my dad's.

    Fast forward to the spring. I fly up again, found a rental place w/ a 2" hitch. Unfortunately the weather was still crappy. I left it again.

    A couple months later and I've got some days off coming. New plan; drive up in my wife's Jeep Grand Cherokee. Its got a V8 & 4 wheel disc brakes. I figure no problem pulling an empty trailer even w/ the Dana 35C rear end. Of course a new wrinkle pops up. My dad wants to sell me his '95 Yukon. Even better I'll fly up hook up the trailer & drive home. Dad says "No, that won't work. The rear is toast on the Yukon."

    Well, I finally manage to borrow a truck to pull this mess back. It wasn't the best tow rig, but at least I knew it was reliable and well maintained. A '94 Z-71 that I helped to do a SFA swap on. It also has about 5" of lift & 35s.

    I drove up from Atlanta to Cleveland no problem. Load up and head out w/ plans of stopping for the night at my sister's in Cincinnati. Day 2 will be the next post. Things got interesting from here. More pics too.
     
  2. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    I'm back. First a few things I left out. I left on a Friday night w/ my eight year old daughter. We stopped to sleep in a rest area for a few hours on the way up. I planned to be at my dad's Saturday AM, then load up and drive the 4 hours to my sisters , spend the night, leave Sunday morning and be home for a late supper.

    Once we got to my dad's there were a few small problems, not the least of which was me backing into a car /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif It wasn't bad and the owner & I settled up w/o insurance being involved.

    After some visiting it was time to hook up the trailer. First I had to move the hitch on the plate because of the lift on the Z-71. Naturally I broke a bolt and had to find a new one. Now it was time to put the Yukon onto the trailer. The R &P is so bad we need to put it into 4WD to get loaded. Even then there was a lot of bad noises (when I got home & pulled the diff cover I found 15 teeth broke off the ring gear, damaged side & spider gears, damaged pinion gear, and the carrier bearings were totally gone). I was told the winch didn't work so I didn't try to use it to load with (when I got home it turns out the battery cable ends were messed up).

    Now that there is some weight on the trailer one of the tires looks low. No problem, turn on the air compressor in the garage, unplug it and roll it up the street to where I'm parked. Of course it wouldn't be that simple.

    Dad starts to put air in and it is seeping out at the bead. He kept putting air in and the bead seated and stopped leaking. Unfortunately it started leaking from the tread. No biggie, dad goes and gets a plug kit from the garage. He had some big plugs from back in the day (he used to be in the tire biz). For some reason the plug didn't want to go in (this should have been a clue, but we blamed it on the size of the plug). Dad pushed a little harder and sealed it up. I said good bye and headed to the gas station on the corner to finish filling the tires. I aired up & all looked well so I hit the interstate.

    When I stopped for gas the problem tire was a little low so I added some more air. The other three looked great. When I got close to my sister's I stopped for gas again and the problem tire needed air again. In the short (30 miles) drive to her house it was low again, but I was only able to put 30 PSI in at the last stop. I figure no worries, I'll put some Fix-A-Flat in in the morning and it will be OK.

    Sunday morning, I'm feeling good, I had a good night's sleep and I'm ready to head home. I look outside and it’s raining. I throw our bags into the truck check the trailer and the problem tire is off the rim! Crap! Stupid 16.5 " rims. I jack up the trailer & try to reseat it w/ F-A-F, of course that didn't work. So I remove the tire throw it in the bed and head for a gas station. Nothing local has enough pressure. I jump on the interstate after getting directions to a tire store. Turns out they are closed on Sunday. I call my wife at home and have look for tire stores on I-75 and start heading south. She calls me back w/ directions to one open Sundays. I get there and its a Firestone and they are so nervous from the Ford lawsuits they wouldn't plug a hole as big as what I had. The guy was nice enough to reseat the bead for me. A big that you goes out to him! Next I head to Auto-Zone and buy some tire plugs and more F-A-F. No good air at the gas stations around the A-Z so I figure I'll stop at the next exit. The next exit is downtown and I'm not going to try and get off there. I slowly drove to Kentucky on three. I stopped at the next easy on/easy off exit and aired up. I'm now way behind schedule but feeling confident again. All is well for a little over an hour. Then I see the trailer start to sway. Oh crap, I bet it’s flat again.

    We stop at the next truck-stop to get gas and air. I pull up to the pump and the tire is not only flat its off the bead again, and its hot! I went in and talked to the counter guy and asked about tire repair. He calls the mechanic, and I drove around to the garage. I talked to the mech and they didn't have any tires that small. He did think he could fix it though. I told him what I had done that day and he said lets take a look.

    First we agreed on a cash price. It was a little high, but it was cheaper that a hotel and waiting until Monday for a new tire.

    He aired up the tire to see what kind of shape it was in. He said it looked like it would be able to be patched. Then he knocked the tire off the bead again. He didn't use a tire machine though. He had what looked similar to a pick-ax and took a couple of swings at my tire! Talk about being nervous. But he hit it right at the rims edge and the tire came right off w/o any damage! Is this normal for OTR trucks??? Back to the story, he looked at the hole from the inside and said he would patch it but don't drive too fast (over 75) or it would get hot and the patch could separate. I didn't bother to tell him I was only doing 60 anyway. This is when I found out why that first plug was so hard to put in. There was an old patch rolling around inside the tire. It obviously wasn't holding air but was still in place and keeping the first plug from going in. The mech whipped out a 90* grinder to rough up the surface and put on a patch designed for big trucks. Then we waited while the glue set up.

    This was the hopefully the final solution. I was on the road again. At the next gas stop the problem tire was still holding air. That gave me a great feeling. Sure enough it was still good when I got to each stop after that one.

    Unfortunately I was now way behind schedule. One of the reasons I planed most of my driving to be during daylight hours was the trailer has a 7 pin round plug and the truck had a 4 pin flat. I remedied this by using some magnetic tow light on the back of the trailer instead of the actual trailer lights. This worked fine in the daylight because all I needed was the tail, stop, and signal lights. However, when the sun went down this meant I had no marker lights on a black trailer with no reflectors. I ended up turning on the parking lights on the Yukon. Then I started it up every time I stopped for gas to keep the battery from dying.

    When I was almost back to GA my daughter and I were hungry and tired. Instead of pushing through we stopped and ate a good dinner. I loaded up on caffeine and was wide awake when we pulled out. We made it the rest of the way home w/o any problems and got a good chance to spend a lot of time together.
     
  3. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    ...and the pics
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. ugly_blazer

    ugly_blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one blessed with "everything has to be difficult" syndrome. Nice trailer. The pick ax looking tool is standard equipment at semi tire shops. Sometimes they also have a large slide handle type bead breaker.
     
  5. skratch

    skratch 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    Sounds like one heck of an adventure!
    Too bad you didn't swing through Columbus, woulda been cool to meet y'all.

    And I have a couple spare 8 lug E rated rim combos in the back yard /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif
     
  6. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    Damn, what an adventures. /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  7. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    Well I was reading and thinking is this guy telling my life story?

    I can perfectly relate man, that is exactly how things go with me.
    Glad you finally made it ok.
    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  8. jac6695

    jac6695 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    Yes, I am glad to hear that stuff happens to other people. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  9. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    [ QUOTE ]
    The pick ax looking tool is standard equipment at semi tire shops. Sometimes they also have a large slide handle type bead breaker.



    [/ QUOTE ]
    That's what I hoped to hear. I wonder if it would have worked as well if I was running 16" rims instead of the 16.5s.
     
  10. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    I thought about posting my intentions before I left but we HAD to be back before Monday AM. And if I had a spare I wouldn't of gotten to have all that "fun". The ironic part is I accualy had a spare 35 for the truck. It always works that way.
     
  11. ugly_blazer

    ugly_blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    The pick ax looking tool is standard equipment at semi tire shops. Sometimes they also have a large slide handle type bead breaker.



    [/ QUOTE ]
    That's what I hoped to hear. I wonder if it would have worked as well if I was running 16" rims instead of the 16.5s.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Probably not. The 16.5 wheel is designed just like the 22.5 and 24.5 wheels on semi trucks and does not have a safety bead. I have several sets of 16.5 wheel/tire sets and can easily mount/dismount the tires by hand which is kinda cool, but just as I can dismount them easily they can also dismount themselves easily too - not very cool.
     
  12. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    Glad to hear you both made it back safely.
     
  13. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    Seeing this it wouldn't be such a bad idea to have a winch on the trailer. I've got one on the trail machine, but the idea that one day I might end up with the tow rig on the trailer with the trail machine pulling it makes the winch look like a wonderful thing to have when you've got non running junk that doesn't want to be on the trailer.
     
  14. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    Dang man. I hope you got a slammin' deal on that trailer to go through all that mess you went through. Glad everything worked out and you got home safely.

    That story reminds me of me sometimes.. /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif
     
  15. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    I did get a killer deal. I didn't know if I wanted to post what I paid because it was such a good deal, but what the hell.

















    $250 /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  16. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    [ QUOTE ]
    I did get a killer deal. I didn't know if I wanted to post what I paid because it was such a good deal, but what the hell.

















    $250 /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    OK and how much did it cost you to get it home, between your time, gas, repairs and pain and suffering.
    /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif

    Well I just had a nice story this week end too, will post soon.
    /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif
     
  17. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    Time was ok, because I got to spend it w/ my daughter, dad and brother. Repairs, $50 to get the tire fixed right + $20 trying to piece it together. Gas, a lot. Just over $250, IIRC. Pain & suffering /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif a year from now I'll remember it as fun.
     
  18. beater74

    beater74 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    [ QUOTE ]
    $250

    [/ QUOTE ]

    note to self: add Jim to list of people i no longer like /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif
     
  19. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    $250

    [/ QUOTE ]

    note to self: add Jim to list of people i no longer like /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Hehe No Doubt.

    Ok how much rust in the Yukon?

    I'll give you $500 for it LOL /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  20. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Re: Tow story or \"My new trailer\"

    Its not bad, remember this is the era of galvinized sheet metal. I'm going to blast the frame and brush on a coat of Rustolium. It needs a repaint for other reasons (keyed & a fender bender) so that will take care of the little spots.

    Now I just need a geezer 'burb to pull it /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     

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