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utility trailer...springs/wheels

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by dyeager535, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Hey, theres a trailer forum here too?? /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Got a 4x8 foot bed, single axle home made utility trailer. Weight is approximately 400lbs.

    Suspension on it is shot. Leaf spring, no shocks. Shackles are worn out from the bolts that pass through them, the bushings for the spring eyes are gone, and the bolts, while the type you can lube through, are probably also garbage. In other words, tons of slop in the axle setup.

    My friend stores it for me because he uses it more than I do. Good thing is, he does all the work on it that needs done, and I get to use it whenever I want. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif Anyways, he was looking at it, and suggested that we do away with the suspension, just weld the axle (square tubing) to the frame, which is round tubing. He thought maybe make something like a reverse spring perch on the trucks, so that he could get a good weld on it.

    The trailer HAS probably carried close to a ton, which is definitely overloading it, but it didn't really complain. A bit of a funny angle to the wheels, but it worked. Easily carries 1000lbs quite often.

    Is there any downside on a trailer to mounting the axle straight to the frame? At this point, when hooked up to any of the trucks we tow with, the butt end of the trailer sticks up a fair amount. Would probably sit more level if the suspension was gone. I can't really imagine any problems with no suspension on a trailer, but obviously quite a few trailers do have suspension, must be there for a reason. Without shocks (very poor setup whoever made it, both ends of the shock mounts are almost parallel with the ground) the thing bounces all over the place unloaded anyways. Can't imagine it any worse without springs!

    Also, the wheels are some weird design, but I'm assuming some "standard" pattern. Lots of weight on them, and they look ancient. He tried GM 4.75" on 5, and since they were too big, he suspects these are 4.5" on 5 wheels, (they are 14") but neither of us know anything other than GM, so we don't have any idea what vehicle to get a set from. I'm sure the wheel patterns are on the net somewhere, but a lot of people here I bet know this info off the top of their heads. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  2. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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    Most small trailer with 2k axles are 5 on 4.5 wheels. (Dodge small pattern)

    If you weld the axle to the frame it will jar your teeth out if you have any weight on it. It will tug and push. You can get new springs and hangers for under a hundred bucks, may be worth it.

    CR
     
  3. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    So the problem isn't more with ride quality of the trailer itself, but the amount of force that is transferred back to the tow vehicle?

    He was making the point that some of the large boat trailers don't use suspension either.

    The tugging and pushing makes sense to me, I'm just curious as to why/how they do it on some larger trailers.

    I have considered the new spring option, I didn't realize they could be had for so little. For that price, I very well may go with that option.

    Thanks for the info thus far!
     
  4. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I have never seen any trailer without suspension. If your buddy saw one that looked like it might not have suspension he probably saw a trailer with torsion axles and didn't understand what he was looking at.

    Shocks or not is a contraversial and debatable subject when it comes to trailers though. I think they help, but in a sense that's more parts to break, too. Many trailers are on the road without shocks doing fine. For your small single axle trailer I'd skip the idea entirely.
     
  5. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Ya know, I never even thought about them using torsion springs. That makes much more sense.

    I'll have to keep my eyes open. See those on the road fairly often, I'll just have to pay closer attention.

    It's been running without shocks "fine", but if you've never tried it both ways, guess it's not possible to comment whether tehy are "needed" or not. May or may not help, but it's been working fine without them, so why add them?
     
  6. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    A lot of trailers dont have suspension.

    they *SHOULD* have it, just a lot of cheap trailers dont have it. Especially those "build yourself harbor freight" ones.

    Heck, look at the small u-haul trailers- No suspension either. its not until you get to the larger ones do you find suspension.
     
  7. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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    Here is a picture of one of the torsion axles I just put under my new trailer I just built. This is a 3500# rated axle, complete from hub to hub it cost me $217.00. Many people look at these and get the misconception there is not any suspension under the trailer. This is no doubt the best way to go. They ride very smooth, virtually no upkeep, are very quiet, and easy to install.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    With no suspension at all it would make for a rough ride for whatever is on the trailer. The trailer would bounce off of the road, like car dollies when they are not loaded.
     
  9. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Here is a picture of one of the torsion axles I just put under my new trailer I just built. This is a 3500# rated axle, complete from hub to hub it cost me $217.00. Many people look at these and get the misconception there is not any suspension under the trailer. This is no doubt the best way to go. They ride very smooth, virtually no upkeep, are very quiet, and easy to install.

    [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Agreed.

    Unfortunately, my trailer has leaf springs. It's a 14k and beefy, but the nice axles like that would be a good upgrade.
     
  10. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Called around today for a setup like that, and a 2000# one is going to cost me $250 before tax.

    Not bad, compared to $200 for all new leaf spring stuff.

    Only problem I can see is that this trailer was made with round tubing, so some fabrication would be necessary to mount it up.

    Apparently 4.5"x5 is the "standard" for light trailers, going with 4.75 or 5x5 is more expensive, and makes it harder to find parts if you have problems.
     
  11. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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    Not hard at all. Where ever you are going to mount the axle first weld on a piece of angle iron that is "wrapped" around the tube. That will give you a level surface to weld the axle to.

    John
     
  12. 83ZZ502_Jimmy

    83ZZ502_Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Called around today for a setup like that, and a 2000# one is going to cost me $250 before tax.

    Not bad, compared to $200 for all new leaf spring stuff.

    Only problem I can see is that this trailer was made with round tubing, so some fabrication would be necessary to mount it up.

    Apparently 4.5"x5 is the "standard" for light trailers, going with 4.75 or 5x5 is more expensive, and makes it harder to find parts if you have problems.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    They have them here for less..

    2000lb torsion axle 159.99
    3500lbs axle 229.99

    John
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Thanks for the link, you got me all excited...but thats with no hubs. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    With shipping, I suspect the $250 locally is a pretty fair price. That $250 includes the hubs, and is "custom made" for the trailer, which I suspect is going to be an issue (I doubt the width is standard) on this particular home made trailer.
     
  14. 83ZZ502_Jimmy

    83ZZ502_Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Sorry,

    The $250 deal sounds pretty good if it includes those "extras" you mention.

    I say go for it.

    John
     
  15. BowtieBlazer

    BowtieBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Here is a picture of one of the torsion axles I just put under my new trailer I just built. This is a 3500# rated axle, complete from hub to hub it cost me $217.00. Many people look at these and get the misconception there is not any suspension under the trailer. This is no doubt the best way to go. They ride very smooth, virtually no upkeep, are very quiet, and easy to install.

    [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]


    I am thinking about pulling out a chevy lumina rear axle for my "utility" trailer (8 footer) and it looks alot like that with some extra bracketry but I'd bet its good for around 3500lbs

    Also whats the best way to get out of these dingy 4.80 by 12 tires, rated 790 each, any rim off hand that will fit this pattern if I don't swap in this lumina axle first
     

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