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Boat trailer rebuild

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Boat trailer rebuild

Postby allingeneral » Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:43 am

The last couple of months, I have had my boat berthed in a slip on the Potomac River (more about that in another post!). Anyway, I had to get it off the trailer so that I could do a complete trailer rebuild. That thing was in sorry shape. So, two months later, I have it just about finished up.

The rust was eating my 1984 model year trailer alive. The leaf springs were shot, the surge brakes didn't work (this made for a few interesting stops last year!). So, I dropped the boat off at the river and took the trailer home for some TLC.

I ordered a bunch of parts from http://www.TrailerPartsSuperstore.com. They had just about everything I needed. I ordered a new 6600lb hydraulic brake actuator/hitch, two new drum brake backing plates, brake line kit and U-bolts and leaf spring shackles. I had to order the leaf springs elsewhere because my old trailer uses some short 18 1/2-inch leaf springs that I couldn't find anywhere else. I also went to an online nuts and bolts store and bought a bunch of stainless steel hardware to put it all back together with.

I dropped the axles and pulled them out from under the trailer, removed the trailer fenders and just started grinding. I must have run that grinder with the steel brush for 20 hours over the last two months! As I got the rust cleaned up on one piece, it would get a nice coat of Rust-oleum Rust Converter paint. I was still waiting for leaf springs to come in, so I kept grinding and painting.

The old brake actuator assembly had gotten water in it and had rusted inside...there was no saving it. Upon further inspection, I also noticed that the front bolt had broken through the mounting hole in the trailer frame. This thing has too much tongue weight to tell the truth...I tried backing it off a little last year, but then the boat wallows behind me like a damned snake when I'm going down the road. I'm just glad that I started this rebuild before something terrible happened! I removed the old brake actuator and proceeded to chop off the end of the trailer frame so that I could attach the new actuator to some fresh steel. I drilled a couple of well-placed holes, grabbed a couple of stainless steel bolts and Wha-Lah! New brake actuator attached!

By now, I had received the leaf springs from the UPS guy. I pulled them out of the box and slapped them on...put the new u-bolts and shackles in place and hammered them home with the impact wrench. Then I removed the old brake backing plates, which looked like they hadn't worked in about 15 years. There was grease all around the inside of the brake drum...what a mess. So, those went to the trash pile and I put the new backing plates on the rear axle. I put new bearings and races (cups and cones) into the old hubs, greased them up real well and tightened them down. Then, I put the new nylon bushings in the leaf springs and mounted the fenders, and put the axle back under the trailer.

I still have a little bit of painting to do here and there. I had to replace the left tail light because it was so corroded that by the time I got this all done, it had decided to quit working. I also replaced the rear center marker lights (for trailers wider than 80 inches).

Soon, I'll have this thing back on the road and I can go pull my boat out of the stinky ole Potomac river where it has accumulated more scum than I want to mess with. Then, I'll be taking it to the James River at Hopewell...in hopes of catching some nice blue catfish! That's the happy ending of the story...going catfishing...which I haven't done for 2 years!

:fishing: :fishing: :fishing: :fishing: :fishing: :fishing: :fishing: :fishing:
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Re: Boat trailer rebuild

Postby BWS OutDoors » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:40 pm

Sounds like you had yourself a good summer project and it is amazing how fast the time flies by...glad things are coming together and time to hit some other waters... :fishing:
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Re: Boat trailer rebuild

Postby allingeneral » Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:26 pm

I dragged the trailer to the marina today, hoping to put the boat on it and bring it home. Just as I suspected, but hoped against, the right rear wheel brakes locked up and I had to leave the trailer at the marina. The brake drum on that side was all rusted and gunked up on the inside. I cleaned it up before I put it back together, but apparently not well enough. I was hoping that what was left over in there would burn off and it would be OK.

Well, I was wrong. It didn't burn out. Instead, the hub is now seized up...won;t turn a lick. So, I guess I'll take a breaker bar, a hammer and a few other tools to the marina tomorrow after work and try to get the brake drum/hub off of there...scrape it out a bit better and see if I can salvage it.

:doh:
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Re: Boat trailer rebuild

Postby RACN35 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:47 am

I was excited about the first post and happy for you - then the last post sucked. Nothing you cant take care of tho. I look fwd to meeting you two and fishing with ya this fall-
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Re: Boat trailer rebuild

Postby allingeneral » Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:57 pm

Got the trailer all fixed up...pulled the hub/brake drum and cleaned it up with a scraper and a wire brush...loosened the brake adjuster a little, repacked the bearings and put it back together. Then drove it a couple miles down the road, checked the hub temperatures and all felt good. Tossed the boat on there and dragged it home!

Now to get the boat problem figured out... The guys at iboats.com forum tell me that I may have spun the hub in my prop... so, I think I'll put the spare prop on there and take it to the water this evening for a test.
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