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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you may know, im having a 24' enclosed custom built currently.. Well it keeps getting pushed back further and further
due to the factory being shut down or running on a skeleton crew because of the covid-19 stuff.


Well... Im bored, cant go riding because i dont have a trailer currently and im tired of having to ask to borrow one..
So i found a 18' utility trailer that has had a rough life. I got a smoking deal on it as is..

Plans go as follows..

Replace 5-6 cross members, Replace 3" C channel tongue from coupler to the front of the leaf
springs with 4" channel, add proper frame work for setback jack at the front, shorten rear by roughly 15",
possibly remove ramp storage from rear/underside of trailer, new wiring, new lights, new coupler,
new safety chains, new deck, new/used wheels and tires and probably some paint..


Im actually some what certain that by the time i get this project finished up, my enclosed will be done. lol!
But i'll atleast have an open trailer to use at my disposal if i dont feel like dragging my enclosed around or
maybe if im going riding some place local, or...Maybe i need an open trailer for something else that my
enclosed wouldnt be good for.

So yeah, i got some work to.
Calling a few places here soon to price out the angle i need and the c channel i need.
Trailer has a rather large dovetail on the rear, im planning on cutting most of it off and only leaving 8"
or so. This will give me a noticeable amount of extra ground clearance off the rear of the trailer.
Trailer looks rusty in the picture, and it is, but its not nearly as bad as it looks. Its actually painted a
nasty red/rust red color with minimal surface rust showing in places. Fenders are beat, but im going
to keep them. I'll do my best to heat them up and straighten them out, no plans on replacing them at
this time though.


Any of you done a project like this?
This is my 3rd utility trailer rebuild.

20200502_134528.jpg
 

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Yep, did a similar project! Started with a new pair of tail lights, then turned into replacing the wood, which turned into adding diamond plate instead of wood...

I like your plans for yours!


Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
You did quit
Yep, did a similar project! Started with a new pair of tail lights, then turned into replacing the wood, which turned into adding diamond plate instead of wood...

I like your plans for yours!

Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk

You did quite a bit of work to yours as well.


I worked on mine for a short while today..
Havent brought home my welder or torch set from storage so im limited for the next few days.

I did manage to cut out 1 cross member and the underdeck ramp storage stuff though, handled that with a sawzaw and a cheap blade.

Ive got my material list made up, going to be picking up steel this Thursday.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Got some work done today..

Going to have to pick up some more steel though.
Ordered steel this morning at 8:15 and it was ready for pick up around 8:45.

Im replacing 3 more cross members than what i had originally planned.
I had also planned on reusing the very rear piece of 2x3 angle but it just has way to much
stuff welded to it. I worked on it some earlier and its just going to take too much labor to cut
off the old stuff from it in order to be able to remount it. So Im going to replace it with a piece of 3x4 angle.
I bought a small piece of 3x4 for tail light mounts, that i wont be using. Mocked up the small piece i do
have and 3x4 will be perfect.

Shortened the rear and had planned on using a 2x8 across the back, well now im going to use a 2x12.
So keeping things just a little bit longer, not much though.
Need to pick up 1 2x8x16 footer so i can get an exact measurement on where i can cut the rear of the trailer at.
Probably pick that up tomorrow.

Here are a few pictures from today..
Included 2 pictures of the bent tongue.
Upgrading that 3" channel to 4" is going to be a noticeable improvement.

20200507_194204.jpg 20200507_194219.jpg 20200507_194232.jpg 20200507_194244.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nothing too crazy for an update..

Picked up 6 more pieces of angle today, 1 of those being the piece of 4x3 for the rear.
In total i replaced 8 cross members. So far ive spent about $361 on steel.

Waiting on the coupler to show up and then the next move will be to cut off the tongue
and 3" channel down the sides and replace it all with 4" channel.

Never done a tongue before so thinking about this in my head..
My plan is to measure, measure and measure again and then cut my pieces and basically
assemble/ tack them together and then raise the whole assembly up to the trailer and tack
it to the trailer. We'll see how it goes.. Wont be until next week/next weekend some time.

20200508_185557.jpg 20200508_185518.jpg 20200508_185523.jpg 20200508_185542.jpg 20200508_185529.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Figured out how im doing the deck..

There will be a 2x12 across the back on the dovetail.
After the dovetail, or before- however you want to look at it, will be another 2x12.
After the 2nd 2x12, my planks will begin running the length of the trailer.

This will keep me from having to buy 18' boards since i need more then 16' 1" from the front to the dovetail. Difference between a 16' and 18' board price wise is noticeable.. like $6 per noticeable.. ouch

Both 2x12s will be held in place with thread cutting counter sunk hardware.


Heres the end of the trailer though..
Got 1 upright burnt it, ill do the other tomorrow if its not raining all day. I have 3 more crossmembers to burn in to make these 2 2x12s jive. Able to reuse 1 cross member, other 2 will be new material which i already have.

20200509_184743.jpg
 

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Nice work! I think that will end up looking really good, seeing the change in direction of the wood near the tail.

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Discussion Starter #8
Heres a good visual for the rear.
Just need to weld in 1 crossmember for the forward most 2x12 and that stuff will be done.

Getting closer..

20200510_161918.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Rear half, from the front axle back is about ready for paint prep, primer and base coat.

Going to add a handfull of 5" long pieces of angle under that piece of angle the ramps hang on, then itll be 100% ready for paint work behind the front axle.

Next big fab job is the tongue.

I only work on this for maybe an hour a day during the week, sometimes not even that.

20200511_190933.jpg 20200511_190929.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Rear is completely done with fab work.

Started cutting off the angle sides and c channel tongue.
Got the drivers side completely off, only thing left on the passenger side is the c channel tongue piece.

Ran out of cut off wheels and energy.
Worked on it for about an hour and a half today.


20200513_192357.jpg 20200513_192410.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
More progress

Old tongue is completely removed now
new tongue is assembled with new coupler and 4" c channel

found a set of 4 used tires on the book, got them mounted up.
Started cleaning up wheels, priming and painting them.
Have 1 bad wheel bearing, going to replace all 4.
Also have a bad valve stem that the shop missed i guess..

Taillight boxes, tail lights, 7 way plug with junction box, marker lights, that stuff is all here.
need to figure out some mounts for my marker lights. Using 3/4" leds, i have a large supply of them.
Need to pick up a set of safety chains still and im out of wire for my welder again.

Here are a few pictures..

20200514_202556.jpg 20200514_202601.jpg 20200515_225917.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Progress has come to a hault for now.

I got the tongue clamped into place and centered. Its ready for weld, i got the 1 valve stem fixed as well.


Im awaiting covid 19 test results.
My symptoms began last week. Things havent gotten any worse or better, but with that being said, i am in pretty rough shape.

Got tested today at 1215 pm. Takes about 24 to 36 hours for results.

Im hanging in there, i do not feel well at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, all is good.


I got my test results back about an hour ago, im negative.
Guess i have the flu.


Like i said, symptoms started last week, around Thursday.
I had done quite a bit of overhead grinding and what not on the trailer.
I was laying on my back under the trailer grinding down welds where the old tongue once was.

Within a day or so my upper body from about my hips up became very very sore, both muscles and joints.
Wife and i both agreed that it must be from working my day time job and then coming home and working on the trailer.

Well, things got worse. My pain got worse, i picked up a consistent high temperature, i picked up some nausea, i
was no longer eating or drinking, my upper body pain grew to my entire body, my skin was even sensitive to the touch.
I would be freezing and sweating at the same time. My condition hadnt gotten much worse in 2 days but i had the
same exact stuff going on. Didnt have any respiratory stuff going on that was obvious, didnt have absolutely all
of the covid symptoms, but i did have a few.

Wife works at the local big hospital, Indiana University Hospital, so she scheduled me a phone/virtual doctors visit.
With me still working, and going out to the stores and what not, having a 20 month old son and with the wife currently
being pregnant, we all agreed that a covid 19 test was the best current choice. An hour later i visit a drive through testing
station, i do the test, get swabbed and all that. Wasnt terrible... Im flat out scared.. Im worried like hell honestly..

My wife works for my personal doctor, he told her the good news, she tells me, and then a few minutes later the office
calls me to tell me the news also. Test is negative for covid. Guessing i just have had a case of the flu. Ive had the flu
before but its usually here and gone within a day or 2, i'll sleep it off basically. I ended up losing about 13lbs. Wild..

But im here, im feeling a bit better, aches are gone, just have a bit of a headache still and my temp rises randomly here and there.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Did some flapwheelin with my angle grinder and some wirewheelin with my drill today.

Going to do some more work to it tomorrow.
Get the tongue welded in, get a pair of safety chains welded on. Going to weld a bunch of washers to hang the wiring from
For the lights. Planning on spraying some primer and getting the painting process started more.
 

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Glad to hear you're feeling better!!!!

I love these kind of projects. My only problem is that I get sentimentally attached and I never get rid of anything.

I built my first trailer (5x8) in 1995 from some scraps my Dad had laying around and $200. I was active duty at the time and moving from OK to NJ. I was going to rent a trailer before my Dad said "well hell, we can build one cheaper than you can rent one!" Twenty-five years and thousands of miles later, my son and I just rebuilt it for the second time last week (first and second pic). I gave that trailer to my son with the stipulation he can't ever sell it. It has to stay in the family.

I traded an old lawn mower for my second trailer (72x16 dovetail) about ten years ago. It was almost as bad as what you're dealing with. After the wood had rotted out, the previous owner replaced it with expanded metal and then scab welded scraps all over the place to prevent the expanded metal from collapsing under the load of whatever car he was hauling. It took me hours with the torch to cut all that crap off. I didn't think to take any pictures until I was midway through the rebuild (third and fourth pic). Now, it's due for another rebuild.

I bought a new trailer (83x20) about two months ago when I bought one of those tractor/implement packages. It has a solid frame but the wood flooring and wiring is junk. I should have bought another used trailer and fixed it up. But, I was in a hurry. I'm sure I'll be rebuilding it sooner than later.

On a side note, and you may know this, it's illegal in some states to weld the safety chain to the trailer because the chain link is tempered and it reduces the strength of the link. They must be pinned or bolted to the trailer. I welded mine on before I learned about this. Additionally, some states require the chains to be crossed and some states required the hooks to have something (like a spring loaded clip) to prevent them from being disconnected.

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Discussion Starter #20
I feel way better, been waking up with a migraine though, weird.
I had no idea about welding the safety chains.. Seriously have never thought about that.
Heat thing makes plenty of sense. Ive got no problem bolting mine on, thats what i'll be doing now.

Trailer projects are cool cause you get to set things up and modify or add things in whatever fashion you desire.
This is i think my 4th trailer that ive rebuilt some what or refreshed you could say.

I had a few other options for trailers that didnt need near this work before i decided on this one im working on now.
 
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