Saturday, April 06, 2013

motorcycle trailer build

Assemble the frame day.  (Before Easter) I carried the frame rails, the tongue, axle and cross members out of the basement, stacked them on the recycle bin while I dug out the saw horses and enhanced their stability and size.  They're the fold up bracket type that have lived outside much of their life, and they must be 10-12 years old.  I used scrap wood/plywood to make stringers to keep them from wobbling, and some of those have rotted away, it's clearly time to remake them.

But not today.  I got down a couple of barn boards that I had used to build 2 different entertainment centers, one in 1989 and one in 1993.  I used some screws to fasten the boards to the 2x4 that is the top of the saw horse so they would be long enough and wide enough to put all the parts on for assembly.

I laid out the frame rails and cross members and began bolting them together.  One thing I hate about metric bolts is that the bolt head and nut are often different sizes.  In this case, the bolt heads are 16mm and the nuts are 17mm.  This is good if you only have one set of wrenches, I guess.

I then bolted on the spring brackets and then addressed the springs.  The trailer is rated for 1070#, but I don't expect to ever load it past 400#, so I removed 2 of the 3 leaf springs, hoping to minimize bounce and it should also lower the trailer a little bit.  It's not too hard to remove those leafs, simply clamp the the springs in the vice, bend the clip that holds the 2 small leaves to the large leaf so they will separate and then unbolt the middle bolt that holds all 3 together.  They don't paint the leaves separately, so the long one is already a little rusty, it's now in the basement with a coat of primer on it.  I'll squirt some black on them before bed.  The spring brackets come silver and not painted at all.  I don't know why.  The spring mounting bolts come with a regular nut and are drilled for a cotter key.  Why not just send nyloc nuts?  

Another way to make the trailer lower is to mount the axle on top of the spring instead of under the spring. It took a while for me to visualize that, and I'll post a pic when I've got that done.  Yeah, never mind all that...because when the axle is on top of the spring there isn't room for the fender.

Had some fun when I was ready to put the wheel on the axle...it wouldn't.  The bearing wouldn't slide on the spindle.  And then when I gave up putting it on, it wouldn't come off.  Wound up ruining the seal, returning/exchanging the axle, and starting over.  4/6  Sadly I did not realize that I had ruined the seal until today, when no replacements were available, so the frame has one wheel on, and one wheel off.

I started on the electrical tonight, first mounting the front marker lights, which ground via the mounting screw.  I may take them back off and add a ground wire for each light.  The wiring harness has just a short wire to ground to the tongue, and I think I want to ground each light.  So I spliced on a wire as long as the other wires before sliding on the wire loom stuff, woven nylon sheath, it's magical stuff.

I will post some pics, I promise.
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