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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
(MFE: If this doesn't belong here feel free to move it.)

Part 1 of 4
So I autocross and open track for fun when I have a few extra bucks. I'm not the best by any stretch of the imagination but I enjoy the hell out of it. The biggest problem I had was getting to the track and back with out rolling on my "track tires". Sure, I could have probably fit track tires in my car but I hate doing that in fear of trashing the interior and looking like a distant cousin to Sanford and Son. (Insert Sanford and Son theme song here.) My car is also a daily driver and I don't want a truck so...... Yup it's trailer time.

I procurred a used reciever just like the one below from a local Mustang Board. (Selfless Plug DFW Stangs). Now, I know, I know. This is blasphemy for some. However, as long as the hitch is used for track and go fast crack pipe purposes it's allowed, right? I welded the receiver in place after bolting it up so it's there regardless. ;)



I really like this reciever as you can JUST barely see it and you really have to be looking. My car sits pretty low anyway so the fender cover does a nice job of hiding it. As long as the ball isn't in place you'd barely notice it. Plus I get that ever so important extra rear cross member support. :p

Now, on to the trailer.

I looked around for some sample trailers and this was the most common. A utility trailer from Harbor Freight/Northern Tool/Tractor supply, etc. Simple, effective, realatively cheap. Good stuff really.



Behind a Mustang. (A board member I believe.)


In my searches I saw some that you would not believe! Everything from stainless diamond plate to absolute ricketty crap that I'd be afraid to pull.

Obviously the "Harbor Freight trailer" would have worked. However, I wasn't too stoked about it. It just looked..... well like a utility trailer. Just not my cup of tea. So, I looked around for quite some time and read many forums on track trailers. Everything from Corner-Carvers.com, SCCAForums.com, all the way to LS1.Com, believe that or not. :eek: ;)

Ultimately I decided I needed a purpose built trailer and that I would build what I wanted. A low platform, high usage, sturdy, trailer that allow for multiple useage and great flexibility. All the while being able to say I made it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Part 2 of 4

Part 2 of 4
So, I began looking through ads for various trialers. Watching local hardware stores for sales. Started pricing raw steel stock for making a trailer. Pricing various axles, wheels, lights, etc.
Then along came an ad in, of all places, yup DFWStangs Misc For Sale section (the old one.) A great guy by the name of SWEET03COBRA was selling a used single jet ski trailer. I looked at the pictures for a while (wish I had kept them now) and thought to myself....

[intro to dream scape]Now THERE's a great basis for a track trailer. It's low, already put together, lighted, etc. Just some modifications and viola I'm golden.[/intro to dream scape].

More than a few emails, PM's, calls, etc later SWEET03COBRA and I struck up a deal. The only down side was that the trailer was in Abilene and I was in DFW. I never go to Abilene and SWEET03COBRA rarely came here. I was explaining the problem to my Mother, a sweet old lady really, and she offered to meet SWEET 1/2 way if he could. She'd then bring the trailer to DFW next time she came into town. (Nothing like a granddaughter to persuade Grandma to make a trip to town. ;)) . A few phone calls, a few miles, bill of sale, payment later and the trailer was mine!! :cool:

A few weeks later dear old Mom brought the trailer to DFW. IN THE BACK OF HER TRUCK! :eek: She had a neighbor load it into the bed of the truck because she was afraid "One of those crazy big city drivers would run over it and her!" lol

(edit)
Here's a picture of a trailer that looks JUST like the one I started out with. Typical Jet Ski trailer I suppose.

(/edit)


I immediately went to cutting and modifying the thing. A few weeks later here's what I had.


[NOTE: Metal on the toungue was used as temporary balast and is NOT a part of the trailer. However, that piece WAS a part of the tongue at one time. Removed to shorten the trailer.]











I was stoked about the progress up to this point!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Part 3 of 4

Then, summer came and work got nutty as did vacation schedules. Frankly my project time line lapsed. After a few weeks/month went by I found myself getting "cabin fever". I needed garage time in a bad way. I arranged my work and home schedule so I could spend more time in the garage and in a week + 2 weekends I ended up with this. All the old paint stripped, painted Rustoleum black w/ bed liner paint on the "high traffic" areas of the frames, new lights, new wires, etc.




Note: Since this picture has been taken all wiring has been "shored up" and no longer hangs precariously waiting to be ripped off. You can just make out the carriage bolts used to hold the plywood down. Based upon the carriage bolt locations you can invision the cross braces I added. These were made from 3/4" angle iron that run the length of the trailer and are cross braced with the same from side to side. Obviously all welded and drilled to accomodate the carriage bolts. Bolts are held in place by lock washers and nuts. All stainless to minimize corrosion.


Hard to believe that tongue used to have an extra 1.5 feet of length. :eek: Note that the forward facing angle iron is mirrored by a rear piece holding the decking in place. You can JUST make out the carriage bolts for the front.


A feature I stole from one of the Corner-Carver.com threads was a locking cross bar. These two pictures show a piece of "sucker rod" with a metal plate welded on one end and another "loose" plate with a hole through the rod on the other. This was done to allow easy removeal of the tires/rims yet still be able to lock the bar in place when out of town over night or in a questionable area. A master lock has since been added. The much wider "pipe" you see pictured between the A frames is actually just a piece of PVC pipe painted black. The sucker rod runs through it and the PVC should keep the rims from getting completely trashed by the hard rod while bouncing down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Part 4 of 4

I was done and couldn't be happier. The trailer pulled nicely. I couldn't jack knife it, unless backing up, and I was completely satisfied. Then a buddy of mine mentioned that it was a bit lack luster. (Great friend huh?) I didn't quite know what he meant until he said "Add some bling man." Well I thought about it and sure enough he was right. So, I called up another friend of mine and told him that I'd like to have some custom emblems made up. I sent him a few pictures of what I'd like done and a few weeks later I got these in the mail.


The little dog bone looking thing is a Dzus fastener tool my buddy made for me. All these pieces were laser cut.

Here's what the emblems look like on the trailer, plus one more for God's Country. ;) I think they really set things off a bit and am very happy with the results.




Note that the rims on the trailer are there only because I ran out of storage room in the garage. Rims with tires will actually "sit" on the angle iron sitting in the /\ position as in pictures posted in part 2 of this thread.

In the immediate future I'll be getting replated and will hopefully be adding the following, in order or importance/priority.

  • Spare mounted under the tongue
  • Fulton trailer stand.
  • Trailer Tongue Tool Box
  • Custom/removeable mosquito netting bars.
  • Airmattress
  • Custom made pup tent. (Old boy scout tent.)
  • Igloo cooler holder (like you've seen on work trucks)
  • And finally a custom enclosure made from thin galvanized or aluminum. Should be able to get one custom made from an HVAC shop that specializes in industrial and custom HVAC setups. (IF THIS IS SOMETHING YOU DO PLEASE CONTACT ME)
If anyone knows where I can aquire these parts with out spending an arm and/or leg please let me know. As you can see I'm not afraid of getting something slightly used. :D

Updates to be forth coming.
 

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Nice setup.....I used the Harbor Freight trailer for about a year or so, worked good for me. Have since bought a truck/trailer combo.

With all that space up front of the wheels, you could fit like a lil' mini scooter or something that you could buzz around and ride, to keep you from walking 500 miles in a day. Good job dude.
 

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Good job on the trailer. Personally I like the little trailer set-up in the first pics you posted, but yours will do just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow, I just realized it's been for ever since I've updated this thread. Unfortunately there's not a lot to add but some progress has been made.

So.... 6 months, and quite a bit of use, later I FINALLY cut the axle and created my custom drop axle allowing me to put bigger tires on the trailer. You'll also notice that I've removed the fenders, side lights and license plate. I got REAL tired of hitting my shin on the damn angle iron holding the lights. The lights along with the license plate has obviously been moved to the rear. That rear piece is what's left of a '66 F100 truck bed that I cut and fabbed up as a "bumper cover". I've still got some "body work" to do to it to cover up the seem but over all it came out great. (IMHO)









Next up.... Fenders. I've already bought them but have to split them into two pieces and add 2" of steel to account for the width of the tires, and future tire widths, as the trailer will be getting the old cruddy tires used on the car. Tire use will go something like this.... New tires for the car, used/slick tires for AX/OT, Almost gone tires for the trailer.

The great thing is now I don't have to worry about a spare!!! :D

(Keep in mind the purpose of this is to practice and hone my metal fab skills, or lack there of. Hopefully the new fenders will come along at a quicker pace than the axle!)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That was actually something I wrote a few weeks ago. Here's the latest...
So, I made some progress (well I call it progress) on one of the fenders the other day. (Please keep in mind I'm JUST now learning how to do this and having to figure it out on my own so be gentle w/ the gorilla welds and burn throughs.)

Here's what I'm trying to resolve...
A fender that's JUST a bit too thin.
From the rear.


From the Side.


From the Front.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
And here are some side by side comparisons to show the differences in width, and smoothness for that matter. :rolleyes:



I've got a LOT of work to do. It's a good thing I'm a better Grindor than I am a Weldor!!
 

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Come on Darren Show some pics of the hitch......I am getting ready to do something similar only I want to use an 8.8 rear so that I have a spare of that as well.
How is it balanced? Is it putting a load on your suspension?

Good job. Hopefully you come out to play on Satruday with the rest of the boys.....

Raymond
 

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Discussion Starter #13
huesmann said:
LOL, your trailer wheels match your car's wheels. :)
Yup. That was the whole point. Unfortunately I've had to install some gorilla lugs on the car due to some ******* stealing rims around here. Unfortunately the lugs don't allow for the cover to be installed at the same time. (I used what I had.) The car barely get's 100 miles on it in a month so it's not a big deal to take the locking lugs off and re-install the cover. Should look really good going down the road. :D

doopie said:
Come on Darren Show some pics of the hitch......I am getting ready to do something similar only I want to use an 8.8 rear so that I have a spare of that as well.
How is it balanced? Is it putting a load on your suspension?

Good job. Hopefully you come out to play on Satruday with the rest of the boys.....

Raymond
Ray. That's an interesting approach. Frankly it wouldn't be that hard to do either. I had to fab up the axle on this one and that's essentially what you're doing. You should be able to get the leaf springs to U-bolt down to an 8.8. I'll see if I can get some pics of the hitch this weekend as I'll be working on the fenders anyway. However, the very first picture in the post is quite indicative of the installed hitch. VERY nice fit and finish. A couple of welds later and it's not going anywhere. As far as the balance.... I'd like to say it turned out just like I planned. However, that would be an aboslute lie. I didn't really do any true "blue print" type planning and it turned out GREAT. With a load of tires the trailer is just tongue heavy. I've "read" that you'll want roughly a 10% load on the tongue and I believe I've accomplished this. To that end I will say that I've used this trailer to haul a long block 351w w/ attached C6 tranny and it pulled VERY well. Once I arrived at my destination I unhooked the trailer and "hand carried/pulled" the trailer into the garage to unload the 351. It's a great little tool. However, it's a bitch to backup so if you go this route either make the tongue MUCH longer than mine, or be prepared to just hand cart the thing around.
Oh yeah, AX at TMS.... not for me this weekend. I've got some fenders to finish. ;)
 

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Stock Lower Control Arms and a home made Panhard bar should be easy to make for the back end :) Then you don't need leaf springs plus practice for afabbing up the rest of my rear. But then Someone may steal the trailer just to get the wheels and suspension. Would be nice to french in some mustang rear lights in there too. Now you gave me a summer project to carry the track tires and tools around in. Thanks for posting the updates.

You need to watch Biker Build off for some tips on those fenders ;)

Good job so far keep it up if you need help spraying it to match your car let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
doopie said:
Stock Lower Control Arms and a home made Panhard bar should be easy to make for the back end .......

You need to watch Biker Build off for some tips on those fenders ;)

Good job so far keep it up if you need help spraying it to match your car let me know.
You'll want SOME kind of spring back there. A rigid trailer would bounce around like a stripper at a Duke lacrosse party.

Biker build off and the like..... While semi-interesting I find them lack luster in actual tech. Sure they show some sparks but not longer than 20 seconds at a time. What I wish I could do is find a local shop and do a semi-apprenticeship <SP?>.

As far as the paint matching... I'll probably take you up on that one. It's a ways off but the ultimate plan is to get them matched up. I've thought about some matching tail lights, even to the point of including a sequential kit for the trailer. I have sequentials on the car and I really like em. If I do matching tail lights prudence would demand matching sequentials. :D (Matching tail lights is a pipe dream for me at this time.)

MIG welds and body work are on the schedule for me this weekend. I'm sure it will go something like this ... :livid:
 

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LOOKING GOOD! Nice write-up. Looks like your fab skills are comming along nicely.
 

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2k2GT said:
Nice setup.....I used the Harbor Freight trailer for about a year or so, worked good for me. Have since bought a truck/trailer combo.
How are those harbor freight trailers in person? I've seen them in pictures, but wonder if they need to be beefed up or modified to carry stuff like an engine or yard supplies?
 

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Here is a couple pics of mine. Frame is aluminum T-bar and channel with 3" alum box toungue. Sides and fenders are 1/8" aluminum tread. Floor is 3/16" aluminum sheet with small holes like preforated. Tool boxes are aluminum tread w/ 80cf nitrogen tank in one side and all the tools, window cleaner, hand wipes, etc, etc, in the other. Tows like it ain't even there. My old steel and wood trailer use to cut me down to 15 MPG but this one has no loss.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
Nice setup! Did you build it yourself? I would love to play w/ aluminum but am hampered by the expense of the tools.
(Homer Simpson)
Hmmmmm TIG Hmmmmm
(/Homer Simpson)
 

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Custom2kGt said:
Nice setup! Did you build it yourself? I would love to play w/ aluminum but am hampered by the expense of the tools.
(Homer Simpson)
Hmmmmm TIG Hmmmmm
(/Homer Simpson)
I built it myself. Most everything is drilled and bolted with 5/16" grade 5 fasteners and lock nuts. I tig some small pieces together at work as needed. I bolted the 3" coupler on with six 1/2" x 1" bolts backed up with flat washers and lock nuts. This evenly spreads the stress out on the aluminum tube. I also milled and drilled some special spacers and stuff to mount the toungue tube to the frame.

Aluminum is a hassle and expense but the gas savings was worth it. I had most of the stuff for the frame and the tool boxes so after buying the axle hardware, coupler, toungue jack, tread plate, tires and wheels I came out around $450 - $500.

Edit: The lightweight steel trailers are just as functional. My other trailer is a 5'X10' made from 3" channel iron and has 5/4" decking. That bad boy weighs a ton.
 
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