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Carhauler Overhaul

alwaysFlOoReD

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I bought a used 20' carhauler several yeras ago for C$2,500.00. It came with a bunch of 2" ratchet straps, an 8,000 lb winch, and new 6,000 lb axles. Why did it have new axles? Because a vehicle caught fire on it! The price was right for my pocketbook and I figured the fire didn't do too much damage after crawling under and looking at it. I found a aluminum tool box in the dumpster and decided it would make a good winch-house.





Jump forward several years. I have used the trailer for lots of loads, some pretty heavy. I use it to haul my race truck to the races. I take salvage metal to the recyclers, sometimes I make more than gas money....:icon_surprised:
The last time I used it I almost got into a major accident.

http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=177800

I had fixed the wiring when I first got the trailer and put new 2"x6" decking down, then covered that with 1/2" plywood. It made for a nice smooth deck that nails and crap wouldn't fall thru. When I took part of the deck apart to fix wiring issues I found the 2"x6" starting to rot where there was a joint in the plywood. next time it gets new decking I'll use pressure treated. I fixed the wiring. I have the trailer jacked up on all four corners so I can check the brakes. That's when I discover this;



I fixed it;

Ground out the rust and made a 1/8" gap where the crack was, then clamped it together. Used a jack under the frame to bring it up to where it should be.



Then started to weld, this is the back side of my weld. I think I got good penetration.



I'm using a Lincoln Weldpac100 that I got used about 15 years ago. It's a great little flux-core welder that can weld up to 1/4". 1/4" is pushing the capabilities of this welder but it can be done. Proper prep work [rust removal] and grinding a vee really helps.

Part 2 tomorrow.
 


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Dirtman

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I recommend bracing that repaired section of frame with a length of steel welded inside the I beam on each side. Otherwise its bound to just crack again.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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Good point, Dirtman.

Here is a pic of some of what happened in the fire. The deck has been already replaced at this point and is opened up for repairs. Eventually I will be cutting off the back of the frame and putting in new C-channel and crossmembers. You can see where the old crossmembers have sagged from the heat. The original owner put in new ones beside the old but the welds are shit. You can see she also put in two 8" wide c-channel on the deck to try to strengthen the frame....wrong orientation. But there is a use for it later as my new c-channel frame.



The next pic shows what I mean about shitty welding. This piece came out with a couple bangs of a 16oz framing hammer. There is others just about as bad but I can't get at them to clean up for new welds. I'll have to come back later with a sandblaster.



I put a fishplate on the underside of the C-channel. This is my first time doing overhead welding. It's OK but definitely could use improvement.



I also added a fishplate to the inside vertical member of the frame. You can see where the crack was opened up. You can tell where I started welding on the right, it gets better as I weld towards the left. Also in the pic is the spring mount welded in place. It was too far back originally by about 5/8". This should help tracking and tire wear.



Same area painted up. Here you can see why it's called a fishplate. The ends are angled so when welded in place there isn't a straight vertical weld. This helps prevent a crack from forming.



And the other side.



I forgot to weld in the crossmember before painting....:annoyed:!




Brakes and bearings were good and I shortened and fixed a bunch of wiring.
It will probably be next summer before I do anything else to the trailer.
 

91stranger

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Looks good so far. Welds look really good for a trailer and can see good penetration. Shouldn't have to worry about that for a while now. Are you going to check the rest of the trailer over for any weak spots and fix them while you are at it? I know a lot of people like to weld a 2-3 inch piece of metal down the whole side of the trailer off the 2x4 brackets so they can put a strap anywhere on the trailer. I'll make a little doodle so it is easier to understand.
 
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alwaysFlOoReD

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Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Hey, Thanks for the kudos.
The trailer didn't have any other weak spots that I could find. It also has a rub rail already. I did add some d-rings to the front and back of the trailer, as well as on the fender. The fender was widened with 1/8" plate on the inside and angle iron across the top. I made them removable. I'll get pics later to show what I did.
 

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