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Ralph Wiggum

Folding Tongue Installation (photos added)

20 posts in this topic

As some of you know, I recently purchased my first boat. One of my criteria was that this boat needed to fit into my garage straight up so that we could still keep one of our vehicles in there, too. I found the boat and it fit, but it was a very tight fit. Remove the transom saver, tilt the motor down, and lots of jostling around to get it in there just right. Now, the last thing I want to do when I get home at 1:00 or 2:00 am is to mess around fitting the boat in the garage, so I decided to do something about it.

I purchased a folding tongue/coupler kit made by Fulton. This kit included the hinge, a new front section of tongue tubing, a coupler, new extra-longe saftey chains (the chains need to attach to the non-hinged part of the trailer), and all the required hardware. Alternatively, you can buy the hinge alone. The kit allows you to shorten your trailer by up to 21".

Since this past Sunday was pretty crappy, I decided to start on the project. First step was cutting off the old tongue and coupler. A bit daunting, yes, but things went well. I got my wiring harness out of the way, clamped on the template that comes with the kit, and went to work with the Sawzall. With the old tongue off, it was a matter of drilling holes. The template makes sure that your holes are in the right spot. You start off at 1/4", then enlarge to 3/8", and finally finish them off at 1/2". Lots of WD40 is your friend here. I would recommend using a corded drill. I didn't have one that could handle 1/2" bits, so I was stuck with a cordless. I went through 5 batteries in drilling the 8 required holes.

With the hard part behind me, I called it a day.

Monday, I set to work to finish the project. In installed the hinge with the appropriate hardware. The bolts need to be torqued to 100 ft/lbs, so a torque wrench is required. I found that you can get one on loan from O'Reilly Auto, which is about 1/2 mile from our house, so that worked out well. With the connections properly torqued, the hinged is connected with a bolt on one side and a removable pin on the other. The bolt is secured with supplied nut and torqued to 35 ft/lbs. Once secured, the coupler is attached to the front of the tongue, and those bolts are torqued to 35 ft/lbs.

That completed the bulk of the work. I then set about finishing my wiring. I soldered my connections and secured the ground wire to the trailer frame. After confirming that all of the lights functioned properly, I shrink-wrapped the connections, enclosed the wiring in some flexible plastic casing, and threaded the plug through the proper channel.

All in all, I would estimate that the entire project took me about 3 hours. It is pretty straight-forward (the instructions are great), and I think anyone that is somewhat handy could tackle to project. I have not towed it yet, but I have not heard any complaints from people who have this hinge on their trailer.

Please feel free to ask any questions. I am very happy with the way this job turned out.

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Way to go! Got it done!!

Yup. Turned out great. Gonna give it the field test tomorrow.

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Great post RW--- Got any picts of the finished project?

I am in the middle of trying to sell a boat. I have lost at least 4 sales because the boat was longer than the garage. Good to know I can tell the people the job isn't all that hard.

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Great post RW--- Got any picts of the finished project?

Deitz, I will get some photos this evening. I finished in the dark last night and figured pictures would turn out better in the light of day.

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I installed one on my boat trailer as well and have photos of the entire process, just haven't got around to putting up an informative post yet like RW did.

It shortened my trailer by about 2', cost a tad over $100, took an afternoon, and requires fairly common tools. Its not the easiest job I've ever done but it is fully within the capability of most folks I think.

Deitz... if installing a $100 swing tongue is going to make or break a deal on your boat, you might want to consider just doing it to make it more saleable.

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Mine ran me:

$110 for the kit

$3.50 for a new trailer light plug

$5.00 for shrink tubing and flexible wire casing

And some cash for a few drill bits, a 3/4" open end wrench, and a 3/4" socket (1/2" drive) for the torque wrench

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I can't post the HSOforum, but drop me an e-mail.

ryan(dot)bielat@gmail(dot)com

I just looked and the place I got it upped the price about $20.

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Good it worked out RW!

Nice when you can step back and look at a job well done grin.

I had thought I heard Hanson did one last spring and it went pretty easy also.

Seems like a no brainer when it comes to leaving the boat outside or in the garage.

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Anyone know where someone could pick up just the hinge part?

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Anyone know where someone could pick up just the hinge part?

Google these part numbers to find a supplier of the hinge:

3"x3" Fulton HDPB330101

3"x4" Fulton HDPB340101

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My buddy and I did my trailer last fall. We used scrap metal that was sitting around the garage..a couple hours later we were done. I put hundreds of miles on it this year and not one problem. I do see by this conversation that we will need to move and extend the chains.

DSC00053.jpg

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Nice detailed post RW. Nice job.

Gives a lot of courage to others that have been hesitant to do the same thing.

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FYI, RW added some images to his first post on page 1. Take a look.

Again, nice job dude!

Even though I do not need one (30' deep whistle), your post (and Deitz's) makes me want to add one just for resale.

Thanks!

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Even though I do not need one (30' deep whistle), your post (and Deitz's) makes me want to add one just for resale.

Dude, I'll take your garage over the folding tongue anyday smile

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Great post and good job guys. cliffy, looks like yours will swing both ways.

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Yup, we made it so you could go either way...the trailer that is smile

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Thought I would bring this to the top since someone asked about it.

As an update, I have been pleased with the project. It's towed very well.

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