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FullTilt

Pivot Point-Drop Down Trailer

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I'm converting my 6.5'x14' ice house from runners to a trailer and I was hoping to get a few opinions on the best way to attach my wheels and pivot point. I have the frame and I've been experimenting with different methods. I think I'll go with the leaf spring inside the square tube but I'm not sure how to attach the wheel spindle to the square tube? Also, what is the best way to attach the square tube to the frame so it pivots? I know the house is heavy and I was thinking about bolting the end of the square tube to the frame with a hardened 3/4" bolt and then greasing it every once in awhile. My thought was that the weight of the house would allow the arm to pivot. Also, I might have a couple of 16' green treated runners to give away if this works out, they're 6"x4". I'll post when available.

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It will cost you more $$ but instead of a bolt, get a 1 1/2" bar, and drill holes into your frame and pass the bar through the holes. If your house is heavy, this will keep any twist out of the frame or at least greatly reduce it. I am amazed that I have not seen this on any manufactured house yet when they usually only weld an 18" bar or use hardened bolts.

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Thanks Korn,
If I use a steel rod how do you suggest I fasten it on each end? Would a hole drilled in the rod and a cotter pin be enough?

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drill a hole through and use something a little bit heavier than a cotter pin. I have seen 7/16 hardened bolts with lock nuts used most commonly. The hardest part is drilling the hole smile.gif

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Thanks again Korn, it sounds like you have some quality first hand knowledge and I'd like to pick your brain a bit more. Do you suggest welding a square tube to the inside of the frame for the rod to go into or isn't this necessary? One other thing, do i need to attach the leafspring to the square tube it is fitting inside or should I allow it to move inside the tube?

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FullTilt, Im not Korn but I will offer my opinion (everybodys should have one). I don't know what type of material you are using for you frame (angle or tubing) but Korn is right on with the 1 1/2" to 2" round bar stock for the piviot points.
To answer your questions - yes you will want to have something inside the frame connected to the piviot points connecting them from side to side. You mentioned square tubing. That would work but you wouldn't nessisarily have to have the piviot stubs go into the tubing, you could, but you would want to make sure that the stubs were welded to the square tubing and the tubing is welded to your frame rails. I would probibly first locate and weld in your piviot stubs (making sure they are square with the frame rails) leaving about 6" or so sticking inside the frame rail then use a piece of 2x3 recangular tube, or whatever, welded between the frame rails and then welded to the 6" of piviot stub inside the frame. This will eliminate twisting of the frame rails and transfer the load (twist) throughout the frame.
To answer your other question. You will want to attatch the leaf spring to your square tubing that it is going into. Stick the spring into the tubing and drill hole and run a bolt through the hole and the spring eyelet. You want to get the spring into the tube far enough so that the end of the tube is close to the center point of the spring (this is where the load is giong to be) but not so far that it will interfer with the center bolt of the spring. On the other end of the spring, where it attatches to the trailer frame, to will want to have a shackle that can piviot so when the spring compresses or relaxes it can move.
Sorry it got so long but I hope this helps.

arbuck

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fulltilt -

arbuck and I are talking two slightly different methods with the pivot points. arbuck is talking having 2 stubs around 18" of the 1 1/2 inch or 2 inch bar, I am talking 1 piece that would be approx. 8 feet long that would go completely from side to side. I think you knew that, but wanted to make sure others new what I was talking about.

With a one peice bar, you shouldn't need any extra bracing unless you feel that the bar will bend. My suggestion is make the holes for this bar right in front of or behind one of the cross members of the frame so that you can spot weld the cross member and the bar together. This is the same concept pre-made trailers do, the only difference is my method is a one peice bar instead of two stubs. Some are slightly different based on length of trailer.

The problem with my method is what if the pivot point should be more towards the front, or back to make the tongue weight adequate. If your building the complete wheel set, then you can correct that by lengthening or shortening the distance your wheel will be from the pivot point.

As for the spring, I would fasten it inside the tube.

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Thanks guys, you've both helped a lot. The only thing I'm still a litle unclear on is the shackle for the end of the square tube that will allow the leaf spring to flex. If I put a bolt through the square tube and the eyelet of the leaf spring, and then run a 2" steel rod through a hole in the end of the tube, will the spring still flex?

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Arbuck,
I think I figured out the shackle deal. This is needed on the rear of the spring to allow the spring to move. Thanks for your time.

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FullTilt, Send me an e-mail I have some pictures that may help with the shackle thing. It sounds like you have it figured out but if you want a picture to go with your thoughts (it usually helps me) let me know. Or post any other questions here.

Korn_fish and I are on the same page with the piviot point idea the only differance is that, as he stated, he has the 1 1/2" to 2" solid bar stock going all the way across whereas I use the rectangular tube in between two bar stock stubs. A little weight saving and just as strong. This may differ depending on what you are using for the main frame. I perfer to work with rectangular/square tubing rather than angle iron. It is in most cases stronger and easier to work with, but also a little more money.

arbjr AT smig DOT net (put fishhouse in the subject line)
arbuck

PS Where are you located? Im in the Waseca/Owatonna area.

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