My 101A2, from start to 98% done

Buffalobwana

Observer
In 2016 I bought some beat up 101A2’s that came up for auction. Dented, missing wheels, moss growing on them.

I pretty much got what I paid for.


Go pick up my booty.



So, I didn’t like how low the tongue was.



Remove tongue, sell for $100.


add new 2.5” receiver hitch because it fits perfectly between the gap in the tongue. And I have another trailer with a 2.5” hitch.





Much better.


Load it down with plywood and lumber for its inaugural trip to the ranch. It’s heavy and here I realize how badly I need brakes on this trailer.

 

Buffalobwana

Observer
So, I want to build a rack to go over it to put a RTT on and to have mounting points for tools. Also a structure to throw a tarp over to keep things dry.

start with a 2x2x.125 angle iron base, spaced 1/4” off the wall of the trailer.



Weld it and round off sharp corners.


I’m using a JD2 tubing bender and 1” sch 40 pipe.

using a take up sheet to get my bends perfect.

Also using a JD2 notcher. This thing is quick and precise.

Bend my pieces and set them up with a wooden jig to keep everyone spaces properly.


In the bed is a roof rack that just didn’t work out in the end. Looked funny. Too bad. Spent a lot of time on it. Dislocated my shoulder and got smacked with a 2x4 in the head trying to wrestle it up there too.

Once I got it all tacked I welded in the cross members.

 

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Buffalobwana

Observer
Time to work on the landscaping. These trailers are so tough, it’s insane. I made 13 trips with large river rocks in the bed and 4 trips with decomposed granite.

 

Buffalobwana

Observer
Ok, time to work on the trailer again. Had one of my guys take a flap wheel to the whole thing to get the loose paint off it. I’m not about to do that. That is some nasty work. He used a paint respirator and still probably got cancer from the job.

I needed to head out to do an Antelope hunt in NM so I threw a couple solar panels on the top to run the Engel fridge, a piece of plywood as the floor and headed out. Worked great.
 

Buffalobwana

Observer
Now for brakes. I got electric with parking brake lever from eTrailer. Little over $220 I think.

Old bearings and races looked good. Replaced bearings anyway since I bought new ones.

Here is the part number in case you want to do the same.


 

Buffalobwana

Observer
Time to paint the trailer. I mixed a couple different colors to get what I wanted.


Painted all the reflector covers gloss black. I think it turned out well.

Also painted the light cover black. I think I need to paint the body too.

Add gratuitous Baby Groot sticker.
 

Buffalobwana

Observer
I had a plan brewing for a 3axis hitch, then I saw Jeff Scherbs plan. Yeah, his is better, but I already started mine, so it’s 80% his And 20% my plan.

I used a 1.25” top pin from a 3 point hitch. I had to cut out the hitch since it only fits 1” shafts. Welded in a 1.25” bushing and a spacer? Ring? On the bottom to take the friction of the turn.

Jeff’s plan uses a 9/16 hitch pin. Well my mig is not working and I had to TIG this. I’m not very good at TIG yet, so I wanted a bigger surface to weld. So I decided to use a 1” pin instead. The bushing was thicker and more real estate to weld to.


Instead of grinding the ball down to fit inside the 2” sq tube, I heated and flared the tubing to fit the ball. I’m sure it’s just as good as his method, just wanted to try it.

Here is the general idea before welding and paint.

Here is is after paint. I’m using a 1” pin instead of a hitch pin.

 

Buffalobwana

Observer
Took the trailer out for a test run, working on the brakes, and the hitch worked great. The only time there was Any noise was on hard braking, but that’s to be expected since you have two hitch pins with a little bit of play in each one. The truck receiver and the trailer receiver. Way better than the pintle setup I had before.

Now it’s time to start adding tools and toys to the sides. I have some quick fists I’m playing around with for axe and shovel, and a hi-lift mount design in progress.
 

old_CWO

Active member
It appears that you were able to make the original hub/drums work with electric brakes. I tried that some years ago and failed; there was no surface inside my drums for the brake magnet to ride. As a matter of fact there were bolt heads there that immediately mangled the magnets once assembled.

You don't happen to have a photo of the inside of your drums? Curious what's different about them over the ones I had.

Thanks!
 

Buffalobwana

Observer
It appears that you were able to make the original hub/drums work with electric brakes. I tried that some years ago and failed; there was no surface inside my drums for the brake magnet to ride. As a matter of fact there were bolt heads there that immediately mangled the magnets once assembled.

You don't happen to have a photo of the inside of your drums? Curious what's different about them over the ones I had.

Thanks!
No, I had the exact same issue. I didn’t realize the drums wouldn’t work.

I just ordered a replacement axle with proper drums for mine because the spindle size on the original is for a 9k axle. So, the only replacement brake drum that fits it are over $500 each.

So, I did what everyone else did. Complete replacement of the axle.
 

old_CWO

Active member
No, I had the exact same issue. I didn’t realize the drums wouldn’t work.

I just ordered a replacement axle with proper drums for mine because the spindle size on the original is for a 9k axle. So, the only replacement brake drum that fits it are over $500 each.

So, I did what everyone else did. Complete replacement of the axle.
Okay thanks. I went through the entire ordeal some years ago. Installed the electric brakes no problem but found the stock drums wouldn't work. Okay no problem (so I thought) just get trailer drums instead. Only those had different outer bearings than the original hub/drums. Well, being a "smart" guy I found some bearings that mated up the GI spindle and standard trailer hubs - I think they were early F100 front wheel bearings. Well that's all well and good but then the spindle isn't long enough to get the nut properly tightened with the Dexter hub/drum installed. So, I also followed what everyone else did. New axle. Unfortunately I was good money into the eight lug brakes before I ended up with a new axle or I would have also converted to a 3.5K rated 5x4.5 pattern at the same time. Live and learn as they say.
 

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Buffalobwana

Observer
Yep. I posted this whole thread before I figured out the brake issue. I was already $250 into it, might as well throw more money at it, right?
 

old_CWO

Active member
Yep. I posted this whole thread before I figured out the brake issue. I was already $250 into it, might as well throw more money at it, right?
Well as they say, "you can't take it with you."

I had mine a bit before there was much M101 trailer love on the interwebs so did my learning the old fashioned way - trial and error. Since that time the 3/4 tons have become a lot more popular (and expensive). If you can believe it, I got mine for a minimum bid of $50 + fees on auction without racks or bows. It had a little rust in the front that was easily patched in and it was good to go. In retrospect I wish I had kept it...
 
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