My "New" Willy's II Trailer Build

slimtwo

Adventurer
So, today I worked on the tongue. I needed to drill the holes for the hitch, and I needed to cut a slot in the side of the tube for the wiring harness to exit. And my friend recommended that I slot the top and bottom of the end of the tongue, to be able to clamp the end over the hitch, in order to eliminate any movement, which translates to noise.

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Once I accomplished all of that, I tacked the tongue in place. Once I verified that it was true, I welded it in place.

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I have ordered two new wheels, which will go with the old trailer when I sell it (the old wheels match the jeep, and will get new shoes and be mounted on the new trailer). I have ordered the wiring harness and J box. One of the next things I will order is the fresh water tank. The tank will be 25 gals., 38” wide by 20.5” long, and 8.5 “High. (The tank will be mounted differently than my original diagram shows it). I will be working on fabricating mounts for the tank, and the batteries, which is also on the list. If anyone has a suggestion for batteries, I am looking at what is available. and they need to hold up to the abuse they will get.

That’s a wrap for today.

Happy Trails!
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
Today, my time on the trailer was spent fabricating brackets for the bump stops mostly. I took and cut a 2inch piece of 2 x 2 x ¼” tubing, and cut it in half length wise drilled a hole in the center, and welded a nut on the underside. This will be a 1-inch base for the bump stop to mount too. I then tack welded them in place. Then I took two ¼” thick, 2” in diameter disks, and welded them to the point of contact from the A arm to the bump stop. I installed the bump stops to make sure everything lined up. Once satisfied, I finished welding everything in place. The bump stops are off of a stock jeep wrangler.

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By then, it was 90 degrees in the shop, and I was running out of steam. But I did install one of the airbags to continue the process of trying to figure out the correct sizing for the shocks.

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With the shock mounting brackets in a estimated position, I aired up the bag to it’s full extension, and came up with a measurement of; 17 ¼-inches eye to eye. My normal ride height is 13 ¾”, I came up with that number by airing down the air bag to an axle position I wanted, and measuring the distance between the A arm and the bump stop (3 ½”), then subtracting that from the full extension figure.

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And the fully collapsed figure is 10 5/8”. So, I need a shock that opens up to 17 1/2-inches, and fully collapses to 9 ¾” - 10”. I am also going to install a 16” “suspension travel limit strap” on the shock mounts for protection.

That wraps it up for today.

Happy Trails!
 

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slimtwo

Adventurer
Today, I spent my morning playing chess. What I mean by that, is I had to figure out how to get the tires and wheels off the old trailer, and get them down to get new tires mounted on the existing rims, but then mount the old tires that came off those rims, on a new pair of wheels. The new tires and old wheels go on the new trailer, and the old tires and new wheels go back on the old trailer. What I did was hook up the trailer, and go down to 4wheel parts, to see what they had in stock. They’re going to have to get them from other stores. My jeep is in need of new tires anyway. So, I bit the bullet, and purchased 6 new tires, plus mounting and balancing for 8, because of the old trailer wheels. Then went to the shop and dropped my spare off, and the new wheels, then headed over to my son’s house to leave the trailer on stands, and take the tires back to the shop, until they have the new tires in stock.

So, when I got back to the shop, I worked on placing the lower shock mounts on the A arms, then tacked them in place. When I made sure they were in the right position, I welded them for good.

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I still have to locate the right spot for the upper shock mounts, but I am closer to finding the right size shocks.

When that was done. I flipped the trailer over, and mounted the trailer wheels on the trailer to see how it looks. I was very happy with my measurements and placement for the axles, and the A arm bushings.

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I pondered a few more things, but it was 103 today. And when it got to 90 in the shop, I called it quits.



Happy Trails!
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
Today started out like any other day on this project, but little did I know that it would turn and bite me in the

A@#. I started out cutting all of the pieces I need to complete the frame. I had a bunch of 45-degree angles to cut, plus I needed to cut 45’s on both sides, front and rear, of the frame end caps (that’s where I got bit).

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Anyway, I got all of the parts cut and cleaned up with the grinder, and I had three of the four end caps cut. However, I needed to change the cut off disc, cuz it was too small at this point. So, I changed the disc, and set up the last cut, and well… a picture is worth a thousand words;

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So, after a little first aid, I finished the cut (with just a little more respect for the tool), and called it quits. After locking up the shop, I went over to my son’s house, and had my future Daughter-in-law, take a look at it (to make sure I didn’t need stitches), she thought I should go, but I opted out. She is a nurse (which is why I went over there in the first place), so, she dressed it for me, and I called it good.

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Happy trails!
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
Those are dangerous tools. I have a 7" scar on my leg from an incident last year.

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
Those are dangerous tools. I have a 7" scar on my leg from an incident last year.

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
They most certainly are, and I know that. I also know that when you are pushing yourself, and you're tired things like this happen. This was a wake up call, reminding me of that. The trailer will get done, but it's not worth getting injured over.

Happy Trails!
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
Took Sunday off to rest, and I am still nursing my thumb anyway. This morning, I got to the shop early, to make sure that I was ready to hook up the trailer, and take it down for new tires. Where I cut the 45’s on the frame were kind of sharp. So, I took the grinder to them to clean them up a bit. Installed the hitch on to the trailer, and hooked it to the Jeep. Towed it down to 4Wheel parts, parked, and got in line.

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Once I was checked in, I walked over to “Brandon’s” restaurant for breakfast (Yummy!). then I walked back to the shop, to wait for the jeep and trailer to get done. By 3 o’clock, they were done. Packed up the other trailer wheels and tires, and ran them over to drop them off at my son’s house (Trailer's first load).

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That’s all for now.

Happy Trails!
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
Today, my goal was to tack the rest of the frame pieces into place. Unfortunately, my thumb is very much still an issue. It doesn’t hurt really until you try to use it, and well, everything I needed to do, involved the thumb. Well, I toughed it out, and met my goal.

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I am still waiting for the shocks, so I can properly fit them in place, and well the upper shock mounts. Other than that, I am slowly getting it done. My water tank is on the way. I selected the 23-gallon tank for this build. Mostly for the dimensions; 39.5 x 14.75 x 8.75, which is a much better fit. The difference of two gallons, between the 23 gal, and the 25 gallon is no big deal, considering that I have never had more than 10 gallons on board any way. That’s twice what I am used too. That should be here next week, and I can get started fabricating the mounts for that.

I would appreciate some feedback regarding the best way to hang this tank, as I have never done that before. And I want it to be strong.

That’s all for now.

Happy Trails!
 

cedew

New member
Obviously the suspension is super cool, well done. I'll be curious to see where you put the shocks.

Are you using .125 for the frame and .250 for the tongue and trailing arm mount?

What kind of travel do you expect out of those airbags and what is their max load rating?
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
I have not done much on the trailer in the last week, just a few things here and there. I welded up the frame additions, and welded sections of small (5/8”) square tubing, to run the air lines for the air bags. Once again, I have been spending a lot of time pondering future steps. My shocks have still not come in, as of today. I did however, get the water tank today, but I am not gonna flip the trailer back over until I get the upper shock mounts welded in place, which I can’t do until the shocks come in.

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So, on another note, I was listening to someone talking about storage battery banks for the trailer. And the guy was saying, that the better way to go for longer battery life, is to go with two 6v batteries wired in series, over two 12V batteries wired in parallel. Any thoughts on that? It’s time to get serious about getting the Batteries purchased.
I'll be back!

Happy Trails!
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
Obviously the suspension is super cool, well done. I'll be curious to see where you put the shocks.

Are you using .125 for the frame and .250 for the tongue and trailing arm mount?

What kind of travel do you expect out of those airbags and what is their max load rating?
Thank you for the complement, I am having fun with this build. The lower shock mounts are located on the back of the A arms, at about a 45 degree down angle, inline with the frame rails. The upper mounts will be attached to the frame on that line, however, I can't set them until I have the shocks.
For the frame, I am using .120 2 x 2 tubing, and the tongue is welded "trailer hitch" tubing, 2.530 x 2.530 x .250 wall thickness (a heavy son-of-a-gun). I built the A arms, using 1.5 x 2.5 x .188 tubing, and the bushings, tabs and A arm mount is .250.
The cross bracing is 2 x 6 x .188 tubing. As for the travel, The bags have about 7" of travel from fully compressed, too full inflated length. They are rated at 2500 lbs. ea., and by mounting them just in front of the axle line, I am getting about 10.5 inches of travel. It will make leveling the trailer a piece of cake.
Thanks for the inquiry.

Happy Trails!
 

cedew

New member
Oh you're clearly having fun with the build!

Something else I wanted to ask was, when you cut the axle, did you have the arms in place? The pics from the previous page look like you probably cut the axle without having the arms bolted in. I think I'd have bolted them in place just out of curiosity to see how much it went boioioioioioing.

Forgot to add, I've never heard about going with two 6v batteries to increase life. I don't think I'd do it out of paranoia that something goes wrong with one and the other is useless to get you through the trip.

If you do it, maybe squirrel one of these away somewhere:
 
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slimtwo

Adventurer
Oh you're clearly having fun with the build!

Something else I wanted to ask was, when you cut the axle, did you have the arms in place? The pics from the previous page look like you probably cut the axle without having the arms bolted in. I think I'd have bolted them in place just out of curiosity to see how much it went boioioioioioing.

Forgot to add, I've never heard about going with two 6v batteries to increase life. I don't think I'd do it out of paranoia that something goes wrong with one and the other is useless to get you through the trip.

If you do it, maybe squirrel one of these away somewhere:
There didn't appear to be any tension when I cut the axle. I am not sure why I chose to cut it unmounted. However, it may have had something to do with the weight. It was very heavy, and I had to have the bushings out when I welded the the arms up, so it was already sitting at that end.
Ya, I heard it for the first time as well. If I were to consider that, I would have to do a lot more research, and hear the pro's and con's.
 

cedew

New member
I would appreciate some feedback regarding the best way to hang this tank, as I have never done that before. And I want it to be strong.
I've got to think gas tank style would be the easiest, or some angle supporting lower perimeter, or a combo of the two, then add a little rock shield for it. If you don't mind the weight, you can always just box the whole thing with sheet. Either way, if you want to run it as shown in the first post, I think you'll need to move the one cross beam that sits nearly over the axle if you want to tuck it up tight, then add a couple of support pieces running front to back.
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
Managed to make it over to the shop yesterday. I have been waiting for the shocks to get here, and they finally did.

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I spent most of the time, getting the upper shock bracket in the best location, for the amount of travel I have.
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Once that was set up, I tack welded the upper mounts in place, and cycled the A arms, to make sure I had full travel. Once satisfied, I welded them in place, and mounted the shocks.

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Once that was done, my friend Rick and I flipped the trailer over, and put the wheels back on. This should be the last time that the trailer needs to be upside down.

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With the amount of travel, I have in the suspension, it will be easy to level the trailer. Here is an example of the travel I have.

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The high side is about at full inflation, and the low side is on the bumpers.

Today I worked on getting temporary lights on the trailer, so I can go pay a visit to the DMV, to get the trailer registered. I was hoping to accomplish that quickly, and get down there today, but it was taking longer than I’d hoped. Always tomorrow. I did get the trailer hooked up though, so tomorrow will be the DMV.

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Happy Trails!
 

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