Snapped an old leaf pack in half, bent an old axle...doing some expedition trailer diy/refresh! Need suggestions...

old_CWO

Active member
I had mine probably closer to 50-60 when sitting flat. This, and evidence of frame contact, is probably what killed the leaf...
Oh yeah, you were tipped way back. I just looked at mine with an angle finder at 60 and that looks like about where mine is with a full load of oak firewood. Remember that shackle angle is relative to a straight line between the spring eyes, not the frame. You can have a pretty good shackle angle even if it is perpendicular to the frame rail. I think mine is kicked back about as far as I can go without fear of hitting the frame. Is it "right"? Not sure but it works fine. On a trailer I think as long as it doesn't bind up or over extend and hit the chassis on compression it's fine. That's a pretty big range.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
I had mine probably closer to 50-60 when sitting flat. This, and evidence of frame contact, is probably what killed the leaf...
Only because you introduced it, What killed the leaf was welding the shackle in the wrong place. Which brings us back to the safety factor of homebuilts.
 

deanorino

New member
OP pics suggest you are out there using your trailer hard, that is some good carnage on the axle. Are these new trailer springs just a crutch until you go to some longer vehicle springs? My .02 as many have mentioned would be going to long easy to source springs from a common lightweight vehicle. Before adding shocks I would experiment with airing the tires down.
Tires were aired down to 20 on the trail the day it happened. The ride is usually pretty good, but this will be an intermediate step. If these springs are too harsh, I may jump to a vehicle leaf. I'd want to do a good amount of research prior to purchasing though, plus I'd have to cut off, purchase and weld on new front hangars (day job, not a big deal).
 

deanorino

New member
Only because you introduced it, What killed the leaf was welding the shackle in the wrong place. Which brings us back to the safety factor of homebuilts.
Correct. Which I admitted I was most likely at fault for on the initial post. Im not sure what youre trying to accomplish here. You're in a homebuilt and DIY thread, telling us about the safety factors of homebuilt. Most if not all of us are aware of this. Have safety chains, and now adding a breakaway system is safer than essentially any stick welded angle iron utility trailer sold at your local dealer.

I'm not in California, and last time the trailer was weighed with some plywood and household trash it was only 1300 lbs.

I also owned a brand new sealed utility trailer that had a max weight of 3500. Still no brakes. The brand was LoadRunner.
 

deanorino

New member
Oh yeah, you were tipped way back. I just looked at mine with an angle finder at 60 and that looks like about where mine is with a full load of oak firewood. Remember that shackle angle is relative to a straight line between the spring eyes, not the frame. You can have a pretty good shackle angle even if it is perpendicular to the frame rail. I think mine is kicked back about as far as I can go without fear of hitting the frame. Is it "right"? Not sure but it works fine. On a trailer I think as long as it doesn't bind up or over extend and hit the chassis on compression it's fine. That's a pretty big range.
I'm with you there. Just mounted and tacked the new shackles. Sitting at about 32 degrees. These shackles are also about .5 inches longer than the others which allows it to move aft more prior to moving up.
 

deanorino

New member
Evening update. Got the shackles in a good position after a bunch more research and reading. I tack welded a few times and simulated loading before getting it right.

I also welded the mounts for the axle after TEDIOUS measurements and moving of the axle left, then right, then left again...just to make sure the leafs were as perfectly centered as possible on the axle.

Looking forward to getting the brakes and hubs on tomorrow and taking it around the block for a dry run. I found that the trailer supplier forgot to provide nuts for the brake mounting studs, so il be making a short trip tomorrow to pick those up.

I may also pick up a tubing bender (hydraulic) at harbor freight. Leaning more and more towards a hoop style upper rack....il try and post an illustration later.

I'm still undecided on adding a large slide out drawer....or doors on the sides with cooler/fridge slides....its difficult to go with one design over another because of the drawbacks of each. If anyone has any examples of a high side expedition trailer build that has a tailgate and lots of organized storage, please drop em in!

Ignore some of the rusty hardware, thats just a place holder for the new stuff going in.
 

Attachments

NatersXJ6

Explorer
Odds are high that you will be disappointed by a hydraulic tubing bender from HF. I can tell you that expensive road just ends at JD2 or Woodward or similar.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

deanorino

New member
Odds are high that you will be disappointed by a hydraulic tubing bender from HF. I can tell you that expensive road just ends at JD2 or Woodward or similar.
Ohh thanks for the heads up. Did you pick one of theirs up? I had a friend who had no complaints for thinner guage steel. Il look into the ones you just mentioned!
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
It all depends on whether or not you are willing to live with crushed/crimped corners or if you want smooth sweeps. To get a tight radius is also tough from a HF bender. I’ve had them in the past, but when I knew that I wanted to do a bunch of small, light tubing at tight radius, I researched and bought a JD2 Model 3. I’ve been really happy with it, although I might have bought the model 32 (IIRC) or whichever is designed to allow a more production level of bending and reversing bends with less math and alignment.

the die cost will eat you up, but I just figure a new die is part of a project when I want to do it. I also found a group of friends with benders and we trade dies back and forth as needed. And I once got lucky and found a die on Craigslist. Anyway, try the HF, as it might work for you, but maybe google a lot of pictures first.
 

deanorino

New member
It all depends on whether or not you are willing to live with crushed/crimped corners or if you want smooth sweeps. To get a tight radius is also tough from a HF bender. I’ve had them in the past, but when I knew that I wanted to do a bunch of small, light tubing at tight radius, I researched and bought a JD2 Model 3. I’ve been really happy with it, although I might have bought the model 32 (IIRC) or whichever is designed to allow a more production level of bending and reversing bends with less math and alignment.

the die cost will eat you up, but I just figure a new die is part of a project when I want to do it. I also found a group of friends with benders and we trade dies back and forth as needed. And I once got lucky and found a die on Craigslist. Anyway, try the HF, as it might work for you, but maybe google a lot of pictures first.
Got it....yeah, don't want crushed/buckled inner corners. We have a summit racing warehouse where I live...might be able to pick one of the nicer models up for a reasonable price. Il go shopping today and see what the difference is. I didnt even think about the cost of the dies ..
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
If you are willing to weld a lot of joints, some fab shops or race shops will sell pre-bent 90, 45, 180 and you cut to length and weld, but it can get spendy.

Alternately, you can waste a lot of $$ bending tube in the wrong place, overbending, twisting, all kinds of fun ways to ruin tube.

however, I’ve found a tubing bender to be much like a chainsaw... you don’t really need one until you have it... then you find hundreds of things to do with it!
 

deanorino

New member
If you are willing to weld a lot of joints, some fab shops or race shops will sell pre-bent 90, 45, 180 and you cut to length and weld, but it can get spendy.

Alternately, you can waste a lot of $$ bending tube in the wrong place, overbending, twisting, all kinds of fun ways to ruin tube.

however, I’ve found a tubing bender to be much like a chainsaw... you don’t really need one until you have it... then you find hundreds of things to do with it!
I ended up getting the HF one...120 bucks, and if I'm frustrated ill craigslist it and buy a nicer one. I think il do the bends every inch or so method to make my bends. Luckily its quite simple. Only will be doing 4 bends in .120 1.25 inch pipe.

Photos of the finished suspension. Works way better than before. 35 degrees of shackle angle empty, and I'm really happy with the behavior at all speeds.
 

Attachments

rnArmy

Adventurer
I used Monroe 555002 shocks on my little trailer.

Additional Details
  • Boot Included: Yestrailer shock.PNG
  • Compressed Length (In): 8.625 Inch
  • Extended Length (In): 12.750 Inch
  • Lower Mount Sleeve Inside Diameter (In): 5/8 Inch
  • Lower Mount Type: Loop
  • Stroke (In): 4.125 Inch
  • Upper Mount Sleeve Inside Diameter (In): 5/8 Inch
  • Upper Mount Type: Loop
I'm currently dealing with the same issue - snapped leaf spring from my last overlanding trip. I'm going to a four-leaf pack with a slightly higher rating.

If you have a lot of time on your hands, check out this little HF trailer build:

 

Brianj5600

Member
I put leafs out of a Chevy Colorado under my trailer. Longer, wider leafs spread the flex over a longer area and seem to absorb bumps better too.
 
Top