SPEN Trailer Resto-Mod (warning- lots of pics)

wmshay6

New member
I'm dual posting here and in another place that is more about restoration. I have embarked on a restoriation- modification of an old SPEN trailer I picked up a year ago. Lots of rot. Lots of repairs needed. Lots of challenges. But I'm excited and doing all of the work myself. So in the process, I'm taking a welding class to learn to weld. This trailer is my project for that class.

Here is where I started:



Had to get title as it came from another state. That was an adventure. But I do now have a clear title.

Lotsa rust!



Tub off- even more rust in the frame- more than I bargained for!



That front panel is going to need a lot of work!



Frame sandblasted:



Yet MORE rot!


Frame restoration in progress:



New tail light bracket to mount to passenger side:

 

wmshay6

New member
I've gotten the frame pretty much back into good shape. Now I need to clean up the metal, prime, and paint.

The plan is to restore as much as practical, but also make it suit my needs. It won't be a hard core off road trailer with RTT or anything. But I do want it to haul gear for tent camping with the kids. Plan to change the wheels to Jeep wheels to match my Jeep. A lid might also be in order so I can mount a roof rack for bikes and canoe.

Any other ideas out there? I'm all ears.

I hope folks enjoy reading about it as much as I am enjoying working on this project.
 

wmshay6

New member
I don't know. I have the ones that came off of it- still in fine shape though not original. If I put on a rigid lid, they won't work anymore. But if not, they will slide into the stake pockets in the tub. I have also thought about putting a custom vinyl tonneau cover on it to keep gear dry. Then that could be rolled up if I wanted an open bed.
 
Hard to tell from the pictures but what year is the trailer? Must be a Bantam, no brakes like the M100 would have. You have some work ahead, I know mine was about in that condition. Maybe a little worse. Nice start.


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wmshay6

New member
It's a Spen. Previous owner and I are guessing Mid-40's but nobody knows for sure on the year. It's titled as a 2013. Neither the state of PA or the state of MD could definitively pin down a year of manufacture. So the state of MD titled it as being built in the year it was titled. The PA title I got with it did not have a year on it.
 
It's a Spen. Previous owner and I are guessing Mid-40's but nobody knows for sure on the year. It's titled as a 2013. Neither the state of PA or the state of MD could definitively pin down a year of manufacture. So the state of MD titled it as being built in the year it was titled. The PA title I got with it did not have a year on it.
I guess I had never heard of Henry Spen or that trailer. I guess the thread title was a clue. I know now though.


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wmshay6

New member
The build continues

While the frame is in my garage in various stages or prime & paint, I started the tub last night. First order of business was to remove the rusted out flanges on the bottom where the old floor was welded in:



The sides weren't too bad, but the front of the tub is really rusted out:



Once you pull the floor, the body becomes really flimsy. To keep it as true as possible and to keep out as much flex from the body panel joints as possible, I welded a cross brace to the back to keep the tail end spaced appropriately. Then I pulled to tops of the panels together with a ratchet strap and welded a temporary brace to the top rails to hold everything in line until I get the new floor supports and floor installed.



I plan to weld 3/16" 2x3 angle to the bottom sides of the tub as new support for the floor. The original floor was beaded. The replacement will be 1/8" flat sheet. The metal is on order from the supplier.
 

wmshay6

New member
It's a great shop . . . all the toys . . . . but it's not mine. It's at the local Vo-Tech. I am taking a class through the community college to learn how to weld. As my instructor keeps telling me, I picked a heck of a 1st project!
 

Mark Harley

Expedition Leader
Can't say enough good things about Community College and trade schools.
I spent much time in both.

I see you like trains too.
 

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wmshay6

New member
Mark- you're the first person ever to decipher my handle and I've used it. Lots of places for close to 20!years now. Rode behind that loco 2 yrs ago I'm Cass.

Finished painting the. Frame today and priced new bearings and seals as the current ones are shot. Due to oddball sizes napa quotEd me $145. So I decided to order a new axle instead. Not much more money. Removed leaf sprinGs and noticed some broken leaves- won't pass inspection that way. But gonna skin that cat- what was 10 leaf springs will now become 5 leaf springs so as to pass inspection, 10 leaves was overkill anyway.








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wmshay6

New member
Not much more progress yet

But I have a question-

The original tailgate is shot. Which Means I need to fab a new one. Or put a solid panel on the back.

At this point I am thinking of closing in the back end with a solid panal a-la an m-416. 1) Less Fab work 2) I feel like it would make the overall trailer stouter. Especially if I put cross bars on it to carry a bike or canoe.

Any advantages or disadvantages one way or the other? I imagine it's a lot of personal preference. But the trailer isn't that big, it doesn't seem a big deal to throw things over the side.
 

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