C. Scotty Trailer Frame Rebuild
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The frame is now ready for repair. First I will focus on mechanics then appearance.
The trailer jack needed to be repaired to allow me to better manage the trailer frame. The old jack was worn out and would slip down the lift screw. I bought a new jack at Tractor Supply. However, the new jack was 2-1/4" outside diameter and the original jack was only 1-3/4" outside diameter.
I looked to see if I could find one online that might fit, but could not. The only choice I had was to modify the trailer, or to rebuild the old jack. I removed the screw and nut from the new jack and modified it to install in the old jack.
The original screw nut was held in place by crimping the center tube. The new one was also crimped.
I was able to make some strategic cuts to remove the new screw nut.
I measured the foot end of the original center tube and turned the new screw nut down on my mini-lathe to fit.
I used heat and a chisel to remove the old screw nut from the tube. Then I drove the nut out with a piece of conduit.
Then I ground a slot into the side of the new screw nut to fit the old center tube with the cut off tool.
The fit was tight, so I heated the old tube and hammered the new nut into place.
I tried to stake the nut in, but was not having much luck. I just used a few small welds to hold it in place. I also cleaned up the tube. Now it is ready for painting.
It is painted and ready to install.
First I installed the foot from the jack I had purchased. I wanted to use a wheel and remembered I had one tucked away. It will be much easier to move around by hand with the wheel.
Next, I worked on the coupler. A spring was broken inside the coupler and the latch would not move freely. So, I used some penetrating oil on the latch and got a spring that will work from the hardware store. Now the coupler will not need to be replaced.
I took the wheels and hubs off the axle. I cleaned the hubs and painted them.
The bearings will be replaced just to ensure reliability.
I had to order bearings, races and seals for the hubs. They appear to be the same as the ones on my car trailer, but I did not have any spares on hand.
The bearings are L44649 and L68149.
The seals had NOK 58846 on them and had an outer diameter of 2.651.
I ordered the bearings from https://www.etrailer.com/. Their BK2-100 bearing set included the two bearings, races and one seal for each side. The seals are double lip so they should help keep out water too.
While I was ordering I ordered two chain hooks with safety keepers C81810. I hate dragging chains!
On 07/28/2016 I started blasting the frame myself.
If you do any blasting yourself, be sure to protect yourself! Blasting creates horrible dust that is hazardous to your health. I did mine outside and I used a hooded face shield, gloves, a RESPIRATOR and had a good breeze and fan blowing dust away from the work site.
The rust was too thick to get off with a wire brush. Blasting cleaned off the rust and grime.
After blasting, I sprayed Rustoleum Engine Primer onto the exposed metal.
I could not finish the whole job in one morning due to the summer heat. At least it was dry!
On 07/29/2016 I worked on the bottom of the frame. I used a lifting arbor to get to the underside.
The bottom of the frame and some of the other areas were covered with original undercoating. I used a wire brush on the thickest areas of undercoating, especially underneath. Not all of that came off. I will just paint over where it remained. If it stayed on 50 years maybe it will make it another 50 years.
I painted the bottom of the frame with a spray can of Rustoleum Gloss Black. I used a roller and brush to paint the topside. Then touched up with the spray can.
The paint looks good! Now I need the new bearings to finish up the frame.
The new bearings arrived on 08/02/2016. I installed them the next morning.
I was able to drive the old races out with a cheap, soft steel punch.
I got to use my new 20 ton press and seal driver tools to install the new races. It sure was easier than the way I used to do it with a hammer!
The races fit perfectly.
I used the press to install the hub seals flush with the hub edge.
I had to press the seals just past even with the edge of the hubs so the seal would not ride on the rough part of the axle.
The front bearings and dust covers were installed.
Then the tires.
The frame is back on its feet and almost complete. Now I just need to find some new wheels and tires and reinstall the safety chains.
I finished the trailer mechanics on 08/04/2016.
I put the new hooks on the chains and attached them to the trailer tounge.
The first link in the chains needed to be bent to allow them to mount flush to the tounge.
I also drilled and tapped a 1/4" hole for attaching the ground wire when I put the lights wiring back in.
The entry mounts had sagged badly due too little bracing that let the frame twist as people stepped into the camper. I cut and bent the mounts back up in line with the rest of the frame. Then I added an additonal piece of angle to help keep the trailer fram from twisting more in the future.
I also welded the broken propane tank mount and replaced the bolt.
Now I just need new tires and wheels. That can wait until the camper is back together.