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Old 08-04-2007, 11:20 PM   #1
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Trailer wheel camber???


I've been towing an old boat trailer with my pickup, but now that Millicent is almost ready to take over the towing chore, I'm also upgrading the trailer by converting it to a deck-over flatbed.

I moved the axle from above the spring to below the spring. And I turned the axle up-side-down so the drop became a rise. That gave me enough clearance for the tire under the deck.

But then I noticed that the tires were cambered in at the top. I had not noticed that they were cambered out before, but of course they were.

I'm guessing that they are supposed to be cambered out so the weight tends to go to the larger inner bearing, rather than trying to pull the hub off the axle.

How much trouble am I in?

Could I re-arch the axle with... ooooo, maybe my roof-lift jacks?
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:47 AM   #2
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Re: Trailer wheel camber???

its cambered so that when the weight is put on the axle tube it will flex and will end up straight up and down under a load and not put extra wear on the tires. Now that you flipped a 180% it will further spread out. Theoretically it could collasp!

Oh buy the when you flipped it, you have reduced the amount of weight that it can handle about a 1/3.
Yes, you can take it to a frame and alignment shop that deals with diesels and have it done.

They tie both outter ends down and push upward from the middle.
BUT it will probably be cost prohibitive.
If it were me I would long use bolts and block it up
max would be about 3.5 inches
you should not have enough spring flex to mess with the ubolts at this height
remember an empty boat trailer can't carry a lot of weight anyways,
the boat in the craddle becomes part of structure to reduce flex.
hope you added some cross braces.


As i have said before in my 20's I worked at a big truck frame and alignment shop.
hope this is helpful
Dale
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Old 08-05-2007, 10:24 AM   #3
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Re: Trailer wheel camber???


Thanks, Dale, that's very helpful indeed.
We are not going to carry much weight on it -- maybe 1000 pounds. But I'll look into better options, yes.
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Old 08-05-2007, 11:03 PM   #4
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Re: Trailer wheel camber???

I think Dale hit it right on. As I understand it from reading this you went deck-over, moved the axle to below the spring pack (SOA swap), and then flipped the axle to get clearance back. What you did is a very common swap on Jeeps and Scouts to get some lift on the cheap.

I would agree that that axle needs to be flipped back over the correct direction. With the camber issues you will be chewing through tires, even at a reduced load. Here are some suggestions I might make that will probably prove to be cheaper than getting the axle bent.

1. Run a shorter shackle as long as you don't have slipper style springs
2. Run a flatter leaf pack. A custom leaf pack might prove to be cheaper than axle bending. Heck, you might even be able to make one yourself.
3. Put the axle back on top of the springs and run a longer shackle if the tubes are getting in the way.
4. Buy a different axle. You could get just the beam and reuse your existing hubs and springs for pretty cheap, especially in the 2000 or 2500 lbs range.


I've played with trailers a little as well. I was going the other way, actually. I had a trailer that I was going to use for my duckboat, but it became apparent that it needed to get taller after I scraped it for the first time on a particularly nasty boat launch. Dragging those thin box sections over rocks just makes me cringe. I ended up installing longer shackles, mounting the axle under the springs, and special ordering a really tall 4 lug tire/wheel combo. If and when I find a 4 lug 15 inch wheel that's atleast 7 inches wide I will be putting an old tired pair of Super Swamper LTB's under the trailer since they float better and are damn near impossible to puncture. [hijack] Anyone have ideas for the wheels? [/hijack]
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Old 08-05-2007, 11:43 PM   #5
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Re: Trailer wheel camber???

really I think that the easiest solution is to buy 100.00 worth of steel build a trailer to suite and use the leaf springs and sxle and wheels plus the hitch ahave what you need.
you said its not going to carry a lot us smaller box tube cheaper as well.
dale
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:14 AM   #6
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Re: Trailer wheel camber???


Sure appreciate the input, guys!

I feel I have the tools and understanding to bend the axle the other way.

But... that may not be the best approach. A new axle may be a good way to go -- with hubs, because the old bearings need work.

The springs are slipper style, so there are no shackles to play with. But the entire spring and axle assembly is mounted on short lengths of angle that are bolted to the frame, so it would be easy to put spacers between the frame and the suspension assembly. Two three-foot lengths of channel would do it.

I'll sleep on it, and continue tomorrow. Hey, it just dawned on me that I can take pictures also!
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:16 PM   #7
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Re: Trailer wheel camber???


Here we are:




The trailer is something like half done:



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Old 08-06-2007, 09:04 PM   #8
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Re: Trailer wheel camber???

I'm pretty sure a guy who can raise the top two feet on a Bluebird can figure out how to tweak a trailer axle a little bit! You can do it!!!!!
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:35 PM   #9
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Re: Trailer wheel camber???

after seeing the pictures I see a really cheap quick fix!!!!!!..................................
ready your gona wish you thought of it lol

flip the axle the right way.

mark the spring mount location for reinsatal

take 2 pieces of 2/4 or 2/6 box tube.
whatevever the heigth that you need for tire clearance


cut it the length spring mounts

remvove spring mounts
weld 2/? spacer we made in the space that we marked for the spring perches
weld spring perches to the spacer
reinstall springs
if you need additional clearance cut a solid block put between spring and axle use longer ubolts
dale
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:36 PM   #10
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Re: Trailer wheel camber???

simple huh
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