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Old 05-12-2011, 10:19 AM   #1
TA^Guy
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Default Trailer Axles

I need some help from all you wonderful people on this forum. I am looking to build a custom, light duty trailer but need a specific axle. From wheel mounting surface to mounting surface I needed a axle about 54"s wide, with a 4" to 6" drop center, and a 5x4.75" (5x120.65) bolt pattern.

Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:10 AM   #2
38Chevy454
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Default Re: Trailer Axles

A rear axle assy out of a minivan might be about right, but can't think of any that have the std GM 5 on 4.75 pattern right now.
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:33 AM   #3
Az Scooter
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Default Re: Trailer Axles

Why dont you get axle stubs and make your own? Then you can have it exactly the length that you want. I think that Etrailers.com sells them.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: Trailer Axles

I recently built a single axle trailer to haul cows. Towing vehicle is 4 cyl Toyota. 100 mile round trip using a f350 has gas milage issues. I used a 3500 pound capacity drop center axle from Northern but it used Ford pattern wheels, don't know if you can get Chevy pattern or not.

I would not use less that a 3500 pound axle. Someday a "friend" may borrow it and stack it waist high with OSB.

I also wouldn't make a trailer unless I had most of the material on hand, FREE. If you buy much material you may as well go to a trailer manufacturer and have one built to your specifications. Probably won't cost much more than buying a cheaply built one from a big box store.

Minimum inside measure for the bed should be 50 x 100 inches so OSB, etc, can lay flat inside. Used to be the rule was to make the trailer 1 inch wider and longer than a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood, but they have increased the size of some sheet goods.

Since you specify a particular bolt pattern, I assume that's what the towing vehicle uses and you won't need but one spare. Good plan, I used to do that, but the trailer outlasted the towing vehicle and I wound up with different size wheels.

I reccommend a good quality ball hitch and a cheap jackstand from HF. Get safety chains from a reliable supplier. I'm a firm believer in receiver hitches.

If you are going to use a tailgate that will work as a loading ramp, use the expanded metal so it will cut down on wind resistance.

If you are going to build a specialized trailer like a motorcycle trailer, I still would use the 3500 pound axle.

Good luck.

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Old 05-12-2011, 02:27 PM   #5
TA^Guy
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Default Re: Trailer Axles

I couldn't get etrailer.com to load but I found another site, SouthWestWheel.com, that sells spindles and hub assemblies so it looks like I might go that route.
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A rear axle assy out of a minivan might be about right, but can't think of any that have the std GM 5 on 4.75 pattern right now.
Good idea I didn't think about a mini van rear axle. Yeah I need the 5x4.75 bolt pattern because I plan on running the same wheels on my trailer that I have on my truck and I would like them interchangeable for rotational purposes and spare/flats, etc.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:43 PM   #6
Stuart in MN
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Default Re: Trailer Axles

Find a local welding shop - many of them build trailers, and can probably build a trailer axle to your specifications. One of my old high school classmates has a shop and he does this sort of thing all the time.
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Trailer Axles

TAguy dexter will make you any axle you want... they are one of the top axle manufactures there is and the axles come with a WARRANTY

http://www.dexteraxle.com
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Old 05-12-2011, 05:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Trailer Axles

I built a trailer recently and was faced with the same thing you are. I had an axle that was much wider than I needed. It was made of about 2.75" OD tubing and the wall thickness was about 3/16". I removed about 18" from the middle and sleeved it. I drilled about a dozen 3/4" holes in the 2 halves and plug welded it along with welding the seam where the halves were joined. It worked great.


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Old 05-12-2011, 06:07 PM   #9
KEH
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Default Re: Trailer Axles

I've never done this , but this is the procedure that an old shop teacher used to make drop center axles: Get bare rims that are NOT WARPED. Get pipe for axle,, I think 2 1/2 or 3 inches will do. Saw pipe to length, making sure ends are square. Be sure axle stub is square. Get pieces of 3/4 thick by 3-4 inches wide bar stock and cut to desired length for the drop center. Weld to pipe, being sure the pieces line up with each other.
Clean hubs and bearings of all grease. Tack weld axle stub on flat bar stock. Install dry hub on stub axle, hand tight is enough, just so hub is not loose on bearings. Mount wheel on hub, two fairly tight lugnuts is enough. Stand axle upright and clamp in vise. It does not have to be perfectly verticle. Spin wheel gently and observe it wobble. Notice one side of wheel will be higher as it spins. Your tack weld should be on just one side of the stub. Use hammer to drive down high side of wheel, spin and repeat process. When wheel spins mostly level, weld more securely, check spin of wheel again, repeat welding, check for level. You won't get all the wobble out. When you are satisfied, weld securely and repeat for other side. Weld gussets from pipe to flat bar stock for reinforcement. There may be room for a small gusset from the bar stock to the axle stub. Ideally you could bore a hole in the bar stock to stick the stub in and weld on both sides. When finished, don't forget to pack the bearings with grease.

No experience with mini van rears, but I suspect they have sealed bearings which would have to be removed IF there is welding near them, then replaced.

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Old 05-13-2011, 12:10 AM   #10
TA^Guy
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Default Re: Trailer Axles

More random suggestions, thanks.

PC06 nice looking trailer there. I thought about sectioning a wider axle if that is all I can find. This project doesn't have to be done anytime soon so I will keep my eye out for some axles.

BTW I was able to get the Etrailer site to load. I might give them a call about spindles and hubs.
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TAguy dexter will make you any axle you want... they are one of the top axle manufactures there is and the axles come with a WARRANTY

http://www.dexteraxle.com
Thank you for the link.
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:00 AM   #11
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Default Re: Trailer Axles

TA^Guy
you may want to check with local dmv regaurding your states laws on max gross weight requiring brakes
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