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    Thread: Vintage utility trailer project AKA something new to obsess over

    1. Banned ChillOutPossum's Avatar
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      06-26-2016 12:19 PM #26
      If you choose to paint it, it needs to be blasted no question. So there's that.

      If you hate painting, I would just pony up the money and have a powdercoater blast and powdercoat the whole thing for you.

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    3. Member welderdood's Avatar
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      06-26-2016 01:03 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by GoHomePossum View Post
      If you choose to paint it, it needs to be blasted no question. So there's that.

      If you hate painting, I would just pony up the money and have a powdercoater blast and powdercoat the whole thing for you.
      Agreed, but I don't know if I would personally powdercoat a trailer. Just in case I wanted to make and tweaks/modifications. Hate to have to grind that stuff off.

    4. Member barry2952's Avatar
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      06-26-2016 01:04 PM #28
      I think that somewhere on Vortex I posted two trailer builds where I had everything hot-dip galvanized. I'd highly recommend that. It started off as a high shine finish but has gone matt gray over time, but still looks great.

      If you have access to hot-dip there's a couple of things to know. First, don't bother prepping any metal as, for a nominal fee, they will dip it first in the galvanizing tank which burns off any previous galvanizing, paint and some rust. Then they put it through the acid baths and the final dip. They will insist that any hollow tube be ventilated at both ends. That eliminates shrapnel from flying when an enclosed tube is subjected to that much heat. That also allows the acid and molten metal to get inside and clean and coat everything. Sheet metal will warp a bit, but structural stuff doesn't budge.

      The hot dip place near me has plants all over. They have a pricing scheme that puts me off a bit, and I don't understand it. You pay by the pound. That may seem normal on the surface but you pay by the finished pound.

      If you took in a steel plate that weighed 80 pounds and it picked up 20 pounds of zinc in the process you would pay X per pound. Let's say $1.00. You would pay $100 to have that work done. If you took then the exact size plate, only twice as thick it would weigh 160 pounds and 180 coated, plus maybe a pound more for the thickness, or $181 for the exact size piece. That's a pretty huge disparity for the same mechanical handling, nearly the exact same surface area and just a smidge more thickness. What am I missing?

      Boat trailer on its way to be galvanized.



      Freshly galvanized.



      Done



      Did two utility trailers next.

      Last edited by barry2952; 06-26-2016 at 01:07 PM.

    5. Member odj's Avatar
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      06-26-2016 01:49 PM #29
      Thanks for sharing that Barry. There are a couple of places up near Baltimore that do hot dip. I'll give them a call this week and inquire about pricing.

      When you got your trailers done, did you get all of the smaller parts galvanized as well?
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    6. Member barry2952's Avatar
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      06-26-2016 02:20 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by odj View Post

      When you got your trailers done, did you get all of the smaller parts galvanized as well?
      Absolutely, all the small parts. I even had the axle done. They have a special tape they can apply to keep the galvanized zinc off of threads and bearing surfaces. You'll end up drilling out tapped holes and running in a tap on each, but that wasn't too bad. I had to do some metal finishing on the bearing stops, but that wan't bad either.

      Here's the first of three trailers I galvanized. Money and time well spent.

      https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...t=boat+trailer

    7. Member Mr Wolf's Avatar
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      06-26-2016 11:58 PM #31
      I find this thread unnaturally interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about that. But keep posting!
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    8. Member odj's Avatar
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      06-27-2016 10:22 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by GoHomePossum View Post
      If you choose to paint it, it needs to be blasted no question. So there's that.

      If you hate painting, I would just pony up the money and have a powdercoater blast and powdercoat the whole thing for you.
      Quote Originally Posted by welderdood View Post
      Agreed, but I don't know if I would personally powdercoat a trailer. Just in case I wanted to make and tweaks/modifications. Hate to have to grind that stuff off.
      Yeah... that's kinda my thinking on powdercoat, but honestly any coating/paint will need to be redone, at least in part, if I make any changes. I'm pretty happy with the design thus far, but who knows if it'll have to change.

      Quote Originally Posted by barry2952 View Post
      Absolutely, all the small parts. I even had the axle done. They have a special tape they can apply to keep the galvanized zinc off of threads and bearing surfaces. You'll end up drilling out tapped holes and running in a tap on each, but that wasn't too bad. I had to do some metal finishing on the bearing stops, but that wan't bad either.

      Here's the first of three trailers I galvanized. Money and time well spent.

      https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...t=boat+trailer
      That's awesome. Thanks again. I'm going to reach out to a couple places I've found and inquire on pricing.

      Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wolf View Post
      I find this thread unnaturally interesting. I'm not sure how I feel about that. But keep posting!
      hahaha... thanks
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    9. Member Atl-Atl's Avatar
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      06-27-2016 11:18 AM #33
      While I like the suggestion from barry to galvanize the trailer for functionalities sake, I think that look is way too utilitarian for this trailer. Please paint it some rad colors!

    10. Member B3passatBMX's Avatar
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      06-27-2016 11:36 AM #34
      Very cool project! What car are you going to be towing it with? I have always liked when a trailer matches a car color wise.
      Quote Originally Posted by Rutledge View Post
      Well, then, I'm here to "ruin" the vortex for you. I'm sorry you hate fun.
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    11. Member odj's Avatar
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      06-27-2016 11:44 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by Atl-Atl View Post
      While I like the suggestion from barry to galvanize the trailer for functionalities sake, I think that look is way too utilitarian for this trailer. Please paint it some rad colors!
      I kinda agree. We'll see how much the galvanizing is going to run. That'll help make my decision.

      Quote Originally Posted by B3passatBMX View Post
      Very cool project! What car are you going to be towing it with? I have always liked when a trailer matches a car color wise.
      I'll be towing it with the 135. I've been leaning toward painting at least the fenders to match the car.



      Most of the stuff the trailer will be used to haul is in this photo.

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    12. 06-27-2016 01:47 PM #36
      Somehow hadn't seen this till just now. This is the best.

      What did you use to dimple the hole? I've been wanting to pick up a set of dimple dies but I doubt I would use them near enough to justify the price tag.

    13. Member odj's Avatar
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      06-27-2016 02:01 PM #37
      Quote Originally Posted by Harrison. View Post
      Somehow hadn't seen this till just now. This is the best.

      What did you use to dimple the hole? I've been wanting to pick up a set of dimple dies but I doubt I would use them near enough to justify the price tag.
      Thanks dude Nowhere as good as your C10 thread though!

      I picked up a harbor freight hydraulic punch set and three dimple dies (.5, .75, 1") from SWAG, for a total of ~$200 all said. The punch kit uses "pipe" sizes (so the smallest is like 1.1"), but it's close enough that the dimples look good. All the ones you see on this project with the exception of the first two drain holes in the bed were done with the 1.1" punch, and then the 1" die. SWAG actually sells pipe-sized dies, but you have to buy the whole $400 kit, whereas you can order a subset of the actual-sized dies.

      I tested two methods of doing the dimples - the first using a step bit out to 1", and the second using the 1.1" punch, and then dimpling both with the 1" die. Drilled on the left, punched on the right:





      It didn't make a whole lot of difference to me, plus the big step bit from my chinese kit was wobbly. Punch is waaaay quicker. This was an aluminum scrap, and I cranked way down on them, so there are some excess indentations.
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    14. Member odj's Avatar
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      07-02-2016 07:54 PM #38
      I've decided just to go ahead and paint the trailer. I figure I can touch it up in the future, or galvanize it or whatever.

      Started off by washing everything thoroughly, then rigged up stands for the big parts so I could flip them easily.



      I then hit everything with a combo of grinder + flap disk/wire wheel, drill w/ flap disk, or just sandpaper and a block or fingers.

      Here's the frame halfway sanded.



      Speaking of grinders with flap disks...



      I wiped everything down with prep-all, then shot some Eastwood 2K Epoxy Primer. These spray jammies are great.



      Frame, axle, and small bits with their first coat of primer:



      I hit everything with a second coat and am leaving it to dry overnight. I'll scuff everything tomorrow and top coat with Eastwood 2K Chassis Black.
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    15. Member odj's Avatar
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      07-06-2016 07:56 AM #39
      I sprayed the frame and associated bits with Eastwood 2K Chassis black on Sunday.

      Finish came out looking decent on the axle/lower frame bits and some of the other parts where I got the second coat on there nice and heavy.





      However, the frame still needs a good, heavy coat. It came out patchy and textured.





      I used up some old Por-15 engine enamel I had laying around for the springs. Didn't come out great (they look like glazed spring-shaped donuts), but I'm OK with it. I think the color will go well with the yellow shocks and the darker blue fender paint.... kinda like a bilstein sport color scheme.



      I had to use a tiny brush to apply it to the inside of the spring, and there's still spots I couldn't get to. Oh well.

      Hoping to get out and get some more painting done this weekend. Got a stash of paint just waiting for me, with a couple more cans of the Chassis Black on the way.

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      07-06-2016 08:23 AM #40
      I used that Rustoleum truck bed covering on the bottom of my camper trailer. So far it's held up great sitting in the barn

      Keep up the good work

    17. Member odj's Avatar
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      07-11-2016 11:52 AM #41
      Quote Originally Posted by rpmk4-2.0 View Post
      I used that Rustoleum truck bed covering on the bottom of my camper trailer. So far it's held up great sitting in the barn

      Keep up the good work
      I ended up using the bed paint on the bed cover for the Ranger, which was previously a not-at-all-matching burgundy/red color.



      I used five cans total. Two sprayed just fine, one shot splatters all over the place, one only sprayed upside-down, and one had a super-thin spray pattern. I'll never use it again, but I'm happy enough with how it came out. At least it's not f*cking red. No more Christmas Truck.

      I also installed the Curt hitch and ZCI harness on the 135 this weekend.
      I had to trim the muffler bracket a little bit.



      Other than that, it went on without a... hitch.



      The ZCI kit is pretty cool. It uses inductive sensors rather than wire taps.



      And it just so happened that there was a slot in this foam support thing that the control module fit perfectly into.



      I've got it set up for the wiring to just hang over the bumper for now... but I think I'll reroute it and mount the connector somewhere underneath the car. I don't like this much.



      I've been waffling on bed finish, and my most recent plan of flat black sides and bedlinered inside just wasn't sitting right with me. Too much black. So I reached out to a couple of galvanization places in Baltimore, one quoted me $800, one quoted me $250. I'm not sure what the huge disparity is, since both would be following the same process (I could actually sound like I knew what I was talking about thanks to Barry's input), but I think I'm going to go with the latter. Just gotta get my truck back from the shop so I can take it up there. I'll probably do so next week or the week after next.

      My two extra cans of Chassis Black should be here tomorrow, so I might get a chance to sand/paint the frame this week.
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      07-14-2016 12:57 PM #42
      Quote Originally Posted by odj View Post
      I used five cans total. Two sprayed just fine, one shot splatters all over the place, one only sprayed upside-down, and one had a super-thin spray pattern. I'll never use it again, but I'm happy enough with how it came out. At least it's not f*cking red. No more Christmas Truck.
      Isn't this the second time you've had really mixed results with Chassis Black?? I thought you swore it off last time!

    19. Member odj's Avatar
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      07-14-2016 02:54 PM #43
      Quote Originally Posted by Splattj1 View Post
      Isn't this the second time you've had really mixed results with Chassis Black?? I thought you swore it off last time!
      Hey there buddy

      Nah, I used spray on bedliner for the cover.

      I'm pretty sure I haven't used Chassis Black before. Used some of their underhood paints with mixed success, but in retrospect I think it was a prep issue.
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      07-14-2016 03:02 PM #44
      That sucks. I used 8 cans and didn't have any issues.

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      07-22-2016 12:55 PM #45
      Great work Cant wait to see some pictures of it behind the car.

    22. Member odj's Avatar
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      07-23-2016 09:18 PM #46
      I went to the beach for a week, and took a nice break from work and everything else. Got back yesterday afternoon, and shot a couple more cans' worth of paint on the frame.



      It's still a little blotchy in places, but given that the surface wasn't perfect, I'm going to live with it for now.

      Today I got a bunch of work done in this ridiculous sweltering heat.

      Put the hubs together.





      Fresh bearings and races. Used the bearing packer tool. It works well.



      The grease I'm using must be heavy or something, because it required a lot of force to get the grease up in the bearings. So, I made my life easier...



      I'm a little unsure if the rear seals are going to last me. They're rubber coated metal pieces with a spring holding the inner seal tight on the axle. Guess time will tell. It was a horrible pain in the ass finding seals that fit.



      Got the bearing buddies installed as well. They're overkill for something that won't see water, but I like that they keep the seals positively pressurized and give you an easy way to check the grease level.



      Got everything bolted together.



      And then I found out my new wheels won't actually fit.





      Motherf*cker!

      So I slapped the old wheels on so I could at least see the frame on the ground.







      I picked up some heim boots to keep dirt out of the joints, and added safety washers to the trailing arms and panhard bar as suggested earlier in the thread.





      As far as the wheels go, I figure I have three options:

      1. Buy new hubs
      2. Machine hubs to accept standard trailer wheel center bore
      3. Machine center bore on all three wheels to match hubs

      Now...

      1. I really don't think this trailer uses "standard" anything, so there's some likelihood that I'd have to weld in new hubs. Meh.
      2. I'm not 100% sure there's enough "meat" to take 9mm off the hub lip.
      3. This limits my options in case I need to buy a new wheel, or borrow one in a bind.

      However, as I was noodling away my conundrum, I remembered that I have some 1" spacers that I used to mount Mustang wheels on my old Ranger.

      They fit right in the wheel...



      And there's plenty of material I could machine off the back before hitting the pressed-in studs.



      I could open up the inside bore to match the hubs on there now without any worries.

      If I do that, I end up with a ~17mm spacer, and by my napkin math, that puts the wheels still within the fenders.



      Fortunately, my cousin has a machine shop and lives nearby, so I'm going to reach out to him and see if he'd be able to help me out.

      I know that the spacers will put weight further out on the axle, and therefore transfer more load to the smaller outer bearing, but I really don't imagine it being an issue for as little weight as this trailer is going to see.

      Before heading in for the day I "swept" the end of the driveway with a magnet. Check out all that grinding leftover shiz. Bonus points to anyone who can identify the three-holed thing up toward the top.

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    23. 07-23-2016 11:59 PM #47
      Great progress

      I'll bite - what is that metal thing? It looks like a shim for a striker plate.

    24. Member Atl-Atl's Avatar
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      07-24-2016 09:46 AM #48
      Have you considered machining 4 or 5mm off the wheels and 4 or 5mm off the hub? Split the difference.

      The 3 holed thing looks like an oil return line gasket off a Jeep 4.0L.

    25. Member odj's Avatar
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      07-24-2016 12:15 PM #49
      Quote Originally Posted by Gaets View Post
      Great work Cant wait to see some pictures of it behind the car.
      Thanks man

      Quote Originally Posted by Harrison. View Post
      Great progress

      I'll bite - what is that metal thing? It looks like a shim for a striker plate.
      Nope, not a striker plate shim.

      Quote Originally Posted by Atl-Atl View Post
      Have you considered machining 4 or 5mm off the wheels and 4 or 5mm off the hub? Split the difference.
      I hadn't thought of that. I don't really want to touch the wheels though, for two reasons:

      1. My assumption is that the modern trailer wheels (in 12" at least) use the same center bore. If that's the case, I want to make sure I don't have to mod any future wheels to fit. Plus that would prevent me from using a spare from someone else's trailer in a bind.
      2. If you look at the center of the new wheels, they have a stamped, raised part in the center which seems structural. If I take a way from that the wheels will sit funny on the hub. This is what it looks like from the front of the wheel:



      Quote Originally Posted by Atl-Atl View Post
      The 3 holed thing looks like an oil return line gasket off a Jeep 4.0L.
      That's a little closer, but it's not a Jeep part.
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    26. Member odj's Avatar
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      08-02-2016 11:40 AM #50
      Here's a teaser...



      BTW, since nobody guessed it - that metal thing is a gasket for EGR standoff for a MK3 VW 2.0 ABA.
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