Sunday, June 03, 2007

Trailers Done!

In spite of being a bit annoyed by having screwed around and missing the whole season due to faulty judgment, I have something to be thankful for.

The trailer is finished, and it looks really good.

Rusty, Hugh and I man handled the thing from its vertical storage position to right side up so I could get the wheels and running gear installed. That part was pretty easy. So now it was sitting upright, on it’s own tires and the lights were wired and in place.

Through Pat Poche, a local contractor and friend of dubious reputation, I made contact with Bob Lapine at Associated Metal Components. They are metal building fabricators. Bob was very helpful and got the pieces I wanted ordered, cut to size, and prime coated for me. Rusty and I drove the truck over to Harvey and took delivery. They even loaded it for us.

Hugh put on the go-rilla welder hat and went to work on putting the pieces together as per my sketches. By the next day, the front wheel stops were in place and the ramps had been hinged to back of each piece. Now they just had to be painted and bolted to the trailer chassis. After a two-day delay for rain, the shade tree spray booth went back into action.

The ramps and wheel tracks are made up of twelve gauge, two and one half inch by twelve inch, channels. This makes it possible to extend the wheel tracks beyond the sides of the trailer to make it a little wider (that’s what all the effort to get a longer axle was about). Now it was plenty wide enough for the race cars wheels to ride in and the two and a half inch flanges keep the tires from sliding sideways.

The ramps are attached to the tracks with a couple of door hinges, which are welded, to the wheel track on one side and the ramp track on the other. When folded down they are used to run the car from the ground up on the trailer. Once the car is on the trailer, the ramps are rotated up and folded down to form restraints against the tires. In that position they are locked down to keep them form moving.

With the ramps up and strapped, the car is then locked in place and does not have to be tied town for towing.

I added a couple of other accessories as well. A retractable third wheel (Wal-Mart or Harbor Freight) on the trailer tongue makes it possible to roll the trailer around easily when not in use. A winch (Bass Pro Shops) makes it possible for one person, with out extra help, to haul the car up on the trailer or to unload it. A wench to help would make it even better but Bass Pro Shops didn’t have any in stock.

It is a lot of effort was directed at making it possible for one person to operate without having to depend on a pit crew. Sometimes you just don’t have any one around to help, but you can’t let that stop your fun.


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