Trailer axle replacement

In March I began the project of replacing the axle and hubs. These were VERY rusted, with the remains of the drum brakes hanging from the hubs.

trailrite axle 1
The axle is really bat though the spring looks OK as it was replaced two years ago. 

After posting some trailer questions on the Montgomery Sailboat Owners Group (MSOG) listserve, I was contacted by a Canadian M17 owner who had a good condition Trailrite trailer axle (Update: Trailrite closed up shop in 2015). We agreed on a price and I made an early April trip to collect this ‘new to me’ axle.

back in the USA
In line to re-enter the USA.

I had the axle installed by a local shop – Torklift. This shop has been in Kent for 35 years and does excellent work and provides outstanding service. Prior to taking the trailer to their shop I adjusted the ‘new to me’ hubs installed the ‘old’ axle’s two Bearing Buddy.

new axle installed

After a year of work I now have a reconditioned trailer.

HINTS:

  • Be sure to fully inspect any trailer you purchase. I thought I had a structurally sound trailer and still missed an item that should have been repaired immediately. I was lucky not to have experienced a catastrophic failure at high speed.
  • Care of the trailer is a task not to be ‘put off’.
  • Check the trailer frame monthly for rust. Any spots found must be scraped, sanded and painted.
  • Keep a constant eye on the condition of the trailer’s tires and hubs – before a trip, during the trip, and when returning home. Keep the hubs well greased (I use Bearing Buddy) and have them serviced if you see evidence of seal leaks.
  • I use SWEET PEA’s trailer in the hostile to metal Puget Sound saltwater environment. This requires vigilance to slow the trailer’s destruction by doing preventative maintenance tasks. I am under no option that the trailer will ‘last forever’.

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