I-Beam Trailer Rebuild

Old 07-13-2011, 11:34 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Blanchard, OK
Posts: 1,218
Default I-Beam Trailer Rebuild

I have a few questions for the DIY guys...A new trailer would be ideal, but I dont have the spare cash right now. I have access to most of the materials and a couple of buddies that are profesional welders in steel and aluminum.

A little background:
I am going over the Quickload Trailer that was under my Formula 357, started a few years back actually but work and another boat kept me from completing the project. The three axles were underrated and showing a lot of wear so I ordered three new 6000 pound dexter axles with flanges to accept the Kodiak hardware. I have now removed all three axles and discovered that the equalizers and spring hangers had smaller bolts installed that caused the holes to wear oblong. Another problem I have is the spring hangers are welded onto a 2 1/2 inch piece of angle iron that is bolted to just one side of the I-beam flange. I plan to weld new hangers to a piece of 5 inch wide by 100 inch long steel c-channel allowing the whole flange to lay in the c-channel and bolted on both sides supporting the whole I-beam above the running gear.

My next problem is tongue weight, I moved the boat forward 12 inches to get the transom on the bunks. I dont know the tongue weight but I did add a 5000 pound trailer jack to be on the safe side. I once tried a 1200 pound rated wheel on the jack but the minute I lifted the boat off the truck the wheel hub split on the jack so I went back to a block. I plan to get rid of the bolted crossmembers on the bottom of the I-beam and replace them with welded crossmembers that will be supported properly in the I-beam.

My other problem is the bunks. The trailer has a large wood beam held by brackets and lag bolts on top of the I-beam. The boat sits on top of the bunk at the chine and not on a flat strake area. this causes the boards to push outward away from the trailer. The plan is to replace the large beam with smaller bunks attached to the crossmembers that I will install. The bow is supported by two bunks that have a v cut in the center and supported by a crossmember from one i-beam to the other i-beam. I plan to replace those with bunks parallel to the boat.

My questions:

To help with the weight distribution should I move the running gear forward the 12 inches(or more), or should I run bunks out the back of the trailer and move the boat back to get the desired tongue weight?

Should I use steel 3 inch square crossmembers to support the boat by bolting them to the top and bottom flange of the I-beam, or weld in 3 by 5 inch rectangle tube aluminum? Either way I will weld new bunk brackets to the crossmembers.

I will have other questions as I dig into this trailer, but I am trying to concentrate on running gear and crossmembers right now.


Last edited by Prater; 07-14-2011 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:57 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: San Antonio,Texas
Posts: 340

1. I would move the boat back to it's original location on the trailer w/extended bunks as long as you have the majority of the "motor" weight over the axles. 2. I would stick w/aluminum 2x2x1/4 or rectangle cross members bolted to the same location or 2x2 bolted to the bottom of the I-beams. Mixing steel w/aluminum may cause some corrosion issues even if not in saltwater. I wouldn't change things up too much as you'll want to keep the load as equally distributed between the inner and outter hull supports as well as keeping it all low to the ground. Maybe consider changing out the rollers to carpeted pads and install some LED running lights. I'm working on modding a skater trailer now for the 35'....a lot more work than I originally thought.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Toledo,OH
Posts: 57

I have a 32' 1984 Float-on trailer that is I-beam constructed and it looks almost exactly like yours. We have completly rebuild the trailer from the ground up. We moved the boat forward on the trailer, changed bunks, replace axles, new fenders, and wheels added spare tire carriers, bow stop, winch, and tongue jack.

The way it worked out for us was to spread the axles to fit new fenders we got. We have bolt on torsion axles that we mounted the back axle as far back as we could and measured the spread to fit fenders and bolted on. Set the boat on and then three people lifted the trailer off the tractor ball. We figure that is 750-1000 lbs for tongue weight.

I can take pictures of my trailer if you would like.

Be the way all by ourselves with friends and budget minded.
Let me know if you have any questions.

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Old 07-27-2011, 12:39 AM
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Location: Blanchard, OK
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Pictures would be nice David. You can send them to my email if you like. nassaubluefrc at yahoo dot com
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