Author Topic: Trailer Axle Woes  (Read 216 times)

Offline notbob

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Trailer Axle Woes
« on: November 12, 2017, 09:48:57 PM »
Greetings all, and thank you for reading what is my first post on the forum.  My fiance and I recently purchased a C-23 from a friend for refitting and coastal/offshore cruising in Maine.  Before we can get to that point, however, we are simply trying to get the boat from his house to ours. The boat is on the original 1979 Magic Tilt.  One of the spindles has broken off the axle, and the springs are both broken on the port side.  I am having some trouble figuring out what replacement axles to buy and, unfortunately, my measurements aren't adding up and the model/serial number tag on the trailer is chewed up such that I can't call magic tilt directly for information.  Other pertinent tidbits include that I know that the trailer has been worked on before, so the configuration may not be stock, but to what extent I do not know.  Questions as follows;

1) The trailer currently has two square tube 3500# drop axles.  Are drop axles what normally are found on these trailers?  How much more difficult does launching become with straight axles? The axles are mounted on top of the spring pack.  Is this standard?

2) The measurements I take for the existing axles are 73" spring center and 86.5" hub to hub, but many spec sheets I'm seeing on drop axles say that you need a minimum of 15" difference between the two.  What gives?  I can not find a drop axle to match these specs, and the only axle I can find is a round tube (mine are square) Dexter straight axle.

I suspect that the guy that serviced the trailer welded new spindles on top of the axle tubes, but I really have no idea.  I've never replaced axles like this before.  I am trying to buy a kit with hardware/springs/axles/drums ready to bolt in.  I did find one thread via search (link at bottom) referencing 84" axles, but the discrepancy between 86.5 and 84 seems too much, and anyway I can't find an 84/73 drop again, as there isn't the 15" minimum. Not sure if I can find straight axles or not. Please help!!!

Thanks for reading.

aforementioned link: http://cpyoa.geekworkshosting.com/forum/index.php?topic=7745.msg56979#msg56979
C23/I - Hull #17

Offline captronr

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Re: Trailer Axle Woes
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 11:15:05 PM »
Welcome to the forum and a new to you boat! 

I'm not familiar with Magic Tilt trailers, but I'll offer some suggestions.

A 3500# axle is a 3500# axle, be it round or square. Now if shallow ramps to launch are a concern, a drop axle vs straight might be a concern.

I think your two best solutions are to contact Magic tilt and see what they say.
If there is a good trailer supply place close to you, I'd go there with your best measurements and talk with them.  I did that to find a replacement axle with electric brakes.   Knowledgable guy I spoke with had a catalog that also contained marine axles.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find a marine axle, but did order an axles, larger wheels and tires and springs.   This mfg made axles to order, so it took a week or so, but it was all complete.  All I had to do was jack up the trailer, unbolt the old stuff, and insert the new stuff. 

Good luck and post here what results you find.

Ron
"When the world ends, I want to be in KANSAS, because its 20 years behind the times."  Plagarized from Mark Twain

Offline JTMeissner

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Re: Trailer Axle Woes
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 07:32:45 AM »
I'm no trailer expert, but can relate that actual measurements can be somewhat difficult to find.  As suggested, perhaps a good trailer shop could help with coming up with the right set up in your situation.

Regarding your questions, I have a CP-16, so a different Magic-Tilt trailer.  Single axle and a straight across.  In my non-expert opinion, I think that whether the axle is on top or bottom of the springs depends upon need.  With the axle above the spring, you get a few more inches of having the boat lower, with the overall lowering of the trailer and less ground clearance.  For boats, generally lower is better, but not in all cases.

For your particular problem set, this is close?  Without taking off the wheels, measuring hub face-to-face might be harder to get, and note, above the spring axle. https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200648990_200648990



-Justin

Offline nies

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Re: Trailer Axle Woes
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 07:52:47 AM »
Go to Etrailer on line. Re built my 1989 completely from them. Great how to videos and if you call great tech advice......best prices even with shipping.............nies

Offline notbob

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Re: Trailer Axle Woes
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 05:54:28 PM »
I appreciate the responses.  Called etrailer and they only stock 89" axles, which are too long.  They also couldn't recommend anything other than driving it to a local shop, which is not possible.  Anybody else with a C-23 on a magic tilt that can weigh in?

Thanks
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Offline relamb

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Re: Trailer Axle Woes
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 06:47:21 PM »
It's been awhile since I sold my CP23, but as I recall the Magic Tilt trailer axles were just a square tube, which had a round axle stub welded on top so they were a slightly dropped axle.
Front axle had brakes, the back not.
Probably not original.
Odd that they would weld a round spindle on top of a square tube, but it worked because I towed that trailer frequently on 1200 mile trips from the Great Lakes to FL every year.
I towed it 6,000 miles the first year I had it.  When I had a spindle go bad, I just got another at tractor supply, cut one off and welded the other on.
Any weld shop could make one, as long as they can get things straight and square, otherwise you'll have funny tire wear (which I did).
Alternately, my local trailer shop can special order an axle made to any dimension that you want, although you might have to pay a little premium and wait.
If you just need to move it now from A to B, winch it up on a car hauler backwards, prop the front of the trailer frame up, let the tongue stick out the back of the car hauler and tie a flag on it.
Another option, etrailer has the Timbren Axle-Less Trailer Suspension System, basically torsion stub axles that bolt to the frame.  I have no experience with those, and probably more $$ than standard axles.
Rick
CP16 CP23 CP27
Zionsville, IN

Offline notbob

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Re: Trailer Axle Woes
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2017, 08:53:31 PM »
Huh.  Good info...that's basically what I have...round spindle welded to the top of a square tube.  I can't just weld a new one though, as the end of the tube is rusty and chewed up.  I guess I could get a couple new spindles and somes square stock and make my own, but I figured that it'd be best to replace it all, as both spring packs on that side are broken as well.  Do you happen to know what spindle to buy from tractor supply?  Never done one, so don't know if they are universal or whatever.  Not too worried about brakes as the haul from house to ramp is about 3 miles. 

Also re: axle-less, I saw those but I had a few concerns.  The first was that they would induce a fair amount of twist on the frame rail that it isn't designed to take and I would subsequently have to weld crossbars in to supply the necessary support.  The second was that yes, they are indeed more expensive at roughly 2.5X the cost of a similarly sized standard axle.

Thank you for the continued responses.
C23/I - Hull #17

Offline captronr

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Re: Trailer Axle Woes
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 10:25:22 PM »
After further review, if you only plan to tow 6 miles round trip, I'd go the cheapie route.  I'd unbolt the damaged axle, measure it well, then take a chop saw to the good end and cut that shaft out OR, take the axle to a place that sells spindles and match up what you have. 

Buy a chunk of square tubing, and take the new spindle, the tubing, and the old axle to a good weld shop.   Have them weld it up.  They can add lengths of angle iron outside the square tubing to give it added strength. 

But new springs and you should be good to go.

That route should be much cheaper than buying all new everything.
Ron

"When the world ends, I want to be in KANSAS, because its 20 years behind the times."  Plagarized from Mark Twain

Offline notbob

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Re: Trailer Axle Woes
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2017, 05:37:43 PM »
I have access to a professional welding shop at work, so that's the plan.  Going to order up the square stock, source the spindle via tractor supply, and weld her up bub!  Now off to learn how to measure springs...

Anybody else up north?
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Offline relamb

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Re: Trailer Axle Woes
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2017, 03:04:05 PM »
Someplace I wrote down all the specs for the bearings and seals and etc on my trailer, but I can't find them.
I do know that they were a common standard size for a 3500 lb axle.  I did find a photo of the trailer, and noticed one axle was galvanized and one was not so one was obviously changed at some point.
Look at the last spindle in this table #84 size https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Trailer_Spindles.aspx
Don't forget, if it's the brake axle you'll need to have the square plate that the brakes bolt to. 
Rick
CP16 CP23 CP27
Zionsville, IN

Offline rmotley

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Re: Trailer Axle Woes
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2017, 10:06:55 PM »
I use Redline-parts.com for bearings, seals etc...

Kit BK2-100 Bearing kit - contains seal, inner & outer bearings, cotter key etc...

Bearing Serial Number Outer - L44649 / Inner - L68149

Seal 10-19 - also has 1.719" Seal I.D.

We keep 2 of these in tow vehicle with 4-way and a jack (daniels)

Hope this helps - 1985 23' Com-pac stock trailer - 126 days till spring!

Offline Bob23

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Re: Trailer Axle Woes
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2017, 05:59:32 AM »
In a deliberate thread heist, rmot: what is your hull #? I also  sail a 1985 23...maybe we have sister ships! I'm # 321.

Offline notbob

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Re: Trailer Axle Woes
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2017, 07:37:35 AM »
Thank you all for the information.  Currently sourcing the square stock now.
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Offline notbob

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Re: Trailer Axle Woes
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2017, 09:43:02 AM »
So the #84 spindles are available with a square stock as well.  I've got a message in to my favorite engineer to confirm, but my inclination is to go with the square.  I've ordered the square 2"x2"x3/16".  I measured the rear idler and it came out 81.5", which was $30 at the local metal shop.  Plan is to through-bolt and then weld the spindle on to the tube with new hubs and springs.  Once that's bolted in there, I'll get the boat down to the water and launch it so that I can sail this winter a bit, then build a new braked axle and bolt that in there.  Thank you guys for all the help. 

How to I access the photo gallery so that I can see other builds and what people have done?  I'm working with a mk 1 (78 I think) in stock config with a mostly gutted interior.  Sailing grounds will be coastal Maine/Nova Scotia by water with the occasional trip down to the Chesapeake depending on work schedule.  Two of us cruising, and a dog.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 10:21:22 AM by notbob »
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Offline notbob

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Re: Trailer Axle Woes
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2017, 08:03:22 PM »
In a deliberate thread heist, rmot: what is your hull #? I also  sail a 1985 23...maybe we have sister ships! I'm # 321.

http://cpyoa.geekworkshosting.com/forum/index.php?topic=3650.msg24753#msg24753
C23/I - Hull #17