Sunday, March 16, 2014

What Gives.....

 I am writing this post from a nice warm house while enjoying a hot cup of coffee, thankful for the home and family I am surrounded by...... BUUUUUUT........Of course, it's raining out and will be for the next 3 days. I realize that it's still winter but enough already. The forecast for the next 3 days is cold, windy and rain. I know many others would agree when I say ENOUGH ALREADY! One bright note about this weather is that it's not snow. It sure does not seem like spring is a week away...I don't believe it!
Ok, enough complaining. I did have one good day of weather and that was yesterday. I took full advantage of the day and continued work on the trailer. It is coming along.

New drum and brake assembly.

It was decided a few weeks ago that I was going to make the trailer 100% legal and add brakes. Original plan was to forgo the brakes because I was only transporting the boat 15 miles. This weighed heavy in the back of my mind. I just worried about the worst case scenario, and finally decided the money and time spent installing the brakes outweighed taking the chance. 

Here was the old drum. It was too far gone to use with the new brakes so I purchased new ones. I did get both new brake assemblies welded and adjusted yesterday. All that is needed to complete the brakes now is wiring. All in all not too bad a job. 

Work in progress. 

I now have all the axles done except for one wheel hub. I simply ran out of daylight. One more hour and the axles and suspension will be finished. About 6-8 more hours of work and I will be able to set Sal's 9000lbs on the trailer. That day will probably be the day I get my first gray hair.

Here is the axle assembly ground down awaiting the welding of the backing plate/brake assembly. I am sorry I don't have any pictures of the finished assembly welded on. Was trying to beat darkness and poor weather. I did not make it. One hub left to grease the bearings and install.

Welding new backing plate on axle. Job was really not bad at all.

I wanted to add a note about the axles that are being used. Yes, they are mobile home axles, they are rated for 6000lb each of limited usage. These are not meant for long distance hauling. I am aware of this. One of the reasons is the parts used. While they are heavy duty enough to carry the rated weight, things like no bushings in the springs or suspension parts causes excessive wear rather quickly. The axle bearing seals are merely dust covers. This means they will wear faster. Once the axles have the proper tires they are 100% legal to use. Many people complain that the parts for these axles are hard to find. I did not find that to be the case at all. While not readily available at local parts stores, I found most parts at a local trailer specialty store. I also sourced a few of the replacement parts like the new drums and brake assemblies over the internet. I feel confident that with all the parts being inspected, serviced, greased and replaced as needed these axles will do the job of getting Sal back and forth the 15 miles to the water.  Should I later decide to take our Alberg over the road, I will upgrade the axles as whole units.




                                                                                               
Here is a before and after photo of the same hub and axle assembly. I am happy I decided to check the bearings. It created more work and meant a bit more money spent, but the finished product is peace of mind. A few hours of work, some paint, a few parts and some grease, and this axle is ready to carry Sal.

Stay tuned, this really is a blog about becoming liveaboards and cruisers.... I promise you'll see a sailboat again on the blog soon.

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