Warped bed & other frame woes

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Warped bed & other frame woes

Postby WizardOfOdds » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:05 pm

I’ll have a lot more to say about other issues I’ve encountered with HF 94565 trailer assembly later, but right now I’m trying to decide what to do about one very specific problem: I can not get the box frame to lie in a plane - the trailer bed is warped diagonally across opposite corners.

I first noticed the warped floor visually, but it become a real problem when I started framing. I measured the warp by sighting across a board mounted across the front (parallel to and about 33 inches above the front rail) with another across the back. The height of the boards at each of the four corners were within a sixteenth of an inch of each other. The results were disturbing: the warp was about one inch.

So today I spent many hours removing all the framing, tongue, tires, axle and springs. I then turned the bed frame upside down on the garage floor and measured the high corner as 3/4 inch above the floor (while the other three corners were flat on the floor). Because the concrete floor might not be totally flat, I tried several locations and even rotated the bed horizontally 180 degrees but all indications were that the bed warp is real.

I then loosened EVERY bolt (yes, even those that should have no effect!) to the “jiggle” state (where you can wiggle the bolt in the hole). Then I progressively tightened bolts with the bed on the floor, but no matter what I did the warp returned and the bed rocked from corner to corner. I reassembled the entire trailer and framing only to find the warp increased somewhat.

I’m considering adding a shim between the frame and spring carrier to bring the high corner down, but maybe someone has encountered this problem and found a better cure. Any constructive suggestions are welcome. I do not consider returning the trailer an option at this point (more on this later).
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Tale of 2 Trailers thread http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=61451
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Re: Warped bed & other frame woes

Postby Redneck Teepee » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:35 pm

It would almost have to be in one of your long side rails. Have you tried stretching a string good and tight with a known spacing such as 2 small wooden blocks at both ends, then measure to identify exactly the problem area.

If indeed one is bowed, a good press and some jack stands or some blocks with a come-a-long might do the trick, just suggestions that could possibly help. :thinking: :thinking: :thinking:
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Re: Warped bed & other frame woes

Postby Dale M. » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:26 am

OR one of the rails has a bolt hole sort of out of place and not allowing rail to be straight as it is forcing a curve or arch .... One solution may be to stress frame in opposite direction of warp and actually bend frame into straight.... You might also start by being absolutely sure side rails bolt together (tighten) and come out straight before adding any cross members... You may need to ream holes some what to get correct match on holes.... Bolts should drop in all holes easily and not have to be forced into joining parts or joining part s have to be manhandled to tweak them into fitting... .... Chinese Republic Authorized Products (CRAP) stamped parts are not know for accuracy....

Best guess is you have a couple of holes out of place or a part of side rail is longer than all the others...

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Re: Warped bed & other frame woes

Postby ctstaas » Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:51 pm

Hi there I agree with Redneck teepee with additional thoughts. The final assembly needs to be accurate in all dimensions in many planes. Can yo do it all at once? probably not. Start with assembling a square assembly with equal side to side and diagonal measurements. Achieving this can take forever so be patient. When you achieve this add a diagonal brace for the remainder of the process. if you tack weld or clamp/ fix this cross brace in two places only, it can rotate on those connections, making the brace useless. The cross brace needs to be connected in at least three places to work. Flatten now. You might need to find a creative solution to be able to apply the required force so be careful. I had to block frames in the driveway and drive my PU over. Go slow and don't over straighten. I hope this helps>
Enjoy, Chris
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Re: Warped bed & other frame woes

Postby mallymal » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:48 am

If it's that bad, I would photograph the worst part and email the manufacturer. Maybe you got a Friday afternoon one. They should replace it!
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Re: Warped bed & other frame woes

Postby WizardOfOdds » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:32 pm

First, thanks for the helpful comments. I tried the string test but I did not measure any significant warp in the side rails. It does appear that most of the problem is due to inaccuracy of hole placement. It would be simple if the problem were localized to just one place, but that does not appear to be the case. Here is the story:

For the second time, I removed the entire trailer framing including all sides, floor, and bracing. Jacked and removed tires, hubs, axle, springs, etc. so I was left with just the 4x8 foot rectangular frame. Inverted the frame and tried to measure any warp in the side rails, but did find enough to explain the bed warp.

Returned to my original method to measure bed warp (but this time using two strings rather than boards) as shown in this picture Image.

To measure the warp you need to lower the view angle until the strings align at the left post then measure the warp by sighting the differences between the two strings at the right post.

I loosened all bolts to the “jiggle state” and propped one corner to level the bed and made sure the frame was “square” by making sure the two diagonals were identical. Then I tightened bolts in a careful pattern checking to be sure the bed remained flat with each bolt.

I was able to maintain a flat bed until I tried to install the tongue arms and coupler. The arms could not be inserted into the tilt hold down brackets on the front cross member. After a lot of work I discovered why.

The pictures below show the biggest problem: the two angle irons (which connect the tongue arms to the frame side rails) are far from identical. Image Image

The one with the holes near the edge forces the arm too far toward the trailer center. But that is not the only problem. The distances between the holes on the arms do not match the distances between the holes they must align with (namely those on the angle iron and tilt hold down bracket) as shown in these pictures.
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Image
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To make matters worse, the angles of the ends of the tongue arms do not match the angle needed to meet the coupler. This is easily proven by rotating the entire tongue toward the back (like you do for storage with the folding version of this trailer). This makes centering the coupler easy, but I found it very difficult to rotate the arms even though the bolts were very loose. Rotating the arms even a little scraped most of the paint off at the pivot points. Since the bends are welded, it is impossible to correct the angles!

The only way I could get the arms into the brackets was to bend one of the brackets and force the arm (as far as it would go - not fully seated), but to no surprise the holes for the pin do not align
Image
Image
WizardOfOdds: Chalet shaped rag roof clam shell TIER drop for 4 cylinder tow
Tip Top Tier Drop thread http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=56232
Unusual Designs thread http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=64495
Tale of 2 Trailers thread http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=61451
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Re: Warped bed & other frame woes

Postby 48Rob » Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:28 am

Maybe hiring a welder to come to your place and weld up what you have, in the correct positions, without the bolts would solve the issues with the current frame.

Perhaps a custom built frame, built by a welder who cared, would be a good option if you ever build another trailer?


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Re: Warped bed & other frame woes

Postby KCStudly » Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:38 am

Good job analyzing the problems. :thumbsup:
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Re: Warped bed & other frame woes

Postby ctstaas » Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:14 pm

After seeing more pictures I have changed my mind on how I would fix. Take a die grinder and ovalize to hole in the plate/plates enough to get a bolt in and tighten to it's max torque.These two plates welded to the frame on a diagonal will limit the movement of the assembly once bolted. If it doesn't move it is unlikely to wear. If it doesn't move or wear then it probably wont fail if properly sized. If you are still worried after assembly, drive it by a welding shop with a twelve pack and have them tack weld it. It doesn't need to be a strong weld it just needs to keep the parts from sliding. They can burn right though the paint. If you take it to them its really cheap and its a good time to start your relationship with the welding shop and find out what they like to drink. This could come in handy later when you need something welded well.
Enjoy, Chris
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