some notes on my homebrew trailer suspension

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some notes on my homebrew trailer suspension

Postby Bob Hammond » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:50 am


Here's a few comments about my modded chassis. It started as a (pre-) Harbor Freight style chassis in 1980, and the original leaf springs were way too stiff for the Sunfish boat that was originally on it. So I dived into a dumpster at a Harley Davidson shop for the rear spring-shocks and made swing arms from steel tubes. The scheme worked very well. When I decided to build the Nutmeg hybrid foamie on the chassis, I took it to a certified welder/trailer mechanic for his opinions and reinforcement of the chassis. He welded on tubes to make an A-frame and also welded each of the joints that were originally bolted. He thought the suspension was interesting and that it would bear at least 1000 lbs (The completed Nutmeg weighs 750 lbs empty). Other people thought that because of the swingarms and the axle that links the wheels, that the trailer would sway, maybe harmonically, but I haven't noticed that. Perhaps it might happen if a strong crosswind occurs or there's a big air push from passing truck, but I think that proper weight distribution minimizes that possibility. The Nutmeg tracks very well up to 65mph, possibly because I carefully distributed the weight on the wheels and tongue. It handles holes & bumps well when going forward. However, the only problem that occurs is when backing up - all of the shock absorption occurs only when pulling in the forward direction. When backing up, it's necessary to go very slowly and ease it over an obstacle.
beefed up chassis.jpg
the chassis after reinforcements, before building the deck.
beefed up chassis.jpg (691.54 KiB) Viewed 521 times
Museum of Unfinished Projects
Bob Hammond
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Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Michigan

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