Tongue Rake on 1947 Kit

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Tongue Rake on 1947 Kit

Postby ddavis1946 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:17 pm

Does anyone know what the appropriate "rake" is on the tongue of an old Kit Kamper teardrop? While taking frame measurements for a new axle, I noticed the tongue is raked "upwards" and I wonder if at some point, the tubes on the tongue were bent either due to overloading or damage? A lot of pictures of Kits do show the curve in the tongue but the couplers look level with the frame.

Here the frame rails are close to level, but you can see the tongue and coupler is at about 10 degree angle upwards after the bend in the tongue tubes. The tongue jack follows that angle too since it's welded to the coupler end.
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Hard to see with the paint chipping and rust but the bend on the tongue does have some ripples in it. If anyone has a good condition stock or original KIT i'd be curious to compare to see if the tongues are the same or if mine does have some major damage.
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(also the coupler is cracked, of course :frightened:) Trying to decide whether to weld up the coupler cracks and put on a new tongue jack, or get a VW towbar and make a whole new tongue.
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Re: Tongue Rake on 1947 Kit

Postby Dale M. » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:26 am

A VW tow bar is too small in it's material make up... Its strength is in pulling (horizontal motion) not in supporting weight (vertical motion) ... I would go with heavier material... As for cracked coupler, I would replace it, the crack signals it is at its at the end if its life, and for many reasons it should be replaced, that "connection" is to important to risk questionable fix....

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Re: Tongue Rake on 1947 Kit

Postby ddavis1946 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:44 am

You're right. The VW towbar came as a recommendation from someone that closely replicates the original curves, but I had concerns over it's vertical capacity too.
I bet at some point in the past 60 years the trailer jack hit something and caused the "bend" in the tongue.
I'm leaning towards just have the whole tongue rebuilt out of box tubing, and use it as an excuse to have a weld shop reinforce some of the bends in the frame at the same time. It'll give a solid platform for a tongue box in the future.

The local trailer shop showed me an a-frame coupler, but it seemed like overkill and adds a lot of visual bulk to the front. Does anyone see issues with a 2" square tubing straight tongue coupler instead of an A-frame? Something like this https://www.etrailer.com/Straight-Tongu ... 13835.html Just aft of the coupler I'd have the frame "V" back to replicate the original lines back to the frame rails.
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My target weight, fully loaded with cooler, gear, water, etc. is 1500 lbs.
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Re: Tongue Rake on 1947 Kit

Postby tony.latham » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:28 am

You might give George a call at his Teardrop Fix-It Shop in Montana and ask him about the tongue. He's recreated numerous Kits and duplicates the original frame.

http://teardropparts.com/

And that hitch from eTrailer is probably the one I'll use on my next build.

Tony
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Re: Tongue Rake on 1947 Kit

Postby ddavis1946 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:16 pm

I have spoken with George a few times and ordered many of his Kit reproduction parts directly from him. His advice just after I bought the teardrop was great and he laid out a game-plan to get things rolling. I believe George was the one who recommended looking at the VW towbar as an option if the tongue was in real bad shape. Photos on his website show Kit's with both a straight tongue (on the "Sportsmaster" Kit) and the bent tongue like I have.
Simultaneously I'm working through the chassis axle/wheel/tire/axle combo. I doubt the model A wheels on it now are what it originally came with - the outline of the original fenders is on the aluminum skins and the prior owner mentioned his father did some axle work with the bearings and wheels, but wasn't sure what. The model A tires rubbed the aluminum body since the spacing was off...
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My whitewall tires arrive today (going on 15x5 steel Dexstar wheels with hubcaps), so I'm going to mock-up the entire trailer with the original wood panels, repro fenders, wheel/tire combo and see where things sit. Also going to get my axle measurements squared away at the same time. It may work out well to make the tongue straight anyways like the Sportsmaster photos on George's website, but before I move forward I'll post some pics here and give George another call...
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