5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

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5 x 8 trailer tongue upgrade

Postby SmokeyBob » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:13 pm

I didn't think the Northern Tool 5 x 8 trailer tongue was all that strong. So I had a few things added. Now I need to paint it and put on the floor.

Before
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After
Added another cross member. Welded the tongue to the first and second cross member. And welded a jack to the tongue.
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Postby cuyeda » Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:17 pm

Good job on the upgrade! Looks nice and sturdy now!
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Postby SmokeyBob » Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:18 am

Cliff & Vanessa
At least it looks better. There is a shop a few miles from me that builds custom trailers. I told the owner I wanted to make the tongue stronger. This is what he came up with. I figure he knows more about building trailers than I do. Time will tell if it holds up. :worship: :)
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Postby SmokeyBob » Tue May 20, 2008 12:59 pm

I finally got the fenders cut off. Wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. Used my Reciprocal saw and two 24 tpi metal blades.

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Postby madjack » Tue May 20, 2008 1:16 pm

...good looking upgrade Bob...I have come to believe, that most all of the inexpensive trailers available, with only a single tube tongue need a similar upgrade...too many of them have/are failing at the same point(the first crossmember)........
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Postby halfdome, Danny » Tue May 20, 2008 9:06 pm

Looks great :thumbsup: and a wise addition. I understand single bar tongues make the trailer shimmy while being towed. :) Danny
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Postby SmokeyBob » Wed May 21, 2008 10:05 am

Madjack and Danny
You all are absolutely correct. This is a very poor design. When I purchased this trailer I could see something needed to be done to strengthen the tongue. But it was hard to pass up the sale price. And the axle was already moved back and lowered.

The tongue doesn't go back far enough into the trailer frame. I put a jack stand under the two front corners and by pushing down on the end of the tongue I could flex the second cross member up and down. Put several hundred pounds of weight on the trailer and it's real easy to bow that second cross member.

So to anyone buying this type of trailer, be prepared to do something with the tongue.
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Postby madjack » Wed May 21, 2008 2:23 pm

Yep, there is an apparent design flaw in the NT and TSC(and maybe others), single tube tongue on their lightweight, no-floor trailers and they need to be beefed up in the manner that Bob has done...to that effect, I am going to make this thread a "sticky"...thank you Bob, for showing your excellent fix for this apparent problem............
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Postby angib » Wed May 21, 2008 5:43 pm

In case anyone reading this wants to copy Bob's mods, I would comment that it's the two new diagonals connecting the tongue to the side rails that are really giving the benefit. Adding the extra cross member does nothing for the vertical strength of the tongue and I don't believe it's necessary. Ain't doin' no harm, though.

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Postby MrgrumpyNJ » Wed May 21, 2008 11:24 pm

This is what I did with my TS trailer, I can stand on the trailer with it connected to my hitch and it no longer flexes and im no light weight. I bought a new length of 2x3 long enough to extend almost to the axle and add almost a foot up front for a tongue box. I will be adding the diagonal
sections soon, thought I already had the material at home, but I was wrong :NC

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Postby SmokeyBob » Thu May 22, 2008 9:30 am

On my trailer the angle iron is only 1/8" thick. I think having the diagonals helps spread out the up and down forces on that front cross member. And they also help square up the frame.

Does anyone else have a pic on how they fixed theirs?
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Postby mcspin50 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:17 pm

I realize this is a very old thread, but it's a sticky, so I thought I'd post a pic of what the guys at Perham Steel did to reinforce the tongue of my 5x8 Northern Tool no-floor trailer.
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They moved the wires for the trailer lights down out of the way of the 2x2 1/8" thick steel square tubes that they attached to the third cross brace. Pics of that in my album.
They were able to keep the bolted on wheel jack by sawing off the bottom front bolt.
Still trying to find a way to mount the 5# LP gas tank plus a Lowes SUV storage box to the tongue. The wheel jack needs to move closer to the hitch in order for that to happen.
I also took it in again so they could weld a rear hitch receiver to carry a bike rack...or whatever.
BTW my trailer bed is not square...off by <1/4" on front driver side corner. Take a tape measure when you go to buy your trailer. You'll probably end up painting the whole thing, so don't be worried about the finish or a few rust spots. Just go for the most square one.
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Postby Judeyramone » Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:54 pm

I have a 5x8' Sure-Track utility tilt-bed trailer. The tongue runs all the way back to the axle, which is where the bed tilts, and connects at the front of the bed ny a removable pin. There are no diagonal braces from the tongue to the bed whatsoever...

The while assembly seems pretty loose to me, but it tows as if it's not even there, loaded or not, and I've had (literally) a ton of sand in it before.

Is this a cheap trailer phenomenon, or what? My plan is to construct my own frame from scratch, which includes diagonal braces to the tongue.
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Postby Sonoma ZR2 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:58 am

I've got the northern trailer in the garage ready to be modded and wondered if anyone that has done the modifications shown has the measurements for the diagonals length. I'm getting ready to order the steel to weld on the reinforcements. Because I got an estimate for a welding shop to do it and they wanted more the the trailer cost to do it. So I said no way I can weld it myself a lot cheaper only need to know how much metal to order.
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Postby Cliffmeister2000 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:54 pm

Have you noticed the Northern Tool trailer is now sporting an "A" tongue?

Maybe they listened to all the complaints.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ ... _200356494
Last edited by Cliffmeister2000 on Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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