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  1. #1
    Elite Member
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    May 2012
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Bobcat CT225

    Default Spring Over Axle (SOA) trailer conversion

    I am really tempted to do an SOA conversion on my trailer. The trailer rides low enough that I have to have a really long shank on my WD head in order to get the trailer to ride level. Even worse, the spring bars scrape on the ground sometimes, if I go over a bump or a dip. The extra 4-6" or so would really make a difference, I think.

    I have researched the topic extensively, in large part right here on TBN. My axles have camber, so I will need to have new spring perches welded on the top of the axle. I'm really torn on whether to proceed. Mostly, I'm concerned that I'm going to end up messing up my trailer's alignment and wear out my tires, or cause the trailer to pull badly. I guess what I'm looking for is input as to whether this kind of thing is fairly robust, or whether it is fairly sensitive. If I eyeball the location of the perches directly across from the existing ones, and eyeball them parallel, is it likely to be good enough? Once the trailer is assembled, do I need to confirm the alignment, or is it pretty much likely to be good to go? Will the existing spring mounts force the alignment to be correct, for example?

    I have read that you can't re-use U-bolts, because the threads won't re-tension right. I've also read some people express concerns about weakening an axle by doing welds on it because the metal is supposedly relatively thin. Any validity to these concerns?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    Nov 2005
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    Central Indiana
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    New Holland TC45DA SS

    Default Re: Spring Over Axle (SOA) trailer conversion

    Dexter makes a kit that uses studs and long nuts to square up the axle perches and it comes with new u-bolts. The u-bolts hold the perches to the axle but I welded mine on anyway. This was on my old camper with 3500lb axles.



  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Spring Over Axle (SOA) trailer conversion

    I'm familiar with that kit, although I didn't realize that it was self-aligning like that. That's cool. I thought you were supposed to weld the perches anyway, though. The etrailer FAQ on the product seems to indicate so. Can you confirm that welding isn't required per, I don't know, the instructions in the kit or whatever? If so, the cost of the kit might balance out the cost of not having to weld the perches on.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Spring Over Axle (SOA) trailer conversion

    Nevermind. With a little Googling, I found the instruction sheet. It looks like they strongly recommend, but do not require, tack welding the perches.

    http://pl.b5z.net/i/u/6149609/f/059_551_00.pdf

  5. #5
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Daleville, IN
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    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default

    I have done it a few times to customers trailers and always did the welding. As for the u bolts use a torque wrench and retorque after lowering the trailer and with a load on it. Torque them again with load at 50 then 500 miles.

    Chris

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Spring Over Axle (SOA) trailer conversion

    Well, I'm going ahead with it. Here are some photos.

    -img_1040-jpg

    I put jack stands behind the back of the trailer...

    -img_1041-jpg

    Then raised the front of the trailer with the loader...

    -img_1042-jpg

    And set a cinderblock under the jack. Currently, the tires are removed and the U-bolts are off. The conversion kits should come via UPS tomorrow (Friday).

  7. #7
    Elite Member
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    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Spring Over Axle (SOA) trailer conversion

    In case I decide to go ahead with the tack welds on the perches, what is the typical wall thickness of a 3500 lb axle? Diameter is 2 3/8".

  8. #8
    Elite Member
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    Jul 2009
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    SW WA
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    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: Spring Over Axle (SOA) trailer conversion

    Some wall thickness measurements here:

    Trailer Axles

    Bruce

  9. #9
    Super Member radioman's Avatar
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    May 2008
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    Ontario, NY
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    Kubota BX24

    Default Re: Spring Over Axle (SOA) trailer conversion

    wow-- your trailer looks identical to mine. I'll be watching this thread for sure- its just that I dont have the problem you say you have on yours.

  10. #10
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
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    Grants Pass, OR
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    JD TLB 110

    Default Re: Spring Over Axle (SOA) trailer conversion

    I would seriously think about putting something a lot more substantial than that cinderblock under the trailer jack.

    If you are really into concrete, a solid pier block would be a lot stronger in compression. Even stacked 2x lumber is better than a cinderblock.
    40 Acres on a hill - fantastic view. JD 110 TLB, 4-n-1, 12" bucket, 18" bucket, Addington thumb, rock bucket (doubles as root grapple)

    Not only do we not understand the universe, if someone explained it to us, we would not know what he was talking about.

    Isaac Asimov

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