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Old 08-12-2019, 08:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Trailer frame bent

I just got this trailer for cheap and didnít notice the passenger side rail was bent before I got it. The previous owner had it positioned in his driveway in a such a way that I couldnít walk around or behind the trailer when I looked at it.

Anyway, I got it home and noticed the passenger side from the axle back is about 1Ē lower than the drivers side. Is there anyway to bend that angle iron back up level? Iím thinking maybe a bottle jack and chain?

I have attached some pictures to help explain. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated before I just cut my losses and try to sell this thing for parts.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you can get it bent back straight and level, which I doubt not with out cutting it, then you need to box it were the suspension it. Its fixable just depends if you got time and can weld. If so remove the deck next to the frame there and go to town. I would plate the other side as well. It was pretty overloaded those look like 3500# axles and springs GVWR on trailer should be 7000k, and I assume 3/16'' angle.

One reason to crawl under a trailer and inspect. I am sure dude knew it was fucked up.
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Last edited by Bo185; 08-12-2019 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you can get it bent back straight and level, which I doubt not with out cutting it, then you need to box it were the suspension it. Its fixable just depends if you got time and can weld. If so remove the deck next to the frame there and go to town. I would plate the other side as well. It was pretty overloaded those look like 3500# axles and springs GVWR on trailer should be 7000k, and I assume 3/16'' angle.

One reason to crawl under a trailer and inspect. I am sure dude knew it was fucked up.


Thanks for the info. Iím sure the guy knew it was messed up and had it positioned in such a way where it wasnít as noticeable. I crawled under the trailer to check the axles but didnít look too closely at the frame.

So your saying cut the angle iron and then make it straight and weld some fish plates or box it in to reinforce that area?
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info. Iím sure the guy knew it was messed up and had it positioned in such a way where it wasnít as noticeable. I crawled under the trailer to check the axles but didnít look too closely at the frame.

So your saying cut the angle iron and then make it straight and weld some fish plates or box it in to reinforce that area?

The main problem is there should be a cross member right were the middle equalizer bracket it is. That's probable why it bent were it did right at that cross member. You could just weld in another cross member right at the suspension attach points front, middle, and rear. That would help alot too then just plate the bottom and out side area that was bent, if you have to cut the frame to get it straight, and it should be fine. Since its bent it basically will not stay anywhere now if bent back so will have to plate it. Its doesn't look to bad really.

Most light call haulers are 5/16'' angle. What thickness is the main frame angle?
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The main problem is there should be a cross member right were the middle equalizer bracket it is. That's probable why it bent were it did right at that cross member. You could just weld in another cross member right at the suspension attach points front, middle, and rear. That would help alot too then just plate the bottom and out side area that was bent, if you have to cut the frame to get it straight, and it should be fine. Since its bent it basically will not stay anywhere now if bent back so will have to plate it. Its doesn't look to bad really.



Most light call haulers are 5/16'' angle. What thickness is the main frame angle?


Right on, I was thinking about adding some cross members into the frame to help strengthen it. Sounds like itís definitely a good thing to do now though.

Iím not sure the thickness of the main frame (I didnít measure). But knowing that it is fixable with some time and welding is a huge relief.

Appreciate your help!
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Right on, I was thinking about adding some cross members into the frame to help strengthen it. Sounds like itís definitely a good thing to do now though.
Add them right were the middle suspension attaches. I would use C channel if it was mine for cross members you add.


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Iím not sure the thickness of the main frame (I didnít measure). But knowing that it is fixable with some time and welding is a huge relief.
Appreciate your help!
If its 5/16'' frame then trailers are usually good for 10k but limited by axles. If its 3/16'' the don't put more than 7-8k on it.

I bet that one guy was a roofer and put fuck ton of shingles on front and back and bent the rear with that much weight on ass end.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Add them right were the middle suspension attaches. I would use C channel if it was mine for cross members you add.









If its 5/16'' frame then trailers are usually good for 10k but limited by axles. If its 3/16'' the don't put more than 7-8k on it.



I bet that one guy was a roofer and put fuck ton of shingles on front and back and bent the rear with that much weight on ass end.


Thatís all good info. Iím hoping to get this all taken care of in a couple weeks before going to Moab.

My Jeep only weighs 4800lbs so I should be good with weight. Especially after strengthening it and adding crossmembers. I had planned to add dual 5000lbs axles, both with brakes, before noticing the frame was bent. But for now the priority will be to get it straight and then slowly upgrade it overtime.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Dual brake axles will help alot. With that weight. I would add brakes to the front axle and run it. You can get 10” drums for the front axle for $180ish or whole drum axle for $200ish. Be cheaper than having to get new wheels for a 5k axle. Worth it for extra braking. Will save tow rig brakes.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'd guess you've got more than just that bent there - doesn't seem like enough to me to make it sit that far off.

Easiest thing in my mind would be to flip it over, and then do whatever welding/structural repair is needed to get it back square and then add some reinforcement. That's a very lightly built trailer there, hope you didn't pay too much. Also check springs, brackets, axles etc for bending.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Porta power or bottle jack and weld in a gusset plate on either side when you get it where you like. Couple hour fix max
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Porta power or bottle jack and weld in a gusset plate on either side when you get it where you like. Couple hour fix max


This will be my first try and hopefully it will work. I do want to weld in some more crossmembers and reenforce the frame though.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Fix the wiring to...bent frame can be straighted several ways, some of the guys down south get creative with stumps and a backhoe
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Fix the wiring to...bent frame can be straighted several ways, some of the guys down south get creative with stumps and a backhoe


Thatís on the list too, completely rewire of the trailer. Thatís the easy part for me. The fabrication and metal work will be new to me.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:45 AM   #14 (permalink)
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just remember, metal has memory, going a bit over is ok and a rosebud torch is your friend...a porta power works too
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:54 AM   #15 (permalink)
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just remember, metal has memory, going a bit over is ok and a rosebud torch is your friend...a porta power works too


Good advice, appreciate it!
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:22 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Do you have the rear tires sitting on blocks in the second picture?
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:24 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Do you have the rear tires sitting on blocks in the second picture?


I just have the wheels chocked since my driveway is inclined.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:09 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Like others have said, get it bent back into position or relatively close and plate it so it doesn't bend more.

If you're planning on keeping a trailer for a while I'd keep looking for a deal on one with a channel frame and sell this one off when you find it.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:15 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Like others have said, get it bent back into position or relatively close and plate it so it doesn't bend more.

If you're planning on keeping a trailer for a while I'd keep looking for a deal on one with a channel frame and sell this one off when you find it.


I definitely want to fix this one up since Iím kinda stuck with it now, but I donít think itíll be a long term trailer.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:31 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I had a trailer that I bent like that, only on both sides so the rear was arched down evenly. I ended up making 2 cuts per side vertically where it looked like it was most bent. I only used a cutoff wheel and didn't make the slice any thicker than the wheel itself, then beveled the cuts. I then jacked it up by the rear to close the gaps and welded them up. I also added 1"x2"x.120" rec tubing on edge the full length of each side sitting on the crossmembers against the outside rail. I welded it down the top, to each crossmember, and to each end plate. The tubing was the same height as the lumber, so it was flush to the top rail with the wood. That trailer was straight and firm after that. I traded it off to a buddy of mine a couple of years ago and it's still going strong.
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:14 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I had a trailer that I bent like that, only on both sides so the rear was arched down evenly. I ended up making 2 cuts per side vertically where it looked like it was most bent. I only used a cutoff wheel and didn't make the slice any thicker than the wheel itself, then beveled the cuts. I then jacked it up by the rear to close the gaps and welded them up. I also added 1"x2"x.120" rec tubing on edge the full length of each side sitting on the crossmembers against the outside rail. I welded it down the top, to each crossmember, and to each end plate. The tubing was the same height as the lumber, so it was flush to the top rail with the wood. That trailer was straight and firm after that. I traded it off to a buddy of mine a couple of years ago and it's still going strong.

Travis..


Awesome! Thatís good to hear, this will probably be the route I take. Iíll just have to get a buddy to do some welding for me.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:35 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Heat it and beat it would be the easiest. Those are almost always made from mild steel channels, no worries about taking the temper out of them.
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:52 PM   #23 (permalink)
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How cheap? Does it follow straight?

You could always just brace it up as it and deal with it.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:29 PM   #24 (permalink)
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MEH.... leave it alone. Angle-framed car trailers (and similar) bend. Fix them, and they bend again. And again. And again. If you wanted a solid trailer, then get one made of C-channel or boxed frame.

That typed... if you want to keep it as straight as possible, then I've seen angle-framed trailers reinforced with scaffolding above the deck height, and they seem to hold up well. In other words, add a 'rail' about a foot above the deck height, along both sides and the front edge. Then, weld risers and angled braces to the 'rail' in such a manner as to create a scaffolding effect. This will 'solve' your issues from re-occurring.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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MEH.... leave it alone. Angle-framed car trailers (and similar) bend. Fix them, and they bend again. And again. And again. If you wanted a solid trailer, then get one made of C-channel or boxed frame.



That typed... if you want to keep it as straight as possible, then I've seen angle-framed trailers reinforced with scaffolding above the deck height, and they seem to hold up well. In other words, add a 'rail' about a foot above the deck height, along both sides and the front edge. Then, weld risers and angled braces to the 'rail' in such a manner as to create a scaffolding effect. This will 'solve' your issues from re-occurring.


Thanks, thatís definitely something to consider if I do end up keeping this long term.
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