Tongue Repair Help

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Tongue Repair Help

Postby clarkbre » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:07 pm

I recently was gifted this old golf cart trailer from my in laws as an upgrade from the old Harbor Freight utility trailer that I had. As this trailer is fully welded and has a 2k pound axle, it is a bit more stout than my previous trailer. The overall plan is to use mainly as a utility trailer, retain the tilt function for moving riding mowers and stuff and then eventually build a small camping pod to slide within the 1" square rails on the bed.

New Trailer.jpg
New Trailer.jpg (753.15 KiB) Viewed 1933 times


In order to get it roadworthy, I will need to do the following:
1. Change out the wheels, tires and bearings.
2. Move the axle back 10" by welding on new spring hangers.
3. Fix the tongue that at some point was bent in a jackknife incident.

Tongue bend.jpg
Tongue bend.jpg (648.51 KiB) Viewed 1933 times


My thought is that the original tongue cannot be bent back as it had stock bends to raise the coupler about 2 1/2". With this in mind, I am planning on cutting the front of the tongue (Red line) off and then sistering a new 2 1/2" square steel tube (Blue rectangle) on top of the factory tongue and supports. How would be the best way to attach it? Would welding be strong enough, should I use some bolts to mate the new and old pieces together? I'm totally open for suggestions. Realistically, this trailer will not see more than about 200 lbs of tongue weight but I want to fix it once and fix it for life. Please let me know your suggestions.

Mod.jpg
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Re: Tongue Repair Help

Postby David H. » Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:50 pm

Cut off damaged tongue. Weld a receiver on top of original frame. Have it welded by someone that knows how to weld it. Now you can slide in a hitch and it is removeable for theft deterrent
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Re: Tongue Repair Help

Postby GTS225 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:25 pm

David as a good point about the receiver and removable coupler. I might suggest you weld plates on the sides the sides of the new receiver to tie the original tongue and new receiver together.

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Re: Tongue Repair Help

Postby halfdome, Danny » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:01 am

Since your thinking of sistering on parts I'd use grade 8 bolts and welds.
I bolt and weld the coupler to my removable tongue but the 4 foot hitch receiver is an integral part of the welded chassis to the first cross member.
Dosen't hurt to be extra safe. :D Danny
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Re: Tongue Repair Help

Postby twisted lines » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:46 pm

Realistically, this trailer will not see more than about 200 lbs of tongue weight

That would be nearly doubled if I stood on the front of the bed :lol:
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Re: Tongue Repair Help

Postby Philip » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:27 am

take the wrench off and post another pic please.
Here is my build.

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Re: Tongue Repair Help

Postby clarkbre » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:04 am

Philip wrote:take the wrench off and post another pic please.


I will when I get the trailer. It's currently 130 miles away and won't get it for a couple more weeks. Before towing it anywhere, it's getting the bearings, wheels and tires refreshed. Once it's home, I can start dismantling it for the tongue repair and axle placement.
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Tongue Repair Help

Postby Pinstriper » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:28 am

I had a tongue issue recently with my TD, also. I will share in the hope it help your situation.

The trailer was built on a Carry-On, rated for 1800#. It scales in at a bit under 1100#.

However, the tongue was held in place by bolts, to a cross member that was just angle iron, and only 18” in from the front of the frame. It bent like this:

Image

What we decided to do was build a new tongue with larger tubing, upgrade the coupler from 1 7/8 to 2” for conssistency with my other trailers, and have it connect deeper into the frame. As part of that, we built a box structure from 1.5” tubing, much stronger than the angle iron, and designed to carry the entire front of the trailer.

Image

You can see the difference in dimension of the material, plus the deeper and wider structure overall. We extended it wider than the trailer frame so I would have stepup structures.

The whole thing was stitch welded to the existing frame every 8” or so, and with 2 plates on each side.

Image

We also added 6” of length to the tongue to improve turning clearance and can now open the tailgate with the trailer attached.

Image

New wiring throughout, of course. She feels much more substantial and stable, plus I now have steps to let me reach the kayak up on the racks for tying down.

I had upgraded the tires from 12” to 15” last year, new fenders of course but no spacers required. She got brand new bearings at the time.

Image



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Re: Tongue Repair Help

Postby Philip » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:20 pm

clarkbre wrote:
Philip wrote:take the wrench off and post another pic please.


I will when I get the trailer. It's currently 130 miles away and won't get it for a couple more weeks. Before towing it anywhere, it's getting the bearings, wheels and tires refreshed. Once it's home, I can start dismantling it for the tongue repair and axle placement.


That's fine. When you get the pic then I cam see if it can be repaired or replace tubing..

Repairing a minor bend isn't hard. That one looks like a minor bend till I see the wrench removed.
Here is my build.

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Re: Tongue Repair Help

Postby clarkbre » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:28 pm

Thank you for the ideas everyone. It's helpful to get some insight and make a plan prior to starting the repair. Below are a couple more shots of the underside of the trailer.
underside.jpg
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20190713_143035.jpg
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Re: Tongue Repair Help

Postby Philip » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:13 am

Those pic's helped a lot. The bend is forward of the wrench. What I would do is take a 4.5" grinder with a cutoff wheel. Looking at the hitch from the front of the trailer. I would cut threw the right side of the tube to the left side rail. Leave the left side rail intact. I would start at the point the bend starts. Heat the left side rail up and bend it back. If all the bend doesn't come out. Move forward and make another cut at the next widest part of the bend. Do as many cuts as you need to bring it back.

After it is straightened. Weld back together. Then plate over the welds.
Here is my build.

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Re: Tongue Repair Help

Postby Atomic77 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:08 am

Cut it off, weld in a receiver and a removable coupler like Tony.Latham does. Nice, clean and anti-theft as well. Best way to fix this.

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Re: Tongue Repair Help

Postby clarkbre » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:19 am

Philip wrote:Those pic's helped a lot. The bend is forward of the wrench. What I would do is take a 4.5" grinder with a cutoff wheel. Looking at the hitch from the front of the trailer. I would cut threw the right side of the tube to the left side rail. Leave the left side rail intact. I would start at the point the bend starts. Heat the left side rail up and bend it back. If all the bend doesn't come out. Move forward and make another cut at the next widest part of the bend. Do as many cuts as you need to bring it back.

After it is straightened. Weld back together. Then plate over the welds.


I will look into that for sure. I was thinking how I could plate or reinforce what is already there.

Atomic77 wrote:Cut it off, weld in a receiver and a removable coupler like Tony.Latham does. Nice, clean and anti-theft as well. Best way to fix this.

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I do really like that coupler idea; however, I need to keep the existing coupler height for the trailer to ride level. Behind my F250, the trailer already requires a 6" drop hitch (same as my boat trailer). If I were to cut the existing bend off and come straight out, the trailer would ride really nose. The 6" drop gives me a top-of-ball height at about 17".

Another option would be to use a receiver on top of the existing triangle and a longer 2" tube with the coupler on it. No matter what, the winch will come off either way and likely not be replaced.
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Re: Tongue Repair Help

Postby twisted lines » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:36 pm

clarkbre wrote:Another option would be to use a receiver on top of the existing triangle and a longer 2" tube with the coupler on it. No matter what, the winch will come off either way and likely not be replaced.



Tying that triangle together with a 1/4" plate & piece of 2.5" Receiver tube on top would be Nice :thumbsup:
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