Clearance, that is!
Miss Trilly has a new axle and a perky posture, standing quite proud as she shows off her higher ground clearance. Her wheels no longer cant outward as they did on the original axle that carried her for thirty-four years. Trilly fairly shines with newfound buoyancy and satisfaction. Her trailer is flashing a fresh black gloss. Even the bolts on her wheels reflect the new attitude.
Here is the story as it played out. First, Clark borrowed two floor jacks and four jack stands, collecting these at the designated place of Trilly/trailer separation. Then, he summoned my help. It took the two of us to remove the eight bolts that held Miss Trilly to her trailer. I gripped the plate and heads of the bolts from inside the trailer, using channel-lock pliers, while Clark applied torque from underneath with a socket wrench. The bolts were very difficult to remove. Two of them, being rusted nearly through, broke completely in half. Only one, the fastener located inside the aft port bin under the drawers, came out with some measure of ease. After we removed all of the bolts, I left Clark to remove the “egg” from its trailer, which he accomplished by himself.
Clark cut and ground off the old axle and then prepped the metal to receive Miss Trilly‘s replacement axle, a Dexter #10 Torflex with -22.5˚ starting angle. Here is a photo of the new 53-inch axle lined up with the rails of the trailer. It is quite a bit heavier and beefier than the original unit.
We found a local welder with a mobile unit on Craigslist. His professional-looking website, thirty years of experience, and $50 per hour quote gave us the confidence to trust that he would do a great job. Howard Whipple says, “Trust the welder. Trust the weld.” We were ready when he showed up on time Monday morning.
We are extremely pleased with the workmanship. The new axle is welded on MUCH more thoroughly than the original. Howard left no joint unwelded.
Clark cleaned up the remainder of the trailer frame, removed minor rust, primed and painted the rails, tongue, and cross members. He applied a clear-coat for additional protection. Trilliums originally had foam tape on the rails of their trailers. We wanted something with a bit more substance. There is a funky metal surplus store in our area called Blue Collar Supply. On our last visit, we saw stacks of neoprene sheets of varying thicknesses, priced incredibly low. Clark picked up a large sheet for less than $6. I cut strips 1.25″-wide, which we spot-glued using Shoe Goo. It is visible in this photo of the freshly painted trailer and axle.
This is the newly refurbished trailer, complete with an updated waterproof electrical box on the port forward rail. It is ready to receive its “egg” cargo.
We are pleased to present the updated and lofty Miss Trilly!
(The photo will enlarge when clicked.)
9ah & Clark