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I went to the link and found some great pictures but I can't find any instructions on how and/or why especially about the narrowing.

Also there seems to be NO concern about the fact that the manual says, "Do not exceed 45 mph."
 

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Pete, I've built two of the Harbor Freight/Sears car top carrier type trailers. You will need to narrow the frame 5" and of course shorten the axle the same amount. There are three cross members to be shortened. I cut 2-!/2" from each end, redrilled the necessary holes, bolted it all together, then welded the joints also. You might want to move the center cross member forward to the predrilled holes in the side rails. This will allow for a longer tongue and better handling. I also removed the center spring in the suspension to soften the ride. The trailers pull great and I ended up with about $600 spent. Take Care, if need, contact me. George
 
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George,

My question still is: why do you narrow the frame? I noticed you narrow it 5" while others have said 4".

And If you were doing another would you get the 8" or 12" wheels?
The 8" is on sale for $139, the 12" for $179. Seems like 12" would be better but what do I know?

I guess you have no worry about the manual saying do not go over 45 mph?

Don
 

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Don, I've used only the 12" wheels and have pulled the trailers up to 85/90 MPH with no problems. Probably the reasoning behind the "do not exceed 45 or 55 mph" has to do with liability. I did repack the bearings, but they really did not need it. By narrowing 5" the Sears box sits almost touching the fenders. You could leave the frame as it comes, just seems a little wide to me. I did put a "Black-Tie" swivel hitch on eack of the units I've built. I once saw a trailer pulled by a good friend do a 180 flip after hitting a curb---I don't like that thought at all. Glad to answer any further questions. George
 
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Thanks George, I'm glad to finally know the narrowing is just to fit better with the box, right? But I guess you could just put the trailer together and bolt the Sears box on and go - or am I simplifying things too much?

I realize there may be wiring concerns and I might want to paint, etc. But I could build it for under $400.

Of course then there's my wife's opinion. And as all us married guys know, When Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. And I think Mama has her eyes on the Bushtec Quantum GL. I have my eyes on our checkbook. she says, "We've spent $35,000 on our trike and you want to cheap out on a trailer?" I say, "It's just a box for hauling stuff around on vacation?" Of course I am getting no sympathy from my "friends" who say, "Spend, Spend, Spend... It's only money." Hey, I'm retired. I don't have a job and there's only so much money to go around.
 

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Don,

On another vein... Put the HF trailer together, dont narrow it...and put a piece of metal fabric weave down as a "base"... Then you can attach the sears carrier, OR go another of a myraid route of luggage carriers ( I personally found one of the soft sided "expanding" Luggage carriers as ideal).
between using it for some trips, have really used the trailer most around town hauling stuff to and from garage sales, stores, transfer station, etc... Even used it to help move Jr from college back home for the stuff that just wouldnt fit into the truck...

I have found having a flatbed trailer that I can use behind the bike has really been a boon. Can put LOTS of more stuff onto the trailer than I ever could into one that has a carrier or a cover... The extra 4 or 5 inches in width I have not really noticed any concern or problems with while hauling.

I did not do the best job in th world of "finish" but some of the homemade carriers I have seen at some of the rallies have really complimented the bikes and not detracted from it. You could always look at doing something like that too!..

I like having some choices in what I can do with stuff...


Just a thought for you...


Bob
 

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Don, Bob has a very valid point about leaving the trailer to full width. The standard unit is 40-1/2"' wide, mine are 35-1/2" wide, now that's the deck not the overall width. If I do another one I'm going to make it 35" and let the sides of the box touch. Bob also noted that he covered the top of the deck with sheet metal. I had a pan, just think shoe box lid, made for mine, it makes it real neat and not real expensive. Cost--Trailer-$180, Car Top Carrier--$180 plus $25 shipping, Swivel hitch--$175, then misc. such as paint $25/30, the above mentioned shoe box pan $40, I also put lights into the back of the carrier rather than on the frame rails add another $35. So $400 won't stretch that far. More like $650/700. And that's with me doing my own welding which I do recommend. Of course if you don't want the swivel and the special lights subtract about 200. Good luck. George
 

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Don, After rereading your post, you may want to reconsider the entire trailer issue, because like you stated, "When Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy". You seem like a reasonably smart guy so----The name you need is John Preston. HaHa George
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Almost finnished with My HF trailer

I had my frame cut 4 inches, Looks better, longer tong, and I will have to add 2 extra driving lights Motorcycle has 5 wires Did not want to fool with that electronic device for turn sig. gona get the Sears carrier hope I can airbrush it. paint may not stick to that kind of plastic
One more thing, there are 3 leaf spings. I took out the small one, and now I think I will take out the other, leaveing only the large spring. Anyone else have you done that to????
 

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Pete, I would not run just one spring. The main spring alone will tend to bend or flex in the center where the hole is. This is a possible point for stress to develope cracks and fail. I once had a single spring fail and the result was not pretty or easy to fix. I would leave the short spring with the main spring. JMHO with experience added. George
 
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George, you and Bob and the other guys have given me some good ideas if I do go ahead with this HF/Sears trailer.

IF I do it, I would go for the 12” wheels. Leave it as is, paint it all black and put a sheet of diamond plate down for a bed. Then I could bolt the Xcargo box to it. That way I could remove it and use the flat bed for hauling small stuff. I don’t have a truck, just an Accord and a CR-V but for small stuff I could pull it with my trike. I should be able to build it for under $400. Unless I decided to put some LEDs on it, and maybe a couple side marker lights. Of course then maybe I would want a little yellow on it. By then I would have another couple hundred in it. But if I did a really nice job, just maybe she would like it???

Then again, what did you say John Preston’s number was George? Maybe he will have pity on me… :cry:

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks for the help

Texan said:
Pete, I would not run just one spring. The main spring alone will tend to bend or flex in the center where the hole is. This is a possible point for stress to develope cracks and fail. I once had a single spring fail and the result was not pretty or easy to fix. I would leave the short spring with the main spring. JMHO with experience added. George
Thanks for the infoe. The short spring is the smallest of the 3 springs, is that right? Looks like I got to take it all apart anyway. I stood on the tailer with my 200 lbs I mean 280 lbs and did not see much flexing..
will have pics when its all done. pete
 

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Don,

Dont forget to extend the tongue.... I made mine out of 2 X 3 box metal, the same thickness as the original tongue. Picked it up at the metal supply place where I got the bed material... I made mine a bit overlength, overall 6' long... But have LOTS of room to put a cooler rack. Just cut some access holes in the bottom to help with running the wire harness through. If you decide on the HF trailer, you definitely want to paint the chassis during assembly... their icky red undercoat is an eyesore to behold.(suggest black), and then the upper framework can be painted to match your trike...dont forget the isolation rig (plug and play into the wiring harness on the bike) then you can figure out if you want to go with 4 wire OR 5 wire harnesses...... :twisted: which normally can spawn a substantial amount of replies!... I just added a set of wally world running/stop lights and used them inside of the light set that came with the trailer... They are the stop lights, and the HF lights are running and directional... JMHO....

If someone has the time and the skill to put together a multi use trailer it is a fun project... When I do my next one....(i know I will be...) I will most definitely include the wifey to help with the painting and to put some purty decoration stuff on it....to give her a better sense of ownership so's to speak...

I also missed one of your questions in the original thread... I have only done one long trip with it... Albany NY to Grand Rapids Mi... To cincinatti.. and back home again.... during the June flooding that hit NY state... Towed it at 85mph for hours at a time through canada and Mich and did not know it was there. It and the GW even survived some 10" standing water I had to get through.... I am certain that the 45 MPH rating is something that HF Liability Insurance carrier made them put on it...again.. JMHO...

Bob
 

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FYI for everyone interested. You do not need to extend the tongue length on the Harbor Freight trailer frame. Just move the center cross member forward to the unused existing holes. This will gain you about 12 to 14 inches in tongue length and is just what you need, even if you put a cooler rack on it. Works great. I've done it. George
 

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A question for Texan

George, how did you go about cutting the Axel down ?? And also the re weld ?? Did you use some bracing to strenghen it ??

Thanks Chuck
 

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Bingo 1038 said:
A question for Texan

George, how did you go about cutting the Axel down ?? And also the re weld ?? Did you use some bracing to strenghen it ??

Thanks Chuck
Not Texan,
But here's how I cut mine down. I cut the stub axel shaft out of the tubing that it was welded into from the factory. I then cut the tubing to length and drilled a new hole in the tubing for the spring tie bolt to set in. Then I welded the stub axel shaft back into place, just as it was from the factory. By cutting it down this way there is know use in extra bracing.
 

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Bingo, The easiest way is to take it to a good competent weld shop and tell them how much to remove and to take it from the very center of the axle which is a formed piece of metal (three sides). Any welder worth his title can do a quick job of it. by clamping it to a heavy piece of angle while welding. Easy quick job and there is very little stress way out there in the center of the axle. All the stress is in close to the wheels and hubs. I have done it, but for the last one, I paid a shop $20 for a job well done. Take Care, George
 

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