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Can somebody explain this for me?

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  • Can somebody explain this for me?

    One of my neighbors stopped by today to show me a trailer that was just given to him, he asked me to look at the axle cause he didn't know what he was looking at. I looked at it and told him the same thing, I didn't know what I was looking at either. There is a piece of chain from the rear spring mount to a u-bolt on the axle and from a u-bolt on the axle there is another chain with a spring attached to it going to a mount towards the front of this trailer. Pay close attention to the front of the spring, they are cut blunt and then clamped down by the front hanger. I've seen a lot of strange things done to trailers but this is a first for me. Can one of you guys explain this to me. Dave
    Attached Files
    Last edited by dabar39; 08-11-2007, 05:51 PM.
    If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

    sigpicJohn Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
    Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.

  • #2

    by the looks of that trailer I'd say that piece of chain is whats keeping it together hahaha


    • #3
      I can.Where's that easy button.

      Hey that’s pretty cool! It serves a dual purpose the axle won’t get away on ya and you know when you’re pulling a trailer and it hits a bump? Well that chain and spring helps stop the trailer bounce, and takes up some of the shock.

      Hey Dabar39 Remember that guy that came into your shop looking for a job and he said that he had 20 years welding experience and all he did was build trailers! Well I think you found one. Because in all my years I have never seen anything like that, So I’m thinking this must be a signature type trailer.


      • #4
        Thats a first for me also. I built 500 and prob worked on 500 more. I guess everyone is an engineer in their own way...Bob
        Bob Wright


        • #5
          never seen one like that , maybe it`s like a shock or lev spring ?

          Inferno Forge



          • #6
            You said the front of the springs are cut blunt and just held by the clamp,
            maybe when the trailer bounced or was jacked up the spring could slide out of the clamp without the chain keeping the axel from droping to much


            • #7
              i think that is some form of torsion/chain suspension arrangement. groundbreaking design. plus if your tie down breaks on what you are hauling you can take that one of there and put it on your load. brilliant brilliant idea
              hh 187.:
              powcon 300 st
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              miller diversion :


              • #8
                Iron man, That's kinda what I was thinking, but I still can't figure out why anyone would do this. It also appears to me that the chains were added as an after thought, probably after chasing the axle down the highway a time or two.

                I've added another photo and if you look behind the chain, you can see the 3 leaf springs being clamped down in the front spring mount. Also another thing that I noticed is the fact that the rear spring mount does not move, that keeps the spring rigid and it cannot work, add the chains into the mix and there is no reason for the springs as they cant do anything anyways. Dave
                Attached Files
                Last edited by dabar39; 08-11-2007, 08:32 PM.
                If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

                sigpicJohn Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
                Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.


                • #9
                  Army trailer???

                  Looks like it is an old Army trailer! What army? I'm thinking Iraqi....
                  I'm going to build one JUST LIKE THAT, and see if it'll pull my friend's brand new softail
                  I'm not late...
                  I'm just on Hawaiian Time


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dabar39 View Post
                    add the chains into the mix and there is no reason for the springs as they cant do anything anyways. Dave

                    Do ya think the whole arrangement could be some form, or fashion of redneck 'wheelie bars' that come into play when you're racing it on a figure '8' track?

                    "Gone are the days of wooden ships, and Iron men.
                    I doubt we'll see either of their likes again".

                    Circa 1920.
                    Unknown US Coast Guard unit Commander.


                    • #11
                      i gotta agree with Iron man, my brother has a similar design on his little trailer. without the chain and he has had the spring pop out when jacking it for a tire change. i would think the chain was to prevent this if it hit a big bump at high speed. i also think the welded solid part is some thing that was added later on at some point.
                      think of the design without the welded solid part and think military application and it could all make scenes, the military speck trailer would have to meet big bounce requirements without the spring jumping out. adding the chain with the large spring to allow limited spring movement would likely fit the bill.

                      or it could have all been added by some fool with a home welder and no clue.

                      FWIW: my brother has asked me to weld the spring on his to keep it from happening again. i told him it would prevent the spring from being able to work properly, the spring chain would work i think. but if my brother had a welder his would be welded solid now.
                      Last edited by fun4now; 08-12-2007, 04:16 AM.
                      thanks for the help
                      hope i helped
                      feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
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                      • #12
                        Old school boys

                        Its an over load spring.
                        As the load increases the chain tries to get longer and the coil spring resists it.


                        • #13
                          We shouldn't bash it to much... Someone worked very hard to screw that design up as bad as what it is!


                          • #14
                            Poor Boy overlaods, lmao. Well I spent 8 years in the army and I did see some strange stuff. from what I can see from the pics I think that guess about keeping the leaf springs in place is probably accurate. Shackles on the rear that let the springs work are the norm, but I have seen a slipper setup used on small trailers and it is quite common on semi trailers.
                            Lincoln: Eagle 10,000, Weld-Pak HD, Weld-Pak 155, AC-225, LN-25 wirefeeder
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                            1 Harris, 3 Victor O/A rigs
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                            Too many other power toys to list.

                            Do it right, do it once. And in all things ya get what ya pay for.


                            • #15
                              Pretty Close To The Mark

                              You guys are all closer to the mark than you realize. I'll let JYoung and SundownIII add their two cents before I get too persnickety with this, but I ran into LOTS of trailers done this way in my Army days.

                              What you're seeing is a 1/2 Ton trailer that originally ran on 14 inch tires to be pulled behind either a Willys or an M151A2-U utility vehicle (death-on-wheels). All of the Willys (MB) models were phased out just after Vietnam and the Ford/AMU 151 projects were phased out beginning in 1981 (three years after the last one was made in 1979).

                              By the time I came along in the Army in May of 1989, the HMMMV's (okay, HUMVEE for all you civilians and Hummers for you X'ers) were still 2 years off and the lightest thing the Army had was either a Chevy pickup (1500) or a Chevy Blazer (also 1500). As you're all aware, Chevy's run on 16" tire/rim combos and the higher "stance" required a higher trailer. Higher trailers required longer tongues (you'll notice in the very first picture you posted that the tongue has been extended about 24" to 36"). So, to make the trailer higher, most line mech's back then simply cut the spring-hangers away from the body of the trailer and inserted a 3" to 6" square piece of steel tube about 1/4" thick under the spring plate and above the axle....whammo!---instant body-lift for the trailer! However, the higher CG (Center-of-Gravity) required a longer tongue, or your trailer had a tendancy to ride EXTREMELY tongue-light! The answer to this was to move the CG rearward anywhere from 2 to 3 feet (and, for higher vehicles like the "Deuce-&-a-Half" or "5-Ton", it sometimes went up to 48"). So, what happens when you both raise your CG and shift it backwards? That's right: torsion on your axle increases exponentially. Anybody out there remember the early versions of "Torsion Bars" on drag racers in the 50's and 60's? Nope...a little too early for me as well. Well, since my Dad worked on some of Cale Yarborough's and Richard Petty's cars back around 1957 and 1958 just before he joined the Army in 1959, I happen to have seen some old pictures.....those old fella's used CHAINS!!!! That's right: CHAINS!! to decrease torsion-under-load on the axles of their race cars (Dale Sr # 3 was a little young for all that, but his dad started out with dragsters like everybody else back then too......see the movie to understand).

                              So, long-story-short: what you're seeing is an old military trailer, probably for a 10KW or 15KW generator or something similar) that was modified to pull behind a taller vehicle, where blocks were used to raise the bed, straps were used over the blocks to secure the spring-hangers, and chains were used to reduce torsion on the axle to keep the weight of the load from ripping the rear spring-hangers away from the bed of the trailer.

                              Hope this explanation makes everyone happy. And that darned SundownIII better not be laughing his butt off at my explanation either!!!

                              (Especially since he and Jim predate my Army days by about 20 years!
                              Clint Baxley
                              Baxley Welding Service
                              Rembert, SC 29128