Trailer Refurbishment: 1992 E-Z-LOADER

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
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Trailer Refurbishment: 1992 E-Z-LOADER

Postby jimh » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:29 pm

PART ONE: A new surge brake coupler

My 1990 Boston Whaler REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive boat has been sitting on a 1992 E-Z-LOADER boat trailer for most of its life. The boat is not kept in the water, except for periods of perhaps a week or two when we are en route on long boating cruises. In 2017 the trailer was 25-years-old. The trailer gets frequent use on the highway, and has probably been towed perhaps 20,000-miles since I have owned it for the last 15 years or so.

The trailer was equipped by the OEM with a DICO Model 6 surge brake actuator, which uses a 2-5/16-inch-diameter ball coupler. The actuator is now made by TITAN and is called the TITAN DICO Model 6. The ratings are given in the owner's manual:

    "8,000 POUNDS MAXIMUM GROSS LOAD with 2 5/16" bolt-on coupler

    "800 POUND MAXIMUM TONGUE LOAD with 2 5/16" bolt-on coupler...This is the weight applied downward by the fully loaded trailer's coupler on the tow vehicle's hitch. Measure your trailer's Tongue Load with the tongue in a horizontal towing position, using a commercial scale. Upward tongue loads are not permissible.

    "The Model 6 actuator is intended for use with recreational trailers subject to more frequent use, light utility trailers, and light occasional-use industrial trailers, which are towed by passenger cars and pickups. The actual in-service rating is limited to that of the ball and hitch being used or the trailer manufacturer's G.V.W.R.shown on the certification label, whichever is lower."

In addition to those specifications, the manual also specifies the rated service life:

    "Surge actuators of this type provide a service life of approximately five years with proper installation, usage, and maintenance. However, a well cared-for actuator can often exceed this estimate."

It so happened that in the summer of 2017 I was reading the owner's manual and came across that statement of service life. Since my coupler was now at five-times the suggested service life for a coupler of this type, I decided it should be replaced. In addition to the motivation from reading the manual, I had noticed that the shock absorber in the coupler that cushions the movement of the coupler was worn out, and, at the least, the coupler would need to be disassembled and the shock absorber replaced. Because the cost of a entire new coupler was not excessive--about $225--I decided I would just replace the coupler assembly as a whole rather try rebuild parts of it.

After shopping for a replacement coupler, I found an on-line vendor who listed the TITAN DICO Model 6 coupler with 2-5/16-inch ball hitch and DRUM BRAKE master cylinder at a reasonable price, and I placed an order with them. The online vendor was ETRAILER.COM. It was easy to order from the webstore, and the coupler arrived several days later.

As I was busy with work for several days, it took me a while before I got around to opening the shipping box. My first surprise was the weight of this coupler--it is made of heavy steel and has substantial weight. But a further big surprise awaited: affixed to the coupler was a stick-on label that advised rather clearly: COUPLER FOR USE ONLY WITH DISC BRAKES. I quickly double-checked my order and all associated paperwork; everything specified DRUM BRAKES. It was clear that ETRAILER had sent the wrong coupler in response to my order.

I called ETRAILER and spoke with a nice young woman who arranged for me to send back the DISC BRAKE coupler (at their expense) while cross-shipping me a replacement coupler for DRUM BRAKES. This took another week or so to complete.

Eventually I received a replacement coupler. However, it looked suspiciously like the first one, except where I was expecting to see a label declaring the new coupler to be FOR DRUM BRAKES ONLY, there was nothing, except perhaps a hint of adhesive residue. I was very curious to know how I could definitively identify this second coupler as being the proper one for drum brakes, and not another disc brake model.

To get advice, I called TITAN DICO, and with some great luck, I got to speak to Lon Hatfield, who is a production engineer that is completely familiar with the Model 6 coupler and its two variations, one for disc brakes and one for drum brakes. He told me:

    --there is no identifying part number on the assembly

    --only way to identify DISC from DRUM is by measuring depth at the master cylinder fitting outlet as follows:

    --if only abut 1.5-inch depth then unit is DRUM

    --if about 3-inch depth then unit is DISC

He also told me that in the field one could modify a DRUM unit to become a DISC unit but in the field a DISC unit cannot be returned to a DRUM unit configuration.

Using a 1/8-inch drill bit as depth gauge, I measured the depth inside the master cylinder and discovered that coupler #2 that I had on hand was indeed another DISC BRAKE ONLY model.

I again followed up with ETRAILER, speaking again to a polite young woman in customer service, who again apologized for the error, and again wanted me to return the coupler to them at their cost. However, before shipping me another coupler, she was going to investigate further into why the shipping department was sending the wrong coupler to me, and she'd call me back in a day or two.

While waiting for ETRAILER to call back, I spoke again with Lon at TITAN DICO. He was extremely helpful. He offered to send me the master cylinder part for drum brakes, which he indicated I would easily swap out for the disc brake master cylinder now on my coupler. That seemed like an interesting option, as it would give me an option in the future of converting to disc brakes, if I ever got around to re-fitting all the trailer brakes.

ETRAILER called me back a day or two later and informed me that their present inventory contained not a single drum brake model coupler, and they proposed to remedy the whole problem by just refunding my purchase price and having me return the disc brake coupler I now had.

At this point I decided to take up the generous offer from Lon at TITAN DICO, and I told ETRAILER I would keep the coupler I had now, and we'd call it a done deal. I then called Lon back and asked him to send me the drum brake master cylinder, and thanked him for his kind offer.

About this time in 2017 it was time to go boating--25-year-old coupler on the trailer or not--so the whole trailer coupler project was put on the shelf for a while. I did receive the replacement master cylinder assembly from TITAN DICO a few days later. Later in the summer, I got around to refitting the new master cylinder onto the new coupler.

The master cylinder assembly bolts onto the main coupler frame with four screws. There are holes in the main frame and the screws thread into the master cylinder assembly. But there was a problem: the holes on the new master cylinder were not tapped. Time to call Lon for more advice.

My initial thought was that the holes were tapped at some point in the assembly process, and the part I had been sent was not completely finished. Lon explained that was wrong, and the mounting bolts were very special bolts that would cut their own threads into the 1/4-inch steel of the assembly. I was quite skeptical that I could do this, but Lon assured me it would work. He was right; with some careful alignment and a big wrench, I was able to use the special self-tapping machine screws, and I installed the new master cylinder assembly onto the coupler.

Very late in the summer, I finally got around to installing the new TITAN DICO Model 6 coupler onto my 1992 trailer. The coupler installation was quite simple; the old coupler came off with several large mounting bolts, and the new coupler, an identical replacement, was bolted on. The coupler was filled with brake fluid and the brake system bled of air. All seemed ready to go. All of this work was done on the trailer while the boat was off the trailer and the trailer was unhitched from the tow vehicle.

As part of my general trailer refurbishment, I had also purchased a new 2-5/16-inch ball mount. The old coupler had been gouging up the old ball mount, so I wanted a fresh and smooth ball mount to mate with the new coupler. I backed up the trailer and dropped the coupler onto the ball. It was then I discovered another problem: the new DICO Model 6 hitch would not close and lock on my new 2-5/16-inch ball. Time to call Lon again.

In conversation with Lon, I explained the problem: the locking mechanism of the coupler was just not engaging properly. Something was out of tolerance, and I did not think it was the hitch ball. Lon informed me that there was a possibility of some mechanical tolerances being off on my coupler, and offered to send me a coupler lock rebuild kit that I could install. Okay, I figured, I had already replaced the master cylinder on this new coupler--why not rebuild the hitch lock mechanism, too? Lon allowed that it would be about three weeks before he had the necessary replacement kit to send me--I got the impression they were probably a little short on these parts as perhaps they had to make up a lot of them. He warned me not to use the coupler in an unlocked condition. Since I only had to tow the boat at 10-MPH for less than a mile to the launch ramp, I ignored him. The coupler typically has about 400-lbs of tongue weight, and I could drive very slowly to the ramp.

About three weeks later the coupler lock repair kit arrived. Yikes--this was going to be another problem to install. I needed to drill out some big rivets, replace several parts, and then rivet them back together. I don't exactly have a rivet setting tool that could handle these big steel rivets. I had to call Lon for more advice. He allowed that if I wanted to avoid the rivets I could use high-strength bolts in place of them.

In the end, one rivet could be installed with the lock assembly not yet on the coupler. By using a huge granite rock in my backyard--probably several thousand pounds--as a base, and holding the rivet head against it, I was able to flatten the other side of the rivet with a hammer in a reasonably decent fashion. The second rivet would have to be installed with the lock mechanism in place on the coupler. For that rivet I chose to substitute a hardened bolt. A hardware store grade-7 bolt was found and fitted. The lock mechanism was fixed.

This is part-one of my saga of trailer refurbishment. It took most all of the summer of 2017 to get that original coupler replaced. It took a lot more work and effort on my part to accomplish it than I had anticipated: I had to send back one coupler, replace the master cylinder on the second coupler, then replace the ball hitch lock mechanism on the second coupler. I have more stories to tell about the trailer, and I will add them to this thread later.

I don't mean to condemn ETRAILER. They tried their best to send me the right coupler. It appeared they just did not have the proper one in stock and their inventory and shipping controls were a bit loose. I am extremely grateful that the first coupler they sent had that big warning label on it about ONLY FOR DISC BRAKES, as without that I would have been off on the totally wrong road, using an inappropriate coupler.

I can't say enough good things about Lon at TITAN DICO, as he was a great help, and sent me all the stuff I needed at no charge. However, the whole process seemed to be unusually complicated and difficult. If I had known all this was awaiting me, I think I would have ordered a different coupler from a different vendor.

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Re: Trailer Refurbishment: 1992 E-Z-LOADER

Postby jimh » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:13 am

Continuing the saga of my trailer refurbishment:

PART TWO: Finding the brake system leak

By the fall of 2017 I had the new TITAN DICO Model 6 coupler installed on the trailer. All the problems I described above were resolved. At the end of the boating season, I towed the boat and trailer home to the Detroit area, a drive of about 270-miles. Most of the drive is on low-traffic two-lane roads or on interstate highways, so there was very little use of the trailer brakes. The last five miles of the drive were in rush-hour traffic on a major surface street that was undergoing repairs and had reduced from four lanes to two lanes. There was a lot of stop-and-go movement. The last mile of the drive I noticed the trailer was behaving oddly, as if the brakes were not working. When I finally got to the house, I checked the brake fluid level in the surge brake actuator: it was empty. I added more fluid.

Because the boat was only going into storage, I decided to leave investigation into the cause of the brake fluid loss for next year, and I put the boat and trailer away for eight months.

In May 2018, I got the boat out of storage and brought it home. On the drive home from the storage location, the trailer brakes seemed to still be working, and the brake actuator still had fluid in it. I concluded the leak was probably a slow leak. Because investigating the trailer brake system is difficult with the boat on the trailer, I decided to just tow the boat back up north, even with the somewhat leaky brake system. We stopped at several rest areas and topped off the brake fluid, and we drove very carefully, cognizant that the brakes were not working 100-percent.

With about 20-miles to go, I again noticed that the trailer brakes were not working at all. I pulled over and made a visual inspection of the brake system, as best I could with the boat still on the trailer. There were indications of some fluid leaking on the left side of the trailer, particularly on the left rear wheel area. We continued on to our northern destination, and left the boat and trailer there.

To make this story a bit shorter, I will condense events. I ordered a replacement drum brake assembly for a left wheel, and installed in on the left rear trailer wheel, the one that look suspicious with fluid spills on it. I then tried to bleed the brake system, and found I could not remove the air. At this point I was quite frustrated, tired, and rather dirty. Working on trailer wheels, bearings, brakes, and so on is a ugly job. More than ten years ago I had refurbished all the brakes on this trailer myself, but, as I discovered, ten years later I was getting just too damn old for this kind of work. I decided to let a real mechanic figure out the problem.

The problem with solving the brake problem with a mechanic was how to get the boat off the trailer so I could just take the trailer to the mechanic's shop, without the boat on it. I found the solution in Leland, Michigan. There is a great little auto repair shop located just one block from the boat ramp. We hauled the boat over to Leland, launched the boat off the trailer, and towed the trailer to Van's Garage. While they'd be working on the trailer, we could go boating out of Leland.

The only snafu in this plan was the particular day we did this. The repair shop works by appointment, and the day of our appointment Lake Michigan was uncooperative. It was blowing about 15 to 20-knots from the Northwest, and the lake was quite rough. We did take the boat out for about 30-minutes to see if we could have any sort of pleasant boating in these conditions. There was only one other boat in sight, a rather large express cruiser, about 35-feet, that was apparently a charter fishing boat out trolling for salmon and lake trout. We had just reached about a mile offshore when we saw the 35-footer haul up his fishing gear and head back to the marina. I figured if it was too rough for a 35-footer, it was too rough for us, and we headed back, too.

Due to the rough weather, the marina was completely full, and no boats were planning on leaving. In fact, a couple of larger boats were in route to arrive. The harbormaster was totally cooperative and found us a spot to tie up for a few hours, where we could wait for the trailer repairs. We nestled in under the rather impressive bow of a huge Nordhavn trawler, and took it easy for a few hours.

About 1 p.m. the mechanic at Van's Garage had fixed the brakes--the real problem was a small crack in one of the brake lines on the left front wheel. When towing, the air stream must have been blowing the brake fluid back onto the left rear wheel area, where I had misdiagnosed the cause.

I was a bit apprehensive about using Van's Garage as a repair shop. If you haven't been to Leland, you should know that the per-capita income of its summer residents is probably in the millions-of-dollars range. It is a very upscale little community. One of the assistant harbormasters told me that Van's did good work, and they mostly worked on classic older automobiles--the sort of cars you see getting driven around a northern resort town in the summer, like old MG's or Morgans. But that they did good work, and were often working on boat trailers.

I drove the Suburban over to Van's to retrieve the trailer and pay the bill. I was quite surprised when the cashier gave me the total--$77. That was about $17 in parts, $55 in labor, and some taxes. I could not have been more pleased. The trailer brakes were fixed.

But the story is not quite finished. I will add part three in a little bit.

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Replacement Trailer Winch

Postby jimh » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:08 pm

Picking up my long saga about refurbishing my boat trailer, a 1992 E-Z-LOADER.

PART THREE: A new winch

The trailer winch is, I presume, the one that came with the trailer when new in 1992. The winch was a Fulton two-speed winch, rated 2,600-lbs, and was model number 2625. This summer I noticed that the winch strap was showing some signs of wear and decay in the the last one-foot of the strap that connect to the metal hook. I made a note of that and thought about replacing the strap. That thought was lost, and the action of replacing the strap was not completed before I left on a major highway trailer trip.

About a month later, I was loading my REVENGE 22 W-T Whaler Drive boat onto the trailer in Little Current, Ontario, on Manitoulin Island in northern Lake Huron, at the very nice launching ramp at SPIDER BAY MARINA at the end of a delightful week of cruising up there. When loading my boat, the last one-foot of forward movement is always the most difficult because by that time almost all of the boat hull is out of the water, and there are minimal buoyant forces lifting the boat off the trailer bunks. (My trailer has keel rollers on the forward part of the trailer and bunks at the rear.) Pulling the last one-foot of forward travel often requires me to shift to the lower-gear of the winch, and give the winch about one turn of the crank. Loading that day was no different, except as I added tension to the winch strap to pull the boat the last few inches, the strap calmly and nicely ripped itself in two.

This 3-inch wide winch strap failed after about 25-years in service.
failedWinchStrap.jpg (32.51 KiB) Viewed 4977 times

I managed to work around that failure by just tying the remnant of the strap onto the bow eye and augmenting the winch pull with some engine thrust. We got the boat on the trailer, and headed to home, 390-miles away. About two weeks later I got around to investigating the winch strap problem.

My initial thought was to just replace the strap. The drum on the OEM winch was sized for a 3-inch wide strap. I called several boat shops in the area to see if they had a 3-inch strap in stock, but none had one. I looked at buying one on-line, and found that a typical 3-inch wide strap was about $45.

A further problem was getting those two half-hitches I had tied in the old winch strap off the bow eye. That knot had really tightened under the tension of the winch strap. It took a few minutes to get it loose. I then spooled off the old strap from the winch drum. I discovered that the winch drum was rusted, and, most surprising, the attachment of the bitter end of the winch strap to the drum was rather haphazard. There should have been a special bolt and spacer to hold the loop sewn into the end of the strap, but instead the strap had been folded over and threaded through some holes in the drum which were really intended for wire rope cable. At this point I decided to just replace the whole winch.

I called a retailer that specializes in boat trailer hardware (, and he told me that boat trailer winches have gone mostly to a 2-inch strap. After some further consultation about what brands and models of winch were available from this retailer at what prices, I ended up ordering a new winch. I chose a Dutton-Lainson DL3200A, two-speed 3,200-lbs rating, with included 2-inch strap. This winch was about $50 less than a 2600-lbs-rated Fulton model, and the Fulton did not include the strap. The Dutton-Lainson winch was about $100, and shipping added $23.

The new winch arrived, and a few days later I got around to installing it. The mounting plate of the winch and the plate on the trailer both had several hole patterns, and there was no problem finding a set of three on the new winch that matched the old arrangement. I reused the old bolts and the elastic stop nuts. I know that elastic stop nuts are supposed to be a one-time use item, but at that point I was a long distance from a hardware store. One re-threading every 25-years should not be too much re-use, or so I figured.

In using the new winch I must say I am very happy with the 2-inch strap. WIth the old winch the 3-inch strap was always getting one edge folded over as it came onto the drum. The 2-inch strap does not have this same tendency and spools onto the drum very evenly.

The ratchet gear selector on the Dutton-Lainson winch does not have a detent for a no-ratchet setting, but you can position it midway between forward ratchet and reverse ratchet to allow you to unspool the strap from the drum without the friction and noise of the ratchet to be overcome or heard.

The Dutton-Lainson winch is unusual in having a removable handle. This is necessary because the handle is moved between two input shafts to select the speed ratio desired. This design is a bit different than many two-speed winches. The removable handle is also not completely locked in place on the shaft, so I tend to remove it and stow it in the truck when towing. This also reduces theft, which seems to be a possible problem with D-L winches if you leave your trailer unattended at a popular launch ramp with many other boaters. Many years ago I had another D-L winch on another trailer. The handle disappeared mysteriously while the boat trailer was left unattended for a few minutes while we moved the boat from the launch area to the adjacent courtesy dock. The retailer also told me that in his opinion the loss of a D-L winch handle was more likely due to theft than to it coming loose from the shaft by itself.


Check how the winch strap on your trailer winch is secured at the bitter end.

Examine the strap, particularly at the working end, for signs of fatigue or decay from exposure to sun.

Examine the winch drum for rust and corrosion.

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Re: Replacement Trailer Winch

Postby Sebastian » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:24 pm

Good reminder to keep an eye out for these typical maintenance checks.

I had a similar experience with my winch strap, it did not break, it just needed to be replaced. I also ended replacing the entire winch assembly. Once I took the original strap off to replace, my winch was rusted out and I decided to swap out the unit. I did that about 4 years ago. At the time my boat and trailer were stored in my garage. For the last year I have had the boat stored outside and the strap already looks like it needs replacing!

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Re: Replacement Trailer Winch

Postby Tom Hemphill » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:46 pm

Thank you for describing your experience and offering advice based upon it. The tongue jack for my boat trailer was made by Dutton-Lainson Company of Hastings, Nebraska, and it has given me great service. It was old when I got it 25 years ago and it still working well.

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Re: Replacement Tongue Jack, Fenders, Tires, etc.

Postby jimh » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:37 pm

TOM--I have new tongue jack on the trailer, too. The old one fell off while heading south on Interstate-75 several years ago. I needed a replacement in a hurry so I got one at the local West Marine store. I don't remember the brand.

Also relatively new on the trailer are the fenders. For several years I was fighting a crack in one of the fenders. The crack would just not stop growing. The fender was getting close to being a hazard to the trailer tires. I invested about $400 in new fenders; problem with the crack was solved. I got the OEM fenders through my local dealer, and at a good price, too.

To summarize the refurbishments to the 1992 trailer in the past few years and the expenses (in parenthesis):

  • new fenders ($400)
  • new tongue jack ($80)
  • new winch ($125)
  • new brake assemblies all four wheels ($200), and then two more new brake assemblies ($100)
  • new surge brake actuator ($250)
  • partial replacement of brake lines ($80)
Total: $ 1,235, with a most of labor supplied by me for free.

Improvements also made but not in the recent past include:
  • tall PVC pipe guides ($200)
  • conversion to 7-pole trailer plug wiring ($100)
  • replacement of trailer brake-turn lamps ($50)
  • 10 new tires over past ten years ($700)
  • new keel rollers, brackets, trailer bow stop rollers, etc. ($500)

Total: $1,550.

Grand total: $2,785.

I have not priced a new trailer, but I would expect that the cost would be at least $4,000 and perhaps closer to $5,000.

ASIDE: for more about the 7-pole trailer wiring, see my recent article on that topic in SMALL BOAT ELECTRICAL.

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Re: Ratings for Winch, Strap, Hook

Postby jimh » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:13 pm

This is a excerpt from the Dutton-Lainson owner's manual for the DL3200A winch:

WINCH MOUNTING AND CABLE ATTACHMENT – For maximum strength and safety, (and compliance with SAE Standard J1853) this winch should be mounted with three 3/8-inch or M10 bolts, washers, and lock washers. (Use grade 5 or 8 for DL2500A, 2500AB, DL3200A & 3200AB). See parts drawing.

Select a winch line with breaking strength at least 1-1/2 times the winch rating and a hook 1-1/2 times stronger than the line.

If the winch is rated at 3,200-lbs, then the winch line would need to be rated 4,800-lbs and the hook rated at 7,200-lbs to comply with those requirements or recommendations. Since the winch line (the strap) and the hook were supplied as part of a Dutton-Lainson winch part number, I am assuming those ratings were used in selecting the strap and hook.

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Re: Trailer Refurbishment: 1992 E-Z-LOADER

Postby Dutchman » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:02 pm

Great useful info as always.
Thanks Jim
"Clumsy Cleat"look up what it means
50th edition 2008 Montauk 150, w/60HP Mercury Bigfoot

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Re: Trailer Refurbishment: 1992 E-Z-LOADER

Postby floater » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:30 pm

Great write up. I too need to upgrade my 1996 trailer. I'm looking at going to disk brake as i'm going to be replacing the actuator as well.

When my winch failed two years ago a member here suggested I install a turnbuckle as a back up to a failed winch or strap.

Did you do the same?

When my winch failed the hull bounced up and down and split the bow stop and put a one inch hole into my hull.

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Re: Trailer Refurbishment: 1992 E-Z-LOADER

Postby Jefecinco » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:01 am

I have seen several large boats on tandem and triple axle trailers using a solid rod with hook turnbuckle as a bow hold down. Once the winch has secured the bow in the bow stop the turnbuckle hook is placed in the bow eye and tightened as needed.

Because Boston Whaler outer hulls are relatively thin I would be cautious when tightening the turnbuckle rod. I don't believe one would be useful for moving the boat forward to the bow stop if a winch or winch strap failed. An inexpensive come-along may be a useful tool in your tow vehicle if your trailer has an older winch and/or winch strap.

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Re: Trailer Refurbishment: 1992 E-Z-LOADER

Postby floater » Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:25 pm

I only use the turnbuckle as a back up against a failed strap or winch. It's worked great these past two years. Once the boat is winched up and the safety chain attached to the bow eye I fasten the turnbuckle and only turn it hand tight. No extra pressure on the eye this way

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Re: Trailer Refurbishment: 1992 E-Z-LOADER

Postby Oldslowandugly » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:49 pm

Great info Jim. A lot of good lessons to be learned here.

When ordering new equipment I make sure to immediately inspect for completeness and correctness. Lots of mistakes occur and waiting too long can cause more problems.

My trailer is only used twice a year to launch and recover. I remove the tires and winch strap to store them out of the Sun, rain, and snow. I deflate tires until needed. This way they stay in good condition.

A wet strap rusts the winch drum.

I also use a turnbuckle to the winch stand and a safety chain to the trailer frame both hooked on the bow eye. The chain will keep the boat from ramming forward in an accident situation. Having dropped a boat on the ground once I also use a couple of two inch ratcheting straps over the hull midway and near the stern. I hook them to eye bolts I added to the frame. This is in addition to stern straps. I figure even if the trailer tips over the boat will stay put.

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Re: Trailer Refurbishment: 1992 E-Z-LOADER

Postby jimh » Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:47 am

With my boat and trailer, once the boat is loaded onto the trailer with the pulling winch, that winch and its strap remain in tension. A safety chain is then attached to the boat bow eye. A second strap is attached to the bow eye, passed around and under the trailer tongue beam, and the other end attached to the bow eye; that strap is tensioned and locked in place.

The strap to the pulling winch leads slightly upward and exerts a small upward or lifting component to the pull on the bow eye. The additional or second strap pulls downward on the boweye. With two straps exerting forward, upward, and downward tension, the bow stem is solidly locked in place at rest against the dual bow stop rollers of the winch post. The pulling winch strap is lead between those dual bow stop rollers.

No turnbuckle is used on my trailer.

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Re: Trailer Refurbishment: 1992 E-Z-LOADER

Postby jimh » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:32 am

Part 4: the Spare Tire Mount
I loaded the boat on the trailer on Saturday, as the weather looked like it would not be particularly encouraging for boating on Sunday.

On Sunday I was working on the boat, getting it ready for the 265-mile highway haul to the South. I checked the spare tire mounted on the trailer. It was somewhat loose on the mount, and further inspection revealed that one of the two studs that hold the spare to the mount had fractured. By this time it was 4 p.m. on Sunday, and the local hardware store had closed.

I carry an assortment of large bolts, washers, and nuts, and among them I found enough hardware to restore the spare tire mount, not exactly as it was but sufficient for one trip on smooth interstate highway.

Thus I will add another item to my list of checks for a boat trailer:

—inspect the spare tire mounting for any loose fasteners; if any loose fasteners are found then inspect them carefully for signs of wear created from the spare tire wheel working on the loose fastener;

—replace any fasteners that show any wear or fatigue;

—securely tighten all fasteners--but don't over-tighten as this can actually weaken them;

—inspect spare tire for damage, and check inflation; if ambient temperature is hot, inflate to maximum permitted pressure; if ambient temperature is below 50-degrees-F inflate about 4-PSI below maximum to allow for the pressure to increase with heat;

—carry spare fasteners with you so you can make repairs anywhere.

We will be heading home today, October 1, and the spare tire mount will be carefully checked every time we stop at a rest area.

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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula

Re: Trailer Refurbishment: 1992 E-Z-LOADER

Postby jimh » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:33 pm

To follow-up on the spare tire mount: once we got home with the trailer, I redid the spare tire mounting bolts with new bolts, elastic stop nuts, and lug nuts. My local hardware store has quite an impressive collection of nuts and bolts in small drawers, and finding just the right ones took quite a bit of searching. The bolts on the spare tire mount have the much finer thread as used on tire studs, and they are hard to find on regular nuts and bolts. After about $10 of new hardware, the spare tire mount is again solid and strong.