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Trailer Coupler Removal

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  • Trailer Coupler Removal

    Hi All,

    I am restoring a 1950's 10 ft vintage utility trailer. It was built with a front "A" type frame of 6" box set at 50 degrees. I have to replace the existing welded "A" coupler (a very unusual style) with a new Atwood 2" ball unit. I plan to use 1/8" 7018 Excalibur H4 on my Maxstar to put it together as the wind will be a problem (and I'm too lazy to switch my 251 to FCAW). Two questions:

    1. What is the best strategy for removing the existing coupler without damaging the frame rails? I'm reluctant to torch it for fear of cutting into the rails.

    2. When welding the new unit on, should I weld the inside as well? I don't see that on any of the new trailers I've looked at and I don't know why they don't.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Carbon arc would be my first choice. If you don't have one then a torch. Cut it close & then grind. There is no magic to cut it perfectly so you have no prep. Most couplers on utility trailers are welded on the outside only.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi, a picture would help. Actually , it sounds like one I replaced for neighbor. I only removed what was necessary to install new. I cut off the ball end and the top square knob that would secure ball . I ground down the edges on the sides because they had a slight radius and added flatstock to make up for the difference on the new 2'' coupler. I thru bolted the new one to the existing tongue drilling through the old coupler. Worked great and looked clean.

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      • #4
        Trailer Coupler Removal

        u usually just torch cut most of it then metabo close to the welds then break it off and grind it clean.

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        • #5
          How about using an air hammer, they make different kinds chisels for them. I
          http://autobodytoolmart.com/ir-5-pie...0-p-11490.aspx

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          • #6
            This is beginner 101 questions for removal while installing a coupler is not a beginner job.

            Keep in mind, If the trailer becomes detached from the trailer because of a poorly welded coupler and hits the car that is coming in the opposite direction, It could easily kill the whole family in that car.

            This is one of those things that should be done by a certified welder.

            I understand this is a worse case scenareo but its happened before.

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            • #7
              Whiz wheel and watch how deep you go. I cut gobs of them with a torch when we had the trailer bz going....Bob

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Portable Welder View Post
                This is beginner 101 questions for removal while installing a coupler is not a beginner job.

                Keep in mind, If the trailer becomes detached from the trailer because of a poorly welded coupler and hits the car that is coming in the opposite direction, It could easily kill the whole family in that car.

                This is one of those things that should be done by a certified welder.

                I understand this is a worse case scenareo but its happened before.
                I agree. Don't weld it on just thru bolt it. Local rental trailers by me were all bolted on.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the input. I appreciate the cautionary thoughts. All though I do a lot of equipment maintenance welding and some fabrication, I have not removed a coupler, hence the questions. The trailer is under snow so a picture is not practical. I will likely add 1/8 in backing plates to the inside frame rails and cross-bolt the coupler with grade 8s.

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                  • #10
                    For exactly the same reasons that you started this thread, the replacement coupler should NOT be welded on. Bolt only. Cut/weld/grind the neck of the trailer frame to fit the new coupler & its bolts.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Steve83 View Post
                      the replacement coupler should NOT be welded on. Bolt only.
                      ive never seen an a frame couple bolted on. that would be interesting to see.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cayager View Post
                        ive never seen an a frame couple bolted on. that would be interesting to see.
                        I have, but only on smaller trailers with a single tongue. If welding was an issue, the factories would use bolts.
                        Last edited by cope; 04-06-2013, 05:57 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Without seeing pics but from the description it should be welded. If a-frame couplers were meant to be bolted they would have bolt holes in them. If you don't feel up to it then have someone else weld it on.

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                          • #14
                            4.5 inch grinder with cut off wheels cut it alittle at a time to make sure you don't go to deep. I would do 2 passes on it after it is all cleaned up and if you have any doubts drill 2 holes and run some 1/2 inch grade 8 bolts in each side of the A frame and replace the safety chains with new solid ones.

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                            • #15
                              Wow.....

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