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Trailer Coupler Removal

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  • idahoguy
    started a topic Trailer Coupler Removal

    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

  • Missouripipewelder
    replied
    Learn how to weld, get certified to do so, or take it to a pro.... no sense in taking a risk of it not being safe...

    Leave a comment:


  • davesweld
    replied
    Originally posted by davesweld View Post
    Just reading the different post on this issue, might want to keep in mind if you do cut off the old coupler and reweld the new on YOU ARE RESPONCEABLE FOR ANY dammages that may accour from poor welding.

    By cutting off the old one it voids the FACTORY standard of were it was first made even if it from the 1950's

    I have done this type or repair before and yes you will need to weld the coupler on then bolt the jack on, the jack will fail before the coupler will.


    When welding the coupler on you will weld the undersides and across the back by the frame rails (other words FULL PENATRATION)

    Just my opinion take it for what its worth but remember you are liabale for what ever you do on this project.
    Just a note I've been in welding/fabrication for over 20yrs and have built trailers for Haulmark,Pace,Exiss... and built my own custom trailers.

    Leave a comment:


  • davesweld
    replied
    Trailer coupler removal

    Just reading the different post on this issue, might want to keep in mind if you do cut off the old coupler and reweld the new on YOU ARE RESPONCEABLE FOR ANY dammages that may accour from poor welding.

    By cutting off the old one it voids the FACTORY standard of were it was first made even if it from the 1950's

    I have done this type or repair before and yes you will need to weld the coupler on then bolt the jack on, the jack will fail before the coupler will.


    When welding the coupler on you will weld the undersides and across the back by the frame rails (other words FULL PENATRATION)

    Just my opinion take it for what its worth but remember you are liabale for what ever you do on this project.

    Leave a comment:


  • elvis
    replied
    Originally posted by Steve83 View Post
    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.
    Would this be a good candidate for a bolt on coupler? https://www.dropbox.com/s/5cmlgj9dli...2009.59.05.jpg

    Leave a comment:


  • aametalmaster
    replied
    My family has been in the trailer biz for more tha 50 years. The only bolt on ones i have seen were boat trailers with a single tube tongue or an aluminum tongue which my family made also. The trailers my dad and i made were all welded on either the A frame type or the single tube...Bob

    Leave a comment:


  • idahoguy
    replied
    I own several trailers and have looked at many. I have never seen a coupler of this type bolted to a frame. Here's a shot of the type I'm going to use. The difference being mine has no holes in it.

    Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by idahoguy; 04-06-2013, 04:30 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Wow.....

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  • Gmmandan
    replied
    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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  • MMW
    replied
    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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  • cope
    replied
    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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  • cayager
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve83
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • idahoguy
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • BD1
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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