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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    West Central Mountains
    Posts
    29

    Default 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. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    northern NJ
    Posts
    1,825

    Default

    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.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    596

    Default

    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.

  4. #4

    Default 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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    North Central Indiana
    Posts
    782

    Default

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Milan Michigan
    Posts
    1,684

    Default

    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,897

    Cool

    Whiz wheel and watch how deep you go. I cut gobs of them with a torch when we had the trailer bz going....Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    596

    Default

    Quote 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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    West Central Mountains
    Posts
    29

    Default

    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Memphis, TN 38133, USA, Earth, Milky Way
    Posts
    62

    Default

    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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