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CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
2/1/21 8:02 a.m.

You're a bad influence 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/1/21 8:58 a.m.

Hah! What even is that?

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
2/1/21 10:05 a.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

Hah! What even is that?

Back half of one of these 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/1/21 10:41 a.m.

ahh....racking my brain trying to figure out what pickup bed had door latches there with no rear panel! Nice. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/5/21 6:05 p.m.

Not much new to report at the moment as I've been working on some other stuff, but Virginia sent me my assigned VIN plate today, so I installed that. So now I can actually get a title/registration for the trailer when I'm ready to.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/6/21 5:43 p.m.

So one of the goals with this trailer is to be able to carry a motorcycle. I don't actually OWN a motorcycle, but I have a number of friends who have off-road/adventure bikes and at some point we may want to do a road trip to someplace to go adventuring in our respective vehicles (me in the Raider). So, figured I'd make the trailer able to carry a motorcycle. I could probably fit most bikes diagonally, but I'm a fan of things in a trailer being balanced, especially if going long distances.

After a quick consult with Nonack about certain measurements of his largest offroad bike, did a few markups and got to cutting. The goal here will be to have a slot in the front bulkhead of the bed that can be opened to accomodate a bike's front wheel and closed when not. 

Made some measurements, and got cutting

I cut in certain places to use the factory profiles on the sheet metal as part of the new structure. Since I'm cutting apart the two sides, which are part of the support of the bed sidewalls, needed to add in new structure to maintain the rigidity of the bed.  First I cut off the backside of the D-profile at the top fo the bulkhead. You can see here on the left it's already cut off and on the right it's not

Then I cut some 1.5" tubing (same stuff I used on the lower bed rails) and fixed it underneath the lip. Note that the front bulkhead was bent from much abuse during its life, so part of the goal here will be to get everything square again with some claming, hammering, and other types of massaging. I used a large T-square to get it perfectly perpendicular to the bed sides, and then added a triangular brace at the corner to keep it at that angle. 

Then I added a vertical leg just outside the opening I cut, which sits right in the "groove" of the bulkhead profile. This and the top piece were angle-joined and the verical piece welded to the bed and the horizontal piece.

The sheet metal at the top I clamped down and sloppily seam/stitch welded it all the way down, and did the same on the vertical part.


 

The welding looks like crap, but it will get ground down smooth and then further smoothed with body filler anyhow, before I paint this thing. That said, After doing one side, it is VERY strong with no flex at all, so I don't see any issue with having compromised the original structure. Still have to do the other side and then make a cover panel for the opening. 

I also laid down some Bondo on the rear corners to fill in some of those dents and stuff there. Still need to do the sanding, but at least it's close back to the original lines...Bodywork isn't really my thing, so hopefully this won't look too crappy once it's done. 

 

New York Nick
New York Nick Reader
2/6/21 6:34 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

That's nice that they send you a plate like that. NY just gives you the number and you have to stamp it in the frame. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/6/21 6:51 p.m.
New York Nick said:

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

That's nice that they send you a plate like that. NY just gives you the number and you have to stamp it in the frame. 

Also, it's $5 (which includes postage for them to send it to you). Literally the cheapest thing you can buy from DMV lol. 

Stavison
Stavison New Reader
2/7/21 10:03 p.m.

Loved reading through this and can't wait to see more of it. It's giving me bad thoughts of turning the back half of my parts car into a tools/wheels trailer for the rallycross car...

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/8/21 9:08 a.m.

In reply to Stavison :

I bet you'd be the only person in the country with an Accent towing an Accent trailer :)

RichardNZ
RichardNZ Reader
2/9/21 2:41 a.m.

Saw the critter in the photo while in the queue for the ferry home from the "other" island last night and immediately thought of you smiley 

Also note the midget in the enclosed trailer, right next to me was a spec E30 BMW on a trailer and visible in the mirror is a Toyota Racing Series (F3) single seater. Right at the back was a C5 'vette on a trailer with a good selection of stickers and shoe polish numbers on the windows. Must have been a good motor sport weekend down south ...

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/9/21 8:32 a.m.

Sounds like a good ferry ride!

I find it kind of amusing seeing that new Q7 (?) with that kind of trailer, for some reason :)

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/9/21 8:47 p.m.

I'm not sure if it's required or not, but every trailer I've owned has orange side marker lights toward the front end so morons driving next to you at night don't change lanes into the trailer. Required or not, I like safety so decided to install some on this. They look a bit goofy now, but I think they'll blend in better once the trailer is painted (black, of course).

Anyhow, got some 3" round LED clearance lights (with reflectors) off Amazon and drilled some holes

Installed

The bed has access hatches in the back, which makes things easy. 

So anyhow, that's a little something, if nothing all that exciting. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/11/21 7:10 p.m.

So part of my plan for the front area of the trailer where I made the opening for a motorcycle is to have a "brace bar" that bolts on there, also giving me a backstay for our toolchest at race events. I wanted to integrate some big tie-down loops as well, so I did that:

Pretty nifty, eh? Except....I wasn't thinking and put the two on the sides too close together - the tool chest is about 31" wide and I only left 29" clearance. So that was a big mistake. In any case, I ended up cutting the two end ones off and grinding the bar down smooth again. Then I relocated them further out on the bed itself. I had to drill some holes in the outer sheet metal so I could weld them directly to the bracing bar hidden behind it, but worked out ok. 

So you can see that here:

The side loops will be for hooking a strap around the toolchest, and the center loop will hook over the top of the toolchest. Then on the neck of the trailer forward of the basket I added a couple more loops.

In any case, moving along slowly, most of the fun stuff is done for the moment so for a while it's going to be sanding, grinding, and painting....but it's too damn cold to do much of that at the moment. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/15/21 5:35 p.m.

It's been cold and crappy this week, so i cranked up the heater in the garage and did some painting. After wire-wheeling any remaining surface rust, did a full coat of the bed and bed sides with brush-on rustoleum, 2 coats to seal everything good...

Today once that had dried for a couple days I got out the roller and rolled on bedliner over all that, which turned out pretty decent. 

Anyhow, getting there...

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/18/21 9:46 p.m.

So this morning I was woken up at 6am by my wife telling me there were a bunch of police cars out front. I live in a very quiet suburb, with virtually no crime, so one cop is unusual. But there were 5 police cars and a "paddy wagon" van out front, and a disabled Altima in the middle of the street in front of my Sequoia with broken front wheels.

Anyhow, long story short, apparently two non-local individuals, who were apparently very high on something, had been banging off curbs in the ice storm last night, took a wrong turn in my cul-de-sac, and the broken car couldn't make it back up the icy hill. Somoene called in on the suspicious activity, lots of cops came (again, not much crime at 6am on a Thursday in Burke, Va), they were arrested and the car hauled away

However, while the police supervisor (a LT) was there, I asked her to come in my garage and validate my VIN plate and sign off on trailer legality.

So, the trailer is now officially "legal" - or at least now I can get a title/registration for it. Ok, so that's not that exciting but it gave me a chance to tell the story.

--

Separately...so I decided I wanted to get a soft tonneau cover for the trailer to keep weather off our rally gear, etc. DIdn't want to spend a lot since this is a budget project, but since MIghty Maxes are pretty old and unusual these days the only ones available that I could find were pricey (like the bak-flip, etc). I just wanted a cheap Amazon one. So after some research, it turns out that old Ford Ranger and old Chevy S10 pickup beds are similar dimensions to the Max. So I got an S10 one for about a hundred bucks. It's a roll-up with rigid rails, and actually is surprisingly nice quality in terms of materials and fit.

One minor issue is that apparently the S10 bed ISN'T RECTANGULAR! It's actually 2" wider at the front end than at the rear, which is pretty strange, but I had read about that someplace. So while this thing fits the Max bed fine in terms of length, it's actually a bit wide at the front end. It still seals up fine and isn't very noticeable, so hopefully my OCD won't go crazy lol.

So here's the back, which fits perfectly.

And here's the front end, which overhangs by about 1/2" on each side

In any case, I think it will work well....I will have to do a few minor modifications since I don't have a "lip under" at the front end for the clamps it came with, but all in all seems like it should be fine. This is just test-fitted since I still have to paint the tops of the bed rails before I can install it. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/19/21 9:43 p.m.

Painted the upper rails today so I could install the tonneau. Because of the rail misalignment I noted earlier, I could only use the included (kinda cheap) clamps from about midway back. Toward the front I just drilled a couple holes and bolted it down. More secure than the clamps anyhow.

I don't really like the clamps anyhow, so i think I'm going to fab something up that works better.

Whatever, it's installed now and will work fine for my purposes. Not very secure, seeing as the tailgate doesn't have a lock anyhow, but it's not really for securing stuff anyhow, just hiding it from the weather.

I also installed a bunch of small tiedowns in the bed. Though it has the four factory ones at the corners, they're up high and I want low ones. When we load this up with our rally gear (including floor jacks and stuff like that) I want to be able to strap everything down VERY securely.

edwardh80
edwardh80 Reader
2/20/21 8:06 a.m.

Nice work man! Super cool trailer you're building. Did you keep the front cut-out piece (the one for the motorcycle wheel)? Will it be re-fitted for when you're not hauling a bike?

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/20/21 1:13 p.m.

Yeah, I have that piece but will likely use some flat sheet instead, attached to the bolt-on crossbar and with a couple bolts down low, along with some kind of weatherstrip, in order to keep the bed dry inside. I don't expect to haul bikes often, just wanted to give myself the option to do so.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/22/21 6:01 p.m.

Edward will be happy about today's work:

In order to have a cover panel for the motorcycle "notch" in the front I dug out the original metal piece I cut out of there in the first place, because waste not, want not... Since I want the panel to overlap, and it doesn't need to be as tall (due to the square bars top and bottom), I just rotated it. Then cleaned up the edges, and voila, with a few self-tapping screws:

I'll get some foam weatherstripping to make sure it keeps any water out.

Speaking of which, I decided to used bedliner on the entire front of the bed, as well as part of the trailer neck, just to reduce future chipping from rocks and crap kicked up by the tow vehicle. In any case, the front end is more or less "done" other than installing some attachment points for hitch chains.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/24/21 7:45 p.m.

It was 60 degrees today and I was off work, so time to haul the trailer outside and do some sanding and painting and stuff....

Started off by sanding down the 4-5 layers of paint and bondo on the tailgate, then wet-sanded the whole thing and primed it. 

Next order of business (after wet-sanding the sides of the bed) was to paint the lower section below the crease line with some Rustoleum SAND color (same color as used on the Raider roof and rockers, though I slightly tinted that stuff so this is not quite an exact match).

I think you can see what the paint plan is here....

After that, I bolted the hitch onto the Raider to get a look at how level everything is riding and/or what hitch height I'll need to pick up. Keep in mind, this is with the 275 tires on it, and it will have 31s eventually to match the truck, so it will be going up ~1 inch.

All in all, pretty happy with how level everything is. Figure the trailer will drop down a bit once it has a load in it, as well. 

Then spent some time sanding and prepping two of the wheels and gave them the same bronze paint as the ones on the Raider.

After that, I finally got around to wiring up all the trailer wiring on the Raider, which I hadn't done yet since wiring outside when it's cold SUCKS. In any case, that's done...though might want to shorten up the lead a bit.

In any case, tested all the lighting and everything works, including reverse and license place lights. So, pretty happy about that. Man, those reverse lights are yellow....will need to get some LEDs in there.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/25/21 6:52 p.m.

 Ordered some tires for this thing today, since it's getting close to being able to get on the road!

Also got out the vinyl cutter and made some stripes to match the Raider...

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/26/21 7:29 p.m.

Got going on the first couple coats of black on the trailer today. Just did foam roller, so right now it looks pretty meh. Plan is to wet sand it now, then do another couple coats, wet sand again, and hit it with some compound on my orbital. Just to be clear - the goal here is NOT for it to look "awesome" in terms of paint, but more to try out some things since at some point I want to repaint the Raider on the cheap as well, so I want to see if doing it roll-on will actually come out reasonably ok. And if it doesn't, who cares, it's a trailer and it will always be dirty so nobody will notice anyhow lol. 

Please ignore the messed up pinstripe down at the bottom. Because I'm an idiot I did those before I masked everything and of course part of one peeled up. doh.

Also pulled the front basket off and painted it, since I have two cans of this "sand" spraypaint and what the hell else am I going to use it for? Also, that basket was sitting outside for a couple years so it was kind of rusty anyhow, figured the sand might look better than black, and it kind of aligns on the same plane as the sand colored part on the bed.

 

New York Nick
New York Nick Reader
2/26/21 7:44 p.m.

This is totally awesome. You have done a great job in this project from start to finish!

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/26/21 8:15 p.m.
New York Nick said:

This is totally awesome. You have done a great job in this project from start to finish!

thanks. lots of spare time sitting at home these days and it beats home improvement projects lol. Also a lot cheaper than buying yet another old car project haha. 

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