Most of us who trailer our trucks to various events might not think much about the care and upkeep of the trailer we are trusting to transport our truck around the province or in some cases further. Although I keep my trailer maintained and have an annual safety inspection done on it I was caught off guard earlier this week. Now every spring I normally check my tire pressures, condition of the tires, trailer lights, and wheel bearings. At my recent annual inspection everything I mentioned previously was good. But what was pointed out to me was the the links for the springs and the spring bushings were badly worn and needed replacing.
So back home I went to disassemble the suspension of my trailer. Once I had the damaged parts in hand I was able to determine what I needed and decided that since I was taking it apart that I was going to replace all the hardware on both sides of the axle.
Another thing to note is the correct orientation of the springs in relation to the equalizers between the 2 sets of springs. The spring mounting hole should be located above the equalizer mounting hole for proper suspension operation. This was not the case on my trailer and something that I hadn’t really paid attention to in the past.
You will likely find that the hardware is too rusted to simply unbolt it. I don’t have torches at home so I relied on my 4″ angle grinder to cut the nuts off. Remember to wear the appropriate face and hand protection while doing this.
Once all the old parts have been removed it’s time to re assemble the suspension using all the shiny new parts. Leave everything loose until you have it all assembled and tighten the nuts so that everything is pulled together. Don’t over tighten the nuts or the suspension will not move as required. The nuts may have to be tightened and then loosened to pull the knurled part of the bolt into the bracket and have the bolt head sit flat but then you need to back off the nuts slightly.
Now that everything has been changed out this is a good time to inspect your brakes if the trailer is equipped and also check and repack your wheel bearings prior to reinstalling the wheels. By ensuring that your trailer is maintained it will be less likely to leave you and your truck stranded on the side of the road