Springs to torsion tandem boat trailer - 2CoolFishing
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Old 01-25-2021, 07:09 PM   #1
Jonboater
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Springs to torsion tandem boat trailer

Hello! I need a little advice from someone more experienced then me. Long story short I am thinking of swapping to torsion axels. What is the deal with the starting angle? Is there a norm I should be looking for to do a conversion? Or is it a lot more complicated then that. The ones I am looking at are 30 degree. That seems right but IDK.

Thanks!
James
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Old 01-25-2021, 07:37 PM   #2
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Go to McClain Trailer in Houston and talk to Zane, he'll get you fixed up and ready to roll
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:26 PM   #3
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SGREM will know.
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:01 PM   #4
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There is an acceptable range from the manufacturer. McClain or the manufacturer can advise. If it looks reasonable it probably is. Although for heavier boats you may want a lil more. Light boats a lil less. Inside that trailer arm are some heavy duty round rubber pieces that twist to act as suspension going down the road. The ground clearance difference from one extreme to the other is not much. It is mostly the twist range that matters. Make sure your fenders have clearance on torsion compression. Looks like this.
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dk2429 View Post
Go to McClain Trailer in Houston and talk to Zane, he'll get you fixed up and ready to roll
Thanks! I had actually got a quote from them initially for a new trailer but decided for what a new one cost I have a lot to work with on the one I have. I may hit them up again for this as well.
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Old 01-25-2021, 10:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sgrem View Post
There is an acceptable range from the manufacturer. McClain or the manufacturer can advise. If it looks reasonable it probably is. Although for heavier boats you may want a lil more. Light boats a lil less. Inside that trailer arm are some heavy duty round rubber pieces that twist to act as suspension going down the road. The ground clearance difference from one extreme to the other is not much. It is mostly the twist range that matters. Make sure your fenders have clearance on torsion compression. Looks like this.
Thank you! The axles I am looking at do not have the removable/adjustable arm like your pictures. They just have the set 30-degrees. The spindles are replaceable just not the entire arms. My boat should be between 4,000 and 5,000 so should be a medium load for a couple 3,500lb axles I would guess?

My current axles are actually in good shape. My problem is they don't have brake flanges. Florida boat... This isn't really a big deal right now as my truck stops it very well. I just know at one point I need to correct this to be legal and safe.

My second issue has to do with the fender mounts. These are built into the spring slides. They don't have any strength to them at all so the fenders basically flop around. They have gotten pretty misshapen over the years. I'm not sure I can put beefier fender mounts without changing or removing the slides. So that is kind of where I'm at. Torsion axles (no more spring slides), new fenders and new aluminum step mounts.

IDK maybe if I can figure out how to better mount new fenders I may leave the axles for the next owner and just buy a new one in a couple years.
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Old 01-25-2021, 11:11 PM   #7
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Look at my middle picture above. I use full cross beam all the way across to mount the fenders. Rock solid and they never move. At all. It is the best way to mount them. All other methods will vibrate over time and crack the fenders. Having said that fender mounts/side steps are readily available and easy. But your fenders will eventually crack and need replacing.

Brake hubs are a PITA....but necessary for heavier loads.
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Old 01-25-2021, 11:21 PM   #8
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Whats the advantage of a torsion axle?
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Old 01-25-2021, 11:42 PM   #9
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Much smoother for your boat and tow vehicle. Its like independent suspension vs solid axle on your vehicle.

Also spring steel cannot be galvanized so will rust immediately and stay rusted until fatigue flattens the springs until eventual failure.

Less parts and pieces with two torsion axles mounted to a trailer frame. Vs two spring axles, with u bolts to axle pads, to shackles, to springs, to equalizers, to spring hangers, to u bolts, the the frame. All of those parts wear and rust and potential for failure and never ending squeaks..

Advantage to a spring hanger and axle slider is it can be moved for better weight distribution. Usually want 7% to 14% tongue weight. Axle slider allows you to dial that in. Can still do that with a torsion axle but it has to be bolted so really need to get this right the first time or you will have a lot of holes in your frame as well as having to move your fenders. Etc.

In the last 15 years I have worked on 2 spring axle set ups. Everyone goes to torsions.... its better. By a lot.
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sgrem View Post
Look at my middle picture above. I use full cross beam all the way across to mount the fenders. Rock solid and they never move. At all. It is the best way to mount them. All other methods will vibrate over time and crack the fenders. Having said that fender mounts/side steps are readily available and easy. But your fenders will eventually crack and need replacing.

Brake hubs are a PITA....but necessary for heavier loads.
Man that is an awesome tip, I will definitely see if I can use cross members for the fender mounts. I might even be able to rig with the sliders in place.
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