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Discussion Starter #1
So my previous post about the Mitzi on the huge trailer can be dismissed. I bought a Dragonfly Marsh Hen, and have some "concerns" over the trailer.

First concern was the amount of rust on the leaf springs.
Looks like plenty of solid metal left, but how long do I have until they should be replaced?
(And how do I shop for new ones)


Secondly, the hub and lug nuts are also pretty rusty.
Same questioning applies. Should I disassemble and inspect?


Lastly is the uneven wear pattern on the tires.
The 2nd and 4th columns of tread are "significantly" more worn than the other 3.


The boat was only towed long enough to get it from the previous owner's house to my own. I'd like to be sure it is roadtrip worthy before planning my first outings.
Thanks guys.
 

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The springs look like they'll probably be ok for another half season or so to me. If I were digging into it, I'd probably replace them though just so I don't have to do it later. I'd definitely pull the hubs and replace bearings if you don't know their history. I'd probably replace those tires and lug nuts too. Get some PB Blaster and an impact wrench and none of this should be a problem.
 

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Fly-By-Night
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To me they don't look all that bad, like @SomaliPirate said, I'd change them when you get a good opportunity. In the mean time, I would spray the nuts with PB and keep a spare tire/rim/hub with me in case you have an issue before you're ready to work on it.

You may want to also look at the spring shackle bolts, I can't see them from the pics but they can fail prior to the springs because the water / salt stays in the bushing/sleeve part.

Where's the boat pics!?!?
 

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I use a local trailer shop for parts or TA Mahoney if I'm down in Tampa. There are plenty of places online but they'll probably hit you pretty hard for shipping springs and hubs and whatnot.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. Used to doing my own auto/home work, so assumed I could do this too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Agreed @yobata
I think it is a hydrodip or something. It has a cool fish skeleton pattern on it, but it is only the surface, which gets rubbed off. Imagine that, haha.

And thank you @LowHydrogen
I'll probably bring the trailer by a local shop, see what they say, then do some Googling (cause that's what 33 year old millennial do)
 

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It's hard to tell in the top photo but it looks like the leading edge of the lowest leaf is separating from the one above it. I'm no expert but my understanding is that's a sign they should be replaced. A local trailer shop replaced both springs for about $230.

The hubs on my new-to-me trailer were also pretty rusty. Replaced them with Vortex sealed hubs, about $67 each. There's some discussion on the forum about them, generally positive reviews.

Given the corrosion showing on the springs and hubs, you might want to take a look at any wiring that might have been routinely submerged, it might be due for replacement too.

Great looking skiff!
 

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IMO replacing anything that’s worn on that trailer is what I would recommend. The few hundred bucks is worth the peace of mind. Having a bearing failure or a flat is just a pain in the ass that can easily be prevented with proper maintenance. Getting all repaired also give you a blank slate, and you can maintain from there. Having had a bearing failure on the road out of ENP in July has left me with a little PTSD when it comes to trailers.
 

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Forgotten Coaster
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Fortunate to have a great local trailer shop that I normally use. But I have had good experiences with this on-line source for ordering accessories. Worth comparison shopping, anyway.

https://www.easternmarine.com

And I agree with the previous posters. If you can afford it, worth the peace of mind to have everything re-done so you're starting with a baseline and your own maintenance.

Enjoy the new skiff. Mark builds some cool boats.
 

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Where are you located?

I recently replaced leaf springs with a custom torsion axle and replaced bearings/hubs for less than $300. I did the work myself but worked with a local shop to order a ProSpec (custom) Dexter axle and I'm very happy with it. It's some of the best $$ I've spent on the skiff.
 

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I wouldn't worry about the leaf springs they look like they have some life left. How long depends on how how often you use. Spray them with WD-40 after every trip and you could go farther.

I would change the hubs & wheel bearings first. https://www.trailerpartsdepot.com/c-25-fh-hub-wheel-bearing.aspx

Check air pressure on sidewall of tires and maintain that always.

Get a spare.
 

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I'd dump the tires. You don't know what they have been through and how much air pressure they've been running, which could aversely affect the sidewall cord integrity. You can look on the sidewall to see how old they are from the DOT numbers. The first two numbers are the week and the last two are the year they were produced. If they don't show those four numbers, they are WAY old...and not to be trusted.
 

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trailer leafs/bearings/hubs/ axels, is all very doable. Northern Tool and equipment is youre best friend you can get the hubs, axel and springs there. Finally not sure how much you tow but cosider upgrading to 13''s for highway travel, got a pair from walmart on galvanized rim for 115 shipped to my door.
 

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I’ve bought two used trailers and restored both of them. It’s easy to do yourself and will save you some money over getting a shop to do it.


If you don’t have a spare tire currently, I’d buy 2 new tires and then keep the existing ones for spares. Your current ones look worn but not cracked. May want to verify that everything is squared up and pulls true. Mount both spares on the trailer if you can. If not mount one and store one.


You can replace just the bearings in the hubs and re-pack them with fresh grease, but new galvanized hubs are cheap insurance in my mind. On both of my trailers I bought and installed new hubs, then put the old hubs in cases the new hubs came with and put fresh bearings and grease in them. Your trailer doesn’t have a ton of weight, but those little tires (12s?) are spinning many more rpms than your vehicle tires so hub maintenance will be critical.


If you keep an eye out at academy they sometimes clear out their smaller hubs and tires at half price (they don’t sell as fast as the big ones). I ended up getting 2 packs of tires at amazon cheaper than I could find them locally.


I keep the following in a tote that I call my trailer box and take it with me on any trailer trip farther than an hour from the house:

· refurbed old hubs and a tub of grease

· disposable gloves

· breaker bar, crescent wrench, and sockets

· a couple wood blocks for chocks or beating on bearing buddies

· grease gun

· rubber mallet and small sledge

· spare tire for the small boat (big boat trailer spare doesn’t fit)


Mcclain on I-10 has galvanized and stainless trailer hardware (u-bolts, nuts, brackets, etc) in a wider assortment than anywhere else in Houston and usually competitive with online prices.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Dude, you guys came through strong. I appreciate everyone's input. The pricepoint of the skiff was low enough that I have plenty left over to overhaul the trailer, even just for peace of mind.
@not2shabby I am in Hockley, TX (NW Houston) can you PM the shop info? Think they could work over the phone since I am not local?
 
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