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 Post subject: trailex trailer axle
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 8:52 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Yorba Linda, CA
Ive read a few posts of people worried about dunking trailers in saltwater due to rusting issues. I have a new trailex for my TI and ive used it twice and avoided backing it into the water but loading it back on off the water was difficult since I had to lift it up onto the trailer.

Is it ok to back these trailers into saltwater since it is aluminum and wont rust?


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 Post subject: Re: trailex trailer axle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 1883
Location: South Florida
Here is a picture of my Trailex trailer underside as I was assembling it.

Image

The axel & the springs are ordinary steel and will rust. These parts bear the most weight and must be strong; hence, ordinary steel. They have been painted with some rust resistant paint, but its effect will be minor. The bolts are also ordinary steel and coated with zinc--they will resist rusting. The slab springs are particularly susceptible to rusting because saltwater gets between the spring sections and cannot be washed out by any simple means--dunking the trailer in a freshwater pool might do it, but that is inconvenient.

The aluminum frame will not rust; therefore, it is your choice if you dip your Trailex trailer in saltwater: plan to put up with the inevitable rust of your axel, springs, and, to a lesser extent the zinc coated bolts--these can all be replaced after a few years relatively easily.

Some people don't expect these things to last forever and are comfortable dipping them in saltwater. Maintenance will be relatively minor for 5 yrs. The springs will likely go first. Personally, I don't like to spend my time on a lot of maintenance--I did that for years when I had a powerboat on a galvanized trailer. Therefore, prevention is my motto, and I don't dip my Trailex trailer in salt water. Of course, it also makes a difference whether you have an AI (easy to load) or a TI. I have a pair of AIs.

Oh yes, the lights will probably go in 1-2 yrs; maybe they will last 3 yrs, but don't expect much. Many people, after the lights fail, build a "light bar," which is never submerged in saltwater.

You can see the description of my Trailex trailer construction at http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=435

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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 Post subject: Re: trailex trailer axle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:45 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 1502
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
If your wheels are going into the water (fresh or salt), you would be wise to fit "bearing buddies" (or whatever they are called where you are). These devices carry more marine grease which is supposed to get sucked in to the wheel bearing when it is cooled by going into water. Without the buddies, water can be sucked into the bearing. Ideally, after a trip long enough to warm the wheel bearings, you should give the grease nipple on the buddies a squirt from a grease gun.

My first set of wheel bearings needed replacement after the first couple of hundred dunkings (but most launches were after just a 2 mile drive, so there was not much heat generated). I fitted bearing buddies then.

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Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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 Post subject: Re: trailex trailer axle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
Posts: 2069
Location: High Point, NC
Be careful to get real Bearing Buddies - these are spring loaded to keep the inside of the hub under a little pressure. I see a lot of dust caps with grease fittings sticking out of them and many people just assume these are Bearing Buddies. They're not.

Wipe down your axle housing and spring surfaces with Boeshield T9 every few trips and you can stave off rust for a pretty good while.


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 Post subject: Re: trailex trailer axle
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:29 am
Posts: 3
I also struggled with retrieving my TI early on, especially when sailing solo. I'll preface my comments by saying that I sail in only fresh water, but my vote is to go ahead and dunk the axle. Remember, there are a heck of a lot of power boats out there with galvanized trailers and they have to be dunked in order to float the boat off when launching and the trailers seem to survive OK.

I would rather take the risk of having to replace the axle/spring sometime in the future than giving myself a hernia trying to "clean & jerk" a 190 lb. boat onto the trailer. I now dunk the trailer until the rear cradle is just underwater. I wish I would have started doing this sooner -- would have saved me some sore muscles.

Here are a couple of other things that I found retrieval easier;
1) I use three cradles
2) I use a good roller assembly behind the rear cradle that does a nice job guiding the TI straight onto the trailer.
3) I moved my axle frame to the top of the Trailex tongue. This effectively lowers the boat 5" relative to the ground, meaning it gets into the water sooner
4) I use a winch which I power with an 18V drill. I also replaced the strap that came with it with a much longer length of 550# parachute cord, which seems to track better in the winch reel.

Gary


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