Should I bend the tongue straight? PIC ADDED 4-30

Trailer related issues and discussion goes here.
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ober51
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Should I bend the tongue straight? PIC ADDED 4-30

Post by ober51 »

I bought the trailer, seems to ride fine, I am leaning on just leaving it. I realize the tires will wear a bit differently, but I think this will get me by for a couple years?

Any advice on taking off rusty bolts? I am thinking of going to Harbor Freight tomorrow and getting a die grinder and a cutter to take them off. I could heat them, but I figure this is easier.

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I have a line on a nice big Cox trailer. Almost everything is good (owner is replacing the seals, repacking bearings, etc.) including lights and whatnot, except I noticed that the tongue - about 2' from the coupler - is bent. It isn't that bad, it has a slight bubble and indentation, and the owner didn't even realize it. I do believe him, he's well into his 70s, a really nice guy who was forthright about everything else. He said the trailer was fine when he used it, and didn't feel anything different than any other trailer. This may be true, but I won't chance this.

My question is, can this be bent back with some heat and without problem? Will it compromise the integrity/strength of the tongue? I imagine I can heat it, bend it back and then reinforce the sides with two pieces of steel and then bolt it through the frame (maybe even weld it to the frame). My issue would then be whether the winch post position would be where the bend is (the guy had a 17' boat and the bend is right before the post).

If I can't bend it back with heat, can I cut it, and weld another piece? How about a swing away tongue? It wouldn't help with tongue length (and would potentially cut down on my trailer length), would it?

He is asking $500, it's a 1988, good tires, really good frame aside from this slight bend, lights, registration, etc. He said price is negotiable, I am thinking if this is a relatively easy fix, I may ask for $350 and maybe go as high as $450?

Any/all advice appreciated.
Attachments
bent tongue.jpg
Last edited by ober51 on 30 Apr 2010, 00:24, edited 1 time in total.
Current Rig: 1996 17' Tracker Targa
1997 60 HP Mariner
1987 8 HP Johnson

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lckstckn2smknbrls
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Should I Buy This Trailer? (No pics, imagination needed)

Post by lckstckn2smknbrls »

If you can cut 2" off the tongue and still use the trailer great. If you would have to cut the tongue and add some steel it's not bad if the price is right. 5' of 3x3x.125 runs $30.00 by me then add in the cost welding.
1971 14' Ward's Sea King Jon Boat / 1983 Mariner 25HP

Pruitt1222
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Should I Buy This Trailer? (No pics, imagination needed)

Post by Pruitt1222 »

As for price I cant really help you there, I wouldn't worry about the dent to much. If you dont want it seen unbolt the tongue and spin it around so the bent/weaker area is under the frame, I wouldn't mess with trying to get it stright. You never said if it was 2x3 or 3x3 or 4x4, Swing tongue kits are 100-130 bucks but only come in 3x3 or 4x4 i think. The swing kits at gander are 20" long and come with chains, coupler, and hardware. I dont know about your area but here you have a minimal amount when buying steel of 50 bucks and unless they have what you need on hand you have to order a full 20 foot stick. I just bought a 2"x3"x.120"x20' and it was 78 bucks. Personally if it was me I would chop the 2 foot off of it and get a 18" hitch extension or chop it off and put a swing tongue on it but I also store my boat in a garage and thous would make my life easier.

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ober51
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Should I Buy This Trailer? (No pics, imagination needed)

Post by ober51 »

My gf's uncle is in the welding union (he was on the new Giants Stadium job the last few years), so I don't think I would have to pay for welding at all, maybe just the materials (and maybe not even that if he has access to some left overs).

I am pretty sure it is 3x3 or 4x4, it's much more heavy duty than my previous trailers. I looked at the swing away tongues, but I am worried that I would have to chop too much off the existing tongue and thus shorten the trailer too much. I think I may buy this thing and worry about it later, it seems like if I can get it for 350-400, it might be worth it.
Current Rig: 1996 17' Tracker Targa
1997 60 HP Mariner
1987 8 HP Johnson

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User avatar
ober51
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Should I Buy This Trailer? (No pics, imagination needed)

Post by ober51 »

No one else?
Current Rig: 1996 17' Tracker Targa
1997 60 HP Mariner
1987 8 HP Johnson

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User avatar
ober51
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Should I bend the tongue straight? PIC ADDED 4-30

Post by ober51 »

pic added, assistance needed for tomorrow. Ive gone long enough without my boat, I want the trailer functional tomorrow.
Current Rig: 1996 17' Tracker Targa
1997 60 HP Mariner
1987 8 HP Johnson

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basshunter25
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Should I bend the tongue straight? PIC ADDED 4-30

Post by basshunter25 »

I don't see the new pic? I think I would try to bend it back. If its not that bad you probably wouldn't do much to the integrity bending it a little. Just my thought.
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huntinfool
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Should I bend the tongue straight? PIC ADDED 4-30

Post by huntinfool »

Is the tounge welded to the frame or bolted? You could just buy a new tounge of your that concerned. I personally would either bend it back or cut before the bend and then make a saddle and bolt it in. Your uncle could weld 2 pieces of angle iron to fit the inside of the tounge about 16-18" long. Grind the welds and make it fit inside the tounge tight. Then drill a couple holes and bolt it in. Then get a new tounge piece and bolt it on the saddle. You could even use pins and make it a removable tounge and then fit it in the garage...if you wnated to.

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Johnny5
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Should I bend the tongue straight? PIC ADDED 4-30

Post by Johnny5 »

Looks like my wife backed your trailer in the water for you! :D

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dixie_boysles
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Should I bend the tongue straight? PIC ADDED 4-30

Post by dixie_boysles »

mine was like that when i bought it. Take all the stuff off where your left with nothing but the tongue. Then take a portaband saw and slice all the way through three sides AT THE BEND POINT. Leave one side in tact. Then bend back and stick weld the gap. thats what we did with mine!

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ober51
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Should I bend the tongue straight? PIC ADDED 4-30

Post by ober51 »

Lots of good info here, guys, thanks.

I just took off the rusted on bunks and hardware. Sawzall with a metal blade got the job done. Really would like to use this boat sometime this year.
Current Rig: 1996 17' Tracker Targa
1997 60 HP Mariner
1987 8 HP Johnson

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User avatar
ober51
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Should I bend the tongue straight? PIC ADDED 4-30

Post by ober51 »

A quick glimpse at my day.

Turns out (I am a moron and didn't measure) as you see in the close up of the bolts shot, I can lower the bunks all the way to the frame, seeing as the boat fits between the fenders. So sometime this week I will adjust them and I will have the boat even lower on the trailer meaning I do not have to back as far down the ramp (high five). This will be a PITA seeing as the boat is on the trailer already, but whatever, it's worth the aggravation in order to have the boat sit lower.

Productive day for sure. This trailer fits my boat really well, handles better, is safer, and will be easier to launch.
Attachments
Nota  great shot of how rusted the bolts were, but if you look at the brackets on the bunks, they were that bad or worse.
Nota great shot of how rusted the bolts were, but if you look at the brackets on the bunks, they were that bad or worse.
beforeshot.jpg (107.37 KiB) Viewed 2448 times
This was the best way. I then took a sledge and hit the brackets to the left and right and they split. Then I had some room to cut the bolts/washers/nuts off.
This was the best way. I then took a sledge and hit the brackets to the left and right and they split. Then I had some room to cut the bolts/washers/nuts off.
cutting brackets.jpg (98.66 KiB) Viewed 2448 times
I reused these stainless nuts off the trailer I just sold. Snug as a bug in a rug.
I reused these stainless nuts off the trailer I just sold. Snug as a bug in a rug.
Closeupbolts.jpg (84.41 KiB) Viewed 2448 times
I wound up cutting off two feet off the back of the bunks (these were the long ones I had on my last trailer, I took these off before I sold it) as it was too long for my boat.
I wound up cutting off two feet off the back of the bunks (these were the long ones I had on my last trailer, I took these off before I sold it) as it was too long for my boat.
precut bunks.jpg (112.48 KiB) Viewed 2448 times
Current Rig: 1996 17' Tracker Targa
1997 60 HP Mariner
1987 8 HP Johnson

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huntinfool
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Should I bend the tongue straight? PIC ADDED 4-30

Post by huntinfool »

With the bunks like they are I would have run them further forward. It looks like you have a good start. Can you take pics of the tounge where it meets the trailer frame?

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ober51
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Should I bend the tongue straight? PIC ADDED 4-30

Post by ober51 »

huntinfool wrote:With the bunks like they are I would have run them further forward. It looks like you have a good start. Can you take pics of the tounge where it meets the trailer frame?
I thought about this - but the boat sits perfectly on the front roller (which gives me pause as to whether I want to lower the bunks).

I will take a pic and post it later. I need new hardware for the tilt portion - do you, or anyone, know where I can get that part?
Current Rig: 1996 17' Tracker Targa
1997 60 HP Mariner
1987 8 HP Johnson

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rcgreat
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Should I bend the tongue straight? PIC ADDED 4-30

Post by rcgreat »

Sawzalls are the best tool ever invented. I lo ve using mine when I have a bad day at work ar the kids are rubbing me the wrong way. Of course I like my chainsaw too....lol

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