26M Aluminum Trailer Rebuild

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Sailor Dale
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Oregon City, OR

26M Aluminum Trailer Rebuild

Post by Sailor Dale » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:45 pm

My previous owner apparently didn't rinse my 2008 Aluminum trailer after use in the ocean. Now, the brakes and the actuator are shot, the tongue is suspect, and the hubs are a mess. After suffering a blowout on the freeway in the middle of the night, which destroyed one of the fenders, I've decided it is time to add an axle and replace the other rusted out parts. I've considered doing it myself, and have gotten great advice and parts information from this site (thanks RussMT and Highlander). I know I could do the work, if I had the parts all gathered and a few spare weekends. But I just can't seem to make the time given a lot of work travel.

I had a well-regarded Portland trailer repair shop quote the project, and he's quoted $2650 for parts and $1350 for labor. Essentially, trailer would be like new, and would have 2 new axles with all the gear,/galvanized wheels, tires, new diamond plate aluminum fenders, new galvanized tongue, new brakes and actuator, new wiring and a new tongue jack. I could save about $600 if I retained the original axle and only bought one new one, but I'm told that the rubber torsion-type axles have a limited lifespan especially from saltwater use. True? About the only original parts would be the aluminum beams and the bow ladder. I don't mind paying the $1350 labor portion. Has anyone priced out all the other materials? An alternative would be to just buy a new or used trailer, but it would still probably need to be customized, and I'll bet it would be at least as much for used, and probably double for new. My motivation is a planned 600 mile drive from Portland to the top of Vancouver Island this summer. Open for thoughts, suggestions, or loud guffaws!

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RussMT
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Re: 26M Aluminum Trailer Rebuild

Post by RussMT » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:21 am

$4,000 to rebuild seems expensive.

My second axle, new fenders and 4 new wheels probably cost me $1500 total. Axle was about $650 without brakes. So let's say $1,000 with.
I replaced brake lines while at it. I'm no mechanic and found working on this to be very easy. I just replaced lights with LEDs (easier than changing bulbs).

Have you priced a totally new trailer? Might be cheaper.

MikeFloutier
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Re: 26M Aluminum Trailer Rebuild

Post by MikeFloutier » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:36 am

My 2009M Alu trailer has single axle with drum brakes.

I suspect much inside the drums has fallen apart due to rust as, although the wheels turn ok, they get stuck at certain points. Will have to get the hubs off the axle to refurb.

Not trying to hijack the thread, just couldn't see how to follow it without posting, and want to pick up any tips along the way :)

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vkmaynard
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Re: 26M Aluminum Trailer Rebuild

Post by vkmaynard » Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:39 pm

My old trailer did the same. With completely new galvanized drum assemblies would lock up when retrieving the boat. Why I went with stainless disk brakes I can wash off on the new trailer.

Victor

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Gazmn
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Re: 26M Aluminum Trailer Rebuild

Post by Gazmn » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:28 am

Sailor Dale wrote:My previous owner apparently didn't rinse my 2008 Aluminum trailer after use in the ocean. Now, the brakes and the actuator are shot, the tongue is suspect, and the hubs are a mess. After suffering a blowout on the freeway in the middle of the night, which destroyed one of the fenders, I've decided it is time to add an axle and replace the other rusted out parts. I've considered doing it myself, and have gotten great advice and parts information from this site (thanks RussMT and Highlander). I know I could do the work, if I had the parts all gathered and a few spare weekends. But I just can't seem to make the time given a lot of work travel.

I had a well-regarded Portland trailer repair shop quote the project, and he's quoted $2650 for parts and $1350 for labor. Essentially, trailer would be like new, and would have 2 new axles with all the gear,/galvanized wheels, tires, new diamond plate aluminum fenders, new galvanized tongue, new brakes and actuator, new wiring and a new tongue jack. I could save about $600 if I retained the original axle and only bought one new one, but I'm told that the rubber torsion-type axles have a limited lifespan especially from saltwater use. True? About the only original parts would be the aluminum beams and the bow ladder. I don't mind paying the $1350 labor portion. Has anyone priced out all the other materials? An alternative would be to just buy a new or used trailer, but it would still probably need to be customized, and I'll bet it would be at least as much for used, and probably double for new. My motivation is a planned 600 mile drive from Portland to the top of Vancouver Island this summer. Open for thoughts, suggestions, or loud guffaws!
Firstly Sailor Dave,

Welcome to the Clan MacGregor :)
I’ll forego the “New guy buys the pizza” de rigor cause you got a serious boat bill coming. I’m a NE boater who occasionally travels to the beautiful, warmer SE Florida waters 8) & in my recent travels I got into a similar boat trailer dilema :|

My final new trailer bill was $4100.00. Bought in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I don’t know West coast boating prices, but your pricing screams all new to me. Price out something similar to my build plans & don’t settle. Your 3 biggest plunge$ in boating & reinve$ting in being a MacGregor sailor, after your initial Mac setup are: 1- Your motor & steering. 2-Your trailer. 3- New sails & rigging.

I’ve had my :macx: for 12+ years, repowered 2.5 times [& could have stayed @ 1st repower in hindsight- but have no regret$] & first retrailer after spending ~$3K in upgrades & maintenance on PO’s galvanized tandem over 11 years. Sometimes the cost of the miles are outweighed by the value placed on the mileage... The memories 8)

Good Hunting :wink:

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Ixneigh
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Re: 26M Aluminum Trailer Rebuild

Post by Ixneigh » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:45 am

I have a 2011 trailer. I've rinsed it after use. But if like to have the tongue and axle upgraded and the rusty bow chocks replaced. I have the disk brakes. They look ok. I'm going to price out a rebuild at a few local places before going to the mainland.
I've found applying grease to everything with a big paint brush really slowed down the rust. Wished I'd thought of that earlier.

Ix

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paula_ke
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Re: 26M Aluminum Trailer Rebuild

Post by paula_ke » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:12 pm

I got my 2011 26M and trailer last October (2017). It looked like the PO left the boat in the Columbia river water (Portland, OR) most of the time (just scum on the hull). The trailer was not used much. No tread wear on the tires but very old date codes. The bunk wood was in fair condition and bunk carpet was totally deteriorated from the sun. I had to spend some time bleeding the brake lines to get the brakes to work and all brake pistons worked fine. I relined the bunks and pulled the boat out of the water

The first thing I did was replace the trailer tires as, even with good tread, old date codes mean a possible blow out. ($250 just down the street from where I pulled out)

When I got my 26M and trailer back to my house in southern Oregon ( A 500 mile trip, first time towing), I decided that the trailer needed an upgrade before I headed to Baja for the winter.

I ordered an axle through Six Roblees in Grants Pass (I don't recommend them), using the axle number on my trailer. There was lots of confusion around the 'V' bend. I just kept repeating I wanted an identical axle but without brakes. Six weeks later I was able to pick up my axle.

My first problem was that the 'V' bend was more than the 'V' bend on the original axle, by almost an inch. No way was I going to put my Mac hull on that axle. And I was out of time to attempt a return of a 200 pound axle. I found a local logging company shop that had a press and bent it back to match my original axle.

The rest went pretty straight forward. I moved my original axle, which was in good shape, forward and mounted the second axle back, keeping the distances equally spaced in front of and behind the original axle mounting point.

I bought some matching aluminum strapping to build a new set of bunks (I have three rear bunks now)

I purchased three wheels, three tires and a full set of lug nuts from e-trailer.

I purchased aluminum diamond tandem fenders off of ebay.

Costs line up as follows:

$600 Axle delivered to Grants Pass for pickup. (V-bend, hubs, grease buddy bearings)
$ 15 Nuts and bolts required to fasten axle to trailer (no Six Robblees did not supply them)
$ 16 Set of covers for grease buddy bearings (again, Six Robblees did not supply with axle)
$ 35 To reduce V bend in axle to match my original axle.
$ 10 Aluminum strapping, nuts and bolts for new bunk
$350 Three wheels, three tires, lug nuts and a spare tire mounting plate.
$150 Two aluminum fenders (which, after 3800 miles of Baja abuse will need some TLC. Welcome to boating!)

$1176 For parts. Took two days, part time to complete. Must have boat off of trailer.

:macm:
Last edited by paula_ke on Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Gazmn
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Re: 26M Aluminum Trailer Rebuild

Post by Gazmn » Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:36 pm

Get some Boat road towing coverage, an extra greased hub or 2, enough roadside tools & it sounds like ur in business 8)

I'd also like something like a Garmin/Delorme Explorer+ & some bail out money - but that's just me talkin' :wink:

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