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metalmagpie
03-23-2019, 12:15 PM
I need a better trailer for moving machinery. I have heard good things about Caravan rear axles. I found a local guy parting out a Chrysler Town & Country and he has agreed to sell me the rear axle assembly. I'm going to have to pull the thing. It's not in a junkyard - it's in a guy's back yard, with a slight side slope according to the seller. He mentioned that some guys came out and jacked up the front to take the wheels, left it on jacks, and that the vehicle fell off the jacks. Not wanting that to happen to me while I'm under there with an oxyacetylene torch, I need to come up with a solid plan to make something which can hold it up securely. I don't have access to any long heavy wood beams, although I might be able to scrounge something from local house construction sites.

Do you have any ideas how this could best be done? I'll bring a floor jack and one of those hi-lift jacks, and those in tandem should be able to lift the body up.

Thanks!

metalmagpie

lakeside53
03-23-2019, 12:29 PM
Vehicle jack stands. I have truck stands that hold it up to about 21 inches plus any blocking beneath. Don't rely on jacks alone, and high rise "farm jacks" need special care to stop them tilting over. Bunch of big wooden blocks for exactly that purpose behind my barn if you want to borrow them!

Tundra Twin Track
03-23-2019, 12:42 PM
Vehicle jack stands. I have truck stands that hold it up to about 21 inches plus any blocking beneath. Don't rely on jacks alone, and high rise "farm jacks" need special care to stop them tilting over. Bunch of big wooden blocks for exactly that purpose behind my barn if you want to borrow them!

X2 on what lakeside said truck stands on some laminated 3/4" ply that you could level before placing stands on.Those hi lift jackalls have been related to a lot of accidents,my neighbor was lifting the front of a 3 ton and was gripping the top I beam portion of the jack.He heard a bang and seen something go flying it was his thumb the jack was not completely latched and handle come back at 200 mph chopped his thumb completely off.

Mike279
03-23-2019, 12:45 PM
You can use the wheels if they are still on the rear axle but jack stands are my preference too. I take plywood for the jacks to set on the ground so they don't sink in. And take a friend as they can help if you somehow have a problem. Every once in a while around here, someone dies when they get pinned under a vehicle and there is no one to call for help. Mike

J Tiers
03-23-2019, 12:50 PM
For future, keep a stock of 4 x 4 lumber around. I have a bunch of cutoffs from fencing. Pieces about 0.6m long are just about perfect. That makes a cribbing stack wide enough to be stable for reasonable lifts, small enough to fit, and strong enough for most uses. Two stacks would do the back of a trailer

jmm03
03-23-2019, 12:50 PM
once you remove the axle assembly is whatever you use to support the vehicle staying? Cinder blocks are cheap and pretty strong,otherwise, 4 x 4 cribbing. Jim

Willy
03-23-2019, 12:55 PM
You're only limited by what you have available so it is hard for us to visualize what you might have at your disposal. I too gave a large collection of wood blocking in various sizes plus jack stands. Sometimes I'll also use sections of logs that I'll cut to size as needed. Old car or truck wheels are also usually near or on the vehicle.
One thing I always do before I'll get under something that could potentially kill me if it fails is to make sure it is secure, shake the daylights out of it to make sure that whatever is holding the car up is not going to slip out. When in questionable situations I'll even resort to some redundancy in blocking just to be safe.

Boostinjdm
03-23-2019, 01:15 PM
I've used a caravan axle. Not worth the hassle.

New axles in that capacity range are cheap.

strokersix
03-23-2019, 02:11 PM
I unbolted k car rear spindles and used them on my own structure when I built a vehicle tow dolly many years ago. Seemed to work ok. I won't argue the best choice but worked for me at the time.

nc5a
03-23-2019, 02:59 PM
Deleted post because drifted off topic, lost focus.

metalmagpie
03-23-2019, 06:39 PM
once you remove the axle assembly is whatever you use to support the vehicle staying? Cinder blocks are cheap and pretty strong,otherwise, 4 x 4 cribbing. Jim

Yup. How they get it off the cribbing is strictly their problem. They're almost done scavenging; the plan is to call a tilt-back wrecker and let them worry about it.

metalmagpie

metalmagpie
03-23-2019, 06:40 PM
Vehicle jack stands. I have truck stands that hold it up to about 21 inches plus any blocking beneath. Don't rely on jacks alone, and high rise "farm jacks" need special care to stop them tilting over. Bunch of big wooden blocks for exactly that purpose behind my barn if you want to borrow them!

OK. Thanks!

metalmagpie

mattthemuppet
03-23-2019, 08:49 PM
You can use the wheels if they are still on the rear axle but jack stands are my preference too. I take plywood for the jacks to set on the ground so they don't sink in. And take a friend as they can help if you somehow have a problem. Every once in a while around here, someone dies when they get pinned under a vehicle and there is no one to call for help. Mike

I remember reading that one of the original Shelby 350 owners died that way when a hydraulic jack let go. Not much of an epitaph. See plenty of people doing the same on my commute. I'd never go under a car that isn't up on jack stands, ideally with a set of wheels blocked too.

boslab
03-23-2019, 08:49 PM
Oak blocks are by far the best thing I’ve used, they stand up to tremendous pressures, won’t slip (metal on metal is a definite ticket to the emergency room, or morgue if the grim reaper is about)
I’ve put hundreds of tons on them, metal stands were a no no in work, even solid tombstone blocks had an oak block on top
Beware cinder blocks, a bad one can crumble like a soggy biscuit, then things start moving, plus no warning, timber starts talking before it gives out, hence miners use a timber every so often even with hydraulic props aka dowty jacks
Mark

Bellingahmster
03-24-2019, 01:17 AM
Firewood rounds, at least 12" diameter, under the frame (or rocker panel to floor joint since it's going to scrap).

Erich
03-24-2019, 12:15 PM
The pick a part places in my corner of the world use steel wheels from other junkers as cribbing. Stack two wheels and four weld beads evenly spaced. Throw them under the body of the car behind front wheels, in front of rear wheels and set the car down on them.

kendall
03-24-2019, 12:34 PM
I'm with boost up there, a caravan axle is in the 3000lb range, TSC has 3500lb axles for $225. figure another $100 for everything else. So unless the caravan axle is dirt cheap it can take more effort than it's worth.

We often use two rims to make stands, one laying flat and the other standing up in the center of that one, weld where they touch and it's a nice solid stand.

Heck, if you were over this way I have a 20ft trailer with dual 2500 lb axles that's been sitting for 3 years because it's to big for anything I haul.

sarge41
03-24-2019, 05:19 PM
Old railroad ties work good and they're cheap. Chainsaw will make two or three pieces of ideal length. Usually available for the asking or taking.

Sarge41

metalmagpie
03-24-2019, 06:08 PM
I'm with boost up there, a caravan axle is in the 3000lb range, TSC has 3500lb axles for $225. figure another $100 for everything else. So unless the caravan axle is dirt cheap it can take more effort than it's worth.

We often use two rims to make stands, one laying flat and the other standing up in the center of that one, weld where they touch and it's a nice solid stand.

Heck, if you were over this way I have a 20ft trailer with dual 2500 lb axles that's been sitting for 3 years because it's to big for anything I haul.

Just because I'm curious, how much do you want for it?

metalmagpie

A.K. Boomer
03-25-2019, 09:43 AM
Beware cinder blocks, a bad one can crumble like a soggy biscuit, then things start moving, plus no warning, timber starts talking before it gives out, hence miners use a timber every so often even with hydraulic props aka dowty jacks
Mark

X2 on the above - stay away from using cinder blocks unless you have a death wish... and esp. stacking them the wrong way to begin with - either is bad but that's almost like your begging for it.

like someone else mentioned two old rims welded with one flipped is what allot of salvage yards use, it's handy because you can use the upper one to connect to a frame rail and the lower has allot of surface area and a wide platform...

dtsh
03-25-2019, 10:09 AM
I would make a trip to the lumber yard and get some treated lumber, cut it up as required and be done with it. Relatively cheap, safe, and you'll have it for next time.

PStechPaul
03-25-2019, 01:39 PM
Thinking outside the box - is it possible to roll the vehicle on its side, or even upside down? Might be possible using a winch, maybe first jacking up one side and alternating jacks and jack stands and timbers until the CG is over the side. You can buy a car tilting jack, but it's over $1000, and should be easy to make:

http://toolmonger.com/2007/09/07/eastwoods-tilt-a-car/

http://toolmonger.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/tilt.jpg


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mk33OviyqOc

Arcane
03-25-2019, 02:19 PM
Not knowing what a Chrysler Town & Country Caravan rear axle actually looked like I Googled it and found this for a 2008 Chrysler Town & Country.

https://www.moparpartsgiant.com/resource?t=d&s=l&r=AB690C35588EE91C680BE8F0594B17F71EFCAB9821D6A37D 4D14CACD8941D2D1

metalmagpie, if that's what 's you're thinking of using it looks like it would be a real bear to mount a trailer on it. I think you should give a lot more consideration to a conventional trailer axle with leaf springs that also comes with electric brakes.

kendall
03-26-2019, 12:09 PM
Just because I'm curious, how much do you want for it?

metalmagpie

to be honest I've never even thought about a price for it, it's one of those things that's mostly forgotten about.

In regards to Arcane's latest post, the advantage to the cchrysler axle (provided you get all the mounting brackets etc) is that it's a drop axle, so the trailer deck can be lower than a straight trailer axle.

But then again they can be had at $168 hub to hub, NOT including springs or mounts. https://www.trailerpart.com/p-2305-3500-lb-4-drop-standard-spring-dexter-trailer-axle.aspx

metalmagpie
03-26-2019, 12:15 PM
to be honest I've never even thought about a price for it, it's one of those things that's mostly forgotten about.

In regards to Arcane's latest post, the advantage to the cchrysler axle (provided you get all the mounting brackets etc) is that it's a drop axle, so the trailer deck can be lower than a straight trailer axle.

But then again they can be had at $168 hub to hub, NOT including springs or mounts. https://www.trailerpart.com/p-2305-3500-lb-4-drop-standard-spring-dexter-trailer-axle.aspx

Not apples to apples, not hardly. What I'm considering is the whole Caravan axle assembly right out to two wheels with good tires on them (albeit not trailer tires). Includes hydraulic brake assembly. Estimated 3000 pound axle. Includes springs, hangers etc. $50 total.

Did I say I had Scottish heritage? :-)

Anyway, I'm going tomorrow to pick it up. The seller assures me he has tons of cribbing.

metalmagpie

mickeyf
03-26-2019, 03:14 PM
while I'm under there with an oxyacetylene torch

..and of course the gas tank has long since been removed...

reggie_obe
03-26-2019, 03:30 PM
Estimated 3000 pound axle. Includes springs, hangers etc. $50 total.

metalmagpie

How is a 3000lb axle going to work out for a machinery trailer? What do you estimate the weight of the frame and decking to be? Will it be dual axel?

kendall
03-26-2019, 10:41 PM
Not apples to apples, not hardly. What I'm considering is the whole Caravan axle assembly right out to two wheels with good tires on them (albeit not trailer tires). Includes hydraulic brake assembly. Estimated 3000 pound axle. Includes springs, hangers etc. $50 total.

Did I say I had Scottish heritage? :-)

Anyway, I'm going tomorrow to pick it up. The seller assures me he has tons of cribbing.



metalmagpie


$50 wheel to wheel is a great price. make sure you get the 'buckets' for the radius arms though. Not too hard to fab up, but saves time in the long run.

I have plenty of Scottish in my ancestry as well :)

metalmagpie
03-27-2019, 05:50 PM
OK I got it, no injuries, tickets or accidents. It was a fair morning's work, though. Cribbing was no problem because a friendly neighbor just took down a maple tree and had a yard full of rounds of all lengths. The carcass is now suspended in the air on 4 maple rounds. Solid as a rock.

I learned some fun stuff too. I learned which end of a shock absorber to cut into with a torch. :-) I also learned that brake fluid is flammable, as is the rubber which covers the emergency brake cable. Working conditions were seriously suboptimal, so I couldn't get everything I wanted. But I dang sure got the axle and wheels!

metalmagpie

metalmagpie
04-01-2019, 04:40 PM
Just a little followup. This axle is being repurposed for a trailer. The wheels I brought home are mismatched and with terrible tires. It's not particularly easy to find wheels in a specific size. One thing I know - trailer wheels in this country very often come in 5x4.5 bolt pattern.

If you go look up the bolt pattern for Dodge Caravan wheels you will find "5x115". Ah-hah. Metric. Digging further, you will find out "it's not really 115 it's really 114.3". Divide 114.3 by 25.4 and what do you get? FOUR AND A HALF. Not metric a tall. It seems any old trailer wheels fit a Dodge Caravan axle, which is a good argument in favor of using those axles.

metalmagpie

Dan Dubeau
04-01-2019, 05:00 PM
Just a little followup. This axle is being repurposed for a trailer. The wheels I brought home are mismatched and with terrible tires. It's not particularly easy to find wheels in a specific size. One thing I know - trailer wheels in this country very often come in 5x4.5 bolt pattern.

If you go look up the bolt pattern for Dodge Caravan wheels you will find "5x115". Ah-hah. Metric. Digging further, you will find out "it's not really 115 it's really 114.3". Divide 114.3 by 25.4 and what do you get? FOUR AND A HALF. Not metric a tall. It seems any old trailer wheels fit a Dodge Caravan axle, which is a good argument in favor of using those axles.

metalmagpie

Perhaps why they're so popular?

I was storing a caravan here for a friend of the wifes for a couple years (a couple years ago). They finally decided to scrap it and told me I could take what I wanted from it. I had planned on stripping the axle and a few other items before calling a rollback to haul it for scrap. They surprised me that weekend by showing up out of the blue to clean it out, and told me a truck was coming to get it the next day.... So much for that idea. Didn't get anything out of the deal except the pleasure of plowing around it in the driveway for 2 winters. No good deed goes unpunished.

Edit: I forgot, I did cut the cable chains out of the sliding doors, and pull the fuses for spares. I didn't have any time to get anything other low hanging fruit of any value.

paul463
04-01-2019, 09:11 PM
Perhaps why they're so popular?



Another reason is the spindles are bolted on with four bolts, so you aren't necessarily stuck with the whole thing for a special projects.

Dan Dubeau
04-01-2019, 09:42 PM
Another reason is the spindles are bolted on with four bolts, so you aren't necessarily stuck with the whole thing for a special projects.

I've been saving all the wheel hub unit bearings I've changed over the years (I drive GM, so its a lot....) with the plan on making a few yard trailers with them. They're no good for freeway use, but will be fine for around the backyard. First one I want to make is a log arch for getting logs out of the woods.

2 of them are perfectly fine for bearings but the stupid fridge magnet material GM used for a tone ring disintegrated. I've got another one to do on the wife's car this weekend too. That's all 4 corners of her equinox, and 3 from my old G6.

kendall
04-02-2019, 12:19 AM
Just a little followup. This axle is being repurposed for a trailer. The wheels I brought home are mismatched and with terrible tires. It's not particularly easy to find wheels in a specific size. One thing I know - trailer wheels in this country very often come in 5x4.5 bolt pattern.

If you go look up the bolt pattern for Dodge Caravan wheels you will find "5x115". Ah-hah. Metric. Digging further, you will find out "it's not really 115 it's really 114.3". Divide 114.3 by 25.4 and what do you get? FOUR AND A HALF. Not metric a tall. It seems any old trailer wheels fit a Dodge Caravan axle, which is a good argument in favor of using those axles.

metalmagpie
You'll find that a lot of 'metric' stuff is just 'inch' converted to metric.
A while ago (think I posted this here before!) someone was looking for rims, said they needed 5x114, I showed them a set of 5x4.5, they argued that they NEEDED '5 on 114' NOT " 5 on 4.5" So, I picked up another set of 5x4.5, told them they were 5x114, and doubled the price simply because they were 'metric rims and hard to find' They're still running them.

fixerdave
04-02-2019, 02:25 AM
... It's not particularly easy to find wheels in a specific size. One thing I know - trailer wheels in this country very often come in 5x4.5 bolt pattern.

If you go look up the bolt pattern for Dodge Caravan wheels you will find "5x115". Ah-hah. Metric. Digging further, you will find out "it's not really 115 it's really 114.3". Divide 114.3 by 25.4 and what do you get? FOUR AND A HALF. Not metric a tall. It seems any old trailer wheels fit a Dodge Caravan axle, which is a good argument in favor of using those axles.

metalmagpie

Just search for Caravan tires, Neon tires, etc.. More often than not, the set of tires comes mounted on wheels, usually for less than you could buy the wheels. Certainly less if you factor in balancing (even assuming you mount them yourself). $200 got a set of 4 near-new radials on really nice mag wheels for my wife's $400 Neon. Well... they were nice, the ones on the right side look like they've been attacked by a carbide-toothed beaver now.

Oh, and no idea what it's like in your neck, but around here you need the original salvaged vehicle registration papers to insure a trailer made from an axle of said. Way easier to just buy a new axle. You probably live with slightly saner bureaucracy.

David...

Dan Dubeau
04-02-2019, 07:38 AM
Oh, and no idea what it's like in your neck, but around here you need the original salvaged vehicle registration papers to insure a trailer made from an axle of said. Way easier to just buy a new axle. You probably live with slightly saner bureaucracy.

David...
Really? Here in Ontario for a small trailer you can just walk in, pay your money and leave with a trailer registration (if it's a small single axle under a certain weight). The gooberment here controls EVERYTHING, but for home built trailers it seems it's still the wild west. I've got an old tent trailer I stripped down over the winter I'm going to register here as a home built here shortly.

If it's over a certain weight you need to have it weighed, and if it's multi axle it needs an inspection. According to what the lady at the ministry office told me.

I've heard people tell me you need receipts for the axle, and the steel and all kinds of other crazy things, but maybe it all depends on who you get at the service window.

kendall
04-02-2019, 10:37 AM
Really? Here in Ontario for a small trailer you can just walk in, pay your money and leave with a trailer registration (if it's a small single axle under a certain weight). The gooberment here controls EVERYTHING, but for home built trailers it seems it's still the wild west. I've got an old tent trailer I stripped down over the winter I'm going to register here as a home built here shortly.

If it's over a certain weight you need to have it weighed, and if it's multi axle it needs an inspection. According to what the lady at the ministry office told me.

I've heard people tell me you need receipts for the axle, and the steel and all kinds of other crazy things, but maybe it all depends on who you get at the service window.

Up here you just tell them it's a boat trailer and it's $75 for a lifetime trailer plate/registration. No title required for trailers under a certain physical size.

metalmagpie
04-02-2019, 11:19 AM
Oh, and no idea what it's like in your neck, but around here you need the original salvaged vehicle registration papers to insure a trailer made from an axle of said. Way easier to just buy a new axle. You probably live with slightly saner bureaucracy..

I have a different strategy. Buy a junker trailer with a title & license plate. Remove and keep license plate. Sell junker trailer without a title. Build trailer and put license plate on it. Done.

metalmagpie

kendall
04-02-2019, 11:57 PM
I have a different strategy. Buy a junker trailer with a title & license plate. Remove and keep license plate. Sell junker trailer without a title. Build trailer and put license plate on it. Done.

metalmagpie

That doesn't always work in all states, here in Michigan plates/registration follow the owner, in California and Arizona, (when I lived there) the plates follow the vehicle.

Funny story, before Michigan went to the 'lifetime' registration for trailers, I bought a small sail boat complete with trailer. When I purchased it the PO handed over all the paperwork, I stopped at the secretary of state (Michigan's version of the DMV) to get it registered. They wouldn't register it because I didn't have proof of ownership(title, only need for trailers over a certain size), and handed me a whole list of things I had to do to get it registered.
I did not want to go through everything they had listed, so I took the old plate that was 4 years expired and was on an old trailer (NOT the same one) when I bought it, told them I wanted to renew it. They renewed it with no problem.
Now the funny part, I then asked them to transfer the plate from the PO (previous owner) to me and then transfer it to the new trailer.
I am still running that same plate.