Hello, This is my 1964 12' Santa Fe. Are these springs typical for a trailer like this? It doesn't appear to have brakes. Is that safe if the tow vehicle is well sized for the trailer (towing with a Chevy Tahoe)? Thank you! Greg
The springs are really dry and rusty. You should take them apart or have someone do it for you. The throughbolts that go through the bushings are probably dry as a bone and worn. Once the spring pack is taken apart, the leaves can be cleaned off and lubricated and then refastened with new retaining clips. You are right, they aren't doing their job as they are now.
I used the method described in this blog to clean my springs. vintagetraileraxle.blogspot.com/ If you do an internet search on "Taking apart the leaf springs and shackles 101" you can find my journey as I cleaned up mine.
Last Edit: Apr 9, 2021 22:19:45 GMT -8 by Teachndad
"I get that queasy how in the hell will this thing ever go back together feeling.” - PT
Thank you all. Any idea what you'd expect to pay a mechanic/trailer service shop for this? How much labor is involved?
It depends on how common the springs are and if they will need rebuilt. I had mine replaced on a 62 Forester but the size was no longer available so they cut off and relocated (slightly) the eyes for the bushings. I believe it cost me around $300 for the new springs and welding.
Post by turbodaddy on Apr 14, 2021 19:24:12 GMT -8
$300 well spent. You never want to wonder, "Is my trailer safe to tow?", especially when trying to keep up with traffic on a busy highway.
The day I went to pick up our camper I brought all kinds of tools and other stuff in case I found a problem. I jacked up both wheels to check the bearings. They seemd OK so I just lubed them. To my dismay, on the curbside there was a break where the mount for the leaf springs attached to the frame. I was lucky to have found a local welder who fixed it in about 30 minutes. I checked all the lights, filled up the tires and drove about 100 miles home without problems. That was a miricle.
In retrospect, I learned that the "new" tires were actually 10 years old, they just didn't have any mileage on them. Trailer tires should be replaced after no more than three or four years regardless of how few miles they've travelled, or how they look.
If your trailer is over 3500 lbs or so, it should have electric brakes. Make sure they are working properly before you tow it any distance.(You'll need a brake controller installed in the tow vehicle to make them work). Bottom line is that you need to have total confidence in the strucural and functional aspects of your trailer and tow vehicle. You need to learn how the combined tow vehicle and trailer react in different situations. Your life, and the lives of "those who follow you" are literally in your hands. Even with this cautious approach, s--t can happen. Towing a fully loaded trailer is somewhat like steering a ship. It can take a mile or more to fully stop a moving ship. Everything is altered to some extent. Braking, accelerating, parking, or being passed by a semi-tractor trailer going 75mph are all things requiring a lot more attention than when just driving a car.
What's involved in adding brakes to a trailer that previously doesn't have them? Anyone here done it or have it done? Thanks all!
If you can identify the weight rating of your axle, you can go on etrailer.com and find a set of brakes that will fit your application. They have plenty of videos on how to measure and identify the proper brake setup for several axle types. I recently purchased a set of their electric self-adjusting brakes for my Shasta and I am very pleased. Great prices too