As I alluded to in my previous post, I seemed to have bent the axle of my brand new Polar HD1500 ATV trailer. This was extremely disappointing because I paid a lot of money for this trailer. I think it cost me around $425 with tax from Home Depot. I expected more from it, to be honest. Anyway, since I’m not one to pout about such things, I began thinking of a way to bend the axle back so it was once again straight. I discussed the problem with a few guys from my Jiu-Jitsu school and we settled upon using some sort of rigid beam to attach the axle to and then using a car jack to bend the axle back. The only problem was, I didn’t think I had a beam that was rigid enough for something like this. I thought about using some sort of lumber, but then imagined that snapping in half mid-way though my jacking.
A few days ago, I remembered that I had an eight foot lally column sitting in the basement that I wasn’t using. If you aren’t aware, lally columns are very heavy duty and very strong. They’re actually filled with concrete. One of them would be perfect for what I wanted to accomplish.
Let me show you the trailer axle before I go any further. As you can see in the photos below, the axle is bent and the wheels are flared outward.
In the above image, you can see how the steel is wrinkled right above the bend. That means the axle is made from wicked thin metal. The bend is also situated where the holes in the axle are. That indicates two weak points.
And in this photo, you can see how flared out the wheel are. I began noticing this later in the day. And as I mentioned above, the hitch bar also had a slight bend in it as well. I fixed that too, but I didn’t take any photos of that.
Okay, down below I’ve got a few photos of the same exact thing, but from different angles. Our idea worked and I returned the axle to its original straightness. So, in case you’re dealing with a similar issue, you can straighten these things back to their original form. You’ll need to reinforce the steel tubing after that, but at least you can make them straight again.
Check out the photos. This first one is probably the most clear. As you can see, the lally column is on the bottom and the axle is on top. I put the car floor jack in between and used a piece of 2×4 lumber to protect the metal. I didn’t want to make things worse.
You can also see how I wrapped nylon tie-downs around the axle and the lally column multiple times to secure the axle in place. You should have seen me bouncing on the car jack. While it was easy going to start off with, as the tension mounted, the lally column began lifting from the floor. I had to step on that with one foot and then try to push the jack handle in a very awkward position.
Here’s another view.
And here are two more angles.
As you can see, the axle is still a little beat up. Tomorrow I’ll be heading out to pick up two pieces of 2″x2″ tube steel (or c-channel) that’s 1/4″ thick. The first piece will be two feet long and I’ll bolt that to the bottom of the axle. The other piece will be four feet long and I’ll bolt that to the hitch bar to keep that straight in the future. I may go with 3/16″ if I feel that will be sufficient. I’ll need to take a look at the steel.
Also, the reason I’ll be using bolts as opposed to welding is because I’m concerned that something will bend in the future. If I weld the new tubing to the existing tubing and something bends, I won’t be able to remove the tubing to use on a new piece. This way, I can simply unbolt it. Trust me, I’ll be writing posts about all of this. You’ll see some beefy framing for this trailer. It’s at times like these I do wish I owned a blow torch and a welder though. Perhaps some day. Thanks for reading!