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Thread: FlashHole's M416 trailer Build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Texas
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    221

    Default FlashHole's M416 trailer Build

    I was lucky enough to find a M416 trailer on Craig's list. It was pretty rough, but solid enough to be well worth the $400 the guy was asking. I called about ten minutes after he posted the and wet to see it immediately. Good thing because the guy said about five people called right after me and offered to buy it sight unseen. He was a stand up guy and gave me first option to buy.

    I've been looking at a lot of build threads posted here and some of you guys are amazing fabricators. My trailer build won't be that elaborate, but it will be done right and will be a nice trailer when I'm done.

    I've been meaning to post this for a while, so the build is pretty far along. I'll try to update it as I proceed.

    Here's how she looked when I bought her.


    As you can see, the tailight is broken. Bummer because I was hoping to re-use them. Oh well, I'm not trying to do a restoration anyway.



    All broken down ready to go to the sand blaster and then powder coating. I was surprised just how solid the frame was. Aside from some rust pitting on the tongue arms, there was no other real damage.


    Fast foward a few weeks and its back, and I have to say, it looks brand new. Looks a lot better than I was expecting.


    Now that the frame parts are looking good, the tube and fenders are off to the sandblaster and it's time to start putting the frame back together.


    I was planning on re-using the spring shackles, but the rubber bushings were toast and I couldn't find replacements. Plus, the grease nipples were pretty clogged and weren't replaceable. Morris 4x4 had new shackles for fairly cheap, so I just ordered new ones. The inserts were in good shape, so no need to fight that battle.


    The U-bolts that go around the tongue arms and connect the tub and parking brake were toast. The threads were rusted pretty bad. So off to the internet to find replacements, but after an exhaustive search, it appears that they are un-obtanium. Apparently, 7/16ths rod is not a common for U-bolts. Who knew?


    So now what? After much searching, I found a local shop that specializes in truck springs and they were able to bend a couple up for me. Cost me $12 bucks I think.


    While I was painting the freshly bent U-bolts, I went ahead and painted all the washers. I purchased all new hardware, but being the cheapskate that I am, I didn't spring for new washers. Stupid, I know, but a dollar is a dollar.

    All painted up.


    Now for the Axle decisions. The old axle was in decent shape, but lik everyone else, I wanted to run the same size tires and wheels that are on my Jeep. That means either adapters, or a new axle. Since the hand brake was already missing and I wasn't doing an accurate restoration anyway, a new axle was a no brainer. For what it would have cost me to replace the hand brake mechanism, rebuild the brakes and bearings, I was able to purchaes a whole new axle with electric brakes. A quick call to Red Neck trailer supply and a 4 day wait I have a brand new axle with a 5 on 4.5 lug pattern and electric brakes.

    Came with a crappy paint job, so I stripped it down, primed and rattle canned it. Had I had it sooner, I would have had them powder coat it. But, I'm making this up as you go along, so it is what it is.


    New axle U-Bolts meant that the old plates with the shock mounts no longer fit. I decided that instead of modifying the old plates, it would be quicker to just cut the old shock mounts off the old plates and weld them to the new plates. Easy enough.


    Picked up a couple new wheels from a local supplier. Posted an ad on the local jeep club's forum looking for a set of used tires. A guy actually gave these to me. They are 33"x10" instead of 33"x12", but they were free and in great shape, so they got mounted and will ride for a while.


    The old wiring was shot, so I ran all new wires and connected up some cheap Harbor Freight tail lights. May still replace them with something a little better in the future.



    The frame is all but done, so a quick test run through the neighborhood was warranted. Seems to tow pretty well.


    Time for the hard work......Fixing the Tub. But, it's work I will actually enjoy. I enjoy fabricating, body work and painting, but I've never really enjoyed mechanic type work. I just don't get much pleasure un-bolting and re-bolting stuff.

    The tub came back from the sandblaster with a coat of flat powder coat on it to keep it from rusting while it sits.


    The tub had 10 recessed tie-downs welded to the sides. I was worried about rust underneath, so I cut them off prior to going to the blaster. Sure enough, there was some pretty deep rust. I liked the idea of recessed tie-downs in the bed sides, but they were just plain ugly. Sucks that there are 10 4" holes in the tub, but they had to go.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Texas
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    I was hoping to be able to save the floor, but it came back from the blaster looking like swiss cheese, so it will have to go too.


    So, I broke out the plasma cutter and 10 minutes later, the floor was gone. I learned early in life to buy lots of tools and always keep them. The plasma cutter was worth it's weight in gold today.


    The floor was still pretty solid, but just had to many pin holes to warrant spending the time trying to weld them all up. Since is was generally solid, I was able to leave a lip all the way around to lay the new floor on.


    Made careful measurements and had a local sheet metal company cut me a sheet of 12 gauge sheet metal to fit. Luckily, it dropped right in and fit like a glove. Made sure the tub was still square and welded it in. I'm a lousy welder, so I spot welded the top every inch or so, and on the bottom, I spot welded it every 2 inches or so.



    Then I flipped it over, laid downs a few coats of self etching primer and seam sealed around the joint.



    I had planned on using Raptor Liner, but the local place that stocks it said that they hadn't re-ordered because they changed the formula for the hardener and were having problems with it. Don't know how true that is, but that's what they told me. They did have a product called Armor Liner which they said was just as good and possibly better. It was about $5 cheaper, so i thought what the heck, I'll give it a try on the bottom. If it doesn't perform, I'll use something different for the interior of the tub.


    Hard to tell, but it laid down well, and went on really thick. It's dried hard as a rock too. I suspect that this is pretty good stuff.



    On to the patching up the holes from the recessed the tie-downs.

    Cut all the holes to square and made them big enough to eliminate the rust.


    Cut patches from 16 gauge steel and welded them in. Also welded up all the reflector holes and the holes from the data plate as well as any pin holes I found while I was at it. The last thing I will do is go back around and do final welding of any pin holes that I may have missed.

    Don't make fun of my welds. Welding has to be one of the most un-natural things I've ever tried to do. Basically, I suck at welding, but have mad grinding skills, so all will be well.


    On to the tailgate.

    I spent a lot of time considering just how I was going to do this. In the end, I decided to just start welding and cutting and see how it came out.
    Started with a piece of 1"x1" thin walled tube and welded it across the bottom.


    Then, framed up the rough opening.


    Also welded in some braces on the inside. Am worried about losing strength in the tub when I cut out the opening for the tailgate.


    Next, I welded in the framework for the actual tailgate.


    Once I did that, I used a Sawzall to cut in between the framed opening and the tailgate frame. Removed the tailgate and cut the excess sheet metal away.



    Welded on some small barrel hinges that I picked up from a local steel supplier. Again, don't laugh at my welds. They are ugly, but they aren't coming apart any time soon.




    That's as far as I've gotten so far.

    Things still to do:

    Locking latch system for the tailgate.
    Final welding and grinding
    Final body work
    Prime and line the the interior of the bed
    Exterior paint
    Tongue box/inverter/battery/plug-ins etc..
    lid
    Any other modifications to carry fuel cans, propane tanks, generator, water etc.... Don't know how carried away I will get?? I guess time will tell.

    If you guys have suggestions or critique, I'd love to here it. And I will try to update any future improvements.

  3. #3
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    Place holder 2

    ETA......Nevermind, didn't need it.
    Last edited by Flashole; 03-25-2013 at 01:42 AM.

  4. #4
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    Republic, MO
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    Man this looks great!

  5. #5
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    DFW, TX. / Santa Rita, Copán Ruinas, Honduras, C.A.
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    That looks great! Good way to fab out the tail gate too.

    -Daniel Kent
    Adventure Copán, LLC.
    www.AdventureCopan.com
    Specializing in coffee farming for the benefit of others.™
    Misiones en Acción.
    '05 4Runner, Expo Trailer, '86 Hilux, '08 BMW R1200GS, '84 Toyota XtraCab :steer:

  6. #6
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    Great job and well done!

    Just one question: why do you keep the tub?
    Kurt

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Land Rovers are to be bequeathed, Sankeys in any case!

  7. #7
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    Great work,
    "Your welds look better than my bird poop lines"

    The frame turned out well.
    Will you be extending the tongue?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arlo View Post
    Great job and well done!

    Just one question: why do you keep the tub?
    Good question. Seemed easier in the beginning, but in hindsight, it might have been quicker and better to just fabricate something. But in reality, what I should have done was to spring for a new one. I think I saw them for $950 somewhere. If shipping is reasonable, that might be the way to go if you like the look of the M416, which I do.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Harley View Post
    Great work,
    "Your welds look better than my bird poop lines"

    The frame turned out well.
    Will you be extending the tongue?
    Maybe in the future. I definitely see the advantage to having a longer tongue. I think it will boil down to whether or not I hate the Pintle hood style hitch. If I do, I will probably go with something like the max coupler and at that point I think it would be wise to just extend the tongue while I was at it. It will also depend on how I end up using the trailer. Hopefully it will see some time off road, but I suspect that it will see more use as a utility trailer than anything else. Or, I may just sell the thing when I'm done. We'll see.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    Great job! How are you planning to implement the lock? I am looking to install a lock on my m416 tailgate, too.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flashole View Post
    Seemed easier in the beginning, but in hindsight, it might have been quicker and better to just fabricate something. But in reality, what I should have done was to spring for a new one. I think I saw them for $950 somewhere. If shipping is reasonable, that might be the way to go if you like the look of the M416, which I do.
    The M416 design is way cool, unique and well known!
    But following the function, it might be serious to change the form. And the material!

    I prefere aluminum. Glued and riveted.

    Just like this:





    Maybe it's just a Jeep thing to keek the old style?
    Kurt

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Land Rovers are to be bequeathed, Sankeys in any case!

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