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This Old Trailer: Replacing Shackle Bolts

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Info for these parts were:


Video Edited:
Zack K

Video by:
Kathleen M

Installed by:
Cole B

Video Edited:
Joshua S

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Replacing Shackle Bolts Episode of This Old Trailer


Today on This Old Trailer, we are going to inspect and replace some shackle links. This part right here is a shackle link. And you can see here, we are actually moving it back and forth. That really should not happen. In fact, you can see if you pull it up how far the hole is worn out. Now, normally when you see a gap down here, it indicates that it is worn out too. That defiantly needs to be replaced. Now, we have the whole trailer on jack stands. And we have an additional jack underneath the axle just to help support it in case something moves around. To remove and replace them, you just have to remove these two bolts right here called the shackle bolts. However, this is a very old trailer and pretty much everything is rusted together. So at this point, we are just going to have to cut them off and start over new. We will go ahead and double check the equalizers as well. 0:51

Now we will go ahead and check the equalizer since we have it freed up. And we have a pretty good amount of play. So we are going to have to go ahead and remove this bolt and equalizer as well. And you can see here, with everything apart, you can see how the equalizer was just starting to wear down towards the middle here. It defiantly needs to be replaced and you can see how these holes are oblong. Now we will go ahead and install some new bushings for the springs. Now, it should be a tight fit. You might have to use some lubricant to help knock it in place too. We will do the same thing on the other spring and then we will install our equalizer. Here we have our old and new equalizers. When you a new equalizer, you want to verify some measurements. First off, you want to verify the actual diameters of the bolts. In this case, they are going to be all 9/16. And then you are going to need some distances between the center of this hole and the center here. And also, if you draw a line between the two, you need to know the distance between the top hole to the center. And that is the best way to match up your equalizers. 1:56

Then we will install our nut. Now you will notice this is a lock nut. So, it will actually only go on a few threads and then stop, if that. Next we will go ahead and add our new shackle links and our bolts to the backside. And then we will go ahead and run it through the spring. We have everything loosely assembled. Now we will go ahead and tighten everything down. And when you tighten them down, you do not have to mash them down. Go just enough to where everything meets together. Now, when you do drive them down, you want the bolts on the back side with the knurls to seat all of the way in. So you may have to run it down and then back off a little bit as well. The driver side of the trailer is finished. Now you want to go ahead to the passenger side of the trailer and go ahead and re-inspect that and probably replace as well. It is always a good idea to replace everything in pairs.

Questions and Comments about this Video

is it ok to replace shoulder bolts [9/16- 1/2 threads] in end of springs with stright shank 9/16 shank bolts. looks like it should work to me. thanks dw

comment by: dw - 9/19/2012

36
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I am install the new bolts that I got from you guys. These bolts have grease Zerts on them. In the Video the installer put the nuts on facing the outside of the trailer. Is there a problem if I reverse that so that the zerts are access able from the side of the trailer? Can you please confirm the torque to use on these bolts. This video was very helpful and has given me the motivation to make this repair myself. Thank you. Ralph PS - I think it would be helpful and appreciated if you did a short video on safely jacking up a trailer.

comment by: Ralph C - 1/18/2013

864

Yes, the grease zerk bolts can be mounted with the zerk facing out. There is no torque spec on these bolts, they either use castle nuts with a cotter pin, or they use lock nuts. Get them tight to the hanger, but not so tight that they reduce the ability of the spring to travel. The same rules of thumb you use for jacking a car apply to a trailer. Use jackstands to hold the weight, do not support it via the jack. Give the trailer a good shake once it is on the jackstands to make sure it will not come down. Support it by the frame, and not the axles.

Patrick B - 2/4/2013
555

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