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Planning to go cut a long bed apart to make a trailer. Gonna be a challenge to get it out of the junkyard. junkyard seems like they will be no help either. Rear axle is gone, leaf springs are there. One shackle was cut. No tailgate or tail lights of course. 
 

planning to cut it as close to the cab as possible. I’ll bring it home on a flatbed trailer. I’ll get a new pair of shackles, likely pull a KJ rear end and do a SOA on it. 
 

it’s a long bed so I like the idea of being able to put the wildernest on it and use it for an off road camping trailer as well. 
 

any other advice from those that have done it?
 

 

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Just now, Pete M said:

do you absolutely need the MJ rear frame? 

No, but I’m thinking it’s easier to use that and weld a tongue to it. Plus it has other things I like already provisioned, like the spare tire holder and fuel tank holder. 

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31 minutes ago, Pete M said:

time and effort always costs something, whether it be his or yours.  can't hurt to go look at it and talk shop with him.  :L:  seeing one in person beats random backlit internet pictures any day :D 

I don’t disagree. Hence why I said unfair. 

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I’d say the meat and potatoes of using a stock frame is adding crossmembers where they need to be for pulling in the center. Here’s a look back at how I did it for Adam’s (originally Rob’s) trailer...

 

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Don’t forget fish plates to beef up the factory frame. I put one between the new crossmember at the rear of the tongue and the frame to spread out the load. 

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3 hours ago, Sir Sam said:

Made it home!

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:banana: I hope you make a build thread! I had a plan for a long time on how I wanted to make mine. I'm tweaking that idea though as I see more of these popping up now and getting good input. I'm still contemplating how long I want the tongue. It has to be tough finding the perfect average setup for all tow rigs. I'm hearing conflicting feedback from near identical trailer setups. Some are scared to pull them or say they ride like garbage. What I'm seeing though is huge tow rig differences and trailer use as well. Balanced or not, towing behind a lwb lifted mj on a trailer that's empty with stiff springs will ride completely different than the same trailer frame on soft worn springs behind a stock height SUV. I think it would be great to get like an epic Mj trailer build section on here. 

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So what is everyone’s thoughts about axles? 
 

For $100 I can get a KJ rear disk axle. I could use either the KJ parking brake or the hydraulic brakes to make a parking brake that is mounted by the tongue, useful for keeping it from rolling away or moving it around by hand. 
 

however the other thought occurs to me that maybe it’s possible to have a surge brake controller/tongue and hook that up to the KJ hydraulic disk brakes. That could be a slick setup. Surge brakes and parking brake ready to go. 

 

or, get a lighter non braking trailer axle in 5x4.5. Or get an electric trailer brake axle. I would like to run 5x4.5 so I can put stock wheels on the trailer for spares. 
 

Since this has stock Springs I’m thinking going soa to give extra squat room for it. 
 

also someone cut one of the shackles, I’m not sure if I kept my MJ ones around or if I will need to replace the pair of them. 
 

 

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11 minutes ago, Sir Sam said:

or, get a lighter non braking trailer axle in 5x4.5. Or get an electric trailer brake axle. I would like to run 5x4.5 so I can put stock wheels on the trailer for spares. 

I'd do one of these, probably the 2nd, depending on cost. Then you don't need to worry about the pumpkin getting hung up on stuff and I would think that there will be less rolling resistance.

 

12 minutes ago, Sir Sam said:

Since this has stock Springs I’m thinking going soa to give extra squat room for it. 
 

I would do an add-a-leaf before I went SOA. It will make it tow slightly worse empty, but it will increase the load capacity without making it much more top heavy. With how soft stock MJ springs are, I would be worry about the trailer tipping if it has a larger load in it, or the load shifting and making one side squat a lot.

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2 hours ago, Sir Sam said:

Since this has stock Springs I’m thinking going soa to give extra squat room for it. 
 

 

Why? Remember, a SOA conversion is going to raise it at least 6 inches. Why much weight do you expect to be putting in it?

 

Making it higher will make it less stable.

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2 hours ago, 89 MJ said:

 

I would do an add-a-leaf before I went SOA. It will make it tow slightly worse empty, but it will increase the load capacity without making it much more top heavy. With how soft stock MJ springs are, I would be worry about the trailer tipping if it has a larger load in it, or the load shifting and making one side squat a lot.

 

That's what sway bars (a.k.a. Panhard rods) are for.

 

Considering that even the base MJ springs are rated for 3/4 of a ton, I don't understand why you would describe them as "soft."

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1 hour ago, Eagle said:

 

Why? Remember, a SOA conversion is going to raise it at least 6 inches. Why much weight do you expect to be putting in it?

 

Making it higher will make it less stable.


I’m thinking about the Offroad type use I would have where I would be dragging it over some rough roads to get to where I would camp. More likely to do that with a standard trailer axle since the tube is so small. 
 

but maybe I’ll stick with Sua and some Chevy drop shackles. To get some height. 
 

when Offroad I would have the wildernest on it, which as a preload is already pretty heavy. 

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currently mine has old stock MJ leafs with a long XJ 3" AAL stuck in there.  before the AAL, after the AAL, empty, or heavily laden (with 2 complete engines and a trans/t-case plus my engine hoist) it pulls like a dream behind both the Durango and the Libby.  other people have complained that their MJ trailer is a bit jumpy and I kinda want to attribute it to the new shocks they used as to the old worn shocks I put on mine.  but I don't currently have a pair of new shocks to test that hypothesis out. 

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5 hours ago, Eagle said:

Considering that even the base MJ springs are rated for 3/4 of a ton, I don't understand why you would describe them as "soft."

The ride just seemed-and even still seems-soft, even with an AAL. 

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The only reasons I can think of for wanting a complete drive axle (kJ or whatever) are that you’ve either got one kicking around already, or else you want to carry a spare for your tow vehicle. Trailer axles are cheap, and you can typically get parts anywhere if needed because they’re pretty well all standard sizes. Not only is there an added ground clearance advantage, they’re much lighter.

I’d also go electric brakes over hydraulic, because they’re far easier to install, control, and maintain. Plus there’s the reversing thing, and you’ll also be cooking them the whole way down if you’re engine braking down a long grade. The only two places surge brakes really shine are if you’re running a rental fleet and don’t want to worry about the customer’s vehicle being set up correctly, or debatably if it’s a boat trailer that gets dunked in salt water on the regular.

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The rear axle for spares does sound interesting. But realistically I don’t think it would ever be useful. 
 

I don’t have one around but any junkyard axle will be cheaper than a new trailer axle. That being said while cost is a consideration it’s not the be all end all, would rather build it “right” for my needs. 
 

Getting an electric brake axle also means I need to buy a trailer brake controller, again not a big deal as it’s useful, but is a consideration. 
 

since I plan to use it Offroad and will be moving it around by hand often the parking brake feature sounds really nice. 
 

a hydraulic surge brake controller sounds like a good way to pair brakes and a parking brake, so if I went that route i would want to use one with a reversing solenoid. 
 

I had some crazier ideas about using an abs computer to make electric hydraulic brakes with ABS built in, if I had the tools to reprogram the computer this would be the easiest way actually. 

right now I am leaning towards a caravan axle with hydraulic surge brakes. 

 

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