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wompser's m416 trailer build

Discussion in 'Trailer Tech' started by wompser, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. wompser

    wompser Regular Member

    Messages:
    66
    Ok!
    Welcome to the big build! I bought a m416 a couple of years ago from a guy on craiglist. It’s been really, really functional, but it is finally time that I addressed the rust and paint issues to extend it’s life another 40 years.
    This will be a pretty straightforward project, I just want to build something to go camping, but not a trailer so overblown I can’t haul stuff around anymore. I’m also building it so it can be easily returned to a semi-stock configuration. (more on that later)
    Here’s a couple of pictures of it’s condition before work began… and no comments about the jeep, I’m now on jeep number 4 and I’ll never have anything else!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    originally built in 1969, it was owned by the forest service for a while. has some bumps and bruises, but nothing very serious. As you can see, rust was starting to become an issue. I did a complete teardown and separated everything that was possible.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After taking it all apart, it was off to the sandblaster: Puget Sound Coatings. They did a great job of blasting everything and coating the frame and components with two coats of epoxy paint. The paint looks great, but it turns out not to be all that hard, so I’ll be topcoating it with some harder paint that they were kind enough to give me for free.

    Next stop after the sandblaster was line-x. I used line-x of Kirkland, and while they were not cheap, I’d still recommend them, Jeremy did a great job on my trailer.

    while waiting for parts to come back, i ordered a whole mess of stuff and hit the tail lights with some paint remover then a buffing wheel. here's a before buffing and after buffing shot.
    [​IMG]
  2. wompser

    wompser Regular Member

    Messages:
    66
    a couple more pictures so you can gauge it's condition...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    it needed a good cleaning!
  3. wompser

    wompser Regular Member

    Messages:
    66
    and a little bit of eye candy so you can see the direction I'm headed...

    [​IMG]
    most everything will live in the aluminum box i picked up at a garage sale for 5 bucks (!!!) that way, it's all locked up and safe from the water. items which will go in include:

    hot water heater
    inverter
    battery isolator
    fuse box
    water pump
    LED light/shower mast
    jerry can water pickup
    (more on this stuff soon)


    this project is also teaching me how to weld. i'm definitely not good with the "buzz box" welder that my uncle gave me, but I think the welds should turn out very servicable if not pretty.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  4. wompser

    wompser Regular Member

    Messages:
    66
    i can see why you might wonder about the color i've painted it, but doesn't my jeep look lonely without a trailer?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    shown here in the ghost town of granite, montana on a recent fishing trip.
  5. alkarich

    alkarich New Member

    Messages:
    1,401
    Location:
    Duluth, Minnesota
    The trailer is looking great. The matching colored trailer is going to look nice.

    Any type of lid? Or are you staying with the canvas tarp?
  6. wompser

    wompser Regular Member

    Messages:
    66
    yes, type of top is definitely an important question. I do like the flexibility of the canvas top for dump runs, etc. so I'll be making the hard top removable so that I can easily put the canvas back on.

    the top of this project is phase two, but here's the tenative plan:

    [​IMG]

    this was taken from another discussion in this forum, designed by a guy in canada who makes these. I'll perhaps modify the design slightly. I'm leaning towards aluminum because of it's light weight, however, that probably means I'll have to have it fabricated rather than make it myself, as I don't have the means to weld aluminum. I'm not going with a rooftop tent yet, but the top will need to support a person's weight

    also, since my tongue box is diamond tread aluminum, i'm thinking I'd like to make the top out of the same. of course, a 4X8 sheet of this is $230, so it's not going to be cheap. 1 sheet is not even enough, as the bed of my m416 is over 4 feet wide. it won't be side-hinged, i'll want it to open towards the tongue of the trailer. i'm likely going to put the hinge on the nose box, not on the body itself. it's an unusual design choice, but I think it will make sense to better seat the gasket on the rails.

    I've been searching the forums on a good discussion of top options, and havent' found one. i'm loathe to start yet another thread, but has anyone found a real discussion of the subject yet?
  7. Bad Mojo

    Bad Mojo New Member

    Messages:
    908
    Location:
    New Mexico
    I am liking the work. It looks really clean. Are you going to do some kind of latch system for the hardtop? Black top to match your jeep? You could use some the latches people have been using for their tailgates. It would look really robust that way. Also why no tailgate? Great job!
  8. wompser

    wompser Regular Member

    Messages:
    66
    the current jeep is above... the tub is perfectly color matched to the jeep!

    there will be a latch system for the top, i'm thinking I'll go to austin hardware and order something like what's on the tongue box.

    no pictures yet, but finished up 95% of the frame. the front section that holds the tongue is now pretty much finished, except for paint and a couple of holes drilled. (anyone have any ideas how to paint the INSIDE of some square tube?) the front frame section weighs about as much as the existing frame... heavier than I was hoping, but should be beefy enough to hold up with my lousy welds. I figured I better go heavy duty if I was going to extend the tongue length of the trailer, that part will now experience more stress than the original design.

    a word about the future: I will install the extended tongue, but my build will be such that I can fairly easily go back to a stock tongue configuration if necessary. when I purchased the trailer, I got an extra lunette reciever and landing leg piece, so swapping out the front frame members and small parts should only be an afternoon project if I deem it necessary. maybe I'll never do this, but it's a great option for the future owner if I ever sell this beast. not cutting a tailgate is part of the same philosophy: keep it stock(ish). plus, I LOVE the idea of filling the tub up with water and taking a bath! or floating it behind the jeep on a river crossing with no worries.

    strangely the two lunette pieces aren't exactly the same, one must have come from a different year, as some of the bolt holes are in different locations.
  9. wompser

    wompser Regular Member

    Messages:
    66
    a couple of pictures from last night's session... I think you'll get the idea of where this is going from these pictures.


    it was raining last night so I had to work in my very messy and crowded 1 car garage:

    [​IMG]

    see where i'm headed?
    [​IMG]

    one thing that I had to do that I may later regret was chop off the pad that the parking brake pivots on. it's the one piece that will have to be re-welded if I want to take this thing back to "stock" configuration. it's not a huge deal, but flies in the face of making this a 100% reverseable restoration.
    [​IMG]

    and yes... i'm cheating. after welding and then slightly sanding my welds, i'm also hiding them under a layer of bondo... I know it's not the craftsman's route, but it's the route i'm taking with this project!

    [​IMG]
  10. wompser

    wompser Regular Member

    Messages:
    66
    one last picture.
    [​IMG]

    here you can see one of the unique challenges I've faced by retaining the lunette reciever. since that thing bolts on,i've had to make my frame split down the middle so I can unbolt and re-bolt the whole thing when necessary. those two tabs on the cross members will eventually have bolts through them to hold them steady. while the front one is in the exact middle of the piece the rear split is off to one side to accomidate the parking break pivot.
  11. tgreening

    tgreening Regular Member

    Messages:
    113
    One thing you might consider is sleeving the tube where you're going to run bolts through it. Any significant torque on the bolt and you'll start to collapse the tube. Just a thought.

  12. wompser

    wompser Regular Member

    Messages:
    66
    yes, that's a fair thought. there will actually be two bolts per tab to mininize torque, plus the aluminum box bolted in, so i think there should be fairly small amounts of torque on those bolts.

    got the frame sanded down and primed last night. no pictures because it's pretty boring stuff!
  13. wompser

    wompser Regular Member

    Messages:
    66
    today was one of the last sunny days before the rain, and I got some solid work done. it was frustrating, btu satisfying by the end of the day to see it come together.

    first up was the painting. what a freakin' pain. it was windy and there was all manner of bull**** blowing all over the place from my neighbor's tree. i've been very tempted to chop that thing down in the middle of the night! anyway, I tenatively sprayed two types of primer, then acrylic enamel over the frame members I built. I was planning on covering every piece that was black on my trailer, but the painting was so difficult to do well, I'll leave that project for the next time I take this thing apart.


    [​IMG]

    it came out ok, but as you can see there's some "orange peel" to the finish. (was better once it dried fully)
    [​IMG]

    the sad brakes got a shot of paint too:
    [​IMG]

    stainless hardware, ready to go:

    [​IMG]

    and the frame, before I put so much stuff on it that I had to enlist my brother to help me get it off the sawhorses... the two of us just barely did it without killing ourselves!

    [​IMG]


    the hardware looks really awesome on there:
    [​IMG]

    yeah, I know I should be using grade 8 hardware, but I had a bunch of stainless, and it'll work just fine.

    [​IMG]

    the right axle and brakes, mostly cleaned out:
    [​IMG]
    as you can see, apparently some water got into this bearing at some point. it's not pitted where the races go, just in between them, however this wheel does not turn as freely as the other side... I'll definitely wan to keep an eye on it. I think it should be fine, but when spun it only free wheels for a couple rotations, where the other side spins for a couple of seconds.

    by comparison, this one looks way better inside:
    [​IMG]

    here it is with the drum on. I'm not 100% sure what order the pieces in the hub go back together in... my manual is a little inconsistant. right now, from order of inside to out the order is:
    1. inner seal
    2. inner bearing
    3. brake drum
    4. outer bearing
    5. inside adjustment nut
    6. washer
    7. washer (the one you bend over the outside nut)
    8. outside nut.
    that is the order it was in when I took it apart, but not the same as what's in the manual, however, I understand from a differnt thread that some manuals are misprinted. this should work!

    [​IMG]

    I love how new everythign looks!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  14. wompser

    wompser Regular Member

    Messages:
    66
    I do have one regret about this build, I really wish the guys at puget sound coatings had put one topcoat of acrylic enamel over the 2-part epoxy paint (black). it should give good protection against rust, but it's SOOO soft that touching it with somethign metal invaribly scratches it a bit. not a huge deal I guess, but it's not really a perfect restoration. I should learn not to focus on the little stuff!

    as for my painting skills, they're not so good! also not a huge deal, but I defintely need to redo some of my work, there are places where the paint is obviously too thin and you can see primer underneath. hopefully the weather will hold for one more day so I can tackle that project.

    the frame is now 90 percent done, I just have a couple more bits and pieces to attend to. maybe I should have done a spring over axle lift while I had everything apart, but I think I'm going to wait and see if I really want it. I need to get the jeep lifted first anyway. (well, not according to my wife!)

    I'm a little suprised that more people haven't commented in this thread... what, dosen't anyone like it??? (at least give me credit for taking good pictures!!!)
  15. REZARF

    REZARF New Member

    Messages:
    3,234
    Location:
    Louisville, CO
    wompser-

    Great build great pics bud!

    I have a few thought take them for what they are worth.

    Stainless is considered grade 2, I would use it extensively where you didn't feel you would be compromising strength.

    Second, I have started using Rustoleum rattle can, the "hard Hat" industrial version. it is a bit more expensive, but it lays down smooth and it has held up really well for a few years now. I have heard great things about epoxy appliance paint too, but I have no personal expericence with it. Sliders will be my test mule for that paint :)

    For a hardtop, make sure you get adjustable latches, you will need to retighten them over time.

    Otherwise you're doing great!

    Where did you get your shocks?

    Drew
  16. sirenmoses

    sirenmoses New Member

    Messages:
    3,280
    Location:
    7400', central NM
    Wow, great refurb, excellengt workmanship, and OUTSTANDING photos. what camera do you use??
  17. wompser

    wompser Regular Member

    Messages:
    66
    ha ha, now your just pandering to my request for more comments!

    the camera is a sony SLR, but it's nothing special. I do enjoy photography though!

    I'll be doing a little more work on it tonight, so may have a new update later. for now, I have some advice for anyone considering a build.... take whatever you initally estimate it's going to costm, and double it! I can't believe how expensive it is to do all this work (and I dont' just mean the stainless hardware). seems like I always have to buy a new tool or something costs way more than I thought it would.

    just helpful advice!
  18. wompser

    wompser Regular Member

    Messages:
    66
    ok, a little more update for you. sorry there's not more pictures, I have a pretty demanding day job, so I have to do most of my work at night.

    first, an overhead view, in case you haven't figured out what i'm doing yet:
    [​IMG]

    i used the original brake handle mounting plate, but relocated it. I got the idea for the turnbuckle somewhere on the mud forums, but I'm going to replace it with somethign more heavy duty pretty quick. i'm not loving this, though it is functional:
    [​IMG]

    I really can't believe everythign was square when I put the box in. I had EXACTLY 1/8th of an inch on either side of the box to install a rubber "bumper" between... that's more luck than good welding/geometry skills! the rubber should keep the box from chafing the frame too badly.

    [​IMG]

    a while ago i overpaid for some drain plugs on ebay, but didn't realize I didn't have the mounting brackets for the plugs. here, you can see I'm fabricating up some brackets:
    [​IMG]

    and then once primed, i heated them up a bit to dry them faster!
    [​IMG]

    and then finally, here they are painted and installed:

    [​IMG]

    you might wonder about the red paint on a couple of items, but I felt like I needed an accent color besides just black, green and silver. I might wind up repainting everything black, but wanted to give the red a shot.
  19. tgreening

    tgreening Regular Member

    Messages:
    113
    Leave 'em red. It reminds you that it's an item that you need to pay attention to. I've got a Unimog and all the lubrication points are marked in red, and all the critical bolt together spots are marked in yellow. I thought that was a pretty good idea (Mercedes, not mine). Those spots catch my attention every time I walk by the truck.

    Great looking build by the way. I think you're doing an awesome job.
  20. REZARF

    REZARF New Member

    Messages:
    3,234
    Location:
    Louisville, CO
    Looking good, cna you give me some details of your shocks? Where did you source them?

    Thanks-drew

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