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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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The Trailer Build Guide

I was going to wait until I got further along and then show pictures of my trailer conversion from rusty, beat up, flat-tired, flat bed trailer, to cool and sexy roller, but then I woke up and realized that you guys are my BEST resource as I piece this thing together.
So please suggest how I should improve it.

A few things I am not planning on doing is investing substantially more than it will ever be worth. I bought it with the new deck and realized up front that they saved 1/2 of the money putting it on by only putting bolts NEAR the center of the boards and I won't bother dealing with that at this time.

What I am looking for:

1. A trailer that will easily haul my Elise and support equipment.
I am not looking to make my Elsie a "Trailer Queen" but where I live I have to drive about 300 miles in a mostly straight line to get anywhere and 500 to get anywhere else. I just don't want to keep driving it one place and then having to change the fluids.

2. AND a trailer I can use for hauling other stuff.

I bought this trailer a few months ago and had a heck of a time figuring out what size/style wheels to get for it without replacing the 5x5.5 Ford hubs. Finally bought some from Summit Racing. They should lower the trailer a bit as well.

Plans so far:

Add E-Track along the tire center lines - Already got it. Perhaps you can see the chalk lines where I am going to router out to allow for it to be recessed and keep a flat surface;

Cut off the side rails and install pockets and redesigned side rails so I can add sides for hauling the "other" stuff or protecting the Elise and equipment;

Do something with the tongue assembly;

Build Looonnnng ramps for easy loading - there will be "hangers" on the sides of the trailer to store them?

Add a small winch; Add a Battery Box; Replace the Fenders; Add a utility box just for trailer stuff;

Could use suggestions for:

Storage for Lotus support stuff - especially small items. I think I can tie down jacks and build a removable tire rack - but other stuff?

What else should I do? (Besides post smaller pictures next time. These were for detail)
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 12:08 PM
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I would think about installing a chock system for the front tires. Something for the front tires to press against when ratcheting the car tie down straps. Make them removable when using the trailer for other purposes.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 01:05 PM
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Most trailers store the ramps underneath where they pull out from the rear.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 01:40 PM
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So does that mean that you will be coming to the West Coast Lotus meet? (hint, hint)

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 01:52 PM
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Most trailers store the ramps underneath where they pull out from the rear.

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If you can, figure out an easy way to do this.... Try to make it so you never have to lift the whole weight of that loooonnnng ramp, just slide it out and drop it. A tire rack and mounted tool box are really nice to have. It sounds like you are handy, so add plenty of hooks and rings to tie stuff down.

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 02:03 PM
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If you can, figure out an easy way to do this.... Try to make it so you never have to lift the whole weight of that loooonnnng ramp, just slide it out and drop it. A tire rack and mounted tool box are really nice to have. It sounds like you are handy, so add plenty of hooks and rings to tie stuff down.
Should be easy. Just bolt some sections of angle iron (or similar) like this under the trailer in at least three places to support each ramp.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 02:16 PM
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That looks exactly what I've got... My only complaint is that you can't open the doors to steer it up or down. Then you have to remember to keep power on the open the window to steer. Once it is on, then you reach inside to close the window and then you can't get the key out...

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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That does look like the same trailer!

Since I am removing the top rail and re-configuring, I plan to lower the height of the railing - if I put one back on. I am planning on it, just not quite sure of the exact design yet.

I am familiar with putting the ramps under the trailer, but this runs into problems when the trailer is too low. Since I am planning on lonnnng ramps, they will be at least two pieces with a support in the middle. Which is another reason they won't store under. If I did store them under, I would add rear wheels under the trailer so the trailer bottoms out (on flat surfaces) on the wheels and it saves the ramps and/or the storage area. I have actually seen ramps get pinched into their storage areas underneath so I am cautious of this.

I am trying to think of a clever design to have the ramps be the side rails when they are not ramps. This would kind of solve a couple of issues at once.

And I am looking for a clever tool box/storage solution. So far I got nuthin.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 04:06 PM
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So how about having the ramps on the bed to each side of the car so you don't have to lift them, rather you just unsecure them and slide them to the back? Also, I like the trailers where the fenders come off so you have more clearance (at least on the drivers side). At least then if your door hits something, it's just the tire. You might want to remove the side rails just where they interfere with door clearance to give you convenient places to tie down objects (not your car).

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 06:32 PM
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Those side rails are a major structural component of that trailer. It is a composite (built up) beam. The good news is that the Lotus is a very light car, you don't need much strength there. I'm not sure removable ramps would provide the structural rigidity needed.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 11:38 PM
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I think JJ is correct, they may be part of the structure.

I have no rails on mine but have a beefy frame. The trailer weighs way more than the car.

Chocks are good, I have them on all 4 tires. Big problem I have is the stock ramps are not long enough so I have home made extensions. When I back over the chocks it jolts the trailer enough sometimes to make the ramp come off the extension, then my moron neighbor does not tell me and I crush my diffuser!




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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Those side rails are a major structural component of that trailer. It is a composite (built up) beam. The good news is that the Lotus is a very light car, you don't need much strength there. I'm not sure removable ramps would provide the structural rigidity needed.
Good observation. My plan is to cut the top off and shorten the vertical rails a few inches to allow for door clearance. This amounts to about 2". I will weld vertical cups at specific points to allow for insertion of 2x4s and then re-attach a top angle-iron cap similar to what is there now but allows for the cups so I can add sides as needed. I haven't quite figured out how to keep the rail and still be able to put on sides that go all of the way to the floor of the trailer.
I'll try to describe my idea - Weld the cups on that extend vertically below the floor level and at floor level they become 3 sided up to the level of the new top rail. The three sides extend up to the top angle-iron cap. This allows for a 2x4 to be inserted into the cups and they can have plywood extend all of the way to the bed. It also keeps the structural integrity of the top rail as a continuous piece. The only thing I think I am not so sure about is the difference in rigidity between a ladder that is currently "X" tall vs a ladder that is approximately "X-2" tall.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 05:15 PM
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That looks exactly what I've got... My only complaint is that you can't open the doors to steer it up or down. Then you have to remember to keep power on the open the window to steer. Once it is on, then you reach inside to close the window and then you can't get the key out...

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Do you have shares in a Tie down company !!
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 05:17 PM
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My top rails are not angles, they are square tubing. Square tubing is significantly stronger than angle-iron. I think mine is 2" square tubing. I've got angles for verticals.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 05:19 PM
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Do you have shares in a Tie down company !!
Those were the same straps used to ship my car from Saudi...they are each about 50-feet long. I just tie them back to the trailer so I don't have to cut them down to length...
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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That's a GREAT idea. I will probably replace the top angle iron with square tubing.
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 09:25 PM
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I converted my flat bed trailer to give me more storage . Not the most aero design , but it works well .
The only regret.. its now just a tad short so considering lengthening it .
Also a little lower would have been helpful as I have to carry extra ramps to get my cars off . I run around 100mm ride heights .
Even with extra ramps I still jack up the trailer at the tow bar when loading.
The storage areas allow me to carry a large amount of "stuff" to the track and it has been designed so that I can install a vice and have a small workbench, but have yet to finish that part .
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8 Tyres/ Rims can fit above the front of the Car
I went with a Warn 4700 winch https://www.warn.com/utility/dcwinches/DC4700.shtml
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Tread Deck alloy on the base .
I use tie downs front and rear that go through the wheels and pull against each other , plus use a tie down from the roll cage to the front of the trailer as a fail safe. Never had a problem.
Its just possible to see the side car on the trailer in the rear vision mirrors , but you can't see much of it , which is a bonus , nothing worse than crashing your car and then looking at it all the way home on the trailer !!!

Last edited by cph; 08-17-2014 at 09:35 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 09:36 PM
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That's a very novel Idea! Good job and well use of space!

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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-17-2014, 09:38 PM
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Heres the pics




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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 03:22 AM
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I like to concept/idea. Very nicely done too.

How come there's no beer stein icon? You deserve a toast for that one.
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