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  1. #1
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    Default enclosed motorbike trailer build - advice needed

    Hi all,
    I'm currently designing my trailer build for a 10'x6' (3m x 1.8m) enclosed trailer build. The sides will be 5' (1.5m) high. I got a few random questions I need to help with.

    I'm looking to build something like the attached pic. What I'm trying to work out is how to attach the side panels in conjunction with the checkerplate on the sides. I'm looking to clad the sides with aluminium composite panel which is 3mm thick.
    1) Should I try and butt join 3mm alum checkplate with the 3mm panel? or should I just run the panel top to bottom, and then attach 1.6mm alum checkplate over the top of the panel?

    Since I want it to be waterproof, butt joining seems to more difficult option.
    thoughts?

    2) I'm also looking for a waterproof piano type hinge for the lift up roof. Anyone know where I can find such a thing?

    3) What's the best way to attach the cladding to the trailer frame? Pop rivets? I've heard you can just use sikaflex to glue it? Anyone have experience with gluing that can convince me it will work

    4) How much clearance should the sides of the wheel guards have from the side walls of the tyres?

    Thanks in advance
    Rob
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  3. #2
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    Firstly, welcome aboard.

    Usually, the chequerplate aluminium is place over the top of the walls as more of a decorative stone guard, so you needn't worry about waterproofing the join between it and the walls. You could run a bead of clear silicone to stop water running between the two, but seeing as both are usually aluminium, rust is not really a big issue.

    The hinge I'm not much help with, but it does depend on where the join will be. If the join is across the top where water will sit, then the hinge would need to be very waterproof. But if the hinge were on a corner or a sloped section, then not much water would get through even a normal stainless piano hinge. Maybe have a look at how Teardrop Caravans are done with their rear door.

    Horse floats are clad by just using pop rivets.

    There's not usually a great deal of side movement in a single axle trailer, so if you can slide your hand between the outer tyre wall and the outer wall, you should be OK. This does depend on how much the tyre tucks into the wheelarch though. A standard trailer guard with no tuck at all can have the tyre flush with the outside. Be careful with how much tyre tuck, as it will make changing a flat tyre difficult.
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  4. #3
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    Hi Rob. I am building a trailer using much the same method. I am using aluminium composite panel from Ullrick Aluminium. Have a look at this link Aluminium Composite Panels for Signage from Ullrich Aluminium
    The good thing with this product is they have aluminium joiner sections and corners and such, they also have a sale on at the present.

    I have also spoken to Sika Australia Pty Ltd | Australia about gluing the paneling on the trailer frame without mechanical fasteners. I spoke to one of their technical guys and he said not a problem with what i wanted to do. Truck body builders have been using this method for quite a while now. He suggested the following method;
    First, clean and scuff the metal to make a mechanical bond surface. Then apply http://www.sika.com.au/cmi/pdfs/TDS_Primer206GP.pdf

    Second, use http://www.sika.com.au/cmi/pdfs/TDS_Sikaflex221.pdf. The trick to using this product is to use some 2mm rubber dots stuck on the steel frame to hold the panel of the frame to allow 2mm thick sikaflex between frame and panel this helps to take up any sheer load and the fact that the panel may expand at different rates in the sun giving your trailer a rippled look

    As for the waterproof piano hinge, I have no idea. We have been looking for years for such a thing for use on our glider trailers with no luck.

    Best Regards Chris

    PS hear is the link to my trailer build http://www.woodworkforums.com/f184/m...-build-137398/
    Last edited by Yonnee; 19th Aug 2011 at 10:15 PM. Reason: Spelling. No offence Chris...

  5. #4
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    Thanks for the advice - really appreciated.

    Since my initial post, I did some more googling and managed to find a couple of waterproof hinges like what I was looking for at a place called Ovesco. There is a TILA hinge, and a centreflex one. The TILA looks like the better one, but $270 for a hinge is probably more than I'd want to spend on a hinge.

    The other question I meant to ask was about using falcon/commodore alloys, or aftermarket alloy wheels as trailer wheels. Since my trailer is for taking my road bikes to the track, it won't be seeing any dirt tracks, and hence, I was thinking i'd like to use some 17 or 18inch wheels. I've heard that the centre hole in car wheels isn't large enough to fit on trailer hubs. Anyone know if this is true?

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by robjnoble View Post
    The other question I meant to ask was about using falcon/commodore alloys, or aftermarket alloy wheels as trailer wheels. Since my trailer is for taking my road bikes to the track, it won't be seeing any dirt tracks, and hence, I was thinking i'd like to use some 17 or 18inch wheels. I've heard that the centre hole in car wheels isn't large enough to fit on trailer hubs. Anyone know if this is true?
    Correct. But when you order your axle, you can get the hubs turned down so that the snout goes through the rim, around 57mm is about the smallest you can go. Ford stuff isn't so much of a drama as they have a 70mm centre bore (although I'm not completely sure of BA-BF...)
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yonnee View Post
    (although I'm not completely sure of BA-BF...)
    If this 2003 BA alloy wheel is anything to go by (without taking the wheel off to take exact measurements), the hole is just under 60mm with the hub diameter about 2mm less.
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  8. #7
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    Thanks Bazz.
    See, alloy wheels are a slightly different kettle of fish. They will have a bore diameter at the hub face, where it mates up to the rotor, for a certain depth and then step in narrower as it gets closer to the outside, culminating in the diameter you see above for the centre cap. I have a couple of BA LTD rims in the shed, I'll try and take a photo to show what I mean.
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  9. #8
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    I have just done what you are doing pretty much. See this thread:

    http://www.woodworkforums.com/f184/e...-build-133703/

    I used a glue similar to sikalfex. I was going to use the method of having spacers on the frame, then applying the sika but opted against it. If I had the stick on rubber bits perhaps I would have done it

    All looked and worked well for 2 weeks then the panel started separating from the frame, to the extent that I have now rivetted it for extra support. I don't believe it was the glue I used, as I used that in a trailer last year that was essentially glued together and it worked fine. So I would suggest doing the spacers and hope it works. If it doesn't, and you then need to rivet, it will look terrible as it will pull the panel in a lot where the rivets are.

    Maybe my problem was there was not enough glue left in place once I braced it? I used galvanised RHS....dunno if that was the issue.

    I used 17" Ford BA alloy wheels and had no issues with the axle ends. Even the standard caps went back in place so it looks good

    I know there is a few water tight rubber hinges available...but I don't know any names. I can find out if you need to check another 1.

    Anyway hope it all works well

  10. #9
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    For hinges, check these guys out . . . UES(int'l) P/L. Click on the 3rd topic down the hinge list named 'Aluminium or Rubber hinges'

  11. #10
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    My 2c worth regarding the rubberised plastic hinges as you're looking at is dont. My work bus was (note the past tense) fitted with similar products on the 'tradie' service body it has. Both split straight down the middle. The passenger side one went in Feb this year, the driver side one lasted until Monday this week (the car was new late (Sept) last year). Our fleet people had them replaced with a mega stainless hinge, and a really ingenius and low tech way of waterproofing them. The hinge gets a fold of waterproof tarp material put over it prior to installation. Seriously simple, and very effective. If todays effort ias anything to go by they, this also makes them dust proof too.
    When you put your hinge in, use AVEX Mono Bolt rivets to attach it, standard Cherry type rivets wont hack the stress of opening and closing for too long.

    Thanks for the links for the suppliers guys, spotted a couple of things that might make a couple of future projects just that bit more pro...

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