Friday, September 3, 2010

Trailer Tower Project

I'm in the home stretch! I still have to put the fenders on the trailer, wire the tail and running lights, and get it registered and licensed, but it's a "roller" right now, and I'm happy! Spent most of the day fitting and cutting the plywood and shim strips I had to make, and counter-boring six places on the backside of it so it would fit _over_ the bolts that hold the side rails to the cross-members. And doing one of my favorite items from High School Auto Shop, cleaning and packing the wheel bearings! I just don't trust the grease that they packed them with in China, so I washed all that stuff out with mineral spirits, gave 'em a blast of "Gun Scrubber" to get ALL the oily reside off, and then repacked them with some high temp disk brake rated grease. One of these days I'll buy the little attachment for a grease gun that lets you pressure pack them, but for now I put on some gloves, and relived my Freshman year in High School.
Well, part of it, anyway.
Hand-packing wheel bearings is not one of my favorite automotive tasks, but I felt it had to be done, as I've had wheel bearings fail before, and it always happens at Really Bad times, like going down the highway at 65 MPH.
So, the agenda for Saturday is to make up some backing plates for the bottom-side of the plywood where the tower mounting bolts will go, and get the tower mounted on the trailer. After the September VHF QSO Party next weekend, I'll pull the tower off, wire it up, and make an appointment at the DMV to have it "inspected" (all they check is that the VIN on the frame matches the Certificate of Origin) so I can get it registered and licensed. Having the tower transportable this way will make it MUCH easier next year at Field Day. I'm still trying to noodle out some type of leveling system for it, as it's always recommended to have a trailer "4-Square-and-Level" for this type of use. I was thinking of getting four of the hand-crank screw-type trailer jacks, one for each corner, but all the ones I've found require welding, and I don't own a welder.....YET! I looked at getting 4 scissors jacks, but ones that have enough lift cost about $40 each, and I really don't want to spend that much when for about $50 more I can get the weld-on jacks AND the welder.
More to come, including the antenna rebuild, after I post all the pix worth seeing on PhotoBucket.


  1. Sheesh! Packing wheel bearings - one of life's little mechanical joys. Dad had an ancient tub of goo with varying degrees of thickness overlaid by some liquid that had separated out.

    It worked great - and today's stuff seems positively thin in comparison.

  2. Sounds like my container of anti-seize! I haven't had to stir it a couple of weeks now because it's been getting so much use.


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