The never ending trailer headache

When we decided to go into land speed racing, we would never have guessed how much time and money we were going to spend on support equipment, and particularly on the trailer.

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Working on the trailer means working outdoors. It is either blasting heat or freezing cold.

The 30 ft “toy hauler” 5th wheel trailer we are using to transport the KillaJoule has been a frequent headache over the past 5 years. Until Aaron at Jayhawk Trailers in Commerce City, CO helped us to upgrade to light truck tires and setup axles and suspension correctly, we had flat tires every year. With the tire problems finally straighten out, corrosion is our new problem.

After 5 years of salt racing, corrosion is starting to give us grief. Loading and unloading drags salt into the trailer. When we sweep the floor, the salt ends up in the hinges on the back door. Last year, one of the hinges seized and pulled right out of the frame. Bill spent several grueling days last fall cutting of the hinges and welding new ones on (with grease fittings this time!). To prevent salt from getting into the new hinges, we have been discussing for several months how to make a protective covering for them. An old, but never used, drag racing inner tube came to mind. After some brain storming how to get a straight strip of rubber from a “donut” shaped inner tube, we finally put the knife into it today. We marked a spiral with masking tape, and started to cut.

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It took a bit of thinking to figure out how to get a straight strip from a “donut”.

The strip came out straight and flat enough to make a continuous seal for the back door. This will both protect the hinges from getting salt swept into them, and keep the road dust out of the trailer. Half a day of work; and the result looks like it was factory made! That’s how we spent our 4th of July. 😉

While I love to work on the KillaJoule streamliner, I really don’t like working on the trailer. You would think that work is work, but it really isn’t. Working on the streamliner means that I work towards the goal of making it faster. It is also indoors in our nicely lighted and climate controlled garage. The trailer is just dirty, rusty, and was never built with any quality to start with. It won’t fit in the garage, so we are always working outside in either blasting heat or freezing cold. But maybe what makes me dislike it the most, is that it takes time from working on the streamliner.

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The finished seal – like it was factory made!

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