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View Full Version : Single to tandem axle conversion vs. a new trailer?


ajgressette
05-02-2006, 07:25 PM
After having a bearing fail and destroying a hub, spindle and brake I wish I had a tandem axle trailer. Anyone ever converted a trailer or would I be better off buying a new trailer. #19MC 1998. Whats a new one cost?

Footin
05-02-2006, 07:59 PM
I do not think a single could easily be converted to a tandum and a new one would probably be around 4 g's.

It would be much cheeper to have someone repack you bearings every year.

I understand you wants of a double axle as I have blown bearing before.

east tx skier
05-02-2006, 08:01 PM
I know it's come up at least once before. For some reason, I seem to remember the consensus being that it would be expensive, but not impossible.

LakeZoar32
05-02-2006, 08:09 PM
:noface: Would be better to get the tandem axle trailer instead of trying to convert.
My boat came with a single axle trailer. It has the oil bath bearing assembly. I hope they are better than the grease bearings.

ajgressette
05-02-2006, 09:49 PM
I have replaced the bearings and seals every other year since I got the boat. Even went to the extreme to order the Koyo USA bearings that came with the trailer. Sometimes bearings just go bad like every thing else. Oil bath hubs sound like a good idea but it would be just my luck for the oil to come out. I think I may look into a galvanized tandem trailer.

east tx skier
05-02-2006, 11:14 PM
From my local dealer, I've been made to understand that due to rising steel costs, trailer prices are sky-high. I could be off here, but I think they told me that a tandem from Dorsey with brakes was going to run in excess of $5K. $3.5K for a single.

86Craft
05-02-2006, 11:25 PM
Convert a single to a tandam? You must have access to one heck of a welding shop. I could come over :friday: and convert my super-cab Ford into a super-crew. We would spend about the same amount of money, it would look about the same, and we would both be pissed we did it.
Buy a tandam, or fix the hub. :steering:

east tx skier
05-02-2006, 11:40 PM
I think 86 Craft has the right options. But if you do do it, please take lots of pictures. I'll be the first guy who cut out the closed bow of his ski boat to make it an open bow had people tell him not to do it. But I've seen pictures of a conversion and they look amazing.

Slight threadjack.

Leroy
05-02-2006, 11:40 PM
That seems to be a lot of replacement? Do you have bearing buddies?



I have replaced the bearings and seals every other year since I got the boat. Even went to the extreme to order the Koyo USA bearings that came with the trailer. Sometimes bearings just go bad like every thing else. Oil bath hubs sound like a good idea but it would be just my luck for the oil to come out. I think I may look into a galvanized tandem trailer.

east tx skier
05-02-2006, 11:41 PM
How many miles per year do you tow? The occassional shot of grease is all mine have ever required.

ajgressette
05-03-2006, 05:53 AM
Oh yea I have bearing buddies on the hubs. I probably do not pull my boat more than 200 miles a year. I donít think this was a bearing failure due to lack of grease, the bearing simply failed. If a new trailer is 5k, I am going to do this myself for a fraction of that cost. I have a welding shop at work and I do know how to weld. I will need to look at a tandem trailer and take all the necessary measurements. I think the most expensive part will be the fenders from Mastercraft.

TMCNo1
05-03-2006, 10:48 AM
ajgressette, have your dealer call MC and find out what a replacement trailer would cost. I know that in 2002 MC would build for customers, a trailer that would fit boats back to 1993, It would be a new trailer with all the current features but everything was set up for the model boat you had. I helped a boat owner get a single axle for a 1993 PS 190 and was delivered to our local MC dealer here in NC for $2,800+ taxes and fees.

east tx skier
05-03-2006, 11:20 AM
If a new trailer is 5k, I am going to do this myself for a fraction of that cost....

For the record, that's second hand info I got (and was probably ballpark at that). Make sure you confirm replacement cost before making your decision.

River Rat
05-03-2006, 11:25 AM
I just priced a double axle Magnum out of Austin, Galv. no brakes just basic trailer $3200 and I thought that was High.

east tx skier
05-03-2006, 11:53 AM
I just priced a double axle Magnum out of Austin, Galv. no brakes just basic trailer $3200 and I thought that was High.

I'm told it's the price of steel, but who knows.

ajgressette
05-03-2006, 12:24 PM
I will get a dealer to quote a trailer just to see what one cost. Columbia, SC no longer has a dealer so I believe the one in Charlotte, NC is the closest. 200 miles! The cost of steel has gone up a lot in the past few years but so has the cost of boats. I think a lot of this is contributed to the boom in the wake board industry. I guess I could always explain to Mastercraft that I donít wake board, but I hardly think its going to make a difference. LOL.

River Rat
05-03-2006, 12:36 PM
Just remember if you buy a new trailer you can always sell the old one, if things go wrong with the conversion you still buy a new one and you get to part out your old one :rolleyes:

ted shred
05-03-2006, 02:00 PM
I have seen a nice conversion ,where a new 2 axle suspension was built on its own attached to steel channel that fit inside the existing trailer.
The old stuff was cut away and the new 2axle was slid under and adjusted for best load distribution, then welded up. The guy I talked to liked the way it worked . One thing to remember is that a bearing will go bad on a 2 axle just like a single.If it does or you get a flat tire a 2 axle is not any more usefull than a single, unless you have some chains to pull the dissabled wheel up off the road and keep it there as you limp home. A 2 axle is also more difficult to move by hand. But they look cooler and are easier to find tires with adequate load ratings for.

ajgressette
05-03-2006, 02:22 PM
I have seen a kit like this on the net. Kinda how I got the idea.
http://www.championtrailers.com/SINGLE%20TO%20TANDEM%20CONVERSION%20KIT.htm (http://)

Bert
05-03-2006, 08:44 PM
One thing to remember is that a bearing will go bad on a 2 axle just like a single.If it does or you get a flat tire a 2 axle is not any more usefull than a single, unless you have some chains to pull the dissabled wheel up off the road and keep it there as you limp home. A 2 axle is also more difficult to move by hand. But they look cooler and are easier to find tires with adequate load ratings for.
They also tow a lot nicer and give your boat a much smoother ride.

bigmac
05-03-2006, 09:48 PM
For the record, that's second hand info I got (and was probably ballpark at that). Make sure you confirm replacement cost before making your decision.

I don't know what the actual price would be, but the MSRP sticker price for the MasterCraft tandem axle trailer that came with my boat was $5410, according to the invoice.

jimmer2880
05-04-2006, 06:57 AM
I ran some numbers in my head... axle, spindles, brakes, wheels & tires came to ~$600.00. I have no idea how much the MC fenders would be. I guess you could go off-brand & save some significant $$$'s on the fenders though.

I also weld & have access to a metal fab shop, but I won't be tackling that project any time soon.

** edit **
Then, you'll need to re-paint your trailer after all that grinding & welding.

rasmithaz
05-04-2006, 09:56 PM
I have a 93 single axle mastercraft trailer for a prostar 205 with the original fiberglass fenders. Everything on that trailer is in good shape. I would much rather have a tandem axle trailer because I do a lot of towing on rough dirt roads. I can have the trailer converted to tandem axle at Randall's VIP trailers for a ballpark $2300. This does not include wheels and tires and the fenders are not mastercraft. I would be comfortable having these guys do it right. They would build me a new custom trailer for my boat for > $5000. I don't want to mess up a perfectly good trailer and toss the mastercraft fiberglass fenders away just because I want a tandem axle trailer. When one of the fenders gets damaged I'm going in for the conversion. Anybody wanna buy a nice single axle Mastercraft trailer?

87 TriStar 190
05-09-2006, 11:59 PM
I have a tandem axle under my 87 TriStar 190. It came with the boat. Other than a shot of grease once a month or so and having the bearings removed and repacked once, about 5 years ago (as a precaution before a 22 hour round trip drive) , it's been trouble free for 19 years. We live 20 miles from the lake so I put a lot of miles on it. It pulls much smoother. It's also harder to move around the garage. Mine was manufactured by SMP. I called them with questioin few years ago, and the engineer I spoke to would have stayed on phone all day. My question was how to raise the trailer to avoid rubbing the prop guard when backing into the drive. He confirmed my plan and I raised it an inch.

east tx skier
05-10-2006, 12:08 AM
I don't know what the actual price would be, but the MSRP sticker price for the MasterCraft tandem axle trailer that came with my boat was $5410, according to the invoice.

That's close to what I heard for the dual axle from them.

Farmer Ted
05-10-2006, 12:24 AM
I don't think it would be as easy as just slapping another axle on the trailer and wala you're good to go

Where would you put the 2nd axle, fore or aft of the current one?

Would one axle carry more load than the other?

I bet if you line a single axle and a dual axle trailer side by side the axle of the single trailer would fall smack dab in the middle of the dual axles....

but I'm no weight and balance guru


just sayin....

east tx skier
05-10-2006, 12:27 AM
Sounds like 16 beer job to me. That is get so drunk that you don't try it.

/I lack welding skills.

Farmer Ted
05-10-2006, 12:32 AM
Sounds like 16 beer job to me. That is get so drunk that you don't try it.

/I lack welding skills.


I got your back (in a Christian way)

what's up with Stealth mode?

east tx skier
05-10-2006, 12:39 AM
I turned it on a week or so ago to lay low for a while. Just haven't gotten around to turning it off. Did you get your boat on the water last weekend after the storms. We were on Caddo and got a little chilly (for May) on Sunday.

SKI*MC
05-10-2006, 12:40 AM
why are you laying low? What did you do now?

east tx skier
05-10-2006, 12:41 AM
Nothing I'm admitting to.

limegreen
05-10-2006, 12:42 AM
After having a bearing fail and destroying a hub, spindle and brake I wish I had a tandem axle trailer. Anyone ever converted a trailer or would I be better off buying a new trailer. #19MC 1998. Whats a new one cost?
I asked the same question of my dealer lately and he quoted my $6k and change for a new tandem. I don't have that kind of cash.

We have a trailer manufacturer here in SLC UT called Metal Craft that quoted me $800 to add an axle. That includes moving the existing axle forward about 6" and new stainless tandem fenders.

While I am at it they are going to powdercoat the trailer for $850 including disassembly and reassembly and boat storage.

Of course you need two more wheels...Mastercraft wants $335 for a combo so I will go aftermarket and change them all out.

Bunk refurb at $3 per foot.

I will send you a photo when I am done.

Farmer Ted
05-10-2006, 12:42 AM
I turned it on a week or so ago to lay low for a while. Just haven't gotten around to turning it off. Did you get your boat on the water last weekend after the storms. We were on Caddo and got a little chilly (for May) on Sunday.


Supposed to meet The Wildman on Sunday, but I spent all last week in OK City and had a ton of stuff to do so we stayed home and did stuff

I'm off Friday hopefully the weather will cooperate.

east tx skier
05-10-2006, 12:43 AM
I'm hoping to get out and try a new stick this weekend weather permitting.

Farmer Ted
05-10-2006, 12:46 AM
I'm hoping to get out and try a new stick this weekend weather permitting.


you buy the pointy Monza?

east tx skier
05-10-2006, 12:47 AM
Not yet, but I'll know soon enough. It's sitting here waiting for some boots.