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Old 06-16-2018, 08:34 PM
chris4789 chris4789 is offline
TT Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Boat: 1993 Prostar 205
Location: West
Posts: 20
Trailer “Clunking” Problem & Solution - Replace Suspension Bushings

The past few years I would hear a “clunking” sound (different than “squeaking”) from my boat trailer, but I got concerned this year as it seemed louder.
-With the boat off the trailer I could see wear around the shackle bolts (see pic)
-I called eTrailer to order the parts and was helped by Kayla to order the bushings/shackles/bolts/nuts for my tandem axle trailer
-After trying to press the bushings in the springs I realized I measured poorly and had two different bushings, the equalizer had 3/4” OD and springs had 11/16” OD.
-Amanda helped me get the second set of bushings (delaying the project for 5 days…but my fault)

Right or wrong:
-I applied anti-seize compound to the shackle bolt threads
-I applied some dish soap to the bushings before pressing them in (soap will dry)
-I pre-loaded the “wet” bolts with marine grease to fill them up before inserting them into the suspension
-I tightened the bolts very securely and they backed off the nut ½ turn to allow suspension movement

Lessons learned:
-The spring ends & equalizer bushings in-between the two wheels had the most wear so check them first
-Look for different size bushings in equalizer/springs and measure ID & OD precisely
-It takes some time to do this job (about 4 working hours per side) so try to do it when you are not under pressure
-Use jack stands underthings and wear safety goggles
-If you want the re-paint some parts, allow for primer and top coat drying time, i.e. overnight which adds time to the project, but it comes out better
-Have a big breaker bar (32”) & extension/enforcer to help get the nuts on & off. My ½” impact gun could not tighten them all the way
-A large “C” clamp will press the bushing in smooth & straight (see Pic) instead of using a hammer & block of wood “caveman style”
-Replace bolts with wet bolts that can be greased
-Annually inspect your trailer suspension for signs of wear and listen for increased noise

Thanks again to Kayla, Amanda at eTrailer for help with this project.
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2018, 07:29 AM
Legolamb Legolamb is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Boat: 1996 Prostar 190, LT1
Location: Midwest
Posts: 131
Nice write-up and pics Chris, thanks.
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  #3  
Old 07-15-2018, 05:43 PM
Bumblebee Bumblebee is offline
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Join Date: May 2014
Boat: 2004 X2
Location: Northwest
Posts: 15
Helpful, thanks. I know the sound and will now inspect this area on my trailer.
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