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Trailer now has a swinging tongue


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This is nothing crazy, but being that I have gleaned loads of info from this sight I wanted to post this in case anyone else was looking to do something similar. I have a 23' garage and even with the swim platform off and the wedge down the boat is 23'6" long, so in other words the boat needed to be shortened when on the trailer so it would fit. The parts I used were as follows:

- folding tongue kit http://www.trailerpartsdepot.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=17073A&utm_source=GoogleProducts&utm_medium=PriceEngine&utm_campaign=OneStopFeed&&gclid=CJy9obT2-7gCFUhgMgodMwcAIQ

- new outer housing for the UFP-60 actuator http://www.pacifictrailers.com/UFP-Long-Outer-Member-Housing-Raw-Weld-on/

- an 18" rubber hose http://www.pacifictrailers.com/18-Flexible-Hydraulic-Trailer-Brake-Hose-18018-MF/

- a 5" piece of 3'x4" - 3/16" wall rectangular tube

- some etching primer and spray paint

I had a buddy at work who is a welding engineer do the work for me and we were able to do this with the boat on the trailer because he is comfortable welding upside down. Process for changing things out went as follows.

1 - disconnect brake line from the actuator

2 - remove actuator from tongue

3 - cut existing welds on current actuator houseing (did this with a cutting wheel on a grinder), this exposed all of the current 3"x4" tube that the trailer currently had and gave us room to weld the swinging tongue on. I cut a little deep on a couple cuts and we filled these in with weld and then ground them flat.

4 - weld the new outer housing to one end of the 5" piece of 3"x4" tube (most of it will be inside the outer housing), and weld the die cast swing piece to the other end of this same 3" x 4" tube. This makes the new tongue.

5 - Weld the 2 plates to the trailer. This is easier said then done, we assembled everything first and clamped the plates on so we knew things were where we wanted them. Make sure to check and double check things at this point. Once you start laying weld it gets hard to turn back.

6 - install actuator into the new outer housing and install rubber hose

7 - adjust steel brake line so rubber hose is the correct length (pulled it back in the frame and made the loop were the brake line exits above the axle bigger

8 - bleed brakes

9 - Paint, ended up going black because it looked better than an unfaded bright red. Someday I hope to paint the whole trailer so the whole thing is the same color.

10 - sprayed a bunch of lithium grease into the tongue to help keep things lubed.

Started the project at about 7pm, and headed home at 10:30pm

Only thing I would have done differently is paint the tongue before the actuator was installed so I could paint the inside of the tongue better, but unfortunately that was not an option. I was leaving on vacation (with the boat) 4 days after we did the welding and was not willing to open the brake system again to get the tongue all the way off and have to bleed it again.

Here are some pics

Original tongue


Welding in the new tongue (this was one of the upside down welds on the bottom of the top plate)


New tongue finished but not painted- it got wet on the ride home and started to rust, had to wire brush the rust off before painting


Now it fits in the garage


Painted and ready to go (surfgate brackets in the background :)



Edited by sledandski
  • Like 3
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You've been a busy guy! Looks good. I've thought about doing this as well.

It is a bit of work, but really nice when its done for sure!! A lot better than my other idea which required unbolting the tongue every time. The benefit to that idea though was it would not require any welding.

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Well done!! We are doing this to a 2008 X-Star to make it fit into buyers garage. It already has a swing tongue, but he needs 4 more inches (what she said) to get it into his garage. So we are breaking the tongue back a little further.

Edited by skurfer
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  • 2 weeks later...

IMG_1034_zps1d64635a.jpgMy Old Dorsey trailer has a removable tongue. There is a ~6 foot section of the tongue which sticks into the trailer with two pins like the ones in the pictures. I really like it since it makes the trailer that much harder to steal too. Only problem is the tongue is heavy and big to move around and store.

Here's another picture from someone else.


Edited by FastFreddy
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