Improv gurus, please help!
The cheapo plastic fenders on my Trailex SUT-350-M2 trailer cracked at the bolts that attach them to the trailer frame. This happened a long time ago, so yeah I shoulda ordered replacements then. I did not.
Anyway, duct tape made them useable, a repair I did twice. But sometime in the last couple of times used, it looks like someone put a sneakered foot on one of them, causing the tape to break. (The tape was already wearing out, as seen upon inspection of both fenders.) The edge of that fender was rubbing the tire on at least two trips and slightly wore down both the tire edge and the fender edge. The tire is still good (whew).
I just ordered a new pair of fenders and hardware from Trailex, which won’t arrive for at least 4 or 5 days, I would guess. Meanwhile, I gotta paddle a couple times before they get here! I am thinking of using high-strength reinforced strapping tape and applying it differently, to prevent any droop that could contact the tires. These plastic fenders vibrate a LOT, so it won’t be long before they crack at the bolts, but do you have ideas for two things:
- A good way to secure the existing crappy fenders for temporary use till I get the new ones,
- Ways to minimize the stress at the bolts. The vibration ain’t gonna go away, unfortunately, and there are already washers spreading the stress on the plastic at the bolts. That is inadequate. I wish the fenders were thin steel instead, but they aren’t.
And no, rooftopping is not an option.
Pics of the worst fender are attached.
A larger washer will help spread the effect of the vibration over a greater area on the replacement parts and would potentially get you through the here and now on the existing broken part
Why not just take the fenders off for a week or so?
You might use a fiberglass patch kit to add some structure to the old fenders but personally I agree that just taking them off for 4-5 days makes sense. For your new fenders you could look for isolation grommets although the fenders might move around more since it looks like they are cantilevered off the frame. Plastic fenders on dirt bikes often use some sort of isolation grommet…the key is to find one that fits just right.
Beef them up with fiberglass cloth and epoxy. Secure a steel plate you can bolt them with .
pull the fender, remove the tape and get something to use as a backing plate…
Couple rivets and back in action. If its a plastic fender thats the easiest way…
Unless your good at plastic welding.
Or use flashing tape like Vycor. it sticks to anything.
Take it off. Run without it. You ordered a new one. Don’t load a boat directly above it untill the new one comes.
I would agree with just taking them off until the replacements arrive. They’re hardly essential.
I’d also check to see if when the loaded trailer hits a bump that the tires are not hitting the fenders. I’ve seen this before. If that’s the case you might have to drill some new mounting holes and mount the fenders higher or beef up the suspension with heavier springs.
Adding neoprene fender washers will also reduce the shock load on the fender were the mounting bolts are.
The fenders already have neoprene washers plus the metal ones. The plastic just flexes so much that it eventually cracks.
Roads in CO have a lot of gravel and debris on them, which is why I would rather not remove the fenders. We live on a dirt road, too, but total dirt road distance is less than 1.5 mile and I can drive slowly to minimize risk. The problem is on the highways.
Maybe you need a fabricator to weld up some steel fenders.
There are a wide selection of metal trailer fenders available on line. Fabricating a mounting bracket, if needed, is a lot cheaper than fabricating a fender and bracket.
In the long run, this might be the best solution, IF I can find a good fab person here.
Hmmm…we have a neighbor a couple miles away who I think does fab stuff and is really, really into MGs, Nice people, too, so I can at least ask if he would do a job like this or knows someone else who is GOOD. Finding good contractors in this area has been something of a nightmare. You know it’s bad when longtime locals ask the newbie arrival who they hired to build their house!
I also have a Trailex trailer, and those fenders are pretty flimsy. For a jury rig, how about bending up a couple of L-shaped brackets out of metal. Each bracket would bolt to the current mounting bolts, and the “L” could go either above or below the fender to hold it up with a couple of screws or bolts. If you had someone bend up some nice looking brackets, they could serve as reinforcers for your new fenders as well.
Tractor supply has a pretty wide range of trailer fenders, many in steel or aluminum…
In the meantime, I’d probably patch them up with Gorilla tape from HD or Lowe’s.
Belongs in the redneck fix videos…
That’s the best idea yet, I think. Might even allow using generic fenders of the same size.
Sooo…I did wrap strapping tape around each fender and then wrapped Gorilla Tape around the strapping tape.
Y’all can now call me Trailer Trash! (See photos—it actually looks better than the previous hasty fix.) It feels more secure to touch, for sure. The next trip, 125 miles round trip, will let me know. After that, hopefully no more than one more outing before I receive and install the new fenders.
Now I need to see if I can find L brackets with a bolt hole of the same size as the factory bolts that slide down the channels.
By the way, if the L struts shown in the pic look beefier than the OEM ones, they are. One of the original struts broke a few years ago and a trailer repair shop replaced both of them with much bigger ones, after exclaiming how puny the OEM ones were. He even charged a reasonable fee. I sure wish there were such a shop here in Redneckville. Would be easy if it were, say, a livestock trailer or big flatbed utility trailer…
The tape strapping held solidly during today’s 125-mile highway drive. Looking at the fenders in my rear-view mirror, I did not see any flex or movement whatsoever. They feel as secure afterward as they did before the drive.
This is good, because it allows me time to search for L brackets. I remember how much the new, uncracked fenders flexed; these things really should be attached somewhere besides the factory locations!
Some cop may take an interest in you…they dont like trailers with parts falling off…or even stuff not tightly secured to roof racks.
As far as fenders go, I think they are required by some states.
Use to be the Socal hot-rods didn’t need them but on the east coast they did.