Welcome to Part one of the Motorbike Trailer Overhaul. If you haven’t read my introduction, click here. Basically it talks about how I plan to breathe life back into this old trusty Motorbike Trailer with the help of some mates, some handy Supercheap Auto tools and some willpower!
Part 1 – Stripping
To better understand how bad the rust had gotten on the trailer, the first step was to strip the entire trailer back to bare metal. This meant removing any and all rust, as well as any remaining paint work. There are a few different ways we could have gone about this like sand blasting etc. however, we decided the easiest and cheapest way to tackle this job was with an angle grinder and a flapper wheel. A flapper wheel is essentially a heap of sand paper pads attached to a grinding disc, so it’s less abrasive but perfect for removing paint and rust.
We headed down and grabbed a Rockwell ShopSeries Angle Grinder. There are two different sized models, as the trailer was a larger project, we grabbed the 900 Watt, 125mm model. There are some photos of the grinder below in action, but you can also check out the product video here.
We set out for the next few hours attacking the trailer with the angle grinder in every nook and cranny to ensure every bit of surface rust was gone! The flapper wheels went really well, due to the size of the trailer we needed a couple of them over the duration of the day but we were surprised how well they worked and how long they lasted. The grinder performed really well also. It was in full use over about a 5 hour period straight out of the box, only stopping to change the odd flapper wheel and for a couple of drink breaks. Other than getting a bit warm around the handle it worked effortlessly without a hiccup all day and made light work of the otherwise daunting job as you can see from these pictures below.
Once we had removed all the surface rust, we set out to remove anything that we weren’t looking to keep. The old tired wiring was the first to go and if I remember correctly, they didn’t even work properly. If we were going to be wiring up new LED lights, it made sense to rewire the entire trailer ourself to suit the trailer lights we bought.
We decided if we were going to all this work on the trailer that we might be better replacing the most rust effected areas, the guards. We are planning to run the same size tyres just for convenience and for the fact that the trailer has always towed really well in the past. This meant taking off the old rusted guards and tracking some new ones down and test fitting them; this will come later in the build. So for the moment, this meant the guards had to come off.
We used the front A-frame of the trailer to run a trailer box which in the past has been really handy for all of our dirty riding gear and just good to have for additional all round storage on bigger rides and longer weekends away from home. Unfortunately this too had seen better days so we decided to remove it as well and work on a better storage box for the old girl.
We spent the rest of the day cleaning up the trailer with the grinder and flapper wheel. All in all we were impressed how achievable this part of the project was, given we weren’t working in workshop by any means, and a simple grinder and cheap flapper wheel meant we were able to achieve exactly what we needed to. With the wheels off, trailer upside down and on jack stands, it is ready for more upgrades and some removal of the suspension and hubs.
Check out Part Two, where we start removing the old rusted suspension and hubs and get it prepared for the new shiny bits!
Do you have any feedback or suggestions? Comment below or Email us!