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BassChump

Trailer tires.

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I hit a culvert last week and damaged a leaf spring. I've replaced it without a problem but while I had everything apart, I noticed that the tires have only about 1 1/2 inches clearance under the fenders and the tires have definately been rubbing on fenders when I go over bumps. I was trying to figure out how to raise the trailer from the axle an inch or two since the spring has about 3 inches of travel and I found a sticker showing the factory tire size.

I currently have 13 inch tires on this trailer but apparently it calls for 12 inch tires. As it turns out, I have a spare set of 12 inch tires and rims lying around so should I change the tires to what was installed from the factory??? That would eliminate the rubbing problem but they seem very small for the size of the boat and trailer.

It's a 1984 Bayliner Trophy bass boat, a 16 footer with an 85 horse engine. I don't know what the boat and trailer weighs but the 12 inch tires say they are rated for 1045 pounds each. I can't imagine what the boat and trailer weighs so if anybody knows the weight, that would be a great help. If I changed the tires and rims out, I certainly don't want to overload such small tires.

I have 3 options. I can raise the bunks and inch or two, raise the fenders and leave the 13 inch tires, I could add some steel plates above the u-bolts on the axle and raise it that way or I could install the 12 inch tires and be done with it.

What would you guys suggest???

Any imput is greatly appreciated.

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I have heard of people flipping the axle under the leaf springs that is if their on top to start with or putting lift blocks between the axle and leaf springs.

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The bigger tires can be a good thing IMO. Why don't you look into raising the fenders??

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Good ideas but if I put the axle on top, that would raise the boat about 4 inches and that's a bit much. At that height, I would have to sink the trailer too much to float the boat off.

Raising the fenders?? They are only about an inch below the side of the boat as it is. The fenders actually sit under the boat, not outside of the boat like on most boat trailers.

I could add another 2x4 to the bunks and then raise the fenders. That would work.

So should I just add another bunk or add a chunk of steel under the u-bolts?

Either way, it sounds pretty simple.

If I add another 2x4 to each bunk, that is cheaper. If I add a spacer to the u-bolts, I would have to buy new u-bolts as they are too short. It's a toss up I think?????

Hmm, what about adding longer shackles on the rear of the leaf springs???? The steel bars the rear of the spring attaches to???? That would work wouldn't it????

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Yes you can extend the shackles. They have been doing it on 4x4s for years. Now keep in mind though that for every inch you add in length to the shackle you'll only gain 1/2 of that in lift. And if you get crazy going longer it will start pushing your axle forward also.

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The shackles on my trailer are 3 inches as measured from the middle of the two bolt holes. Do you know where I could get longer shackles??? I've called some local parts stores and the longest they sell are 4 inchers.

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something easier & cheaper would be to try putting on some bump stops, go to a junkyard that lets you pick your own parts and find a couple off a truck, those would be the thickest. mount them on your frame right above the axle. only down side would be if you hit a hard bump the whole trailer & boat would take a hard hit if the stop hits the axle.

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I can't imagine that your 16' boat and trailer weigh more then the 2090 lbs that your tires are rated for.  You should be able to go to a truck stop, recycling center (scrap yard), quarry, or any other place that can weigh you and find out the total weight of your trailer and boat.  Or, pull out that owners manual and get the weight and save some time.  But if you are still worried about the weight can always go up a load rating (ie, your tires are load range "C") so go up to a load range to D or E to be safe.  The 10 inch tires were intended for the trailer so why not use them.  Messing with the geometry of a trailer with little knowledge will put you in a bad position.  Stick to the set up and buy some new rubber and save some bucks in the short and long run.

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I'd go back to the original 12" setup if it were me.

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I put the 12 inch tires on it just to see how it rides and if I feel those smaller tires are safe. Looks kind of funny but I could get used to it. Also, I need to see how low the lower end of the engine sits when the engine is tilted down. If it's too close to the ground when I'm pulling the boat out of the water, then I'll stick with the 13 inch tires.

The gas filler nozzle is in the middle at the back so I have to tilt the engine down to gas it up. I have a tendency to forget to tilt the engine back up after putting gas in it until I'm down the road so if it is so low that it hits the pavement on a driveway, that will make my decision for me.

It looks like it will be fine as the smaller tires only lowered it a little over an inch.

I'll let you know how it goes. I'm taking it out in the morning to a local lake.

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I drove the boat about 35 miles to go fishing and the tires did just fine. As a matter of fact, the smaller tires made it much easier to launch the boat. I think I'll keep the smaller tires.

On a different note, I did catch 10 today. Nothing of size but all good fish.

                    It was a good day.

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