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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for some guidance and opinions on making a matching trailer for my 79 Bronco. A year and a half ago I went camping and forgot to set the parking brake and she popped out of reverse and rolled out of the RV campsite and hit a tree..... ugh..... I about cried.... Anyway I bought a donor 77 2-wheel drive for the front end donor parts. Now I would like to salvage the long bed to turn into a trailer..... Any thoughts here? Looking to make it as economical as possible from a towing standpoint and wondering about the rear end.....
 

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I would wonder about using the bed, frame, springs, & axle as the basis for the trailer. I haven't looked into it, but it seems like there should be a way to partially gut the 9" rear so there is less drag while free rolling. You couldn't completely gut it since the center of the axles need to be supported. You'd also have to fab up a cover for the pinion snout. But all the work to fit the bed on another frame or fit an axle & springs would be already done. Plus the Bronco & trailer could share spares if you use that axle.
 

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I love the idea of having a matching trailer. Depending on where you take it really matters what you do next. A short trailer will turn with you much better than a long bed. As far as the differential goes, I would personally remove that entirely, cut all that crap dead weight off and weld on new stuff so you have all new parts so that you can get new replacements anywhere.
 

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I haven't looked into it, but it seems like there should be a way to partially gut the 9" rear so there is less drag while free rolling. You couldn't completely gut it since the center of the axles need to be supported.
We did this with an old chevy and a 14b, granted this was a FF rear and we left the shafts in for easy spares, but theory should be the same. Pulled the R&P and left the rest.
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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Ah now someone speaking my hillbilly language

Making a pickup trailer is easy.
Remove cab and everything in front of it, leaving a bare rolling chassis with a bed.
Remove fuel tanks.
Then decide how long of a tounge you want and measure the frame in front of the bed. Chop the frame somewhere around the front of the door area and roll the front away. Make sure you've braced the back half so it doesnt fall.
Then depending on tounge design, make a pie cut in the top and bottom flanges of the frame. This is where you break out the torch and heat the frame where those pie cuts are, and bend them in to form a triangular tounge. Obviously, you want to make sure its centered.
Then weld the frame back together where you made the pie cuts, and add some bracing.
Then weld on a tounge hitch of your choice.

The reason I mention designing your tounge is you can make it longer, shorter, or even have some straight rail come out a ways then triangulate. You can mount storage boxes or racks here, or even a spare tire.

You want to retain all the rear suspension, brakes, axle, etc. That means you are carrying spare parts for the bronco automatically. You can even fab up a way to utilize the emergency brake.

Example pic


Next comes customization. Things like putting water tanks in place of the fuel tanks, mounting fuel cans, tool boxes, etc. I recommend getting a camper shell so your stuff stays dry, and you can hunker down if you need to. Using one with built in racks or adding ladder type racks will allow you to put those kayaks up top.

Obviously customization depends on your end goal and usage.

You can also lift it and slap 35s on it to match better. Then you have lots of spare tires.
 

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We would cut the '73 and up Chevy 1/2 ton frames at the firewall. It was easy to reach and was the right length for the tongue to be pulled by a newer Chevy. Farmers would give us more for the old rusty trailer than they would for the rusty pickup in running order. Then rebuilt the engines and transmissions and sold them to make even more money. Old Chevy pickups supported me for a few years in my youth. Then I got older and wiser and started driving Fords.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I would wonder about using the bed, frame, springs, & axle as the basis for the trailer. I haven't looked into it, but it seems like there should be a way to partially gut the 9" rear so there is less drag while free rolling. You couldn't completely gut it since the center of the axles need to be supported. You'd also have to fab up a cover for the pinion snout. But all the work to fit the bed on another frame or fit an axle & springs would be already done. Plus the Bronco & trailer could share spares if you use that axle.
Ah now someone speaking my hillbilly language

Making a pickup trailer is easy.
Remove cab and everything in front of it, leaving a bare rolling chassis with a bed.
Remove fuel tanks.
Then decide how long of a tounge you want and measure the frame in front of the bed. Chop the frame somewhere around the front of the door area and roll the front away. Make sure you've braced the back half so it doesnt fall.
Then depending on tounge design, make a pie cut in the top and bottom flanges of the frame. This is where you break out the torch and heat the frame where those pie cuts are, and bend them in to form a triangular tounge. Obviously, you want to make sure its centered.
Then weld the frame back together where you made the pie cuts, and add some bracing.
Then weld on a tounge hitch of your choice.

The reason I mention designing your tounge is you can make it longer, shorter, or even have some straight rail come out a ways then triangulate. You can mount storage boxes or racks here, or even a spare tire.

You want to retain all the rear suspension, brakes, axle, etc. That means you are carrying spare parts for the bronco automatically. You can even fab up a way to utilize the emergency brake.

Example pic


Next comes customization. Things like putting water tanks in place of the fuel tanks, mounting fuel cans, tool boxes, etc. I recommend getting a camper shell so your stuff stays dry, and you can hunker down if you need to. Using one with built in racks or adding ladder type racks will allow you to put those kayaks up top.

Obviously customization depends on your end goal and usage.

You can also lift it and slap 35s on it to match better. Then you have lots of spare tires.
Thanks for all the input fellas... My thought it to cut the frame long enough to put a bed box in front of the bed, and maybe fab a up a cool removable spare tire mount to lay at a 45 degree angle over the box.

I want the bed to look as much original as possible, and yes I plan to lift as necessary to get the matching BFG 35's under it. Didn't plan to make the tires, axles, brakes, etc. spare parts, but I guess that will be a bonus.

We plan to make this a camping tent trailer, with one of those tents made for a truck bed, with an air mattress. It just so happened that the parts truck I found happened to be a long bed so we will have some room in the rear.

I want to remove any extra weight (fuel tank, etc) but my biggest concern is the rear axle and if I can remove internal gears, etc to make it more free-wheeling.

I am going up in a couple weeks to remove the cab and all "extra" non-essential parts and prep it to cut the frame and weld up the toung & hitch. Then I will bring it home and have it sand blasted and prepped for paint & Rhino lining inside the bed.

Any thoughts on the undercarriage? I thought I would have it all Rhino lined as well - frame, axle, underside of bed, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ah now someone speaking my hillbilly language

Making a pickup trailer is easy.
Remove cab and everything in front of it, leaving a bare rolling chassis with a bed.
Remove fuel tanks.
Then decide how long of a tounge you want and measure the frame in front of the bed. Chop the frame somewhere around the front of the door area and roll the front away. Make sure you've braced the back half so it doesnt fall.
Then depending on tounge design, make a pie cut in the top and bottom flanges of the frame. This is where you break out the torch and heat the frame where those pie cuts are, and bend them in to form a triangular tounge. Obviously, you want to make sure its centered.
Then weld the frame back together where you made the pie cuts, and add some bracing.
Then weld on a tounge hitch of your choice.

The reason I mention designing your tounge is you can make it longer, shorter, or even have some straight rail come out a ways then triangulate. You can mount storage boxes or racks here, or even a spare tire.

You want to retain all the rear suspension, brakes, axle, etc. That means you are carrying spare parts for the bronco automatically. You can even fab up a way to utilize the emergency brake.

Example pic


Next comes customization. Things like putting water tanks in place of the fuel tanks, mounting fuel cans, tool boxes, etc. I recommend getting a camper shell so your stuff stays dry, and you can hunker down if you need to. Using one with built in racks or adding ladder type racks will allow you to put those kayaks up top.

Obviously customization depends on your end goal and usage.

You can also lift it and slap 35s on it to match better. Then you have lots of spare tires.
here is a co capital picture of what I am after - al thg Hough mine will be a long bed with a room for a tool box on the front.....
 

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78 Custom - 460 - NP435 - NP205 - Sniper EFI - HyperSpark Ignition - 4.56 Gears - Front/Rear Lockers
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here is a co capital picture of what I am after - al thg Hough mine will be a long bed with a room for a tool box on the front.....
Pretty sure that's a long bed behind that green Bronco in that photo. Compared to my short bed it looks that way anyway. I'm comparing the length of the bed in front of the rear axle.

Edit: I was assuming your pic was meant to show a short bed trailer btw. Otherwise disregard my comment. lol


 

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but couldn't you weld plates to the axle shafts and tie them in to one another to gain extra support when you remove the gears? Or is that a no no?I
 

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85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but couldn't you weld plates to the axle shafts and tie them in to one another to gain extra support when you remove the gears? Or is that a no no?I

The only thing I would remove is the ring gear. Otherwise, the axles will not be retained, and any open holes are disaster for the bearings.

My advice is to just leave it as is. The 20 pounds you could remove isn't going to gain you anything since its unsprung weight. The benefits will be longer axle life and as I said, the potential to swap third members or complete axles if need be.
 

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Bedliner the under carriage.

Are you doing a camper shell or no? Tents can be done with either.

What kind of outings do you plan on taking this on? Family style at the KOA calls for a totally different setup than camping on a mountain pass for 2 weeks. The desert is much like the mountain style, with a bigger emphasis on water storage.
 

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The only thing I would remove is the ring gear. Otherwise, the axles will not be retained, and any open holes are disaster for the bearings.

My advice is to just leave it as is. The 20 pounds you could remove isn't going to gain you anything since its unsprung weight. The benefits will be longer axle life and as I said, the potential to swap third members or complete axles if need be.
What do you think about leaving the ring gear and just poping out the spider gears? It's been a while since ive worked on a 9 inch but i think they could just be loaded back in if he ever had to swap 3rd members.
 

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I've never had a 9" apart, but removing the spiders (NOT the side gear "spiders" that the axles slide through) would be okay prolly. I imagine side gears need to be there for shaft support.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Bedliner the under carriage.

Are you doing a camper shell or no? Tents can be done with either.

What kind of outings do you plan on taking this on? Family style at the KOA calls for a totally different setup than camping on a mountain pass for 2 weeks. The desert is much like the mountain style, with a bigger emphasis on water storage.
No shell, at least not to start.... the camping will be more like hunting/fishing trips in the mountains or the like. I don't plan to make it self contained or anything, so water tanks in the future is possible maybe where the fuel tank was, but not for now..... Just a utility trader that I can add a bed tent to for camping....
 

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Well, here is an update, removed the cab and cut the frame just in front of the radius arm to give us plenty of length... removed fuel tank and lines, removed driveline.....

It's been raining a lot here in NorCal so haven't had a chance to cut the pie shapes and bend the frame, hopefully this weekend....

Purchased a heavy duty (5k lb) hitch receiver and a heavy duty jack stand both to be welded on.... Will provide pics as this progresses, here is what it looks like at the moment....
 

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And a few more.....
 

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I just removed the fuel tank and drive line (at the yolk), all wiring and fuel lines. Added a set of u-haul magnetic lights ($32) and towed it 180 miles with no problems behind my Ford Edge.

I was a bit worried about the drag, but was pleasantly surprised at how well it towed.... It followed well. I expected it to sway a little but it didn't towed straight a ever.

The tongue ended up being a little light, but will fix that with either a tool box or spare tire carrier (or both) on the front.

Will post more pics when I pick it up as it goes to paint....

BTW, the old lady stepped in and said I needed to cut back on the cost a bit, so the undercarriage sandblasting got put on hold (for the moment...... ??
 
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