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Spindle on Trailex SUT-200-S trailer axle?

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Trailex has changed the suspension of its 'classic' Sunfish trailer (SUT-200-S) and has run out of certain replacement parts for this version.
The shop that services my trailer told me that one of the spindles on the axle needs to be replaced, but Trailex doesn't have the part (anymore).
What now?
Suggestions would be welcome,

TIA
 

norcalsail

Active Member
You could replace the whole axle itself, I think. This is probably an expensive solution at $120 but it would at least be an update. I've had my SUT 220 for about a year and am wondering if this problem is in my future. How old is your trailer?
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Thanks!
I believe that Carl (customer rep at Trailex) told me that they don't have the whole assembly anymore either for my trailer version.

My trailer is 19 years old, but looks fine. I did replace the whole axle assembly about eight years ago.

I don't think you need to worry about this particular spindle problem for your, almost new, trailer, but the bearings do need maintenance, especially if you put them in the water while launching; something I am forced to do every time I go sailing.
 

Roller

Active Member
Stub spindles for small lightweight trailers are available in a variety of sizes.
Basically,
• find a spindle that fits your present trailer hubs/bearings/wheels (if you want to keep the present running gear)
• drop the axle & unbolt (or cut off if not bolted on) the present spindles
• bolt up or weld on the new spindles
• reassemble and go boating.

This is a simple job for any trailer dealer, many spring shops, or lots of experienced welders--the only trick is aligning the spindles if weld on. The trailer dealer or spring shop can help you find an appropriate spindle set. Replacement spindles for 2,000 lb axles (massive overkill for a SUT-200) cost about $25 each. You can have a look at someone like etrailer.com to give you an idea of what stub spindles look like: https://tinyurl.com/y9k5zu29
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Thanks Roller; I did talk to the trailer shop last Friday. They told me that they were looking for a shop that could fabricate a spindle.
Keeping my fingers crossed.
I am not rushing them because I am not allowed to go sailing anyway because of the covid virus.
 

Roller

Active Member
I've seen a few Trailex trailers, but have never inspected one closely. I assume the SUT-200-S has an aluminum axle: spindles could be bolted on (likely), or even pressed into a round aluminum axle tube (unlikely). It's *possible* to "weld" steel to aluminum, but this is difficult and verges on rocket science.

I'm a little worried about your trailer dealer "looking for a shop that could fabricate a spindle." This sounds complicated and perhaps pricey. I doubt Trailex used a custom-designed spindle. Measuring the length/diameter/profile of the present spindle should let you find a similar replacement stub (there may even be a part number on the present spindle). If you can match the new one to the old, you can simply use your present bearings (and races and hubs) with the new spindles.

These are tiny little light weight trailers. Over the years I've seen lots of <500lb capacity small-boat trailers built using pipe, square tubing, or even angle iron as the axle, with spindles welded on. This is quite safe and works perfectly well, and is something that a welder could fab up in an hour.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
I don't need a trailer, but I like the "overkill" idea. The "heavy" axle is low-down and supported by the tires, so to move there's no real muscle involved. (Almost "neutral").

The (shortest) axle, while heavy, can be purchased in any small town's Northern Tools store. You're also not transporting a particularly heavy object.
 

Roller

Active Member
Very useful Charles... thanks!
So the Trailex SUT-200-S spindle is just inserted into an aluminum axle tube and through-bolted, and the axle is then bolted up to two rubber suspension blocks under an aluminum extrusion cross beam.

A very common small spindle is a 1" BT8 1.25X4, like this Redline R104BTB: Redline 1" BT8 1K Spindle w/1.25X4 Round Stub & Hardware #R104BT8 .

The Trailex hubs are most likely 4 stud on 4" bolt circle. If the hubs use 1" ID bearings, they will likely fit R104BTB spindles. (For a typical 4 stud/4" circle hub with 1" bearings that fits an R104BTB spindle, search northerntool.com for item# 57204 .)

What's the ID of the Trailex axle tube? if it's 1.25", a spindle like R104BTB will fit inside.

**************
Back to Wavedancer's original post: what's the damage to the original spindle that necessitates replacement?
 
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Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Very useful Charles... thanks!
So the Trailex SUT-200-S spindle is just inserted into an aluminum axle tube and through-bolted, and the axle is then bolted up to two rubber suspension blocks under an aluminum extrusion cross beam.

**************
Back to Wavedancer's original post: what's the damage to the original spindle that necessitates replacement?
I was told that it was damaged and I didn't inquire further...

The trailer is at the shop and I can't measure the (aluminum) axle diameter right now. Will talk to them tomorrow.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
The trailer shop ended up using a spindle that they had, but it was square on the side that goes into the axle. A machinist 'rounded' it to fit the axle. I hope this repair will last my lifetime...

Thanks to all for your good advice.
 
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