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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    125

    Question Mysterious trailer damage

    With a rare sunny Seattle day today, I decided to take the boat out on the freeway to test out the new tow rig before the season starts...

    Prior to leaving, I wiped down a bunch of dust from the trailer and everything was in perfect (undamaged) condition.

    I then took the boat out for a 10 minute drive down the freeway and back. Note that I have to reverse up my drive way to get the boat into the garage and it is a slight incline from the road to the garage.

    When decoupling the trailer I walked past the left side of the boat and noticed the rear left wheel arch was buckled in. Now I drove with the windows open the entire way to make sure there were no creaks, squeals etc with the new tow rig and I am certain that I did not hit anything (also, there are no external marks on the wheel arch to indicate an external collision). I have a feeling that this was possibly caused by the wheel bouncing off the wheel arch and buckling it (again, no evidence of this on the tire), though it looks almost impossible when the trailer is on level ground (there is alot of clearance between the wheel and the metal!).

    Has this happened to anyone before?

    Any ideas on why this might have happened?







    2009 Outback V

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    125

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    2009 Outback V

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Copperas Cove, TX
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    1,761

    Default

    Uh oh, maybe the dreaded failed torsion axle.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Hartwell Ga./Lilburn Ga.
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    116

    Default

    That is strange,the tire looks fine but if you look closely the white paint on the side of the fender looks like it scraped against something.
    04 LSV

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Copperas Cove, TX
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    1,761

    Default

    But usually the wheel with draw up into the fender, not like yours and look normal.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    North End Lake Lanier GA
    Posts
    8,010

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    Couple ideas come to mind. If you look at the tire in the first and second pictures it looks like the tire shine is missing. Not sure if that was on the ground when you shined the tires or not but that could be an impact point. Also looking at those corner treads you can see a slight grove in them.

    Im almost temped to say you caught a curb on a corner and bounced that tire right into the fender.

    You mentioned a new tow truck? Is it longer then your last one?

    I don't think its the dreaded torsion axle failure or it would be stuffed in the fender right now.

    Other wise only thing i can think of is if that tire is low on air and flexed around a turn, you also mention the drive way you have to back up it. Is it an Incline? Does the rear axle ever leave the ground putting all the pressure on the front axle?
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    125

    Default

    Thanks for the feedback guys

    Yeh, I don't think its the torsion axle, everything looks to be spaced correctly.

    It's hard to tell from the pictures but those marks appear (in person) to be crease marks from the buckling. Note that there is a larger scratch on the piece of metal that is between the 2 wheel arches but that is from a known event (where only superficial damage was inflicted).

    Both my towing rigs have been smaller SUVs. From an E70 X5 to a Range Rover Sport. I don't think much changed except that the trailer meets the ball mount about 1.5" higher than it previously did. The trailer still appears level to the human eye but a level tool tells me that its aiming up at the tongue.

    Tire pressure was all at approximately 45 psi (checked before driving). With a max of 50 psi marked on the tire I would guess 45 is about right. Is it?

    And yeh, the driveway is an incline but nothing too severe. I guess I'll have to get a mate over and spot me as I *slowly* try different reversing angles.
    2009 Outback V

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    London Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,129

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    It appears this is on the left rear axel tire well. I would check your rear cross prop guard on the trailer to see if it has bottomed out. Maybe, driving out the end of your driveway the front axel lifted off the ground and making perhaps a right turn out of your driveway or backing into your driveway making a left turn which could put more pressure on the left rear tire forcing it up into the fender.......my02
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
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    13,664

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Birmingham
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOCDRS View Post
    It appears this is on the left rear axel tire well. I would check your rear cross prop guard on the trailer to see if it has bottomed out. Maybe, driving out the end of your driveway the front axel lifted off the ground and making perhaps a right turn out of your driveway or backing into your driveway making a left turn which could put more pressure on the left rear tire forcing it up into the fender.......my02
    I did this with my previous boat and trailer. My vote is for this being the cause as well.
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