Trailer hubs updatedPosted: February 20, 2022
So, having bought a TJ many years ago, as my go to trail rig; then selling the old trail ready CJ just a few years ago; then getting my project CJ ready for sale, last week. It was time to update the Jeep trailer from 5 on 5.5 hubs/rims to 5 on 4.5 to match the TJ.
Here’s the trailer behind the old trail rig CJ7, pictured at the Miller Lake campsite. All wheels 5 on 5.5.
I found an old trailer axle on Craigslist that was 5 on 4.5. the plan was to cut it, narrow it to fit and even do a portal type design to get more clearance. That didn’t quite work out.
So, the next step was to get the 5 on 4.5 hubs on the existing trailer axle. Below: old 5 on 5.5, spindle from Craigslist axle, 5 on 4.5 Craigslist hub.
But the spindles are different:
No problem. Swap out with different bearings to fit the different spindle. I bought new bearings and went to take about the 5 on 4.5 hubs to insert the new bearings. They didn’t want to come apart and upon a closer inspection, I realized the two hubs were different!
Bite the bullet, buy brand new hubs, bearing kit and get it done. And it is done and ready for trail maintenance or all the girlfriend’s camping gear.
I now have tires/wheels on my trailer that match in size to those on my Jeep. Worse-case scenario, I take a wheel off the trailer and leave the trailer on the side of the trail. Yes, I carry a full-size spare, as shown, while on the trail.
The wheel is shifted back in the fender a little bit. (The CJ in the back just got sold. It’s being picked up today.)
The next step is to place a plate on the spring perch to shift the wheel forward and inch. Something like this one but much narrower to match the spring pack.
But that can wait until next month.
Rather than start a new post, I’ll add the update here.
Here are the spring relocation plates I’ll use on the trailer. I made these. The two different holes allow for a 3/4″ or a 1″ shift. I went with the full 1″ shift.
Here’s a before picture. When I got the trailer, I needed more room for the 33″ tires, so I did a spring over lift. Driver’s side pictured. This is not the original axle. That one was destroyed on an FOTR Rubicon Trail maintenance effort, not by me, I had loaned it out to a good friend. Yes, we’re still good friends.
Here’s where is goes. Passenger side.
Here it is back together.
The curve in the plate was to match a normal leaf spring curve. With this odd set-up of a spring over with no spring perch, it went in upside down. but it works.
The wheel is now much more centered in the opening. Not a big deal but it looks better.