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.
TheOtherRubicon@charter.net is the current email address for this website and should now be working.
My apologies to those of you who have tried to email me recently and were unable to do so.
If you have questions or comments about the Rubicon or the content of this website, please let me know.
I’m not going to bother rewriting what has already been posted. Let me be lazy and send you to the source:
The Rubicon Gazette Facebook page is a great source for what’s happening on the Rubicon Trail. So far, this is the only report and photos I’ve seen of last weeks efforts.
Both the Eldorado National Forest and El Dorado County have declared the Rubicon and the forest open as of 8am this morning. The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit has also reopened.
The reopening of all things Rubicon and our nearby forests does not reduce the extreme fire dangers within our forests. Open flames of any kind are still restricted.
Be fire smart.
I have owned four different CJ’s over the years. I still own a 1985 CJ-7. They are the vehicle that defined Jeeping. I love them. But I’m thinking about letting my CJ-7 go because I fear it’s not safe.
This is not a lecture. I’m taking an opportunity to tell a story and to get you thinking about what you drive and where you drive it.
My neighbor’s name is Mike. He’s a machinist and CNC operator at work. He’s a really good fabricator and a great neighbor. He finally got ahold of a CJ-8 and has been building it up to do some overlanding in the Nevada desert. He was prepping his CJ-7 to sell.
On May 27th, just before 5am, Mike was driving to work in his CJ-8. He got cut off and the two vehicles collided sending Mike’s Jeep off the road, rolling over and crashing in to a tree. The Jeep caught fire. Mike was caught inside. A near-by Sheriff’s deputy was first on scene and pulled Mike to safety. But Mike wasn’t alright. He suffered head trauma, crushed C5 vertebrae, broken foot and more. Everyone who has saw the accident site says the roll bar saved his life.
Although it had a roll bar (not a cage), it did not have any air bags or crumple zones. It wadded up like stepping on an aluminum can, with Mike inside.
Miraculously, Mike is up and walking with a walker. His spirits are very high. He came home the other day and has a long road to recovery. But Mike is selling his CJ-7 and will not replace the CJ-8. He’s selling his 60’s era Ford Falcon wagon. Mike’s plan moving forward is to buy a newer Toyota Tacoma, with multiple airbags and several crumple zones. He’s swapping rigs because he wants his family to be safe driving with him. He’ll build up the Tacoma to do overlanding across Nevada.
The CJs are great rigs for wheeling. I would love to see them continue wheeling forever. But I’m thinking we should avoid driving them on the road if we don’t have to. That would include to and from the trail.
I’m thinking, if I keep my CJ-7, I will set it up to flat towing. I’ll pull it to the trail, wheel the heck out of it and tow it home. But I’ll no longer use it to drive across town to go to the hardware store or to swing by Super Burrito. It’s just not safe in a high-speed collision.
Mike’s family has set-up a ‘Go Fund Me’ account in order to deal with the medical costs associated with Mike’s accident. I didn’t write this article to solicit funds but if you can spare $20 please do. I wrote it to get those who own older rigs to think about not driving them on the street. I don’t want to see any wheeler lose their life. I want them to wheel forever.
Go Fund Me link:
Please be safe out there!