I have a small utility trailer I picked up a few years ago from Tractor Supply. Nothing fancy, just a single axle 5′ x 8′ Carry-On utility trailer. The trailer sits very low to the ground, the rear of the trailer often scrapes when changing grades or going over bumps especially when hooked up to the Jeep. I had to move the license plate cause it kept getting ripped off. I did a bit of research on how to modify it to raise it a bit, the solution: flip the axle. Flipping the axle moves the axle from sitting on top of the springs to riding under the springs raising the trailer 4″ to 5″.
The axle on my trailer is a 2 3/8″ Dexter axle. To flip the axle I picked up this Dexter K7138400 Conversion Kit from Amazon.
The Dexter K7138400 Conversion Kit for a 2 3/8″ axle includes everything you need to correctly flip a single axle: 2 x Spring Seats, 4 x U-bolts and nuts, 2 x Tie plates, and instructions. There is also a kit for trailers with 3″ axles (K7138500). If the trailer has more than one axle it will require a kit for each axle.
Jacked up the trailer, secured it with jack stands, and removed the wheels. The picture below is prior to flipping the axle, you can see how the trailer axle sits on top of the spring.
To remove the axle from the trailer you have to drop the springs since the hub will not fit between the trailer and the spring. Removed the front bolt from each spring and pulled the axle out from underneath the trailer. My motorcycle jack was the perfect tool for supporting the axle when removing, moving, and reinstalling the axle.
Positioned the new spring seats on the axle making sure they were parallel with the old spring seat. Cleaned up the axle and the spring plate to tack weld the seat to the axle.
The instructions included with the Dexter K7138400 Conversion Kit recommend tack welding the spring plate to the axle – optional, but recommended. I tack welded the two spring plates and then painted the plate and axle to slow down rust.
Once the paint dried I mounted the axle underneath the spring using the U-Bolts and Tie Plates included in the kit. In the picture below you can see how the axle now rides under the spring.
Torqued down the u-bolt nuts to the specs in the instructions, 45-70 ft pound and reinstalled the wheels. The trailer now sits about 4″ – 5″ higher than before the flip. Still not quite level when hooked up to the lifted Jeep TJ, but nearly perfect on the Jeep JL which is stock.
Pretty simple project only took a couple hours, did most of it myself but I did get the wife to help line up the axle when reinstalling. A second set of hands definitely helped when re-installing the axle.
I have a couple other modifications I want to do to the trailer to make it a bit more useful, something to do on another day…