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Turnbuckles for Trailering; Is anybody interested?

fartymarty

Member
Member
I'm sorry I did not get out to the garage today, Been fighting a bad cold for a couple days & never made it off the couch today. Starting to feel better so I'll try tomorrow.
Hey, you take care of yourself...this crap can wait 'til next week or later.
 

Konehead34

Member
Member
Mt spools came today from t rex. Stupid question, in the packhing for the front spools are 2 4 inches bars ...any idea what they are for..?
 

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fartymarty

Member
Member
Mt spools came today from t rex. Stupid question, in the packhing for the front spools are 2 4 inches bars ...any idea what they are for..?
see page 2 of this thread
Asked :
I just got my T-Rex spools this morning. What are the 2 metal blocks that come with the front spools for ? . They are about 4" long with holes in each end. View attachment 28353

& answered (sorta kinda):
I think their extensions that work with the T-Rex Turnbuckles.
Might be useful if you need to extend the turnbuckles you buy.

Ride safe, Ted
 

ron203

Southeast Area Director
Member
see page 2 of this thread
Asked :


& answered (sorta kinda):
Possibly a dumb question, but why not use a short length of chain and a threaded link instead of bar extensions? Anyone try that? Chain binders work okay on loads when tight.
 

jim snyder

Member
Member
The turnbuckles we use will extend to about 16 inches so no extensions of any kind are needed. Don't overthink it.
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Just saw this.
I was at the Ranch this weekend. {repairing a roof on the barn and hunting}

Marty, your spool is machined wrong.
Return it and have them send you another spool.
NOTE: The base of both of my front spools are "identical/interchangeable" and will fit from either side.
I can't speak for T-Rex, {not sure why they did the step} but the OD major should be the same on both spools.
The OD is .860"/.865" on all of mine.

As Jim said, Ya'll are overthinking the turnbuckles.
{We've used open hooks for years, with NO problems}.
The turnbuckles that Jim posted are ideal..

The turnbuckle extensions/hooks/loops/chain/etc are only needed at the trailer attachment point.
{to make the Turnbuckles attach to your trailers}
A simple "open hook" works perfectly on the spools.

NOTE: Prior to discovering how well open hooks worked, I tried the T-Rex hooks/loops/etc/etc etc to attach to my spools.
"All are a waste of time".
Do the KISS method.
ie; "Keep It Simple, Stupid"

Ride safe, Ted
 
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fartymarty

Member
Member
Possibly a dumb question, but why not use a short length of chain and a threaded link instead of bar extensions? Anyone try that? Chain binders work okay on loads when tight.
I'm sure that would work, but chain binders (according to my limited research) cost much more than turn buckles. Now, if you already have some on hand then
sure, that would probably work fine

Marty, your spool is machined wrong.
Return it and have them send you another spool.
NOTE: The base of both of my front spools are "identical/interchangeable" and will fit from either side.
I can't speak for T-Rex, {not sure why they did the step} but the OD major should be the same on both spools.
The OD is .860"/.865" on all of mine.

Thanks Ted, I agree. I think I'm going to make my own like you did for the front, and only use the rear T-Rex spools.
 

fartymarty

Member
Member
Update from Rubin at T-Rex.

I told him I didn't want a replacement spool (since I now plan on making my own) but that I wanted him to check on the specs for the sizes of the steps with the design team's drawings. Rubin informed me that the larger step is supposed to be 22mm (0.866142 inches) and that the smaller step is supposed to be 20mm (0.787402 inch). So mine is clearly out of any reasonable tolerance on the larger diameter only (at .898 inch) , which explains why it doesn't fit in flush. I shouldn't have a problem fixing that, but others may not have the ability to fix it so check to see if yours fit when they arrive. I have a small lathe, but I think if anyone else has this problem, one could just find a way to spin it in a drill press or portable drill and apply a file to it to get the diameter smaller. Concentricity isn't that important in this application for a hold down, but the diameter is.

I believe we can go back to bent hooks vs closed loops debate now ;) 😜 as I've diverted things enough. (I miss the old pot stirring emoticon.)
 

jim snyder

Member
Member
My turnbuckles are actually open on both ends. That way I can unhook them from the trailer floor mounts when not in use.
 

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ron203

Southeast Area Director
Member
Maybe some progress. I rented a uhaul trailer to take my C14 in for service and was having a hard time with getting the strap angles right up front because of the fairing and fender. Then, I realized the front floor loops were perfectly placed for Ted’s spools which were there in the garage.

I’ve been getting the pieces I need but haven’t installed them in the TH yet.

I used a threaded connector loop to bridge between the floor loop and the 3/8” turnbuckles. Perfect fit. I pried the top jaw of the turnbuckles open just a bit and tightened them down using the spools at the top and threaded link at the bottom. I connected a bungee between the two to be sure they don’t vibrate looses. Lots of stops for a few miles while testing.

The back loops are too far to use so I have straps back there. Thanks Ted & Jim. I’ll let you know how it goes.
 

zarticus

Member
Member
Sorry I never had the chance to check the turnbuckes, I've been sick with Covid for just over a week. Be careful out there, Covid is an ass kicker !
 

ron203

Southeast Area Director
Member
Update: Success!! 65 mile trip made with no problems. Front spools & rear end strapped. I’ll only say this once: “Ted is smart!”😉

Now I’ve got to finish figuring out my toy hauler. I think I’ll need a better chock because the $29 Harbor Freight version does not hold the bike upright well enough. It’s been good for 7 years and three cross country trips so I can’t complain about it.

Thanks guys.
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Ya'll hang on a minute.
My swollen head makes it hard to get my helmet off..
🤪

Ron, now that you've used the turnbuckles, it will be easier to work out the Toy-hauler installation.

Secret Trick; On your Harbor Freight Chock; I discovered a trick.
I don't normally tell folks but (since you talked nice about me) I'll tell you.
I removed the bolt that the rocker pivots on, and moved the Rocker to a better {more forward} location.

To find the ideal position, I used an old tire, placed it in the Chock, and moved the {unbolted} rocker forward until the tire is slightly suspended.
NOTE; Keep the rocker location as low as possible. (to ease loading}
I then drilled a new hole at the new rocker position and re-installed the bolt.
,,,{If you have the location exactly right, the weight of the bike will push the tire down until the tire barely touches the floor}

After the mod; {Because the bike is slightly suspended} the rocker will clamp the tire tighter and the bike will be more secure.
(shhhhh; Don't tell Marty I sed this)

Ride safe, Ted
 
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ron203

Southeast Area Director
Member
Ya'll hang on a minute.
My swollen head makes it hard to get my helmet off..
🤪

Ron, now that you've used the turnbuckles, it will be easier to work out the Toy-hauler installation.

Secret Trick; On your Harbor Freight Chock; I discovered a trick.
I don't normally tell folks but (since you talked nice about me) I'll tell you.
I removed the bolt that the rocker pivots on, and moved the Rocker to a better {more forward} location.

To find the ideal position, I used an old tire, placed it in the Chock, and moved the {unbolted} rocker forward until the tire is slightly suspended.
NOTE; Keep the rocker location as low as possible. (to ease loading}
I then drilled a new hole at the new rocker position and re-installed the bolt.
,,,{If you have the location exactly right, the weight of the bike will push the tire down until the tire barely touches the floor}

After the mod; {Because the bike is slightly suspended} the rocker will clamp the tire tighter and the bike will be more secure.
(shhhhh; Don't tell Marty I sed this)

Ride safe, Ted

My silence is assured!!! I'll take a look. I've been relatively satisfied with the HF chock as it came from the store, for lots of miles. The tire does sit (slightly)against the bottom as it now rides and it's relatively easy to get the bike out but I can see "raising it" a fraction might make it push down. I'll certainly take a look. Thanks!

Yes, using them will help a great deal. I think I can put the front ones into the plate that spans across underneath the floor. The back ones will be a little more challenging. I've considered a longer version of that T-Rex rod "extension" pictured above. Just get a longer piece of square rod and drill it at both ends. But I'm going to put the bike in the rig and measure first (just don't know when - darn this work stuff.. ). I'll get it done before the Hohenwald social in April I think.

Thanks again.
 

fartymarty

Member
Member
Progress reports from anyone??

Ride safe, Ted
I chucked up my one T-Rex spool that didn't fit and turned it down so it fits. Then I made both of the front spools wider to allow my shackles to slide on without needing to grind the shackles. I've also ordered some stainless bar stock to make a new set of spools for the front Keeping the ones from T-Rex in reserve. I still need to check how the rear spools from T-Rex fit. I'll probably cut the rear spools wider as well so the shackles slip on.

i-tDgSVQh-L.jpg


i-fMhN43x-L.jpg


i-NWvHMJc-L.jpg
 

fartymarty

Member
Member
I'll probably cut the rear spools wider as well so the shackles slip on.

Nope, not enough material on the rears. I just this morning cut open the package that they came in to have a look see and noticed that there just isn't enough metal there, so I ground the shoulders of the shackles a little to get them to fit over the rear spools.



 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Looks good.
What about the overall length of the shackle/turnbuckle? Is that going to be a problem?

On my original turnbuckles I bought turnbuckles that were bigger/longer/stronger than I needed.
,,{At the time I was using shackles too}.
As a result, the Turnbuckle assembly was too long to work on my trailer.
I solved that by shortening the turnbuckle body, the threaded sections, and went to hooks instead of shackles.
I then welded the body back together..
(As I recall, I removed 2" from the Turnbuckle body).

Ride safe, Ted
 

fartymarty

Member
Member
Looks good.
What about the overall length of the shackle/turnbuckle? Is that going to be a problem?

I don't know yet, maybe. I have a plan to shorten the turnbuckles if needed but until I get the trailer out and load the bike up for a trial fitting I can't be sure. The trailer is new to me and so far untested, it has a lot of adjust-ability on front wheel placement but I think that the front tie down bar if far enough forward to accommodate the really long turnbuckles that I currently have. Right now it appears my problem maybe at the rear, but I won't know until some trial fittings take place.

i-7XvbLwB-X2.jpg
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
It appears that they will work in the front.
Rear will be dependent on where you attach the Turnbuckles to the trailer.

Ride safe, Ted
 
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jim snyder

Member
Member
If anyone has trouble finding turnbuckles like the ones we use I found them at Tractor Supply today for $11.99.
 

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connie_rider

Member
Member
Marty, looking at you picture's I just realized that the shoulder of your spools are not resting against the ends of your axle nuts.
Removing that gap would make everything stronger at the face of the shoulder would prevent bending.

Ride safe, Ted

PS: Dang you Jim!

I've been considering changing to your turnbuckles on my 2 bike trailer.
At that price, I may have to go spend "more" money..

NOTE: {In Jim's picture} The turnbuckles that I'm using would be the 5/8" turnbuckles (on the left).
I added the T-Rex Attachment's to the ends that are at the Bike axle.
1615146735842.png
I'm tired of them as their more work that just hooking the Turnbuckle end over the spool.
So, I may go to Jim's Turnbuckles.
&$%&*!!
 
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jim snyder

Member
Member
Marty, looking at you picture's I just realized that the shoulder of your spools are not resting against the ends of your axle nuts.
Removing that gap would make everything stronger at the face of the shoulder would prevent bending.

Ride safe, Ted

PS: Dang you Jim!

I've been considering changing to your turnbuckles on my 2 bike trailer.
At that price, I may have to go spend "more" money..

NOTE: {In Jim's picture} The turnbuckles that I'm using would be the 5/8" turnbuckles (on the left).
I added the T-Rex Attachment's to the ends that are at the Bike axle.
View attachment 28739
I'm tired of them as their more work that just hooking the Turnbuckle end over the spool.
So, I may go to Jim's Turnbuckles.
&$%&*!!
Well thank you, my way is the best.
 

ron203

Southeast Area Director
Member
I was looking at mine today. If I get some longer ones I probably won’t have to modify my tie downs. I guess I’ll keep spending money until I can save some or else open an eBay hardware store. LOL. Got to have it done in the next month before Hohenwald comes up.
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Jim; Yupp, simple solutions from/for simple minds... :whistle:
Ron; the 5/8" one in Jim's photo are considerably longer.
,,,Need to stop looking and start doing. {But, it's only been 2 years} <evil grin>

Ride safe, Ted
 

fartymarty

Member
Member
Marty, looking at you picture's I just realized that the shoulder of your spools are not resting against the ends of your axle nuts.
Removing that gap would make everything stronger at the face of the shoulder would prevent bending.

Ride safe, Ted

Yes Ted, that was what all those earlier postings about shoulder size were about, and why I had to turn it down on the lathe. At the time that earlier photo was taken my spool was too large to fit all the way in. (to quote B.D.F. "E Z Boyz!") Too Big to fit video
Are you paying attention here?...or have you been sippin' some o'dat aged pallet wood 'shine again? :D:eek::oops:

But Thanks anyway. (y) I appreciate you lookin' out for me.
 

ron203

Southeast Area Director
Member
Got my screw pin shackles and longer turnbuckles today and I see what was meant earlier about grinding some clearance for the shackles to fit down onto the spool body.

I bought shackles to fit closely down and around the spool body diameters, but the sides of the pin "sockets" on the shackles are a little too fat to fit past the spool shoulders so the shackle can seat down on the spool shaft. I'll need to dress those down a little on both sides with the grinder to clear. But unlike TED, I'm still WORKING..... LOL.

When I'm able to get the shackles to clear the spool shoulders, I plan to use a threaded D-ring connect at the floor loop and the pin shackles at the top on the spools, so nothing can bounce loose. Then, the front will be good to go (I think). I'll get the rig out Saturday and test load the bike. Hopefully I won't have to add floor rings at either end, but I've got them laying around if I do.
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
Woooooorrrrkkkkkkk!! Don't say that word around me.. Arghhhh! o_O
I are a retired gentleman.

Go to Jim's post #19 and look at his turnbuckles.
You will see;
We bent the top of the turnbuckle's about 15* so that they align better. (they fit straight onto the spool)
We also made the top hook a bit larger. ie; We bent the top hook open a little.

A D ring is overkill. Once tightened, the turnbuckles can not come off.
ie; Unlike straps that compress the suspension (lots of travel), Turnbuckles compress the tire (little travel possible).
Secure your bike, and then feel how rigid it is. ("No Marty: the bike is rigid, not other}

NOTE: On a single rail/lightweight trailer {like Marty's} a D ring may be useful. {as his trailer frame can flex a lot}

Ride safe, Ted
 

jim snyder

Member
Member
Woooooorrrrkkkkkkk!! Don't say that word around me.. Arghhhh! o_O
I are a retired gentleman.

Go to Jim's post #19 and look at his turnbuckles.
You will see;
We bent the top of the turnbuckle's about 15* so that they align better. (they fit straight onto the spool)
We also made the top hook a bit larger. ie; We bent the top hook open a little.
Here I took some better pictures of the hooks.
 

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ron203

Southeast Area Director
Member
All right. I'll say it. Ted ...was ...right... Sheesh... ;-)

I trailered with the toyhauler to Hohenwald and back with his front spool system holding the C-14 in a Harbor Freight chock bolted to the floor as always.

Close to 750 miles in a long weekend. No movement in spite of a trailer tire blowout and lots of bouncy and sway-happy interstate miles.

I had the turnbuckles on the front with S-hooks and a strap around the back wheel because I didn't want to take time to mess with fitting that part. I had a strap loosely fastened to the triple tree, but not snug as a backup. (I'm naturally cautious with experimental equipment and expensive motorcycles). I'll add the rear turnbuckles next time.

You did good Ted and Jim! Thank you.
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
err,,, You didn't say that loud e'nuff.
Ted (and Jim)...was ..."right"...

I love it when a plan comes together. (y)

Not so sure about the S Hooks.
"DO" get the rear set up ASAP, and I'll feel better.

Ride safe, Ted {and Jim}

PS: Vast quantities of Shiner Bock will do for me, and I think Jim likes one of them diet beer's. {think it's Michelob Ultra}
 
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fartymarty

Member
Member
During the interim, while the trailer folks get their individual turnbuckle setups to their liking, they will probably still be using (Ted cover your eyes here) ....eek...straps....so since I think most of the trailering crowd is keeping an eye on this thread I thought I'd share a video that I found interesting....
.......about .....well...... not turnbuckles.

Sorry about the thread diversion Ted.
---------------------------------------------------------------

Since my folding trailer is so flimsy in the front and relies so much on the trailer axle to resist twisting I'm actually starting to think about using ball/swivel ended turnbuckles (like a top link for farm tractors) with thru bolts on the rear. That should really resist twisting having a push/pull strength on both sides with the only job of the front turnbuckles being to firmly hold the front wheel in the chock. It might (quite probably) allow me to keep the rear attachment points on the bike all the time since they no longer would need to be spools but rather simple plates with a slight angle and a bolt hole which should not interfere with the muffler during riding suspension compression. I'll report back when it's finished (don't hold your breath, it'll be summer before it happens).
 
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