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I'm working on my 9 year old box trailer (a Lynton Loadtrekker), replacing the rotten plywood floor.

There is some rust - see the pictures below. I think this is a torsion bar suspension system (based on a little Internet reading... I'm no expert and have no documentation for the trailer).

I've shown the right wheel. The left wheel is corroded in the same way, although the rest of the chassis seems fairly clear of rust.

  1. How should I assess this? I think this is surface rust only and there are no holes through the structure, but I haven't looked closely yet (I'll try and take better pictures tomorrow).

  2. Is this still safe to use?

  3. Should I treat the rust (wire brush, rust reducer, then paint)? Presumably there are bearings inside the circular part - do I need to take special precautions?

There are more pictures of the trailer in a question I asked a few years ago whilst re-sealing the roof.

underside of trailer, showing wheel and rust

trailer wheel, viewed from outside


Update: better wheel pictures...

(Opening each image in a new window, via right click, might make it possible to see them at a larger resolution...)

trailer wheel, better picture, viewed side on

trailer wheel, better picture, viewed from above

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There are several things here you're going to need to do:

Wheel: You need to replace this. The outside lip looks like it's about done. At the very least it is severely weakened. From what I can see, replacement is your safest and most realistic option. Luckily I don't think these wheels cost very much. If the one on the other side looks the same, replace it as well.

Hub: There is surface rust on here. This should not be an issue. If you do feel like you need to do something with it, considering doing as you suggested and running a wire brush over it to knock the rust off of it. Then you can either spray paint it or use a rust converter like POR-15. There are several out on the market. If you do go the POR-15 route, ensure you don't get any of the threads of the lugs or the wheel nuts will bond to them when you put everything together.

Another thing to consider with the hub is to take it off of the axle, clean it all up, re-lube, and re-install with a new axle seal. This will get it in travel worthy shape. While you're in there, assess the state of the wheel bearings to ensure they are in good shape.

Axle: This does look like a torsion bar suspension. Again, take the wire brush to it and clean it up. Apply the rust converter if you are going that route.

Both the axles and hub can stand up to A LOT of surface rust, so really there shouldn't be an issue there. Cleaning them up and putting the rust inhibitor on them isn't a big deal and can be done in short order. Whatever you decide, the suspension looks in pretty good shape from the images you've shown. It just needs a little TLC.

  • Thanks! This is all making much more sense now. I've added slightly better pictures of the wheel. Could you take another look? A bloke from the AA looked at it fairly recently and said he thought it was surface rust only. He suggested I could clean it up if I liked but he'd "never seen a wheel fail due to rust" - but perhaps he lacks experience with rust-bucket trailers... – Ashley May 16 '17 at 13:33
  • the first problem you'll have with the wheel is it will loose its seal. I would definitely pull the hub apart. At least pop the cap and inspect. BTW those hubs are pretty cheap, if there is any doubt about it just get a new one. – agentp May 16 '17 at 19:44
  • @agentp Thank you - now you mention it, the tyres have been going flat quicker than I'd expect recently. Much appreciated. I'm trying to find a local mechanic that can help as I'm over my head with some of this (happy with replacing rotten plywood floor, not so confident with safety critical mechanical stuff...). – Ashley May 17 '17 at 11:36
  • those wheels/tires are sold as assembly. Just replace. If the old ones hold air keep as spares. – agentp May 18 '17 at 1:30
  • @Ashley - If you look at the metal, it's delaminating and rusting apart. There's no way to fix this. For sanity's sale, just replace it. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 May 18 '17 at 1:35

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