Re: Repainting Trailers
Sat, 28 Aug 1999 21:49:29 -0700

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
West Wight Potter Website at URL
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thanks for the good info. I bought my 1967 boat and trailer in 1970,
becoming the third owner. The white painted trailer was pretty rusty
already. I imagine a previous owner had been dunking it in saltwater and
hadn't bothered to hose it off. I had a period of unemployment shortly
after buying the Potter so I used some of my available time to repaint the
trailer. Basically I just wirebrushed the visible rust, then used a
rust-resistant paint. It was probably something used on tractors and such
because the color was "Allis-Chalmers orange." Now, 29 years later, the
trailer needs painting again but doesn't have any more rust than it did
before my 1970 paint job, so I think I'll use the same method again. That
should last until I'm 99. By that time I may have taken up bungee-jumping.

A factor in the trailer's longevity is that it is a tilt-up type so I don't
immerse much of the trailer when launching and retrieving. The axle, hubs,
and springs do get wet, so I'm in process of installing all new suspension
and rolling parts. The new Spindle-Lube axle is designed so that the
bearings should never have to be removed for repacking. It has the
equivalent of a bearing packing tool built in. You don't even have to pack
the bearings before assembly. You pack the bearings by pumping grease into
the Zerc fitting in the end of the spindle. No Bearing Buddies needed.
We'll see.

I just removed the old springs and axle without much difficulty. One of the
spring bolts was seized and it broke when I tried to loosen it. It looks
like the 4-leaf springs from Champion will be a perfect fit. The original
2-leaf springs appear to be in good condition, but I'll feel better with
the new ones, which have a higher load rating. The trailer may ride a
little higher with the stiffer springs, but with luck that will be just
what I need to accommodate the 530 x 12 wheels/tires I plan to use,
replacing the original 570 x 8s. If not, I will have to adjust the fenders
and roller height slightly. The increase in wheel radius will be about 1.8
inches. The welded-on spring hangers appear to be secure and in good

The new axle and hubs are hot-dip galvanized, and the axle is more
substantial than the original one.

The 95% zinc cold galvanized spray primer illustrated in the Champion
catalog appears to be "LD5" brand. It's described as a touch-up paint. The
catalog says to "pre-heat area to be sprayed for best results." Could that
make the process more like a hot-dip galvanize? Could it be painted over
with another paint for better scratch resistance? I would think corrosion
resistance would be more important than scratch resistance.


Harry Gordon
P14 #234, Manatee
Mountain View, CA

>I spoke directly to a tech support person at Rustoleum last year. I asked
>about their spray-on 95% zinc "galvanizing paint". I was advised that it
>was for touch up of small spots only, because it was not abrasion/scratch
>The man explaned that a paint that rich in zinc could not have ppossibly
>have enough binding agents in it to make a tough, scratch/chip proof
>I'd be sure to double check on the paint's durability by calling tech
>support at the manufacturer before I repainted a whole trailer in "zinc"
>I used a rustoleum industrial grade product ($50/gal each for the primer
>and the top coat) on our brand-new dingy rack that has held up reasonalby
>well. I don't think, however, that you could use it on a rusty trailer
>without sandblasting it first.
>Have you considered sandblasting and then hot dipping? Most hot-dip shops
>will sandblast before they dip it for you. Probably expensive, buy maybe
>worth it. You can call Barstad and Donnich in Oakland (they build custom
>boat trailers) and ask them what they recommend. BTW, Bill Hammond, who
>works there, used to own a Potter.