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From Tue Nov 17 12:49:56 1998
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 13:46:32 -0700 (MST)
From: (e36m3-digest)
Subject: e36m3-digest V1 #176

e36m3-digest Tuesday, November 17 1998 Volume 01 : Number 176

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 07:23:07 -0800 (PST)
From: Ned Coonen <>
Subject: [E36M3] Tire Trailer <long>

Jim and all,

Here's my post to the crygest about the tire trailer I built earlier this year. Be glad to answer questions etc. I've learned much here and am glad to share what I have...ned.

I promised an update on my quest for a tire trailer to a number of list members months ago. I'll be glad to fill in the blanks if anyone is interested in further detail. The story just gets too long to bore everyone with.

My goal was to find a convenient way to get my track tires out of the back seat and some of the tools and other paraphernalia out of my trunk when traveling to driving schools and auotcrosses. My wife Marcia comes along whenever she can as volunteer help. Her allotted luggage space for the overnight trips kept shrinking ("but I've got to have jack stands...").

After much research and head scratching, I ended up with a 48"Lx40"W utility trailer from Northern Hydraulics 1-800-533-5545 The website is pretty weak and you'll get a catalog much faster by calling. The trailer I bought is Item #125427-C132 as this one has 12" wheels instead of the standard 8" wheels. Worth the extra $40 if you plan on high speed highway miles. (Order a spare tire while you're on the phone Item# 121600-C132.)

Once you assemble the trailer, you have a 40" wide by 48" long open frame. Bolt down a prepainted piece of 3/4 plywood to create the basic platform. Next I built plywood box with a drop door across the back of the trailer. Viewed from the back, the box is the width of the trailer with a tailgate that opens like the Dodge station wagon your dad used to drive. I built this box about 16" high but am going to replace it this winter with one that's about 24" high - may as well be as high as tires. Viewed from the side, this storage box can be at most the length of the trailer platform, 48", less the diameter of the tires you're carrying, for me that's about 24". Here again, I built it smaller but am going to up size the replacement to about 24".

Now, you have a flatbed trailer with a box on the back. To restrain the tires, I built a 3/4" angle iron "fence" that extends toward the tongue from each side of the tool box and around the front of the trailer. The fence is about 12" above the bed and is supported by vertical pieces of angle attached to the trailer frame. The tires sit loosely in this space. I use a couple of nylon ratchet straps to hold them together and keep them from bouncing around. I also run a stout cable through the wheels and padlock it to the frame. Extra physical security and theft protection. I'm hauling 235/40R17 tires on 17x8 wheels so the four tires are less than 40" wide when standing shoulder to shoulder. If you're running 255 tires, you'll need to extend the "fence" a little wider because these stand about 42" wide.

I installed a Da'Lan hitch (from HitchMasters or order direct from Da'Lan) on the car. Be ready to drill 10 (!) 3/8" holes in your precious Bimmer. Went on, as they say, without a hitch. Trailer wiring is easy, everything you need except the turn signal adaptor is behind the left tail light access cover in your trunk. (The adaptor converts discrete turn signal lamps to flashing brake lights for the trailer; get it at Trak or Pep Boys.)

I've put about 1000 miles on the trailer so far without a problem. Last school I attended was quite wet and it was a pleasure to keep all the wet dirty stuff out of the car. I figure that the trailer, tires, and tools weigh in at about 450 pounds. The trailer is rated for 1000; the car ??? Tows at 80 mph straight and true.

Don't have a website, digital camera or scanner so words will have to suffice. Those who've seen it - including some list patrons - thought it looked good. Be glad to answer questions, just drop me a line. Oh, the cost...

Trailer           $180
   UPS delivery     70 !
Spare               42
Wood                45
Hitch              200
Paint etc           25
   Total     $562

'98 M3/2 [BLACK M3]
BMW CCA 127659

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