View Full Version : i'm going to try to post a video of the gate springs in action

09-01-2004, 12:04 PM
let us see if this works...............................

09-01-2004, 12:06 PM
works for me but someone let me know if it works for you :) maybe now i can get my brother to take some shots of me in action on the Ferris or something :) actually last night i let him mow with it for the first time in our backyard, he's getting good with it on flat ground, for a 13 year old :) may take some vid's of him on it.

09-01-2004, 12:07 PM
All I see is ##'s and symbols??

09-01-2004, 12:18 PM
hmm... i just now tried it from another computer and it worked there too.... anyone else having problems?

09-01-2004, 12:20 PM
the video clip worked for me but who is the dork in the video?


09-01-2004, 12:20 PM
It worked for me. Dam that looks easy. Did you make it your self?

09-01-2004, 12:25 PM
Looks great Eric, good job bro.

NC Scaper
09-01-2004, 12:33 PM
worked for me too. This is the gate assist that I have ==========> http://www.gorilla-lift.com

09-01-2004, 12:35 PM
Eric - did you get the PM i sent you the other day about the bagger on your ferris?

09-01-2004, 12:36 PM
I may have to try and make one of those. I never would have imagined it would make it that easy to lift the gate.

09-01-2004, 12:38 PM
one at a time!

Geo- that'd be me... This was not very long after i got out of bed this morning... excuse me lol.

Playboy- yes i did.

Thanks John.

Auburn, I'll check my PM's.

09-01-2004, 12:40 PM
The video worked for me too. Just wondering if you could post some good pics of it and list the supplies and how you built it. I would love to have one of those and I am sure some of the others would be interested in how you built it. Looks like you did a good job on it.

09-01-2004, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by AuburnGuy
I may have to try and make one of those. I never would have imagined it would make it that easy to lift the gate.

Ok someday i'll get some instructions up on here of how to build one. It's simple but there are a couple basic rules to follow when doing it.

yes it's very easy to operate! It is just sweet honestly. Goes up and down so easy... :D I usually just flip the gate up with the toe of my boot (had sandals on in the vid so i used my hand) and catch it with my hand as it comes up on it's own, then help it past the center of the swing where it's weight is hardest for the springs to pull then it does the rest itself.

09-01-2004, 12:49 PM
JP- materials:
Angle iron (I use 1/8" thick 2" x 2" but 3/16" would not hurt a bit).
Garage door spring from Lowe's.
Two U-bolts for each spring from Lowe's (5/16" diameter is best).

If you have a welder and drill thats about all you need. If you have drill but no welder you'll have to bolt on the spring arm (angle iron that attaches to side of gate). I'd recommend using two 1/2" bolts for that or two 3/8" grade 8 bolts.

on my new 22' trailer that i'm building (featured in the truck and trailer forum here) (shown in vid, but not completed), I used two 90# springs. I made brackets from angle iron to bolt to the trailer top rail which bolt on with one 3/8" bolt, that way you can adjust it by drilling new holes in the rail and movin the bracket. on my 6x12 trailer i used one 140# spring but did not have an adjustable bracket. In two years i have not had to adjust it though. On it, the u-bolt just bolts to the trailer rail, and you can drill different holes for that too if you wanted to adjust it. On the new trailer I used the angle iron to hold the spring a little higher off the rail so i could put a half peice of PVC under the spring to keep it from making noise against the steel rail and beating the paint off (then rust forms).

09-01-2004, 01:06 PM
Now, the tricks are to make your spring mount arm mounted far enough down (or up) on the gate so that it clears the trailer top rail when the gate is lowered. with the gate shut, measure the distance from the hinge on the gate to about two inches above the trailer top rail. Then mark that spot. Now, lower your gate to the ground and from there, measure perpendicular with the trailer gate frame into the air (it won't be straight up, it will be angled back) and use a long level or board clamped to the trailer top rail to measure up to that to determine how long to make your spring mount arm. Make it a couple inches taller than this measurement. Now cut your angle iron and close the gate. Clamp the iron to the gate frame in the marked position with the spring mount arm about an inch off of the trailer top rail, make it parrallel to the top rail. Lower gate and see if it looks right, and like it will stick up high enough to clear the top rail. If all looks good, weld the mount arm onto the gate (may want to drill your U bolt holes in the upward end before welding) make sure and weld it on all sides possible, making good thick hot welds. This is important. these springs are powerful and you don't want anything breaking. Now, close your gate and mount your spring to the mount arm attached to the gate. Stretch the spring a couple inches and mark holes for the U-bolt or your mount on the trailer top rail. drill holes and attach spring to this location. If welds have cooled, test it out. If it needs adjusted, then drill new holes for the top rail mount and adjust accordingly.

Now, the trick is this:
Your gate size and how heavy it is (depending on how it's built) and your side rail height from trailer deck will determine how big and how many springs you need. My 6x12 trailer has one 140# spring and the sides are 12" high. The gate is 4' long and 6' wide and made of 3/16" angle iron. This setup is about right except the spring torques the one side of the gate a little (it's ok just don't trip on it). The new trailer has two 90# springs and the sides are 18" high. The gate is 5' long and 7' wide and made of 1/8" angle iron, so it's slightly lighter built yet physically larger. It weighs a little more than the gate on the other trailer. Since the springs mount 6" higher than on the 6x12 trailer, they will have more leverage. Therefore, two 90# springs = 180# force which is 40# more than the single spring on the 6x12. They have even more power because of the longer mount arms on the gate. Both gates behave similarly except that the 22' trailer gate does not torque on one side because it has even pressure on both springs wherease the 12' trailer only has spring pressure on the driver side. Keep in mind that some gates are built of square tube which weighs about twice as much as angle iron (not the gate as a whole but the frame material of it). So you'll need more lifting power but the gate is much more rigid so it will not twist much when lowered even if it has just one spring.

as you can see, i did not make my mount arms quite high enough but they will do just fine (the trailer was jacked up so the wheels could be off to paint the trailer and i didn't realize it was not sitting at the proper height nor was it sitting level like it is in the pic)

you can see the trailer project from beginning to current progress in the truck and trailer forum. here's the latest update put up this morning. Go back a few pages and look for when i first started on the project, see how far it's come :)

09-01-2004, 01:08 PM
Oh! another thing! I haven't done it yet in my pics here, but the springs come with a safety cable. With gate closed, thread that cable through the inside of the spring and attach it to your U-bolts at each end (get some cable "ferrules" at Lowe's for your size of cable) After you thread the cable through, lower the gate to the ground and then add a few inches of slack to account for uneven parking situations or what-not. This is a safety feature in case the spring ever broke, the cable would retain it from flying off and seriously injuring someone. This is a must!

09-01-2004, 01:15 PM
Thanks for all the info Eric. Yours looks much easier than what i have seen so far. This is definatly a project i will do.

09-01-2004, 01:18 PM
no problem. glad to help. be careful with them springs. never had an incident in two years use of one, but you can never be too careful.

09-01-2004, 01:21 PM
Let me know if you don't have a PM from me.

Eric 1
09-01-2004, 01:22 PM
Video don't work for me.

Looking good man.

09-01-2004, 01:23 PM
Auburn i'm replying right now (typing reply).

Eric, don't know what to say. It's an AVI file. Plays fine in RealPlayer on my PC's.

09-01-2004, 01:25 PM
I used media player to play mine

09-01-2004, 01:26 PM
Eric, That video file worked just fine here. It was a little shakey but it worked.


09-01-2004, 01:36 PM
Gravely Man, thats because i set the camera on the trailer rail and let it do it's thing while i hurried up to the back of the trailer to operate the gate. The trailer was probably vibrating from the gate movement and the springs and was exagerated by the fact that its a camera lol.

09-01-2004, 02:38 PM
I couldn't view it.... ;-(

09-01-2004, 03:11 PM
Glad to see you guys are using the new video option. You need some kind of media viewer to watch videos. Quicktime and windows media should work for most videos. If you have one and it still doesnt work try updating your media player then try again. Still no luck maybe your pc doesnt have the required system requirements or there is a problem with the video.

FrankenScagMachines, very cool video. Kinda made me feel like I was on a boat. Nice design you got there. How heavy does the gate feel with that?

09-01-2004, 05:17 PM
eric--I certainly hope you are planning to go to college. you have a calling in industrial engineering. seriously.

GEO :)

09-01-2004, 07:15 PM
Eric when you get rich one day ...send me a size 11 gold boot ...i want to shove it up a couple guys (you know who i talking about)asses

09-01-2004, 07:21 PM
worked for me. thats awsome!!!!!! i want them now!!!

09-01-2004, 10:50 PM
I just made one today for my aluminum trailer out of a 145# garage door spring from Lowe's and some misc. hardware, 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe and rollers. Maybe about $18.00.

I can't get your video to work. It says that I cannot get the updates need for the program to work.

all ferris
09-01-2004, 11:33 PM
I have 2 door springs enclosed in a galvanized pipe (painted) with cable conecting the springs to the gate. Mine runs through a pully system to double to lifting force, much the same way they would be used on an actual garage door without torsion springs.

09-02-2004, 12:32 AM
Great concept, but I can't believe you're still using thatsame arm set up as before. I wish I could relate to you the actual danger of these springs if and when they let go. (and they do!) These things break all the time. This particular setup could take your (or anyone else's) arm or head right off if it snapped...even at the hook. The set up like the one described above is the ONLY way to go. Mine only has one spring, and I can lift mine with one finger, as well. I don't though, I just do the "toe thing" like you described and it comes right up to me. I installed mine on the passenger side of the trailer for 2 reasons.
1. I drop the gate from the driver's side. Being at the end of that spring is NO PLACE TO BE when it is stretching or contracting.
2. It is away from traffic and passing cars and people.
Please PLEase PLEASE re-do that thing, and use the pulley system with the enclosure around the spring. We value you too much, and you are much too smart for this. Don't make it take an emergency room visit as a wake-up call. I'm saying this with true sincerity, Eric.

09-02-2004, 04:54 AM
I agree with Runner... Also I hope you are not installing these on trailers for sale? If so, you are putting the purchaser in danger and possibly creating a major legal issue for you in the future.

09-02-2004, 11:29 AM
Thanks for the kind words Geo.

Odin, 10-4 buddy! LOL.

Coral, the more you use it the more youíll love it!

Joe, thanks for your concern. I know and respect the power of these springs. This is the same as EricELMís design. Remember I did stress how important it is to run the safety cable through it. Maybe Iíll enclose the springs as a rainy day project sometime.

Soupy, no Iím not offering them for sale at all nor am I putting them on anyone elseís trailer as a favor even.

09-02-2004, 11:38 AM
Eric - question? The sides on my trailer are 24", so obviously i will need a longer bar on the gate. Do you think the thickness you recomended will be fine, or do I need to try to get something bigger to account for the added length?

09-02-2004, 11:42 AM
I'd go with 3/16" thick 2" angle iron. You're right, there is extra length which causes more pressure to be put on the spring arm so it needs to be stronger. Found a slight mistake- above i said my sides were 18" high, they are actually 16" high. But for you, if your gate is angle iron frame i'd go with one 100 or 120# spring. If it's tube steel construction i'd try two 90# springs or one 140#. that should do the trick. don't forget your safety cable.

09-02-2004, 11:50 AM
I am thinking out loud hear regarding some of the other post about the springs. I will definatly put some PVC around the spring. Do they make the springs at different lenths. I have not looked this will be a winter project. I was thingking make the spring stop about the edge of the gate and use another cable to connect the spring to the arm on the gate. That would leave no spring exposed and you would not have to worry about the spring catching on the rail when you lift the gate up. What do you think?

09-02-2004, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by AuburnGuy
I am thinking out loud hear regarding some of the other post about the springs. I will definatly put some PVC around the spring. Do they make the springs at different lenths. I have not looked this will be a winter project. I was thingking make the spring stop about the edge of the gate and use another cable to connect the spring to the arm on the gate. That would leave no spring exposed and you would not have to worry about the spring catching on the rail when you lift the gate up. What do you think?
The springs at Lowe's are all the same length as far as I know. PVC would just shatter if the spring ever let loose. I only used it as a cradle to keep the spring from beating up the paint on my rail as it opens, closes and bounces around in transport. Use steel pipe to cover the spring. If you are going to use a cable on it and enclose the spring with a pipe, then you'll need to use two pulleys at the gate end of it. This isn't too hard to do really.
The spring has never caught on the rail when lifting the gate on my 6x12 trailer... and it's been on some pretty uneven places where the gate was at a much steeper than usual angle. so don't worry about that. putting a spring in a steel tube and using pulleys is a good idea, thats how the "store bought" ones are setup. it IS safer and doesn't cost that much extra. I just did it this way becuase it was a proven method and it's been safe so far for me. I am sure i will re-do it someday.

09-02-2004, 12:19 PM
Would the springs fit inside a 2", or larger, exaust pipe from a car? Can't imagine that it would be very expensive and this would eliminate anyone from getting their fingers pinched in the springs.

Otherwise nice job.

09-02-2004, 12:23 PM
Yeah, they'll fit in 1 3/4" pipe easily. Never gotten pinched before... use common sense and most things in the world can be relatively safe.