My $10 trailer gate lift, struts

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Shawn S, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Shawn S

    Shawn S LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    First of all this wasn't my idea, there are others on the board that have done this to their gates.

    I went to the U-Pull-It and picked up two struts and strut mounts from a 99 Windstar. They are the strongest I could find in my quick web search, they are rated at 163 pounds each. The struts were $4 and change each. I built the brackets out of steel I had, and spot welded everything together to try it out. I think the struts may be too strong. You actually have to push the gate down. Lifting it is very easy.
    Since these photos I welded the brackets on and painted them black. I also flipped the struts over so that if they get wet, it won't run down into the cylinder.
    I am not sure this is a perfect system, we will have to see how they stand the test of time. When the strut is on a car, it is inside, and protected from the weather. I do park my trailer inside, but when it's on the road the struts will see dust, dirt and moisture.
    I also think I need to move the struts out about an inch on my lower bracket, I think if we park high, and the gate goes really low, we will bottom the strut out in the cylinder. For now I am leaving the lower brackets long, and once I am happy with the positioning of the lower strut mount I will trim them off and round the corners.

    gate upper bracketR.jpg

    gate lower bracketR.jpg

    gate strutR.jpg

    gate wholeR.jpg
     
  2. Shawn S

    Shawn S LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    Well it's been a week and I must say I love these things!! I did move the lower mounting points in an inch to give the shocks an extra inch before they bottom out. They were right at the limit before, and with an inch to spare I feel much better. It also allowed me to trim the mounting brackets significantly. Here is a photo after moving them in and trimming the brackets.
    I would highly recommend this mod to others. Even if you buy the struts new, it's still a relatively cheap mod.

    trailer gateR.jpg
     
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,142

    And what holds the gate down?
     
  4. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Gravity once it cams over...

    Glad you trimmed those lower brackets...they looked like ankle biters!

    Job well done!
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    You may just drill a few holes and mess with the angle a bit to get them in the right position.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. Shawn S

    Shawn S LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    The gate is heavy enough that it holds itself down, no concern with that. The gate doesn't lift itself until it is pretty close to the top, otherwise you have to assist it up. I would say it reduced the "work" of lifting the gate by 90%.
     
  7. bwaters932

    bwaters932 LawnSite Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 27

    You think I could get away with using just one on a 5x8?
     
  8. Shawn S

    Shawn S LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    bwaters, just saw your post. Try one, if it doesn't work add another.

    Just wanted to check in to say that the struts are still going strong.
     
  9. Green-Man

    Green-Man LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,063

    I really like that a lot! Awesome job keep us posted!
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

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