Fixing a bent bracket (trailer)

Moderator: GreenLake

Fixing a bent bracket (trailer)

Postby GreenLake » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:30 pm

This is a question to those of you with a bit more experience in metal work.

The dock at my favorite launch is at an angle to the ramp. As a result, I end up misjudging the alignment and if unlucky, end up driving the trailer into it. Now, the dock is something I can't fix, but: I keep bending the bracket that holds light and license plate from a 90 degree angle to a 45 degree angle. I can simply bend it back, but at some point, it will snap. Is there a better way? Does applying heat help in a situation like this? How much? Or better not?
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
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Re: Fixing a bent bracket (trailer)

Postby Leob1 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:14 pm

If its galvanized DO NOT HEAT it.
If it's steel you'll have to heat it until it is cherry red to bend it easily. Heating it this hot will remove any rust prevention it may have. If it's galvanized, heating the zink will release toxic fumes, which you do not want to breath. And will remove the rust protection.
If it's aluminium just source a replacement. Bending it back into shape will most likely break it.
Tractor Supply has a good selection of trailer parts, so shop for a replacement there, or your local trailer or marine store.
Once you have a replacement, roll the dice and bend it back into position. If it breaks, you have the part to replace it. If it doesn't, you have a replacement for the next time.
Good Luck.
Leob1
 
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Re: Fixing a bent bracket (trailer)

Postby GreenLake » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:15 pm

Thanks. Not galvanized and rustproofing is limited to whatever paint (which will burn off). (Part is from a really old trailer ;) )

The part holds light and license plate. If it breaks, I can probably use pretty much any other angle bracket - bending it back would just save me from drilling matching holes.

Will try the bending and see how it goes.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
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