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Thread: Boatmate wheel alignment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Age
    39
    Posts
    1,774
    Boat
    2013 Tigé Z1 Vx

    Boatmate wheel alignment

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    Has anyone ever successfully aligned the wheels on their boat trailer? Specifically a tandem axle Boatmate?

    I just went through 4 tires in 4 years with fairly limited towing. 3 of 4 tires were fine and probably good for a few more years, but the 4th tire was cracked and destroyed. When it started exhibiting issues at year 2 I moved it from the left front to the right rear. It continued its decline until it was completed cracked this spring.

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    Even more weird is that the one bad tire exhibits different wear about its circumferences. As you can see the tread on the bottom half of the tire is different than the top half. The tire shop had never seen this before.

    Anyways, they are replaced now.

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    However I am now wanting to ensure the new tires aren't prematurely destroyed also. So I thought I would run a straight edge down them and check the alignment. I almost wished I didn't. Some of the tires are out by as much as 1/4"

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    Anyways, I'm looking at making adjustments to just get it close and I have no idea how to do it with these torsion axles. There are really only these two bolts and they don't look like they can adjust a whole lot.

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    Anyways, looking to see if anyone else has done this. I've also contacted a local shop to see if they can help, but I'd rather attempt myself.

    ... and lets not let this devolve into a discussion on the awfulness of trailer tires. I get it. I've seen that movie already. Let's just look at the alignment issue because it clearly exists.
    Last edited by JohnnieMo; 06-30-2018 at 01:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Age
    43
    Posts
    1,073
    Boat
    2015 Z3, 1999 2100i
    Not an alignment issue, it's a bent Axel issue. I had the same problem. The spindle is bent on the bad tire from a curb check. Replace the entire Axel, not a tough job just lame.
    Fixing everyone elses boat just so I can use mine...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Stuttgart Germany
    Posts
    894
    Boat
    Boat free till 2021 2016 Z3, 1998 2200v
    EZ job in the parking lot with boat off the trailer. You can't align it. Just replace spindle assembly and/or entire torsion axle. Extremely easy for both with boat off trailer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Age
    39
    Posts
    1,774
    Boat
    2013 Tigé Z1 Vx
    My issue is I’m not sure which wheel is bad. Or all of them. I know the left front ruined one tire but once I rotated it didn’t ruin the next tire.

    My rudimentary alignment check showed both sides were wonky but it’s hard to figure which tire is off. If I swapped spindles I’d think I would need to swap all four.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    812
    Boat
    2007 22ve
    You may have just got a bad tire as well, it happens from time to time. The wear I would suspect an issue with the axle or torsion arm but the cracking shouldn’t be there as well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Age
    43
    Posts
    1,073
    Boat
    2015 Z3, 1999 2100i
    99% front axle, curb check rallies the front tire first and the rear just goes along for the ride. Boatmate dealers will sell them with brakes for $600 or without torsion arms and brakes for $300. You have to paint either way unless you get them the HIN from the trailer. The serial number for the axle is located at the bottom of the curve in the axle dead center. Be sure to give them that as well. If you decide to just replace the axle only and re-use your current torsion bars and brakes, be sure to set the preload correctly on the torsion bars. This means raise the rear tires off the ground and look where the torsion bar lines up with the spindles. Incorrect torsion settings will cause the front or rear to carry too much weight and make for an early demise of either axle.
    Fixing everyone elses boat just so I can use mine...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Stuttgart Germany
    Posts
    894
    Boat
    Boat free till 2021 2016 Z3, 1998 2200v
    The axle come with the torsion bars. Spindles just slide on and clamp with a bolt.

    Put boat in water
    With empty trailer in parking lot.

    Remove both tires from bad axle
    Determine angle of spindle arm
    Remove each spindle assembly and tie to frame to keep brakes lines slack
    Remove axle...4 bolts I think
    Using a floor jack, move new axle into place and then bolt up
    Put spindles on. Ensure correct angle
    Put tires on

    Go boating

    Anywho...that from memory last summer. Super easy job. Air tools and another person would make it go 3-4 times as fast.

    FYI...I would replace spindle on the bad tire as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Age
    39
    Posts
    1,774
    Boat
    2013 Tigé Z1 Vx
    Thanks guys.

    I really don't see how the axle itself could be bent. That is a hard core steel tube. The spindles I'm more suspicious of. The left front is the one that I originally had issues with, however moving that tires didn't make it any better (nor did the issue recur with the replacement tire).

    It may be $600 for a new axle in America, but here that axle would be $1000 easy. That is a lot of tires I could replace

    I'll see if I can source spindles locally here. At most I think it makes sense to swap one and then compare to see if my rudimentary alignment gets any better.

    If anyone knows a trailer shop in the Salmon Arm of Vernon area, let me know. I'll be out there for a week this summer and that would be an ideal time to send the trailer for a look over. (i.e. the boat won't be on it)

  9. Tire wear on the outside edges is from low tire pressure. High pressure allows it to wear in the center.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Age
    39
    Posts
    1,774
    Boat
    2013 Tigé Z1 Vx
    Quote Originally Posted by rcoates2 View Post
    Tire wear on the outside edges is from low tire pressure. High pressure allows it to wear in the center.
    You are correct. However I watch these tires like a hawk. And the outer edge wore down in the left front position while the inner edge wore down in the right rear position. Go figure.

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