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Thread: M416 Trailer Build

  1. #1

    M416 Trailer Build

    After a summer camping road trip to Vancouver Island and Montana, I decided I needed to look into a little trailer. I like to have everything packed so that I can still see out all the windows, therefor we were pretty full and it was just me, my wife, and our 10 month old son. We knew we wanted to add a dog to our family and possibly another child, so I knew I needed to come up with something that did not include getting rid of the 4runner.

    When we got home, I started researching offroad utility trailers and really liked the old military jeep trailers. I liked the pintle setup and was familiar with them from my time in the marines. I knew if they could handle towing tanks and AAV's, then a little 1/4 ton trailer would be a piece of cake. I started the hunt for one, ebay, adds, whatever. I didn't have a lot of money so I knew I would have to find a fixer upper. I finally found one on ebay that was the right price and close enough to go get. I snagged it for 300 bucks

    Here it is on the way home, notice the terrible butt sag my 4runner had at the time.

    To be able to differentiate the build portion and general chatter, I will post all build related posts in this color. It will make it easier for those who just want to read about the trailer.

    Stats at the time I picked it up:
    Surface rust and flaking of 100 coats of paint
    Missing tail lights but wire harness still intact
    Missing one tail light bracket
    Bent fenders
    A couple of fender mounting points had broken their welds, brackets and bolts still there just not welded anymore.
    Tires sketchy to say the least, one tube leaked, and both tires had dryrot.
    Landing leg bracket broken.
    Missing original safety chain.
    More surface rust and flaking paint
    Dents and a couple of tiny holes in body.
    Bent shock
    Driverside hub leaking grease

    Nothing more than surface rust
    Wire harness looked very good
    Frame, body, lunnete ring, etc... all structurally sound
    Both drain plugs present and accounted for
    Working parking brake
    only 300 bucks!

    M416 manual Courtesy of Joe Melhorn @ ih8mud

    Midwest Military
    Army Supply Warehouse

    Scott Blackburn's M416
    Pete Elton's M416
    Project One Raptor

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  2. #2

    Re: M416 Trailer Build

    (I will start a post with just links in them once I get them organized. The links aren't working for the manual right now. Also I will add links and info for parts throughout the build).Through my research, I had found that I could download for free the complete 280 some page long Army manual for the trailer. This manual has proved invaluable to help me get this trailer at least into a reliable utility trailer. Update:Manual can be found here courtesy of Joe Melhorn @ ih8mud.

    First was to get all the trash out and see what I really bought. To this day, I am still chipping paint off, it has surface rust all over because someone let the bed fill up with water. These trailers are watertight and are made to float when loaded with up to 500lbs. Some idiot poked two holes in the body to let the water out, when all he had to do was pull the drain plugs from under the trailer. I removed the drain plugs all together and cleaned the drain. I need to clean the drain plugs and get all the rust off the springs and brackets that hold them on. I don't plan on taking the trailer through any rivers right now so it has been fine with the drain plugs out.

    Next was tires. I went to the local tire store hopeing to find a set of decent used tires that would fit. They didn't have any used, but he had a set of new Michelin ATX truck tires that someone had ordered months before and never picked up. He let me have them for 150 out the door, more than I wanted to pay but these tires will last forever. I also save the one good tube and the decent tire to use as a spare once I found another rim. With these tires I can cruise at 80mph, I probably wouldn't do that with military tires.
    New tires:

    Next on the list to make it a working trailer was lights. I went with the bigger humvee lights because they have a bigger lense area and they are easier to get ahold of. I got the set on ebay. I took them apart and took the 24volt lights down and found a set of 12volt lights that matched. I needed one mounting bracket and was haveing a hard time finding one. I finally ordered a set of brackets that are made for the older M100 trailers.I ordered them from Midwest Military They worked but were a little short since I was using the bigger lights. I was able to space the brackets out using some nuts as spacers and they worked fine. Next was mounting the lights and connecting the correct wires. The wire harness was still good and had all the tags on the wires, so I just had to match the correct wire and connect the bullet connectors. No splicing!

    bracket wire, spacers, and wire tags

    They hang a little low, but the extra light thrown out by them is worth it. Also, if I were to do a serious trail with these, I would remove the lights at the trail head. It is real easy, just two bolts, and the bullet connectors are just on the inside of the frame.
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  3. #3

    Re: M416 Trailer Build

    I then found a company online that sold NOS safety chains.Army Supply Warehouse These are weird because the chain is attached to a bracket with a weird angle, so anything besides original just doesn't look right. I also found a NOS landing leg bracket on ebay. I figured it was cheaper than if I had paid a welder to weld together the old one. In the picture the bracket is the dark green thing that the landing leg is bolted to, it has two positions, up and down.

    Safety chains and landing leg bracket

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  4. #4

    Re: M416 Trailer Build

    cant wait to see the progress
    The art of design is how you communicate your message to said audience

  5. #5

    Re: M416 Trailer Build

    Looks like a nice project you got yourself there...can't wait to see it on some 33s

    Do you plan on camo painting it?
    :Marko:<br />
    Supercharged[COLOR=Sienna] 98 4Runner SR5 4x4 3.4L<br />315cc Injectors :: 4&quot; Deckplate :: TrueFlow Air Intake System :: Magnaflow 18&quot; Muffler w/ Resonator<br />XM Sat Radio (Roady XT) :: Autometer Boost Gauge :: Color Keyed Spoiler<br />
    <br /><br />
    TOYOTA|moving forward

  6. #6

    Re: M416 Trailer Build

    chris when you're done building it i'll gladly take it off your hands for free!

    good job! can't wait to see the finished goods in action soon!
    TLCA Member

    2003 4Runner SR5 4x4 Chaos Edition
    2000 Toyota Landcruiser
    19xx M416 Trailer

    Chaos Edition Profile
    Operation Rebuilding Chaos Edition
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  7. #7

    Re: M416 Trailer Build

    Quote Originally Posted by marko3xl3
    Looks like a nice project you got yourself there...can't wait to see it on some 33s
    Do you plan on camo painting it?
    Since it will also be used behind our new taco, I am undecided about 33's. These trailers are really tall, the trailer tires I have on it now are about 31's and it sits real nice behind my 4runner on 33's. I will explain it better when I get to showing my hitch and the lunnete ring.

    I will probably eventually herculine the bed, and camo paint the rest. Since it will be behind both my toyotas, I will probably go with black, graphite (like my 4runner), and some kind of silver or gray to go well with the taco.

    Quote Originally Posted by Good Times
    chris when you're done building it i'll gladly take it off your hands for free!

    good job! can't wait to see the finished goods in action soon!
    Going to be a long time till this build is done. Everything done up till this point has just been to make it usable. It is still ugly as hell, but that makes it even cooler. Once I get some kind of welder, I can really have some fun with it.
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  8. #8

    Re: M416 Trailer Build

    I plan to do 33s with mine however Ive got 33s, and then some 5.5" of lift or so with my 3rd gen so it would sit up with 31s, 33s would be needed.

    besides painting it? have any plans for custom shell on the top or topper or something of the likes?
    The art of design is how you communicate your message to said audience

  9. #9

    Re: M416 Trailer Build

    YOu would be surprised. I have 33's and at least 4 inches of lift. As it sits right now, my pintle hook is raised 1" coming out of my hitch, and the lunnete ring on the trailer is in the lowest position (one of the cooler things about the trailer). Therefore I could go 3" higher with my rig and still have the trailer sit level like it does now and still not having a drop coming off my hitch, by adjusting the pintle hook down 1" so that it is coming straight off the hitch and moving the lunnette ring 2" up to the upper position. That being said having matching tire sizes are cool if you tow it with the same rig all the time. I will post pics soon showing what I am talking about.

    Edit: I may be wrong about the lunnete ring adjustment on the trailer being 2", it looks more like 4" I will measure in the morning. Also if you get an aftermarket bumper, that will raise your pintle hook way up and help you fit 33's on the trailer.

    I want to make a hard top with gas shocks so that I can mount a roof top tent or my thule basket since those tents are so gosh darn expensive and there are so many other things I want. It is hard to build my 4runner and this at the same time on a budget while paying for a new taco.
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  10. #10

    Re: M416 Trailer Build

    The original intervehicular cable (cable that goes from vehicle to trailer) has a massive plug on it. The thing has about 12 pins in it, so I obviously had to do something since the 4runner just has a regular 4flat connector. The cool thing about this is that the original cable is attached to the wire harness by bullett connectors. So, all I had to do was unscrew a panel and disconnect them. Before I did this, I made sure all the wires still had their number tags on them so I could look in the manual and know where they went. Next, I made my IV cable by adding the correct size bullet connectors to a 4flat connector and wires. I studied the electrical diagrams and hooked up my IV cable to the correct wires and done! Lights now work, tires are good; time to take it to the DMV and get this thing legal! I will take pics of this soon as it seems I didn't take any at the time. In the above pic of the safety chains, you can partially see the IV cable I made.

    4flat connector and new IV cable:

    Panel that is held on by four bolts where the IV cable attaches to the wire harness:
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