Glider Trailer Kit Assembly Instructions



by Paul A. Gaines

You will need to possess basic mechanical skills, some simple tools, and some materials that should be readily available to you. You may choose to utilize some or all of your existing fittings of your current trailer. Fitting kits for most sailplanes are available, including for the unique PW-5.

TOOLS REQUIRED: screw gun, drill, caulking gun, sanding block, pop-rivet gun, hammer, wire strippers/cutters, soldering gun, circular saw, c-clamps, chalk line, paint rollers, basic wrenches and screw drivers, occasionally 1 or 2 friends.

You will be required to do some basic clean-up of the fiberglass components. 80-180 grit sandpaper with a sanding block should do the trick. Sand all edges until smooth. The next step is to install the floor. It is better to lay out your plywood and trim it for proper width first, then start laying it down on the floor area of the chassis, beginning from the rear. You will notice that the 8 foot sheets will split the 2x2 steel cross members. The last sheet (front) will be the shortest and will need to be rounded to fit the lower fiberglass nose cap. Do not install these sheets yet, as it is better to paint them completely first, then do the final installation. Pre-drill the wood into the steel cross members as they will be installed onto the chassis. Screw down the floor with counter-sunk stainless screws. Your floor should be done now.

The side wall panels are next. You can use up to 1/8 inch sheet of just about any tough material (fiberglass, aluminum, thin sheet steel, even 1/8 high quality ply wood, etc.). Cut the material to width and length. You can install these panels with pop-rivets or screws. It is a good idea to use a little urethane adhesive here to stop the vibration of the panels etc.. Again, start from the back and work your way for

Now the fiberglass nose cap can be installed. It is pretty straight forward.

The main thing is to align, mark, and cut with accuracy. The first thing is to cut out the area where the tongue will go through. The notch will need to accommodate the 3î tongue, so make the notch about 3 º inches. An 1/8 inch gap on either side of the tongue will fillet nicely with urethane sealant. You should cut the slot just deep enough so that the nose cap top will line up with the top of the side wall, and the back edges of the nose cap, once trimmed, will slip nicely between the extrusion and the outside surface of the top forward corner of the side wall. Trim the back edges of the nose cap so that everything fits nice and square. The back edge of the nose cap should butt up squarely against the side wall panels. You can now install the nose cap using pop rivets and a bit of urethane adhesive. Ingenuity may enable you to do a clean installation using just the adhesive.

If you are using our special extrusions to install the top, then the extrusion installation is next. Align the extrusion with the rear of the trailer. Let it slip onto the side wall of the chassis, and mark the front of the piece to cut right at the 45 degree bend. To install the extrusion, run a bead of urethane adhesive along the top runner of the side wall portion of the chassis. Now slip the extrusion onto the side wall and drill along the horizontal surface of the extrusion approximately every 6 to 10 inches down through the steel runner. Your drill/screw combination is up to you, but 3/16 diametal work to completely finish the kit out to your liking, but it is pretty straight-forward and we can help!

The one piece fiberglass top is next. Make sure that the bottom edge all the way around the part is cleaned up and smooth. You can take a scrap piece of aluminum extrusion and slide it all the way down the side walls the length of the trailer to see if the top will fit down into the extrusion with ease. Sand down any sections that do not fit. Take a couple of planks of wood and place them across the top of the chassis at either end of the trailer. This will allow you to temporarily set the top shell onto the chassis safely, without being committed to installing. Sand approximately inch of the lower outer surface near the edge of the top shell (where the extrusion slips over). Use 180 grit sandpaper. This will give the urethane sealant a better grip of the top shell. Now apply a liberal amount of black urethane adhesive into the aluminum extrusion slot. Be sure to clean the slot out first. Some acetone with a scotch bright pad will do a very good job. You are using black adhesive because the inside of the trailer top is black and the inside surface of the top is more difficult to clean up. When excess goo is squeezed out of the slot, the black adhesive can be wiped up a bit and smearing will not be noticed. The adhesive will also squeeze out along the outside of the trailer top, but can be cleaned up easily with acetone (while wet!). Also, when the black adhesive edge along the outside of the extrusion gets dirty while in use, it wonít appear stained or dirty. Lower the top shell into the extrusion slot, starting from the rear of the trailer. Only do one side at a time. Itís much easier that way! This is the only step where 2 of your friends will come in handy. This will reduce the amount of swearing, and will continue to keep you happy about your purchase. Creativity and team work are strong assets here. There are many tiny tricks that we have learned along the way. Words are difficult to organize to explain these tricks. You will figure it out as you go along, and it may just jump together like it has for us a number of times! Once in place, pull down on the top and kind of shimmy it back and forth to help the top ìsettleî down into the slot. You can now clean up the excess goo with clean rags and acetone. Make sure the back of the top shell lines up with the back edges of the chassis. You may have chosen to use a section of our extrusion to secure the front of the top shell. If not, secure the front end of the trailer by any sound method of your choice. You should now stabilize the whole assembly on both ends of the trailer, and leave the adhesive to cure for 48 hours in an environment no less than 70 degrees F. This completes the top shell installation!

Now is a good time to go over the entire assembly with your tube of urethane adhesive/sealant and do some sealing. Go around joints and gaps and do your neatest job of ìcaulkingî. Pay attention to the wood floor area from underneath the chassis. Any gap or joint anywhere will give moisture a chance to penetrate. This sealing will also add a bit of structural integrity to the assembly and reduce vibration of the flooring and side walls.

If you are using our molded one piece rear door, you may decide to assemble it next. It is only a couple of pieces. Temporarily check the fit of the rear door. Install the rear latch using the supplied hardware. The locked position is when the latch is horizontal. Now install the aluminum angle positioning piece along the bottom edge of the door. This aluminum angle piece is to help align the rear door when you close the trailer up. I like to install the piece such that when the door is put into place and locked, the back of the door sticks out just a bit from the back of the trailer top shell. I think it looks better that way. You can use pop rivets or pan-head screws to attach the piece. Now support the door in position while temporarily installing the rod lock from inside the trailer. You should mark the rods so that when the rod lock is in the horizontal position (locked), the rods will be through the holes in the rear rib that you will drill later. Cut the rods at the appropriate length while the rods are more or less horizontal. Taper the ends of the rods a bit. Do not cut them too short! Measure twice, cut once. (Perot). Now you will need to make up supports on the inside of the door to hold the rods. The rod lock comes with tiny brackets that you can use to accomplish this. You will need to fasten/glass a couple of blocks or brackets to the inside of the door that will securely hold the rods away from the inside of the door. Install them so that the rods will strike somewhere in a solid part of the rear rib in the trailer top shell. They should also be installed as close to the outer edge of the rear door as possible. Now you can drill the 2 holes into the rear rib for the rods. But Before you drill the holes, be sure to install any trim or seal that you wish to have on the door or rib, so that the holes will line up properly when you close the door.

The front door is next. You can install the latch and hinges on a bench before it is put onto the trailer. Install the hinges at the back of the door. Just use your common sense here for width placement. Make sure that the hinges are installed so the hinge pins are all the way to the edge of the door, and make sure that the hinges themselves are square. The front latch main hole should be drilled right where the dimple is, near the front edge of the door. Center up the door in the front of the trailer and drill the holes for the hinges. Install the spring struts and the front seal. If the seal is the flapper type (self explanatory), then the flap goes to the outside. You may need to cut just a bit the edge of the flapper seal at the corners. Install the latch cam and check the door to see how it closes. You may have to do adjustments to the cam.

You can now put the black trim piece on the exposed edge of the fiberglass top shell at the rear of the trailer. Do a dry fit and trim the piece before you commit to the adhesive! Run a small bead of black urethane adhesive inside of the trim piece and press it into place. Clean up any excess adhesive with acetone and clean rags.

You can install fenders now. If you have bought our fiberglass or plastic fenders, you can use 7 large head pop-rivets for each fender. Leave enough room for suspension travel of the axle.

The installation of the lights is up to you. If you buy our light kit, we will give you separate guidelines to help out.

All of the above procedures can be accomplished in less than 2 full weekends. HONEST! Just have enough space to work and a helping hand now and then. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.

This completes the basic kit assembly procedures. The internal fittings will vary from glider to glider. A number of customers have chosen to use their old fittings, or design new ones. We can also supply almost everything else to finish out the kit.

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For more information contact:
Gaines Composite Fabrication
1930 Dorsey Road
Marietta, Georgia 30060 USA
Telephone: 770-499-7755
Fax: 770-499-9131
Copyright© 1999 Gaines Composite Fabrication. All rights reserved.
Updated 2/1/99