Trailer Modifications For the New GT


ChipBeck

GT Owner
Staff member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 13, 2006
5,441
Scottsdale, Arizona
Gentlemen,

1. A lot of us have trailers we have been using for our '05-'06 GT's and would like to use the same unit for our new GT's. I have an early model (2008), all aluminum Trailex that is low and light equipped with E-Track for use with over the tire straps but it only measures 80" between the wheel wells and the width of the new GT is 79" to the outside edges of the rear tires (78" to the outside of the front wheels). 1/2 inch clearance from the wheel well and a CF wheel that costs $9000 each to replace is not enough so that would have to be addressed.

2. Next, although the Trailex side door was designed to allow my '06 GT door to be opened while in the trailer the 2017 GT door goes all the way to the bottom of the car and even though it opens up at a 45 degree angle it would hit the square corner of the trailer wheel well so more clearance would be needed there.

3. Third, the new GT is wider than the old car and getting to the E-Track anchors in front of the right-rear tire and the rear of the right-front tires was almost impossible. So easier access to those spots would be nice.

4. Fourth, the new GT is a bit longer and it's lower at all 4 corners which interfered with the ratchet handles while I was tightening the straps. I needed to move the ratchets farther away from the corners of the new GT.

My solutions to those 4 problems will probably work on other trailers with similar issues so I thought I'd post them up with some photos.

The quickest solution would be to buy a new Jimglo trailer like the ones the servicing GT dealerships are required to purchase. These accommodate the new GT easily but they cost $35,000 and are huge and a whole lot heavier. Another solution would be to buy a new Trailex that has 84 inches between the wheel wells and the big door on both sides for about $24,000. The Trailex would be lower and lighter but still an expensive solution. For about $2500 I could solve all four problems so that's the route I decided to take.

1. There is enough room between the trailer tires and the wheel well sidewall to cut and widen the area outside of the GT rear tires for more clearance. I widened the rearmost 18 inches of the wheel well 1.5 inches on each side which provides 2 inches of clearance from the GT rear wheel outside edge and that wheel well. Aluminum diamond plate was welded in place that matched the factory wheel wells. That came out real nice.

2. That modification allowed me to winch my new GT into the trailer but did not allow me to open the drivers door without having it hit the wheel well. So we cut that portion of the wheel well off at a 45° angle and again welded aluminum diamond plate across that area. Again, it looked nice and provided plenty of clearance to open the door. A 4 inch thick 1 foot square pad was fashioned and adhered to the inside of the Trailex side door for the open GT door to rest on so that you did not strike anything but that pad in the open position. Even with the GT window all the way up it clears the roof of the trailer by about an inch.

3. Clipping the E-Track anchors in place on the left side was easy because the center anchors could be accessed through the open side door of the trailer. The right-front rear anchor and left-rear front anchor were a bitch to get to because of the additional width of the new GT. So I decided to cut out to 1 foot square windows on the right side of the trailer so I could get to those anchors without damaging either the GT or myself. We fashioned a 14 inch square door with two latches on each door that allow access from outside the trailer to those two anchor points. The doors were powder coated white and riveted in place and they look fine. So far so good.

4. Now I could get the GT in and the anchors in place but the ratchet handles were underneath the outside of the front and rear splitters when clipped in place and very difficult to operate without banging them into the car doing potential damage while ratcheting the straps tight. I needed to get rid of the strap section and its hook on the rear of the ratchets to move them farther away from the GT. I replaced those 12 inch long strap sections and hooks with two 2" long heavy-duty chain connectors at each ratchet. One would probably be sufficient but using two provides some redundancy in case one failed and also reduces the strain on each connector. This moved the ratchets nearly a foot farther away from the car and allows me to work that mechanism without striking anything on the GT.

Nature sides with the hidden flaw but surprisingly, everything worked perfectly with this setup and my recent trip to Rally XIII in Atlanta went GREAT. Unlike the old GT, the new GT needs to be running to be in neutral so somebody needs to be inside in order to winch it in. I had Peggy steer the car so that the right front wheel cleared the wheel well by one-inch. That meant that the left front wheel was also clearing by an inch. Once pulled in to the tire stop the car can be shut off and the drivers door opened. The over the tire straps and anchors are now easy to secure and the ratchets are well away from the GT.

Perhaps these mods will allow some of our other members to keep their existing trailer instead of spending $20,000+ on a new one. All the best.

Chip
 

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ChipBeck

GT Owner
Staff member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 13, 2006
5,441
Scottsdale, Arizona
2
 

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ChipBeck

GT Owner
Staff member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 13, 2006
5,441
Scottsdale, Arizona
3
 

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ChipBeck

GT Owner
Staff member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 13, 2006
5,441
Scottsdale, Arizona
4
 

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GTMD

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jan 4, 2011
596
NorCal
Chip, you're one hell of a smart guy! Nice job!
 

CJ428

Farm GT
Mark II Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
May 21, 2008
1,385
NJ
looks good
 

68Rcodeman

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Apr 5, 2008
488
Spring Hill, FL.
Great job! Thanks for sharing.
 

JWZ

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Nov 17, 2013
505
West Texas
Well thought out, fabrication looks good, all very functional! Thanks for sharing!
 

Ed Sims

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Apr 7, 2006
6,979
NorCal
It looks nice & secure in there!

Ed
 

06fordgt

GT
Mark II Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Nov 8, 2006
1,796
Toronto Canada
Excellent work Chip.
 

Xcentric

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jul 9, 2012
5,160
Myakka City, Florida
What year is your Trailex? Mine is 2013.

You say 80" between wheel wells. I have 84".

Perhaps wheel well mods not needed on newer models?
 

B.M.F.

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jan 29, 2009
1,255
Minnesota
Nice work chip and that foam you use on the ceiling is some awesome stuff! I've got two pallets of left over scraps from a generator company. I use it for shipping everyday!
 

soroush

Ford Gt Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Aug 8, 2007
5,009
nice job Chip

I was looking at the area where you widened the trailer to get a bit more room you may want to consider glueing or securing something soft to the sides of the diamond plate just as an extra security measure if the wheels ever come into contact with the sides that they would be spared'
 

texas mongrel

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 3, 2009
1,353
Houston Texas
Chip gave me the trailer tour on Sunday morning - nicely done! I may need to get a trailer if I can’t figure out how to get luggage in the new car, has anyone done some genius luggage hacks?
 

ChipBeck

GT Owner
Staff member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 13, 2006
5,441
Scottsdale, Arizona
What year is your Trailex? Mine is 2013. You say 80" between wheel wells. I have 84". Perhaps wheel well mods not needed on newer models?
My Trailex is a 2009 and sometime after that they redesigned newer models to have 84” between the wheel wells. If you have 84” you won’t need to do the wheel well mods and if you’re skinny and flexible you might be able to get to those right side anchors without the doors too. I did get the anchors in place without the doors but it was extremely difficult. If I ordered a new Trailex today I’d get the big side door on both sides and with the current 84” between the wheel wells all I’d need to modify is the strap anchors.

Chip
 

Awsum GT

GT Owner '05 & '18
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 17, 2005
3,788
Central California
Nice work Chip. Did you do all the work yourself or take it somewhere?
 

STORMCAT

GT
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
May 25, 2006
7,387
Ft. Lauderdale
For the record I have a later Trailex trailer that was purchased in 2015. I required no modifications to my trailer to safely haul my GT I've been across country twice and to Atlanta.. Some where along the line Trailex widened the space between the wheel wells

The only thing I do differently from hauling my 2006 GT is I offset the new car to the right approximately 1 inch and that allows me to fully open the door. Also note that I runs straps thru my wheels so I don't need the same access as maybe using wheel baskets. I wench my car on and drive it off. I have a wireless remote. I can steer the car thru the window with my right hade and run the winch remote with my left hand. I don't need a helper or a spotter.. no drama Works great!

Thanks to Fla Chris recommending the higher rated US made Goodyears I don't see having those pesky blow outs !!
 

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ChipBeck

GT Owner
Staff member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 13, 2006
5,441
Scottsdale, Arizona
For the record I have a later Trailex trailer that was purchased in 2015. I required no modifications to my trailer to safely haul my GT. I've been cross country twice and to Atlanta. Some where along the line Trailex widened the space between the wheel wells.

The only thing I do differently from hauling my 2006 GT is I offset the new car to the right approximately 1 inch and that allows me to fully open the door. Also note that I runs straps thru my wheels so I don't need the same access as maybe using wheel baskets. I wench my car on and drive it off. I have a wireless remote. I can steer the car thru the window with my right hand and run the winch remote with my left hand. I don't need a helper or a spotter. No drama and works great!

Thanks to Fla Chris recommending the higher rated US made Goodyears I don't see having those pesky blow outs!!
Brian,

I tried to put my GT in neutral while running but the moment I open the door to get out the transmission automatically goes back into PARK. Does your GT stay in neutral when you open the door? Or do you reach through the window and shift it from park to neutral? If I tried to do that through the window I'd probably dork it and get it in to reverse or drive by mistake and watch as it lurched away from me! :willy I load my '06 by myself but I'm not comfortable loading my new GT without someone inside steering as the clearance in my trailer is just 1" on each side of my front wheels verses the 3" on each side you have.

I changed my wheels and tires from 14" to 15" and also use the best high speed rated Goodyear trailer tires. I use to have several blowouts on every trip but I've been clear across the country three times now at 80-85 mph most of the way with no tire problems. My 5.0 V-8 aluminum F-150 pulls that lightweight low drag trailer effortlessly.

Chip
 
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Ed Sims

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Apr 7, 2006
6,979
NorCal
Are those ramps from Trailex? Where do they store?

Ed
 

Ed Sims

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Apr 7, 2006
6,979
NorCal
... I may need to get a trailer if I can’t figure out how to get luggage in the new car, has anyone done some genius luggage hacks?
Jason in Europe uses a roof rack to carry his wheelchair. You could ask him if it'll work with Roz's suitcase!

Ed