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Old 03-11-2009, 10:03 AM   #1
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Dexter Axles

Just to be clear: I have already decided to go with Dexter axles and I'm ordering them on Friday so I am ONLY looking for useful information to help insure I make the right choices regarding the DEXTER axles. To anyone who has gone through this, please help me with your advice and/or learnings. I have read through many, many threads. I know this topic can get ugly so if you feel more comfortable sending me a PM, please do so. I have a 1962 26' Overlander. I love her and want to do things right but I am also on a budget and feel that I could use the $700 in savings to put toward another restoration project.

Thank you in advance - this is a wonderful and helpful community!

Barry
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:04 AM   #2
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....and more specifically, I could use your help with measurements, ratings, etc.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:21 AM   #3
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I'll be headed down this same road in the not-too-distant future, so I'm interested in the responses as well.

Good luck!

-Marcus
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:08 AM   #4
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I too want to do this, also with Dexters. I have heard 3200# capacity advised here for Overlanders, though my local Dexter guy said 3500# was common and just fine. That capacity axle seems to come in the #10 size- which if I understand correctly has 10" drums and brakes rather than the preferred 12". I understand 22 degree angle to be preferable to 45 degree (Andy), and apparently some folks have a riser on the mounting bracket to make the trailer ride a little higher. I'm trying to learn all this too- anxious to follow this thread and then confidently order new axles!
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:41 PM   #5
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If I remember right under 3500# you can only get #10 axles. 3500# and above you can get #11 which has 12" brakes. I don't remember anyone advocating for 45 degree down trail axles (could be wrong) but, from what I remember do remember recommendations of both 22 1/2 and 33 degrees. Better to ask Andy. 22 1/2 was the original Henshen spec. On my 71 the "high profile, reverse orientation" mounting bracket was the same general dimension as my original Henshens. But that was for my 71. I don't know how that would apply to other years. I suggest you download the Dexter "Application Manual" from thier website.
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
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I just got my Dexters and I plan on installing them this weekend. This weekend will tell. I let a person who works with trailers and axels do the measurements for me.

I think I read somewhere Dexter is going to close one of their plants. I sure hope they stay in business.

Brian
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:24 PM   #7
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The Dexter #11 axle with 12" brakes start at the 4000lb rating. Being my GT is single axle and only 2 brakes The #11 was the right choice. My original axle was rated at 4200lbs and I went with 4500lbs. The 1" riser was how my GT came equipped.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:11 PM   #8
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This is helpful. Keep it coming
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:15 PM   #9
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This brings up the question of which way to go with Overlanders, which have a GVR of 6,200# (at least my '72 does), 2 axles originally rated @ 2800# each, but which had 12" drums and brakes. For the re-do, is it best to use 2 #10 axles rated 3,000 or 3,500# with 10" brakes, OR move up to the #11 axles with 12" brakes but an over-capacity of 4,000# for a combined 8,000# capacity? Is more better, or does it make the ride too stiff? Can a #11 axle be built back down to 3,500# capacity? Also just measured the wheel studs- they appear to be 5&1/2" apart, measuring from one through the spindle center over to the opposite one, 6 of them.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:34 PM   #10
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tphan,
This all sounds right. From what I understand, you can order the #11 axles so you get the bigger brakes and Dexter can change the cord length to make them 3200 lb each which is what I plan on doing. I'll have to change the shock mounting location as I am going for a custom start angle of 33 degrees which will give me a bit higher ride. If Dexter won't do the 33 degree start angle, I'll go for the original spec 22.5 degree start angle but use the high profile reverse angle plates to gain 1" of clearance. This is all information I have read from other posts. Anyone feel free to jump in if you have experience with this topic.
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62-Lander View Post
tphan,
This all sounds right. From what I understand, you can order the #11 axles so you get the bigger brakes and Dexter can change the cord length to make them 3200 lb each which is what I plan on doing. I'll have to change the shock mounting location as I am going for a custom start angle of 33 degrees which will give me a bit higher ride. If Dexter won't do the 33 degree start angle, I'll go for the original spec 22.5 degree start angle but use the high profile reverse angle plates to gain 1" of clearance. This is all information I have read from other posts. Anyone feel free to jump in if you have experience with this topic.
On my '77 the original axles were High Profile, I could slide my finger between the axle tube and the belly pan. I went with the #11, upped the axle spec from 3,200 to 3,600, 33 degrees (no shock mount) and never lube hubs.

In hind sight;
High Profile brackets- for me, no change from stock.
3600 lbs IS stiff if the trailer is empty. With a full water tank the ride is smoother as felt from the truck. The ride measures smoother with 1/2 a tank that it did with the old axles.
33 degrees gets some additional height. The stabilizers barely reach the ground if it's not level and the tongue jack is near it's limit quite often.
No shocks. I have the brackets if I ever want to install them but the trailer now rides better than pre axle swap so I'm happy, others think I'm mad
Nevr-Lube hubs. Why not use bearings ya don't have to mess with. They have been well received in the 5er world and other trailers. So far I can say I've never had an issue with sealed bearings, I've had several trailers on the side of the road with failed conventional bearings

Good luck, It Ain't Rocket Science
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:14 PM   #12
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62-Lander: do these high-profile reverse mounting plates show up on the Dexter info pages? I'm wondering how much extra clearance one really needs, in addition to whatever amount you gain with the new 22-degree arms, compared to old arms that ride at 9:00. How much more with the 33-degree angle, if Dexter will do that? I don't want my trailer "jacked-up" looking, as off-roading in a 27' long trailer is not that advisable anyway. Anyway- good info to ponder, thanks!
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:22 PM   #13
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33 degree is what Henschens are if you order them today. This slightly higher ride height is supposed to better match today's higher tow vehicle. The 22.5 degree will match the original spec and I thought one more inch of height would be okay but you make a good point. I would only want to add the inch if I went with the 22.5 degree start angle.
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:35 PM   #14
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This is all very good discussion.

Barry, please be sure to take diligent notes, pictures of all of your measurements, photo-document the install, and then just tell me what to do when I get there!

-Marcus
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