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Old 02-21-2005, 04:55 PM   #1
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Rivet '85 345 tag axle.

I have a question and I've asked a few people who should know the answer.
They tell me everything is Ok. When I look at the back of the motorhome the tag axle wheels look as if they are tilting out at the bottom and in at the top. (Like an old VW rearend) It's noticeable but not terrible. The tag axle tube actually has a slight bow in it. The Airstream repair shop (Jackson,OH) had one they were doing some repairs to the day I called them. He looked at that tax axle and said it looked like mine. A truck spring shop looked at the air suspension and said it was OK. Mine runs fine and I have had no trouble with it. Just looks odd. An comments out there...

Bill Mc Namara
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Old 02-21-2005, 07:12 PM   #2
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Bill,
Not sure if this helps but mine occasionally looks like that too. It does look like a vw rearend. It seemed to go away when sitting level with the rear airbags inflated all the way.

87MH has spent a lot of quality time with his tag axles . Hopefully he'll chime in on this one
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Old 02-22-2005, 06:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
87MH has spent a lot of quality time with his tag axles . Hopefully he'll chime in on this one
The short answer to Bill's question is "No" - no VW tendencies on the '87 345 tag - there is, however, a slight bow in the tag axle itself in the "up" direction (concave when laying on your back on the ground looking up at the bottom of the axle). A "bend" in this direction in the tag axel would remove any excess camber. I observed the repair center in Jackson Center lining up axels on a 34' trailer, and they used their "power bender" (axel bender/aligner) in both the horizontal and vertical axis to get the tires true (toe/camber).

I have checked both toe in and camber on my 345 tag axel, and both are dead on (as close as I could measure without a rack), but I have also weighed each tire (loaded on the chassis) individually, and when the air suspension system has the unit at "dead level" the tag is really not carrying its full share of the load.

You may want to bleed off all of the air in the bags and observe what happens with the main springs and tag camber. When mine are bled off the frame actually settles onto the main springs, not permitting the tags to take all of the weight of the rear of the unit. The total loaded weight on the rear end of my 345 is something in excess of 10,000 lbs, and if all of this weight is transferred to the tag I could well understand how deformation of the tag axel could have occured.

The replacement of the tag axel is something any self respecting shade tree mechanic could take on - just two bolts to the frame on each side, and the shock/levelling system mounts. Take a close look at the bolt holes on the tag flange where the bolts attach to the chassis frame - these have been known to fail.

Please keep the Forum informed as to what you find.
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Old 02-22-2005, 08:39 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replys. I will have a look at the axle again now that I know a bit more information. When we bought this unit in 1999 it came like this. It was sold to us as is for parts. She wasn't that bad. We've been working on her thru the years. It's been a love/hate relationship. . . .


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Old 02-22-2005, 09:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
mine....does look like a vw rearend. It seemed to go away when sitting level with the rear airbags inflated all the way.
If the camber comes and goes, you may consider recording two weighings on each of the four contact points on the rear axels - one with the tag axel splayed out, and one when it appears to be normal. It may well be that something is going on with the air suspension to cause the tag to be overloaded, causing the camber to become noticable.

Ever wonder why there are not many used corvairs on the market??Great little car - years ahead of its time (of course, lots of knock offs from the VW Beatle) - but Ralph Nadar thought the rear end looked a bit funny.
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