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Old 04-20-2015, 09:16 AM   #43
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New Axle Install

I got the chance to work on putting in the new axle. It's not in yet but the hardest part was getting the old one off. I had to grind off the old bolts.

Here are a few pics.
This is the new plumbing I installed under the trailer:



Here you can see the beam I added to support the back bumper:



A few pics of the tire and old axle:




I painted the frame and wheel wells with some rubberized wheel well paint:






I was simply trying to get the axle lined up so I can mark new holes since the old ones DO NOT line up.

Hopefully, I'll get it put on this week.
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Old 04-21-2015, 06:22 AM   #44
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1966 24' Tradewind
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People talk about how easy it is to install new axles. But like you, I found axle replacement rather challenging. My bolts were "trapped" and I had to saw them in two. I had to mark and drill new mounting holes. I had to deepen the notch so the mounting brackets rested on the frame rail.

I made a template to mark the four axle hole patterns. I found drilling that old steel on the Airstream tough. I drilled a 1/4" start hole and then followed with my larger drill in my 1/2" drill. I used plenty of cutting oil. I used a new drill bit after 4 holes.

Be thankful you have just one to wrestle with. I had two. Be patient, you can do it.

David
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:07 AM   #45
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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I found drilling that old steel on the Airstream tough. I drilled a 1/4" start hole and then followed with my larger drill in my 1/2" drill. I used plenty of cutting oil. I used a new drill bit after 4 holes.

If you are not using a stepped bit, I suggest you get one. It makes this type of hole MUCH easier to drill.
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:28 AM   #46
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Thanks. I do have some stepped bits. I suppose using one is similar to using two drill diameters. The reality for me: eight 5/8" diameter holes in the axle mounting plate on my Trade Wind took quite a bit of time with a hand held drill. It's just work.

David
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:09 AM   #47
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You will be amazed at how much easier it is with a stepped bit.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:53 AM   #48
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How did you notch the "U" Shape?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
People talk about how easy it is to install new axles. But like you, I found axle replacement rather challenging. My bolts were "trapped" and I had to saw them in two. I had to mark and drill new mounting holes. I had to deepen the notch so the mounting brackets rested on the frame rail.

I made a template to mark the four axle hole patterns. I found drilling that old steel on the Airstream tough. I drilled a 1/4" start hole and then followed with my larger drill in my 1/2" drill. I used plenty of cutting oil. I used a new drill bit after 4 holes.

Be thankful you have just one to wrestle with. I had two. Be patient, you can do it.

David
Hey David,

What did you use to deepen the notch? I have found that the point of weld on the tubing is making the axle a tight fit and need to "chip" or grind some away?

I have an idea of what to do but wanted to hear your solution?
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:43 AM   #49
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Hi Bambibooth from Texas, We're traveling in our Airstream. I am not on line as much as usual. (Gee, I originally typed Bambibroth. Glad I found that error before hitting "send reply". Bambi broth doesn't sound good).

I used my little 7000 rpm angle grinder with a 4" cut off disk mounted on it. This little angle grinder has been a handy tool around the old Trade Wind. I wire brushed my frame with it, ugh!

So I marked them, and then ground away the steel I didn't want. It was slower, but worked.

David
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:24 AM   #50
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New axle is now installed.

The axle is now bolted on!
I had a great time getting that done. Pft!
It was harder than I expected it to be but the rig is now roadworthy.
Here is a before and after pic. You can see the trailer got quite a lift once the new axle was on.



I also put on some longer shocks based on where I had the shock brackets welded on.
I got these from Oreilly for about 18 bucks each.


It's hard work and time but I'm getting there!
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:29 PM   #51
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I agree mounting new axles on an old Airstream is a lot of hard work. Now you have new rubber, new bearings, new brakes, new spindles. Should be ready for another 40 years or so.

You did get quite a boost with your new axles. IIRC they are Dexters? Maybe 32 degree starting angle? I installed Axis axles at 22 degrees. Then I had to grind 3/4" deeper axle notches to get the axle mounts resting on the frame rails. My Trade Wind is no higher maybe a bit lower than it was with the old axles. Airstreams were always low riders. So I look like I have tired old axles. Oh well.

David
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:19 AM   #52
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Hey David,
TBH I don't know what the starting angle was once I got them installed. The axle is the Dexter Dura Torgue. I got the brakes hooked up and took it out for a quick spin to set the brake controller on my vehicle. All seems to be working well.
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Old 05-04-2015, 08:34 AM   #53
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Painting exterior

I got the brakes all wired in and set up with my brake controller.
Everything seems to be working. I also started some more polishing and replaced the large side window but the POS polisher from Harbor Freight has burned out on me. Time to get a new one.

I also started to paint the bumper and wheels with Rustoleum Hammered Paint. It's a type of spray paint that will hide blemishes, scratches, etc.



I am going for that "brand new" look to match the style of the new Airstreams with the black bumper and 'trim'. I haven't finished yet but I like the contrasting look of the black frame with the polished exterior.

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Old 05-05-2015, 08:38 AM   #54
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More bumper painting pics

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Old 05-26-2015, 11:23 AM   #55
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I had to make the tough choice of putting the trailer in storage for a bit while I build a carport next to my side of the duplex to house her.

The other side of my duplex is up for rent and the "old nasty trailer" in the front yard wasn't inspiring people. She'll be back.

Here you can see how high the trailer sits now. With the new axle, shocks and brakes, she pulls so smooth.

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Old 05-26-2015, 04:51 PM   #56
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She is ready for all those floods you are getting in Texas. I am glad you are getting good rain, no one likes a drought. But you don't need 5 years of rain in one month!

I understand that many neighborhoods have rules about RVs in the driveway or property. I had to get special permission to park mine here in my neighborhood. I am set back enough that it isn't very visible from the road, especially with the leaves out on the trees.

David
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