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Old 06-13-2006, 04:03 PM   #15
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1966 17' Caravel
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Las Cruces , New Mexico
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I just finished a 2400 mile trip with my 1978 6 Metre (love that spelling!) and had a smooth time of it even over California's Rte 99. The trailer is on its original axle. The arms point slightly up, but there is plenty of bounce and movement when one is inside the trailer before lowering the stabilizing jacks. Every picture I have seen of a Minuet 6 Metre has shown the tires at the same relative height as mine are. Soooo....
1) Did the Minuets have a different, lower axle alignment when new? Lots of other things were different about these little trailers, what about ball height, axle arm alignment, etc? (I can't find info on the Minuet that is comparable to that on the Airstreams.)
2) If the axles show plenty of "life" when you are stomping around inside, does having the arms point slightly up really indicate bad axles?
3) Where should the rim of the tire be when the trailer is mounted correctly? On the AS, it would seem that top of rim even with bottom of wheel well opening indicates axles that are done for. If my Minuet looked like that, the axles would be collapsed for sure, but a good 1/2 or more of the tire is presently below the wheel well.
I seek enlightenment.
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Old 06-26-2006, 05:45 PM   #16
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Ferndale , Washington
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Okay, final chapter of the axle situation. I wound up ordering a henschen axle through Inland RV. I found Andy to be very helpful. I wound up going with the complete axle only because I priced the individual components through other sources and it seemed to be a more expensive proposition. Going with adapting a Dexter axle did not make much economic sense as all of the quotes I was able to obtain locally were more than replacing with original equipment. I had a very short time frame to work with as we are off on a big road trip at the end of this week, so I wound up paying extra to have the axle expidited. The axle was delivered by Yellow Freight and the charges were less than $100, so that was a pleasant surprise after being quoted an estimate for shipping of $200 or so. The axle was shipped just as it was with no packing material around it. I had heard stories of damage being inflicted on the axle because of this. The only damage was a couple of dented dust caps for the bearings which is no biggie. I had soaked the old nuts and bolts on the trailer a few days in advance of receiving the axle with my favorite penentrant (Gibbs Brand, good stuff if you can find it). I jacked up the trailer and un-bolted the old axle and dropped it on the driveway. I took and extra day to grind off some rust and repaint the frame in the axle area to make it look prettier. Bolting up the new axle was fairly easy. Another set of hands would have been helpful but strangely all my neighbors weren't around at the key time. I managed to jack it into position with a floor jack and secure the two front bolts. They with the floor jack and a scissors jack borrowed from the wifes car I jacked up the back of the axle and bolted it into place. I hooked up the brakes, and verified that the factory had packed the wheel bearings (they did) and had to crank the trailer up more to get clearance to get the wheels back on. The job would have gone a bit quicker if I did not have to stop every hour or so and chat with various passerbys about what I was doing.

There is a significant difference in height, I would say about 4" higher than the old worn out axle, so it should roll down the road pretty smooth. I put new shocks in too. All in all it was a bit more expensive than I thought, but now that it is done, it should be good to go for the forseeable future.

Now, if I can get my tow vehicle back from the transmission shop in time, we can hit the road as scheduled.

Gergstuff
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Old 06-26-2006, 06:25 PM   #17
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any photographs of all this activity
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Old 06-26-2006, 06:35 PM   #18
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Ferndale , Washington
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Sorry Mark, I did not think to take photos of the process. In retrospect I guess I should have.

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Old 08-03-2006, 06:36 PM   #19
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Ferndale , Washington
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I just realized that I did not post a follow up to my 5,000 road trip with the new axle. Well, everything went fine, the trailer tows very well with it's new axle and we encountered some really bad roads, especially the northest corner of Yellowstone Park where I jarred some pipes loose not to mention a filling or two. I spent more on the replacement than I should have because I was pressed for time, not having the option to delay our travels but it all wound up being worth it. It was the maiden voyage for both the trailer and tow vehicle and I am happy to report no major issues with either one. I am hoping that the axle will retain it's resiliance for many years to come.
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