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Old 11-08-2012, 04:06 PM   #1
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1979 Argosy Minuet 7.3 Metre
Topping , Virginia
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 117
Axles installed

I had ordered axles through Colin and they finally got here.
Ran the rear axel up onto ramps, leveled with the hitch jack and placed jack stands under the frame forward. Removed the tires, disconnected the brakes. Had previously accumulated all the necessary tools: 1" & 3/4" sockets 1/2" ratchet and a 18" length of 1 pipe as my breaker bar has disappeared. 1" open end some blocks and wedges, a 2 lb maul and a couple of miscellaneous things.
Have been soaking the nuts daily with PB for a week. Removed the shocks.
Made a jig and used a floor jack to hold up the axel while I removed the old nuts. Pretty easy. Set up blocking under each end of the axel with 1" of space to the axle then used the 2lb maul to loosen, removed blocks as lowered with the jack. Rolled from under trailer and set aside. The
It came without any trouble.
Wire brushed the steel and put some ospho on it.
Took a break.
The new axel is 3/8" larger then the old. Marked the frame and used a small angle grinder to open the rearof the notch. Used a pattern to be sure it was a slip fit.
Got the new axle onto the jack & rolled into position. Had some shoving and pushing as the hubs are off center so they act like a pendulum wt. Once started into the notchs a little twisting and jacking and they fit right in.
Next up was drilling new 5/8" holes in the frome as those in the axel bracket were no were near the old holes. Started with an 1/8" drill bit finished with a
half inch bit. My largest. Then used a burr grinder to enlarge the hole to fit.
Installed the new bolts.
I didn't order new shocks till yesterday from Andy so they'll go on later. The old shocks were in excellent condition and had I not ordered new ones would have put the old ones back on. Having read the forums regarding this job (thanks for the terrific info guys) and knowing a little about shocks I don't think they are necessary. The fact that the old ones are in good shape confirms that for me. I know some of you will disagree.
Start to finish it took 4.25 hrs. I'm 69 and my young helper decided to decamp before even starting. For me the most difficult part was all the damn getting up and down off the ground. Other then that, a fairly easy piece of work.
Tomorrow I'll do the rear axel. Hopefully it'll go a bit quicker except I have to do a few pan repairs.
I hope this info is helpful feel free to call if you're thinkiing about doing it.

Thanks one and all here,

Paul
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:24 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
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Did the same job last month. Helped a friend. You are right, it's the getting up and down that's the hard part. I didn't have to grind out the notch and used a 5/8 drill bit.
I'm 67 and my friend is 75. Didn't get done much sooner than you. Good luck on the back axle.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:50 PM   #3
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Fresno/Clovis , California
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Hi Paul, thanks for the info on your axle install. I'm 73 so your report is encouraging. Let us know how the finish went.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:12 AM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
1979 29' Ambassador
west monroe , Louisiana
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A couple months ago I too took on the daunting axle replacement job on the '72 Sovereign. Removing the old axles was a chore, but installing the new ones was a breeze.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:30 AM   #5
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
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I got my axles from Colin a couple of years ago too. I had trouble getting the axle into position using one jack so I got a smaller floor jack on one side and the big on the other. With my son helping we jacked each side up at the same time and the new axles went into position with no problem.
One word of caution to anyone drilling out the holes. A 5/8 in bit in a 1/2 drill will "bite" when it gets almost through the frame rail. Then it does and if you are not ready, the torque is sufficient to really hurt you as the drill snaps around so be careful. Keep a strong grip on the drill, go slowly and be ready.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
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1979 Argosy Minuet 7.3 Metre
Topping , Virginia
Join Date: Oct 2011
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Got the rear axel on today without any problems. It went a little faster then the first. Put some patches on the belly pan and installed a few rivets here and there. Re-attached some loose screws holding the gas pipe, some caulking and foam insulation in a couple of places.
The test drive was fine and nothing jumped off the counter. No popped rivets. Now for some bourbon.
Ready for the road, finally, and some golf.

Paul
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