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Old 08-22-2007, 04:04 PM   #169
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1993 21' Sovereign
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update

I contacted Inland Andy, and he is sending out two caps for me second day air. They should be here Friday, which is the absolute earliest I may be working on installing them, so it should work out well from a timing standpoint.
More photos, both of the painting efforts, and the axle install, after I get Bertha into the shop for the work. I haven't really paid attention, I hope the goobers that did the hacked up repairs ten years ago, didn't weld the axles in...
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:26 PM   #170
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I got a lot accomplished on Bertha today, thanks in part to having no other work to do. First, here is a couple of photos of the freshly painted emblems:
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:31 PM   #171
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Now, for the part you've all been waiting for (well, maybe not all of you), the axle installation.
I arrived this morning with Bertha in tow (the storage lot is across the street from my work, so it's not a long drive), and backed the trailer int the shop, out of the way of regular activities, if we had any. I dropped the trailer, and parked the truck outside, then jacked up both sides of Bertha, placing 3 leveling blocks under each front wheel. This allowed the rear wheels to hang free, and I popped off the hubcaps, and removed the lug bolts. About this time, I heard the rattle of a diesel engine, and saw UPS pull up out front, with the replacement grease caps from Inland. Talk about good timing!
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:39 PM   #172
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Now, I really got going. I unbolted the shocls, clipped the wires for the electric brakes, and removed the bolts holding the rear axle in place with my trusty air impact gun. I then walked across the shop to get a pry bar to help the axle come out of its 34 year resting place. About the time I grabbed the prybar, I heard a resounding CLUNK! from under the trailer. When I got back, the axle had removed itself.
I then dragged the old axle out from under Bertha. I made an important discovery at this point: the old axles are just as heavy as the new ones. Who'd of thunk it?
Here are pictures up to this point:
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:47 PM   #173
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Next, since I had trouble getting help with moving the axles, I got a good-size floor jack, and used it to lift the old axle, and roll it across the shop to its temporary storage location near the front door. I got one of the new axles while I was there, jacked it up, and wheeled it back under the trailer. Since I had no help, I jacked up the front of the axle with one jack, and used the bottle jack I use to jack up the truck and trailer when changing tires to lift the rear of the axle into position. I then inserted the bolts, added nuts and washers, and tightened them up. Total time to R&R one axle, not including wiring the brakes: 45 minutes.
I then wired up the brakes, and bolted up the shocks (it is important to install the axle end of the shocks before installing the axle, it is very difficult to install them after the axle is in place, unless you bend the bracket, something I don't want to do with new axles). I put the tires back on, raised the trailer up a little further with the jack, and used two leveling blocks instead of three for raising the trailer up for the front axle install.
Here are photos up to this point:
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:58 PM   #174
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I then performed the same task on the front axle, removing the tires and wheels, removing the shocks and snipping the brake wires, and unbolting the axles. Once again, after removing the bolts, a couple of minutes later gravity worked its weighty magic, and the axle fell to earth with the thud of finality.
I noticed something about the front axle, however. Bertha had a list to the right after a few trips, which is why I replaced the axles, the list was pretty severe after raising the trailer onto the front wheels only, and I found out why after removing the front axle. Turns out the right front assembly had fallen apart internally, and the right front tire/wheel/drum was just kind of dangling in space. The only thing holding Bertha up on that corner was the shock absorber mount.
Here are pictures of the axle, the funny cloth looking stuff in one photo is the pieces of the axle falling out of it:
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:06 PM   #175
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I then performed the same procedure to install the front axle, bolts, shocks, wiring, and wheel/tires. This one took about an hour to remove and reinstall, not counting wiring, the longer time was because this is the axle I had to dismantle the drum on, and inspect and repack the bearings, and reassemble, which took an extra 15 minutes.
I put the wheels back on, made sure the tires were fully inflated, and lowered Bertha down onto her new axles. I then installed the hubcaps, and secured all items inside for a road test. I then made another discovery: Bertha now sits significantly higher than she used to.
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:10 PM   #176
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I then took Bertha on a road test, which went very well. The trailer now rides very smoothly, sits level, and looks better than she did with the "low rider look". One thing I noticed, is that I will now have to chenge the WD settings, and let out one more link of chain so the back of the truck is not lifted.
Here are a couple pictures of Bertha visiting the house where we are staying, after the axle install, and test drive:
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:24 PM   #177
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The total time for the install itself was about three hours. It would have gone even faster if I had been able to get help. There was no drilling, shifting, welding, cutting, or other alterations needed to put these axles in. This is the reason I use OEM replacement parts whenever possible, it just makes life so much easier.
Something I have learned with this install, is even an old crippled guy can do an adequate job of installing axles by himself, if he has a few extra pieces of equipment.
The optional equipment I used, and recommend, are a good quality air gun for loosening and tightening the bolts and lug nuts, a good quality floor jack, at least 2 tons in capacity (for size, not capacity), a bottle jack, wire strippers, creeper, and a 100 ft/lb torque stick (or a torque wrench that goes up to at least 100 pounds).
I'd like to thank the people at Inland and Henschen for getting the axles out to me so quickly (we are still under the gun of time, we need to start living in this trailer in another 30 days or so), and Inland Andy for getting the replacement grease caps to me in time to get this job done this weekend.
Now, if y'all will excuse me, I am going to crawl into bed with a heating pad...
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:31 PM   #178
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Nice looking job, Terry. I assume you used the torque wrench to torgue the bolts holding the axle to the frame to 100 lbs?

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Old 08-24-2007, 10:19 PM   #179
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I have somehow missed this entire thread. Terry, I kept up with the accident thread but did not know about this seperate fulltiming decision. I have a question concerning your shower door. Marie mentioned in the beginning that you had a shower door. I am going to assume after looking at the pictures that you have the same shower door I had in my rear bath '77 Excella 500. If so, how are the shower door double rollers at the top and bottom of that door?
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:11 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by davidz71
I have somehow missed this entire thread. Terry, I kept up with the accident thread but did not know about this seperate fulltiming decision. I have a question concerning your shower door. Marie mentioned in the beginning that you had a shower door. I am going to assume after looking at the pictures that you have the same shower door I had in my rear bath '77 Excella 500. If so, how are the shower door double rollers at the top and bottom of that door?
Craig, the shower door has a single slide on the bottom, hinged in the middle vertically, and hinged and attached bertically on the end closest to the bedroom. The two halves are a burnt orange frosted plexiglass (one piece is cracked--another repair down the road), with a towel bar on one side.
I like the rail only at the bottom, it means there is no bar to konk my head on. I figure I used up a bunch of my available konks during the accident, so I'm trying to avoid the rest.
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:35 AM   #181
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
...One thing I noticed, is that I will now have to chenge the WD settings, and let out one more link of chain so the back of the truck is not lifted.
Shouldn't the only thing that needs to change be the ball height? The trailer should still be putting the same amount of weight on the back of the truck, hence it should still require the same amount of torsion to transfer it to the truck's front axle...
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:40 AM   #182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck
Shouldn't the only thing that needs to change be the ball height? The trailer should still be putting the same amount of weight on the back of the truck, hence it should still require the same amount of torsion to transfer it to the truck's front axle...
I think Chuck is correct. The weights have not changed. You might have to fine tune the hitch after you move the ball.

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