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Old 05-16-2011, 11:36 AM   #21
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Good to see some folks weighing in on the trailer. The restoration slowed down for a while, but is moving along again.

I had previously heard that a leaf spring setup would be the way to go. I don't think there is any flex left in the current torsion setup and that is more of the reason to upgrade (and peace of mind) than the bearings.

What are the thoughts on torsion axle v. leaf spring axle? This will be a very light trailer as I'm doing a minimal amount of build out.
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:40 AM   #22
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I had an enclosed utility trailer w/ a torsion axle--Rode very nice..they do wear out.

leaf spring longer life span...a bit rougher.

Not sure at this point about ride height--seems either system could be modified to get the ride height desired.

Cost and mounting(between the 2 types) would be the considerations then...

Inital thought: torsion maybe a good choice.

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Old 07-13-2011, 09:24 AM   #23
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Axel replacement

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Originally Posted by samb View Post
For what it's worth, my 1948 14' Boles Aero also had a torsion axle when I got it. I thought it was original to the trailer. On looking back, it was badly in need of replacement. Very rough ride, no spring at all left.
The 14 footer is a great size ..... room for a full double bed in back.
Sam
Sam, from what you said about the axle I presume you replaced it. I just brought a 47,14' Boles home and am trying to figure out how many degrees angle a new torsion axle would have to give the right ride height. Any help with this will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:46 PM   #24
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A torsion axle is superior in all respects. Don't change to beam axle.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:07 PM   #25
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I have been searching to see if anyone has brakes like mine, and you do. I have been trying to figure out what to do with them. Did you just get a new axle and brakes?
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:13 PM   #26
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axle/wheels/tires

I have been riding around with the brakes disconnected. The hubs are in good shape but the axle doesn't have any flex left. I am finally getting around to replacing it.

The trailer is light enough that just using the tow vehicle brakes has been fine. My only concern would be with a break away.

There was a post earlier in the thread that mentioned similar breaks on a Spartan and he hooked them right up.

I have 16" wheels (6 lug) with good tires on it now and an axle replacement will likely mean a new set of wheels and tires too.

What is a good wheel size for this trailer? 14" or 15"?

I'm also wondering about tires. There's seems to be a dark hole about what tires to use. I've heard a lot against ST tires. The LTs I have on are plenty robust for such a small trailer. No problems thus far.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:23 AM   #27
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You can get a Flexiride rubber torsion axle made to your specifications. One of the best prices is from Trailer Torsion Axles . Be sure to have accurate measurements and get the proper weight axle. You need the weight rating, the ouside dimension of the frame (where the axle welds to the frame since they use outside dimensions to make the axle) and distance from hub face to hub face.
Make sure you get it with brakes. The angle of the arms can be adjusted to get you different heights. The best angle is about 24 degrees down on the arms. You can go from 45 degrees down to about 24 degrees up but the ride is best when they are 24 degrees down to level, when empty.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:55 AM   #28
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Stick with the 16 inch tires. Lots more choices.

A torsion suspension will ride smoother and assuming you are going to rebuild your trailer into an RV. That will matter.

As another poster mentioned you can have an axle made to your specs. I wonder if a bambi axle would work on your trailer. Once again I'm assuming (Yeah I know) that your finished trailer would weigh about the same.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:34 PM   #29
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Thanks for the info. I looked at Southwest Axles before.

I think I am going to go with a Dexter Axle. The wheels are six lug which are less conventional, but if I keep them then it doesn't really matter.

Right now the torsion axle sits at up 10 or up 22.5 degrees. I could go with a 0 degree axle, but anything more and I think the trailer would sit real high - which I suppose isn't too much of an issue.

I need to post some new pictures. I fixed up the interior to a nice basic state last summer, but am getting back to some loose ends all over the trailer.

I'm still in need of some rear (Red colored) brake lamps with the original Pell P-100 glass lenses.

I'm also looking for two screens - one for the larger fore/aft windows and one for the smaller side windows.

BRAKE/TURN LAMP:
http://news.blakegordon.com/wp-conte...1/DSC_9627.jpg

WINDOW SCREENS:
http://www.blakegordon.com/bolesaero/windowscreen.jpg
1 @ 23-3/4" x 17-1/2"
1 @ 33-3/4" x 17-1/2"
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:01 PM   #30
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To get the best performance out of a rubber torsion axle it is best not to go above 0 degrees or lower than 24 degrees if at all possible, when empty. They will work higher, or lower, but the optimum angle is as stated above.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:28 PM   #31
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Thanks.

I also ordered up some scissor jacks for leveling/stabilizing. They are rated at 6500 lbs/each.

I am wondering about mounting them to the chassis. I thought it was straight forward but have heard that the chassis my be stressed with these as supports. How far back from the axle would you all recommend? I was thinking slightly back of midway between the axle and the end of the frame.
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:54 PM   #32
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Thanks.

I also ordered up some scissor jacks for leveling/stabilizing. They are rated at 6500 lbs/each.

I am wondering about mounting them to the chassis. I thought it was straight forward but have heard that the chassis my be stressed with these as supports. How far back from the axle would you all recommend? I was thinking slightly back of midway between the axle and the end of the frame.
I have built many equipment trailers over the years. I couldn't answer your question without knowing what the trailer frame is made out of and where the cross members are located. The cross members will keep the frame from twisting and would probably be one of the better locations for the jacks. Keep in mind, this basic info is without knowing what the frame, or the cross members, are made out of.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:04 PM   #33
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There aren't really any outriggers except those that go around the wheel well.

The frame is steel - just over 3/16" thick with some paint on it. There are two beefier C-channels that run the length to the tongue. The rest is just angle.

I have thought about putting a plate to enclose the c-channel. The would reduce the compression force on it.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:56 PM   #34
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I was talking outriggers.

The crossmembers are before and after the axle as well as 2 feet in front of the axle - where the door is. The angle cross members run all the way from side to side. They 1.75"x1.75".

The 2 main rails are 3" channel.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:56 PM   #35
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I was talking outriggers.

The crossmembers are before and after the axle as well as 2 feet in front of the axle - where the door is. The angle cross members run all the way from side to side. They 1.75"x1.75".

The 2 main rails are 3" channel.
Structural channel is good material, but 3" is quite small. I know that AS uses 3" structural channel on some of their 4,500# single axle trailers that are about 20' long including the tongue. If I were building a 4,500# trailer, I would use 4" channel as a minimum. I would probably use 5" channel and a 5,200# axle. The manufacturer has probably designed some of the strength from the shell. The trailers that I normally build are equipment trailers and they have no shell to provide extra strength. What gives structural channel such strength is the shape of the flange. As you know, they get thicker as they go toward the web. "C" channels used on trucks don't do that. Some vehicle frames used "boxed" material. I don't like rectangular tubing as much as stuctural channel because when you weld on them the tend to bow real bad. Structural channel doesn't do that anywhere near as much.
As short, and light as the trailer is, I would put a new axle on it and enjoy it.
What weight axle are you looking at?
Was there an aluminum cover under the trailer at one time?
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:34 PM   #36
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The trailer is 14ft long and has an open floor plan. I'm guessing the weight is around 1500# loaded. Maybe 2000#. I'd like to weigh it.

I'm interested in a 2000# axle, though the Dexter rep said he would go 3500# as it was more standard - parts being more available etc. I was concerned that I wouldn't get a smooth ride bumping up to basically twice the weight of the trailer.

So it sounds like the structural channel would be fine to bolt the scissor jacks to. No need to add crossmembers?
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:38 PM   #37
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Also - the Boles Aero trailers (at least of this vintage) never had a belly pan. I might add some insulation at some point. It's mostly a fair weather camper at the moment, though I've spent some cold weather time in it.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:53 PM   #38
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The trailer is 14ft long and has an open floor plan. I'm guessing the weight is around 1500# loaded. Maybe 2000#. I'd like to weigh it.

I'm interested in a 2000# axle, though the Dexter rep said he would go 3500# as it was more standard - parts being more available etc. I was concerned that I wouldn't get a smooth ride bumping up to basically twice the weight of the trailer.

So it sounds like the structural channel would be fine to bolt the scissor jacks to. No need to add crossmembers?
The 3,500 # axles is where you start getting into a quality product. They use normal size hubs and wheels and you get nice brakes for them. The rubber torsion axles seem to start operating well when they have around 50% of their rated capacity on them. The 3,500 # axle may be a little stiff, but I think that it would work on the 3" channel frame. I don't think I would load the trailer to that capacity without checking out all the cross members, etc.
I had an axle manufacturer make a 3,500 # "Flexiride" axle for me and he derated it to approx. 2,500 #. They do that by taking out a portion of the middle of the rubber. I ended up with a heavy duty axle, with good components, that still rides very well. The standard 2,500 # rated axle was nowhere near the quality.
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:45 PM   #39
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I'll add some comparison weights. My '49 12 foot Boles weighs 2250 pounds on the axle when fully loaded -- 20 gal water, 2 group 24 batteries, two full 5 gal propane, food, etc.
I'm guessing around 350+ pounds tongue weight.

My '52 14 foot Boles weighs 2400 pounds on the axle partially gutted -- no water, no batteries, no propane, most interior in place, but no bed and no dinette. The size of the channel frame appears to be the same on both the '49 and '52. Did not weigh tongue.


I never weighed my '48 14 foot Boles, but it felt a little heavier than my '49 12 footer when pulling.

If I had to guess, I would go with the 3500# axle, but........................best thing to do is get an actual weight. Best to not guess. I did that once and now have a practically new 3500# Dexter sitting in my barn that was not rated high enough for the actual weight of the trailer.

I think your idea of stabilizer jack placement is OK. For its size, the Boles Aero frame is stiffer than an Airstream frame. I would not hesitate to lift either of mine clear of the ground from those positions, and I have numerous times.

Sam
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:34 PM   #40
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Thanks for the info.

It sounds like I should go with a 3500# axle. I'm going to take it to the scales next week to see what I'm working with.

A weld-on install of the axle seems like the logical choice there.

As for installing the scissor jacks - does it matter if I do bolt-on or weld-on? I was leaning to bolt-on as I have access to those tools and could unbolt them if there was an issue with clearance or anything else.

I started to do the bolt-on install today, but the hardened steel has resisted two titanium coated 3/8" bits I put to it. I started with a pilot hole and worked my way up to just smaller than the 3/8". Just wondering if I should push through or if that's a sign to try a different approach.
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