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Old 01-19-2003, 10:07 PM   #1
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Bubble info

Hello out there, Bubble owners - does my '57 Bubble have shocks or just springs? I see leaf springs but no shocks. Is that right? Also, what kind of brakes did they originally have? Mine has "fitting" or housing for brakes, but no brakes.
Also re axle - I did speak with Andy from Inland RV about this question - how does one determine that one "needs" to replace an axle - this is a square, drop axle. It tows ok. I can't remember what he said....
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Old 01-20-2003, 04:31 PM   #2
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Greetings Smallfry!

You are far less likely to experience axle problems than those, like myself, with later coaches that have the Henschen DuraTorque axles. If your Bubble has its original straight axle with leaf springs, the leaf springs are far more likely to need attention than the axle itself. If the springs do need attention, most larger cities have shops that specialize in rebuilding automotive springs will also rebuild/refurbish RV springs as well.

My information indicates that the greatest probability would point toward surge type hydraulic brakes as the type of brakes that your Bubble would have been found on your Bubble. There are modern versions of this type of system still available, but there is no direct, indpendent control of the trailer brakes from the tow vehicle with surge brakes - - the force of the tongue moving up on the trailer hitch during stopping applies the brakes via a small master cylinder mounted on the hitch that foces fluid back to the brakes at each wheel. My experience towing a car hauler with surge brakes indicates that they can be quite "chatty" in traffic as they tried to lock up too early when slowing for signal controlled intersections.

In most cases, it is possible to upgrade to electric trailer brakes from the hydraulics. A local shop that specializes in utility trailers would likely be familiar with the process.

I can't tell you whether your coach would have had shocks from the factory as my greatest familiarity is with coaches of the 1960s. I do know that the larger coaches with leaf springs often had shocks - - these would have been from the late 1950s - - whether they were factory, I do not know.

Good luck with your project.

Kevin
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Old 01-20-2003, 07:14 PM   #3
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Kevin:
Thanks for the info - the axle is actually a drop axle I think - I crawled under there and it is made of square steel, and there is a 90 degree turn upward where it connects, i.e., it does not go straight across and into a hub. That sound right?
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Old 01-20-2003, 07:49 PM   #4
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Greetings Smallfry!

The concept is quite similar whether straight or dropped - - a steel axle with either a direct connection to the wheel or the drop that you describe. It would be unusual for the axle itself to break or fail unless subjected to unusually severe use - - the spindles would likely need to be carefully inspected as part of the brake rebuild process.

The most frequent problem that I have heard mentioned is with the spring mounting shackles or the springs themselves - - a broken leaf or something of that nature..

Kevin
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