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Old 08-03-2006, 02:40 PM   #1
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1970 27' Overlander
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Smile 1970verlander: How will I know if I need new AXLES? HELP!

I am an extremely excited new owner of a 1970 Overlander that appears to be in excellent shape. I have receipts that the prior owners spent over $6000 on goodies for the trailer (new fridge, countertops, bearings, tires, jack, awning, range, etc), so I expect that it should be in pretty decent shape. However, I am aware that I have the factory 1970 axles and am wondering whether this should be concerning to me. How would I know if they needed replacing? Is there any method for determining how much life they have left? Aside from "simply" breaking an axle, is there any way to determine if the axles / suspension is in good shape?

Please let me know if anyone has any knowledge.
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Old 08-03-2006, 03:28 PM   #2
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Congradulations on your new rig!
If you post a picture there are people here who can tell you at a glance. Without a pic. you have to do measurments etc. So take a shot from the side centering on the wheels and you'll have an answer in a flash.
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Old 08-03-2006, 04:43 PM   #3
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1973 31' Excella 500
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The axle is a torsion assembly. Measure the angle between the arm and the frame. This should be about minus 22 degrees - hanging lower than the frame. My arm on the trailer I just bought with original axles measured positive 10 degees - above the frame. Definately need replacing. I am going to a 35 degree 3500 pound axle that was recommended by Inland RV. Can't wait to get them and see if they are just a bolt on deal. I'll let you know.

Joe
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Old 08-03-2006, 04:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defelice
The axle is a torsion assembly. Measure the angle between the arm and the frame. This should be about minus 22 degrees - hanging lower than the frame. My arm on the trailer I just bought with original axles measured positive 10 degees - above the frame. Definately need replacing. I am going to a 35 degree 3500 pound axle that was recommended by Inland RV. Can't wait to get them and see if they are just a bolt on deal. I'll let you know.

Joe
I'll be watching this thread hoping to learn all about your purchasing experience with Inland RV, the delivery, the installation, and the outcome. Please take pictures; lots of pictures!
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Old 08-03-2006, 04:52 PM   #5
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Axle spec

The original axles on your coach are 2800# rated with a factory start angle of 22 1/2. Replacing your axles is probably a must based on the age. According to factory specs, the Overlander had a DRY weight of between 4515 to 4575 depending on floorplan and trim level.

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Old 08-03-2006, 05:45 PM   #6
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I was under the impression that the 22 1/2 deg. down angle was unloaded ( bare axle ) . With the weight of the trailer it would be something less than that . Can someone verify this ?
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Old 08-04-2006, 02:30 PM   #7
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Tiki2,

That is correct. Both wheels from the axle would have to be off the ground to get that angle. And that angle would only be there new. After the trailer has sat for some time I would expect that angle to be not seen again.

Any downward angle when the trailer is fully on the ground would be good in my book.

Inland RV has good pics of how to look at the trailer and make a determination of the axle worthiness.

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Old 08-04-2006, 09:04 PM   #8
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Just replaced the axles on my 70 overlander with dexter axles

Congrats on your purchase of the overlander, I also recently bought a 70 overlander, the axles were shot, with a negitive torsion arm angle on original axles. I have a good trailer shop here locally, they mainly work on livestock trailers, they are dexter dealers and ordered my axles direct from dexter. This dexter dealer told me dexter is now building axles for the airstream factory as original equipment on new airstreams. When they called the order in, the dexter people wanted the SERIAL NUMBERS that are on a plate on the axle tube, after they got the serial # they built my axles, took 3 weeks for delivery, the install went smooth, a perfect match, right down to the 12 in brakes. also I ordered the NEV-R-LUBE bearings, they are a sealed bearing that never require packing and repacking, according to the dealer they last 100000 miles before replacement, with this set up you will not be able to use your stock wheels, I installed 4 new dexter 2600# wheels and goodyear marathon radials. The results: Happy camper to say the least. Put 1000 miles on. Really rides nice. If you have shot axles I would recommend before you do anything get those axles replaced, riding around on shot axles will beat the daylights out of your coach. If you have any questions I sent you a PM with my phone #
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Old 08-05-2006, 06:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOM CRUMP
....... This dexter dealer told me dexter is now building axles for the airstream factory as original equipment on new airstreams. When they called the order in, the dexter people wanted the SERIAL NUMBERS that are on a plate on the axle tube, after they got the serial # they built my axles, took 3 weeks for delivery, the install went smooth, a perfect match, right down to the 12 in brakes. also I ordered the NEV-R-LUBE bearings, they are a sealed bearing that never require packing and repacking, according to the dealer they last 100000 miles before replacement, with this set up you will not be able to use your stock wheels, I installed 4 new dexter 2600# wheels and goodyear marathon radials.......


Tom, this is good news. I didn't realize Dexter was now making "exact fit" replacement axles. Do you know when they started doing this? Do you know if they limit this "exact fit" to just certain types (i.e. years)? Also, could you elaborate on the Dexter wheels? What's the difference from stock? Bolt pattern, etc? If you don't mind, ball park price? If you don't want to say, that's fine.

Jim
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Old 08-05-2006, 09:27 AM   #10
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Tom did you get shocks with your new axle(s)?

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Old 08-05-2006, 01:01 PM   #11
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1973 27' Overlander
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Hi TOM CRUMP--I am also considering new Dexter axles for my 1973 27' Overlander. My questions regarding your installation: 1. What capacity axles did you install (2800, 3000, 3200, or 3500#)? 2. Did you use shocks on your new axles?--Frank S
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Old 08-05-2006, 06:22 PM   #12
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Dexter Axles

To answer some questions: I dont know how long dexter has been building axles for the A/S factory. dexter informed my dealer when we ordered the axles. I dont know if they limit exact fit axles to certain years, my guess is when they wanted the serial # off the old axles, a/s must have supplied dexter with a data base containing specs they could match the specs to the axle serial numbers. The axles bolted right up. no modifications were needed. Dexter makes trailer wheels check out their website, i used 2600 # steel wheels, the pilot hole is 4.27 in. to accomodate the nevrlube bearings/hubs, bolt pattern is 6 on 5.5 The new axles come with mounting brackets already installed for shocks, although, I didnt install shocks. I had spec'd 3200# axles, but I'm not sure what was built, I'll check back with the dealer. And finally, answering this last question might provide some sticker shock (for our friendly forum vendors out there, yeah I did price the henshen axles) The job consisted of replacing the axles, nevr lube bearings are extra but well worth it, new wheels, tire mounting, materials and labor, the total bill was $1314. Your Further comments and questions are welcome.
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Old 08-05-2006, 06:43 PM   #13
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Hi TOM CRUMP--You have a great looking A/S, and now it has great running gear. Thanks for the detailed info, and photos. Two last questions (I think these are my last questions): 1. 10" or 12" brakes. 2. 22-1/2, 32, 35 degrees or something else? 3. Tire size and brand, on your new wheels.--Frank S
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:21 PM   #14
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22 degree down angle, 225/75/15 load range D goodyear marathons 12 in brakes
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