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Old 08-03-2010, 08:04 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
Peasleeville , New York
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'78 Sovereign Replaced with Axles Dexters- a few thoughts

I am in the process of replacing my axles on my '74 sovereign with dexters.
When I bought them, the plan was to just have to deal with the bolt issue, but for a series of reasons, I am rebuilding the frame, soup to nuts. (a whole other thread could develop from that)

I found the dexter people amazingly helpful, I happened to be able to pick up from the factory, the turn around was in 3 days (from payment to pickup) and they loaded them in my pickup. It is a really easy order, but, like with so many things it seems like there is so much static on the forums, it seems much more difficult than it is. The shock mounts are some what of a non issue, I spoke with a dexter engineer and you can weld to the arms without warrenty issues, but they put shock arms on mine, and from what I can tell they will work.

So I bought mine to go on my old frame- #11 axles, with auto adjust 12" brakes and neverlube hubs. I bumped up my capacity a bit, at the time I was going to reinforce my frame, add larger waste and water tanks etc. (still am, just on a new frame)

Today I learned the last part of this that I found in a thread, which I missed. Going from your old axle to Dexter means new wheels. I WILL SAY THAT AGAIN, YOU HAVE TO BUY NEW WHEELS FOR #11 Dexter Axles.

Finally got the axles on the trailer frame, and found out they wheels dont fit. Dumb on my part, but I want share this up front.
There is a lot of back and forth on multiple threads about plus and minus, dollars and sense. I still think I came out even, but still it was not in my origional budget (which is so far blown at this point its a joke).

I would recommend to any new vintage trailer owner -
1.plan to replace your axles - you are kidding your self if you think it will be "OK".
2. Its not as hard as it seems.

3. There are plenty of factors that can effect you, but shipping, time, and labor are the big ones.

4. Do you need new wheels? add extra for those if you go with Dexters.

So my cost:
Axles - $1291.92 (paid tax because I picked up)
No shipping cause I picked up on my way back from Chicago on I-90 (its a 20 min detour)
New wheels? well still have not ordered, but looking like $800 if I go with Alum and new rubber. (a helpful post for me today)

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f465...ims-36453.html

Ordering from Inland ( I called and got a quote) about $1500 for the axles and $500 for shipping to upstate NY. ( just going from memory over the phone)
So I get the new rims and rubber for about the same cost, but I thought 2 weeks ago I was saving $700.
Andy gets crap for selling the OEM, and frankly I have never seen him push this issue (but many other valid ones) about smaller dexter axles...
in some cases, OEM might make sense, but then again, depending on how much you are changing on your trailer, the new OEM may make sense too.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:26 PM   #2
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Might add the wheels (rims) don't fit due to the neverlube axles have a larger center hole but the bolt pattern is OK.

I found out after the axles were installed I could not install the old rims to move the AS. I had to enlarge (blowtorch ) the center of the old rims to move the AS. Lucky I only had to move it about 50 yards. The axles were installed in the driveway.

Also it is very helpful to have 2 people when installing and a good impact wrench but like you say it is not rocket science.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:55 PM   #3
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Careful on the "I WILL SAY THAT AGAIN, YOU HAVE TO BUY NEW WHEELS FOR #11 Dexter Axles"...my rims bolted right up on the nevr-lubes...
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...tml#post558576
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:55 PM   #4
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See OEM is not such a bad deal after all. I did have help to change mine,took us about an 1 1/2 hrs /2men = 3 hrs labor and good tools to make the change from old Henshen to new and no issues. I don't think as far as quality one is any better than the other.
You have brought up some important info that I had not seen before.
Good job.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garry View Post
Might add the wheels (rims) don't fit due to the neverlube axles have a larger center hole but the bolt pattern is OK.

I found out after the axles were installed I could not install the old rims to move the AS. I had to enlarge (blowtorch ) the center of the old rims to move the AS. Lucky I only had to move it about 50 yards. The axles were installed in the driveway.

Also it is very helpful to have 2 people when installing and a good impact wrench but like you say it is not rocket science.
I've replaced a number of #11 Dexter axles for people and never run into this problem. The old wheels have always fit. My own 67 Safari fit just fine. Must be a difference with the wheels somehow.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:32 AM   #6
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I replaced my axles about two weeks ago. I was floored by the shipping cost from California for OEM axles otherwise I may have spent the extra money. Axles and shipping would have been ~$1900.00 - wow! Shipping killed that deal.
I went with Dexter #11 axles, 32 degree down, upgraded to the 12" brakes, standard spindle/bearings and 3,500 lb weight rating. The old axles only had 10" brakes. I had to custom fit the shock brackets and weld them on. I believe Dexter will weld them on with the 22.5 degree axle but not the 32 degree axle. Paid ~$1,250.00 at a local Dexter dealer.
My trailer has steel rims so the wheel issue was not a problem.
I'll try to get some pics posted in the next few days.
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