I am in the process of replacing my axles on my '74 sovereign
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)
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.