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Old 06-05-2005, 11:09 AM   #1
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Axle Condition?

Hi Everyone,

I just bought this 1976 Argosy and I was hoping you could help me assess my axles as I am no professional.

I read the article from Inland RV and many posts. From what I understand I think my front axle may be at a zero angle and my rear Im not sure if its + or -

The trailer seems to sit great like all the good examples shown on this forum and i looked at the axle arms or (torsion arms???) on other argosys and airstreams around the same age and it seems the same.

But I am not really all that sure,

I thought i would post some pics and see what you all thought!

Thanks for any help! DAVE.
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Old 06-05-2005, 11:49 AM   #2
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I'm of the opinion that the axles are old, but the angle is still good.
One question I have is what does it look like under a full load. This might be more telling as to condition.
I would start up an axle piggy bank, your going to need it in the near furture.
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Old 06-05-2005, 11:58 AM   #3
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What are we looking for??

What should we inspect for when looking at the axles?? I never really inspected mine. They sat for 13 years with no movement so I can't imagine they are too bad.
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Old 06-05-2005, 12:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttercup
What should we inspect for when looking at the axles?? I never really inspected mine. They sat for 13 years with no movement so I can't imagine they are too bad.
Take a look at http://inlandrv.com/articles/dura-torque-axle-92001.htm and it will give you the information you need.
No movement for 13 years can be a bad thing also. The rubber could take a set, I'm not sure how it would effect the ride but I would pay attention to how the trailer tows.
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Old 06-05-2005, 12:07 PM   #5
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Well I can say that it towed like a dream taking it home. No sway bar or brakes and it just followed behind like it wasn't there. Quiet, except for a rattle caused by the water heater door.
Thanks for the link... Good article!. I have something to look at when I get home later today.
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Old 06-05-2005, 12:35 PM   #6
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From what I can tell the top picture looks good, but the middle picture looks marginal and the bottom picture looks good.

A sitting trailer is the worst thing on axles. As Gary mentions above the rubber tends to settle in a fixed position - if the axles get used the rubber tends to get flexed which keeps them supple.

I tend to think that most any axle thats 25+ years old should be replaced. Think about it - that and the hitch are the running gear of the trailer - get those replaced and you have pretty much a brandy new trailer.

I don't think any who have replaced their axles have said that it did not make a dramatic improvement in the ride of the trailer.

Back to your axles - I too agree with Gary in starting an axle fund - probably don't need to replace today or tomorrow, but if it were me and the trailer is in otherwise great condition, replacement of axles would be on my to-do list.

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Old 06-05-2005, 12:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttercup
What should we inspect for when looking at the axles?? I never really inspected mine. They sat for 13 years with no movement so I can't imagine they are too bad.
The absolute worst thing you can do to a torsion axle is to let it sit for years without moving it. One (I don't know why only the one) of the axles on my Overlander has "stuck" or "siezed" in place. Basically it has petrified in the position it sat in for the last decade or so. The angle still looks okay under the trailer, although it doesn't move, loaded or unloaded. I found this out when I jacked the trailer up to replace the tires, and repack the bearings before its move. one axle dropped down like an unloaded axled should, the other one just sat there and looked at me. It towed well also, although very rough over bumps.
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Old 06-05-2005, 12:56 PM   #8
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They move at least

They do move. When I jacked the trailer up and down to repack they did not stick. Don't know about the angle yet...
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Old 06-05-2005, 02:20 PM   #9
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mine are petrified...same story as terry. thought they were at a "passable" 0 angle, although I had noted that they don't seem to change when loaded. when I got new tires last week...they just stayed put when the trailer was raised. this would kind of explain the banging it took on an outing last year that involved some bumpy highway overpasses...really got rattled. (medicine cabinet came off the wall in the bathroom. )

there isn't "0" spring, quite. it does rock back and forth when you move around inside it. but I think its time....
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Old 06-05-2005, 03:38 PM   #10
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Axle rubber rods

Rubber being what is, has a predictable life expectancy, "usually".

We all have rubber tires on our tow vehicles. Some of the tires on a tow vehicle may over time, weather crack, and some may not, regardless of the exposure to the sun, or UV.

The rubber rods in the torsion axles, have the same basic behavior. The rods in one axle may harden, and they may not in the other axle. Why? Good question, but with little to no engineering facts as to why, or for that matter, why not they behave that way.

What is known however, is that the rubber rods, will harden and take a set, if they have not been exercised some what frequently, perhaps as little as a few hundred miles each year.

If the trailer will be parked for a long time, it is best to remove most of the weight off the axles, and support the trailer with jack stands. If the full weight of the trailer is allowed to load the axles, then in time, you can be sure that the rubber has taken a set.

Rubber rods have a memory to a point. When rubber is excerised frequently, it will last a long time. If it "not" exercised little to none over time, the rubber rods will take a set and harden.

With most of the weight removed from the axle, the rubber rods will seldom harden or take a set.

The very best anyone can do, is use the trailer. If not, then remove as much weight off the axles as you possibly can, and then hope for the best.

Rubber rods years ago, were replaceable. Not so anymore.

The basic reason, is since the axle tube is not sealed from moisture, it can, over time rust internally. This has been demonstrated numerous times, therefore rendering any rebuild, impracticle, from the point of liabilty.

Nothing made with rubber will last forever. Depending on it's composition and use, or lack thereof, it's useful life varies considerably.

The same is true for any torsion axle. There is cheap rubber and there is expensive rubber. Each torsion axle manufacturer must make the quality, and cost, choice of the rubber rods that they use, and market their product accordingly.

Unfortunately, the test of time is the real answer to the quality of anything.

Andy
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Old 06-05-2005, 11:00 PM   #11
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Holy $#!*!

I just checked and I think I have a problem. The best way I can describe it is this… The centerline of the tire is LOWER than the centerline of where the axle bolts to the trailer. I think this is not good.
Sorry I can’t attach any good photo’s. The questions I have now is what do I do if I want to replace them with what I have already…
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Old 06-06-2005, 08:39 AM   #12
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Hi Buttercup;

Too bad about your axles - we are going through the same deal. We thought we were good by all indications - lots of space above the rim and the torsion arm looked tikitiboo. But as in Chucks case with his Safari - our was toast.

We held off on just doing the job because of the cost being rather restrictive. I wish we had not - as we did some pretty good shaking on the interstates the way down to Florida and back this past winter. Lost a window (which we are 90% sure it was due to vibration) and lots of rivets have to be replaced around the lower portion. (love to blame the plumbing split pipes too hmm but that was good old ice)

If you search Axles - you will find lots of great information - but it can be hard at times to get past peoples personal opinions, defensiveness and sometime outright rudeness when it comes to these types of issues on this forum - but if you can get past all that "stuff" there are lots of options available to you - some more than reasonable than others - depending on your situation - as well your location will play in to the pricing variable.

We are comfortable with our decision to use the Axis Product - group and will allow us to replace 3 axles for almost the price of one.

The wheels are now off the GT and one bolt from the Axle assembly - but bigger tools are needed to get the rest off. We are heading down this weekend to pick up the Overlander - and hopefully will be taking another trip to Indiana with her.

We have decided to ship the GT Axle and pick up the new one when it is ready at that time make the trade drop off the Ole 61 and take home the GT Axle. Then go down to pick up the Ole 61 and make an extra go of it while in Indian/Michigan area.

Hindsight is always 20/20 but we are now from the opinion that anything over 25 years old should be first on the restore list for new axles and full running gear the cosmetic stuff is not life threatening or structurally detrimental.....

Good luck with your axle(s) replacement.
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Old 06-06-2005, 10:13 AM   #13
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Buttercup.

If the hub center is closer to the ground than the center of the axle, your in good shape.

It becomes a problem when the hub center is "above" the axle center.

You should also be able to see 2 to 3 inches of the tire above each wheel. If the axles are bad, the top of the wheel will be hidden by the wheel well trim.

Andy
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Old 06-06-2005, 10:16 AM   #14
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I am inclined to just go with whatever I pull out because I don’t want to have to do any modifications or welding (which I don’t know how to do yet). I am leaning on just getting the “Dura Torque” Axle as I should be able to just bolt the sucker right in and be on my way.

I want to be able to use my existing components as much as possible. Besides, I got my Hensley hitch and right now, with new axles, the height will be different between the trailer and the TV. The Hensley is matched to the TV so I may need to have a new tow bar made – another expense…..
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