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Old 06-19-2003, 03:11 PM   #1
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Axle Question

When holding a 4 foot level against the bottom of the axle on my 64 Bambi 2, I notice a slight upward bow. In the center it bows 3/8 inch, fiteen inches from the right bracket the axle bottom is 1/8 inch from the top of the level and on the left side fifteen inches out from the bracket the space between the level and the axle is 2/8 inch. Is this normal and desirable or should the axle be replaced? Also I have found some repair welding on the left shock bolt support bracket, when I changed the shocks it was a little more difficult to put the new shock on than it was on the other side. The torsion bars seem to have the correct negative slant. All of these measurements were done with the trailer on jack stands and the stands were under the axle next to the mounting brackets. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. - Drex

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Old 06-19-2003, 11:39 PM   #2
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The bowing might be from the jack stands placed under the axle. I seem to remember reading not to do that anyway. Jack stands should be placed under the frame where the axle is attached or to the jack spots located somewhat behind the axle (there should be little squares of aluminum riveted to the spots to mark the locations). The Duratorque axle has rubber torsion bars inserted into the ends of that housing. I don't think there is anything inside the center portion. If the trailer tracks good and the shocks have room without rubbing against anything and the negative angle is good then there probably isn't a problem. That's my opinion, but you might contact Inland RV since they are the exclusive distributor of replacement Duratorque axles. Of course they will be more inclined to recommend axle replacement, but that's not necessarily a bad thing since the replacement axle is heavier duty and will increase your weight carrying capacity.

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Old 06-20-2003, 02:17 AM   #3
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It is normal for Henschen axles to have an upward bow, the
amount of bow you mentioned would seem to be normal. Never jack a trailer up with a jack on the axle , it can change the camber.
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Old 06-20-2003, 08:24 AM   #4
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The bend or bow in the Henchen axles is caused by the alignment process.

If you do not see a bow, then "worry."

If you do see a "bow" the axle is as built.

A greater worry, is the position of the "torsion" arms. If they are parallel to the chassis, with the trailer unloaded, observe them again with the trailer loaded. An upward or positive angle indicates the axles may need to be replaced.

If the torsion arms are at a postive angle, with the trailer empty, then the axles are history. Bottoming out will occur when hitting bumps, which usually results in other damage, such as fatigue cracking of the frame and/or shell, rear end separation, shearing of many rivets, and the list goes on and on.

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Old 06-20-2003, 01:42 PM   #5
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Andy, I read with interest every post you make. I'm going after my first Airstream and the information you, not to mention many others, have offered on this site has been invaluable. I've looked at several Airstreams, and some of them just don't "hit" me right, and others I have rejected due to the information that you and many others have offered here in the forums. I thank all of you for sharing your knowledge. I understand that I'm not going to find a gem that doesn't need work, but I don't want to buy something that someone wants to dump because of a big buck repair. I thank all of you for sharing some very valuable information.
Stan and the Lou
Together Forever
BTW, that's MaryLou
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Old 07-02-2003, 03:10 PM   #6
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thanks again to all who replied - your help was appreciated - drex
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:21 AM   #7
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We are also going after our first AS, your info is very valuable.
Roger & MaryLou
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Old 07-30-2007, 05:50 PM   #8
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Not quite right!

Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
The bend or bow in the Henchen axles is caused by the alignment process.
Technically it part of the "Cambering" process.


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