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Old 05-18-2011, 10:09 PM   #1
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1969 27' Overlander
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Axle Question

I have found a pair of axles at a great price locally.. Only thing is that they are zero offset rather than the 22.5 degree. According to Dexters web-site the main difference is that the trailer would set 2.3" lower. I'm considering modifying the mounts to return the ride height. Can anybody see a problem with that approach? Thanks
This web-site has been a great source of information for this A/S newbie!
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:20 PM   #2
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If it is done correctly by a competent welder/fabricator then it should be OK. But what is the price difference? Is it enough to offset the additional welding/fabricating? Also welding the mounts close to the axle tube can damage the rubber inside of the axle tube. I think modifications like this will also void any warranty. New 3,500# Axis axles with the 22.5 degree angle from Colin Hyde are about $430. Dexter axles are similar in price. I would go with the 22.5 axles. I have an axle thread you may want to read.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:25 PM   #3
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The factory is local to you! You live about 40 miles from the Axis and Dexter factories. You can pick them up at the factory and save the cost of shipping.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply Top (btw I love the "Happier than a little pig.......)
These axles are brand new surplus from a trailer manufacturer. They are 3500# with 10" brakes for $189.00 each.I will have to narrow them a few inches...I dont think that will be hard. I'm thinking some 2X2 square steel tubing will space them away from the frame enough to achieve proper ride height. I have done some fabricating and can cut-n-weld.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:48 PM   #5
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That is a very low price. Post some pics and let us know how it works for you.
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:53 AM   #6
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I found this foundation. It is the same shape but not the same size as the one for my house. Maybe I can just pretend it will fit my house. The price is cheap though...

Go with the correct axles not ones that are kind of close but not really.

Also 12" is better than 10" even though you will be told that brakes today are better than brakes in the day. The only way that could be true is if it is 10" disc brakes vs, 12" drum.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:28 AM   #7
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I appreciate your response , Frank . At first I felt you are being a bit condescending but I understand that this hobby probably has it's share of "poorly engineered back yard builds" and you have probably seen a lot of them. I have done a fair amount of fabricating (including building a "dump trailer" that was featured in a national publication 15 yearts ago and is still "on the road") , Restoring a 1978 Newell motorhome that went into service in support of a national RV museum, and I'm currently also restoring a 1993 Newell 45' that was vandalized. I dont mean to brag,,,my point is that I came to this forum to learn and will contribute when I can to further this hobby.
My purpose for this post was to learn what I can about these axles specifically the difference between the zero degree vs. 22.5 degree. So far what I have learned is that the difference is primarliy ride height (according to Dexter's web-site). If that is the case and I properly position the axles for ride height...possibly adding some frame strength aft of the axles, the trailer's integrity would not be affected.
I would never "pretend" something is right just because it is cheap.
I appreciate the 10" vs 12" brake comment. That is a valid concern. I estimate that my Overlander will not exceed 6,000 lb fully loaded. Would 10" brakes not be sufficient?
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Old 05-20-2011, 11:27 AM   #8
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I'll try to address some if your questions. First, your trailer started out life with the 22.5 degree axles, and as a general rule if any change is made, it should be " more" or "better", not just "cheaper". Your new axles will be starting where your old axles are now, and they will go nowhere but further down. As for the idea of altering the frame so the new axles would still allow the same ride height, I don't think that would be such a great move. I had to perform repairs on an Airstream that had the axle blocked up to raise ride height. What happened was the flexing from the axle not being where it should have been caused the frame to crack in two places, one ahead of the altered area, the other behind it.
As for the 10" brakes, that subject has been beaten to death here on the forum. The rest of the world feels 10" is more than enough, but since Airstreams generally came with 12" brakes, that's what should go back in. There are some very good reasons for staying with 12", though not necessarily for the reason espoused by some vendors here (not Frank,as far as I know, he doesn't own an axle franchise, and is only trying to help you based on his exlerience).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosierdaddy View Post
I appreciate your response , Frank . At first I felt you are being a bit condescending but I understand that this hobby probably has it's share of "poorly engineered back yard builds" and you have probably seen a lot of them. I have done a fair amount of fabricating (including building a "dump trailer" that was featured in a national publication 15 yearts ago and is still "on the road") , Restoring a 1978 Newell motorhome that went into service in support of a national RV museum, and I'm currently also restoring a 1993 Newell 45' that was vandalized. I dont mean to brag,,,my point is that I came to this forum to learn and will contribute when I can to further this hobby.
My purpose for this post was to learn what I can about these axles specifically the difference between the zero degree vs. 22.5 degree. So far what I have learned is that the difference is primarliy ride height (according to Dexter's web-site). If that is the case and I properly position the axles for ride I'll height...possibly adding some frame strength aft of the axles, the trailer's integrity would not be affected.
I would never "pretend" something is right just because it is cheap.
I appreciate the 10" vs 12" brake comment. That is a valid concern. I estimate that my Overlander will not exceed 6,000 lb fully loaded. Would 10" brakes not be sufficient?
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hoosierdaddy View Post
I appreciate your response , Frank . At first I felt you are being a bit condescending but I understand that this hobby probably has it's share of "poorly engineered back yard builds" and you have probably seen a lot of them. I have done a fair amount of fabricating (including building a "dump trailer" that was featured in a national publication 15 yearts ago and is still "on the road") , Restoring a 1978 Newell motorhome that went into service in support of a national RV museum, and I'm currently also restoring a 1993 Newell 45' that was vandalized. I dont mean to brag,,,my point is that I came to this forum to learn and will contribute when I can to further this hobby.
My purpose for this post was to learn what I can about these axles specifically the difference between the zero degree vs. 22.5 degree. So far what I have learned is that the difference is primarliy ride height (according to Dexter's web-site). If that is the case and I properly position the axles for ride height...possibly adding some frame strength aft of the axles, the trailer's integrity would not be affected.
I would never "pretend" something is right just because it is cheap.
I appreciate the 10" vs 12" brake comment. That is a valid concern. I estimate that my Overlander will not exceed 6,000 lb fully loaded. Would 10" brakes not be sufficient?
Ten inch brakes for a 27 foot Airstream, are inadequate, especially when they heat up, like they alway do in the mountains.

Adding additional plating to the bottom of the axle mounting plates, is not a good idea. When you make a tight turn, that will cause the added plates, to bend. Not good.

Andy
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:40 PM   #10
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If a 22.5 starting angle results in a 0 loaded angle, a 0 starting angle will result in a -22.5 loaded angle.

This is bad for a couple of reasons, but the main one I can think of is this:

At worst case, a 22.5 starting angle axle will, on hitting an obstruction in the road, arc either up and back, or directly up. A 0 starting angle axle would have to angle forward, which means the roadwheel needs to accelerate up AND forward. This transfers exponentially more energy to the frame of the trailer.

In an ideal world, a fully loaded AS will retain some aspect of positive angle, even if it's just 5-10.
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Old 05-20-2011, 01:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Park View Post
If a 22.5 starting angle results in a 0 loaded angle, a 0 starting angle will result in a -22.5 loaded angle.

This is bad for a couple of reasons, but the main one I can think of is this:

At worst case, a 22.5 starting angle axle will, on hitting an obstruction in the road, arc either up and back, or directly up. A 0 starting angle axle would have to angle forward, which means the roadwheel needs to accelerate up AND forward. This transfers exponentially more energy to the frame of the trailer.

In an ideal world, a fully loaded AS will retain some aspect of positive angle, even if it's just 5-10.
Actually, that's not quite true. According to Jim Kitzmiller, the man that was GM of Henschen, a 22.5 degree torsion axle will be at zero degrees when it is loaded at its rated capacity. That's why just looking at a torsion axle for angle is not a good indicator of condition, you would need to eaise the trailer off that wheel to see how far it drops without load.
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Old 05-20-2011, 02:48 PM   #12
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Actually, that's not quite true. According to Jim Kitzmiller, the man that was GM of Henschen, a 22.5 degree torsion axle will be at zero degrees when it is loaded at its rated capacity. That's why just looking at a torsion axle for angle is not a good indicator of condition, you would need to eaise the trailer off that wheel to see how far it drops without load.
I believe, if you read my post, that that is exactly what I said. I'm not discussing axle wear characteristics, but axle movement characteristics for healthy axles.

And axle that starts out at 0 starting angle, healthy, will have a -22.5 angle fully loaded.

The issue here is that with a negative angle, additional loading forces the axle to arc up and forward, when the natural thing for the axle to do is arc backward. Arcing forward means the wheel has to accelerate up and forward. That acceleration energy has to come from somewhere - it comes by loading your axle in a way that a +22.5 axle never does.

Instead of giving up energy to move, a negative start angle axle takes energy to move.

A failed axle doesn't move as much, and tends to transfer the shock directly to the frame as directly coupled, but that's not part of what I was saying
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:49 PM   #13
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Thanks to all for your input. I'm beginning to wonder if there is a difference in the "spring rate" between 0' and 22.5' axles. If so the 22.5 would offer more suspension travel as well.
My experience with Newell Coach has been that they tend to be over-built in many ways..Air Stream seems to follow a similar philosophy thus they probably used 12" brakes when 10" would do the job. The result is an extra margin of safety that may be much appreciated in certain conditions. 10" would be fine behind my Dodge 3500 but 12" would save the day behind a smaller SUV or sedan TV.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
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In an ideal world, a fully loaded AS will retain some aspect of positive angle, even if it's just 5-10.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Park View Post
I believe, if you read my post, that that is exactly what I said.
I did read your post, but my wonderful iPhone wouldn't allow me to remove the part I didn't want to respond to so you knew what part I was talking about. I have removed the part I was not referring to in the quote above.
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