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Old 12-30-2002, 01:29 AM   #15
 
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It must feel gooooood now! I envy you

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Old 12-30-2002, 07:42 AM   #16
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bump stop?

forrest,

did your old axles show any signs of hitting the bump stops?

i just noticed them in your installation photo.

also, are the new axles a higher rating than the old one(s)?
the new axle looks beefier in the swing arm area.

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Old 12-30-2002, 07:47 AM   #17
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also

forrest,

few more questions,

did you drill the axle or the frame of the trailer? or both?

and what type of bolts did you use? they look anodized, are they grade 5,8 or 10?

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Old 12-30-2002, 08:54 AM   #18
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Axle Bolts

John, when I ordered my axles from Inland, they shipped with grade 8 bolts. Mine are still setting inside, waiting for a break in the weather here before I tackle the job.
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Old 12-30-2002, 10:33 AM   #19
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I'm confused

Forrest, what kind of axles did you buy (Pick bought Inland axles). From another post, it seemed like you bought axles from Inland, but judging by the modifications, you bought another type? Also, in looking at your photos and at your posting, you state, "the new ones mount 1" away from the frame." In what direction, front, back, or 1" more "drop?" If it does mount 1" forward or back, how did you determine that the actual axle is in line where the old one is. I'm guessing that the old crossmember and new crossmember just locate in the same "u-holes" in the frame? I looked at the new/old axles photo - I'm guessing that you needed to drill the front and rear holes in the frame (using the new axle mounting plates as guides, as the front/rear axle plates are longer and the holes more widely spaced? If these were not Inland axles, can you post an approx cost?
Thx,
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Old 12-30-2002, 11:16 PM   #20
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Question Also a bit confused

Forrest a few more q's if you don't mind :
first where did you get the shocks that would not fit?
Are they going to let you return for credit?
What brand are the OEMs that don't fit?
What was the cost of shocks OEM, and of the Henschen Axle?
How much shipping cost? Was it shipped from Inland or drop-shipped direct from factory with billing thru Inland?

Now about the diagonal piece that is welded to the frame mounting plate;
Was this added to give you an upper shock mounting surface? or is it original? How far up into the wheel well does it extend and is there a stud welded or a hole to accept a bolt at top? It appears in your photos to have a rib down its center. or looks like a piece of angle that has been flattened to some degree. Is this correct?

Lastly the (angled) mounting brackets on the axle have two planes. One obviously lies against the frame mounting plate, and is bolted on horizontally.
Are there also bolt holes in the top plane,that would bolt up (vertically) thru the bottom leg of the frame C-channel? I don't know how one would get to the nut side but my Service manual shows the vertical bolt holes as well. Different year, different axle though.

Great photos! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-31-2002, 12:31 AM   #21
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Exclamation Reply to questions

I'll try to answer your question in the order posted.

John: I didn't notice any sign of hitting the stop, but I did notice a difference before and after while towing. The old axle and shocks passed along a jolt up through the frame into the tow vehicle whenever we drove over cracks and bumps in the road surface. The new axles and brakes are a higher rating than the old ones. That specifications are detailed at http:\\www.inlandrv.com and I drilled the frame using the bolts supplied by Inland RV. I don't remember what grade they are only that they have marks that indicate they are hardened.

Marc: The axle is ordered through Inland delivered direct from Henchen via Yellow Freight. The new axle has about a 1" more drop giving the unit a higher ride with more ground clearance (although 1" isn't that much of a difference). The new axle fit into the old "U-holes" or opening in the frame, although not as snugly as the old ones. This is because the mounting on the new axle appears to be a more "universal" fit. It has bolt holes for inserting bolts vertically. To use those holes I would've had to remove a section of the pan so as to have access to the interior of the trailer frame. The horizontal holes that I drilled (the bolts are visible in the photos) are closer together than the old ones, and the front hole is close to the bottom edge of the frame. Cost of axle (including OEM shocks and bolt hardware) ordered from INland was $869 (in September), Yellow Freight charged $83 (to Denver), my welder charged me $75, the gas shocks (from NAPA, part number 94008) was $40, and a $1 for some locknuts to bolt the shocks --- total cost $1,070 (labor was free).

The OEM shocks provided with the axle (shipped seperately) were Gabriels. They are good standard shocks, but the mistake was mine. I will not be asking INland for credit. I'll be selling them shortly on eBay (my mistake is likely a common one judging from the number of people selling new OEM shocks on eBay). The diagonal piece of metal with the mounting stud is the lower shock mounting and shipped with the shocks. When order your axle you may not have to do welding depending on you make, model and year of trailer. Call Inland for this information as they will ask you several questions to determine which axle you need.
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Old 12-31-2002, 12:35 AM   #22
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Are all replacement axles the same size?
What is 10' oe 12'


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Old 12-31-2002, 12:55 AM   #23
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Question Size?

I think the axles are the same width, but they have different ratings and size brakes depending on your model AS. See Inland's web site. It has the details.
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Old 12-31-2002, 12:22 PM   #24
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Exclamation Engineering ??? or Marketing ???

Thanks Forrest, actually I was asking about the upper shock mount brackets. But I deduct from your description that they were factory installed. I assume they also have a stud.

I find the whole axle replacement situation very disappointing. To pay $850. plus for an axle and then have to customize welding is offensive to me. It is not the price of the welding, but the chance of mistake by some welder who knows nothing of trailer engineering or dynamics. And assuming there is a warranty on the new axles, will a welders mistake void it? For the life of me I can not understand why Henschen cannot,upon receipt of order, attach an OEM duplicated mounting bracket to the axle.

The fact that the lower shock mounting brackets were sent with the shocks is also disconcerting to me. Seems they should have been sent with the axle. Some one might want to use the existing shocks having recently replaced them trying to head off an axle replacement.

Haven't we been indoctrinated to believe that every angle and dimension of the sacred Airstream running gear was critically designed and engineered. To not keep this all fine tuned we were told could lead to pipes leaking, walls shifting, rivets wallowing, tires failing, tails sagging, and milk in the refer becoming butter.
So would a shock that is a few degrees changed in its angle of travel have any effect on balance or on anything?? Beats me!

And now they ship a "UNIVERSAL (cut to fit) AXLE" !!!
I only have to go up to InlandAndy's following statement in this very thread....
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"However, someone has gone to Southwest Wheel to obtain a replacement axle, who will sell wholesale. If you can engineer the axle and it's required attachment changes, shock bracket size and location, along with determining the necessary adjustments and attachments that you must make in order to install it, then you can get a complete axle, you determine the rating, along with hubs, drums, bearings and brakes for less than $300.00."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OK thanks for the 500 dollars worth of replacement engineering, could we have 5 dollars worth of instructions on where to weld!
Go figure!.... and while at it send me Southwest Wheels phone number please.

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Old 12-31-2002, 01:43 PM   #25
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I have one of those $800 plus axles under my Minuet. It was not a quick bolt on job. My shock brackets were already welded on but in the wrong place. I had to strip the axle to get access to the brackets and move them which was not the end of the world, I do have a mig welder and a torch. I can imagine what the typical do-it yourselfer would have felt when faced with welding and fab fees to take care of it. I did gripe at Inland about this and they said in the future they would be shipping the brackets loose, I assume with the axle. If I had to do it again I would probably go to Dexter and get an axle built to spec, or do my best at measuring and do some work to get a off-the-shelf unit of theirs installed. I fully agree it was a lot of money for something that I ended having to partially re-engineer. I am not really disgruntled about the whole ordeal, just feel it was a lot of money for the trouble.

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Old 12-31-2002, 02:51 PM   #26
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this raises the question: can we just go to Dexter? How would one go about that? if you've gotta go through all sorts of crap to get one of these expensive Henshen axles to fit, can someone please explain to me what the point is? I thought the whole idea of going through inland was to avoid this stuff. just unbolt the old, and bolt on the new. I guess not.

I know pahaska has mentioned more than once that his paperwork says "henshen", but the axle itself says "Dexter". I wonder what's up w/ that, too....perhaps if henshen gets backed up in their manufacturing, AS goes to Dexter? or perhaps Dexter is a customer of Henshen's?
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Old 12-31-2002, 04:12 PM   #27
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Unhappy Dexter Blues

Dexter manufactures their own brake parts and sells them to Airstream and I believe Henschen who incorporate them onto their axles.

I have called Dexter and been told that they do not have an exact replacement axle for Vintage Airstreams. I talked to a number of their personel and was disappointed in the lack of Airstream knowledge, they were very cordial however. They asked me for a number of specs, and measurements that I had no knowledge of. I am not sure whether they would custom build with the right specs or not. Prob'ly would be cost prohibitive. If I find my notes I will edit this and add them to this post.
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Old 01-01-2003, 12:21 AM   #28
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Talking Shock mounting bracket.

Sorry to not understand the question regarding the upper shock mounting bracket/stud. The upper one is original and welded to the the trailer frame. Mine have to damage, so I left them as they are other than to clean them up. Here's a drawing of the studs dimensions. I don't know if thats a help for anyone, but here it is.
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