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Old 11-06-2002, 08:06 AM   #1
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Axles are now expensive too.

I called Henschen to order my axles yesterday. I had gotten a quotation from them a few months ago at $430 for axles complete with hubs and brakes. Now they tell me I have to purchase them through Inland RV. His price is $800!!!! I about blew a cork.
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Old 11-06-2002, 10:05 AM   #2
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There "is" a difference between "wholesale" and "retail."

Henschen decided to get "out" of the replacement market as it became too time consuming. They now sell to "OEM'S" only.

Also, Pick, did you check Airstreams price?
You will find it to be greater than ours, as a matter of fact $103.00 more.
They are not in the wholesale business either.

That doesn't make anyone a bad guy, it just means the wholesale availability is no longer available.

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.

The photo's of your Airstream clearly show that your axles are gone, as indicated by the top of the wheels not being visible, as it should be.

Your trailer will be the judge of your decisions, in terms of does it like the different ride, as well can it handle the different length torsion arm. Additionally, since the length of the torsion arm from other axle manufacturers is different from Henschen, will the tires fit within the wheel wells properly.

My information says no, but I am not an engineer either.


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Old 11-06-2002, 01:37 PM   #3
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Hmmm..."top of the wheels not showing".....don't like the sound of that. It should sit up that high?

I did check the torsion arms, and they still seem to have a little bit of an angle left on them.

which reminds me: I saw the axle plant tour on your website; one of their drawings of the axle seems to indicate that the torsion arm should be 90 degrees with a load. your article on the subject says they should have a + angle....care to clarify?
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Old 11-11-2002, 09:06 AM   #4
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Chuck.
Reviewing our article on axles, did not list any comment that a positive angle was OK.

Any positive angle could be a problem, depending on the payload.

A change in our article will indicate that the maximum travel of the axle shaft with the envelope designed shaft is 42.5 degrees. With the square shaft design, the maximum travel is 35 degrees. The square inner shaft was first used in the mid 80"s.
From mid 80's and older, the maximum positive angle is 17.5 degrees.

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Old 11-11-2002, 10:19 AM   #5
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On this page: http://www.inlandrv.com/tours/axle-p...s-briefing.htm

toward the bottom of the page, the graphic labeled "22.5 degree starting angle", shows that the normal load position is horizontal.

Your article ( http://inlandrv.com/articles/dura-torque-axle-92001.htm ) says,

"Each axle has a maximum weight rating. When the trailer is loaded to the maximum weight rating, the torsion arms should still maintain a rearward slight negative or downward angle, but never more than a zero angle (parallel to the frame)."

Put more simply, my trailer's torsion arms appear to be horizontal. is it time for new axles?
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Old 11-11-2002, 10:26 AM   #6
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Chuck, I would GUESS no, if both sides are even.On my Airstream the drivers side arms are at the zero, or level angle. On the curb side they are at a negative angle. If I look at my tires and wheels I can see that the trailer is about an inch or more lower on that side. Could be due to the fact that the fresh water tank, kitchen, furnace, tub/shower is all on that side of the unit. On the driver's side they seem to look "normal" judging by all the pictures of other Airstreams I have seen.
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Old 11-11-2002, 10:37 AM   #7
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Chuck.

If the torsion arms are parallel, with the trailer loaded, they are OK, but bear watching periodically.

If the torsions arms are parallel with an empty trailer, that indicates that the axles are gone.

However, some owners travel very light and others travel very heavy.

We suggest that you check your axle arms when you have the trailer loaded for travel, and hooked up to your tow vehicle.

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Old 12-29-2002, 11:25 PM   #8
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Thumbs up How & why I replaced mine.

First off I have to say that while I've balked at some of Andy's prices it hasn't been because he's gouging us -- It's just that I'm retired and have a fixed income. So, I have to be a little frugal. A big POSITIVE for Andy is that he really does know what he's talking about and I've learned a lot from his Web site! For instance I asked Windish RV (Denver) about replacing my axle for me. Their "expert" didn't even know what the conditions were for a worn out axle. He told me he'd never heard of positive angle. Now I suppose he knows, but it convinced me to do the replacement my own self! Here's a picture worth a thousand words. It is the new and old side by side in my pickup just before I took it to the welder to have the shock brackets welded in place. Guess which axle is worn out??
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Old 12-29-2002, 11:33 PM   #9
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Thumbs up Installation tip.

Here's a photo of how I maneuvered the new axle into position under my Globetrotter. I used a 3 ton jack that has a wide plate on the lift. The axle balanced better than I thought it would, but take it slow. I did it without any help, but it would have gone faster with another (knowledgeable) person to assist.
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Old 12-30-2002, 12:17 AM   #10
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THAT'S IT!!!!!!

Your (old) mounting plates are the same as mine. Did you have to redrill new mounting holes to accept the new axle? Oscar
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Old 12-30-2002, 12:25 AM   #11
 
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Thumbs up

Very interesting pics,
Where are the brackets welded? Did you replace the brakes & drums?

Ron
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Old 12-30-2002, 12:46 AM   #12
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Thumbs up Axle replacement tip

Yes, I had to drill new holes, and I replaced the brake assembly and wheels and tires. Don't make this mistake: When I took the axles in to the welding shop we copied the position of the shock brackets from the old axle. It seemed like the logical thing to do, but I didn't take into account that the new axle has a slightly different configuration. It mounts about 1 inch farther away from the frame than the old axle. So, after I mounted the new axle I discovered that the new OEM shock absorbers were - you guessed it - one inch too short. But like the old saying goes - when life hands you lemons - make lemonade. I found better, and larger air shocks at NAPA. I've read that the OEM shocks are hard to come by, but now I have shocks that can be bought just about anywhere. They also come with a life time warranty. The OEM replacements from Inland don't. Here's a photo:
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Old 12-30-2002, 12:51 AM   #13
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Angry OEM shocks too short

Here's a photo of the too short OEM shocks. You can see the mounting bolt and welded bracket just beyond its reach.
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Old 12-30-2002, 12:54 AM   #14
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Gas shock installed

Here's the gas shock installed.
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