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Old 10-09-2003, 05:23 PM   #1
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Arrow Axle Replacement ???

Hi fellow airstreamer...

I'm the proud owner of a 1954 Airstream Flying Cloud in a complete process of restoration... when I say complete that is mean really deep restoration ;

It is time for me to make a choice :
either I replace the complete axle, or "only" the bearing, the spring, the shock absorber, the brakes, the wheels, and tires, and all needed (u bolt and others...)

Right now (and from the original (50 years ago)) it is a 3500 Lbs drop trailer axle with a double eye spring.

I don't even know if a dura torque will fit since I actually don't have torsion axle ?

What do you think ?

All help will be merciful.

Pierre.
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Old 10-09-2003, 07:05 PM   #2
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Question Is there anything wrong?

54FC

Pierre,

Quote:
it is a 3500 Lbs drop trailer axle with a double eye spring.
Congrats on your "find" and, the best of luck with your fantastic project~!

My main concern for you is..
Given the fact, that you're replacing most of the rolling stock..Why go to the trouble of changing out your axle unless it's tired, broken or completely shot~!..Have you had it checked for serviceability? At the very least, you should be able to find something close to it's original specs...
I guess what I'm trying to convey to you is...Why change the "original" design.
You might be setting up a whole new dynamic in the way the trailer handles while being towed.... as an example.
This could cover such things as ground clearances, etc..

Just my thoughts..
Good luck~ and, keep us posted on pictures of your progress`!
ciao
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Old 10-09-2003, 07:40 PM   #3
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FC54

Older trailers with leaf springs can be updated with an Henschen axle or axles.

Axle mounting plates must be added to the frame, to start the process.

When the proper dimensions are provided, a Henschen axle can be specially made to fit "any" older Airstream.

Actually, updating to the Dura-torque axle, gives the trailer a much softer ride. That is the very reason Airstream changed to it.

We have made many axle conversions to the older coaches, up to and including installing tandem axles on an original single axle installation. It is not a major problem.

Whenever a "major" restoration or remanufacture is desired, adding larger wheel wells and using the new style wheel well moldings, actually improve the appearance of a vintage trailer.

Andy
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Old 10-09-2003, 08:03 PM   #4
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Axle upgrade

I am replacing the leaf spring axle in my '59 tradewind. Here are some particulars:
Dexter 4" drop underslung axle-about $120.
All new 12x2 brakes and hubs, about $200.
Springs-The original were fine, but to be safe I had them rebuilt and added a leaf. About $160.
Miscellaneous bolts, plates, etc. $20.
I "upgraded" to a 5200# axle because I plan to add A/C, graywater tank, batteries, etc. With the new springs I can add 460# to the dry weight, and 'lots'(about 1000#) wet weight. I am also rebuilding the frame, due to some water damage, and the new frame will be able to handle the weight. I am keepinmg all the weight forward of the axle-it takes a little more ingenuity, but its possible. If you have any questions, let me know. I have posted some pictures in the axle forum earlier.
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Old 10-10-2003, 12:10 PM   #5
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thanks ...

Andy,
I looked at your website to evaluate the cost of an axle replacement...
How much it 'll cost to have a Henschen axle specially made to fit my 54 Flying-cloud ?
With your expertise, do you think it's worth it to change the type of axle for a smoother ride ?
What kind of bracket I'll have to weld to the frame to accomodate a Henschel axle ?
what I ll gain with a tandem axle, compare to the weight it will add to the total ?('cause it's a big jump for my budget...)


Markdoane, Is your new axle a dexter one ?
How the axle is connected to the frame, my is only connected with U bolt to the spring.

As I post in an another forum :
"As I m restoring my complete frame... I m interested with the POR-15 You use... Where could I find it, Do I need to apply a rustoleum paint before as a primer ?"

and I didn't found your other picture about your axle, Could you give me the title of the forum ?


Thank again.... everyone....

Pierre.
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Old 10-10-2003, 01:01 PM   #6
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Putting two axles on your trailer would be overkill.

I would stay with a single axle.

The price of a complete (hub, drum, brakes and bearings) is listed in our web site.

A special size axle costs the same as a standard.

All that is needed to do to install a Henschen is to remove all of the springs and mounting hardware.

A "axle mounting plate" is added to each side of the frame. It must be placed so that the tire would be centered within the wheel well.

Alignment of the plates so that the axle stays properly aligned with the trailer, is a matter of one measurement.

Addiing a stud to the frame for a shock is a matter of welding it in place in the prepunched hole in the axle mounting plate.

Total parts necessary would be an axle, a pair of axle mounting plates, 2 studs and two shocks.

We have been asked to refrain from quoting prices on items we sell. Accordingly, we will PM them to you.

Andy
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Old 10-10-2003, 06:01 PM   #7
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Axle replacement

To see another picture , see "axle upgrade" in this forum, dated ealy october. Read thru all the stuff about batteries (thread got a little side-tracked) to the bottom.
The axle is Dexter. You need to order it because it's not a standard off the shelf size. Takes about two weeks. One thing I had to do to accomodate the larger axle was move the shock absorber studs off the old spring plate. The dimensions on my axle are 55.5" spring centers, 72" between hub faces, 4" drop. If you decide to go this direction instead of Henschen, be sure to measure carefully before you order.
If you do anything to the springs, go to a full service spring shop. The bushings for the eyes are not a size you can buy off the shelf. The shackle bolts on mine are 5/8", largest that Pioneer Rim and Wheel had were 9/16" Not a big problem, but aggravation you don't need.
I'm not certain that you will get a softer ride on Henschen axle-no direct knowlege-I'm sure someone else on the forum has done a direct switch and can verify the ride. I believe that leaf springs will give you a soft ride if the load is matched to the spring rate. With the upgraded springs I put in to give me added load capacity, I sure the ride will be harsh if I ride around with no weight. Same as a pickup truck rides rougher with no load in the back.
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