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Old 09-20-2007, 11:59 PM   #15
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Hi Jim, What a small world! I just picked up my 58 Traveler from the shop yesterday. I had a new axle and new leaf springs installed. The main reason I did it was to gain more inner fender clearance for the tires. It only had 1/4", I didn't feel this was good enough. You could see where the tires would rub. The second reason was I didn't trust 50 year old running gear! I went with a 3500# axle and springs with 10x2.25 electric brakes. I feel this combination is matched better to the trailer than what was on it. The springs are 26" long as the org. were 31" and I didn't want to have some custom made. So I had new hangers too. The axle was custom made as the width and drop I wanted, I couldn't find off the shelf. Cost? Parts $570.00 and 7 hours of labor (input your local labor rate). I only towed it home but so far so good.
Good Luck
Greg
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Old 09-21-2007, 03:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 60's Iron
What a small world!
A small world indeed! At least, since it's digital...

Greg, you've done just what I am looking for, and for the same reason!
I would very much like to know the details about your upgrade. More specific about which brands/models you have assembled.
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:56 AM   #17
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Jim

If brakes are the main issue why not just replace the backer plates with an electric brake assembly, far lees expensive. If your spindles on the axles are good your now dealing with parts that should be available on your side of the pond.

Even if you have to buy new drums to mate to the brakes. There will be no welding.
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Old 09-21-2007, 12:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
Jim

If brakes are the main issue why not just replace the backer plates with an electric brake assembly, far lees expensive. If your spindles on the axles are good your now dealing with parts that should be available on your side of the pond.

Even if you have to buy new drums to mate to the brakes. There will be no welding.
Electric brake drums, that use the small bearings that were used in the late 50's and early 60's have not been made in about 35 years or so.

You could add a "armature plate" to the old hydraulic drums, but, those drums will not accept electric backing plates, in that they are to deep, which results in the drums pressing against the entire backing plate.

The drums could be shaved down about 1/2 of an inch, but that becomes very risky, and certainly creates a huge liability for the person that cut them down.

Andy
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:09 PM   #19
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Jim, I hope I can be of some help. I'd love to payback for the help I've gotten from this forum. I can get you brand names if you need them. I think the best advice I can give you is to find a parts source who knows what their talking about. As close to you as possible. They should help you with the measurements. With custom stuff if it's wrong and you gave them the numbers you own it. I measured everything three times to be sure! I orderd the axle loaded (drum to drum brakes bearings everything to bolt it in). I wasn't comfortable welding the spring hangers for the new springs. So I decided to just have them install it. It's a straight forward deal if you can weld.
Greg
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Old 09-22-2007, 03:15 AM   #20
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Greg,

I know now what I want most: keep the leaf springs and replace the axle with a ready to bolt on including electric brakes and drums. And preferably be able to bolt the original wheels on it too! I know, I might be asking much.

Close to me as possible is kinda hard, since I'm in The Netherlands and will be buying in the US. I'll be traveling with my pickup from LA CA to Seattle WA. So, that's where I'll (have to) do my shopping. Or I could have it send to my address in Seattle.

Because I want to keep the leaf spring appearance, I was thinking about the Dexter Leaf Spring 2,300-3,500 lbs D35 w/10" Electric Brakes. Or maybe even the heavier 4,000-6,000 lbs D52 w/12" Electric Brakes, because of the bigger brakes. Or..., maybe 12" brakes are possible on the D32 too? Who can tell?
But then again, now I have a 2,100 lbs. trailer with no brakes at all, so, 10" brakes is an improvement over that anyway, right?

I definitely want a bolt-on, or so to speak turn-key, system. Especially because I can't tell how well it fits until I have the parts here, with my trailer in The Netherlands. I can take all the needed exact measurements and replace it with an exact replica axle after which it shouldn't take more then take the old off and bolt the new axle on the spring leafs. Which then should be a piece of cake.


Of course after that I'll have to connect the brakes, but that's something else..., for later..., one step at a time...


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Old 09-22-2007, 09:37 AM   #21
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Jim,

I replaced both axles and all four springs on my 1954 Liner. The axles are 3500 lb and the springs are 1750 lb. I would suggest both, after all the springs are almost 50 years old. I have 12" brakes but I plan on going with discs in the future. You need several measurements, but none are difficult. You can replace the axles only.

Bill
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:40 AM   #22
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Update

I honestly think that the axle on it is a replacement. Why?
  • little inner fender clearance whilst a lot of outer fender clearance;
  • little upper fender clearance which is lesser then the axle clearance;
  • very long back hanger while having axle drop also;
  • 9 spring leafs seems like an awful lot for a 2,100# trailer;
I haven't heard anything from Henschen, but have been e-mailing back and forth with a Dexter Application Engineer and received several Configuration Proposals. The final proposal seems pretty good, but I still have my doubts. Because of the above, but also because my leafs are 28.5" while the longest Dexter available is 26" as well because Dexter's drop starts at 4" while mine is 1.75".

But I think I can handle Dexter's shorter spring leafs. Because I did a similar thing before, on my Dodge. What I plan to do is keep the main leaf (that's on the trailer now) and have the Dexter leafs mounted on that.
It's taking a risk, because I have to buy the axle in the US and see whether it fits in The Netherlands...
But I could also keep the spring leafs and mount the Dexter axle on them. Dexter has the correct spring center for it.

Yeah..., I think I'm finally there..., what do you think?
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:01 AM   #23
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Hi all,

I did some more studying on the subject, and after at first being puzzled with all this information, I think I start to get a grip on things now. Think.., still need your advise!

As of now, I am going for a Dexter with electric brakes and mechanic parking brake.

The remaining decision that I will have to make is the axle drop.
It now has a 1.75” drop while Dexter’s drop starts at 4”.
Problem is the head room between the tire and the top of the wheel well. Being bone-dry, there’s only 3.25” now.
If I go for the 4” drop, the head room will become 1.00” only. If I go for no drop, it will become 5.00”. Of course the one or the other affects ride height and the appearance of how the wheels will look in the wheel wells.

I’ve been thinking this condition might also be caused by the tires? There are new ST205/75R15 on the 15” rims, giving it a 13.55” radius (27.11” diameter). I don’t know what size was on, or what should be on originally.

Furthermore, the tires are set back into the wheel wells, leaving the inner fender clearance to just 1.0” while the outer fender clearance is 3.5”. I would logically think it’s best to have the wheels laterally centered in the wheel wells, which in my case would result in a 2.25” for inner & outer fender clearance. This leads me to believe my new axle could better have a wider Hubface. True?
I must ad here that the rims have a 0.65” inset and I might also change the rims.

Please, advise…
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Old 10-08-2007, 01:16 PM   #24
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"Furthermore, the tires are set back into the wheel wells, leaving the inner fender clearance to just 1.0” while the outer fender clearance is 3.5”. I would logically think it’s best to have the wheels laterally centered in the wheel wells, which in my case would result in a 2.25” for inner & outer fender clearance. This leads me to believe my new axle could better have a wider Hubface. True?"

this would be a good question for andy/inland rv. i think a wider track will give you more stability.
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:04 PM   #25
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Hello there Jim ,

Im gonna make a few comments on what you have there .your springs looked to have been replaced ,and modified by adding leaves .The reason is ,as you said ,9 leaves plus the long non original shackle in addition to the leaf clamps .they are sheetmetal and have bend over tabs to lock the top piece in place and they slip around for and aft on the leaf spring pack .
A common aftermarket leaf spring clamp . So then all those leafs and the long shackle was an attempt to gain clearance and lift of the trailer .Most all modern trailer springs have 3 or 4 leaves in the pack with 4 being the standard .
the springs are shorter ,but you need to know how much weight they can support .the leaves are thicker and not as many ,usually
1/4 to 3/8 thick ,the thicker leaves are better as you will only have 4 per pack . you may try EATON DETRIOT SPRING in Detroit Michigan to build you a set the right length as your 26" springs cannot be mounted to your existing
mounts ,the tire will not be centered in the wheel well either because the center pin that locates the axle will be forward of where it is now . your original springs (the real originals ) would have been 31 " in length .your shackle is positioned forward of center ,it should be angled back the same amount .
so its evident that your springs have been replaced with somthing else .the original longer spring would have given the trailer a
proper ride as designed ,shorter stiffer springs as shown in the picture would be terrible and way too stiff . So ,maybe 60s iron can give you an idea of how the short springs are working ,and the ride height its at .Can he get you some photos of the axle and ride height ? both the front spring eye and shackle mounts must be moved towards each other to get the 26" spring
mounted properly .The shackle must lean towards the rear as I mentioned .So then if you copy 60s iron axle choice and spring ,and itis working for him ,that may be the way to go ,as its been done on the same trailer basically .
That way you will get what hes got knowing it all fits ,but the welding of mounts and such is the problem to resolve if you can .The only other option is to locate someone here that has a 58,59 traveler (search function) and see if
they can provide info on original springs if they have them ,width of leaves and how many in pack .Eaton detroit spring or other spring shops can build them .My 60 trdwnd springs were done by central city spring here in CA.
matched exactly to the originals .

scott of scottanlily
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:49 PM   #26
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Jim, Liked we talked about, Dexter did not offer the correct drop or width. One option I thought of was to mount the spring over the axle. I believe Dexter even offers the kit. Also I know my orginal springs were 31" long and while I no longer have them there were a lot of springs I'm guessing 9. The shop that did the work said they were 5200#. By going to 26" springs if anything happens on the road they can be replaced easily. Also you had better figure what wheel and tire combo. your going to run if the goal is to get it centered. Be careful as with a 12" brake and the axle wider to center it in the wheel well you may have problems getting the tire on and off. It's already a tight squezze
Greg
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:37 AM   #27
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Scott,
Thanks for your extensive observations and reply! I didn't know that, about the shackle position.
So, it's like I thought, the springs on there are probably not OEM. And I'd say the same goes for the axle, because of the inset wheel position into the wheel wells.
I am going to try to get me the correct 31" length top leaf springs only - the ones on top of the pack, with the eyes on both sides - to have the Dexter 26" top leaf spring removed from the pack and have the remaining spring packs mounted on the 31" top leaf springs, and then on the trailer.

Greg,
Dexter does have a set for conversion from underslung to overslung. I think this might be a good plan B! It would either have to be no drop and undersung, or the 4" drop with overslung.


I noticed 6 Robblees sells the correct Hub Face length axle, but it has a different, advised spring center. The 'advised' here makes me believe I can have them with another (Airstream correct) spring center too. They will probaly drill the holes in it for you? I'll give them a call and see, and will let you know, here (sharing knowledge).

Regards, Jim.
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Old 10-09-2007, 03:20 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottanlily
you may try EATON DETRIOT SPRING in Detroit Michigan to build you a set
Hi Scott,
I've just received the word back from Eaton Detroit Spring. They don't have prints on my trailer and would need to work from a sample.
Of course I can not supply such a sample...
Maybe I'd try Airstream, to see whether they have something on file.
Regards, Jim.
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