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Old 11-22-2007, 11:35 AM   #15
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We found a severe misalignment of a friend's axle mounting plates on a 68 Safari. The trailer always seemed to trail somewhat awkward behind the tow vehicle, visibly so. So, one day we checked the frame and measured the trailer's axle alignment. We found one side almost 1/2 inch off. The only way to repair this was to grind away at the axle mounting plate, build up on the other side to bring the alignment into a perfect triangle between reference points at the coupler and both sides of the axle mount.
The picture below shows a white shaded area, which is the amount of metal that had to be removed in order to align this single axle within the frame.
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Old 11-22-2007, 12:44 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Harry W
I installed Henschen axles on my '78 Sovreign and have recently noticed uneven side to side tire wear. The spacing between the axles at the wheel rim is 7/16" wider on the left side than it is on the right. The axles may have been aligned when manufactured, but apparently the holes in the trailer frame were not. There was no significant bolt hole clearance in the frame, so the axles are where they always were.

Oasis in Tucson said "That sometimes happens". So alignment is required , and soon!

Harry W
There are two possibilities to install aligned axles on some earlier Airstream trailers, and yet have them misaligned.

The first would be the position of the axle mounting plate from one side to the other.

That can easily be checked by measuring from the center of the jack post to the most forward axle mounting bolt hole, or to the forward shock stud. That measurement should be exactly the same. A 1/8 inch axle mounting plate difference on a 31 foot Airstream, will make it tow dog leg about 2 1/2 to 3 inches.

The second cause of misalignment can be the location side to side of the frame with respect to the shell. The distance between the tires or frame from one side to the other should be exactly the same. If not, then realignment of a perfectly aligned axle is necessary.

What caused that problem was the manner in which the floor was attached to the frame. The chassis was in it's normal position on the concrete floor. The floor was put on top of the chassis and fastened in place, at the front and rear "ONLY." The chassis with the floor partially attached was then lifted so that the curb side (usually) was almost touching the concrete and the road side was high in the air. Then the remainder of the floor to frame hold down screws were added. When completed, the chassis was again placed, with the tires, back on the concrete.

What happened was the chassis because of it's weight, would sag in the middle when it was in the vertical position, and when the floor bolts were installed, it locked the chassis into a bend horizontally, from side to side.

That in turn caused the frame to be closer the exterior shell on one side than the other. Of course, that also meant that the tire or tires were also closer on one side than the other.

There is no easy fix for that problem, unless you do a shell off floor replacement.

Many people who do the shell off floor replacement are aware that the chassis must be level so that the shell will go back on properly.

But rarely, are those same people aware that the chassis can be out of alignment, side ways.

Therefore part of the reconstruction is to make absolutely certain the the chassis is level from front to back, and, also to make super sure that the frame is in an absolute straight line, front to back.

Failure to set the frame up correctly, will cause the shell to frame reattachment to be incorrect.

Andy
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Old 11-22-2007, 01:35 PM   #17
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Andy,

That's definitely a fabrication error. Excellent explanation!

Are you saying someone at the factory did it this way?
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Old 11-22-2007, 02:20 PM   #18
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Andy,

That's definitely a fabrication error. Excellent explanation!

Are you saying someone at the factory did it this way?
Shhhh,

The Ohio factory did it for years.

Most of the time it's not bad. But, I have seen some where there is about 1/2 between the tire and wheel well on one side, and 2 plus inches on the other side.

Andy
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:38 AM   #19
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alignment of new axles

so, Andy....are you saying that if I buy 2 new Henschen axles for my 82 31' excella, that if the axles are in alignment now, then the new ones will be in alignment, too?

jp
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Old 11-23-2007, 11:56 AM   #20
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so, Andy....are you saying that if I buy 2 new Henschen axles for my 82 31' excella, that if the axles are in alignment now, then the new ones will be in alignment, too?

jp
All Henschen axles are aligned to specs, prior to shipment.

The following tour will give you a idea from beginning to end, the Henschen manufacturing process.

Making Henschen Axles Tour

If your axle mounting plates were installed correctly at the time of manufacture of the frame, and the frame was locked into the floor correctly, then new Henschen axles will fit perfectly and be in perfect alignment.

Andy
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:53 PM   #21
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wul, ain't that cool!
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