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Old 03-24-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
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1972 31' Excella 500
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Unhappy Axles?? please check out pic ..

Hello,

I am about to buy this airstream and i am concerned about how low the airstream is sitting on these tires. I am a newbie and this is my first airstream purchase. Can anyone give advise?? I am not sure if this is normal. The tires are flat and not sure if that's making it sit low. Does it look like the axles are shot?

Thank you to anyone with any advise !!!!
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:49 PM   #2
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Its 38 years old, yeah they're done. Jack the trailer up & I bet the wheels will hardly drop at all. You'll probably have a hell of a time taking the wheels off to get them repaired too.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:55 PM   #3
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This trailer needs new axles. Here is my very own axle thread. Replacing the axles isn't the same as say...preforming a hot section inspection on a Lycoming turbine engine but you need some mechanical abilities. It is rather easy stuff actually.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:55 PM   #4
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Hello, Petlovers, and welcome to the forums! You'll find tons of information here to help you with your new purchase.

As Colin pointed out, you'll probably find that the axles are getting up in age. However, once you get the tires fixed, the aging condition of the axles shouldn't prevent you from towing the rig home safely, at least as long as you avoid potholes. (And, thank heavens, axle replacement isn't that bad of a job.)

When you start on those tires, be aware that you shouldn't just stick a jack anywhere under there, including not under the axles themselves. On ours, there's frame showing between the axles. That's where we jack it up when we need to.


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Old 03-24-2011, 09:56 PM   #5
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I would say that the axles need to be replaced. The down angle of the photo makes it difficult to be positive. You can look under the trailer to see of the trailing arms are pointing downward. If they are not, they are bad.
With the age of that trailer, if the axles are original, my bet is that they need replacement. It's not a big deal. There are bigger things to be concerned about like the condition of the plywood floor, plumbing, electrical, appliances etc. Axles are not real expensive, and are very easily replaced.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:56 PM   #6
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axles

Do you think that it's too much of a project? also, do you know what kind of cost involved with replacing them??? It is 2.5 hrs away and we haven't been able to see it yet. Only emailed pictures.

Thanks
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:56 PM   #7
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petlovers that's exactly what mine looked like and I replaced them. BTW I have a 73 excella 500 too if you hadn't noticed.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:00 PM   #8
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Petlovers, if you'll search around in the forums, you'll find multiple threads about axle replacement. As it's a somewhat "hot topic" for owners of vintage rigs, there isn't always agreement about exactly what to get, but from those threads, you'll also get a good feel for possible prices.

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Do you think that it's too much of a project? also, do you know what kind of cost involved with replacing them??? It is 2.5 hrs away and we haven't been able to see it yet. Only emailed pictures.

Thanks
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:04 PM   #9
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Do you think that it's too much of a project? also, do you know what kind of cost involved with replacing them??? It is 2.5 hrs away and we haven't been able to see it yet. Only emailed pictures.

Thanks
I've supplied many axles to DIY types & drop shipped them all over so if you are mechanically inclined you can do it. If you don't feel comfortable doing it, RV service shops or garages are capable. It's against Forums rules for me to post prices.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:11 PM   #10
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This can be a do it yourself job, but I encourage you to factor in the axle, brake and tire replacement cost when considering the trailer sale. Chances are you will need to replace them all.
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:14 PM   #11
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In case no one has given you an idea of the axle price via PM or anything, the price guide at vintageairstream.com says $780 per axle. It's a great resource:

Price vs. Condition - Airstream Values
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:31 AM   #12
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Times have changed and so have tow vehicles. Manys year ago, a large car was the typical tow vehicle. Today, the typical tow vehicle is a truck in one form or another.

That shifted tow vehicles from low profile to high profile. That can be reasonably accomodated by changing axle specs.

Also most owners today, carry far more "pay load" than ever before.

Remember, the rated "stopping power" of brakes, is when they are properly adjusted for maximum performance. Not routinely adjusting the electric brakes, to compensate for wear, derates the stopping power, all to many times, to an unsafe rating.

Typically then, it's far better to have electric brake ratings that are in excess of the actual trailer weight, instead of borderline. One never knows when that extra braking becomes instantly in demand, even to the extent of stopping the tow vehicle, should those brakes fail.

Usually, being extra safe and cautious, pays many dividends, when needed, especially with brake performance.

Andy
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:57 AM   #13
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In case no one has given you an idea of the axle price via PM or anything, the price guide at vintageairstream.com says $780 per axle.
That price may be a bit high these days. I think Colin sells them for about 60% of that figure, and Michigan isn't that far from Indiana, where the axles are made, so shipping shouldn't be that bad.
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:10 AM   #14
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Axle prices

Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
In case no one has given you an idea of the axle price via PM or anything, the price guide at vintageairstream.com says $780 per axle. It's a great resource:

Price vs. Condition - Airstream Values
That figure is the "high" end for sure. I have all the price quotes on my axle thread.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...ead-74177.html
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