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Old 11-10-2008, 08:53 PM   #29
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FWIW... Brand new (4 yrs old) Henschens being replaced on Rich's Airstream Life 28ft AS.

His were level, or slightly up from level.
Marc
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:56 PM   #30
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I was told by the engineer at Henschen that there is a degree in which the axle will rotate (arm) By jacking the unit up and seeing or measureing
the acctual movement of the arm.

Not all Units are reccomended to have a large degree of down ward angle on the arm. Many Years had different degree's is what I am told.

I think Tin mentioned leaf springs bowing the oposite way, Yes they do make them that do. 1 such vehicle is the 80's and 90's F250 steering axle (4wheel drive)
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:56 PM   #31
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I have checked out Dexter and I have spoke with them. I do not weld and I want the job done correctly when I have this completed. I do want professionals to do the work because I do not have the facility and I do not weld.

I just have a hard time excepting they are bad when the engineering department at Henshen tells me if they are not hitting the wheel well then they are still good. Pretty bold statement from Henshen. They definitely stand behind their product. Even with the older trailers. Axels do go bad. Old axels and new axels go bad.

I still on getting new axels but I will have to find somebody who will do the welding.

Brian
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:09 PM   #32
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I have checked out Dexter and I have spoke with them. I do not weld and I want the job done correctly when I have this completed. I do want professionals to do the work because I do not have the facility and I do not weld.

I just have a hard time excepting they are bad when the engineering department at Henshen tells me if they are not hitting the wheel well then they are still good. Pretty bold statement from Henshen. They definitely stand behind their product. Even with the older trailers. Axels do go bad. Old axels and new axels go bad.

I still on getting new axels but I will have to find somebody who will do the welding.

Brian
Brian,

I believe that Dexter welds the brackets to the axle and the bracket bolts directly to your frame (except for a couple bolt holes which must be enlarged). The welding to the frame issue is on early (ie 1950 to early 1960s) trailers which the axle was welded to the frame. In your decade, there are brackets welded to the frame and the axle bolts to those brackets. There are pictures in other threads regarding this.

On another Airstream list, a 80+ year old gentleman put Dexters on his 1960s trailer in an afternoon.

Bill
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:29 PM   #33
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On my 67 tradewind when I raise one wheel off the ground it drops about 2 inches. A old post from Inland RV states that 2-3 inches of drop indicates a good axle. Looking at my 67 from the side the wheelwell lip is about a 1/2 above the rim, this means my axle is bad. I have a 2-4 degree down on the spindle arm with a loaded axle,ie:the axle shaft is higher off the ground than the spindle is, this shows my axle is good. I have a 1967 axle, this means I have a bad axle.
I have been sober 5 years, I'm starting to get thirsty!!!
When I bought the trailer I stupidly purchased 8 ply,10 ply rated tires. I think this could cause a harsh ride.
Oh the last camping trip( about 150 miles round trip) I disconected the shocks. They most deffinatly are bad. Where the axles have settled to, the shocks had about an inch of travel before they bottom. The trailer SEEMED to ride better. It is hard to tell,I am not an Airstream guru. The only cabinets that have ever came open are the ones with the broke latches. I have not found any poped rivits,other than the ones that were poped when I bought the trailer and have been slowly replacing. However I do find signs of slight cabinet shiffting. But as I have been slowly repairing and tightining the cabinets I find less movement. In the 14 months I have owned this Airstream I have put 1500-1800 miles on it.
If I need axles I most assuradly want to replace them, If not I would druther buy windows,latches,vent covers,water heater,mattresses, or whatnot.
There glad we got that out in the open! Adios, John
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:38 PM   #34
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I am so loving this thread butran out of popcorn so here is my rant.

I have owned two trailers. Both old, a 1971 land yacht 25' and now a 1973 31' Excella. I did not know anythig about axles when I owned the first trailer (25'). Only put on new tires without alxes or shocks and went cross country twice with a long wheelbase TV and weight distributing hitch. It would bounce, sway and generally rattle rivets loose. I never checked the travel distance on the arm or angle. I thought it was just the nature of the beast. Since the first and second, the 1973, I have read this forum and learned a lot. I checked the axles in the PO driveway before purchase and immediately decide that it needed new axles. Upward angle on the arm and about 2 inches movement when fully jacked up on stands to put on the new tires. I towed it from Chattanooga, TN to Clearwater, FL and noted all of the problems of the first box - bounce sway and multiple broken rivets.

I have changed the axles with Henchen from Andy which were all inclusive - axle, brake, shock and lug nuts. They fit the old wheels, so no issue there. I actually changed these in my driveway jacking the trailer to get on jack stands, remove tires, loosen axle, support with a rolling floor jack and removing the bolts, rolling each out from under the trailer and attaching the new axles, brake wires and shocks. The tools used were an adjustable wrench and ratchet with socket, floor jack, 2x6x2ft board. It took me about two hours with the help of my then 9 year old son. No extra plates or welding - just unbolt and bolt the new in place.

My trip moving the trailer to Tennessee where I now live was like a dream. No bounce, sway or sheared rivets. There was absolutely no shifting of any of the contents. I am sold on the new axles but I plan to keep the trailer a long time and have more money now than I had 15 years ago. I guess there is some voodoo on the subject and judgement on when they should be replaced. Replacing rivets back then was cheap and I never felt it was dangerous towing on the old axles but I just like things to work the way they were designed. Definately pulls better and gets better gas mileage (13 vs 11 mpg) at speed up to 75 mph on new Goodyear Marathon tires.

Well, that's all I have. Be happy to help anyone change their axles but will be getting more popcorn for the rest of the show.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:19 PM   #35
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Boy this is really somethin. Well I am going to watch seinfeld folks so have a good eve. (just my little story)
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:20 PM   #36
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I know I kept the moderators busy anyways.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:28 PM   #37
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I know I kept the moderators busy anyways.
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:01 PM   #38
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From what I've seen axles fail in two different ways. The rubber collapses to the point where something bottoms (shocks [that the axle mfg says are not needed], internal binding, or the tire hits the top of the wheel well [plastic, wouldn't hurt the ride...]) or they turn solid. So if nutthin is bottoming check the stiffness. My '77 (with the 'good' axles...) would lift the second axle if the first was more than 2" up a ramp...ONLY 2" OF SUSPENSION TRAVEL? Yup, it pounded the trailer.
I upgraded from 3200lb stiff 1977 axles with shocks to 3600lb dexters w/o shocks and the ride was 10% smoother (ya'll can find the thread...).
Got a negative angle with plenty of travel? Groovy low rider dude, won't hurt anything IMHO...
Positive angle with no travel? Bouncing down the Highway poppin' rivits...
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:33 PM   #39
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We were 100% pleased with our Henschens on our 69 tradewind and will be ordering one for the 63 once she's home and we've recovered. Perfectly comfortable with a welder, grinders etc and as frugal as they come, but for peace of mind and ease of installation (as well as a guaranteed fit) it was an easy decision for us (and 2 axles not just one).

As for quality control issues, thank god not everyone still judges me (no jokes please) on mistakes I made a few years ago that I've learned from and are better from as a result of.

Would we do it different, not at all. Does that mean that someone couldn't have gotten something simliar for a lot less, of course not. We love how it handles, have been happy with the customer service we've received and really have no reason to be anything less than happy.

Just to change things up (since politics are a no-no) we could have a pepsi vs coke discussion or Ford vs Chevy instead of the Dexter vs Henschen or Marithon vs Other Brands conversations that go round and round, perhaps not .
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:29 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy View Post
FWIW... Brand new (4 yrs old) Henschens being replaced on Rich's Airstream Life 28ft AS.

His were level, or slightly up from level.
Marc
Hi, I think this was more of a want than need situation. My opinion.

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I think Tin mentioned leaf springs bowing the oposite way, Yes they do make them that do. 1 such vehicle is the 80's and 90's F250 steering axle (4wheel drive)
Hi, this is so true; The Ford trucks do have front leafs bent upward and they work just fine.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:38 AM   #41
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According to Henschen and Airstream, ALL pre 1974 axles, will fail.

That's 100 percent of them.
According to my Dad, If a house stands long enough, it will burn down.

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Old 11-11-2008, 12:45 AM   #42
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On the level?

Hi, according to Airstream specifications, on newer trailers, the hitch ball height is either: 17-3/4"s........18-3/4"s..........19-3/4" And it is, in my opinion, that if your hitch ball is at the correct height for your trailer and your trailer sits level, You don't need new axles. [this is provided your trailer is not overloaded.]
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