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Old 08-20-2011, 11:54 AM   #1
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Dexter Axle Specs - Am I Right?

So I am about to order some new Dexter axles for our 1970 29' Ambassador. I have almost all of it figured out, I think. All the people I spoke to at Dexter were super helpful.

The factory axles for my trailer are 3200lb each
The factory torsion arm starting angle was 22 deg. (now 0 deg.)

I plan to upgrade to 3500lb axles (ea)
With a torsion arm starting angle of 32.5 deg

I believe I need a 'High Profile' 'Side Mount' style bracket.

Does this all sound right so far?
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:05 PM   #2
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So I am about to order some new Dexter axles for our 1970 29' Ambassador. I have almost all of it figured out, I think. All the people I spoke to at Dexter were super helpful.

The factory axles for my trailer are 3200lb each
The factory torsion arm starting angle was 22 deg. (now 0 deg.)

I plan to upgrade to 3500lb axles (ea)
With a torsion arm starting angle of 32.5 deg

I believe I need a 'High Profile' 'Side Mount' style bracket.

Does this all sound right so far?
Make sure you also order 12 inch brakes.

Andy
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:59 PM   #3
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Yes it does sound right. Have a read of "my very own axle thread". There are a bunch of details in there about sizes, shocks, prices etc.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:24 PM   #4
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My original was 0 flat. Went with a dexter #12 X, 32.5 down, standard height mounting plate. It raised the trailer 4.5". The higher mounting plate would have given an additional inch. Make sure to check for "reverse orientation" on the mounting plates. Ask the Dexter cust servive tech for the Prospec sheet on the axle befor you order. It has all info and measurments for your axle befor you purchase.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:30 AM   #5
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Regarding the 10" brakes:

I spoke with Dexter. They use 10" brakes on all of their axles up to 5200LBS, at which point they go up to 12" brakes. It seems to me that the 10" brakes would then be more than sufficient for my 3500LB axles.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:57 AM   #6
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Regarding the 10" brakes:

I spoke with Dexter. They use 10" brakes on all of their axles up to 5200LBS, at which point they go up to 12" brakes. It seems to me that the 10" brakes would then be more than sufficient for my 3500LB axles.
The HUGE problem with 10 inch electric brakes, on a larger Airstream, is that they overheat very quickly, and usually warps the hubs.

We refuse to down grade the brakes on any Airstream.

Liability is tremendous.

Andy
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:35 AM   #7
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Here we go...............
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:14 PM   #8
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Make sure you specify a #11 axle from Dexter. It will have the larger spindles and will come with 12" brakes. You may want to get the self adjusting drum brakes.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:26 PM   #9
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Then there's the issue of the existing wheels. Will they fit the new hubs? :-)
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:26 PM   #10
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Ordered my new Dexters today! I took one of my old axles up to the plant in El Reno, Oklahoma to verify my measurements. It is only a couple hours north of Wichita Falls, so it was worth it. They said all my measurements looked good, but that I should go with the high profile bracket, as it would end up sitting like the factory bracket. They also said that the torsion arm starting at 32.5 degrees will sit at about 22 degrees loaded. They also held back laughter at the thought that 10" brakes would be insufficient. Can't wait.

Dexters customer service could not have been better. I can't recommend them enough.

For reference, here are the measurements I went with.

Hub face to hub face - 80"
Reverse bracket - face to face (inside of frame to inside of frame) - 61.5"

Look for updates and more twists!
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:37 PM   #11
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In my opinon, 10" Brakes could be an issue, only if you don't service them. And then if you don't service any thing it could be an issue.

Pack the bearings at regular intervals and inspect the brakes for loose or broken springs and worn out friction material and magnets .

You should be good if you do this. Again just my opinon.

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Old 08-30-2011, 02:59 PM   #12
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Electric brakes

Some people say and believe, along with a few mechanis, that 10 inch electric brakes are equal to 12 inch electric brakes. They say that because the surface of the brakes shoes is almost identical.

People, service center or trailer manufacturers, "DO NOT" rate the brakes, but the manufacturers of them "DO".

It then becomes rather interesting, "IF" you can believe the brake manufacturers, that a pair of 10 inch brakes, at maximum, have a stopping power rating of 3500 pounds.

It is also interesting that they rate a pair of 12 inch brakes, at maximum, have a stopping power rating of 5200 pounds.

Based on those numbers, published by the brake manufacturers, 10 inch electric brakes "ARE NOT EQUAL" to 12 inch electric brakes, no matter how you slice it.

What people think, or believe, is far removed from a manufacturers specifications.

Andy
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:23 PM   #13
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Thanks for the information. Hopefully I'll be getting some measurements on a 1973 Tradewind (25') this weekend.

What are you doing with the shock bracket with Dexter, assuming your axles had shock brackets.

Dennis
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:35 PM   #14
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I clarify my opinion to .... I don't believe 10" brakes are equal to 12" brakes. Just on observation the greater diameter of a 12" brake would lend itself to faster cooling even if the lining were the same size. And in my opinon 10" brakes are sufficient to do the job based on liability of the manufacturer. No manufacturer is going to put out a product that is not up for the job. The liability isn't worth saving any kind of money. If a manufacture built an axle for a specific job (load rating of the axle) and it came with 5" brakes and still did the job why would I care, as long as it did the job? (I assume) For more money I can buy a larger diameter brake drums.

This is why vehicle manufactures make more and less expensive RVs. The consumer is left with the decison of is it worth the extra expense? In today's ecomony every dollar counts.

However if bigger is better then go larger than 12" drum brakes would be the place to be or go to disc. Disc brakes are far superior to any drum brakes of any size. More money to be sure as well. And there is a point of money versus getting the job done.

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