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Old 04-17-2006, 10:44 PM   #1
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Dexter Axles

I have a 31 ft. sovereign I want to refurbish. I am not looking to keep it original , but want to update it to more modern specs. ( newer cabinets , counter top, bath, and kitchen.) I am looking at Dexter axles since they are available locally in Dallas. What size should I put on this size trailer ?( weight ratng & brake size ) Also how do you measure them?
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Old 04-17-2006, 10:57 PM   #2
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You should have the axle/trailer shop do the measuring. It's the only way to be sure, there's too many variables if you don't know what you're doing and have some experience with this. Either remove the axles yourself and bring them in or bring the coach to the trailer shop. When it comes time to do my axle, no way will I do the measuring. If it shows up wrong, they pay to have it redone. No Spinal Tap situations on my part!

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Old 04-18-2006, 06:11 AM   #3
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Let Dexter work for you.

I agree with John. Let Dexter do what they are great at - producing axles. They are the largest supplier of trailer running gear in the USA. The folks in Engineering/Sales will be glad to answer ALL of your questions.

Wise choice.

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Henry
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:00 AM   #4
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SW Wheel

If you are not going to use original axles you might want to check out Southwest Wheel in Dallas. They sell Flexiride
torsion axles which are made locally at their plant in Grand Prairie. Very good prices!

http://www.southwestwheel.com/Sidebar/Promo3.htm

Steve
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:04 PM   #5
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I just loaded one of the old axles into my truck to take to a local Dexter dealer tomorrow. I too thought it'd be better to have them measure. Also, I plan on picking their brain a little about the axle installation which I will do myself. Do you plan on doing your install yourself? I plan on starting a new thread with pics when the axles come in. --dave
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madrone
If you are not going to use original axles you might want to check out Southwest Wheel in Dallas. They sell Flexiride
torsion axles which are made locally at their plant in Grand Prairie. Very good prices!

http://www.southwestwheel.com/Sidebar/Promo3.htm

Steve
Steve,

According to their website, the torsion arm is attached to the main axle tube with a splined connection.

Wouldn't that let you change the angle? Do you have these on your trailer?
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:17 PM   #7
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I e-mailed southwest already but havn't had a chance to call them yet. Is flexiride as good as dexter?
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by librarylady
I e-mailed southwest already but havn't had a chance to call them yet. Is flexiride as good as dexter?
"as good as" is a relative term and is a judgement call. You'll get as many opinions as there are members here, but there isn't much out there that's factual and unbiased in directly comparing the engineering of offerings from various companies. Your Airstream came stock from the factory with Henschen axles. The new Airstreams (as do dozens and dozens of other brands with torsion axles) come equipped with Dexters. Al-Ko has a similar proven track record. There are other brands available with similar products. What they don't have yet is 40 years of consumer experience behind them on expensive travel trailers. That doesn't mean they're necessarily inferior (or that Dexter, Henschen, or Al-Ko are superior), just that they don't have the long-term proven track record yet that the established brands have.

Until they have the number of miles under them that the 'old' brands do, I'd stay with the established companies. On top of that, a poor installation can take a perfectly good trailer with excellent axles and make it junk. Frankly, I think that a competent installation of the properly rated axle is as, if not more important, than the axle brand itself.

Remember that it's not just your Airstream riding on those axles...

Roger
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Old 04-19-2006, 10:04 AM   #9
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Why yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane

According to their website, the torsion arm is attached to the main axle tube with a splined connection.

Wouldn't that let you change the angle?
The angle of arm is highly adjustable - I have worked with these and it is indeed a neat system. The splines allow for a "very wide" degree of arm adjustment.

These are used a lot by manufacturers for prototyping - they use them to determine degree of arm required - prior to ordering a batch of axles made at a specific degree. They are a bit more pricy than a standard torsion axle - but not too unreasonable.

Regards,
Henry
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Old 04-19-2006, 10:34 AM   #10
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What does one do about shock brackets if one is interested in a Dexter axle as a replacement?
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Old 04-19-2006, 11:02 AM   #11
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Transfer

Chuck,

Typically - one transfers them from the old Henschen axle. However, since Dexter now supplies Airstream with axles - the folks in Dexter's Engineering department may be able to do one better. I would not hesitate to ask.

Regards,
Henry
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