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Old 06-24-2006, 08:37 PM   #1
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Dexter Direct Bolt In Axle

Ok Now that I have your attention here is what I did for an axle.

Watched the forums axle posts and procrastinated for 12 months until Axis was done with their Airstream program. I also waited until I really was in a time crunch for an Axle. Debated between Henschen and Dexter. Decided to go with Dexter.

Called Dexter direct, got a spec sheet faxed to me filled it out, told them I needed the axle quick. Dexter steered me to their local dealers, told me they could spec the axle but would be best to go with local dealer to purchase due to price and shipping. Called several direct dealers, none are local to me, closest is 100 miles away. All gave me the run around for what I wanted, told me all sorts of incorrect info, like I can't custom spec an axle. Told them I had the specs, no you have to use our sheet, their sheet was not even similiar... The turn times to get free shipping were approx. 4-6 weeks plus production time. So (remember time crunch) I ordered directly from Dexter, brackets face the correct direction, correct width, correct hub face dimensions, 12 inch brakes on a 4000 lb axle. Ordered on a Friday morning and the axle was bouncing around the back of a FedEx freight truck Tuesday, I had the Axle the following Monday.

Now here's how I accomplished the direct bolt in. I had a welder take both axles, fill in the holes, cut new holes to match the holes on the original Henschen. He also chopped off the shock brackets and welded them on the Dexter. The axle bolted in with perfection. I couldn't beleive the simplicity.

Cost was about $575 plus $120 shipping and $100 to the welder, would have been less at the Dexter dealer but I didn't have time to play their game. Dealers were quoting right around $500 for the axle no shipping. But I would have to drive 200 - 300 miles round trip to fetch. And wait until they placed their next order to get free or minimal shipping. Local sources that could get a Dexter axle quoted around $600 plus shipping from Portland, OR $40.

Hindsight I spent a ton of time reading about axles, measuring, and making my decision. The actual time to swap was approx. 5 hours with a little help to move the axle from a friend. If I did it again I think I would just order from Andy and spend my time camping. But it can be done with Dexter, I am happy with the product.

I went to 32 degrees down, which raised me about an inch, pretty happy with that move.
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Old 06-25-2006, 08:26 AM   #2
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cool!

I wonder why Dexter can't put the shock brackets on an axle, seeing as they are the OEM for Airstream now. I know the newer trailers have different widths and weights, but the shock mounting is done the same, is it not??

other thing I'm wondering is about wheel allignment. does dexter put the appropriate bend in the axle tube?
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Old 06-25-2006, 08:33 AM   #3
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Mike, Thanks for the good information. I'm planning to put a Dexter axel under my '62 Globetrotter. I have the spec sheet and catalog and have all the measurements they need. I'll order through 6 Robles in Portland. I had nearly decided to use the 22.5 degree down angle. Can you estimate how much down angle you have when the trailer is loaded? From their specs and guessing the final weight of the trailer, I figured my final angle would be between 10 and 15 degrees. I'm planning on the 3500 lb capacity axel. What did you get? Thanks, Darol
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Old 06-25-2006, 01:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
cool!

I wonder why Dexter can't put the shock brackets on an axle, seeing as they are the OEM for Airstream now. I know the newer trailers have different widths and weights, but the shock mounting is done the same, is it not??

other thing I'm wondering is about wheel allignment. does dexter put the appropriate bend in the axle tube?
According to Dexter engineering, shocks are not necessary on rubber torsion axles. Some of the 22Internationals with Dexters did not have shocks.

Dexter does put the alignment "bend" in their axle tube.
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:19 AM   #5
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1971 18' Caravel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darol Ingalls
Can you estimate how much down angle you have when the trailer is loaded? From their specs and guessing the final weight of the trailer, I figured my final angle would be between 10 and 15 degrees. I'm planning on the 3500 lb capacity axel. What did you get? Thanks, Darol
My guess would be approx 15 degrees, I should be fully loaded on level ground in the next few days, will get the angle finder out and see. I went with a 4000 lb axle, original for a 1971 18 ft Caravel was 4000.
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Old 06-28-2006, 05:59 PM   #6
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Hi All--Considering 2 new Dexter axles for my 1973 27' Overlander. Believe originial axles that I now have are Henschen 2800#, 12" brakes, and 6-lug spindle (can anyone confirm this as I am 500 miles from my A/S and can't look). I am still running 7.00-15 LT which I like. My loaded total axle weight on the road runs from 5900 to 7060#, so I am considering replacing with a 3500# axle, although 2800# is also available. I do not have the ability to do the work myself, so am considering having a dealer, or axle specialist do the work. Thus far priceing I've obtained is about $800 each axle ($530 for 2800# axle), $200 freight, $400 total labor, which totals $2200. Would welcome any comments or recommendations.--Frank S
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:38 PM   #7
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Hello Frank S,

I thought that the henschen was the 800 dollar axle and the other brands were 350 dollars ??? whats up there? I would get original no welding
henschen axles in the 3500# rating as it appears you need the heavier
axles from your loaded weight.I do not know if the price has gone up ,but
talk to inland RV see what Andy has to offer also .Dexter makes a good
solid product ,but I would rather they just bolted in place with the SHOCKS,
makes it easier.

Scott
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Old 06-29-2006, 05:59 AM   #8
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Apples to apples!

Scott,

If you look closely - Dexter is $530.00 (according to the quote obtained) + $200 shipping thus $730 + some welding.

Henschen is $800 + shipping thus $1000.00 with no welding.

Basically the Dexter mounting bracket hole is off by a tiny amount so most folks spot weld the holes closed and drill new. Dexter Engineering (like Axis) say's the shocks are not required on a torsion axle but I understand most Airstream owners prefer them - thus additional welding is required, which adds to the welding cost. Is the welding, if you cannot do it yourself worth $270 (transfer 2 shock brackets and spot weld 4 holes closed) - that, you will have to decide.

Since you are a service guy - this is a very easy task. Additionally, $530 seems a bit high for a quote from Dexter, I would be curious about the axles specifications.

It is always important to compare apples to apples.

Regards,
Henry

PS: Additionally, Dexter is the largest provider of torsion axles in the USA, with over 300 dealers nationwide. I would suspect pricing could vary some depending on the dealer!
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:27 AM   #9
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The $530 quote sounds correct. If you have time you can save a ton on shipping, if the dealer has an order coming from Dexter, at least some dealers offer this service.
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Old 06-29-2006, 10:21 PM   #10
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Hello ,

The 3500# axle that is posted by Frank S is not priced in his post .It does say 530 00 plus freight etc. for the 2800 # ,so are you then saying that any axle from dexter is the same price? how can they offer that? I would like to know why torsion axle airstreams suffer from loose rivits ,cabinets and the
like if these axls are so smooth and magical .the tire /wheel imbalance
seems to be a real problem .I have read many threads in the last 2 years ,as
well as Andy at inland cautioning about proper balance of the tire and wheel .Seems that somthing is wrong if these special magical torsion axles
cannot stop those problems .I prefer that the axle fits in place the first time
without the fussing around with it .I do my own welding ,but prefer not
to have to modify somthing to get it to fit .What is the service life of the dexter? what is the warranty? is the henschen inferior ? Is the higher cost
due to a better fit ,a better product possibly ,or not . All good questions .
Price is not always the final word ,quality is important as well.

Scott
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Old 06-29-2006, 10:57 PM   #11
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Hi scottanlily--The price of the 3500# axle is $800 each (which I didn't indicate very clearly), two would be $1600 + $200 freight + $400 labor = $2200 total.--Frank S
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:13 PM   #12
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Thanks Frank , I figured thats what they were ,I just wondered what the
henschen is like in comparison .Dexter is a good product though .you may
notice the shock debate going on here and there as only henschen comes
with the mounts installed and the other manafactures say they are not needed ,although I look at the total picture of what is happening as your
trailer is rolling down the road ,ruts ,dips ,rough road and all and the running
gear imbalance issues and such ,anyway good luck on your axle decisions.

Scott
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Old 06-30-2006, 07:45 PM   #13
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I just picked up a Dexter axle for my Argosy Minuet that I ordered last week.

I drove to Springfield, Mo and saved $90.00 shipping and possible damage to axle
#10 3,500 lb capacity
EZ-Lube hubs
10" elec brakes complete
Also had reverse brackets to fit my trailer.
Doing some preliminary measuring today it looks like I will have to drill 2 - 5/8" holes to make it work.
FYI
Total was $374 including tax.
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Old 06-30-2006, 08:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nymphfishin
I just picked up a Dexter axle for my Argosy Minuet that I ordered last week.

I drove to Springfield, Mo and saved $90.00 shipping and possible damage to axle
#10 3,500 lb capacity
EZ-Lube hubs
10" elec brakes complete
Also had reverse brackets to fit my trailer.
Doing some preliminary measuring today it looks like I will have to drill 2 - 5/8" holes to make it work.
FYI
Total was $374 including tax.
$374 complete - yes!

That seems more inline with the Dexter I know!

Please keep us posted on the install!

Good Luck,
Henry
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