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Old 12-23-2010, 09:06 AM   #29
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Hi Lance

i just got off the phone with Axis and it turns out they purchased most of the equipment from GKN. As well they hired Jim Kitsmiller who has been at Hension forever. I don't know yet how much of the Hension design they have incorporated into their axles. I would think they would make it a separate product line as they are more expensive to produce. I'll speak with Jim in the new year and see what I can find out.

Thanks for the information.

Andrew T
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:47 AM   #30
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Appreciating Andy

When you read this thread (and many others) it is clear why Andy (Inland RV) is one of the best commercial contributors in these forums.

His posts are factual, he doesn't "push" his own products but provides solid useful information from Airstream files and nary a sales quip anywhere.

I wish the world were full of Andy's. Life would be better for all Airstreamers.
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:52 AM   #31
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Hi Lance

i just got off the phone with Axis and it turns out they purchased most of the equipment from GKN. As well they hired Jim Kitsmiller who has been at Hension forever. I don't know yet how much of the Hension design they have incorporated into their axles. I would think they would make it a separate product line as they are more expensive to produce. I'll speak with Jim in the new year and see what I can find out.

Thanks for the information.

Andrew T
Andrew

The original Henschen axles, are being manufactured by Axis, since Jim Kitzmiller has joined them.

However, there are basically 2 versions of the torsion axles at present, and will probably continue that way.

Considerable modifications have been made to the original Axis design, which incorporates Henschens designs, that creates the other version.

That permits direct fitting replacements, without modifications. However, it does cost more.

Additionally, the Axis version axles, does not and will not duplicate the Henschen ratings, or starting angles.

We, at this point, have many Axis axles in stock, that replace the original Henschens, EXACTLY, as they are still ordered by the original Henschen part numbers.

Discussions are underway, regarding a permanent representative for the Henschen version, for the Airstream product line.

At present, Axis will accept a direct order for axles, but ONLY for their original design.

If someone calls Axis to order axles for an Airstream product, they will be redirected to the temporary representative, until the details of the distributorship can be finalized.

Shannon, at Axis, is well aware of the representative issue.

Andy
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:34 AM   #32
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Hi Andy

The next time I am in Indiana maybe I will stop in and see them. I am pretty familure with the Hension process as I was in that plant many times over the years.

If they are achieving the same ride charactaristics the next challenge will be to get Airstream to start using them again, to me the Dexters just are not cutting it. I have seen plenty of fairly new SOB's that have settled and the tires are 3/4" from the wheel well and yet they never touch. You know there is not much travel left at that point.

Thanks for the update.

Andrew T
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:45 AM   #33
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Hi Andy

The next time I am in Indiana maybe I will stop in and see them. I am pretty familure with the Hension process as I was in that plant many times over the years.

If they are achieving the same ride charactaristics the next challenge will be to get Airstream to start using them again, to me the Dexters just are not cutting it. I have seen plenty of fairly new SOB's that have settled and the tires are 3/4" from the wheel well and yet they never touch. You know there is not much travel left at that point.

Thanks for the update.

Andrew T
Andrew,

What are you seeing on these units, relative to angle of the "trailing arm" in this squatted position? How much are they dropping while suspended?

Do the same general diagnostics apply to Dexters as Henschens?
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:54 AM   #34
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Andrew,

What are you seeing on these units, relative to angle of the "trailing arm" in this squatted position? How much are they dropping while suspended?

Do the same general diagnostics apply to Dexters as Henschens?
The torsion axle trailing arm, is what you want to look at.

The tests for torsion axles, is the same, regardless if it's Henschen, Dexter or Axis.

There should be several degrees travel from no load to bottoming out.

Airstream axles made by Henschen or Dexter, have a no load starting angle of 22 1/2 degrees.

When that angle decreases to zero, then the trouble begins. When hitting bumps, the axle will typically bottom out, causing many different, not so welcome, problems to the trailer, as many have reported.

We created with Airstream and Henschens approval, a starting angle of 35 degrees. That elevates the trailer so that it's much easier to couple it to a high profile tow vehicle. However, the maximum travel is the same, regardless of the starting angle.

We have already replaced or provided new axles to replace the Dexters used on the late model Airstreams, that have failed rubber rods.

Andrew T has experienced the same failures on the new Dexters as we have.

Why the Dexter rubber rods are failing, is a good question. We don't really know, but we feel rather strongly that either the rubber rods are made with a wrong composition of rubber, or that the axle weight ratings are in excess of what they should be. Be that as it may, the failures have continued, even to trailers that have been frequently used, as we all know, that the rubber rods must be exercised to stay alive.

Perhaps the future may have different results.

Andy
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:47 PM   #35
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You guys are a wealth of info. I'm sure that all that read this thread would agree. Thanks for all your efforts. I'm sure glad I got my Henschen last winter.
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:57 PM   #36
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Not sure where Dexter gets their hub/drum and brakes but was told Axis uses China as their supplier.
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:58 PM   #37
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Not sure where Dexter gets their hub/drum and brakes but was told Axis uses China as their supplier.
And Dexter uses Chinese bearings.

That's a fact, nut a rumor.

It's seems that no matter where we turn, as Americans, China will be someplace in our lives, besides the cabinet where we keep dishes.

Andy
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:08 PM   #38
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Made in China

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Not sure where Dexter gets their hub/drum and brakes but was told Axis uses China as their supplier.
Dexter backing plates are made in China as well. I've looked at all three brands sub components and they all have some foreign content. Maybe if you spec disc brakes you could get some Italian Brembo brakes! Now that is foreign quality.
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:28 PM   #39
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Dexter backing plates are made in China as well. I've looked at all three brands sub components and they all have some foreign content. Maybe if you spec disc brakes you could get some Italian Brembo brakes! Now that is foreign quality.
I wasn't knocking them, just had learned (from a reliable source) that they were from China and figured that there was probably Chinese content in Dexters as well. Like your idea about Brembo brakes. My wife's manufactured in Japan car came with Brembo manufactured brakes, that's a fact, not rumor. Probably fodder for another thread: Because it's made in China is it low quality?
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:37 PM   #40
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If Italians made the brakes on one brand of axle, would that be the one you would choose?
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:39 PM   #41
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It's seems that no matter where we turn, as Americans, China will be someplace in our lives, besides the cabinet where we keep dishes.

Andy
I'd prefer it to be at the $6.99 buffet only.
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:42 PM   #42
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I'd prefer it to be at the $6.99 buffet only.
Me too, but,................what can a person do???

Andy
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