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Old 02-20-2011, 03:54 PM   #1
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Drop in axle solution?

What I really want is a complete remove and replace solution. Unbolt, remove, replace, rebolt, roll-on! I don't want to mark it and take it back out for welding, or coordinate a welder to come and weld it while in place.

Is this solution available and if not, why not?
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:13 PM   #2
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Axle wars! Part2

I had the opportunity to meet Jitney Bead recently and see the Beaders trailer. Jitney had replaced the axle recently and it looked great. He did a great job documenting it with a video that can be accessed via this forum on youtube.

Jitney explained the a potential issue that he had with overall width deminsions. Long story short, it appears that the hubs(and backing plates) on the new axle are farther apart than on the old axle, but the tires are in the same location. In his installation it all worked out because he also purchased new wheels, tires and shocks from Inland. I am guessing that the new wheels have a different offset than the old wheels, which keeps the tires in the same location inside the wheel wells.

See here I go looking for the simple solution again. I don't want or need new wheels and tires (at least at this time).

I remember someone else saying that the had an issue with width. Whats going on here?
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyBoomers View Post
What I really want is a complete remove and replace solution. Unbolt, remove, replace, rebolt, roll-on! I don't want to mark it and take it back out for welding, or coordinate a welder to come and weld it while in place.

Is this solution available and if not, why not?
Yes this solution is available, & you don't need to install backing plates, drums or shock brackets. The assembly comes completely assembled & easy for the DIY type person to install.
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:36 PM   #4
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Yes this solution is available, & you don't need to install backing plates, drums or shock brackets. The assembly comes completely assembled & easy for the DIY type person to install.
Colin
Thank you for your reply Colin
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BabyBoomers View Post
I had the opportunity to meet Jitney Bead recently and see the Beaders trailer. Jitney had replaced the axle recently and it looked great. He did a great job documenting it with a video that can be accessed via this forum on youtube.

Jitney explained the a potential issue that he had with overall width deminsions. Long story short, it appears that the hubs(and backing plates) on the new axle are farther apart than on the old axle, but the tires are in the same location. In his installation it all worked out because he also purchased new wheels, tires and shocks from Inland. I am guessing that the new wheels have a different offset than the old wheels, which keeps the tires in the same location inside the wheel wells.

See here I go looking for the simple solution again. I don't want or need new wheels and tires (at least at this time).

I remember someone else saying that the had an issue with width. Whats going on here?
It sounds like you're right.
New axles should be built to the same "hub face to hub face" dimension as originally built, assuming the original wheels are being re used, or new wheels with the same offset as the original wheels. The original wheels had/have a zero offset, as far as I know. As I'm sure you're aware, Airstream wheel well clearances are quite tight so attention is necessary here.
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:59 PM   #6
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Hey Jitney Bead and Colin H.

Jitney, could you help all of us would be axle re-placers and share with us the pertinent dimensions on your recent axle replacement?

I think that you had hub back to hub back dimensions and overall outer edge of tire dimensions. Are you aware of the offsets for your old and new wheels?

Then perhaps Colin H. could help us understand what it all means.

I am not trying to stir the pot here between vendors or approaches to AS renovations, but rather just understand what alternatives are available to us and what the implications of the choices may be. Such as the potential need to purchase 3 new wheels (includes spare) with different offsets. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Say we are on the road and need to replace a wheel and tire. Are the originals more available or are the replacements more available? Or is it a push? How about alternatives for custom wheels - which provides more options?

And costs are always something to keep in mind. This forum is a great place for us to share knowledge such as methods and costs, But the costs transparency we provide on big ticket non price list items has some risk to us as buyers that the lower price vendor might raise prices prices while providing an alternative source of supply. While a monopoly is not good for consumers, an oligopoly can be not good also. So all that being said, I was stunned when Jitney related that the complete single axle, shocks, 3 wheels and tires replacement was around $1800 delivered!

Yeah, I think I'll just stop here.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyBoomers View Post
Jitney, could you help all of us would be axle re-placers and share with us the pertinent dimensions on your recent axle replacement?

I think that you had hub back to hub back dimensions and overall outer edge of tire dimensions. Are you aware of the offsets for your old and new wheels?

Then perhaps Colin H. could help us understand what it all means.

I am not trying to stir the pot here between vendors or approaches to AS renovations, but rather just understand what alternatives are available to us and what the implications of the choices may be. Such as the potential need to purchase 3 new wheels (includes spare) with different offsets. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Say we are on the road and need to replace a wheel and tire. Are the originals more available or are the replacements more available? Or is it a push? How about alternatives for custom wheels - which provides more options?

And costs are always something to keep in mind. This forum is a great place for us to share knowledge such as methods and costs, But the costs transparency we provide on big ticket non price list items has some risk to us as buyers that the lower price vendor might raise prices prices while providing an alternative source of supply. While a monopoly is not good for consumers, an oligopoly can be not good also. So all that being said, I was stunned when Jitney related that the complete single axle, shocks, 3 wheels and tires replacement was around $1800 delivered!

Yeah, I think I'll just stop here.
Baby Boomers,
The typical measurement that is helpfull is the "hub face to hub face". The hub face is the surface of the drum/hub that the wheel actually sits on, typically the surface at the base of the stud. This is not absolutely critical as I have the original specs, however I have seen irregularities so its always better to do it if possible. It will also allow me to make adjustments to the build sheet if you choose wheels that have a different offset than original.

"Offset" is the measurement of the relationship of the wheel mounting surface to the center of the rim width. Airstream has used a "zero offset" on all wheels throughout it's history, as far as I know. This means that a 7" wide rim with a zero offset would have the wheel mounting surface 3 1/2" from the side of the rim. In the Stock Car Racing world, this relationship is often called "backspace" however the measurement is taken from the inside face of the rim to the mounting surface.

As far as I know, the standard 15" diameter trailer rated steel wheels will have a zero offset, however "mag" wheels may have zero offset or possibly a positive offset of X". This means that if you plan on putting mag wheels on your trailer, I would need to know the specs of the wheel so I can adjust the "hub face to hub face" dimension of the new axle to assure that the tire ends up in the same orientation to the wheelwell as original. This is very important because Airstream's typically have very tight wheel well clearances. If this is disregarded, you run the risk of tires rubbing & premature tire failure. The distance from the center of the tire tread across to the center of the other tire tread is called the "track", so in effect we are trying to maintain the same "track" as original. You also have to be very careful about how far you go with offsets because there are minimums & maximums to what an axle can be built to, ie the brake backing plate/torsion arm needs a certain amount of clearance with the axle mounting bracket. Also, the larger the offset you use, will transfer some of the loads from the inner bearing to the outer bearing which taken to extremes could cause premature bearing failure, another nightmare no one wants to deal with on the side of the road.

As a side note, many of those custom cars you see on the road with unbelievably large diameter wheels & tires on them typically have severe unequal bearing loads & rubbing issues.......................but they look cool, right?
I ran into these problems regularly when I was involved in amateur Production Car racing as a driver & car builder. We were constantly putting much larger tires inside wheel wells designed for street tires
Hopefully this has enlightened some of you,
Thanks,
Colin
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:19 AM   #8
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BabyBoomers,
Taking accurate measurement is not as difficult as it sounds. Here is how I took the measurements on Abby, our 1972 Ambassador. There is also some good information on axles here. If you just want to drop it off somewhere and have it done for you, you might try TruckPro, Fleetpride or A&N Trailer Parts in Tulsa. In my axle thread, There are two quotes from local trailer shops. If you have them do it, it's going to co$t!
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:00 AM   #9
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BabyBoomers,
Taking accurate measurement is not as difficult as it sounds. Here is how I took the measurements on Abby, our 1972 Ambassador. There is also some good information on axles here. If you just want to drop it off somewhere and have it done for you, you might try TruckPro, Fleetpride or A&N Trailer Parts in Tulsa. In my axle thread, There are two quotes from local trailer shops. If you have them do it, it's going to co$t!
Thanks Top, I have been following your thread and you are doing a great job of educating and informing. I am getting more comfortable with the task, perhaps it is just fear of the unknown.

I have done business with A&N before. Helpful people at a family owned local business. Just the kind of place I like to support! Didn't know they did more than supply parts though. Many thanks!
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:09 AM   #10
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Baby Boomers,
The typical measurement that is helpfull is the "hub face to hub face". The hub face is the surface of the drum/hub that the wheel actually sits on, typically the surface at the base of the stud. This is not absolutely critical as I have the original specs, however I have seen irregularities so its always better to do it if possible. It will also allow me to make adjustments to the build sheet if you choose wheels that have a different offset than original.

"Offset" is the measurement of the relationship of the wheel mounting surface to the center of the rim width. Airstream has used a "zero offset" on all wheels throughout it's history, as far as I know. This means that a 7" wide rim with a zero offset would have the wheel mounting surface 3 1/2" from the side of the rim. In the Stock Car Racing world, this relationship is often called "backspace" however the measurement is taken from the inside face of the rim to the mounting surface.

As far as I know, the standard 15" diameter trailer rated steel wheels will have a zero offset, however "mag" wheels may have zero offset or possibly a positive offset of X". This means that if you plan on putting mag wheels on your trailer, I would need to know the specs of the wheel so I can adjust the "hub face to hub face" dimension of the new axle to assure that the tire ends up in the same orientation to the wheelwell as original. This is very important because Airstream's typically have very tight wheel well clearances. If this is disregarded, you run the risk of tires rubbing & premature tire failure. The distance from the center of the tire tread across to the center of the other tire tread is called the "track", so in effect we are trying to maintain the same "track" as original. You also have to be very careful about how far you go with offsets because there are minimums & maximums to what an axle can be built to, ie the brake backing plate/torsion arm needs a certain amount of clearance with the axle mounting bracket. Also, the larger the offset you use, will transfer some of the loads from the inner bearing to the outer bearing which taken to extremes could cause premature bearing failure, another nightmare no one wants to deal with on the side of the road.

As a side note, many of those custom cars you see on the road with unbelievably large diameter wheels & tires on them typically have severe unequal bearing loads & rubbing issues.......................but they look cool, right?
I ran into these problems regularly when I was involved in amateur Production Car racing as a driver & car builder. We were constantly putting much larger tires inside wheel wells designed for street tires
Hopefully this has enlightened some of you,
Thanks,
Colin
Many thanks. I think one thing that concerns me is the need for precision in the measurements. Since you have the original built info, if we get close you will be able to confirm and have the unit built correctly. Was it 94 3/8s or 94 1/2 ? Was the sag out of the tape? Was it on the mark or was it just inside or outside ?
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