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Old 03-23-2016, 09:20 AM   #1
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1969 21' Globetrotter
Louisville , Kentucky
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Frame bent around axle? Pics.

I was getting ready to replace my axle and went down to take a closer look I noticed what is visible in the photos. Ehhhhh.. How bad is this? On a flat surface I don't notice any sagging with both eyeballs and tape measure. Don't have any popped rivets or weird crinkling. Are these not the original axels and someone just beat up on the flange to make room for it? Two questions.

1.) Should I go ahead and install my new new axle?

2.) How hard is this to repair if it needs to be done?
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:21 AM   #2
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I'm not sure why the photos got twisted around. Sorry about that.
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:17 AM   #3
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I don't think the trailer frame was effected. That flange is part of the axle mounting to the frame. If there is no evidence of kinking in the length of the frame I would go ahead and install the new axles.
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:27 AM   #4
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Another view.

The critical aspect of the axle is if it effected the alignment of the wheels. With this type axle that can be corrected by bending the axle tube if it has happened.

I would check the current alignment. I use an 8 ft. florescent light bulb along the center line of the wheels. If multi axles the bulb wants to touch all edges of the tire. Any miss by more than a 1/16 would warrant correction.

On a single axle trailer checking is not as easy. One way is to place a tight string, long enough to reach the front tongue of the trailer, across the tire at the center line and measure the distance to the string from the ball cup to the string. I do not have a tolerance for that but Airstream may.

Now install your new axles and check them. Keep in mind that even new axles can be out of alignment because of the nature of manufacturing.

When I installed my 3 new axles they went directly to an alignment shop as they were way out.
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:30 AM   #5
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1981 31' Excella II
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Make sure the upper C-channel is straight despite the bend in the lower lip. It looks like the axel shifted denting the lower flange but it is hard to tell. I would remove the axle and try to bend that lip back down. It would not hurt to add a 1/4 strip of metal top the top to stiffen it up a bit. I would bolt the axle, trailer, and new piece of metal together with at least two bolts. This is assuming the bend is not from rear end separation or other structural problems I can't see in the image.

On older trailers, that section of the C-channel is boxed in to keep this from happening.

Perry
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:59 AM   #6
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It would be interesting to see what the removal of the bolt, shown in the picture, shows.

If the hole is not elongated or the bolt distorted that bend has to have come from a force applied to the flange just above the bolt or was necessary to fit the axle at the factory.

I discount the first because there is no separation between the 2 flanges above the axle tube
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:02 PM   #7
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Q: Are both sides identical??

Q: When towing, is trailer's track true?? How does trailer behave during hard to moderate braking?? Is tire wear even on all four tires??

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Old 03-23-2016, 12:24 PM   #8
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There are two styles of axle brackets, high profile and low profile. Looks like this one is a high profile where there wasn't room to fit it in. Replace with a low profile and there will lots of room for the bracket with out bending the frame up to fit.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:41 PM   #9
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looks like the frame got bent a tad from a large bump in the road.
looks like you could hammer it flat again after you get the axles out.
I think the "curl" you see the axle mount plate.
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Old 03-23-2016, 04:45 PM   #10
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Wow, that seems odd. I wonder how it got like that? If it is just one side I'd guess that the trailer fell off a jack stand and landed on the axle flange or it was done while aligning the axle. If it is like that on both sides I'd say it was done at the factory to make the axle fit as was mentioned above. However it got that way, it doesn't hurt anything as long as the frame rail is straight otherwise. You could hold a straight edge up to the frame or stretch a string along it to check but it's probably OK. If it bugs you maybe you can straighten it after you remove the axle by grabbing the flange with a big crescent wrench or something. It's probably not worth spending much time trying to change it unless the new axle doesn't sit right.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:05 PM   #11
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1969 21' Globetrotter
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Yeah it's on both sides. I was wondering if it could of been done during alignment. It tows really well and doesn't have any odd wear patterns on the tires. I think i'll have enough time to get it changed out this Sunday. I'll update with how it goes and odd findings.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:39 AM   #12
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1969 21' Globetrotter
Louisville , Kentucky
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Very late update. However, the axle install went very well and quicker than I thought it would. It was just over 3.5 hours. The bolt below where the frame was dented was not very tight at all on the old axle. I'm pretty sure this is what caused the damage.

On another note i ordered my axle from Inland and would highly recommend them. I'm located in Louisville, KY and was able to pick up the axels myself and save some money on shipping. However 3 days after i returned home the dealer told me they gave me the wrong axels and it was my responsibility to drive back up to columbus and return them and get the correct axels. After a call to Inland RV, I shortly thereafter received a phone call that the axle supplier would be bringing me my correct axles and picking up the wrong ones they gave me. So disaster averted.

After install photogaaaah that AC unit is so ugly)
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