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Old 07-23-2004, 02:37 PM   #1
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Got my new axle

I finally got my Caravel back today from RVPro in Vancouver, with a new Dexter axel installed. They also did some other work, including replacing all the crushed propane lines under the vehicle, tinkering with the fridge again, and installing a new Prodigy brake controller in the van.

On the ride home we immediately noticed how much smoother it's riding. Before, we could see it bouncing and jerking behind us at every bump, now it just glides along. Previously when we got where we were going the cushions would be tossed and the clothes all bounced off the closet rods. This time we took it for a test run and everything was where we left it when we got home.

Here's a before and after, sorry the pic is so dark, it's hard to get a good picture on a sunny day. The ride height increased about three inches. Now we can clearly see the top of the wheel, where before it was tucked up into the well.

It has the easy lube bearings. They warned me not to fill them too full or it will blow out the seal in back and mess up the brakes. They said to give it a couple squirts after 4000 miles, then every 6-8000 miles after that. They recommended inspecting the bearings about every 8k. They said at 4000 to bring it back for an inspection and brake adjustment.

They replaced the crushed propane lines with new lines that look just like the old ones, copper, I assume, and protected them with plastic tubing. That project cost nearly as much as the axel project, but some of them were crushed nearly flat, so I figured it would be safer to replace them.

The only downside of the whole thing was that the axel required them to fabricate a braket to attach it, so it took longer than they expected to install it. They also had to fabricate shock brackets. It ended up costing a few hundred more than they originally estimated. But it's worth it to have it riding smooth again, and I didn't have the tools, skills, or desire to do the fabricating myself.
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Old 07-23-2004, 02:51 PM   #2
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VERY nice Steph! I can hear your Caravel thanking you from here!

Roger
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Old 07-23-2004, 04:40 PM   #3
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It looks like you got the 10in brakes?
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Old 07-23-2004, 07:21 PM   #4
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Gosh, I didn't even ask, I just let them handle it. See how laid back I'm getting in my old age
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Old 07-23-2004, 07:25 PM   #5
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That covering over the copper lines is a nice touch
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Old 07-23-2004, 07:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
That covering over the copper lines is a nice touch
yeah, sure is.
Hey Steph, can you find out what his red stuff is? I want some for my Overlander.
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Old 07-23-2004, 08:11 PM   #7
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*barge*

mine has this "feature". its just industrial hose, split along the length and wrapped around the copper to protect it. an old garden hose would do the job nicely, too.
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Old 07-23-2004, 09:33 PM   #8
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Just an interesting note...

The gas lines on my '71 go under the axle.

Wonder why they ran yours over it? Or does it even make a difference?
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Old 07-24-2004, 12:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari Tim
Just an interesting note...

The gas lines on my '71 go under the axle.

Wonder why they ran yours over it? Or does it even make a difference?
Tim,
Are you looking at the same picture I am??
If I'm looking at the right picture:The red covered gas line 'looks' to me like it's going under the axle..
ciao
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Old 07-24-2004, 01:24 AM   #10
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Steph, looks great. Would you mind revealing the cost?
Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 07-24-2004, 03:35 AM   #11
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I agree with Tim...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 53FlyingCloud
Tim,
Are you looking at the same picture I am??
If I'm looking at the right picture:The red covered gas line 'looks' to me like it's going under the axle..
ciao
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Hey Vern...are you standing on your head?

The red line is going over the axle in Steph's attached photos...it's higher off the ground than the axle thus it's 'over'.

Whatever...

The question is the same, why between the axle & belly pan instead of under the axle?

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Old 07-24-2004, 03:54 AM   #12
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Safari Tim, I don't remember if the lines went over or under before. I don't think it matters because the axel is attached to the frame, and the only moving parts are the 'arms' which the wheels are attached to, so the axel/bellypan/propane lines should not move. I don't think the lines will be stressed in any way, whichever way they are run. Perhaps the shop felt they would be more protected above the axel than hanging below it. Also, they have it attached to the bellypan at regular intervals, so perhaps that is another reason they wanted to keep it all snug up tight against the bellypan.

Chuck, I think you're right on about the plastic tubing over the pipe. It's just to absorb impacts.

Rog, I don't see why not. it all added up to just about $2000, but that included the axel, brake controller, shocks, new propane lines, and 7 hours labor on the axel and 7 hours labor on the propane lines, plus an hour labor for the brake controller installation and adjusting the hitch to match the new ball height. They also threw in a new foot for the jack to give it an extra 6 inches of lift because of the new ball height (the jack didn't go up enough to get the trailer on the ball). Also, they said they didn't charge me for a couple hours labor on the axel install because it went way over what they had estimated. They also tinkered with the fridge but because they couldn't find anything else to do to help it work better they didn't put it on the bill.
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Old 07-24-2004, 04:12 AM   #13
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Cool lmao

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
Hey Vern...are you standing on your head?

The red line is going over the axle in Steph's attached photos...it's higher off the ground than the axle thus it's 'over'.
Whatever...
The question is the same, why between the axle & belly pan instead of under the axle?
Shari
Yea, I see what you mean..
Sorry Tim..
When I said under it..The intent was ' over the top of it '...
(from gnd up)
I've spend way too much time laying on my back under the GT...
I have to admit, the work that the shop did for Stef..was well worth it~
Most nearly of it, is about what I have yet ahead of me.
BTW, for those of you who had thoughts about ordering a manual for your vintage unit? Do it~
I received mine today and, it well worth the money~
ciao
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Old 07-24-2004, 07:50 AM   #14
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It would seem they created some space "above" the axel wit the mod on the frame. Not sure but I don't think there is normally enough space for a line. My 68 Caravel loves it's new axel.
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