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Old 09-01-2012, 05:37 AM   #1
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Have you replaced axle(s)? If so....

Just looking around the forum and it would appear a number of folks have replaced their axles and or shocks which begs the following questions:

1. What did the original data plate on the AS axle say your axle(s) were rated at?

2. Did you replace your axle with Airstream factory issue? If so were they rated the same weight or heavier?
a. Did you spec a down angle change? If so how much?

3. If you did not get Airstream factory axles logically they would not come with the shock absorber mount welded on the trail arm.

a. Did you have the shock mounts cut off and welded on the new axle?

b. Did you elect NOT to go with shocks? How did that work out?

4. Did you go with factory shocks or get heavier shocks? If you went heavier what did you get?

a. Make?

b. Part number?

5. Did the new axles raise your rig?

6. Are/were you satisfied with the upgrade you made?

7. If you had it to do over would you get the same or change?

8. How long were the original axles on your rig?

a. Any idea how many miles were on the originals?

b. How many sets of brake shoes have you replaced?

c. How many Magnets?

d. How many hubs?

e. How many bearings?

9.. Please make a overall comment on the changes you made and be as detailed as you can.

This type of information can go a long way to help new owners as well as experienced owners make informed decisions for their rigs.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer View Post
Just looking around the forum and it would appear a number of folks have replaced their axles and or shocks which begs the following questions:

1. What did the original data plate on the AS axle say your axle(s) were rated at?

2. Did you replace your axle with Airstream factory issue? If so were they rated the same weight or heavier?
a. Did you spec a down angle change? If so how much?

3. If you did not get Airstream factory axles logically they would not come with the shock absorber mount welded on the trail arm.

a. Did you have the shock mounts cut off and welded on the new axle?

b. Did you elect NOT to go with shocks? How did that work out?

4. Did you go with factory shocks or get heavier shocks? If you went heavier what did you get?

a. Make?

b. Part number?

5. Did the new axles raise your rig?

6. Are/were you satisfied with the upgrade you made?

7. If you had it to do over would you get the same or change?

8. How long were the original axles on your rig?

a. Any idea how many miles were on the originals?

b. How many sets of brake shoes have you replaced?

c. How many Magnets?

d. How many hubs?

e. How many bearings?

9.. Please make a overall comment on the changes you made and be as detailed as you can.

This type of information can go a long way to help new owners as well as experienced owners make informed decisions for their rigs.
Hummer.

The answer to your question # 4, is there is only one horizontal shock, that will fit an Airstream, which is an Airstream part, orginally made by Delco and for the last couple of decades, made by Gabriel.

Question # 5 answer is yes, the trailer heigth always increase, when the replacement axles are properly speced.

A second owner, must exert extreme caution when reading the Henschen data plate.

All too many times, an axle was replaced with one from a junk yard, where the only concern was 'does it fit" without due regard to it's rating.

It's always best to know what the original axle rating was, before ordering a replacement from someone that does not have the historical data.

Also, down grading electric brakes from 12 inch to 10 inch, is an absolute safety hazard, when considering that proper trailer brakes, will also stop the tow vehicle in the unlikely event of a tow vehicle brake failure, which unfortunately can and does happen.

As an example, perfectly working tandem 10 inch electric brakes, have a maximum stopping power of 7,000 pounds. 12 inch electric brakes, have a maximum stopping power of 12,000 pounds.

No comparison.

Some say 10 inch electric brakes, save money. That's not really true for more than ten to twelve dollars, if even that much. But what a price to not pay, when safety is "very accurately" kicked to the curb.

Safety is not a given.

Safety is by design, or lack thereof.

Andy
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:51 PM   #3
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In the same outline order at the OP (thanks for outlining, BTW)

1. 2800 lbs
2. No
2a. I "upgraded" to 3000 lbs each. I've added a larger fridge than original plus have installed extensive solid wood cabinetry and countertops, thus it's a bit heavier in the mid-section.
3. True. But, the company that I ordered my axles from will weld on a shock bracket for Airstream replacements, which I had done on mine.
3a. No. See 3.
3b. Yes. Although I had the shock mounts spec'd on my replacement axles, it did this for potential future owner convenience. I did not install shocks. It's been working out fine. No problems. Rubber is a damper and has its own damping properties. I did not feel it necessary to spend $500 on "Airstream" shocks when the system is already damped.
4,a,b. Can't answer
5. Slightly, yes, because my old axles were shot.
6. Yes
7. Tough call. I got two axles shipped to me for less than $450 (2009). They were bare-bones. I re-used the brakes and drum/hubs from the removed axles. I had to drill new holes for the new mounting flanges which was a pain since the new holes overlapped the old. I saved some bucks, but had to put in some elbow grease and a buy a few extra tools.
8. Can't remember
8a. Nope. Don't even know if the removed ones were original to the trailer.
8b. None
8c. None
8d. None
8e. None
9. Overall it was a very needed repair. There's a number of threads here on the forums about how to check your axles for function. When you buy a used Airstream, check it according to the help sheets. If they are bad, replace them. Your appliances, cabinets, plumbing, etc. will thank you. Despite my comments above regarding elbow grease, I still changed out one axle in the yard beside the house (working while laying on the grass) and the other in the driveway on the cement. I did it by myself, no help from anyone, not even my wife. It sounds a lot harder than it is. If you're faint at heart about drilling and grinding on the frame of your trailer, then stick with the Henschen replacements. I knew people who had used them and they are / were "drop in" replacements.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:01 PM   #4
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I bent a axle a few years ago and worked with Inland to get the correct axle and correct price, worked out great for me. I did all the work by myself and the unit fit perfectly. Just a thumbs up for Inland.

Jim
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:14 PM   #5
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Yeah, I replaced mine...
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...les-39688.html
Dexter, no shocks, I'm not too good at listening to others so I did the research and did it my way...
Do it again? probably. Although I'm gonna down size the axles. Yeah, that means 10" brakes rated at 200% of the trailer weight.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:26 PM   #6
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- Airstream shocks are not the only shock that can be mounted horizontally. A monotube gas charged shock can be mounted horizontal - in fact it can be mounted up side down and operate the same as if you mounted it vertically. Gabriel and Monroe both offer RV/Trailer shocks as part of their lineup. I've lacked the interest to find out which, if any of those, are monotube gas shocks. There would be other considerations also. You'd need to know the static length of an Airstream shock. You'd need to confirm the mounting hole size. I personally ordered the standard Airstream shock because it was easy.

The point is however, plenty of other shocks can be mounted horizontally. If you wanted to do the research and spend a few extra bucks you would likely end up with a better quality monotube shock.

- Should you buy axles and decide not to have mounts welded on them you can check with Monroe. They sell a bolt on shock mount for torsion axles as part of their trailer shock line up.

- There are axle manufacturers that offer a "high mount" bracket. So you could keep your 22.5 down angle and still gain an inch of height on the trailer if that's a consideration for you.

To the OP - I hope this fit in with your questions and didn't take your thread off in another direction.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WineStream View Post
2. No
2a. I "upgraded" to 3000 lbs each. I've added a larger fridge than original plus have installed extensive solid wood cabinetry and countertops, thus it's a bit heavier in the mid-section.
I realized that my answers to 2 and 2a were all really answering the OP's 2. item. The real answer for 2a:

2a. I contemplated an angle increase. However, I've seen a trailer that went to a higher angle and I didn't like how high it sat. It's nice for the added clearance on occasion, but my personal opinion was that it just looked weird / wrong. I went with the stock angle. I got a little bit of height with my axle change just due to the axles actually holding the trailer at its correct height.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:08 AM   #8
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Thanks all for responding so far. It will be interesting to see what others have run into along his line.

I agree with Andy, 12" X2 brakes at a minimum for me and would have liked to have had 12X2 1/2 but they come on 8 lug axles.

Very interesting comments about companies not feeling the need for shocks which is kind of what I suspected to be the case based on how my tractor was riding. Right after I got the new 8000 lb axle on the trailer I had to make a 700 mile trip to pick up a milling machine from my friend's widow. A 2 HP mill doesn't weigh that much but I remember watching the trailer closely coming home and it was not bouncing around.

I remember I could stop the F250 and the trailer and the mill quicker (and not smoke the tires) than I could the F250 by itself.

There may be another shock that could be used on AS. I took one of my Gabriels to Autozone and they looked at number and called Gabriel who told them they only sold it to AS. That kind of irritated the manager and he went to his commercial parts manager who spent 20 minutes going through his master shock book and came up with a very close match.

69884 is the new part number. In the closed position it was 1/4" shorter than the Gabriel and in the extended position it could go 2" longer and he said it was a high grade shock with much more dampening power than a normal shock. Cost is 27.99 I am going to have a looksee when I get new axle on and as indicated I am going to grind off the AS mounts and keep them.

Then depending on the ride I will see what is required.

I had not thought of replacing fridge and I have noticed a number of folks replace theirs with a standard 120V fridge which makes perfect sense. My 12 volt position does nothing but the gas and the 120 positions work.

I know lots of folks will turn on the gas and run them down the road but I find that if I turn 120 on about four days before we leave and put all our food in fridge/freezer we are going to take and don't open the doors we can leave out and drive 12 hours or so and plug back in, open fridge and everything is fine.

Thanks again guys for replys so far. Maybe others can contribute their experiences along these lines and we will all learn answers to the questions that we didn't know to ask.

Such info is why I enjoy this forum as there are lots of guys on here than spend lots of time thinking of better ways to do things and save money at the same time.
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