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Old 06-01-2015, 08:39 PM   #1
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Hit a curb-bent axle??

Bad luck day. Pulling in to a narrow had station entrance and a car pulled forward and I cut it too tight. Went over a 3" curb corner. Was going very slow but it blew the tire sidewall. Now the front of the spare seems to be pointing about an inch out. Bent axle? DH


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Old 06-01-2015, 08:49 PM   #2
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Sounds bad... Can you put a straight edge on side of tire to check and take a pic?
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:53 PM   #3
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Get a long straight-edge. Go to the side that was not hit. Put the straight-edge against both tires at or near axle level. The straight-edge should rest against the rear sidewall of both tires leaving a 1/16 th inch or so clearance at the front sidewall. That would indicate about 1/8 th inch tow in. Now go to the side that was hit. Should be about the same. If not, find an alignment shop that can get things right.


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Old 06-02-2015, 10:30 AM   #4
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The wheel is definitely out of line. Airstream sent me some adjustment instructions. Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:11 AM   #5
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The wheel is definitely out of line. Airstream sent me some adjustment instructions. Thanks for the help.
Be interested to know what Airstream says to adjust as there is nothing adjustable on these axles.
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:17 AM   #6
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Hope it works out well for you.

I too would be interested to know what instructions there are available for re-aligning a bent axle just as info. Would you care to share with us?

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Old 06-02-2015, 11:27 AM   #7
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I would think if the axle is a torsion axle it would need replaced.
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:19 PM   #8
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An axle can be aligned if it is not bent too far. There are about8 locations that can align an axle including Airstream service department.It is accomplished by adjusting the tube with hydraulics.
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:41 PM   #9
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It depends on what is bent. If the torsion arm is bent then the axle needs to be replaced. If the axle tube is bent, then it might be possible to walk it back with the right tools. Is the tire on the other side of the axle still straight?

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Old 06-02-2015, 01:44 PM   #10
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Thanks for monitoring this site, Schu. It is great to have your expertise shared so generously with us Airstreamers.

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Old 06-02-2015, 03:49 PM   #11
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Instead of a straight edge I use a piece of twine. Tape the string to the rear of the back tire, halfway up. With tire pressures equal, gently pull the string to the front tire sidewall edge. The string should contact the sidewalls with equal pressure. You can measure any gap with a ruler.

Now go to the "good" side and repeat the operation. You will be able to tell if the axle stub is bent, or the axle racked. If the good side is out equal to (reciprocal angles) of the "bad"side, the chances are that you need to check the mounts/bolts.
You can use the string trick to line them back up.

I use this method to align my vehicles with 1/16 toe in and haven't been to an alignment shop in over 30 something years.
I hope yours is an easy fix. I just cant imagine rubbing a tire would bend anything.
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Old 06-02-2015, 04:03 PM   #12
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The straight edge method works only so long as the trailer has first been pulled ahead 100 feet or so in a dead straight line as to work out any axle wrap that might have occurred. On a tri axle this distance might be more!. Additionally when stopping, have the brakes in active!

My bet is that if you can see the malaligned wheel you did some money spending. Furthermore you risk that wheel coming off as that shaft is prone to fracture and fail!

Keep everyone safe and replace the axle, oh by the way, they all have to be done at the same time! Sorry...
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:47 PM   #13
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An axle can be aligned if it is not bent too far. There are about8 locations that can align an axle including Airstream service department.It is accomplished by adjusting the tube with hydraulics.
Thanks, Schu! Is there a list of locations?.. other than AS in case he isn't very close to the Mothership?
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:31 PM   #14
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The curb side front wheel is about 1" off from the others, pointing to the right. The driver's side is even. No return call from Airstream service and none from Arbogast in Troy. Arbogast said 90 days wait for service. Airstream is probably booked to. Need to leave for NM next week for WBCCI International. Getting a headache. DH
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