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Old 02-23-2008, 10:17 PM   #1
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new axles?

How can you tell my looking at the trailer if the axles are starting to go bad? We have an 84 soveriegn and it just seems low.
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themunks
How can you tell my looking at the trailer if the axles are starting to go bad? We have an 84 soveriegn and it just seems low.
There are three ways to check out your axles.

1. How much of the tire can you see above the top of the wheels? It should be at least 2 inches.

2. Look at the position of the torsion arms. As they go rearward, they should be going downhill. If they are parallel to the ground, or are going uphill, then the axles are done. This test should be made with a full payload.

3. Jack up one side of the trailer. The tires should drop at least two inches or more. If not, then the rubber rods have solidified, which in turn, punishes the frame and shell, everytime you hit a bump.

The following article will also help you check out your axles.

Dura Torque Axle

Andy
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:39 PM   #3
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The axles on my '81 were frozen in place, and the moving torsion arms sloped up hill, loaded or not. Ordered new set from Andy. Installation was a direct replacement, all the bolt holes are in exactly the right place and replacement took about 3 hours, working alone. Trailer sits up, and rides much easier.
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:33 AM   #4
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Clarification please

"1. How much of the tire can you see above the top of the wheels? It should be at least 2 inches."

Andy, I am confused by this. Can you reword this for dopes like me?
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:34 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mandolindave
"1. How much of the tire can you see above the top of the wheels? It should be at least 2 inches."

Andy, I am confused by this. Can you reword this for dopes like me?
There are two ways to quickly determine the basic condition of the Henschen torsion axles installed by Airstream since 1961.

1. Read the following article.

Dura Torque Axle

2. Stand about 20 feet away from the side of the trailer, and stoop down. Then look at the tire and wheels. You should see about two inches of the tire, ABOVE the top of the wheel.

If it's less than that, then the axles are questionable.

If you cannot see the top of the wheels, then the axles are finished, with absolute certainty.

There is one other test that can be made, that requires a jack for single axle trailers. Place a mark the tire even with the wheel well. Jack up that side of the trailer and note how much the tire drops. It should drop at least 2 inches or more. If not, then the rubber rods have solidified, which will give the trailer a rough ride. That roughness will damage the trailer, therefore the axle should be replaced.

In the case of a tandem axle trailer, mark the tires on one side as above. Pull one tire up on some blocks, that are at least three inches high. make the same observation as above. Then pull the other tire up one the same blocks and make that same observation. The tires should drop at least 2 inches or more.

If the trailer is leaning to one side, make the test on the side that is closest to the ground.

In the case of a tri-axle trailer, do the same tests as in the tandem axle, but do it for all three tires on one side of the trailer.

All the tires should drop the same amount on a tandem as well as a tri-axle. If not, then the tire or tires that drop the least, indicate that one or more axles may be bad.

If that's the case, then one must determine the condition of each axle by making all the observations.

If one axle is bad, and the axles have been in service for a few years or more, then all the axles must be replaced, as it's impossible to mate a new axle with an old axle, and expect then to do an equal job. They cannot and will not, since in time, you can almost be certain that the axles have somewhat settled closer to the ground.

The keys to longevity are two fold, and simple.

The rubber rods must be exercised frequently, like every year or more, for at least a few hundred miles.

If not, the rubber rods can and will settle.

If the trailer has been parked without removing most of the weight from the axles for an extended period of time, such as a couple of years or more, you can almost bet that the rubber rods have settled. If the trailer will be stored for an extender period of time, like a year or more, most of the weight should be removed from the axles.

Lastly, even if most of the weight has been removed from the axles, is still no assurance that the rubber rods will not solidify. They might and they might not solidify. There is no way to predict the behavior of those rods.

Experience does suggest however, that removing most of the weight, will add to the life expectancy of the rubber rods. How much?? No one knows with any degree of certainty.

Hopefully, this answers your question.

Andy
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:40 PM   #6
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Mercy me, where are our manners? We get busy answering a question and forget our protocol. Welcome to the forums themunks! Andy knows his business when it comes to axles. There probably isn't anyone with more experience with them than he has, even at the factory...very few if there.

Good luck with the axles and get in touch with Andy if you need replacements. He can ship directly to your house. Spring is just around the corner and so is camping season. Enjoy!
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