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Old 07-20-2008, 03:54 AM   #1
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1957 16' Bubble
none , Utah
Join Date: Jul 2008
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How do I know if the axle and springs need to be replaced?

I have purchased and 1957 bubble. Its been sitting in a driveway for ten years. In general, it's in pretty great shape. All original. My question is this: Since this thing hasn't moved for 10 years, What do I need to do with the axel? How about the old split rim wheels? What do I need to do to get this thing road worthy. What I should I expect it to cost? Also, the owner has the original tall tanks to go with it. I understand they can't be used but is it possible to retrofit them?

I'm a finish carpenter and am good at general detail finish, but I'm no mechanic. Any voices of experience would be helpful. Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:31 AM   #2
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A straight axle is not like a torsion axle as far as sitting, it generally will not deteriorate from sitting in one spot. I would get new springs, or get the old ones reworked, and those split rims should go away. Most places won't touch them.
When you go to tow it anywhere, you should repack the wheel bearings before it goes more than a few blocks, who knows when the last time it was done, and a seized bearing would probably ruin the axle.
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:36 AM   #3
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To be on the safe side, I would have it inspected first by a reliable trailer shop. I took the springs off of mine and had them rebuilt and up-rated. I also replaced the axle with a new larger capacity axle. You should also pack the bearings, inspect the brakes, replace the wheels and put on new tires.

A lot depends on what you plan to do with it. I ended up adding about 800# to mine with flooring, airconditoner, a gray tank, larger water tank, and other odds and ends. That made the axle upgrade a necessity. The new axle and all the associated prep work cost around $450.

You could also replace the whole axle with a new torsion axle, backing plates, and wheels.

The old propane tanks can be fitted with new OPD (overfill protection) valves and recertified. Any propane dealer can probably do this for you. Check the price of new ones first, they may be cheaper. Make sure they are not aluminum. If they are aluminum I will buy them from you for a real good price.
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:50 PM   #4
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1956 16' Bubble
Dallas , Oregon
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bubble axle help

nice bubble! i just bought a 56 bubble and am thinking the same thing--the original axle and drums run straight and quiet "empty" but as i'm redoing the whole trailer--i might as well go new. do you happen to know the specs for a perfect swap if i went to a torsion type axle? and if the original trailer was 1750 lbs--did it come with 2000 lb rated axles or higher? i imagine my trailer will be 1900 empty?. so 2500 seems just right perhaps? i need trailer brakes fitted as well so i might as well go all new. do you have to adapt anything to go to torsion style? regards--ted

i started a thread regarding the start of my new bubble rebuild--any help is appreciated. cheers--ted
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Old 03-31-2010, 03:56 PM   #5
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1957 16' Bubble
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Sorry

Sorry but I sold my bubble before I did any work on it. I'm not much help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the544man View Post
nice bubble! i just bought a 56 bubble and am thinking the same thing--the original axle and drums run straight and quiet "empty" but as i'm redoing the whole trailer--i might as well go new. do you happen to know the specs for a perfect swap if i went to a torsion type axle? and if the original trailer was 1750 lbs--did it come with 2000 lb rated axles or higher? i imagine my trailer will be 1900 empty?. so 2500 seems just right perhaps? i need trailer brakes fitted as well so i might as well go all new. do you have to adapt anything to go to torsion style? regards--ted

i started a thread regarding the start of my new bubble rebuild--any help is appreciated. cheers--ted
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:46 PM   #6
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Ted - So you know, you posted to a thread from 2008.


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