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Old 03-09-2009, 08:13 AM   #1
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1973 31' Excella 500
roswell , Georgia
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how do these axles look??

Hello, I am the proud new owner of a 1973 31' Excella......

I am new to the Airstream world and still exploring and learning about my trailer.

Before I hit the road I wanted to get some advice on the axles. I have read many articles here on axles etc. and have attached pictures of mine in hopes that you all can tell me if they are ok or shot (or somewhere in between). I priced a new pair at inland RV and they are expensive.... so before I did anything I wanted to check with the experts....

Thanks in advance. Stanton
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:33 AM   #2
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From the pics, it looks like it's time for new ones. The trailer should sit a few inches above the rims. They may cost a bit, but are well worth every penny. Let's see what others say
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:54 AM   #3
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I'd say yes because of the up word angle. Andy will Chime in as soon
as he awakes up. California time ya know. Our resident expert.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:08 AM   #4
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From the angle you are showing I would say that your axles are about shot.
Can you get a picture of the area between the frame and the tire?
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:09 AM   #5
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I have to agree, just by looking at your picture..Those axles are done for.
The rule of the thumb is..if you can't see the tire over the top of your wheels, then the axles need replacing..
InLandRV is the best and, only place to get the proper replacement axles..
Save yourself a lot of headache by just ordering it as a complete axle assembly.
This means having the brakes drums, etc already attached to the axle.
It's just after 7 am in Ca..lol

LOVE THAT TOWN OF ROSWELL~!!
Years ago, we spend the weekend with some friends who used to lived there..
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:13 AM   #6
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Ditto. Can't see the torsion arm in the photos but I suspect the worse. The other factor besides arm angle is the ridgidness of the rubber. The wheel should drop a few inches when the trailer is jacked up. It ain't necessarily so the trailer "should sit a few inches above the rims", though this is never undesireable. But, the fender well should at least be level with the top of the rims and just like the 60s higher is better.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadhogdawg View Post
Hello, I am the proud new owner of a 1973 31' Excella......

I am new to the Airstream world and still exploring and learning about my trailer.

Before I hit the road I wanted to get some advice on the axles. I have read many articles here on axles etc. and have attached pictures of mine in hopes that you all can tell me if they are ok or shot (or somewhere in between). I priced a new pair at inland RV and they are expensive.... so before I did anything I wanted to check with the experts....

Thanks in advance. Stanton
Your Airstream's axles, are history. Towing with them will r3esult in various damages to the trailer.

Your 73 Excella has 3200 pound original axles.

74 and back axles all had improper rubber rod composition, which leads to ultimate failure.

Being parked for a couple of years or so, leads to rubber rod failure.

Rubber must be exercized to stay "alive."

Also, Airstream found that the axle rating on your trailer was inadequate, and change it to 4000 pounds in 1975.

New axles also have an increased starting angle that helps rigging to a tow vehicle.

New axles will raise your trailer 3 to 3 1/2 inches higher than it is now.

Andy
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadhogdawg View Post
Hello, I am the proud new owner of a 1973 31' Excella......

I am new to the Airstream world and still exploring and learning about my trailer.

Thanks in advance. Stanton
Since the trailer is new to you, check all the exterior gaskets, windows, doors etc.

Especially check the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets. They are good for 2 to 3 years, then start cracking.

Andy
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:37 AM   #9
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I see the wheelwells below the edge of the rim. SORRY your axles have had the course. Andy is the authority , he has 40+ yrs dealing with and rebuilding and referbing Airstreams. So read and heed.
I replaced my axles last year. I did opt for OEM axles and did purchase them thru ANDY. They Definitely are more money than other brands that are available. BUT I purchased OEM (Henshen)axles because they are made with the spec's from Airstream to be the exact duplicate of the axles you take out. The Exception being an upgrade in weight and brake size. Which I opted for. Its a personal choise to install something that fits exactly or redrill or elongate holes in the frame to accomomdate another brand.
With the encourgement and support of Andy I tackled this project and had it accomplished in 3 hrs. and I am 70 yrs young.
Good Luck with what ever you decide. If you have questions, PLEASE DON'T HESITATE! The expertise here is endless. Remember the only STUPID QUESTIONS are the ones you dont ask.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:47 AM   #10
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Ah, so Andy's up!

Your axles look like ours. They're dead meat.


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Old 03-09-2009, 01:08 PM   #11
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1973 31' Excella 500
roswell , Georgia
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Thanks the concensus seems to be that I need new Axels.....

Thanks to everyone for your responses. What a great forum & place to learn anything and everything about AS's. Thanks again, Stanton
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:24 PM   #12
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Welcome,

Yep, your axles are shot like my 67.
Easiest route is to order from Inland RV for correct replacements.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:25 PM   #13
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Your axels may be goners;however, that is one beautiful trailer you have. Good luck and have fun.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:36 PM   #14
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Your axels may be goners;however, that is one beautiful trailer you have. Good luck and have fun.

I was going to say the same thing...outside looks great!
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