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Old 06-11-2012, 09:25 PM   #1
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1968 20' Globetrotter
Fort Collins , Colorado
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I think I need a new axle - '68 GT

About 2 weeks ago I purchased a 68 globe trotter. Probably didn't do enough home work on all the things I should have looked for. On the ride home it seemed to pull fine while dry and empty.

I took it out this last weekend for a shakedown cruise and it still pulls fine but I noticed while sitting next to another airstream in a rest area that most of his tires were visible above the rim while only an inch or so showed on mine. When I parked and opened it up some of the cabinets had popped open and let out the goods. Same happened on the trip home.

After reading up on axels on the forums here I headed out to test the axel travel. I get maybe an inch of travel and the torsion arm is level to maybe a degree or two up.

So my first question is am I correct in thinking that I need a new axel?

Second question (assuming the answer to the first is yes) is what do I need to know to order a new axel? I took some measurements on the axel and it is 58 7/8" between mounting brackets and ~76 1/2" WMS to WMS, 6-5.5 bolt pattern on 15" wheels. There is a tag on the axel on which I can barely make out L*A* RAT** 4*00 (I'm guessing LOAD RATING 4500?) What else will I need to know? Does anyone have a Dexter or Henchen P/N for this app?

Thanks,
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:11 PM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Yes, you need new axle/axles.

In my experience, you can't just order a part number directly from any manufacturer. If you want it to be quite painless, contact Inland RV, and they will walk you through it. For a little less hand-holding, Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations has an in with Axis and can help you out also. I am sure there are other options, these are the ones I have some experience with.

In either case, installation of the axle is one of the simplest repairs one can do on a vintage airstream.

Good luck!
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:39 PM   #3
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1960 24' Tradewind
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Or you can order a Dexter axle 11TF60-655E is what you'll need. You'll need to specify High Profile brackets, Reverse brackets for Airstream. The original down angle was/is 22 1/2. The outside to outside bracket dimensions are 57.875", with the Dexter you can specify anything from 3800# to 6000# in the #11 configuration. Shock brackets are optional, though Airstream uses them, ALL torsion axle manufacturers state that no shock absorbers are necessary and in reality the Airstream shocks are more of a hydraulic stabilizer, having resistance in either direction.
Dexters will cost alot less that anything else available.

Greg
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinkers View Post
About 2 weeks ago I purchased a 68 globe trotter. Probably didn't do enough home work on all the things I should have looked for. On the ride home it seemed to pull fine while dry and empty.

I took it out this last weekend for a shakedown cruise and it still pulls fine but I noticed while sitting next to another airstream in a rest area that most of his tires were visible above the rim while only an inch or so showed on mine. When I parked and opened it up some of the cabinets had popped open and let out the goods. Same happened on the trip home.

After reading up on axels on the forums here I headed out to test the axel travel. I get maybe an inch of travel and the torsion arm is level to maybe a degree or two up.

So my first question is am I correct in thinking that I need a new axel?

Second question (assuming the answer to the first is yes) is what do I need to know to order a new axel? I took some measurements on the axel and it is 58 7/8" between mounting brackets and ~76 1/2" WMS to WMS, 6-5.5 bolt pattern on 15" wheels. There is a tag on the axel on which I can barely make out L*A* RAT** 4*00 (I'm guessing LOAD RATING 4500?) What else will I need to know? Does anyone have a Dexter or Henchen P/N for this app?

Thanks,
All we need to know is the trailer serial number, so that an exact replacement is provided.

Andy
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:25 AM   #5
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1968 20' Globetrotter
Fort Collins , Colorado
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Thanks all for the replies... I will start looking into a replacement.

While we are here talking about the axel might as well talk about wheels and tires. The tires are 12 years old according to the date code so I will be replacing them (knew I would have to do that when I bought it). They don't show alot of wear on the tread but they do show some signs of cracking on the sidewalls. The current tires are Goodyear Marathon 225/75R15. Any recommendations on replacements? Any reason to increase to 16" wheels?

Thanks,
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jinkers View Post
Thanks all for the replies... I will start looking into a replacement.

While we are here talking about the axel might as well talk about wheels and tires. The tires are 12 years old according to the date code so I will be replacing them (knew I would have to do that when I bought it). They don't show alot of wear on the tread but they do show some signs of cracking on the sidewalls. The current tires are Goodyear Marathon 225/75R15. Any recommendations on replacements? Any reason to increase to 16" wheels?

Thanks,
That size tire is fine, as long as it's load range "D".

5 year old or older tires should be changed out.

No need to change wheel size.

Andy 13.2
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinkers View Post
About 2 weeks ago I purchased a 68 globe trotter. Probably didn't do enough home work on all the things I should have looked for. On the ride home it seemed to pull fine while dry and empty.

I took it out this last weekend for a shakedown cruise and it still pulls fine but I noticed while sitting next to another airstream in a rest area that most of his tires were visible above the rim while only an inch or so showed on mine. When I parked and opened it up some of the cabinets had popped open and let out the goods. Same happened on the trip home.

After reading up on axels on the forums here I headed out to test the axel travel. I get maybe an inch of travel and the torsion arm is level to maybe a degree or two up.

So my first question is am I correct in thinking that I need a new axel?

Second question (assuming the answer to the first is yes) is what do I need to know to order a new axel? I took some measurements on the axel and it is 58 7/8" between mounting brackets and ~76 1/2" WMS to WMS, 6-5.5 bolt pattern on 15" wheels. There is a tag on the axel on which I can barely make out L*A* RAT** 4*00 (I'm guessing LOAD RATING 4500?) What else will I need to know? Does anyone have a Dexter or Henchen P/N for this app?

Thanks,
Year & model is all we need.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:29 PM   #8
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Serial number, is all we need.

Andy
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:42 AM   #9
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When you order your new axle, be sure what you are getting. I've ordered axles, and gotten some really strange things that weren't what I wanted, and had to send them back.
I've heard some horror stories about getting the incorrect axle with wrong specs, wrong dimensions, wrong or missing brackets, added additional shipping charges when there was supposed to be free shipping, and the long-time axle seller refused to make it right.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:12 AM   #10
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Thanks for all of the replies. I decided to have Luke, at Luke's Maintenance and Repairs take care of the axel for me. Luke came highly recommended by some on the forums here.

It doesn't look like it would be too hard of a DIY project but my driveway is fairly sloped and the HOA would have a fit if I tried to do it on the street.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:54 AM   #11
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Good choice, having Luke do the job for you. He did mine 2 years ago, and I am very satisfied. Get the self adjusting brakes, the hubs that can be greased with a gun, and the longer magnet wires so the connections can be made above the belly pan. I am sure Luke will set it up right, but those options cost a few dollars more, and are worth it.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:17 AM   #12
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Good choice, having Luke do the job for you. He did mine 2 years ago, and I am very satisfied. Get the self adjusting brakes, the hubs that can be greased with a gun, and the longer magnet wires so the connections can be made above the belly pan. I am sure Luke will set it up right, but those options cost a few dollars more, and are worth it.
Many options are available for axle orders.

But, longer magnet wires has never been one of them.

Andy
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