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Old 01-12-2003, 04:00 PM   #1
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Is a bent axle a "dead" axle??

When checking out my "new" '76 Sovereign before purchase, I noticed one of the axles is bent "up" in the center. (To within 2-3" of the belly if memory serves me) The torsion arms still have plenty of negative angle and both look similarly loaded on each side.

Will the bent axle funtion as originally designed? Can it/should it be rebuilt/straightened?

We're not planning on major travel with the new AS, just to and from the hunting club 100 miles each way once a year. This is NOT to imply I want to shirk any safety responsibilities, this is just for a frame of reference.

Thanks for any input!
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Old 01-12-2003, 04:12 PM   #2
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I have noticed the same thing on my Overlander which has good axles as far as I have been able to discern. I have seen bad axles with the same upward bend in the tube so I really don't know what causes it. It could be that way from the factory to get the necessary camber degree ? Any other ideas?

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Old 01-12-2003, 05:54 PM   #3
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It's Normal

But, did you say only 1 of the axles have a bend? Below is a picture of a new axle, with a 2X4 across the bottom. I measured the gap at 5/16". The board was not quite the length of the entire axle, so that measurment may not be entirely accurate.
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Old 01-12-2003, 06:03 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, she's about an hour away or I'd post a photo. I'll have to look again to confirm, but Yes as far as I can remember. Only one is noticebly bent up.

Thanks!
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Old 01-12-2003, 06:24 PM   #5
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Lightbulb 2x4

the 2x4 your using to check the axel is it straight?
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Old 01-12-2003, 08:07 PM   #6
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Yes they are all bent up at the center like that.. brand new or old..
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Old 01-13-2003, 10:00 AM   #7
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JPAIRSTREAM wrote:
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Yes they are all bent up at the center like that.. brand new or old..

WHY ??
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Old 01-13-2003, 11:10 AM   #8
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Bend in axle

The bend sets the camber of the tires. Camber is the angle of the axle shaft to the ground. The axles have a positive camber.
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Old 01-13-2003, 02:50 PM   #9
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Makes sense! I'll have to look again but I only remember one being noticeably bent, although the other may have been slightly bent. Maybe the different axles required a different bend??

I should be going back up to check on her within the next couple of weeks, and I'll try to remember to take my camera... (I'll also look at the camber of the wheels, if it's a serious problem it might even be noticable...)

Thanks again!!
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Old 12-11-2007, 11:33 PM   #10
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Axle bent up

I have noticed the same thing on my 68 overlander. I have also seen it on many other trailers , including my boat trailer, so I think it is normal.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason1101
When checking out my "new" '76 Sovereign before purchase, I noticed one of the axles is bent "up" in the center. (To within 2-3" of the belly if memory serves me) The torsion arms still have plenty of negative angle and both look similarly loaded on each side.

Will the bent axle funtion as originally designed? Can it/should it be rebuilt/straightened?

We're not planning on major travel with the new AS, just to and from the hunting club 100 miles each way once a year. This is NOT to imply I want to shirk any safety responsibilities, this is just for a frame of reference.

Thanks for any input!
A properly aligned "torsion" axle, will have the square tube bent upwards in the middle, or very close to it. That bend alters the caster camber. The correct caster camber is 3/4 degrees, plus or minus 3/4 degree. That means the bottom of the tires should be closer together than the top of the tires, from side to side of the trailer.

If the square axle tube does not have a bend, then that axle is not properly aligned.

The axle tube is also slightly bent rearward, to achieve proper "toe in." Proper toe in is 1/8 inch, plus or minus 1/8 inch. However, a zero toe in on one side and a 1/4 toe in on the other side, is not acceptable. All the toe ins should be the same, for proper tire wear.

Andy
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:40 AM   #12
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This is a very old thread but Andy's reply is dead on. However, I have never seen a 2x4 used to measure it. The 2x4 would have to be very straight. A 6 foot metal level that is really straight would be better but assumes there is no bending of the arms or spindle of the axle to mess up the chamber. A better suggestion (if no Airstream dealer were not available) would be to take the unit to a truck alignment shop that has the proper equipment to directly measure the camber using the chamber gauge which is placed directly on the rims of the tires.
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