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Old 05-12-2014, 10:56 AM   #1
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Leaf Spring axles/trailer sitting low

I am finished. YYYYAAAAAHOOOO with my 1960 AirStream restoration. My thread is located on Overlander 1958 to 1960 . It is called my Son's 1960 overlander restoration.

Here is what I am posting about. I am ready to take it to the local mom and pop axle shop to have them check out the axles and electric brakes. They are hadco axles and it is the last thing I need to do. I was looking at how low my trailer sits. I am worried about the Aluminium cylinders that hold the sewage hose hitting a speed bump and ripping them off.

I have always read those 1960 leaf springs have special dimensions for a better less bouncy ride. Is that true??? I would like to jack up the trailer some inches so It is higher off the ground. The leaf springs look fine, but I am not an expert. I looked on the net at bad leaf springs and good leaf springs. They look fine. The trailer shop I go to sells leaf springs and I can always get new ones, but would it be harder on the trailer with leaf springs that don't have the orginal specs. I want to keep the leaf springs because the trailer is restored to its orginal state.

Brian
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:01 AM   #2
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A good spring shop can reshape your springs to orgnial shape
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:19 AM   #3
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Depending on how they are mounted, you can get spacer blocks to raise the trailer off the axles a couple of inches.
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:42 PM   #4
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Go to a spring shop and have them make new ones. Reshaping an old spring is just that reshaping and old spring.
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:01 PM   #5
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Un-do the shackles and mount the axle under the springs. Re fasten the shackles. (You may need some newer, longer shackles.)
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:13 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your feed back. I am so ready to get this trailer out and about.

Brian
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:05 PM   #7
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As far as the original springs being less bouncy, that is just a function of the number of leaves, their length, and the thickness of the individual leafs. If you have a spring shop fabricate new springs using the same leaf dimensions you will get the same ride quality as the original.
I had the springs on my '59 inspected, rebuilt, and added a leaf on each side. It's an easy task for a good spring shop.
You don't want to buy off-the-shelf springs from Northern Tool or Tractor Supply, they won't be the same size or quality.
You can't just take of the shackles and move the springs over the axle. That would require cutting off the perches and rewelding them. Not hard if you are a welder.
I wouldn't bother having the springs re-arched. Like Howie said, that's just a temporary fix.
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:13 PM   #8
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Brian,

Did you add a significant amount of weight to that trailer? Could explain why it's a bit lower, if you did.

But whatever, the advice about a good spring shop is really the way to go.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:58 AM   #9
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There is not anymore weight. It is still orginal. Only thing I changed was the old with the new. New appliances, furnance and hotwater heater. I took out the tile floor and put in a 1/4" wood floor.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:18 AM   #10
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Another thing to consider is the brake parts for your original axle are no longer available. Your original axle probably has a drop of 2.5 to 4 inches, so having a new axle made with no drop will raise the trailer by that amount and get you new brakes in the bargain for only a little more than ordering new brakes and backing plates. you can also choose between 10 inch or 12 inch brakes at the time you order. I suspect the new axle will be lighter than the old cast iron version for a net weight savings.
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:37 PM   #11
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Thanks Tim:

Honestly I should just bite the bullet and by some new axels.

Brian
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