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Old 08-21-2012, 11:00 AM   #1
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Looking at buying. What do you think of axles?

This is a 75 33 foot with a rear bath. What do you think of the axles?

The front end is lifted by the jack here but what do you think?

Thanks
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:49 AM   #2
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Its tough to tell from this picture, especially since it isn't sitting level. You should ask the owner if the axles have ever been replaced. If not, then they probably need to be replaced after nearly 40 years. There are lots of threads on the forums that describe how to evaluate whether you need to replace axles, but most of them require you to get under the coach so you can see the angle of the axle arm, or to jack it up to see how much travel you get when you take the load off the axle.

Replacement axles can run around $800 apiece, but doing the replacement is actually one of the easier "major" projects I have done. The cost of the two axles together may seem high, but it is just the tip of the iceberg compared to replacing subflooring, repairing the frame, etc.. These trailers were notorious for rear end sag/separation. If you are looking to buy it, do a quick search for "inspection checklists" on the forums, to see the many items that you will want to check out prior to a purchase.

Good luck.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:45 PM   #3
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The definitive tests are the ones Belegedhel mentioned, looking at the angle of the axle arm and jacking up the trailer to measure axle movement.

My Argosy is in the shop as I write this, with fresh axles just installed. I had plenty of clearance but the arms were essentially level when the trailer was empty (should still have a bit of down angle) and the range of motion was VERY limited when I lifted the trailer. My interior was taking a beating and most of the rivets in the belly pan had worn through the skins, rubber doesn't last forever.

The longest of the '75s were 31 feet. In long rear-bath 70s trailers, pay special attention to the condition of the frame and its attachment to the shell at the rear, what's known on the forums as "Rear separation." This is considerably more involved to fix than replacing the axles.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:02 PM   #4
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Thank you for the replies. The rear end does have some rotting of the plywood. It has some separation but I don't know what too much is? That is the danger of too much separation?
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:45 AM   #5
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Sorry that should be what is the danger of too much seperation?
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:05 AM   #6
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Any kind is BAD. It means taking the bathroom out, to replace the floor and fix it properly. Is there any kind of sag in the rear? I would get the trailer level and take a four foot level in the trailer and put it on the floor in the back. This will tell you if the frame is bent or not.

These are things that should effect the price. And is this something you want to take on?
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EFunnyFarm
Sorry that should be what is the danger of too much seperation?
The danger is a bent frame or rotten, rusted out frame. I had a bent frame and bad axles on my 68. It. Scams a shell off restoration to fix it right.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:50 AM   #8
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If you have rotting floor along the back wall, then you likely already have rear-end separation. One way to really see the problem is to pull off the extruded molding that wraps around the exterior of the trailer near the bottom of the panels, then you can see the rivets that connect the rear of the shell to a metal flange that is bolted to the frame. Your seller will likely not want to do this.

One way to get an indication of the problem is to have someone stand on the rear bumper and bounce up and down. if you can see the bumper and frame move independent of the shell, then there is already rear end separation.

As mentioned above, this isn't an easy fix, but it is a common problem for the 70's era trailers. Just make sure you know what you are getting if you buy this trailer. A lot of problems can be disguised with laminate flooring laid over rotting subfloor.

Good Luck.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EFunnyFarm View Post
This is a 75 33 foot with a rear bath. What do you think of the axles?

The front end is lifted by the jack here but what do you think?

Thanks
Ball park, you should see about 3 inches of the tires, "above" the top of the wheels.

Andy
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:00 AM   #10
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Hello,
I will throw this comment into the mix.... there is a older thread, but full of good information on what to look for when purchasing a Airstream... you might take a look at it and get additional ideas/suggestions. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...eam-22920.html

Good luck!
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