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Old 10-15-2017, 08:44 PM   #1
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1969 31' Sovereign
Satellite Beach , Florida
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Looking for axel replacement tips

69' Sovereign 31' Anyone have any pointers/lessons learned about replacing axles. I have a few weeks to get ready but I am specifically curios as to whether or not it can be done by one person, additionally, how much of a pain is it welding the shock mounting brackets in their location.
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:01 PM   #2
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I am just before ordering new axles for my trailer. I considered Inland RV and spoke with Andy several times, but ultimately decided not to order from Inland. I e-mailed Colin, but got no response. While digging around on the Dexter web site, I saw that one of their distributors was one my local Mom and Pop parts place dealt with. I'm going to order from them.

I am concerned about damage to the rubber rods while welding the shock mounts to the pivot arms. If I can get the axles from Dexter with the shock mounts installed I will. Otherwise I will try the axles without shocks. Dexter says they are not necessary due to the hysteresis of the rubber rods, and I have had several owners tell me they have changed axles, not fitted shocks, and the trailer towed well.

Several outlets on line have Dexter order forms. You can inspect and measure your trailer, fill out the form, and order axles. That is what I'm going to do. In my case there is no delivery charge. The distributor will deliver the axles to my parts house with their regular deliveries which occur about once a week. I was thinking about installing them myself, but I'm leaning to letting the parts place do it. They specialize in trailer parts and repairs. If I do it I have to pick up the axles, transport them to my house, unload them, and install them. I think the labor quote I have gotten is a good deal.

Al
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:25 PM   #3
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Is there a reliable source for axles now that Inland is in new ownership hands and Colin has dropped off the face of the earth? I have a friend that needs an axle for his 66 single axle.
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:27 PM   #4
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The welding for the shock mounts is not in the area the rubber rods are so no worries there. The torsion rods are in the axle beam and the shock mounts are on the pivot arms. The work can be done solo no problem, good use of a floor jack essential. The hardest part of doing mine was loading the old axles into my truck to haul to the dump. Possible preparation might be to spray lube the existing mounting hardware for disassembly, might be of help and might not as mine needed the sawsall. Yes get new mounting hardware.
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:29 PM   #5
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All things considered, I am going through Airstream Supply, call them up, give them year make and model and they can set you up with the right axle replacement for your AS. For two complete dexter axles, including brakes, hubs, and a few other odds and ends, wasn't much more than what others are charging. Just need a commercial address to deliver to.
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:32 PM   #6
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By much I mean like $100 difference. May be best to go to a trailer dealer and work out the delivery with them. Downfall, doesn't come with shock mounting brackets installed.
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:35 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info AlinCal, figured as much about the floor jack, have a couple on standby
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Old 10-15-2017, 10:12 PM   #8
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Tractor supply is a Dexter dealer, as is etrailer, and redneck trailer supply.
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:09 AM   #9
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I notice from some of the other posts by the OP that you might be doing a shell-off. If you are, and you are planning on replacing your axles while the shell is off, my recommendation would be to flip the frame upside down, and replace the axles that way. When I did mine, it was a one man job, and having the frame upside down made the job quite easy--no jacking/supporting, etc.

good luck!
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:04 PM   #10
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Axle

Yes u can do alone, but quite a chore w/o all the right equipment.
I did order an axle from Inland and they sent me the wrong size. Refused to take it back until I convinced him it may not be his error. After much anguish, they checked and found Redneck made the error and Redneck replaced it in a week and gave me a credit for picking up the new one and dropping off the old. Redneck really came thru for me. The fellow I bought it from was totally not customer friendly.
Good luck.
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:29 PM   #11
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I am one of those who regrets ordering from Andy with Inland RV. Colin was too busy to return calls but I did confer with him after ordering. He confirmed what other experts and Dexter advised, no shocks needed. I installed new axle myself after the auto shop refused to unload it from the delivery truck. I used a floor jack from Harbor Freight with a crossbar to provide support at two places, see attached. The added board in the middle was to get the bolt holes horizontal. With the increased angle and mounting bracket, the trailer is 3" higher than original, a desirable feature in my opinion.
Jim
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:55 PM   #12
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Get two floor jacks and strong a helper. It will really make positioning the axles easier. You can both go up at the same time and everything stays level and you can push the axle into the slot without it binding.

Second tip: If you have to drill out any holes be very, very careful. It takes a big drill to chuck the bit necessary for the bolts (5/8 if I remember). You will be drilling in an awkward position under the trailer and when the drill bit penetrates the frame rail it tends to bind (bit stops but the drill will slam you hand with tremendous force). Honestly, it could break your wrist. Be aware and have a strong grip on the drill and the handle.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRF0st3r View Post
I am one of those who regrets ordering from Andy with Inland RV. Colin was too busy to return calls but I did confer with him after ordering. He confirmed what other experts and Dexter advised, no shocks needed. I installed new axle myself after the auto shop refused to unload it from the delivery truck. I used a floor jack from Harbor Freight with a crossbar to provide support at two places, see attached. The added board in the middle was to get the bolt holes horizontal. With the increased angle and mounting bracket, the trailer is 3" higher than original, a desirable feature in my opinion.
Jim
Thanks Jim,

Great to hear that Colin supports leaving the shocks off. Combine that with Dexter's recommendation and that is a slam dunk for me. I'll be ordering axles from a local shop in early November. By any chance do you have a copy of your Redneck order form? There are a couple of questions on there that I'm not sure I know the answer to.

What angle did you get? I was leaning to 32 degrees instead of the OEM 22.5 but 32 is not an option on the Redneck form I've got.

My axles are rated at 4400#. Andy's recommendation (before he sold the shop) was to go to 5000#. Airstream supply also recommended 5000. I have seen general recommendations that one could go up 5% to 10%.

So I am ordering beam only with brake flange (planning to fit new disc brakes in place of my current drums) 5000# axles with 32 degree drop. I'll make all the measurements, but I'm not sure about the things like spindle length, camber, etc.

Al
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:21 PM   #14
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It's not a hard job, 2 jacks a plus, I used some blocks of wood to help hold it in place. I was working alone, my trailer only has one axle, it took about 3 hrs , I drilled my holes with a cordless drill and a small hole saw.
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