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Old 06-06-2017, 05:13 PM   #1
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1957 26' Overlander
Moscow , Idaho
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Looking for straight axle to replace original HADCO on my '58 Flying Cloud

Hi all,
I've read and understand the advantages of the Dura Torque axle and how much smoother the ride is.
With that said, I just love the article that - I am sure many of you have read - on Vintage Airstream and that is what I would like to do with my '58 Flying Cloud
http://http://vintageairstream.com/r...f-spring-axle/

Does anybody have advice whom to ask/or where to order a complete straight axle as is used in that replacement? I want to replace shackles, bolts and bushings but keep my original springs. My trailer has not been moved much and the springs look really good.
Thanks for any info/expertise you can share.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:26 AM   #2
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1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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Getting a torsion axle to replace your solid drop axle would be difficult at best.

Getting a new straight axle is easy. Look for a trailer shop. Or shop on line. You will need to know the load capacity, mounting type and axle side to side dimension. Those kinds of shops will have all of the other parts you want as well, based on specification - not application. You will need dimensions to order those parts.

I believe the original axle is a drop axle and you want a straight one to increase ride height?

BTW Your link didn't work for me.

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Old 06-07-2017, 11:26 AM   #3
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1957 26' Overlander
Moscow , Idaho
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Hi,
thanks so much for your reply. Yes I am looking to just replace with a straight axle and I have all those parameters. I guess I was looking for other folks who have done the same and how they liked their results. I was also wonder about experiences with different axle manufacturers/quality.

On the other hand I will ask Andy's advice but I have a pretty good idea about what he will recommend
Yes, I want to increase ride height - a little maybe 3 inches give it or take. I like the idea of the trailer being a little higher off the ground, however I am also aware of the airstream-SUV posts in the axle forum and the fact that center of gravity will rise too with probably not so great consequences.

I reentered the link (hopefully working now).
http://vintageairstream.com/rebuildi...f-spring-axle/
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Old 06-07-2017, 01:59 PM   #4
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1966 26' Overlander
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Thanks for the link. That one worked.

Maybe some users that have the older trailers can chime in. There isn't a lot of them, unfortunately.

Doing this type of axle change is rather easy as compared to torsion axle. And you will have one similar issue, rusted bolts. Plan on obtaining new fasteners no matter if they break or come out in one piece. Fasteners are not expensive and yet a broken used on can mess up a vacation.

If it were me the first consideration would be to buy an axle with 125% or more load capacity than total expected. Then price. Local trailer shops may yield a less total price since shipping one to your location would be more than shipping a truck load to a store. Or so it would seem.

Good luck my friend.

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Old 06-07-2017, 02:05 PM   #5
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A store like https://www.trailersplus.com/trailer-dealerships/

Unfortunately Post Falls is the closest. And the 100 mile one way may be worth the drive versus shipping. Worth the look see.

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Old 06-07-2017, 02:25 PM   #6
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Experience

The PO of my (now sold) 55 Flying Cloud replaced the drop axle with a straight axle, presumably for increased ground clearance. Brand unknown. It sat on some pretty tall leaf springs but towed beautifully. I doubt the small change in center of gravity made much difference. Never bottomed out once and much easier to work underneath (like installing gray water tank and replacing belly pan).
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:58 PM   #7
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I replaced my Hadco axle with a Dexter axle. I added a leaf to the existing spring pack and increased the axle size to 5200#.

I would recommend having the springs taken apart and inspected even if you don't add leaves. Having a good spring shop do the rebuild will also get you to a good source for new bushings, hangers, bolts and hardware.

I ordered the axle from Pioneer Wheel and Rim. Shipping was free to their warehouse where I picked them up.

I don't think you can beat the ride of leaf springs. I kept with a 4" drop on mine but I like the low floor, and the low-rider look. I don't do off-road trails.
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Old 06-07-2017, 03:24 PM   #8
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Can you even put a straight axle on it? Is the the original a drop axle? If a straight one will fit, then you might find one the right width at Tractor supply or Northern Tool. A local trailer builder can probably get what you want. What is wrong with the old axle? They make repair spindles that can be replaced by a weld shop. I could not get your link to open.

Perry
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:46 PM   #9
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1957 26' Overlander
Moscow , Idaho
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Thank you all so much!
I looked at the Dexter 5200# earlier and that is exactly what I was thinking about.

Action, thanks also for the Post Falls suggestion. I hadn't even thought about ordering locally but I am aware of the shipping costs and so picking up locally will save me quite a bit of money. That shop also seems to have Dexter brake assemblies, drums and hubs, all of which I want to order too.
I am sure they can also help me with U bolts, shackles and bushings once I measure mine.

Markdoane, I will inquire about a spring shop and see what they say. it is a good suggestion and I didn't even think about adding a leaf.

We used the trailer for the first time over the Memorial Day weekend and it towed great. However, just for the safety of it, the axle/bearings/brakes have to be redone. After all, the trailer is almost 60 years old.

And it is has to happen asap because that camping trip turned my wife and my older daughter into absolute Aluminum-believers
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:44 PM   #10
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Don't replace the axle because it is old! There are no real wear parts except the spindle. And the possibility of the spindle being bad I very low. New bearings, brakes may be backing plates sure.

If you do decide to replace the axle because of ground clearance, that old axle is still good and some one may pay you for it. A purest may want an original HADCO. Not likely they are being made any more.

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Old 06-08-2017, 05:33 PM   #11
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1981 31' Excella II
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Worst case is you could have the old axle sand blasted and magnefluxed or etched and dye penetrant put on it to check for cracks.

Perry
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:53 PM   #12
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1977 Argosy 28
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Smile Don't need new axle

+1 to having springs inspected. They may find broken leaves; common occurrence. However, replacement leaves may be difficult to find.
Cheaper way to increase clearance, move the axle to under the spring. We do this at work and I did it to my car carrier. Big advantage: the U-bolts are no longer under tensile stress; the trailer weight is resting on the axle. Much stronger. Fewer broken U-bolts. When the axle is atop the spring, the weight of the trailer is on the spring, suspended below the axle, held there by the relatively flimsy U-bolts in tension. I've never seen anything that was as strong in tension as it is in compression.
Another advantage to putting the spring atop the axle is increased wheel travel. The axle can only travel a couple inches before it hits the frame. (This was only 1/2" on my car carrier.) With the axle out of the way, you can enjoy the extra 2" of travel before the spring hits the frame.
You'll need longer shocks.
Buy a pneumatic rattle wrench to remove the rusted old nuts and bolts. Some may need to be cut off. Don't expect it to be easy or clean.
Speaking of clean, wear eye protection. The rust comes off ballisticly.

Enjoy your adventures in your trailer, ride hard and shoot straight!
- Dave, the Scourge of the ION
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Old 06-08-2017, 09:28 PM   #13
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Springs can be made from scratch if need be. The leaves can be bought and cut to fit. I like spring axles because they can be fixed and maintained.

Perry
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