I've had axle questions peppered throughout my build thread (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f417...ero-70994.html
) over the past year or more, but I think it would helpful to bring that under one thread. This is on a 1948
14' Boles Aero.
The trailer came with a non-original torsion axle and older electric brakes. Best guess is that it was from the 60s. There is very little life left in the suspension and so a new axle would bring better suspension and peace of mind. Now that I've rebuilt a most of the trailer, I don't want to take risks on the structural issues.
The axle that sits on their now looks like it rests at 10 degrees up. With the wheels off and no weight on it, it looks about level with the frame.
I have 16" wheels and 225/75R16 tires on it. Taking the tires off is a bit of a challenge as the Boles does not have an open wheel well. The frame rests about 16-1/2" off the ground.
I weighed it earlier this week and with a moderate load it weighed in at 2380. I could see adding a few hundred pounds at most. I can also see trimming it down slightly.
I spoke with a Dexter distributor a couple of times and just put in an order for a new 3500# Torflex axle with brakes and 22.5 down starting angle. I was originally thinking about 10 degree down, but I have heard that 22.5 down gives a better ride. Does anyone have opinions on the torsion start angle?
It should add about 3" to the ride height. 10 degrees down would add about 2" so it is not a big difference. I do like the ride height where it is now. The 16" wheels contribute to that.
I have thought about going down to 15" wheels but I have heard the tire choices are better at 16". I am going with a 6 on 5.5" bolt pattern so I can use the existing wheels. 15" wheels would keep the ride height at a more desirable level and look more appropriate on the trailer, but that is a secondary concern to safety/function. Any thoughts on wheel/tire size?
Lastly on the axle specs, I was interested in down-rating the 3500# axle to 3000# as I don't ever anticipate ever going over 3000# on the trailer. And while towing 10% or so of that weight would be taken up by the hitch. The rep kept telling me it was the same cost so I might as well go with the 3500#. I'm interested in the best ride/efficiency of the axles. She stated that the 3500# axle functions fully down to about 2200#. Any thoughts on down rating with the weights I have?
The previous axle is welded on all four sides of its mounting plate. I'm assuming its going to be a pain to get off. I had originally thought that I would get the new axle welded on, but it sounds like welding the axle once the rubber rods are installed is a bad ideal. Is bolt-on installation the (only) way to go?
Thanks for the all the advice. This should really help out with some peace of mind while towing. I took it home from California to Texas on the original axle after checking and re-greasing the hubs and disconnecting the brakes - it was an empty box at that point. I've since hauled it up to Colorado. It has worked fine, but I can tell the suspension is a bit stiff. Just using the brakes of the TV has worked well too, but the new brakes should increase the safety margin. Just need to look into a brake controller, etc. now.