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Old 04-26-2006, 10:42 AM   #1
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Question New axle, wheels, brakes, etc for '65 Globetrotter

Ok,

I may be a newbie here and to Airstreams in general but after reading all of the threads on axles my head is spinning!

After seeing discussions about axle failures my wife and I have decided to start at the bottom with the running gear and just make everything new. What I am confused about is who carries the correct axle and related parts (wheels, brakes, etc) for our '65 Globetrotter? Do I call Axis, Dexter or Inland? Maybe there is more than one correct answer??

Someone help!

thanks!
Jim
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Old 04-26-2006, 11:51 AM   #2
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I just spent an hour reading all the axle post last night as well. I too have a 1965 (Caravel). I checked the repacked the bearings before I pulled mine. And added new tires. My trailer is from dry CA and the axle has no rust damage. My plan is to check the brakes and replace the shocks. I am not positive my axel is original. There are a few things that lead me to belive it may have been replaced. I would love to see a picture of another 5 lug 1965 caravel axel to compare.
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Old 04-26-2006, 11:59 AM   #3
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all three are "correct."

Inland will get you the right axle from Henschen, it will fit perfectly, but will be the highest price. If you want an axle with no guesswork, Inland is the source.

Dexter will measure your axle and ship the new axle to their distributor. It will fit, but will require some drilling (I also assume there is some difference with the bracket, which may mean the axle doesn't sit up against the C frame member like the Henschen [Inland] and Axis do--you'll have to see what they say at the Dexter distributor). They will also install for you, at an additional cost.

Axis is about the same price as Dexter and will ship directly to you (so you've got an additional shipping cost). A number of people have had great luck with Axis--others have had discrepancies. One issue with Axis is you have to do all the measurements yourself. Their order form is not totally comprehensive, so you might feel that there are missing dimensions. Despite this, mine came back exactly as I wanted it, including the slightly shorter overall length. You can see where I stand with my Axis axle project at the thread "new axis axle." The axle is going back to Axis (at their expense--they're as interested in what happened as I am) for analysis, which will require a couple weeks turnaround.

For the time being I'm sticking with Axis because the next set of axles will have disc brakes and I like the Kodiak units that they use. I also like their axle bracket--it's identical to the one on my original axle, except for the forward hole spacing noted in "new axis axle."
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Old 04-26-2006, 02:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaravelBrian
I just spent an hour reading all the axle post last night as well. I too have a 1965 (Caravel). I checked the repacked the bearings before I pulled mine. And added new tires. My trailer is from dry CA and the axle has no rust damage. My plan is to check the brakes and replace the shocks. I am not positive my axel is original. There are a few things that lead me to belive it may have been replaced. I would love to see a picture of another 5 lug 1965 caravel axel to compare.
Brian I looked at your trailer and got much of my info from www.vintageairstream.com . THe axle was ONE of my main concerns. On this site he states... "The only way to tell is at your next bearing lube, check to see if you have a tapered inner bearing. So far, no one can give me any sure dates on the changeover. It only seems to occur on the 5 bolt small axle used on the Caravel, too. While the larger 6 bolt axles may be susceptible, there just doesn't seem to be reports of it occurring."

Wasn't sure if yours had been replaced or not and didn't have the money to change it out right away.
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Old 04-26-2006, 07:52 PM   #5
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Ref. Forem...Wheels and tires 65 Caravel.

I stand by my research and the decision made not to change axels...yet.
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Old 04-27-2006, 06:07 PM   #6
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You guys with the 1965 units, are you sure the axles need to be replaced?

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Old 04-27-2006, 06:42 PM   #7
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Way to go Action!! A mind of your own!!!

If it (axel) needs to be replaced...replace it....otherwise don't just fall into the panic mode. As I said in my other post....I researched all the sites and references and only found 2 (two) failures....both in 1965's. Bad...Yes, but not systemic requiring an all out panic to replace axels. If the axel shows wear and fatigue of the rubber...consider replacement. If you have time, money and nothing else to do....replace it.
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Old 04-27-2006, 07:36 PM   #8
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If you are not sure, Indland RV has a website that will walk you through the process of a visual inspection to see if you need to consider replacing a torsion axle or axles.

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Old 04-27-2006, 09:03 PM   #9
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Hello everyone,

This subject on the caravel axle seems to be somthing that needs to be considered as a serious situation in regard to the 65 model with 5 lug wheels.Some here suggest their is false panic and irational replacing of the axle, the rubber rods or not what the concern is about ,ok? It is the fracturing of the spindle .No other airstream that anyone it seems has heard of has the problem. If I read 2 0r however many of a peticular trailer/axle has had this trouble ,I would pay attention ! Why discount the reality of this failure? Melody Ranch says dont do it,How many failures do you need to research to be satisfide that the spindles are a concern, and a potential failure?It is not panic mode ,its reality ,Which cannot be change no matter how much we hope it wont happen .Seeing the side of a beautiful caravel torn apart would be enough for most to take note .You cant inspect the axle carefully enough to say well, I dont see anything cracking. It does not appear to be the case that the 66 or newer caravels are affected.It will not be the 6 bolt spindle. The inner bearing type also denotes the axle thats prone to break. Pretending it is not a problem is a mistake.I also would not discount others experiences with this as a fluke ,Melody ranch can leave the axle untouched ,thats fine.Thats one persons choice,but dont ignor the facts.

Scott
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Old 04-27-2006, 11:41 PM   #10
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I cannot speak for any other model but, the original Caravel axles have a design flaw that allows the spindle to work harden and eventually break off at the torision arm. It happened to mine and a few others I noticed. If the torision arm does not drop when you take the load off , it is BAD. If it doesn't ( has some spring left in it ), I would just repack or replace the bearings as needed. The easiest way to do the brakes is buy new loaded backing plates, if yours are original, I would go this route. Ditch the split rims, get new shocks and tires and your good to go.

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Old 04-28-2006, 08:53 AM   #11
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Thanks for the advice Chris. I am not opposed to replacing the axle if it is needed. I will do a thourough check this weekend. Split rims are long gone and new tires. I plan to pull the wheels to replace the brakes and bearings.
On A good note I have made great progress since I bought the trailer Easter sunday. I have ordered all polishing supplies. Already stripped the clear coat using Bix. Had both couches rebuilt exactly as they were with era correct fabric. I had curtains and pillows made to match. My upholstery girl was very fast and had it all done 4 days from when I dropped it off. I fixed a couple of water lines that looked suspect. All gas systems checked out but I need new tanks. I may be camping in this old girl within weeks.
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Old 04-28-2006, 09:51 AM   #12
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Hey Brian sounds like I missed a good one. But also sounds like you have more time and $$ than I do at this point. I hope I find one again inthat shape when the timing is right. (actually still bitter about letting it go) Did you ever get the title for the trailer?

I also wondered if the patch around the tire was a sign of a past axle failure, and maybe replacement??
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:09 PM   #13
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dkutz, I got lucky. The trailer was very sound, straight and solid. A few little issues like the patch. I actually do not find that to be a very big deal. After it is polished you would have to be looking for the patch. I can always do a panel replacement later but I am not that anal. I just want a good , CLEAN place to sleep while camping. I am getting the bugs worked out of the systems but will probably use them very little in the type of camping I do. I camp most weekends in the summertime but have an old jeep and a tent that are fun for that. The trailer is for overnights at classic car shows and swap meets. I will get some photos of the trailer when I get it pulled out of the shed I am keeping it in out of the sun while I polish.
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:59 PM   #14
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I have seen comments on the axle issue here that seems to imply that if you have more money than brains change your axle >If it makes you feel warm and fuzzy ,change the axle ,If its right for YOU ,change the axle .Yet another post here about an axle failure on a caravel .The decision better not be about the money ,it should be about making sure the 65 caravel ONLY,has a replaced axle ,not original .A dexter replacement is not that expensive to do.Any one that is on the fence ,should look for the link for R J Dials axle failure on Mertle the caravel ,look at the damage ,look at the failed spindle ,decide if they want to take the chance and not worry about it .These trailers are 46 years old ,so although it is more fun to polish it and redo the interior ,and it is !! The axle does require replacement if not already done ,again thats just the how it is ,and I dont understand the ho hum feel about replacing it ,but you need to make up your own mind .These are the knowledge sharing forums , and this is it.

Scott
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