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Old 04-06-2015, 04:15 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
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New Axles?

I was told I should replace the axels to my 74 Sovereign just because they are 40 years old. I was quoted $3100 for new axles, bearings, drums, and shocks. Any opinions?
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:23 PM   #2
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Welcome tot he Forums!

I would agree, that if you have the original axles, then they are ready to be replaced. The suspension springiness is provided by rubber rods in the torsion axles, and by this time of their lives, they are bound to be hardened, and have lost their travel.

Is that price for just the parts, or does it include installation? If it is just for parts, then I would suggest that the price is about twice what I would expect to pay. If it includes installation, then I would say it is still on the high side, but maybe not completely out of whack.

good luck!
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:33 PM   #3
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Is that a quote from the service center in Jackson Center? Is that "complete, out the door" or just the axles?
Includes the self-adjusting brakes?

It would help to know what you were quoted for...

Mike
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:46 PM   #4
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Smile new axles

Quote:
Originally Posted by mill1301 View Post
I was told I should replace the axels to my 74 Sovereign just because they are 40 years old. I was quoted $3100 for new axles, bearings, drums, and shocks. Any opinions?
Phone Colin Hyde for axsis axles. Your year should be strait bolt up, caveat put shocks on before raising axles into place. They are rite rubber rods in old axles are hard & not any good. When I replaced my axles pur. from Colin incl. shipping they were not any near the price of above, also Colin has all specs. No hassle as far as measuring etc. He has web site also member on forums. Also Dexter req. welding of shock brackets where axsis every thing is done bolts incl but no shocks. Older AS dif. story but 74 no prob. The ones I pur have never lube hubs, auto adjust brakes & 12 inch drums [brakes] not 10 inch. Google Colin Hyde should bring his web site. If you are mech. inclined you can change yourself as not hard job many posts by people that have did changed there own. I did mine by my self no help, when I was a little over 77 yrs. old, I did not jack up AS but pulled onto boards high enough to raise 1 axle at a time. Bill
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Old 04-06-2015, 05:47 PM   #5
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...ke-133219.html

Thread right below yours I just posted on new axles/tires on my 76 Sovereign. PM me with a phone number and I will walk you through it.
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:27 AM   #6
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thank you! the quote is for parts and installation. the quote is from p and s trailer service in helena ohio. real nice group who have already gone out of their way for me. this was the only part in the restoration process that i considered doing professionally since i truly have no idea what i am doing. looks like i just need a good community of airstream owners to get me through it! i will look into all these contacts.. thank you again!
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:08 PM   #7
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P&S has a pretty sterling reputation hereabouts. I think you are in good hands and, while the cost is a big old "ouchy", at least you know it is done correctly and you can tow off into the sunset safely and confidently.

Enjoy the journey,

Mike
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:55 PM   #8
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That price might include just a little bit of BPCF*.




*Boat Payment Correction Factor
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:31 PM   #9
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I replaced 3 axles on my 34' last year. Axles were 4000#, complete with all parts, new shocks, and all labour, for a bill of $3802.74 taxes included. This was done in South Dakota. Hopefully this will give you some idea. You might as well put new tires on at the same time if they are more than 5 years old. You will be worry free for a few years then!!!! Chris
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:22 PM   #10
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If I may add a question to this thread.... Did any of you need to have the axles aligned before installation, or do they come pre-stressed based on load and application? Bolting up seems really easy - almost too easy! Thanks!
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:58 PM   #11
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No alignment should be necessary, if the frame is not bent. They simply bolt them on at the factory. No alignment necessary.
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:09 AM   #12
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The work is not hard if you have a place to set her up with room to work around and have the tools. At least a 3 ton rolling floor jack is critical and 5 ton jack stands made for a very sturdy set up. Once I got her up on the stands I tried to push her off to the side and she was solid as the 5 ton stands have larger footprint.

I had pulled her about 7000 miles before I determined the original axles had taken a set and there was no abnormal tire wear so I moved on the assumption the factory knew how to set the frames up and position the mounting plates properly and I was going to do nothing to change the bolt holes in that plate.

I believe my axles (5200 lb each) were right around 1500.00 for the pair picked up at a distribution point. See my thread on changing the hub face measurement to move tires more outboard on one wheel well.

Working completely by myself the first axle took about 10 hours to mount up I had and was moving cautiously and thinking through each operation.

The second one took four hours as I had the game plan down.

I was up in Nashville last month for NRA Show and there were two more ASs on the site.

I talked to one and his was a older one like ours and I was telling him about the axle change I did and he came over a couple days later asking if he could look at the change out and I got a mat out and we slid up under her and I gave him the full tour.

He was a farmer from Ohio and had a complete shop and I told him when he got home send me a email and I would send him the sequence photos I took and he contacted me and I sent them and he said he was going to get with the change outs.

The trip to Nashville was 455 miles each way over some very rough spots and it was the nicest riding trip I ever pulled her on.

Looking back on it now the only thing I would change had I realized how bad off the axles were was to buy 8 lug axles and rims but as I had already gone to the heavy 16" LT tires and bought new 6 lug rims thus I was kind of stuck with using what I had.

Obviously the 8 lug wheels to a lot of folks are unsightly but I'll take durability and reliability over eye candy every time and having same wheels/tires on the ground on both the 2500HD and the AS would make for eliminating spares as I carry two for each.

The 2500HD is a gas burner and I averaged 11 1/4 MPG on the road and I am quite pleased with that in that there are mountains to be negotiated in the directions I need to travel.
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:07 AM   #13
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I had my two axles changed at JC last summer. I upgraded from 4,000-lb axles to 4,500 lb axles, went with nevr-lube bearings and self-adjusting brakes. The price was $1,500 per axle including all parts, labor, alignment and taxes.
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