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.