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Old 08-19-2008, 02:51 PM   #15
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1972 25' Tradewind
Gualala , California
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I need to chime in here, because we just got new axles for our 72 25' Tradewind yesterday, and boy are we happy! We got them at Inland RV.

Originally I wasn't going to do axles; they were too expensive....didn't really need them, etc. Then we brought 'Grace' down to San Diego from Sacramento. On that trip I became convinced that I had to look into it a little better. It was a really rough and bouncy ride, hard bounces I could feel.
I came home and researched. I reread the article posted on Inland RV, and checked out many of the discussions here on the forum. I checked it out. First, I considered the age, 32 years. The trailer had sat in storage for at least 3 years. The trailing arms were parallel to the ground and it was sitting a little low. There were other telltale signs as well: the rough ride and some pulled out rivets in one of the dividers.

So I decided to bite the bullet; Grace needed new axles. Unfortunately I could not do the work because it was in storage and I had no place for that kind of work, my truck is my shop. Fortunately Inland RV could, and they were only 100 miles away. My wife and I both took time off from work to do the trip to Corona.
We arrived at Inland RV at 7:15am and they got right on it. While there we met the staff and found some friendly, knowledgeable and helpful people. Andy gave us an extensive tour and answered all our questions and then some. What a valuable resource; that man has an impressive amount of knowledge based on experience and informational data. We even got some excellent tips from Greg, the hands on project manager and vp. He noticed that we were in the middle of a pretty intensive restoration/remodel and he had some great advice. What a good experience we had there, and we learned so much. We were all hooked up and on the road by 12:00.

Our drive home was near blissful; the difference is unbelievable, so smooth compared to the drive up there. We are real pleased with our whole axle experience. And we got the whole thing done for around $1600. Not bad considering that it includes 2 axles, new shocks, tax and labor.


When I get home tonight I'll post some comparison pics of the trailer height before and after.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:33 PM   #16
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Thats a good looking unit you got there Tin
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:05 PM   #17
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Here are those pics I promised. Quite a difference between the top two before pics and the other two afters.
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:20 PM   #18
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1978 28' Ambassador
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I also replaced both axles recently:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f173...y-41888-2.html

Here's a couple of 'after' pics...

We are now about 2-1/2 inches higher...I had to raise my TV's hitch up one set of holes in the hitch shank to compensate for the higher ride height.
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:17 AM   #19
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Replaced the axles on our 1981 Excella II weekend before last and it took four days with two people (we had all of the tools necessary). Andy is right about the fit and the jacking situation. Just pull the trailer front or rear wheels up on the blocks and the other axle is off the ground. Our problems began when we realized that two bolts per side of each axle go up through the pan. I assumed that the nuts on the other side had been tacked to the channel they sat in under the floor. We all know what happens when we assume. The nuts had not been tacked to the channel and would only turn when pressure was applied. To make a long story short measurements were made and holes were cut, some incorrectly and the axles were finally in place. Hopefully others will have better luck with the bolts through the pan than we did.
ok, edgeman, please give me further info on exactly how did you get the two bolts going up into the frame out. My PO must have done the same thing, and I would like to know how you did it. Cut into the bellypan?
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Old 08-20-2008, 02:43 AM   #20
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ok, edgeman, please give me further info on exactly how did you get the two bolts going up into the frame out. My PO must have done the same thing, and I would like to know how you did it. Cut into the bellypan?
The vertical bolts are not necessary.

The axle mounting bracket is designed for universal mounting.

Airstream and Henschen engineers, both say the same thing.

Basically, the top holes are designed so that you could mount the axle on the bottom of the frame, instead of an axle mounting plate, such as Airstream uses.

Adding the extra bolts does not offer any advantage, not even extra mounting strength.

Andy
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Old 08-24-2008, 06:59 PM   #21
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Since there were no previous holes cut in the floor I am unsure how the previous owner contributed to the installation of the bolts up through the floor without a body off floor replacement. I am the second owner and purchased this unit from the neice of the first owner through an inheritance. It sat in a barn for ten years before I purchased it in 2005. As we all know sitting in a barn for a long period of time is not a good thing. I agree with Andy that there is no need for the vertical bolts as the axles are held in place by the cuts in the frame and the fact that they cannot not move in any direction. Never the less some where along the line (I beleive the factory installed them) bolts were installed vertically on the assembly line for a period of time and the nuts were not tacked in the channel. Again I had to cut holes in the floor in very difficult locations to be able to place a wrench on the nuts to remove the axles before i could in stall the new axles. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of the locations but could take them after the fact if you needed them. for us it was a simple function of measuring the distances and you can come fairly close to the correct locations of the nuts. Good luck if you have to do the replacement.
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:38 PM   #22
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Since there were no previous holes cut in the floor I am unsure how the previous owner contributed to the installation of the bolts up through the floor without a body off floor replacement. I am the second owner and purchased this unit from the neice of the first owner through an inheritance. It sat in a barn for ten years before I purchased it in 2005. As we all know sitting in a barn for a long period of time is not a good thing. I agree with Andy that there is no need for the vertical bolts as the axles are held in place by the cuts in the frame and the fact that they cannot not move in any direction. Never the less some where along the line (I beleive the factory installed them) bolts were installed vertically on the assembly line for a period of time and the nuts were not tacked in the channel. Again I had to cut holes in the floor in very difficult locations to be able to place a wrench on the nuts to remove the axles before i could in stall the new axles. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of the locations but could take them after the fact if you needed them. for us it was a simple function of measuring the distances and you can come fairly close to the correct locations of the nuts. Good luck if you have to do the replacement.
According to Airstream, they "never" installed any torsion axles with vertical bolts.

Andy
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:48 PM   #23
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According to Airstream, they "never" installed any torsion axles with vertical bolts.

Andy
No disagreement from me I am just telling you what I had to deal with when my axle replacement occured. I do wish this had not been the case because the replacement would only taken a day. Trust me, my back wanted no part of vertical bolts.
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:50 PM   #24
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I'm a big "Andy" fan. I bought a 73 Excello in Chatanooga, Tn and noticed that the arms were above parallel. I pulled it home to Florida and scraped the rear on minimal bumps ie going into a gas station. There was no question I was going to get new axles. The choice was simple - Andy had plug and play. Shipped to my local carrier, jacked up the trailer, blaster (penetrating oil) the bolts and remove with an air impact. Roll out of the way with a floor jack and roll the new one into place. Bolt on the new bolts loosely and repeat on the next axle. Lowered the trailer to raise the axles on the frame and tightened the bolts. Put on the shocks and connected the brake wires. Took about three hours work with my 10 year old sons help. The ride is great, the brakes work great and my milage increased by 4-6 mpg.

I recommend this for any DIY. Dont forget to return the old axels to the salvage yard. I got $123 for the metal. Andy also though in an Airstream key chain - one of the nicest surprises ever. Thanks for all of you help, Andy.

Joe
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Old 08-30-2008, 07:26 PM   #25
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Tim and Mex you guys are going to get a nose bleed way up there.
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:41 PM   #26
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I replace the axles on the Overlander with a little help from my neighbor who has a asphalt drive.Did I mention Im 70 yrs old? With 4 peices of plank to drive up on/2 wheeldollys purchased from Harbor Freight and a floor jack and of course our impact wrenches. TOTAL TIME 2 1/2 hrs.With the new Henshens ordered thru Andy, I picked them up at the factory on my flat bed trailer.
A Piece-O-Cake I gained about 4 inches in higheth,enough so I had to lose the 4" BlueOX drop from the hitch.
We are very please with ANDY and the New Henshens.
Roger
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:47 AM   #27
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I'm leaning towards the DIY axles... although they have to come off again when someone else does the frame and floor work. Now, I haven't pulled the hubs off my current axles, but I'm guessing the brakes are shot as well. The PO also put a wire to the rear axles. He said it was something about making sure the brakes were getting juice. I hope my wiring back to the brakes isn't junk.
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:56 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Correct. We supply the grade 8 hardware with all of our axles. Bolts, nuts, lockwashers and flat washers are all grade 8.



Clean up any rust etc, and then paint the area completely.


No template needed. Simply drill the holes, one forward of the axle tube and two rearward of the axle tube.



1968 and back trailer axles will have the shock brackets not installed. Have them welded as you need them placed. There is a huge difference in shock bracket placement between the 2 plants as well as different models, as well as different years, therefore they must be field installed to allow the necessry clearance.

Then, the shocks can be installed later.

Also, once the brackets are in place, they can be bent outward to allow more clearance, if necessary. They can also be left in the bent position, as it will not cause any harm.

The shock brackets can be welded in place, without causing any damage to the rubber rods, or voiding the warranty.



Ask questions first, then the rest falls into place.

Assuming, usually causes the problems.

Mechanics is not difficult, but some people insist on making it that way.

We go to school to learn.

Different schools are available, regardless of the subject, even as short as one sentence, during a persons entire lifetime.

Different schools sometimes offer different methods, for different things, and they rarely include opinions.

The individual, must weigh that knowledge and make it fit to their liking, or their personal needs, or pocket books.

But as in grammer or high schools, some students get A's, and some students get F's, or the many grades in between.

Owning an Airstream, and being a DIY owner, keeps the brain on track, as there is usually always something to learn.

Not being a DIY person, also has schools, where you learn to pick out the right dealer (regarding Airstream) who has the correct knowledge, a good shop staff, a decent shop and at reasonable prices. Most graduate quickly, a few fail the course.

Some people replace tools, because they wore them out.

A few replace tools, because they broke them, usually through misuse.

And when you get older, like a senior, you buy some tools, because you either lost them, or you don't remember where you left the darn things.

And so it is.

Andy[/quote]

Do you have any pictures of the process. for example, a 64 GT with an old axle, removal of the axle, the old shock bracket vs. the new one, and then close-up pics of where the hole should be drilled, etc....

Anyone who does, please help me. I will be ordering the axle from Inland RV and want to visualize what I am doing, Andrew
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