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Old 04-20-2010, 10:08 AM   #1
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1973 23' Safari
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New Axles this weekend for my '73 Safari

I have my brand new GKN/Henschen axles complete with brakes for my 73 Safari and are planning to do the swap this weekend. If anyone has any suggestions or words of wisdoms that would be helpful, I’d like to hear them. I have heard that it makes handling the axle easier if you remove the brake assemblies and than reinstall them after the axle is in place. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:13 AM   #2
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I can't imagine how removing the brakes would help unless there is a weight concern.

My only advice is to be safe! Block up the trailer correctly, then add another jack.

Of course, with two axles this may not be as important.

I sure would like to hear about a good way to insure correct alignment. There has to be a DIY measurement device from ball to hub to check if axles are parallel.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:22 AM   #3
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I'm With Dan,the hubs and brakes do not create that much more in weigh.
Pay particular attention (if this is a single axle) to the placement of jacks and jack stands. ABOVE ALL BE SAFE! Asphalt or Concrete drive makes the roll in ,roll out alot easier or an old sheet of plywood to roll the jack on.
Center the jack on the tube remove the bolts and cut the old brake wires. You may have to persuaded (with a small sledge) the axles to drop onto the jack,then just let it down and roll it out. Get someone to help set the old off and the new on the jack and roll it under. Jack it into place (very gently) and reinsert the bolts.
It really easy .
GOOD LUCK AND PLEASE BE SAFE.
Roger
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:23 AM   #4
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We did the axle swap last year... it is not hard.

Start soaking your old bolts now with Power Blaster or some other penetrating oil.

We did the pull the trailer up on the blocks of wood method. I think we had 4 2 x 10 under each side. If I recall the height was fine. BLOCK THE TRUCK WHEELS TO PREVENT MOVING!

Be prepared to remove the LP line (ours ran under the axles) You will need to remove it forward and aft a bit so you have some room to get the axles in and out.

We used one floor jack but two may have been helpful.

I have snowmobiles and found that the little "carts" for under the ski's to roll the sleds around the garage made great tools for sliding the axles around the driveway and under the trailer.

If I think of any thing else I will post back. Have fun it should only take about 3 hours goofing around. Get some pictures.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:41 AM   #5
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Others have given you good answers so far. The axle tubes fit into notches on the trailer frame. Those notches combined with the bolt holes, leaves little chance for bad alignment unless the axle tubes are bent.

I replaced my axles last spring, just bolted them on, no alignment check, and the trailer tracks fine and no unusual tire wear.

Christopher
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:45 AM   #6
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I second all the above and will add a couple of things. Don't take off the brake drums! They will protect the spindles if you bump the concrete while installing.
Have 2 floor jacks, one for each side. The axles rotate when you pick them up. I built a craddle for the middle of the axles on my Trade Wind, but it didn't work. Have two jacks and a good helper. By jacking up each side at the same time you can rotate the axle into the slot cut in the frame rail. Also you can get both side into prober position, not easy with one jack in the middle. If your tailer has two axles, just drive up on one set at a time. Be aware that you need to get it up pretty high because if you don't, the new axles have more suspension and you won't be able to put the tires back on.
Last, if bolt holes don't line up, mine didn't, you will need an 5/8in drill bit and a big drill. This is dangerous-BE CAREFUL. When the drill bit breaks through the frame rail it will catch (broke my first bit and they are not cheap). It can break your wrist, or worse. Expect it to catch. It is very hard to apply pressure on the drill while on your back under the trailer.
Good luck.
Oh, safety glasses or goggles are a must while under the trailer.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:46 PM   #7
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When I replaced the axles on our Excella last year, I got axles only, no brake assemblies, so had to move the assemblies (they had just been replaced by the PO) from the old axles to the new. That took far more time than removing and replacing the axles. For that reason, I used two 10K lb jack stands, placed at the rear of the axle mounting plate, leaving the trailer hooked to my TV and extending the tongue jack for more stability.

Replacing axles with brake assemblies attached many times is done by backing the rear wheels onto blocks, removing the front wheels, replacing the front axle, replacing the wheels and then repeating the process by lifting the new front axle and replacing the rear axle in the same manner. The trailer should be left connected to the TV, and I would extend the tongue jack for a little more support. This way, your trailer is never off the ground. No chance of a mistake or failure with jacks or stands.

Using either method:

1. Be sure that you lift the trailer far enough to allow for the new axle trailing arm angle so that you can get the wheels back on.

2. Install new shocks on the new axles before installing them on the trailer.

3. Three people are a great help if you don't have access to an axle cradle. One to operate the floor jack to lift the axle into place, and one on each side to lift the drums to "level" the axle and help guide it into the slots on the axle mounting plate.

Enjoy your weekend.
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:30 PM   #8
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I did our Axles in 1-1/2 years ago - the swap went without a 'hitch'...

I'd sure recommend you have the brakes, hubs, and shocks installed before you install em' - lots easier to do that kind of stuff on the 'bench'!

Here's a description of How mine went into place:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f173...way-41888.html

Go to post #18, 19 for the axle swap...

I got some new grade 8 bolts and nuts to install - they're cheap and having new parts is nice when bolting things back together...

Ray
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:58 PM   #9
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axle change outs

You fellows make that change out sound so easy.

It is, when simple instructiopns are followed.

The alignment comments are correct.

The axles automatically are aligned with the trailer, because of the mounting bolt holes and the square notch locations.

Additionally, the axles themselves are aligned hydraulically, at time of manufacture.

Andy
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:19 PM   #10
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once the old axle is out it will take less than a half hour. Wiring the brakes may take longer than putting the axle in.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:07 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the good information! Now if it doesn’t RAIN this weekend I’ll have my AS back on the road!
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:02 PM   #12
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When I brought my new axles I was told that the brakes had been adjusted. Well, maybe, but not evenly with each other.

Do yourself a favor and while the wheels are on the new axles and everything is still up in the air, adjust the brakes.

Oh, for balancing the axle on a pair of jacks you can get a 2x4 cut to length to fit under the flanges and just behind the main axle tube. That is roughly the balance point.

Christopher
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:58 PM   #13
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Our new axles arrived today (thanks Andy!); the disk brakes, shocks and Centramatics, etc, are already in the garage. It will be a busy weekend at our house as well....

- Bart
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:25 PM   #14
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Actually you will be shocked how easy it is...

Fed Ex Freight called today to inform me that my clients pair will be here monday am.
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