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Old 03-23-2003, 08:05 AM   #43
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Lynn,

I have heard that for some time now they have stopped rebuilding old axles at Henschen. As far as I know Inland is the only supplier of the original Henschen replacement axles. I believe Airstream uses Dexter axles now. I am still looking at the possibilities of getting new axles at Dexter, just need to do a lot more homework.

73andy,

I looked through your photos and was able to get a larger view of the curbside pic you have on your posts. Your axles are due for replacement soon. The top of your wheel rims are almost disappearing into the wheel well. On my Overlander there is still about four inches of space left between the top of the wheel rim and the bottom side of the fender trim. I think the problems begin when there is no "give" left in the axle, the rubber core is gone and the inner axle shaft and the outer tube are running metal to metal. Inland will get them drop shipped from Henschen. I got one shipped to me here in texas for less than a hundred bucks.

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Old 03-23-2003, 08:35 AM   #44
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Lynn,
I who also apparently need a pair of axles wish that you are right.
But from what I have read on the subject here and at other Vintage Airstream sites, that is not the case any longer.
Apparently Henschen has cut a sweetheart deal with Inland RV. Actually an exclusive deal (a sharp business move for Inland I will admit), and that is that probably. but....

Seems that I read there was one exception; if you could provide some "secret" engineering measurements that Inland knows and aint divulging, then you could order from Henschen and save a bundle.
Also you can order from Airstream or any Airstream authorized dealer but according to Inland Andy they charge more than Inland.

As for having them re-rubbered; well there was a small caveat..according to Inland Andy as I recall that they (Henschen) would not touch them if they were rusted. There were no more specifics given. I recall one poster adding that steel axles would probably be a bit rusted before they ever left Henschens shop the first time and I agree. So where does that leave any of us?

Someone else was checking with Dexter Axle Co. (much larger and willing to deal with customer service). But I don't think there was anything definate reported back. Seems Dexter was willing if all the pertinent measurements were made available, but who knows how to ascertain those, and what would be the cost of custom Dexters is anyones guess. Probably no less than the large dose of bitter medicine from Inland.

My beef is not with Inland cutting a sweet deal for themselves on new axles, my beef is with Henschen and Airstream for not allowing the rebuilds for a reasonable fee, as a service to their loyal followers.
Not only would such be a small thank you to our wallets, it might just make the road safer for not only us but the other driving public.

Finally this is a often brought up sore-subject on all the Airstream discussion outlets. I wish there could at least be a definative article with verification posted to once and for all un-muddle the mirk.
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Old 03-23-2003, 08:57 AM   #45
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Well, if Henschen won't touch rusty axles, then take them off sand blast them and paint. Then take to Henschen/Airstream and have rubber replaced. I have a pair just removed. If anyone wants them, they can come pick them up.
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Old 03-23-2003, 02:25 PM   #46
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Never ending Axle Sagas

Good thinkin Pick, however my point is that I don't know if Henschen does re-rubber axles, ever really did, what they charge, and have no idea whether the rust thing is correct or not, not to mention how much rust and its location etc, etc, etc,!

Perhaps you have already solved your problem and maybe you could not care less about re-rubbering, but I think alot of us would like to know.

BTW your pictures have been enormously helpful in my Axle research.As have your descriptions. If you dont give the axles away would you consider cutting one open and describing what you find?
I keep wondering what keeps the "real axle" inside the axle tube and still allows it to move independently. I understand that it does not go all the way thru to the other side. Looks like when the rubbers deteriorate that there would be some awful wobble and even the chance of throwing the "axle" out the tube???
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Old 03-23-2003, 03:08 PM   #47
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My understanding is that liquid nitrogen was used to shrink the rubbers to fit in the axle cavities, something most dealers probably didn't want or have the capabilitiy of dealing with. As far as rust, I would imagine it becomes a liability issue. Replace the rubbers and 18 months later the "rebuilt" axle fails and it is lawsuit time.

This is a portion of the rebuild process from the Inland RV site:

To achieve this, the cords are placed in deforming molds and brought down to a temperature of 200 degrees below zero Fahrenheit for two minutes.

The deformed rods are then removed from the molds. They retain their "deformed shape" for 30 to 45 seconds, because of the extreme cold that they were subjected to. During this very short time, the rods must be placed in position within the axle.

Within less than one minute, the axle is completed because as the rubber compound returns to its original temperature, it also attempts to return to its original shape.


The complete article can be found here. It is pretty informative and worth reading.

John
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Old 03-24-2003, 07:35 AM   #48
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73Andy,

Her's a pic which shows how much distance I have between the wheels and the wheelwells on my 74 Overlander. As far as I know they are the original axles, I just replaced all the brakes and the old ones had the old style round magnets. I did the shocks also. It is almost fully loaded and on a level surface.

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Old 03-24-2003, 10:31 AM   #49
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take a look at my pics, and tell me what you think. Mine aren't much better....although the last time I looked, the torsion arms were at about 90 degrees...not toooo bad yet..but getting along.
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Old 03-24-2003, 10:59 AM   #50
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Chuck,

I would say yours are a little better than the ones on 73Andy's even though I can't really see yours too well. I bought my Minuet with a badly sagged out axle not realizing it until after I had bought it, the Inland site on diagnosing the Duratorque axle did make me lose a little sleep as well. I only had to do one so it was about a half as expensive lesson as most, so when I bought my Overlander I was sure to check the axles!

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Old 03-24-2003, 11:16 AM   #51
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Axle replacement questions.

The mire regarding axle replacements, keeps coming from guesses and assumptions.

Therefore, we will try to answer these questions, in a business like way.

Lynn. Reworking an old axle, because of internal rust, creates a liability that has been brought on by the consumer. Therefore, Henschen and Airstream will no longer re-rubber an axle that is more than 20 years old.

Contrary to some opinions, regardless of circumstances or data provided, Henschen will not accept an order from anyone, UNLESS, they are an OEM. They so state that in their website, http://henschenaxle.com
Henschen found that they lost money on "every" retail sale, because of all the time that they had to spend with the customer.

The Airstream factory charged over $900.00 for a complete axle. We charge $800.00.

We find it amazing that some object to a business making any profit, any business. That is the american way, and none of us can change that. We know of some people that are ready to pay cash for a new 34 foot trailer, AS SOON AS AIRSTREAM CHARGES LESS THAN $10,000.00 FOR IT. I hope they don't hold their breath.

A worn out or defective axle cannot be "nursed." How can you "punish" the trailer moderately? A bad axle is a bad axle, period. That's not us, it's the owners investment in their equipment that will suffer.

And finally, Airstream does not and will not use Dexter axles. They tried it on one small model and found that it is not worth the effort or expense to make a complete change. Dexter axles, they felt, would be taking a step backwards. The cost exceeded that of Henschen's.

All axles can be picked up at Henschen, provided that prior arrangements are made, or they can be shipped directly to a shop or the customer, or picked up at a freight terminal.
Henschen uses freight lines that offer good service and at a reasonable price. Freight charges are always "collect."

Complete axles are suggested for good reasons. The first is that the new style "oval" magnet brakes are used. That increases the maximum stopping power from 5200 pounds to 7000 pounds, per axle. Some parts for the round magnet brakes are no longer available. The new style hubs and drums are one piece instead of the old two piece. While the new drums are still not balanced, they are far superior to the old style drums.

Probably the most difficult thing about replacing axles is the mounting brackets on the oldest of trailers (60's). Records do not exist of what was used. Therefore on some of the older trailers, new mounting holes may have to be drilled, through the brackets and the axle mounting plates.

We trust that this answers the majority of questions. If not, please ask and we will do our best to answer them.


Andy
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Old 03-24-2003, 06:05 PM   #52
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Andy
I will be taking my AS to some body who can spin the trires on the trailer before we get on the road no matter far far. Good fitting alxes, now what do I do with the old ones? how much weight is left in a axle that is straight with the frame?
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Old 03-24-2003, 06:24 PM   #53
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Take the old axles to a dump. Better yet, cut them in half, and then take them to a dump.

I am not sure what your second question is asking.


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Old 03-24-2003, 08:18 PM   #54
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Are they good enough to put under a small trailer. I would have to cut them up into smaller pieces to get them out of here or call my brother to pick them with his wrecker.
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Old 03-25-2003, 12:05 AM   #55
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Axel replacement

The axles on my '78 are at about 90 degrees and I was considering replacement until I jacked the thing up and they don't go as far down as the picture on Inland Andys site. In fact they don't droop much at all.

I talked to the guys at Oasis and they seem to feel lots of good axles are replaced.

It seems to me that if the rubber was being compressed or going soft the axle would droop to the original position. Is it possible that the design has changed over time?

Andy indicated that he will get you an additional 10% load capacity, could this be due to additional wheel travel?

I haven't looked but do these trailers ride higher in the old pictures? I'll have to look at the picture on the front of my owners manual. Anyone have pictures of these trailers when new?
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Old 03-25-2003, 06:19 AM   #56
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Henschen does not sell or do work retail,but you can go through Airstream service center and have new rubber put inside your old axle. I believe the "Rust Issue " is if your tube is extemely rusted and not deemed road worthy, not just some rust scales. If there is some doubt as to what I'm telling you call 937 596 6111 ext.7413 I believe the gentleman to talk to is Rick March.
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