Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-27-2010, 10:24 AM   #1
Rivet Master
 
Aviator's Avatar

 
1997 34' Limited
1970 27' Overlander
South of Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,655
Images: 2
New Henschen/Axis Axle installation

OK, let's see if I can make this work.

Here is what I started with:



In early November, I contacted Andy at Inland RV and asked about a new set of axles. He had purchased several sets before the Henschen plant was shut down in Jackson Center. His price was good, but shipping was a killer. (His axles are in CA, and I am in GA plus they are about 150# each) After some discussion it was mentioned that the axles would be back in production in mid November. With this information, I ordered three axles from Inland RV, and requested that I be able to pick them up at the factory (now Axis Products in Elkhart, IN) The people I spoke with at Axis were very nice, and the axles were ready on time. (Incidentally making this type of axle is nothing new for Axis. There were some huge ones sitting the the yard awaiting delivery, and a lot of them)

What I ended up ordering looks like this:


Three axles, new grade 8 hardware, six new shocks, and six Centramatics

Next began the original axle removal. The trailer had been sitting for about 10 years without moving resulting in the old axles absolutely freezing in position with the rubber hardening due to lack of exercise. The nuts just wouldn't come loose no matter how hard I wrenched on them. So, I resorted to daily soaking sprays of PB Blaster for a week (I did have to spend some time in training for work, so I couldn't work on it in the days following the initial attempt at removal). After some work, off they came!



While I had the axles off, I cleaned up the wheel wells and painted in an attempt to keep ahead of the rust.

It took a few hours to install the first axle (learning curve). The next two went on in about two hours total. In order to mount them I used a floor jack with an expanded pad designed to keep the axles from rotating as I raised them up. It would have been easier with a helper, but for some reason my children disappeared when I headed out to work.





The axles lined up perfectly with the old holes. No modification what so ever was needed.



As I understand it, Axis purchased the tooling from Henschen. It is good to know that there is an available source of direct bolt on, original style axles for our trailers.

As you can see from the label, these are fresh axles. I have the first three in the run.



My trailer now rides about three inches higher than when I started the replacement process. It was easy and definitely a do-it-yourself type repair. Reattaching the brake wires is a simple matter of soldering them together and covering them with shrink wrap. I still need to "seat" the new brakes, and adjust my brake controller setting. After that, it should be many miles of smooth towing.
__________________

__________________
Craig and Carol
1997 34' Excella 1000
1970 27' Overlander, International
2009 Ford F150 5.4L
ProPride hitch with 1400# bars

AIR 41028
TAC GA-8
WBCCI 10199
Past President Southeastern Camping Unit (12)
Aviator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2010, 10:31 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
FreshAir's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
Placerville , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,327
Images: 2
Good job!
Neil
__________________

__________________
Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Avatar;
Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

1971 Buick Centurion convertible
455 cid

1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
455 cid
FreshAir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2010, 10:34 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
tkasten's Avatar
 
1965 22' Safari
Vassar , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 847
Images: 6
Graig, Outstanding job both with the installation and with the documentation. I only had to replace 1 last spring. Wish I had a torch as I experienced the same problem as you with the old bolts. I find it amazing the the kids do seem to disappear as the work starts.
__________________
Tim
TAC MI 14

Everyday is a Saturday
tkasten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2010, 10:42 AM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
1973 31' Excella 500
Spring Green , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 265
Thanks for posting the pics and information. I am going to be doing axle replacement later this winter and am glad to know the new axles should fit without modification...hopefully...
__________________
Lew TAC #WI-6
Nobody can help everybody, but everybody can help somebody.
driftless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2010, 11:26 AM   #5
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by driftless View Post
Thanks for posting the pics and information. I am going to be doing axle replacement later this winter and am glad to know the new axles should fit without modification...hopefully...
No, hopefully for your Airstream, can be deleted, as they are guaranteed to fit, PERFECTLY.

No if's, and's, but's, maybe's or even an ought to.

The exception is from 1968 and older, when 3 holes must be drilled in each side.



Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2010, 11:30 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
1999 25' Safari
Currently Looking...
Somewhere , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 818
Craig,

We, too, thank you for taking the time to post and the pictures are wonderful. Do you happen to have a pic of the "after", so we can compare the amount of tire showing above the wheel to the trailer? Thanks.

Also, what is your "take" on the centrimatics? I've been talking to my DH about them, as I feel they are a good thing. He has reservations, checked them out on their website (I think that's where), and is concerned that if something goes wrong with them they could add more problems for the wheels/tires (too much weight on one side if they don't continue to "flow"). Just wondering what your thoughts are on them. Have you had them before?

This kind of scares me about your '97 needing new axles. Our "new" 1999 had two previous owners, and as I understand, both were seniors -- nothing against seniors -- I'm one, but some are more active than others. We were told the second owners only used it once for a one or two-week period while he was receiving chemo. I don't know how long they owned it, but it could have been sitting a while with both previous owners, I just don't know.

Thanks so much.

Deb
__________________
Air Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2010, 11:38 AM   #7
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by D. Hall View Post
Craig,

We, too, thank you for taking the time to post and the pictures are wonderful. Do you happen to have a pic of the "after", so we can compare the amount of tire showing above the wheel to the trailer? Thanks.

Also, what is your "take" on the centrimatics? I've been talking to my DH about them, as I feel they are a good thing. He has reservations, checked them out on their website (I think that's where), and is concerned that if something goes wrong with them they could add more problems for the wheels/tires (too much weight on one side if they don't continue to "flow"). Just wondering what your thoughts are on them. Have you had them before?

This kind of scares me about your '97 needing new axles. Our "new" 1999 had two previous owners, and as I understand, both were seniors -- nothing against seniors -- I'm one, but some are more active than others. We were told the second owners only used it once for a one or two-week period while he was receiving chemo. I don't know how long they owned it, but it could have been sitting a while with both previous owners, I just don't know.

Thanks so much.

Deb
Deb.

It's very easy for anyone to check out the torsion axles.

The following will teach you how.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2010, 02:31 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Aviator's Avatar

 
1997 34' Limited
1970 27' Overlander
South of Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,655
Images: 2
Deb,

I am out of the country at the moment, but will be back tomorrow. I will post a before/after picture. The tires are now almost completely exposed from under the trailer side as opposed to about one third covered. What really convinced me that I needed new axles was when I lifted on side of the trailer with all three wheels off of the ground, and the wheels assembly didn't droop down at all, but was frozen in the same position as when weight was on the wheels. Now, they move up and down depending on how much load is on them.
__________________
Craig and Carol
1997 34' Excella 1000
1970 27' Overlander, International
2009 Ford F150 5.4L
ProPride hitch with 1400# bars

AIR 41028
TAC GA-8
WBCCI 10199
Past President Southeastern Camping Unit (12)
Aviator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2010, 02:53 PM   #9
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviator View Post
Deb,

I am out of the country at the moment, but will be back tomorrow.
Craig

Dog gone, those triple 7's are "REAL" fast.

I went out of town one day, to find myself, so if I show up before I get back, encourage me to stick around, so I don't get lost again.

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2010, 03:29 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Aviator's Avatar

 
1997 34' Limited
1970 27' Overlander
South of Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,655
Images: 2
I'm back! It was just a quick trip over to Dublin.
__________________
Craig and Carol
1997 34' Excella 1000
1970 27' Overlander, International
2009 Ford F150 5.4L
ProPride hitch with 1400# bars

AIR 41028
TAC GA-8
WBCCI 10199
Past President Southeastern Camping Unit (12)
Aviator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2010, 03:44 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Mikethefixit's Avatar
 
1977 27' Overlander
Trotwood , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,153
Send a message via Yahoo to Mikethefixit
Craig
I did my tandem, much as you did. We (neighbor and I) used wheel dollys from HarborFreight(cause he had em) to roll em under. Then the jack like you did. We didn't have any problem with the bolts ,impact took em right out. The new axles fit just as you say.
I would encourage anyone who had any mechanical ability at all to tackle this. ITS not ROCKET SCIENCE and besides it saves alot of bucks.
GOOD JOB Craig
I know you are gonna love your new axles, we do.
__________________
Roger & MaryLou
___________________
F350 CREWCAB SW LONG BED
7.3 liter Power Stroke Diesel
1977 27ft OVERLANDER
KA8LMQ
AIR # 22336 TAC- OH-7
May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
Mikethefixit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 11:24 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Aviator's Avatar

 
1997 34' Limited
1970 27' Overlander
South of Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,655
Images: 2
Deb,

Sorry it took a couple of days, but here is a picture of the finished product on the wheels.



If you look closely, you will see that only the top half inch or so of the tires are now covered by the wheel well opening. This is almost three inches difference from the old axles. Unfortunately, I didn't take a close in shot of the wheels before I started. I just have the wider shot of the trailer.
__________________
Craig and Carol
1997 34' Excella 1000
1970 27' Overlander, International
2009 Ford F150 5.4L
ProPride hitch with 1400# bars

AIR 41028
TAC GA-8
WBCCI 10199
Past President Southeastern Camping Unit (12)
Aviator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 01:12 PM   #13
Site Team
 
Aage's Avatar
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,204
Images: 25
Here's your before and after. The original was somewhat distant, making the blown up version sorta distorted, but you can see the tremendous difference there is in the new axles!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P1020090.JPG
Views:	133
Size:	57.6 KB
ID:	118256   Click image for larger version

Name:	P1020164.JPG
Views:	135
Size:	53.5 KB
ID:	118257  

__________________
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
Aage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2010, 01:37 PM   #14
Mini Rivet
 
bmklawt's Avatar
 
1975 25' Tradewind
Holland , Michigan
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 235
Just an FYI and if you live close to Elkhart IN, Axis Products will rebuild your torsion axles for less than $100.00 each. Just the torsion rods not the brakes and drums.
I had my axles rebuilt but after buying new loaded backer plates and drums, I found I could have spent $70.00 more for a complete new axle.
See: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...ild-46697.html
__________________

__________________
Bruce,
Parts needed: Fan for roof vent or whole vent fan assembly, vented catalytic heater.
My blog for the 1975 Tradewind restoration, Has not been updated in a while but I am still working on it.
bmklawt is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Installing shocks on Axis axle. JoePfznik Shocks 1 01-14-2010 04:17 PM
New Axis axle Zeppelinium Axles 137 08-07-2009 05:29 AM
Some History on the Henschen Axle! axleman Airstream "In the News" 6 08-18-2008 03:57 PM
Axis Axle problem resolved DavidsonOverlander Axles 1 03-26-2006 08:15 PM
Henschen axle specs Inland RV Center, In Axles 11 01-10-2006 07:47 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.