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Old 10-12-2007, 11:21 PM   #1
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Newbie Axle ??

OK, Ive searched the forums and know about the options here.

1. Pay $$$ and buy from an "OEM" stealership
or
2. Pay less $$ and have to mod and make an axel work.

Dexter is the new "OEM" AND henschen is the one that F'ed up and didn't own up to it (not good).

I have read that that Dexter will make your axle based off the axle S/N?

Has anyone done this and does it fit work without much mods?

I have a 1970 31 Sovrng.
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:35 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forums. Try searching for axle with the search tool on the upper blue tool bar. You will find a lot of threads about this topic. we also have a section dedicated to running gear.

You will find that folks have chosen both options and you will find them discussed at great length.
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Old 10-13-2007, 08:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TN-TUNDRA
OK, Ive searched the forums and know about the options here.

1. Pay $$$ and buy from an "OEM" stealership
or
2. Pay less $$ and have to mod and make an axel work.

Dexter is the new "OEM" AND henschen is the one that F'ed up and didn't own up to it (not good).

I have read that that Dexter will make your axle based off the axle S/N?

Has anyone done this and does it fit work without much mods?

I have a 1970 31 Sovrng.
Dexter "does not" have access to Henschen axle serial numbers and what that number means.

When someone may want a Henschen axle, all that is needed is the trailer serial number, nothing else.

Not so with Dexter or any other torsion axle manufacturer.

Andy
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Old 10-13-2007, 08:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TN-TUNDRA
OK, Ive searched the forums and know about the options here.

1. Pay $$$ and buy from an "OEM" stealership
or
2. Pay less $$ and have to mod and make an axel work.

Dexter is the new "OEM" AND henschen is the one that F'ed up and didn't own up to it (not good).

I have read that that Dexter will make your axle based off the axle S/N?

Has anyone done this and does it fit work without much mods?

I have a 1970 31 Sovrng.
I'm not aware of Dexter doing that - All Inland RV (Andy) needs is your VIN/Serial Number and the Henschen will be made for your trailer. His version does cost considerably more, but I believe '69 is the starting year where they actually do just "bolt in" without modification.
I went with Dexter because of the cost savings, and my year of trailer, both axle brands required hole drilling.
Use the "search" function as Janet mentioned, and you will find a plethora of information (and opinions)
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:08 AM   #5
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It depends on your own capabilities and self confidence.

Are you willing to read a few pages of Dexter's "Application Manual", and then crawl under your Airstream to take the measurements?

Do you have or can you rent the tools (jacks, and wrenches, etc) to do the job?

Or do you feel more comfortable spending the extra bucks to turn that over to someone else.

I go for the 'personal growth' option.
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TN-TUNDRA
OK, Ive searched the forums and know about the options here.

Dexter is the new "OEM" AND henschen is the one that F'ed up and didn't own up to it (not good).

I have a 1970 31 Sovrng.
Henschen owners (Lakin) at that difficult time, and Airstream Corporate, had the difference of opinion.

Some brass from Airstream and Henschen, in Jackson Center, still go to lunch together. I know, I have been there with them.

Reports indicate that Airstream is having "huge" (far more than acceptable) problems with Dexter axles, all too many times, and are forced to send the problem axles to Airstream's service department to fix.

That has had a negative effect on Airstream's production timing.

Words (from extremely reliable sources) has it that Airstream will soon drop, for most part, their relationship with Dexter, and return to Henschen, part of which is because Henschen is now owned by GKN, who has a very different Corporate philosophy than Lakin ever did.

Plus, as in the past, if there is a problem, Henschen is 2 minutes away, and corrects that problem themselves.

Henschen has recently installed several millions of dollars of some of the most advanced automated machining equipment available in the world.

I plan on making a short movie of that, the next time I visit Henschen, which should be within the next few months.

More updates on that activity as it happens, which could be sooner than any of us may think.

Andy
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
It depends on your own capabilities and self confidence.

Are you willing to read a few pages of Dexter's "Application Manual", and then crawl under your Airstream to take the measurements?

Do you have or can you rent the tools (jacks, and wrenches, etc) to do the job?

Or do you feel more comfortable spending the extra bucks to turn that over to someone else.

I go for the 'personal growth' option.
Jacks are not needed to change axles on a tandem trailer.

Andy
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:54 AM   #8
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Jacks are not needed to change axles on a tandem trailer.

Andy
So, do you lay on your back and hold the axle up while someone else puts in the hardware?
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
So, do you lay on your back and hold the axle up while someone else puts in the hardware?
Close...

Drive first set of wheels up on ramp or pile of scrap lumber, high enough to get second set off the groud. Swap axles and repeat procedure.


WHen we did this job, I got to hold the axle in place.....
But I used a floor jack, pumped it up and hubby did the bolts.
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:27 AM   #10
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Thanks for the posts. I have been reading up on these a lot. I do like the "bolt in" option but the cost is high.

Andy do you ever have a "SALE" or forum member price break?? That would be nice!
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet
WHen we did this job, I got to hold the axle in place.....
Don't mess with Janet!!!
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TN-TUNDRA
Thanks for the posts. I have been reading up on these a lot. I do like the "bolt in" option but the cost is high.

Andy do you ever have a "SALE" or forum member price break?? That would be nice!
Our axle prices are already 20 to 35 percent less than the Airstream factory prices.

Andy
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TN-TUNDRA
Thanks for the posts. I have been reading up on these a lot. I do like the "bolt in" option but the cost is high.

Andy do you ever have a "SALE" or forum member price break?? That would be nice!
Some parts for Airstream and Argosy trailers and motorhomes, in fact do cost more money.

Why? Well, why does Airstream and Argosy cost waaaaaaaaaay more money than other brands of travel trailers?

Surely if RVing costs are to be held to an absolute minimum, then the last thing to get involved with is an Airstream product.

It's very nice to own a Rolls, but keeping it a Rolls, does cost money.

But as they say in California, you get what you pay for, usually.

Just think of how cheap airlines fares would be, if the airlines could by parts at K-Mart or Home Depot.

The "best", does cost more than the "good," even with a Hamburger. Speaking
of that, why do they call it a "hamburger?" There's no "ham" in it.

Andy
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Old 10-24-2007, 10:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TN-TUNDRA
Thanks for the posts. I have been reading up on these a lot. I do like the "bolt in" option but the cost is high.

Andy do you ever have a "SALE" or forum member price break?? That would be nice!
I too mulled this decision and it came down to the fact that the axles on my AS were originally Henshen axles and they were over 40 years old. In my opinion that spoke volumes in regards to quality and durability. I am sure Dexter makes a good product, but I wanted to keep my trailer as original as possible. I am not sorry I went with the new Henshens. They are extremely well made and went right up into the slots like they belonged there. The hole drilling was not as bad as I had anticipated. In your case they should just bolt right in. If you go to my post called "New Axles" I have posted some pictures of the ramps I made to change the axles.

Good luck with your decision.
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