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Old 07-05-2003, 10:21 AM   #1
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OK, here's another lame idea...

...for the group to flame on!

Given that some trailers are experiencing the Dreaded Axle Droop, and further given that new axles are the only real way to fix that, and further given that replacement of two new axles would cost a Pretty Penny Indeed....

Has anyone tried coil-over springs for their shocks? Wouldn't that boost the trailer up a little, and much less expensively? I don't have my trailer (yet) so I can't look to see if there would be room, but it does sound like it might be a cheap temporary fix while one is waiting for the Pretty Penny Jar to fill up....
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Old 07-05-2003, 11:01 AM   #2
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That sounds pretty lame!

But, since you started it here is my "lame" idea, I had been keeping it to myself but since you started it here it goes.

What if you could just flip the axles over? Sag would become lift, right? Make any sense? It did to me for a while but right now I can't remember why. Now that I think about it, it sounds stupid, huh?

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Old 07-05-2003, 11:22 AM   #3
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That's not lame at all!

Matter of fact, that ocurred to me, too. (Either that, or I'm double-lame!)

I believe you'd have to re-weld on the brackets at the ends of the axles, and I'm not sure how much welding you could get away with given the rubber inserts in the tubes. Or maybe you could weld different brackets on the frame, instead.

You might have to switch the brake assemblys left to right in the process... I dunno....

I'll bet it could be done, and it would take someone with their financial incentives going the right way (if you get my drift) to make it happen....
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Old 07-05-2003, 12:09 PM   #4
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Spring shocks

One problem would be that the shock brackets aren't designed to be load carrying. With the angle the shocks are mounted at, it would take a lot of spring force to appreciably raise the trailer.

Air shocks would be another approach. I had them on my S-10 for towing my Scamp 5th-wheel. They wouldn't be as bulky as shocks with springs and would probably fit better. OTOH, the weak bracket problem would still apply.
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Old 07-05-2003, 12:13 PM   #5
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Check out this. Near the top center is an animation of the axle in operation. What really happens when the axles sag is the rubber begins to break down, so flipping them won't help, the rubber is still shot.
The shocks are pretty much horizontal and coil overs need to be vertical to get much lift. The weight of the trailer is also distributed over a larger area with the axle mount than if you concentrated it with just the single point shock mount. With the concentrated weight it probably won't take long to fail.

John
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Old 07-05-2003, 12:15 PM   #6
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I think seatbelts for the kids riding in the trailer is a better idea. Maybe I'm just a safety freak.
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Old 07-05-2003, 12:18 PM   #7
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Interesting point about the shocks. At a rally in April, our dealer's service manager made a statement that any benefit from shocks on newer Airstream's is marginal. He noted that the CCD or International (I forgot which one) was being produced without shocks.

The reason the shocks were there, in his opinion, was that other SOB high end trailers have shocks and Airstream owners would consider the lack of shocks a step down in overall quality.

A thought to ponder.

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Old 07-05-2003, 12:27 PM   #8
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No shocks

Neither the 22' CCD nor the 22' International AS have shocks.

I agree that shocks aren't really necessary on torsion suspension trailers. I am on my 3rd trailer with Dexter torsion axles (yes, no Henschen axles on Internationals). Two of the trailers were single axles, and all of three trailers have had a very smooth ride. The International, with dual axles, is especially smooth. I have forgotten and left things on the table or counter and found them still in place after a hundred mile tow.
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Old 07-05-2003, 06:20 PM   #9
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On my '66 Overlander, niether air shocks or coil over's would work. There is not enough space between the standard vertical shock and the body of the trailer.

And I agree that the weight of my bullet would over power either. Blasted trailer is heavy.

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Old 07-05-2003, 11:36 PM   #10
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I was wondering if there would be enough room...

...and if air shcoks won't fit, I'm sure coil-overs won't fit.
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Old 07-06-2003, 12:30 PM   #11
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Flipping a Henschen or Dexter is a very novel idea.

But as some ideas go, they should be explored, very carefully.

1. If the rubber rods are shot, then removing the mounting brackets and rewelding them, will for sure finish off whatever might be left of them. They cannot be exposed to that kind of heat.

2. But for sake of discussion, lets do it, and learn what happens.

3. The center ground clearance has been reduced.

4. The camber is designed to allow the tires to track reasonably flat with the road, as the load varies. Not so, if the axle was flipped. The camber would be "out" to start with and become progressively worse as weight was added.

5. Buy stock in Goodyear, as your tires will go, very quickly, because of misalignment.

6. The shock studs will not carry the weight of the trailer, if you added load levelers or air shocks, which won't fit to begin with. Also air shocks will not work correctly horizontally.

7. You could, go back in time, and install regular axles with leaf springs, no shocks and don't balance the running gear, and save money, but at the expense of destroying the trailer, as well as it's resale value.

8. We could also install a huge air bag in the interior of the trailer, and fill it with Helium. That certainly would lighten the load that the axles were asked to carry. Then when you wanted to use the inside of the trailer, you could pump the Helium back into the storage tanks, that you have mounted in the back of your truck.


Wouldn't do much for gas mileage or appearance, but sometimes, far out things must be done in desperation.

9. Or, accept the fact that the axles have failed due to lack of scientific feedback on the rubber composition used at that time, almost 30 years ago. Technology "has" changed.

We certainly have greatly improved the life of tires because of that feedback, and better technology.

Engine mounts are another example.

10. Or accept the fact that "ANY" torsion axle made with rubber rods will fail, in time, if not put to use once in a while. Parking any trailer, with any axle that has rubber rods, for a long period of time, like 5 to 10 years, without removing an appreciable amount of weight placed on the axles, will lead to a rubber "set."

11. Axles exposed to non use, and just simply parked, will more than likely fail. There have been many axles replaced for that reason on the 80's and 90's trailers. Beware of buying a "used" trailer, that has been parked for years. The probability of rubber rod "set" is very high. Once the rods take a "set," activity will not bring them back to life.

This is not what some owners had hoped to read, but facts are "facts."

Having the correct facts at hand, as with most anything, allows us
to make the necessary corrections, or take the advised preventive measures.

Andy
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Old 07-06-2003, 01:05 PM   #12
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Andy,

So, you are saying it can be done??

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Old 07-06-2003, 01:45 PM   #13
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I'll chime in here, as an experienced axle replacement person. In my opinion, in the overall scheme of things, the cost of axle replacement is not that high if you do it yourself. There are other things that cost MORE. How about a new propane fridge? A full polish job?

When I consider the overall amount I have spent on the entire rig, I do not feel bad about replacing 31 year old rubber torsion axles for $1000. Now I feel good, because I know I will not have to worry about them until I am in my 80's, if I live that long. It is a nice feeling to be driving down the road, knowing I have the same running gear as a brand new trailer. One less thing to worry about.

With Airstream, the coach outlasts the axles. With an SOB, the axles outlast the coach.
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Old 07-06-2003, 02:59 PM   #14
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Chas.

Flipping the Dura-torque axles is about as easy as making Niagara Falls reverse it's flow from downhill, to uphill, to say nothing of it's ultimate cost.

The simple answer. NO!!!!!!!

Some things in life are simple and easy, until we make them complicated, which then, really becomes expensive.

The old saying, "I'd walk a mile to save a buck," doesn't work these days.

Considering the cost of shoes, the cost of health insurance, the dirty air we breathe when walking outside, the risk of being attacked, or shot, as they would say in some circles, "it ain't not worth it."

As Pick said, how about when the reefer goes bad? You could always use an ice chest or just travel in freezing weather.

Some things should just simply be replaced.

Save the time you would have wasted, so that you can untangle the fishing line, or watch the girls "hula," in Hawaii.



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