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Old 02-13-2011, 12:22 AM   #1
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Removed Old Axles Today

Well it wasnt an easy decision to buy new axels, however i see a huge difference in the quality and degree of angle on the torsion arm. My old axels were straight in line with the axel or lower. It willl have a new ride, with new brakes and bearings.

I had my wife pick them up at Inland RV because she was already in So Cal with our truck. Expensive but i dont need to do the leg work. We will repaint the steel support plate tomorrow morning and remount the new axels.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:04 AM   #2
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I did the same thing - picked up the new axles from Inland hauled em' back to Stockton, and changed them in my yard at work...

The project went quite smoothly and the difference in ride quality was really great...

Spend a couple of bucks and get some new Grade 8 bolts to install the new axles - it's great to work with new stuff!
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73LandYacht View Post
Well it wasnt an easy decision to buy new axels, however i see a huge difference in the quality and degree of angle on the torsion arm. My old axels were straight in line with the axel or lower. It willl have a new ride, with new brakes and bearings.

I had my wife pick them up at Inland RV because she was already in So Cal with our truck. Expensive but i dont need to do the leg work. We will repaint the steel support plate tomorrow morning and remount the new axels.

Post photo's of you work.... we all like to see what is in our future.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:05 AM   #4
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New bolts?

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Originally Posted by Mexray View Post
Spend a couple of bucks and get some new Grade 8 bolts to install the new axles - it's great to work with new stuff!
You didn't get new mounting hardware included with your new axles? Oh, that's right, I forgot Inland charges an additional $12 for the grade eight hardware mounting kits on top of the HUGE mark up for the axles.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:59 AM   #5
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You didn't get new mounting hardware included with your new axles? Oh, that's right, I forgot Inland charges an additional $12 for the grade eight hardware mounting kits on top of the HUGE mark up for the axles.
You know, for the *service* Inland provides, I have no heartburn with any portion of the cost. I installed the backing plates incorrectly - but didn't find my error until 12+ months later (post-warranty) when I was troubleshooting a braking concern. I posted on this forum about my quandry and Andy got right on it... he shipped me a full replacement backing plate at No Charge (not even expedited shipping). I've never experience that kind of customer service in my life.

Sorry for the soap box ... but I am passionate about good customer service - especially when the customer was the one in-the-wrong!


Good work 73LandYacht - many happy rides on your new axles. My Silver Olive now sits about 2" higher. Much better. But now I can't reach my windows (to open/close from the outside when I'm too weak/lazy to maneuver them from the interior).

Laura
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:20 AM   #6
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"I installed the backing plates incorrectly - but didn't find my error until 12+ months later (post-warranty) when I was troubleshooting a braking concern."

Why did you have to install backing plates on new axles? Did you purchase bare axles, then backing plates later?
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:58 AM   #7
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Lance,
Let's be fair here...I tend to stay away from 'food fights' here on the Forums...

But, unless you're operated your own retail business, I don't believe you have much of an idea of the costs involved, especially here in the 'Golden' State of California!

What with high business property rental prices, Fed, State, County and local taxes, mandated fees, insurance, workers comp, wages, etc., etc., - all these kinds of expenses come right off the top, before a business can even think about making a profit for themselves....and these 'costs' of doing business have monthly due dates that must be met or huge fines are involved - and on top of that, these fees go on, regardless of 'good' or 'slow' sales months!

Then there's the costs of the lights, telephones, company vehicle costs, uniform and shop towel costs, industry association dues, alarm co service, paper clips, water, sewer, storm drain fees, etc., etc..these costs never go 'down' but increase annually...

Then you have to deal with the costs of your inventory, do you have enough to satisfy demand, what's the shipping costs, how do you find those older, hard to get parts...inventory costs money right out of your pocket when it's your business...that $150K sitting on your shelves is NOT money in your mattress...if your selling price is to high, you'll lose customers, if you 'give' it away, you can't pay those costs mentioned above...

I'm sure I've probably left out some other associated costs, but this illustrates some of what small business' have to deal with to stay 'afloat', and the 'water line' has been rising a lot closer to the gunwales the last three years!!!

So you say Andy 'overprices' his axles - I don't think so! As always, customers can 'vote' with their wallets, and go buy their axles from another firm...but out here on the west coast, you're not going to be saving many $'s after shipping, etc...PLUS you won't get Andy's customer service if you have a problem - Plus, he's there to provide advise and suggestions for all kinds of AS systems, repairs, replacements, etc...

It's hard to put a 'price' on great customer service, especially when YOU are the one needing it!
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:59 PM   #8
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I just want to see some work photo's.....
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:43 PM   #9
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Vote for reasonable

Laura,
There is probably nothing more important to me than great customer service. It is worth a lot. I'm glad to heartily agree with you on that point.
Ray,
I don't consider this a food fight. I would just like to inform everyone that there are other options besides Inland RV to obtain new axles when the need arises to replace your worn out axles. I'm fairly new to the whole Airstream community. This forum is the greatest resource there is for Airstream owners. A few things I've noticed here are that most Airstream owners are VERY brand loyal. This includes things; like tire brands, tow vehicle brand, hitch brand and in this case Airstream parts suppliers. It's a free country and consumers can vote with their wallets. Nothing more true than that. That is what I chose to do. If you chose to buy axles for nearly twice the price for the same product, that is your vote. As for what it costs to run a business in California, you are right. I know nothing about that. I don't run a business in California, so I doubt I'll ever really give it much thought. What I do know is that I shopped around when making my choice on where I was going to buy axles from. What I found out really raised my eyebrows.

Here is what I was quoted from four different axle suppliers for two #3500 torsion axles complete with 10" brakes;

Dexter axles from Cowboy Trailer Repair in Salado, TX
They would only deal with me if they installed the axles in their shop.
Axles $850 each $1,700
Shipping (No charge)
Installation 4hours at $110/hr $440
Total cost (installed) $2,140

Axis axles Inland RV:
(This is cut and paste from Inland Andy's price quote)
Complete axles cost $750.00 each.
Shipping them to a commercial address in Zip Code 76548 would cost $395.00.
We have them in stock. The starting angle is 35 degrees, and they are direct bolt in, nothing to cut or weld or adjust.
The only other thing you would need is the mounting hardware kits, which is all grade 8 materials, costs $12.00 each and you would need 2 of them.


2 Axles $1,500
Shipping $395
2 mounting hardware kits $24
Total price $1,919

Dexter Axles from Husky Trailer in Temple, TX

2 Axles $512 each $1,024
Shipping cost
(to the store in Temple) $200
(No hardware no shock mounts)
Total price $1,224

Axis axles from Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations
(cut and paste from Colin's price quote)

"All the axles I sell come powder coated, shock brackets installed, "safety lube" spindles, complete brake assemblies with lug nuts, mounting bolts.
Your new axles will cost $430 each plus $250 for shipping. 2 X $430 + $250 Total cost $1110."

Points to ponder, question or discuss...
All these axles are made in Elkhart, IN. I live in Texas. The shipping cost should be similar. As you can see, they are not.

The Dexter and Axis axles are similar in quality from what I have read. I know that Airstream went to Dexter axles for a while, then went back to Henschen. Cost or quality? I don't know.

The guys at "Cowboy Trailer Repair" were just shooting from the hip and seemed as if they wished I'd just go away and never return. I'm glad to oblige them.

The people at Husky trailer in Temple were a little clueless as to what was required to obtain the correct measurements for an order from Dexter. I asked them if they would be able to take the measurements if I brought my trailer to the shop. They were very hesitant to commit to taking the responsibility of accurate measurements. The price was OK, but not the service.

Inland Andy was quick to quote me a price and was quick to answer any questions I had until Henschen closed it's doors. Please see this thread.

Colin Hyde was very helpful and his level of expertise with my axle order was just awesome. He was quick to respond to my questions and gave me the feeling that he'd always be there for anything I might need.

When it was all said and done I ordered new Axis axles from Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations.

Now a few questions for you to think about.

Why such a big difference in price between Inland ($750) and Colin Hyde ($430) for an axle made at the same factory in Indiana, by the same people? There is no relevance whatsoever to the locations of Inland (California) or Colin Hyde (New York). The axles are made in Indiana and shipped to Texas.

Why such a disparity in prices for shipping?

Why did Airstream use Dexter axles for a year or so then switch back to Henschens?

Why did GKN close the doors of Henschen?

What axles are now being installed on new Airstreams?

Rex,
I have some pics of the measurements I took and what I used to take them on my thread here. I'll be posting pics of the install there when the axles arrive.

I hope this information will help anyone that is needing new axles.

Prosit!
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:50 PM   #10
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Alternatives?

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Originally Posted by pb379_2010 View Post
You didn't get new mounting hardware included with your new axles? Oh, that's right, I forgot Inland charges an additional $12 for the grade eight hardware mounting kits on top of the HUGE mark up for the axles.
Relative newbie here who knows that he has an axle replacement in his future.

I have been contemplating going the "Inland" route as the allure of one stop shopping via one phone call seemed like the best way. There is something appealing about just doing a "remove and replace" axle swap without all the measuring, fitting etc., and possibly specifying something wrong, like shock mounts etc., as I have read here in the forums I wouldn't have an issue paying $12 for a complete set of grade 8 bolts, washers, lock-washers etc. if that saved me from having to take it apart, get in the truck all greasy grimy and take a trip to the hardware store with the bolts etc. to find replacements.

That being said, if I can by the same or an equivalent materials of construction and performance axle and hardware with the same convenience somewhere else, I am in.

Do you have an alternate vendor in mind that can provide this service at a competitive price?

Many thanks.
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:56 PM   #11
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Alternatives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyBoomers View Post
Relative newbie here who knows that he has an axle replacement in his future.

I have been contemplating going the "Inland" route as the allure of one stop shopping via one phone call seemed like the best way. There is something appealing about just doing a "remove and replace" axle swap without all the measuring, fitting etc., and possibly specifying something wrong, like shock mounts etc., as I have read here in the forums I wouldn't have an issue paying $12 for a complete set of grade 8 bolts, washers, lock-washers etc. if that saved me from having to take it apart, get in the truck all greasy grimy and take a trip to the hardware store with the bolts etc. to find replacements.

That being said, if I can by the same or an equivalent materials of construction and performance axle and hardware with the same convenience somewhere else, I am in.

Do you have an alternate vendor in mind that can provide this service at a competitive price?

Many thanks.
OK, I learned my lesson to read all of the subsequent posts before I respond. But if someone wants to jump in with more thoughts, I am all ears! Or eyes as the case may be!
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by pb379_2010 View Post
Why such a disparity in prices for shipping?

Why did Airstream use Dexter axles for a year or so then switch back to Henschens?




What axles are now being installed on new Airstreams?
To answer some of your questions (and subscribe to this thread so I can follow up):
Some businesses may factor a markup on shipping as part of their cost of doing business. Some don't, and are priced accordingly.

This may answer two questions: AFAIK, Airstream still uses Dexter axles under new trailers. I will crawl under a couple tomorrow, and post back here if I see a different builder's tag on the axles.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin H View Post
"I installed the backing plates incorrectly - but didn't find my error until 12+ months later (post-warranty) when I was troubleshooting a braking concern."

Why did you have to install backing plates on new axles? Did you purchase bare axles, then backing plates later?
Colin
I bought the entire kit-n-kaboodle. Arrived as shipped, on a pallet with new backing plates/brakes and all installation hardware & instructions in their own boxes. And the backing plates were (all too obviously) marked Left & Right. I just didn't SEE it. I didn't realize that you could R&R axles with the backing plates still assembled to the axle. Thankfully, it was an easy job - unless, like me, you are sometimes a dork!

There are some pics in the galley of the axle replacement - I think I looked at those posted by PizzaChop.

Laura
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by funkill View Post
I bought the entire kit-n-kaboodle. Arrived as shipped, on a pallet with new backing plates/brakes and all installation hardware & instructions in their own boxes. And the backing plates were (all too obviously) marked Left & Right. I just didn't SEE it. I didn't realize that you could R&R axles with the backing plates still assembled to the axle.

Laura
So all the stuff was sitting unassembled on a pallet, and you had to put it together?
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