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Old 08-20-2011, 11:12 AM   #1
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1961 24' Tradewind
Minneapolis , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Replaced axle '61 Tradewind

I finally replaced the axle on my '61 Tradewind. After getting pricing from both Andy and Colin, I orded a new Axis from Colin Hyde Trailer Restoration. Of course I have the "one model year they mounted it that way" Tradewind. My axle required fabricating and welding new mounting brackets to the frame.

I decided to up the gross weight to 5200 lbs. I could have gone higher but decided not to. I could see two large bolts holding the original axle to the frame, so I cut access holes in the belly pan and removed the bolts. The axle did not just fall off like I thought it would. I had had the pleasure of two "beer drinking engineers" standing around "helping" and giving advise, making this task even more frustrating. After beating the hell out it for a couple hours, I looked more closely with a flashlight inside the frame and saw another 15/16" nut!

There was a hidden, countersunk, straight slot bolt under the shock mount tab on each side! I had even cut the axle in half with a sawzall and it still wouldn't drop out! My "helpers" were quick to point out that they knew there must have been another bolt... Right.

I bolted the new brackets to the new axle and jacked it up in place. I used a plumb bob to make reference marks on the shop floor. I made a mark under the tip of the trailer tongue, and also a mark under each axle hub center. This gave me precise alignment measurements. I had taken measurements inside the wheel well for reference before removing the axle as well.

I tack welded the new brackets to the frame, dropped the new axle down, and welded around the edges. Primer and paint were next, then reinstalled the axle. A little TIP...the brackets tipped inward while welding and reinstalling was very difficult. I had to "spread" the new brackets with a hydraulic ram in order to re-insert the new axle.

I cut the shock mounts off the old axle, sand blasted, painted and bolted them back on the frame using the same holes and bolts. Colin recommended welding them on, but my welder was tired and went home. I had previously ordered Gabriel shocks, forgetting Colin suggested Monroe, and had to make spacer bushings and find 9/16" grade 8 bolts with shallow nyloc nuts for the lower end of the shock.
Next the brake wires were reconnected, the wires were in pretty good shape, Colin had recommended possibly replacing them.

I fabricated patches for the belly pan and pop riveted them on.
Gas line and leak check.
Test drive around down the road and WOW, what a difference! Easily two inches of ride height. Smooth down the highway. Drawers don't bounce out. All good!
I'll post pics later.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:10 AM   #2
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1997 34' Limited
1963 22' Safari
Troy , Michigan
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 97
"I used a plumb bob to make reference marks on the shop floor. I made a mark under the tip of the trailer tongue, and also a mark under each axle hub center. This gave me precise alignment measurements"

Have axle on order, Colin said scheduled to be made today! Replacing axle on 1963 Safari. Was wondering how to check alignment, Thanks for the tip! My axle came off much easier than expected! Used impact wrench after drenching with PB blaster. Had to let my compressor catch up to get enough torque to remove bolts! Waited on compressor longer than time to actually remove bolts.
I modified a movers dolly to hold the axle, couple of 2x4's mounted at right height. Will probably take brakes off one end to move axle in position, depends on how low they hang and if I can clear frame.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:19 AM   #3
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I also ordered my axles from Colin. I didnt have any hidden bolts but it was a biaaaach to drop those axles! My bolts were rustwelded to the frame. I had sawzall all the bolts off and sledge hammer the axles til they dropped.
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:42 PM   #4
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1961 24' Tradewind
Minneapolis , Minnesota
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'61 Tradewind Axle replacement pictures

I finally got around to the pictures!

Pictures by 61Streamy - Photobucket
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:26 AM   #5
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1997 34' Limited
1963 22' Safari
Troy , Michigan
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Picked up my axle Thursday, had it in place Thursday evening. Unloaded from truck to cart table to wagon to movers dolly by myself! Movers dolly slid under trailer and had axle within an inch below the slot in the mounting plate. Used bottle jacks to lift into position, one on each end. Total time 45 minutes from truck to being in position. Not being able to lift much, most time was spent deciding how to safely move axle, and keep out of the way if it fell! Biggest problem was tilting axle to correct position, mounting plate was at a 45 degree angle on the cart. To get mounting bracket inside mtg bracket on frame I had to lift the brake to get mtg bracket to horizantal so it could move under mtg bracket on Trailer. Lifting that weight under the trailer was where I could have used help.
Ordered shocks Friday, scheduled to be here Tuesday. Ordered Monroe as suggested by Colin, except one size longer. Shocks on the 63 are VERTICAL.
Drilled front mtg holes, Had to remove brakes to drill rear mtg hole. Drilled first hole using 3-4 drills starting with 1/4 inch. Initial hole was the most time consuming. Used a 1/2 Dewalt battery drill which had no problem.
Switched to a 1/2 end mill chucked in the dewalt for the rest of the holes, it worked much better! I was going thru the original holes in the mtg plate on the trailer which kept me in line. A 5/8 drill cleaned up the hole and bolts were installed. The bolts from Axis were longer than original and had a lock nut that I have never seen. The lock nut appeared to have three impressions on the outside that deformed the threads slightly. I used an impact to install one and after much time waiting for compressor to max decided to go with std lock washer and nut.
I have to remove axle to install shocks, only way to get bolt thru shock mounting hole. I centered hub face in wheel housing which cut down on space for shock mount. Reduced hub to hub dimension by 2" over my original, Colin said normal was 1" less than my original. I have only 1/4+ for clearance of shock mount bolt head. May need to cut off head and weld!
Expecting rain all week, will work between rain drops!
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:57 AM   #6
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So hows it lookin Paul? Where are the pics?
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:41 PM   #7
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Tried twice and forum closed IE both times! Will try sending photos
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:43 PM   #8
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Four time is the charm! I hope!!!!
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:03 AM   #9
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Sweet Congradulations!
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