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Old 02-16-2013, 12:18 PM   #1
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1958 30' Sovereign of the Road
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Replacing 1958 axles

Very interesting discussion. Question: I have a1958 30' Sovereign of the Road. It has leaf springs but no shock absorbers. One axle has electric brakes and the other has hydraulic (no longer operable). I plan to replace both axles. I am looking at 5,000# torsions with electric brakes. Would this lower my clearance? I don't want to go any lower...too low now in my estimation. Cost is somewhat of a factor but safety is primary. I certainly don't trust my 55 year old leaf springs. Comments and suggestions welcome! Bill
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:57 PM   #2
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Considering you are replacing leaf springs ..... and anything CAN be done with enough time, money and effort.

If you go to torsion axles you may want shock absorbers. However in my opinion it is personal preference.

If you go to torsion axles you will have to design or redesign a mounting as your trailer was not designed for torsion axles.

If you go to torsion axles there is no adjsutment for ride height. There is by adding or subtracting leaves if you stick to your current leaf spring design. Or by changing shackles.

If cost is a factor stick with the leaf design, keep the axles and get relacement leaves. It wil be far cheaper and easier. No technical discussion, just take to any spring shop and they will handle your trailer. Going the torsion axle wil take some time, require some fabrication that isn't engineered just a guess and will cost more in materials as well. This may not mean much, if you use the current design the trailer will be period correct as well.

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Old 02-16-2013, 01:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 58sovereign View Post
Very interesting discussion. Question: I have a1958 30' Sovereign of the Road. It has leaf springs but no shock absorbers. One axle has electric brakes and the other has hydraulic (no longer operable). I plan to replace both axles. I am looking at 5,000# torsions with electric brakes. Would this lower my clearance? I don't want to go any lower...too low now in my estimation. Cost is somewhat of a factor but safety is primary. I certainly don't trust my 55 year old leaf springs. Comments and suggestions welcome! Bill
Bll.

Why do you want to absolutely destroy a vintage trailer.

Torsion axles operate very differently from springs.

As an example if the trailer with payload weighs 6000 pounds, then having two axles that carry 7000 pound would be fine,and, a limit.

Installing a total of 10,000 pound axles on your trailer will beat it to death in a very short time, since the axle would be grossly "UNDER LOADED".

Airstream short changed the axles ratings when they first started, and then learned that there is a window of weight that must be used.

In 1961 and 1962 Airstream used 2600 pound axles on a 30 foot trailer.

They found out that was inadequate, then changed it to 3200 pounds in 1963.

That 3200 pound rating stayed with the 30 and 31 foot trailers until the early 1980's.

At maximum, you should not use more than 3200 pound axles.

Andy
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:25 PM   #4
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I'm about to change the axels on a 57 Overlander. I will be using torsion axels ordered from Colin Hyde. No I have not ordered them yet although I hope to soon. After all the time I will put into this trailer, I want the best ride I can get. Colin has already answered many of my questions and I feel the change over will go smoothly
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:30 PM   #5
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I'm about to change the axels on a 57 Overlander. I will be using torsion axels ordered from Colin Hyde. No I have not ordered them yet although I hope to soon. After all the time I will put into this trailer, I want the best ride I can get. Colin has already answered many of my questions and I feel the change over will go smoothly
I did the same on my '57 through Colin and several thousand miles later I'm very happy. Love the soft ride and my ride height is higher than with the old springs.

-steve
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:33 PM   #6
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I'm about to change the axels on a 57 Overlander. I will be using torsion axels ordered from Colin Hyde. No I have not ordered them yet although I hope to soon. After all the time I will put into this trailer, I want the best ride I can get. Colin has already answered many of my questions and I feel the change over will go smoothly
If you drove down to St. Cloud, the freight would be "zero".

Andy
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