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Old 01-28-2016, 08:02 PM   #1
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1959 30' Sovereign
Arvada , Colorado
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replacing axle?

I have a 1959 Sovereign just got it and would like to use it on road trips, first thing I need to do is raise it up since it is to low. It has tandem axles with leaf springs and shocks. This trailer is all original in great shape so I would like to keep it that way but once again I want to use it. Is it better to keep the original axle and move them under the leaf springs or replace the drop axle with a strait axle?
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:37 PM   #2
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The first thing I would do is check the size of the bearings and seals. If they are still readily and widely available then reusing the old axles (moving the spring perches from top to bottom) would make sense.

Otherwise the straight axle with all new hardware would be my preferred move.
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:09 AM   #3
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1959 30' Sovereign
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That is what an RV supply store told me, that they could not get seals or bearings if needed due to the age.

Since I am wanting to use this as much as we can I will go with the strait axle so I can do future maintenance as needed with new parts.

just hate to not have all original since it is in such great shape and all there.

do you know if there is a market for original good axles with electric brakes?
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Old 01-29-2016, 01:41 PM   #4
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If there is no severe bearing wear the axles are fine.

You are looking for a spring shop or an online source to replace the tired leaf springs. Basically replacement spring data comes down to width, length and how much weight will be supported. So weighing the trailer and then adding a percentage to that number will get you to the place to start seeking spring replacement. BTW Airstream is sadly lacking data for a trailer of that age. And standards have changed a lot, so invest in a set of springs that will be 20% (give or take) greater load capacity than expected and you will get the height back.

As to replacement parts for seals, bearings. Likely no one alive will have the data you seek for replacements. Again companies close yadda yadda yadda. And going into a parts store and saying I have this year make and model what are the parts? The counter guy is either going to look at you like you have a sickness or ignore you. However tapered roller bearings and double lip seals have been made for decades if not a century. An accurate measuring of the bearings and the seal and you should find one that will work. I got some for a trailer at NAPA store by measurements. It helps if you go at an off time when the counter guy is bored. And www.timken.com should be a help for you as well.

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Old 01-29-2016, 01:55 PM   #5
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There is a limited market for used axles and electric brakes. I gave my brake hubs away to someone who paid the shipping. The axle got chopped up and recycled.

The other option is to build your own utility trailer.
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Old 01-29-2016, 03:05 PM   #6
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I find it very hard to believe you have a bearing or seal that you can not find replacements for. Yes your corner trailer dealer may not have them on the shelf. Go directly to a manufacture for current replacement numbers.

Any good spring shop should be able to place those axles at what ever height you want, with the axle on top or below the spring. They may suggest a wider spring for a given height with ground clearance. That would require making new shackles, but a very small price to pay for what you want.
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Old 01-29-2016, 03:14 PM   #7
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Any bearing supply house should have little trouble measuring and finding replacement bearing and seals.
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:13 PM   #8
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I have found a trailer repair shop and they are wanting to look at it and I believe they have a plan on doing as suggest and keep the original axles.
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Old 07-09-2016, 02:53 PM   #9
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So, what did you end up doing? I have a 1960 Overlander with the orig single axle w/leaf spring. About 15 or 20 years ago we put the axle under the leaf springs to raise the trailer. Now all these years later I am looking at possible replacement. I am assuming that you were able to find new bearings just as I have.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:45 PM   #10
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I actually replaced the originals with strait axles, put new shocks and new bushing in the leaf springs.
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