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Old 03-20-2017, 09:56 AM   #1
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1971 27' Overlander
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Replacing Dura Torque Axle

Just bought a 71' Overlander and we are wanting to take it on a trip in May. We were in the process of overhauling the brakes and have discovered that the duratorque axles have lost their torsion strength. They are currently at about -2~3 degree position. Is it worth it to finish the break job so that we can take it on out trip or replace axles now? Also, not sure if there is a shop in town that would have what we need thus ordering them from out of town might be required.
Has anyone had any experience dealing with airstreamsupply.com? They quoted a complete set including shipping for $1715.00. Is that reasonable?
I have also inquired with Rockwell American (Thanks to DKB_SATX), Inland RV, and auto saftey house.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:06 AM   #2
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1973 25' Tradewind
Ringoes , New Jersey
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welcome and....

Welcome to the forums! I'd say take the trip if it's not super far etc, My local mechanic and I did my axle swap outside his shop. I used axles from Inland, fit perfect. not a hard job. John
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:34 AM   #3
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1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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Your question is .... "Is it worth it?"

Difficult to answer as it is a value question. And your set of values is different than say, mine.

If it were me and I was not taking a long trip (say out of state) I would agree with the above, tow it anyway. Keep the speed down or with in the limit signs and enjoy your experience.

Could something happen? Yeah that is always a possibility. With a sagging axle the possibilities are -
Dragging over something like when you are going into a gas station.
Putting extra stress on the coach which shows up as popped rivit.
Or a rough ride inside and things have spilled out onto the floor.

I can not speak to any of the vendors you post except Auto Safety House. In Phoenix they were an awesome source of general trailer parts. (and they carry a lot of other non-trailer parts as well) However I did not buy any axles from them.

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Old 03-20-2017, 11:38 AM   #4
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1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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As a post script, buying replacement axles is something that you will want to get assuming you are going to tow your trailer. (If you are just going to park it and many do, new axles are not needed) So do your home work and make decisions as to brake up grades, axle rating changes and angle changes. And there are different bearing types like oil filled or never lube or traditional.

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Old 03-20-2017, 12:05 PM   #5
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1991 25' Excella
Stanfield , Oregon
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Your new axles well usually come with new brakes as well I ordered mine from A shop back east and got an excellent price but they did take a while too show up.

One thing to note it's not uncommon for a torsion axle to sit at 0 degrees when loaded. If you lift it up and it drops to around 20 degrees then it still has some flex left.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:00 PM   #6
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1974 27' Overlander
danville , New Hampshire
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I have a 1974 Overlander and replaced the axles before I began towing. I got mine from Colin Hyde and had a great experience but I have seen some comments from others on the forum that they have not been able to get in touch with him. His axles are significantly less expensive than Airstream.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:03 PM   #7
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1995 34' Limited
Sarasota , Florida
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The tow/ride difference is incredible. New axles glide down the road and over bumps..Shot ones are very rough and tough on the trailer. Perform a before and after test and you will agree.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:20 PM   #8
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1998 34' Limited
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We have bought 2 sets for 34 footers from Airstream Supply. Good experience overall. I have heard that some sources have shock brackets already attached and some do not. Theirs did not. I just cut the old ones off and re-welded them on the new axles. You have to be careful, but it is doable. You have to guard against over-heating the tube.

I know that Colin did send them with shock brackets already attached. Not sure about Inland. If there is a big difference in price, make sure you're looking at apples and apples. I'm thinking Inland can ship them with the brackets. I could be wrong.

We ordered heavier axles with small increase in down angle. That did not effect the price. We also ordered with self-adjusting brakes for an upcharge. Have been very happy with them. They do make a huge difference in ride and towability.

As for the question regarding whether or not to go with the old ones or not...
We pulled the current 34 footer 7,800 miles the summer before I replaced the axles. Most of the miles were interstate, but also hundreds on pretty rough roads, Alaska, etc.
Had some open drawers and a few popped rivets upon return, but I suspect we would have had them anyway on some of those roads.

I would definitely order axles with new brakes, but I would go ahead and finish current brake job for safety's sake. (Unless you're talking about a 20 mile trip.)
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:38 PM   #9
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1967 26' Overlander
Spartanburg , South Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StandSlow View Post
Just bought a 71' Overlander and we are wanting to take it on a trip in May. We were in the process of overhauling the brakes and have discovered that the duratorque axles have lost their torsion strength. They are currently at about -2~3 degree position. Is it worth it to finish the break job so that we can take it on out trip or replace axles now? Also, not sure if there is a shop in town that would have what we need thus ordering them from out of town might be required.
Has anyone had any experience dealing with airstreamsupply.com? They quoted a complete set including shipping for $1715.00. Is that reasonable?
I have also inquired with Rockwell American (Thanks to DKB_SATX), Inland RV, and auto saftey house.
I have heard good things about Colin Hyde on axles but when I needed a pair for my '67 Overlander, I could not get in touch with him. Also, be advised that if you order the same load rated axle as your original, the brakes will likely be smaller diameter than original which for me was a deal breaker. I ordered heavier rated Dexter axles from Inland RV to get the same brake size which also meant we had to do some minor modification to the frame side plates and drill new bolt holes which wasn't a big deal. We also had to weld the shock brackets on. Our trailer rides much better now.
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:47 AM   #10
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1974 27' Overlander
Baltimore , Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fwjumper View Post
I know that Colin did send them with shock brackets already attached. Not sure about Inland.
My Inland axles shipped with shock brackets boxed separately. I had my welder attach them to the axles while he was doing my other frame work. Also, my hardware (grade 8 nuts and bolts) was smaller than I needed, so I picked up new hardware at the store. Not a huge issue.

To answer the original question in this thread, is it worth doing the brakes for a short trip if you're just going to swap the axles later? If you're going on a short trip, I think reliably functioning brakes are worth whatever the cost might be. Up to you whether you think the trip is worth the cost.
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