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Old 06-26-2005, 04:24 PM   #43
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Just think...

If you'd taken me up on my offer, you would be here, and the axle would be in now... Of course, driving cross-country with a bad axle, and dragging the replacement axle with it, would do more damage than waiting an extra week.
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Old 06-26-2005, 06:32 PM   #44
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This has gone beyond bad, "nightmare" seems about the correct word for this situation.
Sorry to hear that things are going as is. I guess a sense of humor is needed at this stage of the project. Just think the axle won't have to be replaced for another 25 to 30 years.
Breath Deep and Don't Panic.
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:26 AM   #45
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replacing my axle

Good news !!
I got home today and E.T. Quality RV has installed the axle and sent alot of photos of the install ...It appears that they got bussy on my trailer today... it looks great from the photo ...I would say about 4 to 4.5 inches higher than it was before... that is sure gonna make towing easier and less stressful... there is a shot of the old axle yanked out and the new one ready to go under then one of it installed ... there were 11 photos all together but I'll skip to the important ones...
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Old 06-29-2005, 03:30 AM   #46
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Gotair2,

Congratulations! I'm sure you will be a happy camper now.

Are the shocks supposed to be installed upside down?
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Old 06-29-2005, 07:30 AM   #47
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Talking Time to dance the jig!

Mr. Dan,



Way to go man. Your persistence paid off – big time, from the looks of the pictures. I think this may call for grabbing your fishing buddy and hitting the lake.



You got more ride height than I anticipated by just a bit. It may settle (drop) ever so slightly as you exercise those rubber cords a little. I think that you are right, the new running gear and ride height will make towing a better experience for you.



Just a short note: when electric brakes are used and all components are brand new (as with your axle) the brakes will take several trips to “burnish in”. What this means is that the new shoes will take a little time to conform to the new drums. Your first trip should be a cautious one, taking it easy on the brakes until they can complete this “burnishing” process. After a short time and about 50 miles with many stops the brakes will keep getting better and better. Once fully burnished I think that you will need to “dial back” your brake controller a little to compensate for the better brakes.



Thanks for sharing the pictures and progress of your install.



Additionally, Don is right also – you may want to take a closer look at the shock install, I think they are mounted backwards.



Happy Trails,

Henry
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Old 06-29-2005, 09:24 AM   #48
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I Carumba!

The shocks do appear to be upside down. I don't know if the valveing is designed to work in that orientation, but you need to check it out.

When I installed my axle (Henschen) I found that the shock mounts welded on the axle would only allow the shocks to be installed in this orientation due to clearence problems.
It turned out that the shock mounts also hit the frame after the axle settled.

The fix on our Minuet was to cut off the shock mounts and reposition them for maximum clearance and travel.
As I understand it there were many small variations in the Minuet's axle mounting position and one size does not fit all.
Another issue to add to this problem was that he swing arm on the new axle was about half again as large as the old arm. This is good for strength but it effects the position of the shock mount in relation to the trailer frame.
My fix turned out to be simple, and it works great now.
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Old 06-29-2005, 09:48 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet's Husband
...The shocks do appear to be upside down. I don't know if the valveing is designed to work in that orientation, but you need to check it out...
My worry would be that dirt & water will get slung into the upside down "cover". In time the grit will score the shaft and ruin the "top" seal prematurely.

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Old 06-29-2005, 10:12 AM   #50
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Talking Give um a flip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet's Husband
I Carumba!

The shocks do appear to be upside down.

When I installed my axle (Henschen) I found that the shock mounts welded on the axle would only allow the shocks to be installed in this orientation due to clearence problems.
It turned out that the shock mounts also hit the frame after the axle settled.

The fix on our Minuet was to cut off the shock mounts and reposition them for maximum clearance and travel.
As I understand it there were many small variations in the Minuet's axle mounting position and one size does not fit all.
Another issue to add to this problem was that he swing arm on the new axle was about half again as large as the old arm. This is good for strength but it effects the position of the shock mount in relation to the trailer frame.
My fix turned out to be simple, and it works great now.
Dan,



I am fairly confident (99.99%) that the shock simply needs flipped. This is based off of the pictures, my experience with previous Argosy Minuets, and some good old common sense. While Janet’s Husband may be correct, there could be other issues – try the logical approach of flipping the shock. We did a unit much like yours several months ago without a problem. We cloned that axle (we kept the customers old one) for your unit.



Janet’s Husband – wow! I thought that the Henschen was a direct bolt in replacement. It sounds like you had to do a bit of work to make yours fit. It would make me tremble a bit to have to cut and modify a brand new axle. Sounds like you “engineered” a fix on the fly. It never ceases to amaze me how creative this Airstream group is. Thanks for sharing possible “pitfalls” to axle installation – I appreciate learning from others and I am sure that I speak for other forum users as well.



I don’t know who to credit with the following but I think that it fits here:

“The more I learn, the more I learn, how much I have to learn!”



Good luck Mr. Dan – let us know how it all shakes out.



Regards,

Henry
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Old 06-29-2005, 10:54 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axleman
Dan,
I am fairly confident (99.99%) that the shock simply needs flipped. This is based off of the pictures, my experience with previous Argosy Minuets, and some good old common sense. While Janet’s Husband may be correct, there could be other issues – try the logical approach of flipping the shock. We did a unit much like yours several months ago without a problem. We cloned that axle (we kept the customers old one) for your unit.
Janet’s Husband – wow! I thought that the Henschen was a direct bolt in replacement. It sounds like you had to do a bit of work to make yours fit. It would make me tremble a bit to have to cut and modify a brand new axle. Sounds like you “engineered” a fix on the fly. It never ceases to amaze me how creative this Airstream group is. Thanks for sharing possible “pitfalls” to axle installation – I appreciate learning from others and I am sure that I speak for other forum users as well.
I don’t know who to credit with the following but I think that it fits here:
“The more I learn, the more I learn, how much I have to learn!”
Good luck Mr. Dan – let us know how it all shakes out.
Regards,
Henry
Henry is right try and flip the shock first. Once this is done take a close look at the clearances of the mount to frame.

I know many people who have replaced there axles with Henschen axles and they are direct replacements.
As I understand it, the older axles had a large amount of variations and Henschen did not keep track of all of the variations over 25 to 30 years. I would think this pertains especially to trailers such as the Minuet.

Modifiying the axle did not really bother me much !@#$. The size of the new swing arm mass is so large that the temperature of the arm never changed. I don't see it causeing any trouble due to heating of the metal or the suspension rubber of the axle.
Yes having to modify a new axle is certainly a "pain in the @#$".
Not the first time things had to be changed to meet my quality standards.
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:22 AM   #52
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Experiences like Gary had modifying a new axel is why I went with a Dexter custom ordered for the Caravel by a local RV shop with a very good reputation. I told them they might have to remount the shock mount on the Henschen, and they wanted nothing to do with that.

I'm glad to hear you finally got your axel on - oh happy day!

BTW, I totally agree with Axelman about the brakes getting settled in. We've had to adjust our brake controller (Prodigy) a couple times since getting the new axel. I think it is finally settled. You're going to love the new axel. We went with a slightly heavier weight rating axel than was original on the Caravel, and the ride is still excellent. So much smoother, and the trailer tows smoother too. You're going to love it! Congrats!
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:20 PM   #53
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Vertical shocks do not work in a horizontal position.

Airstream "horizontal" shocks are black, not blue.

The axle pictured requires horizontal shocks.

They are an "OEM" item from Airstream.

Andy:
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:41 PM   #54
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Axle shock brackets.

Axle shock brackets on Hensachen axles can "safely" be removed and repositioned, if necessary.

Henschen will not "VOID" your warranty if you do that.

Other axle manufacturers void the warranty, from day one, if you want to install the shock brackets yourself, let alone move them.

Also Henschen uses a 7/8 inch mounting hole for their shock studs.

One manufacturer uses a 1/2 hole to mount the stud in. Thay also use a 1/2 bolt for the shock studs. Airstream shocks require a 5/8 inch shaft for their shocks.

I would also think that the threads from a shock "bolt" would certainly chew up the rubber bushings in the shock absorber, even if it was 5/8 ich diameter.

Certainly, installing a shock that requires a 5/8 inch shaft on a 1/2 inch shaft, will be loose to start with, let alone in time.

Andy
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Old 06-29-2005, 01:18 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Axle shock brackets on Hensachen axles can "safely" be removed and repositioned, if necessary.

Henschen will not "VOID" your warranty if you do that.

Other axle manufacturers void the warranty, from day one, if you want to install the shock brackets yourself, let alone move them.

Also Henschen uses a 7/8 inch mounting hole for their shock studs.

One manufacturer uses a 1/2 hole to mount the stud in. Thay also use a 1/2 bolt for the shock studs. Airstream shocks require a 5/8 inch shaft for their shocks.

I would also think that the threads from a shock "bolt" would certainly chew up the rubber bushings in the shock absorber, even if it was 5/8 ich diameter.

Certainly, installing a shock that requires a 5/8 inch shaft on a 1/2 inch shaft, will be loose to start with, let alone in time.

Andy
I suppose you could fabricate a bushing to take up the slack, and cover the threads to correct this, but there comes a point of diminishing returns, where it costs less in money, not to mention time and aggravation, to just use the correct item right off the bat. I am "lucky", my shocks are mounted vertically, so I can probably get away with the blue shocks pictured.
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Old 06-29-2005, 01:35 PM   #56
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Terry.

Your trailer uses ordinary vertical shocks, that are readily available.

However, Airstream horizontal shocks also work vertically.

But in order to use the Airstream shock on your 63, you would have to shorten that vertical bracket some 2 to 3 inches.

Different story for your Argosy.

Andy
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