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Old 06-29-2005, 02:21 PM   #57
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Question Custom Axles!

Janet’s Husband,



You seem to be a bit of an engineer with stringent quality standards, I like that. Some folks don’t mind making modifications to new axles, others want to just bolt in and go. Like you, I would be very picky and not mind some work. But I too, have my limits.



It is interesting that you said 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.” This explains why the 30+ Airstream axles that I have had the opportunity to be involved with all differ ever so slightly. I guess that I had seen a statement in the forums somewhere that, Henschen axles fit your trailer exactly.



Stefrobrts,



Most custom axle shops can and do make anything under the sun. It is important to understand when you place your order that almost anything is possible in axle creation. Options can be overwhelming. Some folks choose to stay with the “Airstream Design” for the axle, others incorporate changes or improvements on the “new” axle.



One example: Airstream/Henschen decided to dip paint the axles. For most folks this is fine. However if your axle sees a lot of salt in its usage a customer ordering a new axle could opt for the coating to be galvanized in place of the paint. While this would not be the Airstream/Henschen standard I don’t think this should be considered incorrect either.

Regards,
Henry
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Old 06-29-2005, 03:14 PM   #58
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Henschen axles.

Henaschen axle standards are the same today as they were over 40 years ago.

They do not have any "variations" on the old axles, unless your measuring with a micrometer. But then if you do measure that way, then all axles, regardless of manufacturer, with have variations.

The change of bracket design and axle mounting plate specs, changed over 36 years ago.

That change requires three half inch holes be drilled on each side. Takes about 15 minutes per axle, for the 1967 and older trailers.

I have all the engineering specs on Airstream (Henschen) axles from 1961.

There are no variations.

Henschen also has the highest of manufacturing standards, that don't bend any safety rules, such as inadequate welding of some of the axle attachments, as some other manufacturers have chosen to do, in an effort to provide a cheap product, and the list goes on.

We will have an engineering laboratory report posted in about one month on our web site, for each persons perusal, regarding the differences from one axle manufacturers product to another.


Andy
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Old 06-29-2005, 03:48 PM   #59
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Axle coatings

Henschen axles are available with different coatings.

They can be dipped (normal), e-coated, or galvanized.

Andy
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Old 06-29-2005, 06:25 PM   #60
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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
The Airstream can use an automotive shock, and the Argosy requires an Airstream shock. THAT doesn't happen often!
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Old 06-29-2005, 06:52 PM   #61
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Terry.

You just confirmed why you bought those two in the first place.

Andy
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Old 06-29-2005, 09:30 PM   #62
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I don't know ? what can I say... go's back to my previous post... have to follow up on everying i try to deligate... can't be everywhere at once... thanks for the heads up.

Dan
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Old 06-30-2005, 10:50 PM   #63
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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:
I have towed my Minuet with the "blue" shock" over 3,000 miles now. A good portion of that travel was gravel and washboard roads. I have NEVER had a trailer that went through 25 miles of that type of road without throwing crap everywhere inside the trailer. I had NOTHING that really moved in the past three trips since the axle/shock replacement. No problem. The NAPA shock I used is rated as a direct replacement. Since the wheel well is black the blue is a good color to compliment it.
Dan - Flip the shock over and you will be fine.
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:53 AM   #64
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I am in wonderment, why Airstream spends money so very foolishly, comimg up with specs on their components and parts.

It seems when they do, someone always comes up with a "ain't so" answer. An inexpensive substitute is always great, but only if it meets the manufacturers (Airstream) specs. If it doesn't then that person has short changed themselves, by trying to save a few dollars. The usual penalties, when making that kind of choice, far exceeds the savings, as many owners will agree with.

As of today July 1, 2005, Airstream engineering says NAPA does not have a direct replacement shock, for Airstreams OEM shock.

Physically, yes.

Horizontal performance NO!!

It's the "long term' (years) that is the criteria, not just a few thousand miles, with thousands of trailers and tag axle motorhomes, not just a few.

Andy
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:16 PM   #65
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I have the strange habit of replacing shocks as often as I would on a vehicle. "Years" of use, meaning long-term shock use, does not satisfy this requirement.
Airstream is a fine product. So is Goodwrench and Mopar. That does not mean that you have to use Goodwrench replacement parts on your GM vehicle or Mopar parts on your DCX vehicle.
There are other manufacturers of OEM parts. I have used a NAPA shock on three Argosys and one Airstream. I replace my shocks every four years. Shocks are considered a maintenance item, just like tires. I have never had a problem with a NAPA shock and I have pulled my trailers thousands of miles over the course of 23 years. I have never had a "shock failure".
Most torsion axles are designed to be used without a shock. Ask any trailer manufacturer that uses a torsion axle. They will tell you the same thing.
If there is a reasonable solution to using something other than an OEM part then I feel that should be brought to light.
Just because Airstream does not recommend it does not mean that it will not function within reasonable parameters. Ask GM which oil filter you should use in your Pontiac. They will tell you that you should use a GM branded one.
Has anyone seen a shock failure due to using a different shock? If so, that would be an interesting topic of conversation.
I have seen an axle failure due to using an axle that was improperly sized for the application. It shook the trailer apart, popping rivets and twisting cabinetry. I believe that one had an Airstream shock on it but it was still an improperly sized axle for the application.
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Old 07-01-2005, 05:45 PM   #66
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Lou, been meaning to ask you, what ever happened to your blogspot?
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Old 07-01-2005, 07:02 PM   #67
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What is "recommended" does not mean that is the only thing that will work. It usually means, that the recommended part has been designed and/or tested to ensure it meets the manufacturer's specifications. Other comparable parts may or may not have been tested for compatability and functionality to replace the OEM part. That does NOT mean it won't work, it DOES mean the manufacturer would rather you use the parts they have paid big $$$ to make sure they do the job the way it was intended, rather than a Brand X part, that they have no control over.
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:06 PM   #68
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Terry,
Exactly my point, buddy.
Thanks.
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:08 PM   #69
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Lou, been meaning to ask you, what ever happened to your blogspot?
I have been too busy to keep it up.
I will pursue it soon.
Michigan has two seasons; Summer and Winter. When it is nice out you try to do all of your home improvements. I have to do a complete tear-off of my roof next. Just like with the Minuet, I do all of my own work on my house.
Busy, busy, busy!
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Old 07-02-2005, 08:44 AM   #70
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Most torsion axles are designed to be used without a shock. Ask any trailer manufacturer that uses a torsion axle. They will tell you the same thing.
Interesting statement. I heard something similar while up on the factory tour at Jackson Center. Our guide said the same thing and noted that the presence of shocks in many cases is done because of "customer expectations" rather than a clear engineering need.

Jack
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