Originally Posted by dwightdi
We throw away the good metal axle parts because the rubber has gotten old.
According to Henschen, the steel in the "old" axles sent in, was "NOT" always in good shape.
They state that the metal tube, internally, many times, was found to have an adequate amount of rust, that in their opinion, jeopardized the strength of the square tube. That in itself, creates a huge liability, if they reworked the axle, and for any reason, the tube failed.
The causes of the rust were numerous, including being near salt water for years.
Today, older Airstream's, have become a "gotta have one" for many people, most of which have fun doing a rebuild. Who knows how many different owners were involved over the course of years, or what they did with the trailer.
Therefore it became difficult for Henschen to call someone and inform them that the inner tube, in their opinion, was not in satisfactory condition, to allow them to replace the rubber rods. They state that the conversations would go "on and on" with the disappointed owner, who now was stuck with freight as well, since the old axle could not be rebuilt.
Law suits being what they are today, dictated to Henschen, to "discontinue" the axle rebuild program, which they did, several years ago.
Henschen is a manufacturer, and, as such, removed themselves from being a "rebuilder".
Henschen's, largest customers, by far, have been the agricultural industries. Airstream, was a very small percentage of their sales, even during the "heydays".
The decisions a manufacturer, of most anything, must make, is not always appealing with consumers, especially when the question of liability, is at the top of the question list.