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Old 10-19-2015, 08:13 PM   #1
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1989 32' Excella
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Ride height measurement ?

Took our new-to-us 1989 AS to a local welding/repair shop that regularly works on all types of trailers. We intended to have them replace the axles/brakes on our unit. After crawling underneath the trailer the repair person confirmed that the axles were most likely original, the brakes, shocks and hubs appeared newer than the axles and in very good condition. He said he would have no problem replacing the axles but asked why? I explained that the axle systems last approximately 25 years and then start to degrade in performance. He said to run the unit for a couple of years and then when/if the ride height starts to drop then replace. He said ours was in great shape underneath and the axles have life left in them. He told me to measure from the top of the wheel-well to the center of the hub periodically and monitor the ride height. The distance between these two points on our trailer is 11-1/2" hub-center to wheel-well edge with all tires +/- 1/4" of each other. The trailer seems to pull smooth, brakes evenly and doesn't "bounce and sway" much even over our "smooth" New York roads.
Just not sure what the proper or serviceable ride height measurement is. This shop was more than willing to do what I wanted, so I trust them and their advice. Just trying to figure at what point is too low for ride height. Any information on what newer units measure wheel-well to center of hub?

James and Rebecca
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Old 10-19-2015, 08:58 PM   #2
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Check the Down Angles

Well, he might be right. But, you also need to check the down angle on the axle swing arms.

When new, they should angle downward from the horizontal somewhere around 20 degrees. So, the center of the wheel will be lower than where the swing arm hooks on to the end of the axle. It will angle down....

If your swing arms are parallel to the ground, they are worn out.

Also, if you jack the trailer up, and the swing arm doesn't rotate down some so that the wheel is lower than it was, your axle is worn out.

The rubber rods inside them get hard over time, and they lose their springiness. When that happens, it's not cost effective to replace the rubber rods...so most folks just get new axles.

You may get lucky and get a few more years out of them. But it's unusual for them to last that long.

Take care,
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:29 PM   #3
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I do not believe there is a published spec on ride height measured that way.

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Old 10-19-2015, 09:47 PM   #4
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How about this ...
http://www.inlandrv.com/articles/dur...xle-92001.html
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Old 10-19-2015, 10:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden View Post
Well, he might be right. But, you also need to check the down angle on the axle swing arms.

When new, they should angle downward from the horizontal somewhere around 20 degrees. So, the center of the wheel will be lower than where the swing arm hooks on to the end of the axle. It will angle down....

If your swing arms are parallel to the ground, they are worn out.
A few years ago I put on new Dexter axles which were rated at a bit more capacity than OEM. When installed the torsion arm was pretty much horizontal when weighted.
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Old 10-19-2015, 10:31 PM   #6
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You found a very thoughtful tech, and honest. Find out what kind of beer he drinks, and buy him a case.
There is no 25 year rule on axles. Where you live and how you use them are more important factors than chronological age. There are tons of information on these forums. And pictures. Send us pictures of your Stream taken perpendicular from the long axis, oh about 30 feet away; and we'll tell you if you need axles. That's why we are here.
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Old 10-19-2015, 11:03 PM   #7
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The rubber rods inside the axle get hard, transmitting more road vibes to the trailer frame. The moving part inside also cannot hold on to the inner rods and may allow misalignment.
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Old 10-20-2015, 05:33 AM   #8
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Thanks for the responses, will try to upload some pics and see what you all think.
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Old 11-18-2015, 03:16 PM   #9
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How does this look. Original '72 axles.
Would love to see some before and after pics Click image for larger version

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Wondering what kind of lift to expect with new axles. I'd like as much as possible given the long back end.
Lift kit experience anyone?


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Old 11-19-2015, 05:06 AM   #10
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You can expect a 3-4 inch increase in height. The belt line trim should be above the rim of the tire.
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Old 11-19-2015, 10:34 AM   #11
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Here is the 'original' level


Here is the 'new' level with 32 degree down and 3500# axles


The bottom of the wheel well trim is level with the top of the tires now.
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Old 11-19-2015, 11:14 PM   #12
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Here is the 'original' level


Here is the 'new' level with 32 degree down and 3500# axles


The bottom of the wheel well trim is level with the top of the tires now.

oh, wow! that's a lot of gain, probably all I'd need. Thanks so much for sharing those pics ... would you mind sharing more info? like where did the axles come from? price? any mods needed? or just bolt on? easy for a novice ?! thanks, Nick
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Old 11-20-2015, 09:01 AM   #13
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Please, read this thread...
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...rs-143529.html

This is NOT a task for the light hearted if ill prepared. In my case, I had 9000#, 4.5 tons, supported off the ground with "only" floor jack stands. Each of mine are rated at 4 tons.. But small base. They were " backed up" by 8 ton jack stands " as redundancy". I used an 8 ton bottle jack to " raise" the AS high enough to "clear tires" off the ground. This made for closer work area underneath, but I didn't have the AS way up in the air as Texas has a way of sudden high wind.. And a "short" fall can have less damage. Just being careful...

When in doubt, ask here...

You will need adequate floor jacks, jack stands, "moving trolleys".. Air tools are nice.. Always work with an accomplice �� You will need a step bit capable of 7/8" or greater or a drill the size of your boots (if you need to redrill for alignment (happened to us) and a drill that can turn it... Or a big drill to turn a big bit.

You may be able to use cribbing in place of floor jack stands... Your choice.

Does this help?
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