I replaced the axle on my Safari for all the usual reasons. Rough ride, negative angle, and having it drop
one to two inches in 1000 miles after many years of neglect. Being as I have more time than money I went
the Dexter route. This post is a little long but covers the trials and tribulations from start to finish.
is one of the first to change from leaf springs to the torsion axle from what I understand. My
original axle was welded to a plate that was bolted to the frame with 3 - 5/8" bolts. Of course these bolts had
rusted so much that the only way to remove them was to grind them off. To get to them required the removal
of the backing plates and those bolts were also rusted beyond turning, requiring more grinding. In about 3
hours I had the axle on the ground and measured. Even though I was alone, I said words I had never heard
before and didn't bleed too much. A short time later I had the six new 5/8" holes drilled in the new plates to
match the holes in the frame.
It took another hour to drive to the local dealer and order the new axle. The dealer and I both talked to the guy
about the order and then I had the guy read back the order and specs to me to be sure he had it right. I was
taking a cue from "Epiphany gets new axles". To avoid shipping costs I agreed to wait until the next scheduled
run in two weeks. It was mid February and I didn't need the trailer until April.............................
Two weeks later I found that my axle had not been ordered......it had been forgotten! I re-ordered and waited
another two weeks and got the call that my axle was in. From 15 feet away I could tell that one important detail
had been overlooked. The mounting brackets were not reversed. My order clearly said "reversed" so I refused
the axle. I am generally pretty mellow and did not take it out on my dealer, but instead told him to let Dexter
know that I was pretty irate and wanted the correct axle "EXPEDITED" . My axle was built on 3/24 in Oklahoma
in the morning and was delivered to Oregon 3/26 in the AM and the tolerancers were within 1/64th of and inch
of my order. The paint was still wet! There were no shipping charges. I don't know how they got it here, I
couldn't see where the jet pack and wings had been attached.
I welded the side mount bracket kits to my plates, drilled the required 5/8th holes and had the axle mounted in
about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I did have the help of a floor jack to position the axle which was invaluable since I was
I then spent another 8 or so hours chasing down shorts and completely rewired the electric brakes.
So................would I do it again? You bet!! I have the tools needed and I also have the luxury of being able to
work indoors in my barn while it snows outside. And now that my wounds are nearly healed I am very happy
with the results.
Do I suggest that others should go the Dexter route? If you have the knowledge, tools, and more time
than money, then go for it! My dollars don't come easily and I treasure them.
The ride is fantastic! I left things out on the table and took the Safari for a 60 mile ride and nothing moved.
Total time for R & R and ordering (not including the month and two days waiting time) was about 9 hours. Also
does not include rewiring the brakes.
Total cost $385 axle
$ 28 iron plates