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Old 04-29-2005, 08:09 PM   #71
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WOW .... Lou, this is comming along great ... looks like they are almost done ...
your ready to go camping I bet...
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Old 04-30-2005, 08:01 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loudruff
Lou,
According to the 1977 spec sheet, the old axle was rated for 3270 lbs. We chose to go with a 3500 lb. replacement. Axle cost was $290. Brackets $40. Taxes $27.18. What we liked about this axle was the ability to change the drop angle to increase the ride height or adjust for wear and age over the next 30??? years. (haha! we hope!) It also has the ability to be adjusted for weight rating according to the chart, by trimming the rubber block. But 3500# was the standard.
The 5200# axle was quoted at $465. Note the prices were quoted in 2003.
BTW fully loaded new backing plates were $66.95 each.

Larry
Larry,
Did you install the axle yourself at that price?
That seems like a good deal, even for 2003 prices.
I have been told that the rubber blocks you used are pretty expensive. That is one heck of a good price.
Did you have to pay any extra for the brackets to be welded, labor, etc..?
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Old 04-30-2005, 08:02 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by gotair2
WOW .... Lou, this is comming along great ... looks like they are almost done ...
your ready to go camping I bet...
Nope.
I am just gonna park it in the driveway and snap off pictures of it and e-mail them to you!
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Old 04-30-2005, 09:49 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
Larry,
Did you install the axle yourself at that price?
That seems like a good deal, even for 2003 prices.
I have been told that the rubber blocks you used are pretty expensive. That is one heck of a good price.
Did you have to pay any extra for the brackets to be welded, labor, etc..?
Lou,
I did the installation myself. The trailer mounting brackets were welded on by the manufacturer, and the whole thing was painted yellow before I picked it up. I cut the old shock brackets off and welded them to the new spindle assembly myself. Since my axle end is splined I didn't have to worry about welding anywhere near the rubber inserts. Rather than polish my axle I painted it black! On the Argosy, we don't polish!
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Old 04-30-2005, 10:09 AM   #75
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My input on the Axle subject.

I have gone through the axel change out on a 1977 Minuet. I think I was the last straw for pre-welded shock mounts on replacement axles from Henschen.
I have watched this thread with some interest because I thought to myself that I really got the shaft from "The axel people" due to the price I had paid for mine.
In retrospect The price I paid compaired to what I have seen with this axel project was not too out of line. Yes this way was cheaper. Was it the best way to go? For me, I'm not too sure.
My axle came with a custom drop angle, which could have been done here, however I had the voice of experiance guideing me in my purchase and I'm sure glad I listened. I am happy with the extra ground clearance. Maybe not everyones cup of tea, but it was good for me.
The new axle was rated at 3600lbs a little more than the old axle and I'm happy for that. Give me a couple hundred extra pounds of carrying capacity and it is not so hard that it hurts the trailer frame.
I ordered mine with bigger brakes. 12" drums vs. 10" drums, this makes all the difference in the world as to axle shaft reliability. I did not measure the old shaft weldment points, but it appears the old shaft had a diameter of about 1 1/4" at the weld point to the swing arm. The new axle had a shaft appears to be about 2 1/4" diameter at the weld point. Side by side I thought to myself that this difference was huge. It also gave me much larger bearings. I don't think you could twist this shaft off, if you tried.
With the bigger brakes and axle shaft also came an arm with with the same center to center diminsions but twice the size of the stock one, much more sprug weight but also much stronger.
More to the point, the new heavier duty Henschen axle I recieved, gave me a peace of mind that was worth every cent I paid for it.
In one of the earlier post someone was talking about welding the shock mounts to the arms, and I don't agree with the conclusion that was made.
They had said "it would damage the torsion rubber".
I have done it and the heat tranfered to the torsion rubber is nill. The mass of the arm is so big the arc does not heat it enough so that you can even feel it on the oposite side of the arm. As a matter of fact you can paint the weld about 5 minutes or less after welding because it disapates the heat that fast, not a problem at all.
The subject of the shock mounts, I feel that by haveing to weld the mounts on, I was able to do a better job of placement.
I mounted the axle into place and placed a floor jack under the arm and jacked it up and down a few times and by doing this I figured out the best placement of the shock bracket for the best shock geometry. The stock placement is not the best placement. It is the easiest for manufacturing purposes. I was able to take advantage of placment to get the best angle and largest travel out of the shock. I feel the shock will have more travel before it bottoms out - that should be better.
I'm not saying that my experiance was the way to do it, I think it is just one way to do it. I hope I have given people some things to think about when they replace their axle.
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Old 04-30-2005, 10:46 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet's Husband
I have gone through the axel change out on a 1977 Minuet. I think I was the last straw for pre-welded shock mounts on replacement axles from Henschen.
I have watched this thread with some interest because I thought to myself that I really got the shaft from "The axel people" due to the price I had paid for mine.
In retrospect The price I paid compaired to what I have seen with this axel project was not too out of line. Yes this way was cheaper. Was it the best way to go? For me, I'm not too sure.
My axle came with a custom drop angle, which could have been done here, however I had the voice of experiance guideing me in my purchase and I'm sure glad I listened. I am happy with the extra ground clearance. Maybe not everyones cup of tea, but it was good for me.
The new axle was rated at 3600lbs a little more than the old axle and I'm happy for that. Give me a couple hundred extra pounds of carrying capacity and it is not so hard that it hurts the trailer frame.
I ordered mine with bigger brakes. 12" drums vs. 10" drums, this makes all the difference in the world as to axle shaft reliability. I did not measure the old shaft weldment points, but it appears the old shaft had a diameter of about 1 1/4" at the weld point to the swing arm. The new axle had a shaft appears to be about 2 1/4" diameter at the weld point. Side by side I thought to myself that this difference was huge. It also gave me much larger bearings. I don't think you could twist this shaft off, if you tried.
With the bigger brakes and axle shaft also came an arm with with the same center to center diminsions but twice the size of the stock one, much more sprug weight but also much stronger.
More to the point, the new heavier duty Henschen axle I recieved, gave me a peace of mind that was worth every cent I paid for it.
In one of the earlier post someone was talking about welding the shock mounts to the arms, and I don't agree with the conclusion that was made.
They had said "it would damage the torsion rubber".
I have done it and the heat tranfered to the torsion rubber is nill. The mass of the arm is so big the arc does not heat it enough so that you can even feel it on the oposite side of the arm. As a matter of fact you can paint the weld about 5 minutes or less after welding because it disapates the heat that fast, not a problem at all.
The subject of the shock mounts, I feel that by haveing to weld the mounts on, I was able to do a better job of placement.
I mounted the axle into place and placed a floor jack under the arm and jacked it up and down a few times and by doing this I figured out the best placement of the shock bracket for the best shock geometry. The stock placement is not the best placement. It is the easiest for manufacturing purposes. I was able to take advantage of placment to get the best angle and largest travel out of the shock. I feel the shock will not have more travel be for it bottoms out that should be better.
I'm not saying that my experiance was the way to do it, I think it is just one way to do it. I hope I have given people some things to think about when they replace their axle.
That is pretty much the same thing I am having done on mine.
My shock mount brackets are being welded on as well. There really is no way to mount them other than welding. As for the welding on the axle. I am pretty sure they were talking about the mounting bracket not the shock bracket. Plus, if the shock bracket is welded on before the axle assembly then the bracket, arm and weld can be e-coated which makes it much better at resisting rust. I would rather have the whole axle e-coated, bracket and all then having totreat the ends of the axle with POR-15. There is no work for me then. It is all sealed up nice and clean.
As for the experience, torsion axles have been made by several companies for over 40 years. There really is no rocket sicence to it. As a matter of fact, the mounting bracket is an industry-standard bracket. Axis Products had it in stock. The mounting holes are perfect.
I could have gone with more angle. I didn't want it. It would have cost me nothing extra to go with more.
12" brakes will give you a little more of some things but of the 4 Airstreams and Argosys I have owned I have never had a problem with 10".
My axle will be 3,500#. More than enough to handle what I will ask from it.
Aixs Products builds axles. I like the fact that I had no middleman to go through. If I have a problem with the axle I deal directly through them.
It is no secret that you have one place to go to for your Henschen axle. Three years ago I watched the price of the Henschen go from $450 plus shipping to $800 plus shipping literally overnight. I don't have a problem with someone making a profit but there is a breaking point that I cannot justify.
I know the Henschen is a good quality axle. I am sure that I will get at least 20 years out of mine for less than half the price.
There are tons of trailer places out there that will fit a new Dexter or Al-Ko on an Airstream product for $800 installed.
Bottom line - if the Henschen would be sold for half the price I would have a Henschen underneath my Minuet right now. There would be no hesitation. When competition is brought into the equation then the price of the Henschen would come down. When there is only one supplier then there is a monopoly.
Now there will be a supplier that has remanufactured the old Henschen and has redesigned the shock bracket. It is a simple thing to know how the shock bracket should be modified for any angle once you know where it should be mounted for one angle. It is simple math from there. I am sure that Axis Products will now be able to supply any angle with the proper position of the shock bracket without ever seeing the trailer or the axle. The positioning of the shock bracket will depend upon the angle. It is not a mystery as to how to position a shock bracket knowing the angle of the drop and the length of the shock. It becomes really easy from that point.
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Old 04-30-2005, 12:04 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet's Husband
In one of the earlier post someone was talking about welding the shock mounts to the arms, and I don't agree with the conclusion that was made.
They had said "it would damage the torsion rubber".
I have done it and the heat tranfered to the torsion rubber is nill. The mass of the arm is so big the arc does not heat it enough so that you can even feel it on the oposite side of the arm. As a matter of fact you can paint the weld about 5 minutes or less after welding because it disapates the heat that fast, not a problem at all.
Perhaps what I should have said is “it could damage the rubber cords”. As a general rule or practice Axis Products does all welding on a torsion axle prior to assembly. You see a lot of time, engineering, development and research have gone into formulating the “proper” recipe for the rubber cords. You are correct that the large torsion arm dissipates heat quickly, you are also right that you may have been successful. However there is no way, to my knowledge, to inspect the rubber once the axle is assembled. Thus we simply don’t want to chance the integrity of the cords. After all they not only act as a shock absorber internally and provide the independent suspension, they also hold the axle together after assembly.
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Old 04-30-2005, 07:52 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axleman
Perhaps what I should have said is “it could damage the rubber cords”. As a general rule or practice Axis Products does all welding on a torsion axle prior to assembly. You see a lot of time, engineering, development and research have gone into formulating the “proper” recipe for the rubber cords. You are correct that the large torsion arm dissipates heat quickly, you are also right that you may have been successful. However there is no way, to my knowledge, to inspect the rubber once the axle is assembled. Thus we simply don’t want to chance the integrity of the cords. After all they not only act as a shock absorber internally and provide the independent suspension, they also hold the axle together after assembly.
No heat for me, please.
No sense in taking chances.
On a side note, I should be picking up the Argosy this coming week!
It should ride a heck of a lot better!
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Old 04-30-2005, 07:57 PM   #79
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Shock Mount

Last Wednesday While Looking At Some Trailers ( Not Airstream )
I Noticed That The Single Axle 20 Foot That I Was Looking Over Did Have Rubber Torsion (sp) Type Of Axle And Didn't Have Any Shocks Just Noticed And Was Thinking.... Hum,,,what Does It Realy Do... On This Type Of Axel ...do We Realy Need It
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Old 05-01-2005, 12:50 AM   #80
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Please keep this in mind when considering your axle replacement!

When you do decide to replace your axle be certain of the original weight rating of the trailer as well as the axle.
Right now there is a lawsuit that has been filed against a dealer for installing an axle that was rated for nearly twice of what the trailer was rated for.
The trailer was literally shaken apart.
The axle manufacturer and one competitor had said that the trailer should have never been equipped with such a large axle.
It cost the owners nearly $5,000 to make it all right when it was all said and done.
This was not using an Axis Products axle. It was using a competitor's axle.

BE CAREFUL SIZING YOUR AXLE!
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Old 05-01-2005, 10:22 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotek
Lou,

Those are some confidence inspiring photos. It looks like they do good work, and more importantly, they keep you informed about their progress. That is good business.

You make a good point about the order of a renovation. I remember my first trailer. I was in such a hurry to polish it that I neglected everything else....hell, I didn't even know anything about what might be wrong with it, I just wanted it shiny.

Blissful ignorance!

Live & learn, right?

I will be replacing the axle on my GT soon. I have a friend who is a Dexter dealer and was leaning in that direction, but after learning of your positive experience, I may consider Axis as an option.

Keep up the good work!
Good thing we do learn as we go along. This is my fourth restoration/renovation. What all of us are doing is not easy nor is it inexpensive.
If I ever do another one I will start with the axle. It is the most important part of getting the thing to do what we want it to do most: TRAVEL!
I have been lucky due to the fact that I have never had a major problem while I was out with my running gear.
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Old 05-01-2005, 10:35 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B
I just spent a while on the phone with Henry from Axis Products about their axles and what they can provide. I was very impressed with the different options available for finishes on the axles from hand painted waterbased paint all the way to a galvanized finish if thats what you want. There is a multitude of different brake systems available, electric to disk in different materials. I think that they can provide you with anything you might possibly want and seemed very responsive to satisfying any request the customer may have.
I am going to have them give me a quote on a pair of axles for my 31'.
Mike B
Mike,
Keep us Sovereign owners updated on the pricing and options. My axles are not due for replacement...yet, I still have a decent down angle and they seem to move okay. But I am sure down the road I will want to replace them, as well as look at an upgrade for the brakes

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Old 05-01-2005, 11:00 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotair2
Last Wednesday While Looking At Some Trailers ( Not Airstream )
I Noticed That The Single Axle 20 Foot That I Was Looking Over Did Have Rubber Torsion (sp) Type Of Axle And Didn't Have Any Shocks Just Noticed And Was Thinking.... Hum,,,what Does It Realy Do... On This Type Of Axel ...do We Realy Need It

Well, I think they may be necessary. PM Rick Bell (Tarheel) and ask him about his near disaster due to worn shocks. Really made me sit up and take notice. Though his trailer is much larger and has three axles, I'd think you would still be subject to the same forces that he was, even having just the one axle. If nothing else, it's good insurance.
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Old 05-01-2005, 01:53 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by coriolis1
Well, I think they may be necessary. PM Rick Bell (Tarheel) and ask him about his near disaster due to worn shocks. Really made me sit up and take notice. Though his trailer is much larger and has three axles, I'd think you would still be subject to the same forces that he was, even having just the one axle. If nothing else, it's good insurance.
I figure, if it was made with shocks on it I am putting shocks BACK on it. I am not going to spend my valuable time trying to figure out why Aistream put shocks on a torsion axle, ya know?
I would not run around on one without the shocks. I have been around Airstreams since I was a baby. The first torsion axle I ever saw was on an Airstream. I always thought that is was mandatory for a torsion axle. Imagine my surprise when I found out it is far more common to NOT have the shocks!
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