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Old 01-08-2011, 08:03 PM   #1
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To replace or not to replace the axles

I have a 1969 Airstream Overlander and I am wondering if I need to know how important it is to replace the axles?
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:27 PM   #2
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very important! There are many threads on this but an old axle basically eliminates your suspension, so going down the road just beats the tar out of your interior, windows, doors, appliances, stuff, not to mention the shell etc. It is an expensive project, we did it on our 69 25'. You'll love the added ground clearance in the back especially. It will tow better, safer brakes, peace of mind that your bearings are good etc. Definately worth doing.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:54 PM   #3
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You will also have tires that will hold up a lot longer,now the only suspension you have is the tires flexing. Dave
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:10 PM   #4
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My 68 TW had exactly ZERO suspension, none, the axles did not move. I can't imagine going to all the expense and work of redoing a vintage Airstream without replacing the axles. By the way, the cost of the axles will be a small part of the total expense. If you are going to be taking a while to redo the trailer, you don't have to do the axles first, but you will want to before you tow it.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:13 PM   #5
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If it's even in question at all, replace the axle(s). I put a crack in my frame because my axle was frozen in a position that made it look like it was in good shape. There were the usual signs ahead of time, like things bouncing out of shelves, cabinet doors getting mis-aligned- I just didn't know why it was happening, as I wasn't on the forums yet. It's a lot less expensive in the long run to replace the axles.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:01 AM   #6
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If you are concerned about the condition of the axles, it is time to replace them.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:58 AM   #7
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Even if you are not concerned, unless they were replaced in the last 25 years, it's time to replace them.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:38 AM   #8
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Like you I wondered about the axle on my 65. I did the test described on the Inland RV site (look under articles - axles on their website) and sure enough mine did not work at all. Replaced it and it completely transformed the ride. It rides very smooth now and sits about 3" higher. The job is not very hard to do. The hardest part for me was getting the old bolts out.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:42 AM   #9
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Ok so I will need to replace the axles. But do they come with complete with the breaks and bearings? Or do you have to buy everything ala carte? Approx. so I dont get sticker shocked how much do they cost?
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:53 AM   #10
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Does anyone know once they are ordered how long does it take to get to me. And what information from the axles do you need to have. Do you need the sticker on the axle or the make, model, and year? And where is the best place to get them? And who will stand behind their product better?
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:57 AM   #11
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Contact Andy at Inland RV. He was a great help to me when I replaced my axle. I ordered it with 12" brakes complete. I was able to make a road trip to the factory and saved a couple hundred shipping.

You could also try:
I have been supplying Axis axles to Airstreamers since 2005 and will continue to do so. If you check the Summer issue of Airstream Life (page 53) you'll see that I put a pair of Axis axles on Project "Vintage Thunder", back when I was affilliated with GSM. Axis axles were also installed on Project "Vintage Lightning" for Matthew McConaughey a couple of years later.

With the recent acquisition of the Henschen brand, my business, Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations can now also supply both Axis and Henschen axles, specifically tuned to suit any Airstream application. I have also installed Axis torsion axles on earlier "Leaf spring" type suspended Airstream's.

You'll see my ad in the Spring 2011 issue of Airstream Life.
Thanks,
Colin
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:08 AM   #12
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Or save some money and drop your current axles off to a local Dexter dealer there in Iowa. Then after a week or so go pick up your new axles. Choose one that says "stocks axle beams." Just be sure to take the GVWR and axle info from the plates with you (if it isn't stamped right on the axle) so they know which capacity axle to build you.

Dexter can supply you with replacement 10" or 12" drum brakes and bearings, pre-instaqlled and lubed (like everyone else does, too)...

Dexter's Iowa dealer network

You'll find them a few hundred dollars cheaper "all in" than Inland RV.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:50 AM   #13
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I ordered mine through Andy at Inland RV. For an idea of what is involved, I posted a thread http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...ion-72600.html showing how I did it.

The hardest part was getting the old bolts off. I ordered mine complete with new brakes on the axles.

Good Luck.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:16 PM   #14
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Thank you to all of you who have posted replies on here. I really appreciate your advice on this subject.
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