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Old 03-30-2004, 03:48 PM   #1
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torsion axle...not sure

hello....

we have a 1963 safari and are under the impression that this was the year AS switched to a torsion axle...im wondering if this is true can i replace this with a straight axle w/ springs.....

if i can, do i need to re-inforce the frame or how can i connect it...

thanks
rich
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Old 03-30-2004, 03:57 PM   #2
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Typical axle mount is a 40" long 4" x 2" angle, about 14ga. Spring eyes are 36" between centers. Springs are 7 leaf x 2" wide. If you need a autocad drawing, send me a PM.
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Old 03-30-2004, 05:05 PM   #3
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torsion axle...not sure

Greetings Rich!

Quote:
we have a 1963 safari and are under the impression that this was the year AS switched to a torsion axle...im wondering if this is true can i replace this with a straight axle w/ springs.....
According to the information that I have, the DuraTorque axle was first introduced on Airstreams in 1961 and became a standard feature in 1962. While I have read of at least one person who has converted from DuraTorque to the Dexter equivalent on the VAL list (and several more who are pondering the possibility), I haven't heard of any converting to a straight axle with leaf springs. It should be possible, but you will want to be careful with spring rates and be sure that the axle is equipped with shock absorbers - - too much stiffness in the ride will cause a number of maladies including popped rivets.

If your concern is with cost of the DuraTorque replacement, I would suggest looking into the overall cost of the modification that you are considering. The DuraTorque replacements on a single axle coach are not terribly expensive considering the length of time one of these axles can last - - the installed price on the new DuraTorque for my Minuet was just a little over $1,000.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 03-30-2004, 06:18 PM   #4
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I agree with Kevin. A complete axles assembly is $800.00, plus freight, and two shocks are around $60.00/pair. Changing to a straight axle will almost certainly cause strange things to happen, not the least of which is the trailer will almost certainly ride a LOT higher, and if you hit a bump hard enough to bottom out the springs, you could seriously damage the underside of your coach.
Not saying it couldn't be done, but I personally think that it would cause more problems in the not-too-long run than the benefit of lower price would warrant.
Terry
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Old 03-30-2004, 06:19 PM   #5
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The hard part of replacing the Toro is getting the old one off. Which you would have to do anyway. Once off you bolt the new one on. What you are considering is alot more work with uncertain results and likly just as costly to have someone else do it.
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Old 03-31-2004, 08:08 PM   #6
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thanks

well...thanks for the info..

im not going all the way to a sraight axle cause of the clearance issue...im pondering a 4" drop axle w/ a firestone ride right airbag suspension...

im doing this to allow me to lower the trailer(8"...if i calculated it correctly) to allow a lower ground hieght for wheelchair ramp access...

the air suspension has a 6"-8" range....we are removing the floor soon so any fabrication is available....my wife will be doing the welding and friend will be doing the fabrication for the firestone system....

i realize this is not standard to do... but if we dont think outside the box the bullet would have never been made...im trying to just make the world accessible for EVERYONE...

thanks
rich
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Old 04-01-2004, 09:40 PM   #7
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Okay, thinking outside the box, why not make a wheelchair lift into the part of the trailer where the door is? Out of aluminum, of course. When lowered, the entire floor area will drop down to street level, roll the chair on,then lift back up and lock into position. If you get creative, you will even be able to use the floor space where the door/lift is.
You have to alter the door anyway, to make it wide enough for the chair to fit. I have a picture in my mind of how this could work, unfortunately it doesn't translate well into type.
Terry
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