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Old 06-22-2004, 09:14 AM   #1
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1962 16' Bambi
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What the HECK is this??!?!?!

After reading horror stories about old axles failing I removed a tire from my 62 bambi to ascertain the angle of my axle. The attached pictures are what was awaiting me. This can't be original. Obviously this axle has already failed and a PO came up with this, this.....??

Several plates were welded to the frame for shock clearance and a whatchamacallit was welded to the back of the hub to attach the shock to. Has anyone ever seen this before? It seems to work, there is a couple of inches of travel! Judging by the rust it looks like it has been there a long time. Is it wiser to run this or cut it all off and install a new axle?
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Old 06-22-2004, 09:21 AM   #2
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
Durango , Colorado
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Wow - thats creative - I'm always amazed at the work some folks make for themselves. I would remove all that stuff and buy a new axle.


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Old 06-22-2004, 09:26 AM   #3
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Give the PO credit at least he took the time to put shocks back on.
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Old 06-22-2004, 10:17 AM   #4
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1994 36' Classic 36
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I am impressed! I think it may even have a chance at being original.

It looks like a VERY good alternative to Torsion Axle.

Simple but functional.

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Old 06-22-2004, 10:49 AM   #5
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Cool! I'm not sure it's a good idea to weld stuff onto the back of the hub, but it seemed to work. Didn't fall off, did it?
I'd replace it because the axle is shot, but not just because it's 'different'.
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Old 06-22-2004, 11:09 AM   #6
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1948 16' Wee Wind
1953 21' Flying Cloud
Denver , Colorado
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That looks like the factory original shock absorber mounting system to me. The leaf springs used on earlier model year trailers were replaced in 1961 by the Dura-Torque axle, but Dura-Torques still need shock absorbers to dampen their spring action. In 1962, shock absorbers were mounted vertically to all Airstream trailer Dura-Torque axles, so I'd say these are original to your trailer. Vertical shock absorbers provide excellent damping action.

New replacement Dura-Torque axles have shock absorbers mounted at a near horizontal angle, so you will have to reengineer your shock absorber mounts when you replace your present axle.
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Old 06-22-2004, 12:20 PM   #7
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Good photo's.

What you have is "exactly" the way Airstream built the trailer.

The axle and shock brackets back then were very different from today's.

But then, original designs of most "anything," changes in time.

Your axle could also be welded directly to the chassis. Back then, some axles were mounted that way, and some were mounted in an "axle mounting plate."

A replacement axle, has brackets that permit bolting to an axle mounting plate. The absence of an axle mounting plate simply requires that after the frame is cleaned up, weld that plate into position. We have those plates made.

Additionally. because of clearances, the shock brackets are not welded in place on replacement axles for the earliest of years. They are easily welded on in the field and can be placed to suit your requirements.

Welding the shock brackets on in the field, "DOES NOT" void any warranty, contrary to rumors.

Additionally, you can keep the shock vertical brackets as they are, or you can convert to the horizontal type installation. In your case, one is as good as the other, as long as you utilize the correct shock.

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Old 06-22-2004, 01:32 PM   #8
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1964 26' Overlander
1977 25' Tradewind
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I think this shock arrangement provides for better shock geometry than the horizontal shock placement.
I recently had the need to reposition my shock horns on a new axle due to clearance problems and I spent about 3 hours pondering the benefits of the correct shock mount position.
The Horizontal layout requires more mechanical dampening than this vertical configuration, due to the lever and fulcrum principle.
I would replace the axle and weld the shock mount to the axle keeping the current configuration.
The weld to the axle was no big deal there is such a mass there it won't cause problems. Prep the parts and go for full penetration.

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