Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-22-2004, 09:14 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
bigshinything's Avatar
1962 16' Bambi
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 21
Images: 8
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?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Airstream 019.jpg
Views:	410
Size:	60.6 KB
ID:	7279   Click image for larger version

Name:	Airstream 026.jpg
Views:	391
Size:	58.1 KB
ID:	7280  

Click image for larger version

Name:	Airstream 029.jpg
Views:	406
Size:	61.0 KB
ID:	7281  

bigshinything is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2004, 09:21 AM   #2
Rivet Master
Ken J's Avatar
1956 22' Flying Cloud
Durango , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: 1975 25' Tradewind
Posts: 3,368
Images: 14
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.


1956 Flying Cloud
Founder :
Four Corners Unit
Albuquerque National Balloon Fiesta
Vintage Trailer Academy - Formerly the original
restoration rally
Ken J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2004, 09:26 AM   #3
3 Rivet Member
FireFighter's Avatar
Currently Looking...
bay city , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: 1970 31' Sovereign
Posts: 155
Images: 9

Give the PO credit at least he took the time to put shocks back on.
FireFighter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2004, 10:17 AM   #4
Still Working
smily's Avatar
1994 36' Classic 36
North Charleston , South Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,654
Images: 19

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.

smily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2004, 10:49 AM   #5
Site Team
, Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 7,101
Images: 59
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'.
markdoane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2004, 11:09 AM   #6
Rivet Master
47WeeWind's Avatar
1948 16' Wee Wind
1953 21' Flying Cloud
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,150
Images: 20
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.
Fred Coldwell, WBCCI #1510, AIR #2675
Denver, Colorado - WBCCI Unit 24
Airstream Life "Old Aluminum"
Airstream Life
"From the Archives"
47WeeWind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2004, 12:20 PM   #7
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1

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.

Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2004, 01:32 PM   #8
Rivet Master
Janets Husband's Avatar
1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
1964 26' Overlander
1977 25' Tradewind
Eastern , Washington
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 865
Images: 6
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.

Janets Husband is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What The Heck Are These For? Gwen General Interior Topics 7 03-28-2004 09:24 AM
What the heck is this? JimC Batteries, Univolts, Converters & Inverters 2 10-04-2003 02:24 PM
**Chris Quit Blinking At Me** Silvertwinky Our Community 6 09-02-2003 11:11 AM
What the heck is that switch on the wall??? TRAPEZE Airstream Motorhome Forums 7 09-10-2002 04:05 AM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:49 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.