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Old 01-09-2009, 09:39 PM   #1
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Would you install Dexter axles?

Has anyone installed Dexter axles? Is there a cost vice value in these axles? I'm going to get my local trailer shop (been in business for 30 years) to give me an estimate. "Bring your trailer by so we can see what needs to be done." I don't know if they have installed them on AS before.
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:49 PM   #2
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Airstream used them when they had that falling out with Henschen...might still use them. How they fit on a vintage I really couldn't say, but I wouldn't have an issue using them if they fit with little to no modification. I know either or both have simple bolt on that I have seen, just don't know which or both for sure.
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:37 PM   #3
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I have a Dexter axel on my Caravel, put it on in '04. I've been very happy with it. I had a local RV shop do it. In my case it saved me quite a bit of money. Since I needed someone else to do the work, and they recommended Dexter because they use them all the time on other trailers, I went with their recommendation.

The RV shop I used also had not done many AS, but they were a family owned shop with a good reputation, and they were very careful with it. I think they did a fine job. I don't think it's really rocket science to work on an Airstream. Just need someone who's willing to be careful and do it right.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:39 AM   #4
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No problems with Dexters. They have dealerships all over the country. Do it yourself and save a few bucks in the process. Use the extra $$ for another upgrade to the trailer or fuel for the next trip!
Remove the axle yourself, take it to a Dexter dealership so they can get the measurements, bracket configuration, weight rating (should be marked on the axle tag) and proper down angle (typically 22.5 degrees).
The only benefit to the Henshen axle is that you can get them in a 35 degree down angle which would give you a few more inches of ground clearance and you don't have to do any measuring.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:25 AM   #5
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I put Dexters on my 71 and have no complaints.

You do have to provide more measurements and specifications (which are critical you get them right) when ordering compared to Henshens. Dexters will also need drillling new mounting holes in both the axle and trailer mounting plate which Henshens do not.

You can get a better idea by downloading the Dexter application manual from their website.
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:28 PM   #6
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Put a new Dexter axle on my Caravel about 5 years ago. Purchased it from inland RV, had is shipped to me and installed it myself. Aside from drilling a few holes and buying some Grade 8 bolts from the hardware store, it was a piece of cake. Has worked very well. I took some measurements for the shocks to Napa and the parts man found a set that would work well for me. I don't remember what the shock were originally designed for though.
Good luck
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:36 PM   #7
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here's my dexter axle

Axle is a Dexter.....#5200 straight 70" track 53" underslung...$189.00
Drum 12 x 2.....6 bolt.............................................. ............$159.30

Backing plate 12" L.H............................................... ..........$68.99
Backing plate 12" R.H............................................... ..........$68.99
U-Bolt kit............................................... ............................$14.00
Shackle Link...2.5"....5/8 hole.............................................. $9.00
Shackle Bolt....5/8"/ lock nut............................................... $29.34
Bushing............14-73 rednek............................................ ..$89.94
Grease and Pin............................................... ...................$5.00
Parts total............................................. .............................$633.56

Labor............................................. ....................................$75.00

Sale tax............................................... ..............................$38.01

Grand total............................................. ............................$746.57

Labor included: Install backing plate, clean and pack bearings, adj brakes
and weld on shock mounts, installed rubber bushings to leaf springs, plus
they answered all of my questions on wiring, brake away switch and much more.

The shocks where bought at Amazon.com
2 Monroe 555002 Gas-Magnum R.......$18.39........................2 $36.78
(Per Monroe tech support)

The reason for the straight axle is that I'm going with black and gray tanks and need
the 3 extra inches. With a local Dexter axle business was able to take the original axle in for very accurate measurements.

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Old 01-31-2009, 05:36 PM   #8
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horizontal/vertical shocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by toothDr View Post
Put a new Dexter axle on my Caravel about 5 years ago. Purchased it from inland RV, had is shipped to me and installed it myself. Aside from drilling a few holes and buying some Grade 8 bolts from the hardware store, it was a piece of cake. Has worked very well. I took some measurements for the shocks to Napa and the parts man found a set that would work well for me. I don't remember what the shock were originally designed for though.
Good luck
There are 2 different types of shocks. Most shocks operate vertically. Some AS shocks operate horizontally. Not a good idea to interchange them. Most auto parts shocks are vertical.
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Old 02-01-2009, 07:50 AM   #9
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A/S made the switch from verticle shocks to horizontal shocks in 1967 if I remember correctly. This was done to save space inside the coach.

Units built prior to that including toothdr's unit built in 1966 are OK with getting an auto parts store shocks.

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