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Old 07-10-2014, 02:02 PM   #1
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Inside tire wear on back axle

Both tires on back axle are wearing on the inside. Axles were good to go in January 2014 and tires seem to have enough tread. 4000 miles later need to replace these tires.

Any ideas..guess first one is it is the axle?
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:23 PM   #2
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Sounds like wheel alignment to me. Have you taken it in for a wheel alignment? That's where I would start.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:47 PM   #3
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Getting 2 new tires in Salida, CO. No alignment place here..headed to Colorado Springs to get that done. Hoping that is what these guys will see it as the problem and not a bad axle.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:53 PM   #4
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If you have a straight edge like a 4 ft florescent light bulb lay it across the center of the hubs on the rear axle with the bulb extending forward across the front axle. The bulb should touch the tire just as it does the rear tire. If you see a gap, or if the bulb is lifted off the front edge of the rear tire, you have a bent axle.

Airstream axles have to be bent to aline the tires. If you need an alinement look or a truck axle shop as they are the only ones that will have the equipment to do the job. Do not take the trailer to Jackson Center unless you just like to waste money.

Gaumer's in Chambersberg Pa. is the shop I use.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:47 AM   #5
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Getting new back tires then taking it to MyTopTechAuto in CO Springs for alignment for $219..if they cannot do it they charge $25 per axle to say no can do. We are full-timers presently in CO.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Do not take the trailer to Jackson Center unless you just like to waste money.

Gaumer's in Chambersberg Pa. is the shop I use.
Why?
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:43 PM   #7
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If inside wear on both tires left and right, my guess is bent or overloaded axle deflecting. I'm not a trailer expert and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night but if it were alignment I'd think there would be inside wear on one side and outside wear on the other.

An alignment shop would be able to tell you, however, if camber was out of whack on the rear axle, which, I believe, is not adjustable and indicative of a bent axle.

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Old 07-11-2014, 02:15 PM   #8
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You sure this is a recent problem. It sounds sorta like it was never aligned properly the first place. The axle is a square tube with the rubber inserts. Once the control arms are inserted in the axle tube, I believe the axle tube is then bent with a hydraulic bending machine to get the proper camber and heal and toe. If they forgot to bend the axle at the factory you would have wear on the inside edges. You could also rotate tires to prolong tire life till you get it fixed. One my my axles looks like a noodle but it tracks straight and true with no tire wear.

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Old 07-11-2014, 02:23 PM   #9
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Inside tire wear on back axle

Loose/worn wheel bearings CAN cause wear on the inside edge.

I could also envision a trailer that rides quite a bit higher in the front than at the back could cause some deflection that might cause inside wear on the rear axle.

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Old 07-11-2014, 04:15 PM   #10
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That is a possibility. If he jacks up the trailer and wiggles the wheel he will find out if it is the bearings or not. If the axle rubber has completely deteriorated it would also cause the inside edge wear.

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Old 07-11-2014, 05:11 PM   #11
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Was there a previous owner of the trailer? Has one axle been replaced before (or after) you've owned it? The front axle may have failed some time ago and replaced and now the rear axle is going bad, or the rear axle may have been replaced improperly. It would be strange for 2 wheel bearing assembles to fail at the same time and produce the same tire wear unless both were done at the same time and not done properly. Whatever service has been done on the wheels and axles in the past may give you a clue to solve the underlying problem.

You can detect abnormal tire wear with a tire tread depth gauge—around $10 at an aftermarket auto parts store. You can tell if the tire is wearing improperly with the gauge before you can easily see it with your eye.

A wheel bearing that isn't tight enough should wobble and not give a consistent wear pattern. I'd still check it first since that's easy to do. Jack up the wheel and hold the tire on each side and see what movement there is. The wheel should have a little play in it. It is counterintuitive that a wheel should be slightly loose, but it works that way. Too much either way (too tight or too loose) and the bearings will fail, maybe before the tires show abnormal wear.

From experience, I know you can drive thousands of miles on bearings that are too loose before they overheat and start coming apart (I'm not the one who adjusted it; the ones I've done have never failed). Eventually the wheel will come off. By that time the axle and brake drum may be damaged. Fixing it was a challenge deep in the northern Minnesota woods, but it got done temporarily. Eventually a new brake drum and bearings were necessary.

One other thing to check. Airstream wheels are supposed to have a 0˚ offset. That means, as I understand it, the center of the wheel is over the center of the axle spindle. The spindle is the end of the axle and what the drum fits on. If the read wheels are not 0˚ offset, the stresses on the wheel are not correct and I suppose the tire could ride at a slight angle in reference to the spindle. The offset degrees should be on the inside of the wheel.

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Old 07-11-2014, 06:24 PM   #12
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I had the same thing happen on mine. New axles 4 years ago. Tires new 5 years ago. Went to do brake service and discovered rear axle tires worn on the inside. I consulted with a local trailer shop about alignment and was advised that this is common on torsion axle trailers that are not run very equal on both axles when rolling. Running the nose a little high and not rotating tires I believe was the culprit. Time will tell.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:35 PM   #13
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Jason, good information. It is easy to not bother rotating tires because they all usually wear the same, but I want to get full use of the spare by rotating it with the other tires. But I can see how having the trailer not level will shift more weight to one axle, but why would this wear on one side of the tire instead of wearing the entire tires more than the on the other axle? Does too much weight cause them to go out of alignment? Does this damage the axle or will it spring back once the trailer is leveled?

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Old 07-11-2014, 06:42 PM   #14
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I won't dare profess to be a pro on this. I found the odd wearing and immediately thought alignment. I measured and as best I could and found 1/8" difference between the two sides of my rear axle. I called the local shop and tried to make an appointment. He asked how my trailer sat going down the road. I divulged that it sat a bit nose high due to needing a lower shank. He advised that I level it properly, put on new tires, and leave it for a while and observe the tires.
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