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Old 05-28-2016, 10:09 AM   #15
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One final question before I make the decision

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Originally Posted by Action View Post
The only reason for replacing the axle would be because you could not find newer backing plates to fit the existing axle and newer drums to accept bearings that fit the spindle.

Otherwise you have a perfectly good axle. (If the leaf springs are still good is another question) You could take the drums and backing plate to a trailer shop in Austin and see if you get a match. Or call in there with measurements.

Or find a vendor to re-line the shoes for now. Sounds like the existing drums will work for now and eventually they will need to be replaced in time.

Your 22' trailer isn't likely to weigh much so it won't take much braking power to stop it. Meaning brake wear in the future may not be great as would be with a heavier trailer.

>>>>>>>>>>Action

What is the failure rate on these old drop axles? Am I stupid to keep the original axle to save a few hundred bucks? This is a full Monty after all. Here are my final options:

1. Clean it up and put everything back together as is. The brakes are worn, but they work, and they probably have another 10,000 miles left in them. One grease seal is leaking, so I'd replace it. Cost $15.

2. Have the shoes relined and use everything else. Shoes $88, grease seal $15, total cost $103. I could add new magnets for a total cost of $203.

3. Install new loaded backing plates, machine the existing hubs to fit (if necessary). Maybe $250 when all is said and done.

4. Replace the axle and brakes $400 - $500 (I install)
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:00 AM   #16
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There is some risk to option #3. You will not know until you have the new backing plates whether they will work with the original hubs.
I don't think they will, and I don't think you wil be able to machine them to fit. That's based on the geometry of the old hubs. If you do this, be sure that you can return the backing plates at no charge. Or keep the backing plates and move on to option #4.
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDickey View Post

What is the failure rate on these old drop axles?
Am I stupid to keep the original axle to save a few hundred bucks?
The failure rate of that axle is nearly zero. What may fail and cause damage is a wheel bearing and damage the spindle on the end of the axle.

And know that any 60 year old parts in any condition will be desired by someone out there that is looking for the original parts.

As to your intelligence, I will leave that up for you to decide.

For an opinion, mine would be #1. However know that I am a very cheap guy. (Ask my wife) nd I am very much into original pieces. I am currently cleaning out a shed with auto stuff I have picked up over the years. (Almost 60) Selling most of it because there is someone out there with my illness.

Then seek to do #2 next year because you should be looking at your brakes annually IF the trailer is frequently used.

>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:18 AM   #18
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I suspect, but don't have the numbers to back it up, that the dimension from the hub face to the centerline of the brakes shoes is different. That would make using the old hubs with new backing plates problematic.
As I said it won't be a problem if you can return the new backing plate or end up replacing the axle.
I'm not trying to talk you into one option or the other - just want you to be ready in case the old hubs don't work on the new backing plates.
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:37 AM   #19
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New backing plates with old hubs

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Originally Posted by markdoane View Post
I suspect, but don't have the numbers to back it up, that the dimension from the hub face to the centerline of the brakes shoes is different. That would make using the old hubs with new backing plates problematic.
As I said it won't be a problem if you can return the new backing plate or end up replacing the axle.
I'm not trying to talk you into one option or the other - just want you to be ready in case the old hubs don't work on the new backing plates.
Andy with Inland RV said that new backing plates would work with old hubs if you have the old hubs machined. Evidently the old backing plates are slightly offset towards the center of the trailer but the new ones are not, so the old hubs would rub on the new backing plates. There's a lip on the back of the old hub, and I'm guessing that if that lip is machined off the setup would work - but that's just a guess at this point.
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:10 PM   #20
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If you want to follow his advice then do so.

I think the lip on the old hubs are not a decorative element. I would suspect the lip has something to do controlling hoop stress in the hub.

But I may be wrong.
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:50 PM   #21
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Choose door #4 . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDickey View Post
Andy with Inland RV said that new backing plates would work with old hubs if you have the old hubs machined. Evidently the old backing plates are slightly offset towards the center of the trailer but the new ones are not, so the old hubs would rub on the new backing plates. There's a lip on the back of the old hub, and I'm guessing that if that lip is machined off the setup would work - but that's just a guess at this point.
DDickey:

With all due respect to Andy, unless he gives you an engineering drawing with all the applicable measurements for "machining" the Hadco hubs, I would avoid that option. Moreover, unless your machinist has successfully performed this exact same conversion before and has, and will give you, a proven list of all the correct bearings and seals to use after machining, having now spent a few hundred dollars in machine shop costs you might end up with incompatible parts that don't work together.

And after the machining has been done, you can no longer go back to options 1 and 2 (rebuilding the 60 year old Hadco axle) because you have altered the original Hadco hubs so they no longer fit. Having tried option #3, if you fail you now have a pile of incompatible, useless and costly but worthless axle parts.

IMHO, in the long run you will be better off following option 4, buying a brand new axle (I'd used a numerically lower drop like 2" or maybe even a straight axle to give your Airstream additional ground clearance) because you will now have all new brake parts that should either remain in production or have readily and widely available replacement parts for the next few decades. That alone is worth quite a bit.

The Hadco axle is 70 years old, and although perhaps still strong and functional, its weakness is the lack of readily available replacement and service parts for rebuilding it to new condition. Modifying it will, IMHO, render it junk unless you are totally successful, then fully document the conversion work and all the new service and replacement parts, and then finally keep that now-critical documentation with your Airstream for the balance of its life. That's asking a lot in the real world.

Take a very close look again at the quite different spindle profiles of the axle ends posted by Markdoane in post #16. [I believe the axle stubs in the lower photo are in opposite order -- Hadco on left and new axle on right -- from the complete axles in the upper photo -- new axle on left and Hadco on right]. Do you and, far more importantly, your machinist, fully understand how the machined hubs will fit on the Hadco axle after they have been machined . . . and which bearings and seals will now fit and work properly with the machined hubs? If not, I suggest you avoid option #3 as a likely waste of money.

You say you are doing a "full Monte" on this '57 Custom Airstream. Given that level of investment, bite the bullet and buy a new axle for it. You will be happier with that option in the long run, rather than trying to keep your obsolete Hadco working from year to year.
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Old 05-28-2016, 03:45 PM   #22
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And this might help

http://www.hadcoengineering.com/PDF%...atalog2001.pdf

http://www.hadcoengineering.com/

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 05-28-2016, 04:40 PM   #23
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Thanks for the links!

Action:

Thank you for posting the links to the Hadco and its catalog. Without investigation, I had blindly assumed they were no longer in business. Its nice to see they are. Those links are great resource for obtaining Hadco axle parts. DDickey might be able to rebuild and new his original Hadco axle after all.
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Old 05-28-2016, 08:16 PM   #24
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I had wondered the same thing about Hadco. The catalog may not have the parts needed. And a phone call may yield some parts that are not in the catalog.

As I posted earlier I am kind of a cheap dude. I also like originality or restoration to the original. In DDickey's case it may not make much difference as I believe he is doing a complete tear down.

However it is still nice to know a company that started before several major economic events is still manufacturing their product.

>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:17 PM   #25
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All That Fretting for Nothing

So I went to the local trailer shop (Magnum Custom Trailers - really good guys) and they let me borrow a backing plate to try. It fits perfectly, no need to machine or otherwise customize any other part. The only difference is the original backing plate has studs and the new one has hole, so I'll use 3/8" x 1" grade 3 fine-thread bolts with lock nuts. I'm going to repack the bearings, replace the seals and paint the hubs with black caliper paint. I feel bad for not buying from Andy at Inland RV because he was the one who said it would work, but I thought I might get caught up shipping heavy parts back and forth. Don't worry Andy, there's lots more for me to buy before I'm done I'll find out who manufactures these backing plates and post that later this week since they bolt right on and work perfectly
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:00 PM   #26
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Very nice!!!!

There are several people that have the older leaf spring axles. This will be good news for them.

And I am sure it was great news for you!

When the time comes to replace the drum, are they going to have a drum that fits your spindle??
If you get that data as well it would serve others too.

>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:54 PM   #27
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The drum is a different story

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Very nice!!!!

There are several people that have the older leaf spring axles. This will be good news for them.

And I am sure it was great news for you!

When the time comes to replace the drum, are they going to have a drum that fits your spindle??
If you get that data as well it would serve others too.

>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
Unless Hadco still makes them I doubt I'll find a modern drum to fit. My drums have lots of meat left on them, but I'm going to go ahead and buy a pair from someone who has replaced their axle. That way when it comes time I'll have a pair to throw on there. Maybe I'll get 10 or 15 more years out of this setup?
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:38 PM   #28
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DDicky, what brakes did you end up getting. I was looking at Dexter 12" self adjusting from Airstream Supply or the Nev-R-Adjust Electric Brake from etrailer.
Tony
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