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Old 04-23-2008, 06:29 PM   #1
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1962 22' Flying Cloud
1954 26' Romany Cruiser
Freeport , Maine
Join Date: Apr 2007
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1962 Flying Cloud Electric Brakes

Hi everyone,

My wife and I picked up a vintage Flying Cloud last year. We haven't had a lot of luck with the brakes. Had a controller installed in the tow vehicle, but it never seemed to work.

This year I am tracing the wiring. I found that one of the magnets is shorted out. I pulled the hub off the wheel and find that the magnet is like a really large bagel. It fits around the spindle and is about 10" accross. Does anyone know if this can be replaced?

I asked on the VAC mail list and it was suggested that replacing the whole axle was probably the best way to fix the problem. I am reluctant to do this. I have pulled the whole wheel of the axle. It isn't a straight axle, but is forward of the wheels. The wheels are mounted on the end of a arm that comes off the end of the axle. Anyone know if there is a online resource that would allow me to compare the bolt pattern so I can match it with a replacement?

Any help would be great.

Thanks,
Steve McPheters
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:43 PM   #2
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The axle is probably a Duratorque, made by Henschen. As far as brakes, you can get a loaded backing plate (shoes, magnet, and ll hardware) for about $60 per side. Brakes are different from left to right, and you will need each side for replacement.
As far as the magnet circling the drum, I have never seen that. All I have seen have been relatively small (maybe 2" in diameter) magnets connected to an elbow-shaped actuator arm.
Brakes are pretty much standard from trailer to trailer.
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Old 04-27-2008, 10:40 AM   #3
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1962 22' Flying Cloud
1954 26' Romany Cruiser
Freeport , Maine
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 95
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I have attached a photo of what it looks like now.

I purchased loaded backer plates and hubs, but once I started to look at the dimensions discovered that they won't fit. The sales person said I would only have to replace the bearings. Found out later that the spindles are too short.
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Old 04-27-2008, 11:32 AM   #4
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1962 22' Safari
1957 22' Custom
Vacationland , Maine
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The photo of your hub looks unfamiliar..... but it has been four years since i changed my axle on my 62'.

I did replace my brakes, magnets, bearings and seals at a cost of $300.00 and I did the work on the orginial axle before moving the trailer north from Delaware. (Long trip on I-95) As I reflect on that work and the cost to do that I think in your case it would be better to direct all of that effort and cost towards replacing with a new axle.

It is a reality you will have to accept that your orginial axle is shot if it is a Henchen Duratorque of that year. If it is a leaf spring pre 62' it can be rebuilt, but the ride will not be as good as the duratorque.

If you have not done this, spend some time searching through the axle and running gear treads. They all pretty much reinforce the replacement route with a trailer of this "vintage".
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Old 04-27-2008, 11:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smcpheters
Hi everyone,

My wife and I picked up a vintage Flying Cloud last year. We haven't had a lot of luck with the brakes. Had a controller installed in the tow vehicle, but it never seemed to work.

This year I am tracing the wiring. I found that one of the magnets is shorted out. I pulled the hub off the wheel and find that the magnet is like a really large bagel. It fits around the spindle and is about 10" accross. Does anyone know if this can be replaced?

I asked on the VAC mail list and it was suggested that replacing the whole axle was probably the best way to fix the problem. I am reluctant to do this. I have pulled the whole wheel of the axle. It isn't a straight axle, but is forward of the wheels. The wheels are mounted on the end of a arm that comes off the end of the axle. Anyone know if there is a online resource that would allow me to compare the bolt pattern so I can match it with a replacement?

Any help would be great.

Thanks,
Steve McPheters
You cannot mate new brake parts to something that is almost 50 years old.

You have the old "doughnut" magnets.

Those have been off the market for probably 35 years or more.

If you try to mate new backing plates to your present axle, you will find that the drums will rub on the backing plates. You would have to cut down the drums, which is very hazardous to safety.

Your only realistic option is to replace the complete axle.

All axles from 73 and older will fail because of the composition of the rubber rods that was used.

Hoping that you can repair what you have, is wishful thinking at best.

Andy
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:17 PM   #6
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1962 22' Flying Cloud
1954 26' Romany Cruiser
Freeport , Maine
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Safari62,

Thanks for the info.

What brand did you replace your axle with.

Steve
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:29 PM   #7
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
Venice , California
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hi steve,

i had inland replace my axle since they are only an hour away from me. i had the old leaf springs, so they had to remove those and weld a couple of plates to accept the new henschen axle. i also opted for the kodiak disc brake system. pricey, but money well spent in my opinion.

there's a ton of info on here for axles and i've read a bunch of threads. either way, i don't think you can go wrong with henschen or dexter. it really depends on your own application and do you want direct bolt in (henschen) or are you a little more handy and can do the extra steps required for the dexter and save some bucks in the process.

generally speaking, dexters are less expensive than henschen, but again, it depends on how handy you are with installing everything.
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:55 PM   #8
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1962 22' Safari
1957 22' Custom
Vacationland , Maine
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Hi Steve
I was not adventurous enough to try another brand and ordered the Henchen from Inland. This made it easier as I did not have to do all the research required to order a Dexter or Axis brand, even though the price is much less. Many on the forums have used the other brands with good results.

As far as directly bolting a Henchen right in.......well that's just not really true although it is repeated by Andy over and over here on the Forums. At least in my case it was required to drill six new half inch holes in the frame and relocate the shock mount by cutting and welding. So...drilling, cutting and welding...

this year I removed the Chinese bearing parts and replaced them with Timken USA parts. My electric brakes stop my light weight trailer and truck well but if you can afford the disc set up why not go for it. At least they are still made in the US. I suspect the electric brake parts are from you know where.

The best thing to do is have the work done at a good dealer and then you do not have to worry about any surprizes.
Good luck.
Gary
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari62
Hi Steve
I was not adventurous enough to try another brand and ordered the Henchen from Inland. This made it easier as I did not have to do all the research required to order a Dexter or Axis brand, even though the price is much less. Many on the forums have used the other brands with good results.

As far as directly bolting a Henchen right in.......well that's just not really true although it is repeated by Andy over and over here on the Forums. At least in my case it was required to drill six new half inch holes in the frame and relocate the shock mount by cutting and welding. So...drilling, cutting and welding...

this year I removed the Chinese bearing parts and replaced them with Timken USA parts. My electric brakes stop my light weight trailer and truck well but if you can afford the disc set up why not go for it. At least they are still made in the US. I suspect the electric brake parts are from you know where.

The best thing to do is have the work done at a good dealer and then you do not have to worry about any surprizes.
Good luck.
Gary
Gary.

I have repeatedly posted, that from 1969 on up, Henschen axles are direct bolt in.

I have never said that direct bolt in applied to 1968 and older Airstream trailers.

1968 and older, used a different axle mounting plate and a different axle mounting bracket.

In the later case, yes, you must drill 3 each, 1/2 holes on each side.

But, there are no measurements that you need to make, and you do not need to order a special built axle, like some others chose to do.

We take great pride in providing the correct axle replacements, by having nothing more than the trailer serial number.

Some Chinese parts in many different products, are a result of most peoples argument that things should be done, "the American way."

The American way, is to usually buy things cheaper. That being the case, the American public, itself, has created the problem.

Not to my personal liking either, but as I have been told many times, "that's the way it is."

There are many posts regarding the Chinese subject in previous threads.

Most all bearing failures, regardless of American or foreign made, is a result or lack of proper bearing PM.

CONTRARY to opinions of a few, the bearings in an Airstream or Argosy trailer, MUST, repeat, MUST, be service every 10,000 ,miles, or once a year, whichever is first.

If that is ignored, then that person must personally take the blame, should there be a bearing failure.

Also, the brakes must be service every year or 10,000, whichever comes first as well.

Having a brake lockup, by not performing the brake service as per the RV industries suggestion, again, can happen, especially with "oval" magnets.

When it does, the make of the bearings has nothing to do with it.

Lack of proper PM to many things in travel trailers, because of one's choice, of course, in never the owners fault.

Human nature is always to place the blame on something else, or someone else, when they find that their poor decision, BACKFIRED.

If a person cannot afford the required PM's, then perhaps they made a poor choice when they bought the trailer in the first place.

This may, to some, sound very harsh, but the fact remains, proper PM's, especially to bearings and brakes, is not a "maybe," but a must.

Or else. That's a guarantee.

Andy
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:49 PM   #10
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1962 22' Flying Cloud
1954 26' Romany Cruiser
Freeport , Maine
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Well, I took the plunge and bought a replacement axle from Inland. It arrived last Friday and I have it home waiting to be installed. I have attached some photos. The shock assorber mounting studs came loose. Does anyone know how to mount them when I am ready?

Steve
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smcpheters View Post
Well, I took the plunge and bought a replacement axle from Inland. It arrived last Friday and I have it home waiting to be installed. I have attached some photos. The shock assorber mounting studs came loose. Does anyone know how to mount them when I am ready?

Steve
Steve.

The brackets are loose because there is a huge difference where they are located, from year to year and from Ohio and the California plants.

Have them welded on so that they fit properly. You can use the location of them from your old axle as a guide.

That welding will not in any way hurt the rubber rods.

Andy
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:46 AM   #12
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1962 22' Flying Cloud
1954 26' Romany Cruiser
Freeport , Maine
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 95
Images: 4
Further update on the axle replacement.

My wife and I started using cutting wheels to cut the welds, but were so concerned about the sparks we stopped. They were going into the bellypan.

We switched to a airhammer and chisel. Didn't seem to make a dent.

We peeled back the under belly skin. We thought would switch back to the cutoff wheels and with the bellypan open it would be safer. This exposed the frame and the square tube construction. Wouldn't be able to get a bolt and nut into that. I borrowed my friends cutoff torches and cut the axle out leaving one leg as reinforcing. I am going to drill and tap for the fastening bolts.

Pictures attached.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:06 AM   #13
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Further update on the axle replacement.

My wife and I started using cutting wheels to cut the welds, but were so concerned about the sparks we stopped. They were going into the bellypan.

We switched to a airhammer and chisel. Didn't seem to make a dent.

We peeled back the under belly skin. We thought would switch back to the cutoff wheels and with the bellypan open it would be safer. This exposed the frame and the square tube construction. Wouldn't be able to get a bolt and nut into that. I borrowed my friends cutoff torches and cut the axle out leaving one leg as reinforcing. I am going to drill and tap for the fastening bolts.

Pictures attached.
DO NOT tap holes for the hardware.

After you have the new axle in place, drill three 1/2 inch holes thru the axle mounting bracket and thru the axle mounting plate. Do that on each side.

That axle mounting methos is far superior than drilling and tapping holes.

The tapped holes wouldn't begin to have the holding power that the 1/2 inch bolts described above will have.

Secondly, if you properly torqued the bolts down to the tapped holes, you will more than likely strip the holes.

If you didn't strip the holes, then the amount of torquing would be most inadequate.

Don't attempt to change something that's been done, hundreds of thousands of times, that has an absolute "ZERO" failure rate.

Using the cutting wheels is Ok, as long as you shut off the LPG, just in case you may have a small LPG leak.

The underbelly will receive the sparks and may show a few pecks in it from the sparks. Those pecks will simply join probably thousands that are already there.

Andy
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:43 AM   #14
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1962 22' Flying Cloud
1954 26' Romany Cruiser
Freeport , Maine
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 95
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Andy, maybe I have done somthing wrong.

The original axle was welded to the frame. The frame is a closed tube about 2 inches thick and four inches high. The original axle runs thru and is welded to angle iron. The angle iron is welded to the bottom of the frame. To remove the axle, I cut off the leg of the angle that the axle is running thru, thus releasing the old axle from the frame. The other leg of the axle is still welded to the frame.

The new axle has much the same thing, but shorter angle iron. The lenth from angle to angle is almost the same as the original, with 1/8 inch difference. There are 2 oblong holes on the top of the angle and 4 on the side.

I don't see a bracket or plate. Was this part of the original hardware or part of the new?
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