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Old 04-14-2014, 08:45 PM   #1
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1954 22' Safari
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Axle Question for 54 Safari

I have seen axles discussed frequently and have a question regarding the single axle on my 54 Safari. I have packed the wheel bearings, installed new seals, lubed the leaf springs and towed my trailer hundreds of miles with no problems. I often see members concerned about the safety of older axles. Should I be concerned about my (original) axle despite the fact that it has been trouble free?
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:11 PM   #2
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Next time you pull them a part to repack the wheel bearings wipe everything real clean and look for possible cracks on the spindles. Inspect the shackle bolts and springs for cracks as well as the u-bolts connecting everything together. If everything looks good, I'd say ROLL!!

Unless the springs a sagging, you should be fine. Some will tell you to swap them for torsion type, though I personally are not of that mind set.

Enjoy,
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Collapso View Post
I have seen axles discussed frequently and have a question regarding the single axle on my 54 Safari. I have packed the wheel bearings, installed new seals, lubed the leaf springs and towed my trailer hundreds of miles with no problems. I often see members concerned about the safety of older axles. Should I be concerned about my (original) axle despite the fact that it has been trouble free?
If your axles are working OK, then fine.

Torsion axles were introduced with the 1961 models, which provide a softer ride.

Some owners have switched to and upgraded to the torsion axles, only after they found troubles with the spring type.

If yours are still ok, then by all means, enjoy Airstreaming.

Andy
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:46 AM   #4
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1954 22' Safari
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Axle question for 54 Safari

Thank you for sharing this great advice!
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:00 AM   #5
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I agree with the above. Your axles are very different from the ones used in later airstreams- their rubber torsion rods become brittle over time-- you don't have to worry about that!
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:16 AM   #6
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I replaced the original axle on my 54 Safari with a 5200 lb Dexter straight axle. I had no safety concerns regrding the original axle. I kept the original springs and made new bushings from nylon rod
My motivation was I gained 4 inches of ground clearance going with the straight axle plus got new 12 inch brakes.
I figured by the time I found parts or replaced the original Warner brakes and bought a drop hitch bar to tow the trailer level it was about a wash cost wise
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:19 AM   #7
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I have seen the actual axle shafts break off on older axles that have been overloaded and failed from fatigue over the years. I wish my trailer had leaf springs. I love the maintainability of the older leaf spring axles. I don't like the whole concept of disposable rubber spring axles. I have a small cargo trailer with a Dexter rubber spring axle and the axle has been dead ever since I have had the trailer and it was only a few years old when I bought it. If you are really worried about the axle you could have it tested for cracks. If no cracks, then it is good for another 50+ years.

Perry
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:20 AM   #8
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I agree!
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