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Old 06-15-2012, 09:30 AM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Bluffton , South Carolina
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1978 31' Sovereign needs new shocks

Please, anyone with same model, tell me what kind of shocks I should install and any helpful tips you may have. I believe they are the original set. How can I safely achieve a few more inches of ground to chassis clearance, it seems a bit low? What is the normal lifespan of my axles system? Thank you, Jay Bluffton, SC
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:58 AM   #2
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Need the standard Airstream Shocks. However they aren't going to do anything to help your ride height.

Have you checked your axles to make sure they have enough movement and are at the original angles? With them being 34 years old there is a good possibility they need to be replaced. Not a difficult job.

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Old 06-16-2012, 04:28 AM   #3
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Good shocks may absorb some of the energy that may be causing damage to your unit from road roughness but will not give you additional ground clearance. If in doubt, pay to have them replaced.
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:50 AM   #4
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clearance

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Originally Posted by FishHouse View Post
Please, anyone with same model, tell me what kind of shocks I should install and any helpful tips you may have. I believe they are the original set. How can I safely achieve a few more inches of ground to chassis clearance, it seems a bit low? What is the normal lifespan of my axles system? Thank you, Jay Bluffton, SC
From everything I have read on here the odds are that your axles have served their time and are ready to be replaced. 25 to 30 years is about the limit. In addition to the rough ride your old axles will cause, they also will allow the entire chassis to drop a few inches. This is most likely the best fix to get you some ground clearance back. Add a few pics and the real experts will chime in with best methods to check your axles.
And as posted above, shocks are the same on all of the trailers. Not expensive either.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:15 PM   #5
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If those,as far as you know, are the original axles,they are probably shot. The rubber inside the tube solidifies and the axles do not move up and down. I gained 4 inches additional ground clearance after I replaced the axles.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:57 PM   #6
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1978 31' Sovereign
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I also have the same model and year trailer. What are things to look for that would show signs that the axels are shot?
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:14 PM   #7
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I also have the same model and year trailer. What are things to look for that would show signs that the axels are shot?
This article will help you to decide.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Andy
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:32 AM   #8
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I have an extra set of shocks that will fit, they are the black "Airstream" ones, believe they are made by Gabriel. PM me if you are interested. If the axles are original, they will need to be replaced, rubber just doesnt last that long.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:32 AM   #9
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Andy, thanks for the info, I actually have 4 shocks comming from you! How can I tell if the axles are original equip? I know that the original brake system has been replace with electric ones. I have the wheels off currently as we are repacking the bearings, putting on new tires, checking the brakes, etc... And the axles appear to have an equal amount of camber. I appreciate all of the input...you are dealing with a complete and total newb
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:20 AM   #10
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Andy, thanks for the info, I actually have 4 shocks comming from you! How can I tell if the axles are original equip? I know that the original brake system has been replace with electric ones. I have the wheels off currently as we are repacking the bearings, putting on new tires, checking the brakes, etc... And the axles appear to have an equal amount of camber. I appreciate all of the input...you are dealing with a complete and total newb
In the past, the axle serial numbers could be researched, but, unfortunately, all those records have been destroyed.

There are basically two easy check outs.

1. What is the position of the torsion arms, when the trailer is on the ground and loaded for travel?

2. When one side of the trailer is lifted off the ground, how much do the tires drop?

The article addresses those questions.


If your axles are original, then most likely the rubber rods have given out,

Also, if the trailer was parked, and not used for 2 to 3 years or so, the rubber rods have probably solidified.

Andy
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:01 PM   #11
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In the past, the axle serial numbers could be researched, but, unfortunately, all those records have been destroyed.

There are basically two easy check outs.

1. What is the position of the torsion arms, when the trailer is on the ground and loaded for travel?

2. When one side of the trailer is lifted off the ground, how much do the tires drop?

The article addresses those questions.


If your axles are original, then most likely the rubber rods have given out,

Also, if the trailer was parked, and not used for 2 to 3 years or so, the rubber rods have probably solidified.

Andy
The Dura-Torque Axle

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Old 02-03-2013, 03:35 PM   #12
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Another question...while there appears to be no issues at all with the frame, there are also no signs that it has been reinforced. Should I be worried, or does the fact that nothing has happened over the last 35 years indicate that it should be fine?
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