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Old 05-28-2007, 07:15 PM   #1
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Not comfortable welding on the new DURA-FLEX axle

I just got a new Henschen DURA-FLEX™ rubber torsion axle for my '65 Caravel and the shock brackets came in a box. I am not really comfortable with welding on the parts near the rubber torsion rods so I am considering bolting the shock mount bracket to the brake backing plate flange using longer bolts. I thought maybe there is someone here who has done this.
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Old 05-28-2007, 07:24 PM   #2
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Coming from a 30+ year experienced welder - all you have to do is run a cold hose on the axle bar - slow trickle that will keep it cool enough.

Just had ours done no problem!!! - (not a henchen though)
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:28 PM   #3
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Can I ask where you ordered from. Wondering if it would be possible to specify that they be preinstalled - or if it has to be done during the install.
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Old 05-28-2007, 09:07 PM   #4
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I ordered the axle through Inland RV in CA. I guess I am getting old but I am often amazed at how little one gets for a dollar these days.
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Old 05-28-2007, 09:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoconoAir
I just got a new Henschen DURA-FLEX™ rubber torsion axle for my '65 Caravel and the shock brackets came in a box. I am not really comfortable with welding on the parts near the rubber torsion rods so I am considering bolting the shock mount bracket to the brake backing plate flange using longer bolts. I thought maybe there is someone here who has done this.
Yes I have done it. Don't worry about it. The mass of the swing arm is so great that the torsion rod end will not even reach room temperature.
Arc welding concentrates the heat at the point of penetration, a quick bead on both sides of the shock horn and it's done.
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Old 05-28-2007, 09:21 PM   #6
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Wow, they came in a box? I could have only wished for such luck. Mine came welded on backwards for my application (66 Caravel) and I had to have them cut off and re-welded.

I removed the drum assembly and coated the machined parts with heavy grease. Then I wrapped the upper assembly near the rubber insert with a wet rag to assist in disapating the heat more efficiently. Couple of quick beads with the welder then applied water up on the rubber area only to insure the heat did not wick up that high. I kept water away from the weld to insure that it was kept strong. It was cool to the touch for the whole evolution.
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:43 AM   #7
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1961-66 vs. 1967 & later Dura-Torque axles

I'll make one observation here that sometimes gets lost or forgotten in a long detailed replacement axle thread.

Airstream has been using shock absorbers on its trailers since 1949. Airstream changed from leaf spring suspended axles to Henschen Dura-Torque (internal rubber rod) axles in 1961.

From 1961 to 1966, the shock absorbers on Dura-Torque axles were mounted vertically. For the 1967 model year, the shock absorber mounts were re-oriented so the shock absorbers were mounted near horizontally. Airstream shocks have been mounted "horizontally" ever since the 1967 model year.

Today, Henschen manufacturers Dura-Torque axles only with the horizontal shock mounts. If one orders a Dura-Torque axle for a 1967 or later model year Airstream, I believe (subject to verification by Inland Andy, so ask him) that the axle will arrive with the horizontal shock mount brackets welded on.

For 1961 to 1966 Airstreams, Henschen deletes the standard horizontal shock mount brackets from its axle and Henschen (or Andy) provides two loose vertical shock mount brackets that the customer must have welded onto his new Dura-Torque axle.

PoconoAir has a 1965 Caravel that uses the vertical shock mount brackets, so he ordered and received a bare Dura-Torque axle with the two loose brackets. In a different thread (see http://www.airforums.com/forums/386710-post68.html at post 68) he acknowledges he was told before he ordered his new Dura-Torque from Inland Andy that he would have to weld the loose shock mount brackets onto his new axle. Now that he faces this task, he apparently is having second thoughts.

The above is only my understanding of the issue, and is limited to Henschen Dura-Torque axles and does not apply to Dexter Torque-Flex axles (which people sometimes mix up with Henschen axles). You should wait for Inland Andy to provide a full answer to your question, and his answer might differ from my understanding. Nevertheless, I hope my explanation helps a bit in the meantime.
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Old 05-29-2007, 09:08 AM   #8
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As long as you use grade 8 bolts, and you can get the geometry to work out, do it. If you need to make the bracket bigger, you could weld more metal to the bracket and then bolt it on.

Make sure it doesn't chafe the brake wires.
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Old 05-29-2007, 09:10 AM   #9
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Fred:
Thank you for your explanation. It helps to know the whole picture.

“Mac”
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:52 AM   #10
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Thanks for the Henschen shock mounting info Fred. My 67 California Caravel appears to be the exception that proves the rule. The shocks are vertically mounted. I am guessing they had a few of the older style axle left over and used what they had. From what I have read elsewhere, I think the use of previous model year components is probably not an unusual occurrence especially in "transition years" when a new feature or component is introduced.
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Old 05-29-2007, 06:45 PM   #11
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Thanks for the Henschen shock mounting info Fred. My 67 California Caravel appears to be the exception that proves the rule. The shocks are vertically mounted. I am guessing they had a few of the older style axle left over and used what they had. From what I have read elsewhere, I think the use of previous model year components is probably not an unusual occurrence especially in "transition years" when a new feature or component is introduced.

1968 and prior axles used "vertical shock brackets."

Research has shown that there was a variation on the exact location of those brackets, especially on the smaller trailers.

It therefore was deemed necessary for the older trailer shock brackets, to be installed in the field.

No preparation is necessary, nor is any water cool down necessary, in order to "in the field" install those shock brackets.

Henschen axles are warranted by them and Inland RV Center, Inc, that you "cannot harm" the rubber rods, by welding the shock brackets on in the field, unless you used a torch to do the welding.

Please note in the photo's that we have posted in our web site, that the axles are assembled, with "no" shock brackets on the torsion arms.

Plant Tour: Axle Cord Deep Freezing

In fact, the shock brackets are welded on, by Henschen, even to this day, "after" the axle has been assembled.

It is easier to install the shock brackets in the field when necessary, instead of cutting brackets off, grinding the surfaces down, and then welding them in the location best suited for that particulat trailer.

Again, there was a "HUGE" variation as to the location of the shock brackets on 1968 and older axles, especially on the Bambi and Caravel models.

Records do not exist, as to the location of the shock brackets on the 1968 and older axles.

Therefore it is wise to eliminate the problem, by field installing the brackets.

Andy
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:15 AM   #12
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Now I feel better about moving forward with getting the shock brackets welded on.

Barry
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