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Old 09-02-2013, 07:49 PM   #1
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shock support question

After taking the shell off of our Caravel we noticed that the shock supports are different from side to side. They seem to be strong and although the welding is is nice as one would like to see they are different from side to side
I would assume the left (street) side is original. How someone did this with out major work to the wheel wheels is amazing.
There is just a bit of negative castor on the curb side
Should I have this corrected?
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:48 PM   #2
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After taking the shell off of our Caravel we noticed that the shock supports are different from side to side. They seem to be strong and although the welding is is nice as one would like to see they are different from side to side
I would assume the left (street) side is original. How someone did this with out major work to the wheel wheels is amazing.
There is just a bit of negative castor on the curb side
Should I have this corrected?
The original production models, have those shocks exactly in the same place on both sides.

Andy
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:50 AM   #3
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Are you suggesting that we rip it apart and re-weld a new bracket?
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:38 AM   #4
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Is it broke? Than why fix it?
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:53 AM   #5
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Can you post a pic to let us see what you are talking about. Like Frank said if it is working why fix it?
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:01 AM   #6
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Shock mounts

Here are pictures of the shock uprights and how they are welded
I think they are strong enough, certainly would like to know the story behind it.
The axle assembly was replaced a few years ago by the last PO
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Name:	airstream right .JPG
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ID:	194879  

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Old 09-03-2013, 10:27 AM   #7
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The welds on the right side definitely look like they were done by an amateur. Definitely not up to AWS D1.1 standards. I don't think you can safely assume that the weld is as strong as the original bracket. The only thing holding it all together is a pair of poorly-made fillet welds.

It's also apparent that the original mount broke— look at the top of the straight piece, and you'll see from the shape of the break that the shaft on which the shock absorber's upper bearing attaches broke off from the mounting bracket. The straight piece seems to be what's left of the origianl bracket.

It also looks like the left-hand mounting bracket might go the same way, judging from the pitting that seems to be present just below where the shaft is welded to the bracket. Any time you've got a change in geometry, you've got stress points, and if you have loss of metal due to pitting, you've got the potential for a break.

I don't think it's necessary to correct anything just yet, but it would be prudent to have a competent welder take a look at them in person rather than relying on the opinions of people like us who can only gauge matters based on pictures.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:35 AM   #8
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The welds on the right side definitely look like they were done by an amateur. Definitely not up to AWS D1.1 standards. I don't think you can safely assume that the weld is as strong as the original bracket. The only thing holding it all together is a pair of poorly-made fillet welds.

It's also apparent that the original mount brokeó look at the top of the straight piece, and you'll see from the shape of the break that the shaft on which the shock absorber's upper bearing attaches broke off from the mounting bracket. The straight piece seems to be what's left of the origianl bracket.

It also looks like the left-hand mounting bracket might go the same way, judging from the pitting that seems to be present just below where the shaft is welded to the bracket. Any time you've got a change in geometry, you've got stress points, and if you have loss of metal due to pitting, you've got the potential for a break.

I don't think it's necessary to correct anything just yet, but it would be prudent to have a competent welder take a look at them in person rather than relying on the opinions of people like us who can only gauge matters based on pictures.
Hi, I agree with his post, in what happened and what was done. But I would have a welder make new brackets now that you have your trailer down to the frame. It will be much harder to do later.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:18 PM   #9
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Attached are two more pics showing the left and right shock mount
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Name:	repaired Right1.JPG
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:24 PM   #10
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That changes my response a bit. Replace both of them now, before they fall apart. The only thing holding them together is wishful thinking!
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:04 AM   #11
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I fully agree. Yesterday I went to a trailer repair shop in San Leandro ( 15 miles from me)
and they said they can remake the uprights and jig the axle to insure proper alignment.
They can also make new fender wells, I would like to make them out of stainless
along with a spare tire rack in the front section under the floor.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:34 AM   #12
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I fully agree. Yesterday I went to a trailer repair shop in San Leandro ( 15 miles from me)
and they said they can remake the uprights and jig the axle to insure proper alignment.
They can also make new fender wells, I would like to make them out of stainless
along with a spare tire rack in the front section under the floor.
Be careful.

The shocks and/or their brackets have nothing to do with the axle alignment.

In fact, your axle is 46 years old, unless it has been replaced.

Torsion axle rubber rods only last about 25 to 30 years, and then only if exercised frequently.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Airstream already has a spare tire carrier that fits under the front of the trailer.

I doubt that you can have one made for less money than you could buy that one for.

Use caution when dealing with a shop that has little to no Airstream experience.

Andy

Check the axle yourself.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:08 AM   #13
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Thanks
The axle unit including shocks, brakes, hubs and wheels were replaced just few years ago and very few miles have been put on it. Maybe a few thousand. I agree with you regarding shops that do not have AS experience but this shop seems to be familiar with AS. Judging by the tire wear I don't don't believe I have any alignment issues. The wear marks on the tires are even and there isn't any cupping. I will be very careful
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