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Old 07-25-2007, 01:50 PM   #1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 47WeeWind
Early postwar (1947 and 1948) Airstream Liners did not have shock absorbers. Shocks were added in the 1949 model year when the chassis frame was strengthened by extending the outside spring hanger frame rails forward of the door in the pipe frame chassis. The shock absorbers used from 1949 through 1960 were vertically mounted on a leaf spring axle, also used through the end of 1960.

The Dura Torque (internal rubber compression) axle replaced the leaf spring axle for the 1961 model year and used vertical shock absorbers from 1961 through the end of the 1966 model year. The Super Dura Torque axle was introduced for the 1967 model year and it featured new (nearly) horizontally-mounted shock absorbers for increased floor space. These are the shocks that might have special valving for horizontal use, but I don't have any details on that. Nevertheless, please be aware of the year of your trailer and the mounting configuration of the shocks before ordering replacements.
So, those of you who replaced shocks on your 1961 - 1966 model, what make/model of shock did you use?
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:21 PM   #2
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They work fine no problems and I have had them on for a couple of years now.
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 65glbtrotter
They work fine no problems and I have had them on for a couple of years now.
Gabriel shock model/part number?
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:53 PM   #4
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No flames!

No flames intended - but some current Airstreams are manufactured with NO shocks!

Cheers,
Henry
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:12 PM   #5
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I just did an axle job on my '74 31'r and used OEM Gabriel. I also installed an axle on a 65 Caravelle and used the same shock. Be careful if you are replacing the axle on the older units with the verticle shock mount because the new 35 degree down angle will lengthen the distance between shock mounts by about 1.000". The axles for the older units do not come with the shock mount welded to them, you have to weld them on yourself.
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by drag'nwagon
I just did an axle job on my '74 31'r and used OEM Gabriel. I also installed an axle on a 65 Caravelle and used the same shock. Be careful if you are replacing the axle on the older units with the verticle shock mount because the new 35 degree down angle will lengthen the distance between shock mounts by about 1.000". The axles for the older units do not come with the shock mount welded to them, you have to weld them on yourself.
I bought my axle from Andy at InlandRV, and the shock plates come seperate, but all ready to go . . . I hope to replace the axle this coming weekend.

Planned on taking one of the old shocks down to the local store to find a replacement.
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:39 PM   #7
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If you have the verticle shock mount I am sure you can find a replacement from NAPA. Make sure when you attach the shock mounting plate to the new axle that you add about an inch in height because the 35 degree angle will make the shock mount longer. I had measured the placement and had forgotten about the additional down angle and shock was off by an inch. I could still hang the shock but I had to put a bottle jack under the swing arm and jack it up to get the shock on it, no harm done becuase once the trailor was back on the ground with weight on the axle everything is OK, but I fear that I have lost some stroke on the shock.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:22 PM   #8
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Thanks for the heads-up: I'll take that into account.
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:44 PM   #9
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I replaced my vertical shocks with a NAPA brand shock. Took the old ones down and got them matched up to a NAPA number.

I would most likely do this a little differently, however I will need to replace my axles first.

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Old 07-31-2007, 04:19 PM   #10
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Well, I took the old shock down to NAPA, and after some time with a very knowledgeable salesman, we found a match: Monroe 555003 (the ends are both L1). Ref. the attached photo.

I then went home and began work installing my axle. The shock plates came separate, and I hadn't given much thought how the plates attached to the axle – because I was under the impression no welding would be needed – remove the old bolts, replace the old axle with the new, install the old bolts, and wha-la, done!

Ha - so I spent all that time finding a shock that matched the old axle, and I most likely didn't need to go to that trouble.

Then I re-read and digested Dave's (drag' nWagon) post. Man . . . thanks for the head's up - guess I was in too big a hurry to meet another
un-realistic deadline (I want to go camping at least once before the years out . . .).

I haven't had a chance to weld the torsion arm shock brackets yet, but plan to unload the axle (jack Spiffy up and take the tires off), place the shock on the top bracket (which is already fixed in place), extend the shock to about 1/2" to 3/4" from being fully extended, and then check the compression to make sure the shock has enough travel. If so, I will weld the lower bracket at the near fully extended location, else I will be taking them back and start hunting for something that fits.
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