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Old 03-13-2009, 05:56 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatPumpkin View Post
snip..... IMPORTANT! - You still must specify reverse mount for installing on an Airstream.
I ordered a Dexter axle for my 67 Safari and it came with the brackets turned in but not reversed front to back. I found knock outs on the axle mounting plate that matched up closely to the holes on the axle brackets. It seems that Airstream was ready for the dexter replacement 41 years later.
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:40 AM   #42
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...Makes a huge difference in stopping distance, should the tow vehicle brakes quit.

Adequate brakes on the trailer, can easily stop the tow vehicle as well.

Andy
ABSOLUTELY! My tandem 10" Dexters easily stop my Extended cab Dodge Ram
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:55 AM   #43
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Now just to convolute the waters a bit more...

I ordered Axis from GSM Vehicles. I got a pair of 3200# axles. They are a down rated 3600# axle. This means that everything is the same except the rubber inside is softer as to not overly stiffen the ride. 10" brakes are standard for the 3600# set up. I could have paid a slight bit extra ($178 axle)and gotten 12" brakes, but thought why. If they are standard for more weight, than mine will do just fine. They came powder coated with the shock mount brackets attached and all the hardware needed. I paid $1160 shipped directly to me in Baltimore from Indiana. The axles were sized perfectly. They went into their notches as they were supposed to and were both parallel and square to the frame on the first lift into place.
Regrets... well the brackets were pre drilled so my expectations were that the holes would line up with something. Nothing lined up. I had to drill all new holes.
What would I do over... weld them in and be done with it.

Also I requested that Colin give me no additional lift. The new ones sit exactly where the old ones did. I personally do not care for the high rider look. Classic Airstreams ride low. It is an honor to remain in the classic low rider club. I will however have to deal with those that are convinced that axles can be evaluated by just looking at a photo. Some have built their business around just looking at a photo and saying "you need new axles"

Good luck Barry, I know you are on the right track due to our phone conversation a few days ago.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:36 AM   #44
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These are the axels I bought from dexter for my 73 overlander

#10 axles
10" hubs with electric brakes
6 x 5 1/2 lug pattern
high profile reverse mounting bracket with reverse orientation
shock mount option
22 1/2 down start angle
33" wire leads
ez lube hubs


I was going to put them on today but it is raining. Next weekend I hope.

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Old 03-14-2009, 02:55 PM   #45
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As I age, I find that my memory, reasoning power and arithmetic are all being diminished from an embarrassingly small base, but I boldly offer this anyway:

I think my original Airstream brakes were listed as 12 x 2 inches. I think my Dexter brakes were listed as 10 x 2.25 inches. I think this means that my Airstream's original brakes had a brake lining surface area which was 6.7% larger than my Dexters. That's my arithmetic and my memory.

Now, testing my logic, I don't know how 6.7% more brake lining surface can create 71% more braking power (ie, the ability to stop 12000 pounds with the Airstream brakes vs the ability to stop 7000 pounds with the Dexter brakes, as cited from Andy's data). Can anyone explain this to me, or at least do as my third grade teacher used to do, and put me in the corner on a stool with that little pointy hat.

Thanks.

Mike
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Old 03-14-2009, 03:43 PM   #46
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As I age, I find that my memory, reasoning power and arithmetic are all being diminished from an embarrassingly small base, but I boldly offer this anyway:

I think my original Airstream brakes were listed as 12 x 2 inches. I think my Dexter brakes were listed as 10 x 2.25 inches. I think this means that my Airstream's original brakes had a brake lining surface area which was 6.7% larger than my Dexters. That's my arithmetic and my memory.

Now, testing my logic, I don't know how 6.7% more brake lining surface can create 71% more braking power (ie, the ability to stop 12000 pounds with the Airstream brakes vs the ability to stop 7000 pounds with the Dexter brakes, as cited from Andy's data). Can anyone explain this to me, or at least do as my third grade teacher used to do, and put me in the corner on a stool with that little pointy hat.

Thanks.

Mike

The stopping power numbers I posted, come from the manufacturers of the electric brakes.

Also the larger the brakes, the less the brake fade from heat.

Andy
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:36 PM   #47
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Post #43 made an astute observation about ride height.

If you look in the current issue of Airstream Life (Spring 2009) you will see several pictures of Andy Charles' Airstream on the Around the World Caravan. He was Chairman of Airstream at that time, so I'm pretty sure his axles were in good shape. There is no tire above the rim showing in any of those pictures.

Also featured in this issue is an ad for Inland RV which shows three pictures of Airstream from the late fifties and early sixties. One of them is Wally's, and again there is no rubber above the rim showing.

I then reviewed pictures of my Dad's early Airstreams (1954, 1959, & 1962 models). Again, no tire showing above the rim.

What I have discovered is that Airstreams during Wally's lifetime (13 or 7 panel trailers) didn't show as much tire. They may not have even set that much lower, but when you look at pictures of current models you see that the wheel well openings are cut higher exposing more tire.

I believe that a negative starting angle and true rigidity of the torsion axle must be the test for replacement of vintage axles. I have spent many hours researching the axles on my 1963 Tradewind. I am having them replaced at Jackson Center because the street side sits 3/4" lower than the curb side, and that when jacked up the wheels only drop about 1". The decreased range of travel contributed to a stiffer ride.

Just my opinion based on my personal observations and logic!

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Old 03-14-2009, 05:46 PM   #48
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When I replaced my axle it was because it had lost it's flexability, and was giving the trailer such a rough ride it was tossing things around inside and probably contributed to the broken frame welds I had to fix when I did the floor. When your axle is that bad you'll know it! I couldn't understand all the people who could take their trailer on a trip and not have pillows tossed about and cabinet doors flung open - UNTIL I got my new axle. Now that thing just gently glides along behind us.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:21 PM   #49
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I just recently received my Axis axle that I ordered thru Colin at GSM Vehicles. I haven't even unpacked it yet so I can't offer anything about fit. More on that later. I will say that even though the ride height looked OK and the arm angle was down, I knew I needed a new axle because when I followed it home on a rough and bouncy country road I saw it airborne three times between 30 and 40 mph. The only thing that looked like a working suspension was the sidewalls on the tires. Interesting though, my friend was towing with a 3/4 ton truck and said he didn't feel a thing.

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Old 03-14-2009, 07:51 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grand Master View Post

Also featured in this issue is an ad for Inland RV which shows three pictures of Airstream from the late fifties and early sixties. One of them is Wally's, and again there is no rubber above the rim showing.

Mike Brumback
1963 Tradewind
Mike.

Photo's for that type advertising were provided by the magazine, not us.

The axle quality was not the issue, but the vintagw is.

Also, Airstream did not use torsion axles prior to the 1961 models.

Andy
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Old 03-15-2009, 01:23 PM   #51
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I have been thinking about brakes too

A 12 x 2 cylinder has 75.4 in^2 of surface area (I dont know how much area the shoes actually in contact with the drum)
A 10 x 2.25 cylinder has 70.6 in^2 of surface area.
the difference in area is about 6 or 7 percent. but if you consider that the surface area of the 12 inch brakes are acting at a radius of 6 inches where the 10 inch brakes are at a radius of 5 inches, then the torque developed on a 12 inch drum (surface area * radius) can be 28% higher than the 10.

I just thought of another variable. The magnet on the larger drum is probably further out on the drum also.

Can you tell I am trying to figure out which axles to go with on my 72 tradewind?
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:44 PM   #52
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A 12 x 2 cylinder has 75.4 in^2 of surface area (I dont know how much area the shoes actually in contact with the drum)
A 10 x 2.25 cylinder has 70.6 in^2 of surface area.
the difference in area is about 6 or 7 percent. but if you consider that the surface area of the 12 inch brakes are acting at a radius of 6 inches where the 10 inch brakes are at a radius of 5 inches, then the torque developed on a 12 inch drum (surface area * radius) can be 28% higher than the 10.

I just thought of another variable. The magnet on the larger drum is probably further out on the drum also.

Can you tell I am trying to figure out which axles to go with on my 72 tradewind?
The are two major manufacturers of torsion axles, both of which are safe.

One is a direct bolt, for your 72, the other is not, but it's close.

Starting angles available from the two, differ.

The brakes for typical ratings, vary greatly.

Safety, to many, has no compromise.

Your trailer was built with 12 inch brakes for a reason. To down grade to 10 inch brakes, to many, is an unsafe choice, since the stopping power is much different, as well as with 12 inch brakes, you still have plenty of reserve, as the brakes gain mileage, and wear.

Andy
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:50 PM   #53
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Can you tell I am trying to figure out which axles to go with on my 72 tradewind?
If you want a copy of the specs for my Dexter #10s I put on my 71 TW send me an email or PM
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:13 PM   #54
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The author of THIS thread has already stated he intends to go with Dexter axles, and asked for specific input related to Dexter axles.

There are plenty of OTHER threads to debate the relative merits of the various axle manufactures.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:05 PM   #55
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62-Lander,
When making a decision about purchasing axles, money was an issue but safety was as well. I take comfort in knowing that the vehicle I tow with has 4wheel disk brakes unlike the original tow vehicles of 1963, which probably only had 2 wheel shoe brakes. I know there have been many discussions about the size of tow vehicles but this may be a case when larger is safer. Original may be fine but it does not mean it is better, if that were the case I would be typing this post on an Apple IIe, but of course it would not have worked on the internet.

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Old 03-15-2009, 08:00 PM   #56
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There are many good posts here and it all remained very civil so I am grateful to everyone. I have all of the specs and measurements and I'm comfortable with my decision of going with Dexters. 63silver, you make a great point about the brakes on the TV. I have four wheel disk brakes that I had completely rebuilt including new rotors a couple of weeks ago. This and brand new brake on the AS should be more than enough stopping power.
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:49 PM   #57
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Well- I have a little info from Airstream Inc. that I will share with you. But first- I think this thread has "remained" civil, informative, and relatively factual due to the efforts of a vigilant moderator, as I saw several posts of a different nature before they were pulled.
Sales pitches and scare tactics aside, some information speaks for itself: according to an Airstream customer service rep, the current Airstream line-up includes a few tandem-axle models of nearly the same GVWR as a '60's or early '70's Overlander. They are: the 23' Flying Cloud, the 23' International, and the 23' Ocean Breeze. All 3 have a GVWR of 6,000#. NONE of these use Henschen axles with 12" brakes. They ALL (again, I am quoting the Airstream rep) use Dexter axles with 10" brakes. I hope this info is useful to axle-replacers, and AS dealers who would like to know more about the trailers they sell.
If I hear back from the rep about heavier trailers, I'll post again. It might be interesting to know what Airstream considers the cut-off point for the #10 axles, when the #11's with the 12" brakes are deemed necessary. After all, they build these things to last more than 5 years, ya know. Good luck all, see some of you in ABQ! -tim
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Old 03-16-2009, 03:45 PM   #58
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Just heard back from Tim Maxwell, the AS rep. He states that Airstream starts using #11 Dexter axles with the 12" brakes on their 25' models, with the lightest ones (SS International, and SS Ocean Breeze) having a GVWR of 7,000 lbs. The FB Flying Cloud has a GVWR of 7,300 lbs. All these heavier models come with 15" wheels and tires, the 23-footers and smaller with 14". Again- hope this info right from AS helps all of you to make an informed, comfortable decision. When I replace mine, it will most likely be with #10 Dexters with 7,000 lbs of raw stopping power!
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:00 PM   #59
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Another factor that no one thinks about is the difference in tires.

Take a typical 60s sedan with drum brakes all around. It also had 2 ply bias ply tires from the factory. By today's standard the brakes were pathetic, but even if you put disc brakes on would it stop any better on those crumby tires?

In today's traffic and today's driving speeds you want good brakes and tires.

Having said this, 10" brakes may be OK for the older trailers because they are a lot lighter than today's trailers of the same size. They should be adequate for most drivers, except under extreme stress as in mountain driving.

One other thing to keep in mind. It is a lot easier on your brakes to apply them rather sharply for a short period of time, than to apply them gently for a longer time. So don't be afraid to use your brakes.

The worst thing you can do is to drag the brakes for a long period of time. Especially when descending a hill. This is what burns out brakes and causes accidents. You are better off to slow right down then let off the brakes and let them cool off. Or even pull over for 20 minutes.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:21 PM   #60
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...according to an Airstream customer service rep, the current Airstream line-up includes a few tandem-axle models of nearly the same GVWR as a '60's or early '70's Overlander....
Tim

Do you know if any of this changes when the AS is a single axle?
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