Originally Posted by swebster
87MH has spent a lot of quality time with his tag axles
. Hopefully he'll chime in on this one
The short answer to Bill's question is "No" - no VW tendencies on the '87 345 tag - there is, however, a slight bow in the tag axle itself in the "up" direction (concave when laying on your back on the ground looking up at the bottom of the axle). A "bend" in this direction in the tag axel would remove any excess camber. I observed the repair center in Jackson Center lining up axels on a 34' trailer, and they used their "power bender" (axel bender/aligner) in both the horizontal and vertical axis to get the tires true (toe/camber).
I have checked both toe in and camber on my 345 tag axel, and both are dead on (as close as I could measure without a rack), but I have also weighed each tire (loaded on the chassis) individually, and when the air suspension system has the unit at "dead level" the tag is really not carrying its full share of the load.
You may want to bleed off all of the air in the bags and observe what happens with the main springs and tag camber. When mine are bled off the frame actually settles onto the main springs, not permitting the tags to take all of the weight of the rear of the unit. The total loaded weight on the rear end of my 345 is something in excess of 10,000 lbs, and if all of this weight is transferred to the tag I could well understand how deformation of the tag axel could have occured.
The replacement of the tag axel is something any self respecting shade tree mechanic could take on - just two bolts to the frame on each side, and the shock/levelling system mounts. Take a close look at the bolt holes on the tag flange where the bolts attach to the chassis frame - these have been known to fail.
Please keep the Forum informed as to what you find.