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Old 11-14-2008, 01:49 PM   #1
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Replaced Axles

How many folks ahve replaced their axles? How can you tell you need to replace? Is it a difficult job? Any suppliers on the East Coast? I'm in VA.
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:07 PM   #2
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Replaced Axles?

Greetings Dieselgrin!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieselgrin View Post
How many folks ahve replaced their axles? How can you tell you need to replace? Is it a difficult job? Any suppliers on the East Coast? I'm in VA.
The axle on my Minuet 6.0 Metre has been replaces, and the axles on my Overlander are the next pressing refurbishment order. The technical aspects of inspecting your axle can be found on the Inland RV website article. Some other indicators on my coaches have included:
  • Popped interior rivets.
  • Cabinet and closet doors opening while in-transit on even the smoothest highways.
  • Frequently thrown wheelcovers.
  • Pillows being thrown off of lounges while underway.
  • Virtually anything left unsecured winds up in the floor.
  • Light fixture shades popping off bases while in-transit.
It is amazing how little things move in my Minuet since having its axle replaced. In addition, the Minuet gained nearly 2" in ground clearance -- something that was badly needed. I have only had one or two interior rivets pop since the axle was replaced.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 11-14-2008, 02:10 PM   #3
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I had my axle replaced with a dexter axle about 4 years ago. I was seeing all the signs Kevin mentions. I had a local RV shop do the work - they ordered the axle and installed it. I've been very happy with how the trailer rides now. Nice and smooth!
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:46 PM   #4
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How many folks ahve replaced their axles? How can you tell you need to replace? Is it a difficult job? Any suppliers on the East Coast? I'm in VA.
Henschen axles would be shipped to you from Ohio.

We are their distributor.

It's not a big deal to install them.

All that's needed is your trailer serial number.

Andy
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:56 PM   #5
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I installed two new Henshen axles this August. We had all the signs ,popped rivets, fridge thrown open,tp and roll towel unrolled off the rolls,and a full length mirror off the bathroom door,closet doors being thrown open in transit.
Its not a hard job if you order Henshen with your serial number they will be made to fit exactly. I used my neighbors asphalt drive and switched em out in 2 hrs. There is only one Distributor in the USA for Henshen Axles as far as I know. Henshens are more expensive but they are built excatly like the one U take out.NO MODS nessessary.
We gained 4 inches in height or road clearence.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dieselgrin View Post
How many folks ahve replaced their axles? How can you tell you need to replace? Is it a difficult job? Any suppliers on the East Coast? I'm in VA.
It's not tough to replace them. Reader's Digest version is:
Lift trailer by frame
Remove wheelcovers
Remove wheels and tires
Unbolt shock absorbers from the frame
Snip the wires from the electric brakes
Unscrew the bolts and nuts holding the axles to the frame
Dive out of the way so you don't get smushed toes when the axles fall out.

Installation is pretty much reverse of removal.
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:39 PM   #7
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I'll ditto Overlander's remarks. And you get a good view of your bearings and brakes same time.
Use a floor jack to elevate the axles to that last 1/4 inch for the last bolt, otherwise its a one person job. Takes very few hours the second time. First time you'll be all together then figure the shocks need to go on before the axle bolts.
I put some rust release on the nuts some days before I started the job, seemed to help with the nuts.
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:27 PM   #8
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Okay, sounds easy enough, but what is the standard method for dealing with gas lines that run below the axle. Can you gain enough slack by removing the gas line mounting screws on either side of the axle to be able to bend the line(s) low enough to feed the axle through or is it necessary to disconnect the lines at the appliance end or tank end or both to provide the necessary clearance.

Also my single axle 67 Caravel has "blow-out" skids mounted to the axle with u bolts (actually square u-bolts). I am assuming I can move these to a new axle. Is there any reason not to do so? Do they work or have they been found for some reason to be more dangerous or lead to more damage in a blow-out than if they weren't installed. Thanks for any comments or suggestions.
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:43 PM   #9
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Okay, sounds easy enough, but what is the standard method for dealing with gas lines that run below the axle. Can you gain enough slack by removing the gas line mounting screws on either side of the axle to be able to bend the line(s) low enough to feed the axle through or is it necessary to disconnect the lines at the appliance end or tank end or both to provide the necessary clearance.

Also my single axle 67 Caravel has "blow-out" skids mounted to the axle with u bolts (actually square u-bolts). I am assuming I can move these to a new axle. Is there any reason not to do so? Do they work or have they been found for some reason to be more dangerous or lead to more damage in a blow-out than if they weren't installed. Thanks for any comments or suggestions.
Do not use the "skid plates" on a new axle.

It has been demonstrated that they can ruin the alignment of the axle.

Also, back then, we had tires, that were real "iffy."

Today, we have tires that are just a little bit "iffy."

Lack of proper running gear back then was not a concern, but in fact caused many blowouts.

Lack of proper running gear balance today, with new axles and new hub and drums, while it still causes problems, they are less than those 30 to 40 years ago.

Use good axles, proper running gear balance, proper tire pressure, good tires, and you are much less likely to need those old time skid plates.

Andy
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:40 PM   #10
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Lots of threads on how to replace axles. If you are frugal, like I am, have the axles shipped to the nearest freight outlet - for me it was shipped by Yellow Line. Picked them up and drove them 20 miles to save $120.

I replaced the axles with a floor jack and hand tools in about 2 hours. My 9 year old son helped me.

I then took the old axles to the metal salvager along with the spent frig and recovered $142 instead of paying to have them deposited in the junkyard. I was pleased.

I can only say that it worked exactly like Andy describes in many threads. It is the best thing I have done for my trailer yet. Good luck.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:04 PM   #11
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Been there, done that...this past summer.

Inland RV fixed me up with the right stuff!

The axles are held on by only two bolts on each side, and the axle beam fits in a notch in the frame, so you can't go wrong...

If you have tandem's...do one at a time...use some boards to raise the trailer up on one axle, I used about 6 inch blocks...then remove and install the other axle...then reverse the process with the other...I kept the trailer hooked to the tow vehicle during this process to keep things stable!


Replaced the shocks also...bolted the shocks onto the axles before rolling them under the trailer on a furniture dolly!

I soldered my electric brake wires and used heat shrink tubing on the connections to keep the moisture away...

I actually did the job by myself...had a small fork lift to help, though...put the axles on a pallet and then raised them up to a working level that was comfortable to assemble the brakes, hubs, etc...

Try it, you like the results and the way you're AS will handle when done...just like brand new!
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:46 PM   #12
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Yup, did that on our 73 Overlander. Ordered them from Inland, did the swap myself in one easy Saturday morning. They came with new brakes/drums and I also ordered new shocks. Andy will be a big help as far as what axle rating and arm angle to order. There are several options depending on how much you plan to carry and how much clearance you want.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:51 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DFK View Post
Okay, sounds easy enough, but what is the standard method for dealing with gas lines that run below the axle. Can you gain enough slack by removing the gas line mounting screws on either side of the axle to be able to bend the line(s) low enough to feed the axle through or is it necessary to disconnect the lines at the appliance end or tank end or both to provide the necessary clearance.

Also my single axle 67 Caravel has "blow-out" skids mounted to the axle with u bolts (actually square u-bolts). I am assuming I can move these to a new axle. Is there any reason not to do so? Do they work or have they been found for some reason to be more dangerous or lead to more damage in a blow-out than if they weren't installed. Thanks for any comments or suggestions.
Moving the gas lines is usually not a problem.

However, depending on their condition, you may be wise to replace them.

40 plus years is a long time for exposed copper tubing.

Sorry I missed that the first time.

Andy
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:54 PM   #14
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what was the cost (aprox) for a 72 overlander 26 ft
thanks
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Moving the gas lines is usually not a problem.

However, depending on their condition, you may be wise to replace them.

40 plus years is a long time for exposed copper tubing.

Sorry I missed that the first time.

Andy
I agree with this. My gas lines were pretty beat up, and when we had the axle replaced we had them do the gas lines as well. Some had been smashed flat from road debris hitting them. We had all new lines installed along with plastic tubing over them to protect them from further damage.

Better safe than sorry!
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:00 PM   #16
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what was the cost (aprox) for a 72 overlander 26 ft
thanks
Cost for what?

Andy
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:46 PM   #17
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Go for it!

I am disabled (spinal and a few bad joints) and I installed two new axles last year. Work on a cement floor -with a good crawler-and read the threads on installing axles.

I spoke with Andy about me installing them when I ordered the axles. Andy described the process in good detail, plus I did my reading. So long as you use the right tools it is a big job, but not too bad of a job once you get set up.

The Henchlens I ordered bolted right up and so far are still aligned. I ordered axles with new brakes on them. It was worth it, took care of both projects in one operation.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Do not use the "skid plates" on a new axle.

It has been demonstrated that they can ruin the alignment of the axle.

Also, back then, we had tires, that were real "iffy."

Today, we have tires that are just a little bit "iffy."


you are much less likely to need those old time skid plates.

Andy
If you take that advice, I want the be the first to step up and request to buy them from you.
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