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Old 09-28-2009, 06:36 AM   #721
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You are most welcome, you've done it for me dozens of times over the past year of reading through this thread.

I think Jordan even mentioned building some cabinetry in the near future, if you could catch him in progress, you'd get even more ideas. Plus, it would be an excellent excuse to drink some beer...
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:31 PM   #722
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Now I just need to figure out how to put these things on.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:06 PM   #723
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axle install

Hey Jim, your local rental store may have what's called a transmission lift - rather than a small, round "saddle" like a standard floor jack, it should have a square, steel plate with adjustable angles bolted to the top. You can set the angles to cradle the square steel tubes of the axles and make the whole job much easier, and safer.

You have been spraying your old axle mounting bolts with liquid wrench the last few days? About 4 to 5 days worth should be just right. Maybe even tap them once or twice a day with a hammer to help it along. Best of luck with the install.

Laird
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:19 PM   #724
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Jim:

Jim if you swing by the house you can use my floor jack and I have two mover dolleys. The mover dollys were a life saver for moving and postioning the axels underneath the trailer. Plus you can get the floor jack under the axel easier if you have it set on the mover dolleys. I used two floor jacks and we jacked the axel on both sides at the same time. It went up like nothing. It was very easy to positiong and get them up there. Once they are up there you can use your step up drill bit and put the holes in. Just make sure the axel is up there tight. It will fit in the channel like a glove. I did not have to cut any metal to make the axel fit in the channel. It was a simple job. I really stressed about it until I started doing it. Of course Lewis helped me and he was the brains who guided me.

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Old 09-29-2009, 05:42 PM   #725
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Thanks for the tips guys. The transmission jack sounds promising, but I'm not sure it will lift up high enough. I rented one a couple of years ago to lift the tranny on the pickup when we put a new engine in. I remember that is was too short for the job. I'll have to go visit the rental place again and check.

Brian, I may be giving you a call. Do you have two of the floor jacks? I have one, but it's a small one and only reaches up about 10-12 inches. Tell you what, I'll give you a call tomorrow night.

Jim
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:03 PM   #726
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I have a two ton floor jack. The kind that is on rollers with the long handle. I borrowed the other one from Lewis who helped me. I got mine on sale and put a 20% off coupon toward the sale price. I got it for under 60 dollars. I figured it would have cost me about that much to rent one. It is not a high end jack but for as much as I will ever use one it worked really well. If you come by I will let you have the the left over boat vinyl that I used to slide into my trim in the bathroom. It worked really well and was easy. Looks great.

- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

I will be waiting to here from you.

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Old 09-29-2009, 06:50 PM   #727
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[QUOTE=biggoofball;736266]I don't think it's possible. Like I did, you'll have to remove the old rubber and string some rubber through. Should be easy for you as you are handy. If you use high quantities of small diameter rubber you will get a smoother ride. Large diameters and small quantity, firmer. The real fun starts when you mix smaller and larger. And don't get me started on multiple diameters. The matrix gets huge. And that is neglecting weight!! As soon as you factor in the weights the matrix ends up being an Excel spreadsheet 57,936 pages long.

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----------------------------------------------------------

There is an axle rebuilder here in N Georgia, who as I understand it does replace the rubber in those axles. How they do it I don't have a clue, but someone here on the Forums had it done. Under 500 for two axles rebuilt.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:08 PM   #728
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Hey guys, I'm getting ready to order the terlet from VintageTrailerSupply.com. Does anybody know if I need to also order the toilet flange they sell, or will one come with the toilet? We've decided on the Sealand Lite model.

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Old 10-01-2009, 06:42 PM   #729
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I ordered the same toilet from one of their competitors and it did NOT come with the flange, so I'd guess they don't send one along either (just a guess), probably because there are 3 choices (threaded, male and female).
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:55 PM   #730
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Jim:

Lightning RV in Lawrenceville has all sizes, lengths and shapes for RV toilet flanges. They have male and female. That is where I got mine. I would wait until you get the toilet. Just set it down and measure to see what kind of clearance. You will not have much clearance. The other thing you need to be aware of is when you screw the flange in it might not be perfectly level. I had to put a small piece of board with a couple of shims to level it. It was a smart move because it raised it a bit for a better seat. Nothing like having your knees touching your chin.

Brian
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:16 PM   #731
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Thanks Guys. Think I'll wait for now. No really big rush.

Brian, I'm going to borrow another floor jack from a neighbor. Thanks for the offer. Wanna help put axles on early Saturday? (Just kidding, but come have a beer if ya want).

Jim
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:58 PM   #732
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Jim:

I wish I could but I am picking my Airstream up from Applachee RV Saturday morning. I had them go through all the gas lines. They found two leaks. One was by the hot water heater and one was in the stove. I am so happy everything is tight and not leaking

I am also helping a buddy take out windows from his house. He is giving me the windows and they are new. He lives in Decatur and did not realize the historical society has to approve all renovations. His windows did not meet the historical criterea. They were special made and an Odd size. There is nothing he can do with them so he is giving them for me. I will put them in the pole building I am going to build. They are rated the best by Georgia power. I can't pass up that offer. If he does not do it I will come by. He is a Georgia football fan so he may elect to watch the game.

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Old 10-03-2009, 07:21 PM   #733
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Hey Y’all, watch this, or My Version of the Great Axle Storey

So the axles are bought, delivered and installed. I promised a blow by blow account, so here goes.

Pricing--got three estimates from three different manufacturers, here they are.

OEM axles
$750 per axle 22.5--degree or 35 degree down angle
$201 Shipping (for both, IIRC, and this is the cheapest method , they would have to be shipped to a local business, other options were as much as $310)
???? Tax—I wasn’t clear if taxes applied to this transaction.
$1701 total for least cost method.

Axis Axles
$430 per axle
???? Shipping
$860 plus shipping total

Dexters
Delivered price was $860 and breaks down something like this.
$788 for two axles
$26 for EZ lub hubs
$46 tax
No shipping

Here’s a few more details. The Dexters and Axis’ axles are about the same price. I chose to go with the Dexters because a forum member here, that lives near us, used to own a utility trailer company. He knew all of the ins and outs, was able to explain how to measure, what to measure and even placed the order for me. Great guy. Also, there were no shipping charges for these axles because they were shipped to a Dexter facility in a town nearby.

We got #10 axles, rated at 3000lbs, with 32 degree down angle. We decided to go with the extra down angle to give us a little more ground clearance. The only disadvantage to the #10’s is that they come with 10” brakes instead of 12” like the OEM’s. Maybe a little less stopping power. Oh yea, we didn’t get shock mounts. The factory was temporarily out of stock on those for some reason. I’m going to cut the brackets off the old axles and Pizzachop and I will add them in a month or so. Ordering new is still an option if that looks like it’s not going to work.

I’m going to have more to say about this is little while, but I would like to ask everybody reading this not to start another axle war here in this thread. This is my trailer and this is the way I did it. You may have a completely different way of sticking new axles under your trailer. That’s cool. I can live with that. More in a bit.

Jim
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:22 PM   #734
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Measuring

I’ll bet I’ve read ¾ of the axles threads on this forum and have never been able to figure out what and how to measure for new axles. Maybe this post will help explain how to do it.

The two most important measurements are the “Hub Face To Hub Face” and the “Mounting Bracket” measurement. After these two measurements are made, then you have to decide on a couple of options for your axle and you’re done.

To make the “hub to Hub” measurement, simply get a about a two foot carpenters level, place it horizontally across the face of the old axle where the lug bolts would normally be and level it up. Do the same thing on the other hub on the other side of the trailer. Take a tape measure and measure the distance between the bottom of the two levels and you’re done. (All of this assumes you have either removed the wheels from the axle or have removed the axle and wheels from the camper) Mine measured 80 3/8th inches. See picture one.

The Mounting Brackets are just what they sound like. The brackets that hold the axle to the frame of the camper. Again, another easy measurement. With the axle off the trailer (the best way to make this measurement) Simply measure from the outside of the bracket across to the outside of the other bracket at the other end of the axle. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good picture of this, so I’ll have to take one tomorrow in the daylight and post it. Mine measured 61 3/8th inches.

More in a few minutes.

Jim
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:44 PM   #735
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Options

If you are going to order Dexter axles, then you need make a couple of specific requests.

1)Tell them you want “High Profile” and “reverse Orientation” mounting brackets. Apparently, this is because they don’t normally build them this way (but, I’m not an expert, so talk to your dealer about it first).
2)My trailer had 6 lug brake drums originally, so that’s what I ordered. I understand that “most” campers and utility trailers use 6 bolts these days, so that’s not really all that unusual (as opposed to 5 bolts like cars, light trucks and older campers)

Now decide what weight classification axle you want. Our ’73 had 2800 lbs axles originally. I stepped up to 3000 lbs axles because I may add a little extra weight with all of the real wood I’m putting in the cabinets, etc.

Down angle was originally 22.5 degrees, as stated earlier, I went with 32 degree to get another inch or so of height off the ground.

Dexter offers three types of hubs 1-standard, 2-EZ Lube, 3-Never lube. A standard hub is like the one on your car, you have to pull it off to get to the bearings. EZ lube allows you to just remove a little rubber boot to lube them. Never Lubes in theory never need to lubed again. We went with the EZ lubes. Every few years I can still remove the hubs and inspect the bearings with tearing stuff up. I’m not sure I really buy the idea that the Never Lubes really never need maintenance.

#10 vs #11 axles. We went with #10’s. The only real advantage I could see to getting #11’s was the larger brakes. The #11’s have a larger axle tube and may require that you enlarge the opening on your frame to get them to fit.

Remember, this is general information for our ’73. When you get ready to order yours, talk to a professional at you dealer.

Jim
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:54 PM   #736
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Great info! I look forward to more!!
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:07 PM   #737
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Installation

Installing these rascals can literally be a pain. If you buy OEMS, then you just slide them in and bolt them on. That’s it, you’re done. If you order non-OEM, then you will have to make a few modifications here and there. Here’s how we did it.

Present were Dad, my brother, son-in-law and me. (I’m gonna owe a lot of boon dockin’ fishin’ trips come spring) We took two floor jacks, set the axles on the jacks and lifted them into place. Make sure to set them on the jacks on the bottom of the mounting bracket. DON”T lift by the axle tube because it is possible to bend it and throw the axles out of alignment. Once in place, you will probably have to drill one or more holes to finish the job. On some of the ‘70’s era trailers, the front (or sometimes rear) mounting hole in the new axle match up with the original mounting hole on the frame of the camper. None of mine did, so we had to drill each hole new for both axles. The axles mount to the frame of the trailer with the axle tube set in a cutout in the frame of the trailer. Once you have them up in the cutout and square in the cutout, it will be obvious where you need to drill.

I used something called a “step bit”, several smaller and larger bits and a de-burr tool to clean up the new holes. It’s muscle work, for sure, so take you time and switch off with one of the other guys. Once the holes are in, bolt it up. We torqued them to 125 lbs. Not sure if that’s correct because I can’t find the spec in the shop manual.

Put the tires back on, then hook up the brakes. Don’t forget that you may have to adjust the brakes if they are drum type.

I may try to post a few pictures tomorrow, maybe not. That’s been done to death and besides, everything is put back together now. Let me know if you have questions.

Jim
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:36 AM   #738
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Jim:

Well you got them done. How did the step up bits work? I took my trailer to a shop where they build trailers and asked them to check my brakes to make sure the drums were set correctly. They reset mine and you could tell they worked better.

I got mine back yesterday and there are no more gas leaks. I am ready to rock an roll next weekend.


Brian
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:12 AM   #739
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Jim, that is a great series of posts. I'm heading down the axle replacement path right now too, and I found this very helpful. Thanks.
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:26 AM   #740
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Jim, that is a great series of posts. I'm heading down the axle replacement path right now too, and I found this very helpful. Thanks.
Norm
A 59 Airstream was equipped with a straight type axle and leaf springs.

You can, if you wish update the trailer by adding torsion axles, of your choice.

If you chose to upgrade you can weld the axle in place, or add a "axle mounting plate."

Upgrading would require a weight rating appropriate for the weight of your Airstream, including a reasonable payload.

Under rated will soon fail, over rated will lead to a harsch ride for the trailer.

Andy
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