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Old 05-10-2019, 02:04 AM   #81
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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To finish things up this is how things look on rubber.

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I decided to use one leveling valve on the tag to control ride height. It directly feeds the drive axle air springs. I used a tee to run this pressure up front to a pressure regulator and a dash gauge. The drive axle runs around 70-75 psi. The pressure regulator drops the pressure for the tag axle air springs and another dash gauge. The tag is running around 15-20 psi. There is a second regulator up front set at 55 psi. for the front air spring helpers. The entire system runs itself with a 2 needle gauge so I can keep an eye on things.

This is the drive axle on the scale.

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This is the tag on the scale.

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I bumped the tag regulator up a couple of pounds to see what happens. Actually this is also the other side of the coach. The drive axle.

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And the tag.

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I used lumber on both sides of the scale so I got a truer reading than having the wheel up 2-1/4" on the scale. For the last read I removed the 2x10 to simulate a pot hole. As you can see it added 310 lbs.

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This is how I set up the scale.

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After all is said and done I'm pretty happy with the results. I can pretty much dial in how much loading is on the tag as well as the bearings and hubs.

All in I paid $1500 delivered for the Ridewell, around $450 for the axle, $180 for brakes and seals, $125 for air tubing, fittings and regulators, and $100 for hydraulic fittings and tubing to relocate the hydraulic jacks. The metal for the mounts was stuff I had in the shop.

I think Inland wants $3000 plus shipping for their torsion axle including brakes and without hubs. So other than my time I think I did alright.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:42 AM   #82
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Dan,

I'm impressed that you have your own load scale! Oh yeah, I'm also extremely impressed with your work

Brad
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:56 AM   #83
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Love the scale.....been thinking about getting one for work and play, awesome work.....pretty dam cool, Regards, Bob
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:23 AM   #84
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Awesome work!

This should definitely get added to the sticky for all those with tag axle woes
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:18 AM   #85
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OK, I'm impressed.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:11 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Dan,

I'm impressed that you have your own load scale! Oh yeah, I'm also extremely impressed with your work

Brad
Thanks Brad. I feel highly honored to impress someone like yourself who not only does impressive work but lots of it.

The scale is pretty neat. I picked it up on eBay from a pawn shop in Oregon for reasonable money. Not a lot of market for such things.

Actually a there is a state scale house a little more than a mile from here. It is rarely used being in a rural area and they are fine with the public using it. They even rotate the digital readout head so you can read it through the window from outside the building. The problem is it is an axle scale that reads most accurately in the center. Trying to read one axle of a tandem on the edge of the scale is not so good.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:18 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by bobmiller1 View Post
Love the scale.....been thinking about getting one for work and play, awesome work.....pretty dam cool, Regards, Bob
This coming from the tool king himself. I'm surprised you don't have a set of 4 of them so you don't have to move them around.

Again kind words from the man who does such awesome work himself. Thanks.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:27 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnet18 View Post
Awesome work!

This should definitely get added to the sticky for all those with tag axle woes
I hadn't thought about the sticky thread but I did debate about putting it in the mechanics section. If you guys feel it should be moved and can figure out how feel free to do so. My typing and computer skills took me almost as long to post this as it did to do the job.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:34 AM   #89
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OK, I'm impressed.
Thanks chiefair. Aside from the stress of hoping it would work and the getting down and picking my poor old body off the ground way too many times it was a fun project.
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:36 AM   #90
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For some more mundane Airstream work I had to redo the holding tanks drain system. For some strange reason there was only one valve and it was at the edge of the coach where you attach the drain hose. The black and grey tanks were open to each other.

I removed the piping and put together a more conventional set up with a valve at each tank. You might notice how cozy the grey valve gets to the leveling jack. I had to do some shoe horn work to fit the tag axle. It looks close but it actually works very well. You might also notice the light area on the black tank drain.

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It seems there was a crack where the pipe mounts to the tank. Fortunately there is a certified plastic welder in the area. He does a lot of ship and industrial tank and piping repair. He came out and did a great repair job. Took him a little over an hour.

I added this panel and the Thetford lock handles to give it the Airstream look.

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Old 05-11-2019, 07:00 AM   #91
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I had to re-read this thread two or three times to fully comprehend the magnificence of this endeavour. It certainly was a lot more involved than the new axle I installed in my Minuet, but understand the difficulty of working 12" off the floor for extended periods of time.

Congrats Dan on an incredible job.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony

PS Still glad I don't have a tag axle, but mulling over installing air ride into my 24' Argosy. Weather here is still not co-operating.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:09 AM   #92
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PS Still glad I don't have a tag axle, but mulling over installing air ride into my 24' Argosy. Weather here is still not co-operating.
Tony, why don't you come on down here to Kentucky. I've already been mowing for over a month now.....
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:18 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
I had to re-read this thread two or three times to fully comprehend the magnificence of this endeavour. It certainly was a lot more involved than the new axle I installed in my Minuet, but understand the difficulty of working 12" off the floor for extended periods of time.

Congrats Dan on an incredible job.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony

PS Still glad I don't have a tag axle, but mulling over installing air ride into my 24' Argosy. Weather here is still not co-operating.
Hi Tony. I thought you were wearing Argosy beige colored glasses and ignoring the shiny stuff. Thanks it was a lot of work but I like the result. I don't mind working on the ground, it's the getting up and down that kills me.

I agree about the tag, it is a pain however, I got the Cummins/Allison so you do what you gotta do.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:59 PM   #94
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Simply Awesome!
Will add a link to the Sticky.
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:43 AM   #95
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Well Wednesday I spent most of the day cutting out and reinstalling a new set of those damn rubber/vinyl or whatever they are helper bags in the front springs. What a nightmare. My hands are so bloody and beat up I could hardly pick up my dinner fork.

Thursday bright and early we started hauling stuff to the coach and cast off the lines and we were off. 326 miles later we are here in Pasco, WA. The coach carried on just like it was supposed to not caring what was holding it's a** up. We bought fuel and came up with 12.64 mpg. Not bad considering we started at sea level and climbed to over 3000' at Snoqualmie pass and it rained the entire way. The old Cummins just roared along and I do mean roared. The intermittent tach took the day off so I don't know how fast we were spinning but over 70 mph you need ear plugs. And yes it was quite happy rolling at 70 mph with plenty of throttle left. The delivery papers claim 4.56 gears but I think they have been changed because the Allison does not have overdrive. I bumped it up to 75 mph for a bit and it just kept charging down the highway. I'm a happy camper.

There was an entire new symphony of noises and rattles and squeaks to get use to but it handled and rode very much like the 280 except that it takes a whole lot more room to turn. I guess that is a good thing. I did play with the tag axle air spring a bit and found that a 2 or 3 psi change resulted in a 12 to 15 psi change in the drive axle air springs. I'll have to play a bit more with the scale when I get home.

Tomorrow we are heading to Wallowa State Park in Oregon for a few days so I might not have internet access for awhile. I'll check in next chance I get.
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:21 PM   #96
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We made it home pretty much unscathed. We left Lake Wallowa a day early because it started to snow. It didn't stick but we decided we didn't need to deal with the hassle. The lake is at 4200' elevation and we crossed a 5200' pass to get there. We also crossed Emigrant Pass near Pendleton at 5650' and the old Cummins just roared along.

We took on fuel in Pendleton and it penciled out to 12.4 mpg. I'm happy with that especially climbing hills. We drove through the Gorge to Portland for the night and back home yesterday. The trip was a little over 1100 miles and everything functioned pretty much as it should. Now we get to unpack and start work on some of the small things.
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:16 PM   #97
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Nice!
Like double the mpg youd probably get from the 454!
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:32 PM   #98
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We just got back from a few days at Cape Disappointment. It is a really nice park on the beach on the North side of the Columbia river.

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One of the best parts of camping is sitting around the campfire with good friends and good food.

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The mouth of the Columbia can get exciting storm wise. They have been working on breakwaters for years. This crane is placing rocks on a breakwater. It is hard to see but those rocks come in on semi's pulling lowboy trailers, there is one rock per truck and trailer. They are BIG rocks.

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Looking out our door you can see one of several abandoned picnic tables. That area was a loop of camp sites that was destroyed in a storm last winter. We are in the loop that is now closest to the water. It is so nice to listen to the crashing of the waves. It is also a great spot to enjoy the sun and a book. Rascal doesn't read much but he does enjoy the sun.

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The beach is loaded with driftwood. There is also lots of black sand. Apparently lots of sand washed down from the Columbia and it contains gold. There were a few guys with small mining gear on the beach. They drag their gear down to the beach in the morning and back to their camp site at night. On guy claimed he found about 1/2 oz. of gold in a week.

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The end of a great day.

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Old 06-09-2019, 12:10 PM   #99
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Thanks for sharing!
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:00 AM   #100
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Thanks Dean, now that the tag axle mod is in I've been trying to put some miles on to make sure all is well. On the way home the air pressure switch gave up so I had to stop a couple of times and operate it manually.

Now on to more good stuff. The FedEx guy showed up with 8 new Goodyear 647's, I had to borrow the wheels and tires from the 280 for the trips. I also ordered a new DSL/120 volt water heater and a Maxxfan for the roof and two 12 volt linier actuators to lift the bed in the back. That thing is too heavy for an old man to lift to get at the goodies underneath. There is always something.
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