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Old 08-06-2006, 11:57 PM   #21
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WoW!

Tom,

That's pretty sweeeeeet!!!

Just two cents from a retired axleman!

Best Regards,
Henry
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Old 08-07-2006, 02:22 AM   #22
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I just love it when a plan comes together, got the runnin gear out of the way, still got a major project on my hands, got some interior bugs to work out, along with some wood refinishing, new pergo or cork flooring to go in. fiberglass rehab in the Bath, strip and clearcoat the aluminum, but she's fully functional, Just got back from St Joe peninsula, FL. She had been parked, neglected for 5 years, she's got a good home now
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:05 AM   #23
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Good plan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOM CRUMP
I just love it when a plan comes together, got the runnin gear out of the way,
TC,

Good plan.

It has been said in the past but I'll say it again - major projects that require axle change out - this should be the first course of action. For safety and other reasons I would do just what you have done/are doing.

Nice job,
Henry
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Old 08-07-2006, 03:25 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticki2
Tom , Defelice , and others with new axles

If you have the time it would be very helpful to others to take some measurements so older axles could be checked to see how close they are to spec.

Here is what I propose:

1- normal - trailer level - center of hub to fender lip
down angle of axle with weight of trailer on them

2 - front wheels on blocks as if changing rear tires
front axle compressed - center of hub to fender lip
rear axle hanging - center of hub to fender lip

3 - Specify trailer size and year , down angle spec.,and weight rating of axle.

Thanks for any info that you can offer.
The following articles provides the test procedure to check your axles.

http://www.inlandrv.com/articles/dur...axle-92001.htm

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Old 08-08-2006, 08:12 AM   #25
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Excellent

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOM CRUMP
This dexter dealer told me dexter is now building axles for the airstream factory as original equipment on new airstreams. When they called the order in, the dexter people wanted the SERIAL NUMBERS that are on a plate on the axle tube, after they got the serial # they built my axles, took 3 weeks for delivery, the install went smooth, a perfect match, #
TC,

This is the most exciting thing that I have heard in a long time. The entire ordering process can be complicated for non-axleman - this should allow a surefire way for Airstream owners to get a great axle with a great fit - removing some of the difficulty.

Regards,
Henry
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:55 PM   #26
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Thanks To All!!

I just wanted to take a moment and thank all of you who have posted responses to my question about the axles. It really means a lot and I am truly excited to be a new part of the "airstream community".

At this point, I have determined (based on your collective advice) that the axles DEFINITELY need to be replaced. However, I have a couple more questions.
1) I know that the axles from Inland RV are about $800 each, is there any place anyone knows that is a little bit less expensive for a comparable product?
2) How many companies make replacement airstream axles, and is there any difference in quality?
3) Is this a reasonable "do it yourself" project? (I'm relatively handy)
4) It may sound like a stupid question, but could someone please describe to me the difference between a 10" and a 12" axle? Which one is best for me?

Hey, thanks again for all of the responses, I REALLY appreciate all of your help...

P.S. I spent all weekend working on the interior, and now my beauty has a nice vinyl plank "wood look" floor in it, along with a new stereo system! I love working on a piece of equipment as well-constructed as an Airstream-- I can see how all of you are so passionate about it.
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:43 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by '70verlander
I just wanted to take a moment and thank all of you who have posted responses to my question about the axles. It really means a lot and I am truly excited to be a new part of the "airstream community".

At this point, I have determined (based on your collective advice) that the axles DEFINITELY need to be replaced. However, I have a couple more questions.
1) I know that the axles from Inland RV are about $800 each, is there any place anyone knows that is a little bit less expensive for a comparable product?
2) How many companies make replacement airstream axles, and is there any difference in quality?
3) Is this a reasonable "do it yourself" project? (I'm relatively handy)
4) It may sound like a stupid question, but could someone please describe to me the difference between a 10" and a 12" axle? Which one is best for me?

Hey, thanks again for all of the responses, I REALLY appreciate all of your help...

P.S. I spent all weekend working on the interior, and now my beauty has a nice vinyl plank "wood look" floor in it, along with a new stereo system! I love working on a piece of equipment as well-constructed as an Airstream-- I can see how all of you are so passionate about it.

There are other companies that make "torsion axles".

If you chose to replace yours with something other than the original equipment, you will have to come up with several specs.

All you need for an original equipment replacement axle, is the trailer serial number.

Secondly, depending on which company, other than original equipment you may chose, basically because of price, will not necessarily give you a "best there is" replacement, in quality or performance.

Third, with a brand "X" replacement, most of the time the owners have to modify the axle in order for it to fit correctly, in spite of providing specs. There are several posts from owners that state they would not go for a brand "X" the second time.

The original equipment replacements are "direct bolt in", requiring no changes of any kind.

Fourth, if you put heat from a welder or torch to a torsion axle, you very likely will ruin the rubber rods.

The gamble is yours. Save a few bucks, and take your chances. Use the original equipment replacements and you have a 100 percent guaranteed fit.

Andy
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Old 08-09-2006, 12:42 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by '70verlander
1) I know that the axles from Inland RV are about $800 each, is there any place anyone knows that is a little bit less expensive for a comparable product?
2) How many companies make replacement airstream axles, and is there any difference in quality?
3) Is this a reasonable "do it yourself" project? (I'm relatively handy)
4) It may sound like a stupid question, but could someone please describe to me the difference between a 10" and a 12" axle? Which one is best for me?
Inland RV will sell the exact replacement (Henschen axle) and I do not believe anyone else has that brand new axle available at any price. There are other brands available for less money. There have been many threads on the topic. Most of those threads the installer needed to make some modifications of some sort. So in the long run may be it was less money and may be not.

Those other non-Henschen axles of which there are several should make a quality product if the axle is specified correctly to match the needs of the trailer.

Do it yourself. It is reasonable that you could do it. Many have before you with a some knowledge of things mechanical. Cutting/welding may be neccessary on a non-Henschen axle if it is not built to fit exactly. That is may be where the biggest issue lies as to axle replacements.

An axle that has 12" brakes is a more HD axle designed for greater loads and load handling. If you have 12" brakes now (and I believe you do) my recommendation is to not go smaller or go to disc brakes. Unless you are OK with the TV handling more of the braking job. And frankly I wouldn't want the TV handling any extra load if I could help it, even if I had a 1 ton dually for a TV. And I don't have one.

My personal opinion.

Also now is the time to modify the running gear for the future if you saw the need. As in increase the load carrying capacity of the axles. Not by huge measures. As a suggestion, if the current axles are rates for 3000 pounds you may want to opt for 3200 pound axles. Don't get nuts because the ride will get too stiff and shake the insides. Weigh your rig and account for items that are not in your trailer at the time of the weigh in* to know the load you are working with. Assume your trailer is like me. I get heavier with age. Your trailer will too. So build in some extra load carring capacity to meet the future need.

Also now would be an awesome time to consider disc brakes with the superior stopping ability.

* Water, waste, propane, food, adult beverages , gear

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 08-09-2006, 01:09 PM   #29
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70verlander,

Henschen is the axle that is on your coach - correct. However, Dexter axle was also used by Airstream as an OEM. From the sounds of things on the forums Dexter can provide a replacement also - with limited guess work - also by serial number identification. The Henschen will cost you $800.00 plus shipping with 12" electric brakes. A Dexter axle of equal quality will cost about half or that plus shipping. Likely there is a Dexter dealer in your neck of the woods - thus shipping will be the same or less.

I too agree that searching the forums is a great place to start - as much has been discussed on this topic.

Best Regards,
Henry

PS: Henschen and Dexter are both great axles - otherwise Airstream would not have selected to use them on new coaches!!!
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Old 08-09-2006, 03:58 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axleman
70verlander,

Henschen is the axle that is on your coach - correct. However, Dexter axle was also used by Airstream as an OEM.

Best Regards,
Henry

PS: Henschen and Dexter are both great axles - otherwise Airstream would not have selected to use them on new coaches!!!
Ok...but now I'm confused. Dexter wasn't the OEM on this axle when this trailer was built right? So if I'm interpreting this correctly, they are not the OEM back when this original axle was designed and manufactured. Correct? Or was this one of those years where Airstream changed manufacturers during the model year production run?
Jack
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Old 08-09-2006, 04:04 PM   #31
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Hmmmm.

Dexter has only recently been a OE supplier to Airstream. Recently as in the past 12 months or so. I am not totally sure of the change date. For the sake of this thread that date is not really relevant.

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Old 08-09-2006, 04:41 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
Ok...but now I'm confused. Dexter wasn't the OEM on this axle when this trailer was built right? So if I'm interpreting this correctly, they are not the OEM back when this original axle was designed and manufactured. Correct? Or was this one of those years where Airstream changed manufacturers during the model year production run?
Jack

Jack.

You are correct.

Using a Dexter in place of a Henschen, is a substitute.

Replacing a Dexter, with a Dexter, makes sense.

Replace a Henschen with any other brand, usually causes more problems than it's worth, at least to some people.

To some others, their time has zero value. Therefore if they spent 10 or 15 hours or more, making the brand "X" work, they are happy, since they saved some money.

The usage of Dexter axles by Airstream, "is not" of a long term proposition.

Eventually, as the word has it, Airstream will again be Henschen exclusive.

There seems to be some inherent problems since the change was made.

We are at this time, not at liberty to pass on any further information, than the above.

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Old 08-09-2006, 09:30 PM   #33
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I have read a lot of these arguments about which axle to use sine buying my 1973 31' Excella about two weeks ago. It was obvious that the first thing to be done was replace the running gear. Axles are at plus 10 degrees above horizontal and I'm sure the brakes are in need of a rebuild at the least.

I ordered my axles from Andy and took the recommendation to go from 3200#, 22 1/2 degrees to 3500#, 35 degrees. I am also going to put on new shocks although some threads indicate that they don't do much. Thsy are there now and I'm going to leave them there.

So far, I'v spent about 1 hour putting some penetrating oil (Blaster) and loosening the bolts getting ready to remove the axle assembly. The trailer is up on jack stands, wheels off and teaching my son about torsion, spindles, beraings, burnt grease smells and the proper handling (safe) of tools. Safety is a big issue.

I plan to take pictures and tally the time. I'll post all here on a seperate thread and be honest about the ease or lack of on the new installation. My time is valuable and I don't want to have to mar a new axle with welding equipment.

Joe
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:29 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defelice
I have read a lot of these arguments about which axle to use sine buying my 1973 31' Excella about two weeks ago. It was obvious that the first thing to be done was replace the running gear. Axles are at plus 10 degrees above horizontal and I'm sure the brakes are in need of a rebuild at the least.

I ordered my axles from Andy and took the recommendation to go from 3200#, 22 1/2 degrees to 3500#, 35 degrees. I am also going to put on new shocks although some threads indicate that they don't do much. Thsy are there now and I'm going to leave them there.

So far, I'v spent about 1 hour putting some penetrating oil (Blaster) and loosening the bolts getting ready to remove the axle assembly. The trailer is up on jack stands, wheels off and teaching my son about torsion, spindles, beraings, burnt grease smells and the proper handling (safe) of tools. Safety is a big issue.

I plan to take pictures and tally the time. I'll post all here on a seperate thread and be honest about the ease or lack of on the new installation. My time is valuable and I don't want to have to mar a new axle with welding equipment.

Joe

Joe.

Don't count the time that you spent with the old bolts.

New Grade 8 hardware is supplied at no charge.

Simply cut the old bolts off, with a torch, if you wish, as there is no need to save them.

Shocks should be replaced at the time of axle replacement, unless they are fairly new.

Andy
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Old 08-10-2006, 10:57 AM   #35
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I must have missed this!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOM CRUMP
The job consisted of replacing the axles, nevr lube bearings are extra but well worth it, new wheels, tire mounting, materials and labor, the total bill was $1314. Your Further comments and questions are welcome.
TC,

Wow!!!!

$1314.00 complete for two axles replaced without you even having to break a sweat! When I worked at Axis that is similar to what we would have charged - however Axis does not offer the Never-Lube. I think you got a great deal. Dexter is also the largest manufacturer of torsion axles in the U.S.A. - with over 300 dealers nationwide you will never be far from help - if you would happen to need it.

I have really enjoyed this post!

Best Regards,
Henry
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Old 08-10-2006, 06:33 PM   #36
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Henry

Thanks for the accolades, but I just cant take all the credit, I'm lucky to have some top notch axlemen locally in Florence, Mississippi. These guys mainly take care of livestock trailers and when I pulled in with my Overlander they were kinda awestruck.(a gem amongst the cattle wagons) I was thinking mounting plate modifications, but an axle swap presented no problem. We measured then called Dexter, Indiana. Dexter wanted serial #s. He says see you in 3 weeks. Installation day: I back into a bay, examine my new axles, cool, Nev-r-lube bearings, even has shock mounts, although I'm not running shocks, now will they mount up, yes! a DIRECT FIT NO MODIFICATIONS NEEDED NO WELDING, NO DRILLING, I think this Dexter Direct Replacement and Nev-R- Lube bearings might be a hard thing to swallow for some forum members, why, who ever heard of not greasing your bearings and sometimes yourself in the process. Why not install the axles yourself ? you could use the experience. I chose the easiest, most cost effective way of doing axles. And in the process saved some bucks to put in the fuel tank and saved some time for camping on the river, Best Regards
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Old 08-15-2006, 03:26 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrenchBern
ticki2, i have taken those measurements a year ago with a laser light on a sliding ruler but from the edge of the whell fender to the upper edge of the rims. Since the distance from the edge of the rim to the center of the hub is constant the delta should be the same. I do have a 1970 Overlander and can share those measurements, after I dig into my excel files tomorrow.
FrenchBern , I've been out of town the past week and just catching up . I would be very interested in those measurements that you have
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