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Old 06-09-2017, 09:38 AM   #1
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1959 24' Tradewind
Twin Falls , Idaho
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Posts: 161
58 year old axle. Replace or keep?

Just trying to get a pulse of what people think
I have a '59 Tradewind and I'm thinking about replacing mine also. I've been torn on replacing it though. I had the whole frame sandblasted as well as the axle and the axle and both look great, as do the springs. I'm worried about them being old and rated for 3100# (or so) and after adding tanks and other peripherals that that it will be closer if not over 4000#. My axle is square, not that it makes a difference. I have a quote for new axle w/brakes and springs for $500, but if I can keep them and just replace the bearings, brakes and spring bushings I would do that.

I'll post a couple pictures
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:48 AM   #2
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1959 24' Tradewind
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Couple more pics

Frame before / after
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:19 AM   #3
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Your call

Condition looks fine but if you are increasing trailer weight above axle load rating I think you need to replace it.
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:51 AM   #4
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I have done the same thing you are considering. Here are a few suggestions.

1. Go up to a 5200# axle with electric brakes. It looks like yours are hydraulic.
2. Add a leaf to the springs, it will add about 800 lbs to your capacity. Worth it if you add any weight in the floor, appliances, gray water tank, A/C, etc.
3. Add shocks. It looks like your trailer did not have shocks. Mine had shocks but I moved them inside the frame rails to allow using wider radial tires. Otherwise the wider tires interfered with the shocks.
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:05 AM   #5
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The axle must have a higher weight rating than max GVWR weight of trailer. Either upgrade the axle or don't upgrade the trailer with heavier tanks and peripherals. I had a few trailers over the years and manufactures are pretty good at installing the smallest and lowest capacity axles and tires they can get away with
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:32 AM   #6
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1956 22' Caravanner
Don Pedro Island , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trons4u View Post
Just trying to get a pulse of what people think
I have a '59 Tradewind and I'm thinking about replacing mine also. I have a quote for new axle w/brakes and springs for $500,
I'll post a couple pictures
I went with a new torsion axel with electric brakes. Installed for around $600. It is a 5500# and the option that I had was leave stock height or raise it 3-5 inches. I went with the raising so that gives more clearance. Some folks like the low rider look, but the advantage of a few more inches sold me.
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:52 AM   #7
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Whatever the rating on the axle was 58 years ago, today it's less. Is it less by 10% or some other number? There's no practical way to know. Even if you are "only" going to use it at it's old max rating, it would be wise to replace it. It is in wonderful looking shape though isn't it ...

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Old 06-09-2017, 12:37 PM   #8
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Don't replace the axle just because it is old. Replace it because it is broken or damaged or the weight rating is less than the load. Most if not all damage would be on the spindles. If the bearings and races are good (inner and outer) - replace seals and do any needed brake work. The springs on the other hand will wear or get weaker over time. (Not the axle)

If the new load is 4500 and the axle rating is 3100, that is the reason to replace! However the load rating for that type of axle is mostly the capacity of the bearings. That same axle may have been used in a range of loading from 2000 to 5000 with the different leaf springs and wheel bearings. I don't have that data and usually a manufacturer of anything will use as many parts as common.

The load is transferred from the springs to the spindles, then to wheel bearings, hubs and finally the wheels and tires. The basic axle it's self doesn't do much. (Not so in a torsion axle)

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Old 06-09-2017, 02:47 PM   #9
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1958 22' Flying Cloud
Saint Helena , California
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Relace Axel?

On the highway, about five years ago, I lost a wheel (all six studs sheared off). All I needed was a new wheel and a new hub/brake drum -- spindle was fine. I'd recently replaced and packed the bearings. The trailer repair place couldn't find a matching drum and that started the cascade. The only things NOT replaced were the springs and u-bolts. I'm more confident now knowing that I have new electric brakes, drums, hubs, spindles, bearings, etc.

Not all that spendy, considering.
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Old 06-09-2017, 06:08 PM   #10
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1973 31' Sovereign
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If you are going to add weight to the trailer it would be a wise investment to upgrade the axle and brakes. I think electric brakes are better than those hydraulic ones you have now and you can't have too much braking reserve so I'd go big on the brakes. Radial tires and shocks would be good too.
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:02 PM   #11
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1959 24' Tradewind
Twin Falls , Idaho
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I appreciate all of your comments, the consensus is kind of like what I was thinking of doing I just needed some confirmation I guess.

Thanks again
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Old 06-14-2017, 01:45 PM   #12
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1959 24' Tradewind
Twin Falls , Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane View Post
I have done the same thing you are considering. Here are a few suggestions.


3. Add shocks. It looks like your trailer did not have shocks. Mine had shocks but I moved them inside the frame rails to allow using wider radial tires. Otherwise the wider tires interfered with the shocks.
Do you have anymore pictures or information on how the shock attaches to the axle?
Thanks
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:38 PM   #13
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Do you have anymore pictures or information on how the shock attaches to the axle?
Thanks
Tony, here are picture of some of the components. The first picture shows the bottom axle tie plate to which was added a new lower shock absorber stud. The mounting is similar to the original except that the shock stud was moved to the inside edge of the tie plate, and the tie plate was new because the new axle was larger diameter and required a new plate for the wider U-bolts.

The second picture shows the axle mounted on the springs. Since the shock absorber is now positioned inside the frame rails, I added a section of channel inside the frame and running between two of the frame crossmembers. This provided a pocket for the top of the shock absorbers and let me reattach the belly skin.

The third picture shows the relative size of the axle ends between the original 3500 lb axle and the new 5200 lb axle.
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:28 PM   #14
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1959 24' Tradewind
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Thanks bud, that helps
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Old 06-18-2017, 06:00 PM   #15
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Wow. Fantastic work! The frame looks great. Upgrade the axel for what you're planning to add to it.
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Old 06-18-2017, 06:12 PM   #16
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Going with the heavier axle also allows you to go with bigger brakes and going to a 60n 5.5" wheel. Also an upgrade.
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Old 01-23-2018, 03:16 PM   #17
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Did you determine why you sheared off the wheel studs? I just lost a wheel the same way and think they were over torqued by the tire place. Bearings brakes etc. all looked like new by my mechanic.
Thanks
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