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Old 04-10-2021, 05:02 PM   #1
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1955 22' Safari
Bellefonte , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 121
Images: 1
Axle for 1955 Safari

I was looking under my '55 Safari today in preparation to lift it for removal of the belly pan as part of the restoration process.

Wow does that old axle/leaf spring look old!
I once had a 54 Pontiac Chieftain with leaf springs which I had repaired and reconditioned, but that is another story...

The Safari towed like a dream when I brought her home, a 200 mile trip, so I do not think I really need to replace the axle, perhaps just buff off the crud and put a nice POR coat on.

Anyway, just in case I need to replace the Safari's axle/leaf spring assembly, what type/manufacturer axle leaf spring was originally installed on a 1955 Safari?

Here are a few pictures of the 55 Safari wheel/axle/leaf spring

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Old 04-10-2021, 05:42 PM   #2
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
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May be a Henschen leaf spring. Looks just like the one I took off the 55. I’ve heard of people rebuilding them with success. They’re so solid I would think they could be refurbished. Don’t know if you’d get the height you want without going to a torsion. If you decide to rebuild, I still have the original in the barn if you need leafs. Good luck
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Old 04-10-2021, 06:59 PM   #3
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1958 26' Overlander
Battle Ground , Washington
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I replaced my original axle with a dexter axle. Mainly to make sure bearings & seals were readily available. I also changed from a dropped axle to a straight axle to add clearance.

I had a local spring company (in business 100 years) rebuild and re-arched the originals. However I've come to the conclusion I need to have new springs made. The issue I'm concerned about is the increased weight from adding today's mechanicals. I haven't found a source that makes my spring dimensions/max weight rating so I'm going back to my local source, Benz Spring Company, Salem, Oregon.
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Old 04-10-2021, 08:35 PM   #4
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1955 22' Safari
Bellefonte , Pennsylvania
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I may need some parts if there is to be a leaf spring fix up. The clamps and carriage bolts and rubber bushings look corroded and dried.
I mentioned that I had a set of leaf springs redone for my long gone Pontiac Chieftain. What a car!!! The leaf springs had a material sandwiched between the metal leaf springs. Nice smooth ride. It does not look like the Airstream had such a cushy suspension.
The springs on my '55 are just metal leafs stacked together without shock absorbing material between the leafs.
I wonder if I could upgrade with sandwiched springs?

Are there parts available for leaf springs?
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Old 04-10-2021, 08:37 PM   #5
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2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiftysafari View Post
I may need some parts if there is to be a leaf spring fix up. The clamps and carriage bolts and rubber bushings look corroded and dried.
I mentioned that I had a set of leaf springs redone for my long gone Pontiac Chieftain. What a car!!! The leaf springs had a material sandwiched between the metal leaf springs. Nice smooth ride. It does not look like the Airstream had such a cushy suspension.
The springs on my '55 are just metal leafs stacked together without shock absorbing material between the leafs.
I wonder if I could upgrade with sandwiched springs?

Are there parts available for leaf springs?
And quality spring shop can make whatever you need.
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Old 04-10-2021, 08:47 PM   #6
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1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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^^ +1 to the above

Leaf springs can be made to order by dimension. If you want you can do that on line and have them delivered to your house.

I believe the brakes and suspension were made by Hadco.

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Old 04-11-2021, 03:07 AM   #7
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Axle for 1955 Safari

I rebuilt the springs on my ‘59 Tradewind. Added a leaf to allow for modern mechanicals, tankage and flooring. Any good spring shop should have all the bushings and shackles and u bolts and plates.
I think the original manufacturer was Al-Ko.
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Old 04-11-2021, 06:40 AM   #8
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
Durango , Colorado
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Can those square drop axles still be found ?
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Old 04-11-2021, 06:43 AM   #9
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Oswego , Illinois
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I don't know about those specifically, but my prior trailer had 4" Dexter drop axles. They were round tubes, but that really doesn't matter with new hanging hardware. I believe Dexter still makes them.
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Old 04-11-2021, 06:49 AM   #10
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https://www.dexteraxle.com/products/...00-lb-capacity

This page lists 3, 4 and 6" drop spindles available.
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Old 04-11-2021, 08:06 PM   #11
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1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
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The rubber between the leafs is to reduce friction between leafs rubbing as they move. That saves the wear on the spring and provides smoother spring action
As others point out a good spring shop can make brand new springs or source new parts
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