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Old 05-07-2004, 10:13 AM   #1
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Bad axles

A good example of bad axles is posted on e-bay, item # 2477514030.

It's a 1973 Excella.

Buyer, beware.

Andy
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Old 05-07-2004, 01:02 PM   #2
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Axles

That's my Excella 500 on Ebay.I just pulled it 175 miles with no problems.How can you tell if it has axle problems?
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Old 05-07-2004, 01:21 PM   #3
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I'll take a stab at it and say "because its riding low". the wheel well is covering the whole tire, right down to the rim. With a new(er) axle, the body typically rides up higher, and much more of the tire is visible.

take a look at andy's site, review the axle information page, and go out and take a look at those tortion arms. if they're pointing "up", its time to replace...
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Old 05-07-2004, 01:37 PM   #4
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Exactly.

Not a big secret, but unknown to many.

Andy

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Old 05-07-2004, 02:40 PM   #5
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It pulls great and nothing gets hot but I'm no expert.
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Old 05-07-2004, 03:36 PM   #6
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well, sure...you wouldn't feel any effect from inside your tow vehicle, but you would possibly if you were riding in the trailer. Ok..so you don't ride in the trailer...but the trailer rides on that suspension, and if there's no spring to it, its going to feel it eventually, in the form of a damaged frame and interior.

imagine taking the springs off your truck, and the banging it would take driving down the road.

saying "bad axles" is kind of misleading, too, if you're not familiar with this particular mechanism. the spring action comes from rubber tortion bars that are inside the axle tube, and can't be replaced by themselves. what's worn out is this rubber spring. the "axle"...the metal tube that runs from one side of the trailer to the other, is probably fine...the hubs and spindles could be fine, too. ("nothing gets hot") but since the worn out spring can't be replaced by itself, you have to replace the entire axle. hence "bad axles".
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Old 05-07-2004, 06:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnfikes
It pulls great and nothing gets hot but I'm no expert.
I'm not an expert either. But from what I have read, coupled with an understandiing of what is involved, your Airstream is experiencing a much rougher ride anytime it is subjected to rough roads/pothholes.

Skipping details, the bottom line is that you may be subjecting the frame to shock it is not happy with. Keep it up long enough, and you or a potential buyer could develop cracks in the frame that will manifest itself in more severe problems.

Since your are selling it, it is not your problem. I only post this somewhat grim information for your benefit in case your potential buyer is a guest/member of this website.

Now you know, and you can deal accordingly with potential buyers.

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Old 05-07-2004, 07:02 PM   #8
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Mine were definitely shot. I built a ramp to back one set of wheels up on to get under and inspect them, and with the front wheels hanging in mid air, they never even dropped. The rubber in mine was definitely brittle. It would have rattled the trailer to pieces and destroyed all the interior work I have been working on.

Looks a bit like a low rider when they are bad.

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Old 05-16-2004, 03:12 PM   #9
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Further confirmation of bad axles....
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Old 05-16-2004, 03:40 PM   #10
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It would appear that item # 2478762239 has the same low rider problem.
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Old 05-21-2004, 11:37 AM   #11
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Replacing my axels

Great pic, Sneakinup. On our trip to CA and back last weekend we found the trailer was getting such a bouncy ride that we couldn't even keep the hangers on the rods in the closets, and the cusions get all tossed around. Plus the wheel rim is not visible at the top of the wheel well. But your picture pretty much describes what mine look like underneith. Not much down angle at all. I think I'll be ordering a new axel for it this week.

I'm going to scope out local shops to see if I can trust any of them to do the replacement for me, but I might just do it myself. Only question I have is once I get it jacked up, where could I put a couple jackstands (for safety) so I can get under it? I was thinking maybe a 4x4 across the underside at the jacking points would give me more options on where to put jackstands.
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Old 05-21-2004, 12:29 PM   #12
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Lightbulb Look at the torsion arms!

The photo of our wonderful Trade Wind, which we bought on ebay, led us to HOPE our axles were OK. (I believe I am attaching a photo, but I've never tried before so...)

But when we went to pick it up, I went underneath and the torsion arms were UP. When I tried to get the info off the plate attached to the axle, it couldn't even be read because the whole unit is pitted and rusty.

So it's at home in the yard, waiting for axles to arrive!

Connie
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Old 05-21-2004, 12:40 PM   #13
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Mine are angling down a bit, just a few degrees, but not much. It's that the rest of the ride is so rough on the trailer that bothers me. I think a new axel and shocks will at least give me piece of mind that I'm not pummling my trailer on every trip, or at least it will be the best ride I can give it.

I also had to spend some 'quality time' with a wire brush under the trailer working on the axel tag so I could read it.

I'm surprised your arms were up, since the wheel rims look good in the photo. I guess you just can't always tell from the angle of the picture.
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Old 05-21-2004, 12:43 PM   #14
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Stephanie.

We will provide the installation instructions when you call.

There are several ways to do it, depending on the tools and equipment that you have.

Please measure how far the "axle mounting plate" protrudes "below the frame."

Andy

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Old 05-21-2004, 01:45 PM   #15
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Andy, I measured it and it's 1 7/8 inches. I saw in previous posts where one person with a 67 Caravel had to make a steel extension in order to install his new axel. It's in this thread

axels

So by knowing that measurement will the new axels be made to fit my trailer without any fancy welding? I'm still worried about the shock mounts too, but I'm sure we can tackle that as well.

Is there any benefit to ordering a complete axel? I have new brakes and backing plates (just a couple years old), on my Caravel already. Can I just get a bare axel and swap them over, or is there some reason it would be better to buy a complete axel?
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Old 05-21-2004, 02:11 PM   #16
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good axles?

Is anyone willing to post a photo of their rig with NEW axles? I thought I saw a shot somewhere on this forum a while back. I have searched and not come up with it.

Connie
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Old 05-21-2004, 02:21 PM   #17
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check this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin
Is anyone willing to post a photo of their rig with NEW axles? I thought I saw a shot somewhere on this forum a while back. I have searched and not come up with it.

Connie
Greetings Connie..
Check user "pick" . On his photos, he shows a new one installed without the wheels attached..
ok?
ciao
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Old 05-23-2004, 12:22 PM   #18
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Penguin.

We replaced the axles on 1969 31 foot Airstream some two years ago.

Attached is a photo showing the the wheel well opening with respect to the vertical position of the tires and wheels.

Andy
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Old 05-23-2004, 01:11 PM   #19
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Stefrobrts.

The axle mounting plate that protrudes 1 7/8 inch below the frame is for the original "mounting brackets." That bracket has not been used for over 30 years.

The new brackets require a minimum of 3 1/2 inches.

However, the 1 7/8 thats available on your Airstream can still be used, without adding any extensions.

We also supply, for installations such as yours, a 1/2" hardware kit instead of the original 5/8" kit. This permits placing a new axle into position within the axle mounting plate, drilling three 1/2 holes through the new axle bracket and axle mounting plate.

Two holes should be forward of the axle tube and one rearward. This then completes the physical installation, without having to add anything to the original axle mounting plate, thus saving time and money.

There is no need to extend the axle mounting plate in your case. All it would allow you to do, is use the 5/8 holes in the axle brackets, but you still would have to drill 5/8 holes in the axle mounting plate extensions. Most of the time, individuals can drill a 1/2 hole, since they do not have a drill motor that can handle a 5/8" drill bit.

Shock brackets are usually not installed on the torsion arms when the replacement axle is for the older small trailers. It appears that infield installation of those brackets solves the location problem, as somewhat different clearances for some unknown reason, was used.

Welding the shock brackets on, will not hurt the rubber rods, nor void any warranty, as long as the installation of the brackets is done in a reasonable, professional way. Unreasonable would be welding the brackets in place with a torch, as an example.

Henschen as well as Inland RV Center, cannot guarantee that the original or replacement brakes, bearings, hub and drums, will properly fit a "bare" axle.
If they did fit, that's great, but if they don't, there is nothing that Henschen or we can help you with, since it was the owners choice.

In that context, a complete axle eliminates that question.

Further, it is a well known fact that the older hub and drums are usually way out of balance. New style hub and drums are "unicast" and therefore, are superior. They still may not be in balance, but they are not nearly as far "out of balance" as the old style hub and drums. Therefore, while it is still best to have the complete running gear balanced as an assembly, a balanced tire and wheel only, should not cause any major problems. It could, but probably not.

Using the old style hub and drums, would almost guarantee a problem of excessive unbalance.

Lastly, should an owner purchase a "bare" axle, and find that the parts they have will for any reason not work correctly, and then order the additional parts to change the axle to complete as if originally supplied that way, they will wind up paying for more than the original price, not only for the parts, but additional shipping costs.

We trust this answers your questions.

Andy
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Old 05-23-2004, 01:41 PM   #20
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Thanks for the very complete answers, Andy! That helped a lot.
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