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Old 06-03-2008, 05:24 AM   #1
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Bad axles? Yikes!!

All this axle talk is making me nervous. I recall the 3"-4" inch clearence rule but is the distance as you look up under the wheel well or as you stand back twenty feet? See what I mean? If I stand back and look at my 88 29-footer I cannot see the tops of the tires. If I look up under-at the top of the tires- I have clearence.
Jeeeeze. I'm now a nervous wreck over this since due to some recent setbacks I don't have thousands $$$$ for new axles.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:26 AM   #2
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I'm not an expert in this, but take a careful look at the pictures I posted at the top of the thread (click on each one for a larger view).
You can see that the wheel is on a 'trailing arm' - meaning the wheel is slightly behind the axel. This arm rotates up and down, giving you shock absorbtion (this is in lieu of springs.) If that arm is level to the ground or goes upward from the axel, the axel is bad (see first picture). If the arm goes down, then its still good and you don't have to worry (see second pictures). Hope this helps.
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:17 PM   #3
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Smile

Thank you again. I will continue to study the pictures but at this point I am unable to understand what I am seeing. I will have someone take a look. I have great difficulty getting down on the ground at present. I don't THINK I have a problem but this thread has me nervous. Ha!!
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:20 PM   #4
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take a picture. post it here.
You'll get answers...
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Anniedog
Thank you again. I will continue to study the pictures but at this point I am unable to understand what I am seeing. I will have someone take a look. I have great difficulty getting down on the ground at present. I don't THINK I have a problem but this thread has me nervous. Ha!!

Not to worry.

As long as you can see about 3 inches of tire above the wheel, when stooping down, your Airstream axles are OK.

Andy
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Old 06-03-2008, 02:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Not to worry.

As long as you can see about 3 inches of tire above the wheel, when stooping down, your Airstream axles are OK.

Andy
Hate to burst the bubble, but my 67 had a good downward direction on the trailing arms, but less then 1" deflection when I tried moving them. They had frozen in the downward direction and were shaking the trailer when pulling.
New axel and it now rides smooth. I rode in it both ways and there is a big difference.
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Old 06-03-2008, 02:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Not to worry.

As long as you can see about 3 inches of tire above the wheel, when stooping down, your Airstream axles are OK.

Andy
Do you mean 3 inches of air above the tire?
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:26 PM   #8
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Do you mean 3 inches of air above the tire?
NO NO NO.

Three inches of tire, "above the wheel."

Andy
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:07 AM   #9
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Okay Andy, I think I'm good. I can see a whole BUNCH of tire above the wheel.....like most of it. Just the very top is under the skin. Whew...that was a close one!!
We have this very nice '88 29 with new appliances, bath door conversion, all awnings, rock guards, smoked covers for fron windows, dual Fantastics etc. Owned by a CA Airstream fanatic for first ten years of its life and now in our tender hands. Even had an Aistream exec walk over one time to tell me that particular model and year was HIS favorite trailer. And he HAD one too!!
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Old 06-06-2008, 02:40 PM   #10
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Okay Andy, I think I'm good. I can see a whole BUNCH of tire above the wheel.....like most of it. Just the very top is under the skin. Whew...that was a close one!!
We have this very nice '88 29 with new appliances, bath door conversion, all awnings, rock guards, smoked covers for fron windows, dual Fantastics etc. Owned by a CA Airstream fanatic for first ten years of its life and now in our tender hands. Even had an Aistream exec walk over one time to tell me that particular model and year was HIS favorite trailer. And he HAD one too!!

Now that you know your Airstream has good axles, you will now travel with much more piece of mind, knowing that you won't beat the trailer to pieces.

May all your Airstreaming days, and nights too, be great ones.

Andy
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:14 AM   #11
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Anniedog
Andy has a thread on his website that has a pictorial of how your trailing arm should look. But if U only have the tops of the tires hidden by the sheet metal U are good to go. Have a wonderful camping year
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Old 07-29-2008, 04:06 PM   #12
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What dose worn/unworn shocks have to do with a good/bad axel? I'm a larning newbe and pretty green.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:52 PM   #13
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Bad axles???????

We were asked to replace 2 axles on a 69 31 foot Airstream.

The following 2 photo's more than tell a story of what we found.

The shock absorbers is all that kept the axle shaft from sliding out.

These axles were shot many many moons ago, but the owners travels the country 6 months out of the year.

This also clearly demonstrates the need to use shocks, as in this case, they saved more than just the day.


Moral of the story, bad axles must be replaced if they will be on the highway, AND shock absorbers do more than just soften the ride.

As of this posting, the owner is not aware of the condition of his axles.

We will post his reply, after he see's these and some other photo's.

Andy
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:41 PM   #14
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Whow ANDY
That was a close one. If those shocks had not held, I hate to think what would have happened. I know he would have had a case of EXTENSION AXLE and it could have been a disaster.Three would have carried it but No telling where that 4th one would have went or how much damage it would have done.
GOOD JOB ANDY
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:12 PM   #15
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Were the rubber rods round when the axle was made? They sure look flat and small now.
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:52 PM   #16
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My '63 Tradewind single axle needs new axles. Inland Andy says anyone can change axles, but I do not have a level driveway and simply don't want to tackle this job. I can visualize the trailer slipping off the jack stands and crushing me before it slides down the driveway.

The Airstream factory quoted me $2000.00 to change the axle. that means they want about $1200.00 labor. That doesn't sound like they think it can be done in a couple of hours.

I live in Indiana. Does anyone have a recommendation as to where I can get this done for a more reasonable price.

Andy???? Any suggestions?

Mike Brumback
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:09 AM   #17
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Were the rubber rods round when the axle was made? They sure look flat and small now.
That's what the front axle under Bertha looked like when I replaced the axles last year. It literally fell off when I removed the shock. Very scary stuff. And yes, the rubber was supposed to be round, but was squashed and hardened into a squared-off oval. The inner workings of the above axles just slid out of the tube with no effort, a broken shock would have spelled disaster.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:11 AM   #18
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My '63 Tradewind single axle needs new axles. Inland Andy says anyone can change axles, but I do not have a level driveway and simply don't want to tackle this job. I can visualize the trailer slipping off the jack stands and crushing me before it slides down the driveway.

The Airstream factory quoted me $2000.00 to change the axle. that means they want about $1200.00 labor. That doesn't sound like they think it can be done in a couple of hours.

I live in Indiana. Does anyone have a recommendation as to where I can get this done for a more reasonable price.

Andy???? Any suggestions?

Mike Brumback
Anderson, IN
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You could almost tow the trailer to California, and have Andy replace the axle, for that price.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:18 AM   #19
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My '63 Tradewind single axle needs new axles. Inland Andy says anyone can change axles, but I do not have a level driveway and simply don't want to tackle this job. I can visualize the trailer slipping off the jack stands and crushing me before it slides down the driveway.

The Airstream factory quoted me $2000.00 to change the axle. that means they want about $1200.00 labor. That doesn't sound like they think it can be done in a couple of hours.

I live in Indiana. Does anyone have a recommendation as to where I can get this done for a more reasonable price.

Andy???? Any suggestions?

Mike Brumback
Anderson, IN
WBCC #1200
Mike,

Try a couple of Airstream dealers or there is GSM in Plattsburg, NY a little closer than Andy.

bill
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:33 AM   #20
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Mike,

Try a couple of Airstream dealers or there is GSM in Plattsburg, NY a little closer than Andy.

bill
Colin at GSM is very good, I was kidding about the trip to SoCal. Gas may be cheaper, but not that cheap, yet...
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